How Do You Know When Your Puppy Is Fully Potty Trained? (4 Signs)

We know it’s exhausting. Taking your puppy to the bathroom after every few hours and cleaning up his mess! it takes a ton of energy and time. Plus you are eager to let your new friend into the house. So, how do you know when your puppy is potty trained and you can now let him in. 


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Here’s a short answer:

How do you know when your puppy is potty trained?

“When your puppy is more than 7-8 months of age, when he starts ringing the bell on his own when he needs to go, instead of sniffing or circling he comes to you or goes towards the door and he goes without an accident for at least 2-4 weeks, then you can say that now he is fully potty trained. But things can take a turn too.”

Actually, potty training a puppy is a never-ending process, because these creatures may regress so easily. So it is best to follow up with your training every once in a while. Say, retrain him for 1-2 days after every 2-3 months.

Don’t worry, following up with the training won’t be as tiring and time taking as it is for the first time.

You need to check for these things:

1- Age of the puppy:

To be fully potty trained, a puppy should be able to hold his bladder for a long time and he can’t do it until he is at least 7 months old. Make it 8 or even 9 months for tiny breeds. 

So before that, there are still chances that he might not be able to control it. 

2- Tells you that he needs to go:

At the time of potty training, you would be noticing the cues your puppy shows when he needs to go like sniffing, circling, barking, or scratching, etc.

Understand that why he shows these cues. That is because he is finding a place to “go potty”.

Once he will be fully potty trained, he won’t show these cues, instead, he will move towards the door or whatever place you have trained him to go on. 

3- Rings the bell:

If after partially potty training him, you trained him to ring the bell when he needs to go potty.

One day, you hear the bell sound and find out that he actually needs to go.

When it happens several times after that. It’s a sign that he is now trained. 

4- Goes without an accident for weeks:

Within a day or two, you just can’t tell that your puppy is fully potty trained now. Sometimes, there are setbacks.

But we should not say “sometimes”. There will be lots of setbacks. Like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Then 4 steps forward, one step back. 

As you will continue potty training, these setbacks will reduce in numbers and will completely vanish.

So it is best to notice that if he goes without an accident and always tells you or goes on his own for at least 2-4 weeks, he is potty trained.

Things that may lengthen the process of potty training:

A few things are there that can just increase the time it will take for your puppy to be fully potty trained.

  • Breed: If your dog is of a small/tiny breed or a stubborn breed, he may take more time. Small dogs have very weak bladder control and stubborn dogs don’t just bother following. But still, your consistency and patience will get them to the goal. 
  • Punishment: If you will punish your dog for having an accident, or you will yell. There are higher chances that your dog will take a lot more time to be fully potty trained. So watch your own behavior. 
  • Inconsistency: If you want to finish the process earlier, you need to be consistent with the routine. Inconsistency will harm, your dog won’t get it. “Never allow your puppy to relieve himself in the house” Remember? You can only do it if you are consistent. 

At what age a puppy should be fully potty trained?

The normal age to start potty training a puppy is around 12 weeks old and it usually takes 4-6 months to be fully potty trained. So, doing some maths!

Your puppy should be fully potty trained until he is 7-9 months old. 

And to be on the more conservative side, he should be trained by the age of 1 year old. 

Read more: At what age a puppy should be fully potty trained, (and when to start?)

Do puppies or dogs forget their potty training?

When dogs or puppies forget their potty training, it is called, puppy potty training regression. And yes! It is normal.

Puppies and dogs may forget what they are supposed to do.

It is more common in dogs or less than 1 year old but it can happen in older dogs too. 

But the good news is, you can easily train them again. They won’t take this much time and energy again. 

Why do they reverse their training and how to retrain them? We have written a full article on this topic too. You can read that here. 

When do you need to potty train him again? 

Potty training a puppy happened to be a never-ending process. You have to follow up with your training once in a while. 

At these times, you must follow up and be with them to train them again. 

  • When the dog is not doing well.
  • If you are moving to another house.
  • When you need him to pee in a new place. 
  • If there is another new pet in the home.
  • When a new person is visiting you or when you are visiting someone. 
  • After every 2-3 months. 

What to do after the puppy or dog is fully potty trained?

  • Train him to use the potty bell: If you haven’t trained him to do so and you are expecting him to go outside to pee and the door remains closed most of the time.  You can train him to use the bell to tell you.  It will save you from unnecessary barking etc. 
  • Follow up with the training once in a while: Potty training a puppy is a never-ending process. Though, it won’t be as tiring as it is for the first time.  It is best to be with him and repeat the training for 1-2 days after every 2-3 months because these creatures may regress so easily.

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    Takeaway:

    Potty training a puppy is hard but it’s absolutely doable. If he goes without an accident for several weeks and he always tells you or goes on his own for at least 2-4 weeks, then you can say that now he is completely potty trained. 

    But still, you need to follow up with the training.

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