How To Potty Train A Puppy When You Work Full Time (Things Made Easy)

Although it seems like a nightmare, it is absolutely doable. But you need much more patience and commitment when you are potty training your puppy when you work full time. As compared to a person who is doing a part-time job or not working at all. 

You need to understand that your puppy may take much more time to be completely house-trained because you will not always be there with him to keep an eye on.

It’s okay because the hard work is going to last for only a few months, as the dog will grow up, he will be able to hold for longer so things will get easier.

If you have not gotten your puppy yet but you are wanting to have one; there are some things to consider:

Getting the puppy when you work full time:

If you are working full time you should first think that are you really ready for having one? If you are not ready but you are still going to get your love at home, here are a few things to consider:

1- Get a couch potato

Find a couch potato who spends more time sleeping and wouldn’t bother anyone who is there to play. French Bulldog, Basset Hound, chihuahua, Dachshund, Bernese mountain dogs, and pugs (but pugs may suffer from separation anxiety) are great couch potatoes.

Read more: 8 Reasons Pugs Are Hard To Potty Train! (How To Make Them Easy?)

2- Dog breed with strong muscles

Choose dog breeds that have strong muscles and comparatively large bladders. So they can hold it for a longer period of time. 

In short, find out the breeds that are easiest to potty train.

Here’s the list of dog breeds that are easy to housetrain.

3- Choose the right time to get and train the puppy:

You need to consider your working hours and the times when you’ll have to stay late at work or you can’t get leave. As we said in our article about the “complete guide to housetraining a puppy” if you are an accountant whose financial year ends in June/December, these months must be very busy so don’t get him at this time. If you work with a seasonal business, don’t get your puppy right before the season starts.

4 ways to potty train your puppy when you work full time:

You have 4 options:

  • Ask for “work from home”
  • Hire a pet sitter / Ask for family help
  • Leave the puppy at daycare
  • Do it all by yourself.

Let’s dive deep into the details

1- Ask for “work from home”:

It should usually be the best way if that is possible for you.

You will be able to work full time, and take care of the puppy and it’s free. 

So try for these options first and then follow the basic method. (find that here in detail).

how to potty train a puppy

2- Hire a pet sitter / Ask a family member or friend for some help:

Asking a family member or friend to help you out is the second-best option. Make sure the person you are going to ask for help, is not working and has some love for your pet, and is actually ready to help out. Do not force anyone.

Usually, in the areas of the world where almost every other person keeps a pet, a pet sitter should be in access. Hire one, if you can.

This option is usually the second best because the dog is going to be trained at your home. And whoever is going to train him, the supplies and the environment will be the same. The puppy will not have to move around the places and people.

Make sure to provide the pet sitter with all the supplies that are needed.

Here’s the list of supplies.

3- Drop him at a doggy day-care

The third option is doggy daycare. When choosing a daycare, ask the staff if they can help with the process of potty training. And only chose the daycare that does. 

4- Do it all by yourself:

If none of the above works for you then the option left for you is to do the job all by yourself. 

Although it’s tough, it’s doable; here is a simple step to follow.

First thing, for you the best option can be potty training your puppy on pads. 

This is because you’ll have to leave the puppy limited to one area so that he could stay safe when no one is there.

How to potty train a puppy when you work full time?

Step 1- Gather all your supplies:

The very first thing, you need all the supplies in hand and as a full-time working person, you will need to have some extra tools to keep the process automated. Like a pet camera and a treat dispenser.

Here’s the list of all the basic supplies. And add a pet camera with a treat dispenser & automatic pet feeder.

This post contains affiliate links, read our full disclosure here.

Here are some extra tools you’d love to have.

1- Furbo Dog Camera: Treat Tossing, Full HD Wifi Pet Camera

dog camera and treat dispenser

It’s a plug-in connect and ready-to-use camera.

Night vision, 2-way audio, and barking alert!

Giving the dog a treat when he does the good deed is easier with its automatic dispenser.

2- PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder

pet feeder

You can control the meals of your pet from anywhere.

