When To Start Potty Training A Puppy? – (Check These Things)

Bringing a new puppy home comes with a feeling filled with excitement and confusion. A lot of new stuff to know a lot of new things to learn! But there are many things that can be overwhelming like your puppy’s first potty accident right in the middle of the room. So you decided to start potty training your puppy.

When to start potty training a puppy?

You can start potty training your puppy at around 12-16 weeks of age. Some people chose to start as early as 8 weeks old. But you have to consider the puppy’s health, breed, and origin. Before starting, you must check your own knowledge. Make sure that you have all the necessary supplies in your hands. 

what is the best time to start potty training a puppy?

How to decide when to start puppy potty training?

Consider these factors before starting to potty train your puppy:

1- Age:

The very first factor to decide whether you should start housetraining or not is the age of the puppy. 

The best age to start is between 12-16 weeks old because at this age the puppy must be able to hold his bladder and bowel movement. He must have enough muscular strength to take control of his body. 

However, some people choose to start as early as 8 weeks old. Starting this early is great for setting good potty habits but you can’t expect much. It can be disappointing because you will not see great results sooner. 

2- Breed:

Another important factor is the breed of the puppy. Some dogs breeds are harder to potty train and some are easier. 

If your dog is large, strong, and obedient, you can expect good results. Feel free to start earlier. 

But if your dog is small, you can wait, because small dogs build muscle strength later. 

However, setting good potty habits from the beginning is crucial. 

3- Past habits:

You may know what were the past habits and training of the puppy. If your puppy is already trained to follow the basic commands and he was exposed to good potty habits, you can start sooner. 

But if he is not trained properly, you will have to work on the basic training first, and starting with setting up the schedule will be the key. 

4- From where your dog belongs:

If the puppy or dog belongs to a breeder or you have adopted him from a friend, you can just start potty training him in the right age window. 

But a puppy from a puppy mill, a rescue or stray puppy will need the bonding first. You can’t just expect him to start following you from the first day. You will first work on building your trust, no matter what is the age of the animal. 

5- Health:

A very important factor that needs to be in consideration is the health of the canine. 

A pup with any medical condition is likely to perform very poorly, simply because he is not able.

Especially, medical conditions that affect the urinary tract will be huge hurdles like UTI, diabetes, kidney disease, etc. 

So, visit a vet and make sure that your dog is in good health. 

Signs that puppy is now ready for potty training:

cute puppy 12 week old

Your puppy must be ready before you actually start to housetrain him. 

  • He is of the right age, of course. I.e. 12-16 weeks of age
  • He follows the basic commands like come and stay etc. 
  • If you have a potty-trained dog at home, the new puppy tries to follow him. 
  • He is enjoying good health.
  • He has come up with a predictable schedule of sleeping and eating. 

What to check before starting potty training a puppy:

When you think that your puppy is the right age and now you must start potty training, you should check these things:

1- The trainer’s training:

There is almost no dog in the world that cannot be potty trained. It’s the trainer who fails or succeeds. 

The person who is going to train the puppy should know what he is doing and how he will manage things. 

We have a complete potty training guide that will walk you through step-by-step to the whole process, this blog is full of information related to housetraining issues of the puppies. 

how to potty train a puppy

2- What would be the potty spots and commands:

The trainer must fix one command and one spot that will be used for the training. 

The puppy will associate that “one word” to going potty if you are consistent. 

Training on one spot initially is also crucial as it is helpful in making the puppy understand that he can relieve himself only at this spot. 

By changing the spot and the command again and again may confuse the puppy and he may take longer to be fully potty trained. 

3- Supplies in hand:

You are starting to train your puppy but you don’t have the necessary supplies in your hands? What could be worse than this? 

By not having proper supplies in hand, you may mess up with the training. 

There is the list below about what and why you need these supplies.

4- Puppy knows basic commands:

Check that your puppy is able to understand the basic commands, otherwise, you will have a hard time making him understand the process. 

When he will be relieving himself, say “potty” or whatever word you are choosing as a command. Your canine will associate that word with peeing or pooping and this will make your goal easier. 

5- Visit the vet:

It’s is best to visit your vet regularly and check for your puppy’s health. 

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Potty training checklist for your new puppy:

Here is the list of everything you must have in your hands to successfully potty train your puppy. 

Find out all the best products along with their Amazon Shop in the table below. 

1- Crate:

A crate really helps with potty training as when the puppy will be inside, he will try to hold his bladder and that’s the goal. Dogs have a natural instinct that they won’t soil their den. Proper crate training will help with successful potty training. 

2- Playpen: 

You have to keep your puppy confined to an area to avoid the soiling of the house. A puppy should have access to the whole house once he is fully potty trained. A playpen will help to keep him confined. 

3- Leash:

When out for a toilet break, your puppy won’t stay with you. He would run around and play instead. Putting him on a leash will help you to keep him near and make him focus on the job. 

4- Treats: 

Whenever the puppy does the right deed in the right place, you need to give him a treat. It is important for positive reinforcement as dogs respond really well to this behavior. 

5- Enzyme cleaner: 

Potty accidents are still possible and dogs go there again where they smell pee. A simple cleaner won’t clear out the smell completely so having an enzyme cleaner is important. It will completely finish the smell and the puppy won’t pee there again.

6- Poop bags: 

You need something to save your hands from touching the dog poop and throw it away without causing the area to be smelly. A poop bag is helpful for this purpose and is a must-have. 

7- Optional supplies: 

  • Paper towels: these will help you out in cleaning the potty accidents. 
  • UV flashlight: It will help in finding the hidden stains of the dog’s mess. 
  • Pooper scooper: This is a great tool to pick up the dog poop without touching it
  • Puppy pads: If you are going to train your puppy to use pee pads, these are the must. 
SuppliesBuy on Amazon
Crate Buy On Amazon
Playpen Buy On Amazon
Dog Treats Buy On Amazon
Enzyme cleaner Buy On Amazon
Poop Bags Buy On Amazon
Paper towels Buy On Amazon
UV flashlight Buy On Amazon
Pooper Scooper Buy On Amazon
Puppy Pads Buy On Amazon

Can an 8-week old puppy be potty trained?

8 weeks is too early to start potty training your puppy as he is so small to understand the things and does not have enough control over his bladder muscles. However, you can aim to set good potty habits from the beginning but don’t expect the results to be great.

Read more:

What to do if an older dog is not potty trained?

If an older dog is not potty trained, this should not be a problem. Older dogs are easier to potty train unless they are sick or are exposed to extremely bad potty habits. 

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When to start potty training a puppy? You can start potty training a puppy when he is 12-16 weeks old because, by this age, a puppy should be able to understand the process and hold his bladder and bowel movements. Some people choose to start potty training earlier. However, you must consider the breed and overall health and strength of your puppy before starting the potty training.

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