Potty Training for Puppies – How to House Train a Dog and Tips for Overnight Toilet Training

Potty training is a general term used for toilet training a dog. It may include training a puppy to use an indoor dog toilet until they are old enough to hold their bladder for loner periods. Toilet training a puppy takes time and patience. At 8 weeks of age, a puppy has limited bladder control and can only last for 2 hours without urinating. So unless the puppy is confined to a small area of the house or trained to wee on paper, puppy pads or another type of dog toilet, he will urinate anywhere when the urge takes him. Young puppies who get excited when you arrive home may wee all over the floor as you make a fuss of them. The more consistent you are, the faster a puppy will learn, so ensure that all members of the family take the same approach.

Establish a routine and set your puppy up for success by taking him outside every 2 hours during the daytime, but don’t wake him up if he is sleeping. Young puppies need a lot of sleep. Dogs prefer to urinate on grass, so take your puppy onto the garden each time he wakes up, during play sessions, after meals and as soon as you get home.

How Long Does it Take to House Train a Puppy?
House training a puppy can take several weeks. If you cannot be at home to let the puppy outside at frequent intervals, consider asking friends or family to help out. You could also hire a dog walker or pet sitter to visit your puppy two or three times a day if required.

Puppies have small bladders and can only last for around 1 hour for each month of age without urinating. So by six months of age, if properly toilet trained, he should manage for 6 hours, although puppies should not be left alone for more than four hours during the day. A consistent approach and making the effort to take the puppy outdoors on a frequent and regular schedule will help to speed up the potty training process.

Tips for Overnight Toilet Training

  1. Remove the water bowl 2 hours before bedtime
  2. Take the puppy outside to urinate before settling him for the night
  3. Set your alarm and get up once or twice in the night to take the puppy outdoors
  4. Leave the puppy in a play pen and place a puppy pad, newspaper or dog toilet in an area away from the dog’s bed.
  5. Never punish a dog when he urinates in the wrong place.
  6. Praise the puppy after he finishes urinating in the right place.

Potty Training Commands
As soon as your puppy starts eliminating, say “go potty”, “be quick” or “hurry up”. Always be consistent and ensure that all family members and anyone else helping out uses the same command. He will quickly associate the word with urinating, so when you take him outside, use this command to remind him what he should do, particularly when you see him sniffing the ground or circling.