This pet feeder is automatic and can be operated with an app. You will get notifications according to your settings.

You can set up flexible portions.

and the bowl is dishwasher safe.

Step 2- Stick to your puppy at the weekend:

You must choose the weekend to start training so that you can keep a hawk-eye on him and notice his schedule and the signs he shows when he needs to go. Also, this is the time to teach him good potty habits and make him learn your cues.

Step 3- Set up one bed and bath apartment for your puppy:

Set up a tiny apartment for your puppy.

Set a playpen and at one corner of the playpen, place the crate, (your puppy should be crate trained) and on the other corner, place a puppy pee pad.

Make sure to choose sticky pee pads (like this one on Amazon), so that the pup can’t play and chew with it when you are not there.

You can also use the grass pads that come with a tray. (Like this one available on Amazon) They are also a very good option.

Step 4- Use a combination of puppy attractant and repellent spray:

You can use the combination of sprays to guide your puppy where he should go potty. 

Here’s everything you need to know about these sprays.

Spray the repellent on the outer corner of the playpen and use the attractant spray on the pee pads so he can know that this is where he needs to go. But that’s not enough, you’ll have to teach him how to do it.

Step 4- Follow the basic potty training method. 

Here’s the complete guide to housebreaking/potty training your puppy.

Make sure to read it in detail so you could have a better idea of what to do step by step. 

Here’s a brief idea. You will have to set a schedule for him and take him to the pad every 1-2 hours, immediately after he wakes up, after every play session, 5-30 minutes after he eats or drinks, right before bed, and whenever he shows the cues that he needs to go.

Never allow him to relieve himself in any other place and the best way to do this is to take him to the potty space immediately when it’s time.

Understand the cues he shows before going to the potty. When he is doing the deed, stand boring and when he completes his job, Immediately reward him with a treat. 

This was a brief idea, but there is a lot more to tell, so we urge you to read these 2 articles in order to have a clear-cut idea about what to do.

how to potty train a puppy on pads

Step 5- Use the updated command:

Usually, people say, “go potty” when they instruct their puppy to relieve himself but it’s a better idea to use this command, ‘Go potty on the pad”.

And when you say “pad” tap on the puppy pad and make him understand that “Ohh! This is a pad.” Try your best to make him learn the meaning of pad and this is where you are asking him to go.

Step 6- Write down the schedule:

Write down each and everything you learned on paper and save it. You can use a similar template to this one: 

Writing down this way will help you to understand better and stay on track.

Step 7- Set up the automation:

You will have to set up a system so you can keep an eye on him when you are working.

Set up a camera that can cover the playpen and crate. Double-check that all the areas where your puppy will stay should be visible to you on screen.

You can also use an automatic pet feeder (like this one available on Amazon) to feed him when you are not there.

Step 8- When you will go to work: Start Early and prepare:

The day when you will have to go to work.

Get up early, and immediately take him to the potty pad. Give him breakfast and water and take him to the potty again after 5-30 minutes (depending upon his schedule).

Before leaving, give him another chance and leave him in the playpen and close the door. 

Use a good absorbent pad and don’t change the pad before leaving home. It sounds yucky but it’s better when you are training. The puppy will be more likely to go to the same place because of the smell of the urine. 

Give him his favorite toys to play with. We recommend licking and biting toys because puppies just love them and licking relieves their anxiety. So if your puppy will feel alone, the licking toys will help.

Before leaving, make sure the playpen is completely safe for him. Place the automatic pet feeder in one corner if you are leaving one. 

About the water:

Leave one supply of water, which your puppy must be drinking within half an hour. 

( if no one is going to visit the pet at noon during lunch break, (either you or a 12 years old helping neighbor) then you must leave enough water for him.

If you can visit him during lunch break and give him water or you can ask someone around the door to come and give your puppy 5 minutes, then no need to leave a lot of water. 

Most dogs can go 6-8 hours without water, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t really be given water during that time.

