To quote a fellow pet parent, “This is 10x harder than I expected, and sometimes, I want to pull my hair out!” She was talking about puppy potty training—the incomparable rite of passage every new dog owner has to endure.
And we'll tell you straight up: Housebreaking a puppy is not easy.
After your dozenth sleepless night (sorry, lost count!); anxiety over your pup's heart-piercing cries; and the nth puddle of pee, you are desperate for answers. How long does puppy toilet training actually take?!
This Q&A focuses on your most pressing potty training concerns.
When should I potty train my puppy?
It's best to set up your routine and define house rules immediately. That is, the moment you bring your puppy home at around 8 to 9 weeks old.
As for the best age to potty train a puppy? Experts say housebreaking a puppy should start once they have enough control over bladder/bowel movements. That would be between 12 and 16 weeks of age.
How long does it take to house-train a dog?
The million-dollar question! The reality is there is no set timeline and no fixed deadline. It can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months or even a whole year for late bloomers.
How long it takes depends on several factors, such as breed, individual aptitude, and old habits (they die hard, as we all know). Training style and consistency will also influence the time it takes to toilet train your dog.
Tip: Small breeds take longer to be toilet trained. The most generally accepted theory behind this is that small breeds have smaller bladders. But they have a higher metabolism, which means more frequent urination that pet parents may struggle to manage.
How can I potty train a puppy to pee and poo outside?
Check out our 5-step toilet training guide to get you started.
How do you know when your puppy is potty trained?
If you can go 2 to 3 months without any accidents, that is a good sign that you are well on your way to a fully housebroken dog! Even so, regression is real. Don't be surprised (or disappointed) if, in his adolescence, Fido temporarily "forgets" everything he has learnt.
My dog is potty trained but pees on the carpet. Why?!
Barring other reasons, your pup (or grown dog) continues to pee on the carpet because of urine residue. To be more precise, the lingering smell of urine from a previous wee.
Here's why: Unless you act fast, dog pee (which contains ammonia) seeps deep into the various layers of your carpet. Yes, from the surface down to the backing, pad, and subfloor! That leads to bacterial growth, a distinctive (foul) odour, and dogged stains (pun unintended), which worsen over time. That scent attracts your puppy to return and pee in the same spot, time and again.
Tip: The only way to prevent further accidents on the carpet is to do a thorough job cleaning up.
Here are a few tips worth remembering:
✔️ Do: Soak up as much urine as possible, as quickly as possible, using highly absorbent microfibre or paper towels.
❌ Don't: Use your hair dryer to dry up wet spots. Heat encourages pee stains and odours to permeate deeper and cling to carpet fibres. Translation: The smell becomes permanent!
✔️ Do: Apply a generous amount of our double-strength enzyme-based urine stain and odour remover. Our breakthrough formula works fast to eradicate odours and counter blotches.
❌ Don't: Use regular cleaning products with ammonia in them as this will make the smell worse (ammonia on ammonia = not good!) and stains more apparent.
✔️ Do: Sanitize the carpet with a pet-safe disinfectant to prevent bacteria from developing where your dog relieved himself.
❌ Don't: Spray just any old germicidal solution on your carpet. These can be toxic to pets.
It's a long road to successful potty training, but it’s definitely worth it. 🥰 Until then, stay sanitary!
P.S. Got potty training questions or advice for other fur parents? Share your thoughts and comments below. (We read all your feedback!) And come join our YouTube community for more pet parenting tips made easy.