What Age Should A Puppy Be Toilet Trained (& When To Start)

At what age should a puppy be completely toilet trained? Well, it’s a tough question with no specific answer. But let us try;

“It usually takes around 4-6 months to completely potty train a puppy, so if you started training your pup at 12 weeks (3 months old), then he should be trained by the age of 7-9 months. However, there are several things to consider to reach a final answer.”


Potty training your pup is ‘The Priority’ when bringing the little one home. It is also the biggest cause for the existence of animal shelters and many dogs finding themselves homeless. Sad!

When To Start Potty Training A Puppy? Optimal Age To Start Housebreaking?

“According to pet experts, the optimal time to begin potty training your pup is when your pup is 3 to 6 months old (about 12 to 24 weeks). By then they should have enough control of their bowel and bladder that they can learn how to hold, or at least go to the designated place where they are allowed to do their business.”

If the puppy is brought from a puppy mill or pet shop, things will be different for him. The same is the case for older dogs and stray dogs.

urine marking and house soiling

Constant observation, timely intervention, positive reinforcement, and reward/treat-based encouragement will help you in guiding your pup from scattering smelly mishaps all-around your house to a parent-approved good pup. Just remember not to be harsh on the little one as it never helps and only affects the pup adversely.

Our objective is just to instill good behavior and lay the foundation for a hassle-free future. For this to happen, your pup should not be potty shy around you.

Can You Start Potty Training Early?

However, if you wish to reduce the number of smelly mishaps in your house, you can begin potty training your pup when it is only 6-8 weeks old.

Take your pup outside frequently, like every hour for it to grasp the concept of doing its business outside of the home. But, be sure to go easy on the little one and keep your expectations realistic.

Otherwise, it is best to put a dog diaper on your pup until they learn to be a good pup. Potty training your pup will not only make your house happy but will also get you future benefits.

“Remember, starting housetraining early will not result in getting excellent results. You should expect only prevention from some accidents and developing good habits. The optimal age to start housetraining is around 12-24 weeks, depending on several factors.”

Factors That Effect The Age A Puppy Should Be Potty Trained:

There are several factors that affect the answer to this question.

Before that, go and check this article about “How long does it take to potty train a puppy?”. You will have a clear idea of what factors affect the time taken. The article will be opened in a new tab, so go read that and come here again!

how long does it take to potty train a puppy

A very important factor that affects the age a puppy is potty trained; that is “for how long a puppy can hold the bladder.

The longer the puppy will be able to hold the bladder, the easier it will be.

For How Long A Puppy Can Hold The Bladder?

“As a general rule of thumb, a puppy can hold his bladder for one hour for every month of age. For example, a 4 months old puppy should be able to hold the bladder for 4 hours. However, after the age of 7 months, this rule changes. A dog of 7+ months of age should be able to control the bladder for 8+ hours, some even go up to 12 hours.”

These factors that affect the time a puppy can hole the bladder, are;

1- Age

Age is the most prominent factor that determines how long your pup can gap between bathroom breaks. Pups due to their small and under-developed bladders, cannot hold their pee for as long as a fully grown dog can.

Usually, a puppy can control their bladder for one hour for each month of age they are. Hence, if your pup is 5 months old, it can hold it for about 5 hours. But do know that this is a general approximation and tolerance towards your puppy will go a long way.

2- Size

The size of your pet is the other important factor. A tiny/toy breed dog such as a Pomeranian will have a very small bladder and thus, will need to urinate more frequently.

3- Health

The health of your pup can also be a factor in its need for frequent urination. If you are concerned that your pup is peeing more frequently than normal or is taking longer in doing so, it is advised to take your pup to a vet.

Read about: Medical conditions that might be hindering the process of potty training your puppy!

4- Breed

Some Breeds are able to control their bladder for longer because of their large size and strong muscles. Obedience and intelligence is another thing that comes with the breed.

In general, giant/big breeds like Leonberger are way easier to potty train. Big breeds understand that the house is “their bed” more easily than the small breeds. But there are exceptions.

Read More: Hardest and Easiest dog breeds to potty train?

5- Diet

The type of food that you feed to your pup is the final major component in their urinary routine and health. Raw and wet food which are rich in moisture can increase the frequency and the amount of their urination. 

Although your pup may need to pee a bit more often, but do keep in mind that hydration is always good for their appearance and the internal body organs.

How long will it take?

It should always be kept in mind that just like humans, every pup is unique.

Some may learn faster than others.

Usually, it takes 4 to 6 months for a pup to be potty trained by a normal non-expert person.

If you are not consistent with your actions or in gestures or in use and tone of the specific command when training your pup, your pup will become confused and not understand what is expected of it. Thus, attaining the desired result is entirely dependent upon you.

Pups that are past their optimal age for being potty trained or have been caged or have been forced to poop where they sleep, become desensitized. In such cases it can even take a year for your pup to be house trained as reshaping a pup’s behavior takes longer. The only way to make their life better and in turn, yours a happy one, is through reward/treat encouragement and positive reinforcement. May you Persevere!!

Read in detail: How long does it take to potty train a puppy?

How Do You Know When Your Puppy Is Potty Trained?

When your puppy stops having accidents at home! He tells you that he needs to go by staring at you, showing other signs, or ringing the bell. He may go to his potty spot by himself, (if that’s in his range) for at least 2 weeks, then you can say that now your puppy is potty trained. But know that; some puppies can reverse their training, that’s called puppy potty training regression. Learn more about it.”

How to know that your puppy is fully potty trained?
taking puppy outside to pee

5 thoughts on “What Age Should A Puppy Be Toilet Trained (& When To Start)”

  1. I actually enjoyed the standard info you provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often in order to check up on new posts.

  2. Thank you for the information. I’m totally confused because ticky is my first puppy ever. Great resource for people like me

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