What Age Should A Puppy Be Toilet Trained?

You have probably heard from other dog lovers, seen from the movies, or may even have first-hand experience of how toilet training a puppy can be very frustrating. And every dog owners are eager to delve into potty training. But the first question is, what age should a puppy be toilet trained?

Can you imagine all the horrors of misdeeds scattered here and there when you fail at it? Ooops!

Toilet training your puppy is crucial as it lays the groundwork for several other training skills required later. Once you surpass this and finally get the hang of it, both you and your dog will surely reap great rewards.

But, what is actually the right age to introduce potty training in your pup’s life?

Best Age To Start Toilet Training Your Puppy

Bad habits die hard, they say. If you do not train a puppy while still young and adaptable to change, you will definitely regret it when you realize it is already too late.

On the brighter side, if you begin at the ideal age, your puppy will get used to good potty habits and observe them as he becomes a full-grown adult dog. So, at what age should a puppy be toilet trained?

Pet experts suggest that the best time to start toilet training your puppy is at an age when he has adequate control of his bowel and bladder movements and can probably learn to hold it in until allowed to let go at the designated potty area. This is between 12 weeks to 16 weeks old (three to four months).

Most puppies will not control the urge to excrete their wastes for proper house training until they are about 12 weeks old.

Can I Start Early?

However, to lessen indoor mishaps, you can gradually start when the dog is just 6-weeks old by taking him outside at least every hour for a chance to do his business. Otherwise, you can put him in dog diapers until he learns to potty outside.

Amazon.com offers a variety of pet diapers like this disposable diapers which come in three sizes (XS, Medium, and Large) for your male puppies and this one for female pups.

Or, if you are looking for washable ones, here’s this Washable Dog Diapers by Pet Parents, which comes in a pack of 3. It comes in various sizes ranging from X-Small to X-Large. Potty accidents are solved in the meantime!

Generally, puppies will have a good understanding of where they are supposed to potty after about a month of house training.

At around 16 weeks (four months old), your puppy knows to wait for you to take him outside. You will know that your puppies need to go when they signal or send cues to tell you he has to potty. These cues may include barking, running around, whining, or scratching at the door.

Despite this, accidents should still be expected during this young age. And when they do happen, this Swivel Bin & Rake Pooper Scooper would help you clean up after your furry pet’s mess.

Of course, it is proper to store these mess on proper disposable poop bags, which fits most dispensers. And to get away from stain and odor caused by severe dog accidents, using this Stain and Odor Eliminator with enzymatic formula will eliminate the toughest stains and odors caused by potty accidents.

Can A Puppy Be Toilet Trained In A Week?

House-training may take longer if you bring home a puppy older than 12 weeks old and have been eliminating in a cage or not toilet trained.

You may be required to correct his inappropriate behavior through efficient methods like bell training and positive reinforcements.

Experts claim that a puppy can hold his bladder for around one hour per month of his age. Hence, at four months old, it will probably take a maximum interval of four hours between potty trips.

However, this may be affected by his fluid intake and level of excitement as dogs tend to loosen their bladders if overexcited.

On average, it normally takes a puppy around four to six months to be fully toilet-trained. However, some cases can take up to a year due to varying influential factors.

Factors That Affect Toilet Training

There are a lot of variables that might affect your progress in potty training your puppy. These will range from your end to his.

Pet Owners

These include the approach you are using to train him, your patience with his development, and your consistency in sticking to the rules.

Bear in mind that you are the one guiding him through this whole experience as you are his teacher from whom he learns.


These consist of the puppy’s age in relation to his developmental stage, size, and breed as to his bladder size and metabolism and his previous living conditions, which may be good or bad.

Always consider that each dog is unique, so some might achieve this skill early on compared to others.


The use of various techniques and training aids may help in training your pups faster.

For most dog owners, using a Puppy Pads helps in hastening your pet’s potty training. Every time your pup relieves himself somewhere else, immediately bring him to where the pad is. This keeps you consistent with housetraining and indoor potty training.

Puppy Toilet Training Considerations

Being a responsible dog owner means that you always have your dog’s best interests at heart. Now, that you know at what age your puppy should be toilet trained, it’s time to learn some more considerations before proceeding with training proper.

This includes allocating your own time and effort as needed by your puppy to assist him in his toilet training journey.

Your role is to figure out when it is time for him to go outside. Once outside, teach him how to properly do his thing. To better help your puppy learn potty training etiquette, take into account the following tips.


To help him quickly overcome his potty training endeavor, be consistent in observing the schedule of taking him outside for an opportunity to pee or poo.

Be persistent in using the confinement and supervision approaches to limit the number of accidental disposals. Otherwise, leniency and tolerance will only result in your puppy ultimately forgetting everything, which further delays your progress.

Early Signs

Be aware of the early signs. If you catch him in the act at the wrong place, interrupt him with a firm command. Then, immediately lead him outside to the designated potty spot.

Positive Reinforcement

Praise and reward your puppy after he is done with his business, and every time he does it right.

No Punishment

Do not punish your puppy because this will only scare him. He will end up hiding his wastes in other inappropriate places or have difficulty letting go whenever you are around. Instead, encourage him to go to the assigned area.

If damage has been done, just fix the mess. Thoroughly clean the soiled area to get rid of the odor. Dogs tend to use that same spot because it smells of their waste deposits.

Do Not Be Discouraged

Expect a few setbacks. Do not be disappointed if your puppy still has mishaps during his first year. Remember that every dog is different so just continue with your management program.

Importance Of Early and Proper Toilet Training

Properly toilet training your puppy at the right age results in several instantaneous and long-term benefits. He will learn that there is a structural system to make life more comfortable for both of you.

As he begins to notice that he is positively rewarded for following your commands and observing good behavior, your puppy will be more eager to train with you as he grows.

Potty training a puppy is not a simple walk in the park. However, with utmost patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you and your best friend will get there sooner than you think.

As always, your purpose is to instill good manners while fostering a loving relationship with him.