Step 8- Monitor him through the camera:

You must have his written schedule with you. And monitor him through the camera. When it’s time, ask him to go potty on the pad.

(it’s best to communicate with him through the camera when you are around so he doesn’t get confused from where you are talking to him)

And when he goes potty on the pad, clap for him and give him a treat immediately through the treat dispenser.

If he has done the deed on the pad in the morning and you are using the attractant spray on the pad, he is most likely to go to the right place.

But if you find him doing the deed in the wrong place, then immediately stop him. By clapping or saying, “no! Go potty on the pad.”

Step 9- Visit him during lunch break or ask for help:

It’s best to visit him during the lunch break and feed him with food and water and take him to the right spot by yourself. 

It’s okay, you won’t have to continue it for life, once he will grow up and will be able to control the bladder for longer, he will do his job.

Then you can just place a pet feeder to feed him on time and keep the water with him.

In case, if you can’t come. You can ask a neighbor for help. Maybe a school-going kid who can visit him for 5 minutes when he is back from school. You can pay him for that.

That should be a lot cheaper than paying a pet sitter.

Make sure the person you are asking for help is trustworthy because you will be handing over your keys & your animal to him.

Step 10- When you return from work:

When you come back home; immediately feed him again and take him to the potty pads. After that, use the UV flashlight to check if you have missed any accident and if you find one, instead of yelling at your animal, clean it completely with a great enzymatic cleanser. 

And continue the training for the rest of the day. 

best enzyme cleaner

Tips for housetraining a puppy when you work full time

Here are some tips for you to help you out while potty training your puppy when you work full time:

1. More water when you are home:

If you are leaving one supply of water for him, make sure to give him more water early in the morning and later in the evening. This is to prevent any dehydration. 

Do not remove the water bowl 2 hours before bed. Remove it just half an hour before. So he could drink to fulfill his need. 

You will have to take him to the bathroom a few more times at night, but you also have the responsibility for his health. 

2. Use a treat dispenser camera:

A treat dispenser camera should be a better option. Remember about the immediate reward we discussed in the guide of housetraining?

3. Don’t use paper or newspaper:

Don’t use paper or newspaper to train him because you are a busy person and you can’t keep an eye on him all the time. If he will be trained to relieve himself on the paper, he might do the deed on some important document.  

4. Always use sticky pads or grass pads with a tray:

We recommend this because the puppy might start playing with the pad. Maybe he’ll try to chew it. 

5. Do not confine him in the crate:

He might not control the bladder in the crate and relieve himself there and that’s the red signal. If he will become comfortable with the mess in his bedroom, the potty training will become much harder.

Read more:

6. Set realistic expectations:

It may take longer than average time for you to potty train your puppy because he might not get enough attention, so you need much more patience and commitment.

Expect more accidents and read our guide about staying patient with your puppy while house training him.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are the answers to some questions people asked:

1- Can I leave the puppy outdoors when I go to work?

Leaving your puppy outdoors when you are going to work is definitely not a good idea. He might eat something that is not supposed to eat. There are many other threats to pet dogs when they stay outdoors for longer without supervision.

2- Is it okay to leave the puppy alone for 8 hours?

Although it is not a good idea to leave a puppy alone for straight 8 hours. You must visit him at lunch break, or ask someone for help. Installing a pet camera is another great option. If you can, choose a couch potato breed.

3- Can I get a puppy while working full time?

Yes, you can! But it’s best to adopt a potty-trained puppy. Or choose a breed that can spend more time sleeping and does not require a lot of play and exercise. 

4- How much time will it take to potty train my puppy when I work full-time?

It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be completely house trained, but in your case, it can take longer. 


“Potty training a puppy, when you work full time, is hard but it’s doable. You will need to have more patience, more commitment, and some extra tools to keep the system somewhat automated. Spend a weekend or two to understand your puppy and teach him good potty habits and monitor and instruct through the camera. “

Read more: 

How much time does it take to potty train a puppy?

How to potty train a puppy on pads?

Complete house training guide for puppies.

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