How Long Does It Take to House Train a Dog?

Snapshot: House training a dog is all about patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Bringing a dog to your place isn’t all. You have to instill good habits and practices in it. As a responsible dog owner, you also have to build a loving bond with your pet. Here, you would come to know every detail associated with house training your pet. 

On average it will take 3 to 6 months for a dog to be house trained but, this will depends on the efforts you put in and also the age of the dog.

The key to house training your pet means relying on your dog’s primitive tendencies and instincts. Dogs are by nature clean animals. They would intentionally try not to soil themselves or their bed and eating areas. Dogs also have to ability to naturally develop habits of eliminating. For instance, if your dog prefers to eliminate on the grass, it wouldn’t eliminate on concrete or sand. Note these natural tendencies of your dog and assist it in getting proper house training. 

How long does it take to house train your dog?

If you have a puppy at your place, house training would typically take about 3 to 6 months. However, puppies of certain breeds take longer than that. Size can be a determining factor in this case. For instance, smaller breeds of puppies have smaller bladders and higher metabolism. Hence, they have to be taken out frequently for elimination. Your puppy’s prior housing conditions are also another factor that determines its nature and tendencies. If needed, you might first have to break your puppy’s old habits before instilling domestic, desirable habits in them. 

Also, while you are training, there can be mistakes, accidents, and setbacks. You needn’t worry about them. As long as you can carry out a customized management plan, involving taking your puppy out when it’s time to eliminate and offering them rewards, they will enjoy the process and continue to learn willingly. 

When to Begin House Training Puppy? 

As per expert recommendation, you can start house training your puppy when it’s between 12 to 16 weeks old. At that point, they start to gain enough control over their bladder and bowel movements and master abilities to hold it whenever necessary. If your puppy is more than 12 weeks old when you first brought it into your house and eliminates it inside a cage the whole day, house training might take longer. In this case, you need to teach it new behaviour and habits, with rewards and encouragement. 

How to set up for successful house training? 

Initially, you must restrict your puppy to a defined space, be it in a room or crate or on a leash. As your puppy understands they need to go out to eliminate and do their business, you can gradually give them the freedom to roam about in the house. Follow the guidelines mentioned below to help your puppy get proper house training. 

  • Establish a routine

 Just like babies, even puppies need to be put on a regular schedule. As per the schedule, they have to eat, eliminate, play and go out. Usually, puppies can for an hour, depending on their month of age. This means, if your puppy is only two months old, it would be able to hold eliminating for up to two hours. If your puppy doesn’t eliminate for more than two hours, they are guaranteed to have an accident. 

Practice taking your puppy outside, at least after every two hours. Also, take them outside to eliminate them immediately after they wake up or finish eating and drinking. 

  • Pick up a definite spot for eliminating

Select a definite place and take your puppy to that spot when it’s time for it to eliminate. While they are relieving themselves, call them by a particular term or phrase that would remind them what do to next. Take your puppy out for a long walk only after it has finished its business outside. 

  • Reward your puppy

When your puppy feels rewarded for being punctual and decent, it would get motivated to follow its daily schedule all the more. Praise or give it treats immediately after it has been eliminated outside. Rewarding your puppy is vital because that’s the only way to teach them what you expect from it. Puppies get easily distracted and if you praise even before it has completed eliminating, it might forget to finish its business. 

  • Fix a regular feeding schedule 

As it’s already mentioned, what goes into a puppy in a schedule comes out of it in a schedule. Now, the feeding necessities and requirements of your puppy depending on its age. Make sure to feed your puppy at the same time daily. 

  • Pick up your puppy’s water dish

To reduce the need to eliminate during the night, you can pick your puppy’s water dish before it’s going to sleep. Consider doing it about two and half hours ago. Usually, puppies can sleep for seven continuous hours without eliminating in between. However, if your puppy wakes up in the middle of the night, don’t make a fuss about it. Doing so might make them feel like it’s playtime and consequently, they would refuse to go back to sleep.  

  • Establish the Living Area

Assign a special bed to your pet. Initially, it might eliminate here a few times. But with time it will understand it’s a special place and stop soiling it.

Once your pet is comfortable sleeping here, you can move this bed to any other place inside the house. If the bed is a crate, keep the door closed if you are not present to scrutinise it. 

  • Establish the Toilet Area

Fix a spot where your dog would eliminate. Make sure this place is near and your dog can have access to it every time it has to eliminate. You must accompany the dog when it goes out to eliminate. Also, make sure that you don’t confine your dog without taking it out to eliminate it for too long. If the dog fails to hold it, it would be forced to soil its bed, often leading to accidents. 

Things to keep in mind while house training your dog

If you follow the above instructions properly, your dog will get trained in due time. The key to speeding up the house training process is by rewarding and praising your pet. Also, remember never to rebuke your dog for its mistakes. Reprimanding will only confuse your pet and slow down its training process. Remember the following points in this regard: 

  • Fix a definite sleeping and feeding schedule. Also, take away the leftover meals after they’re done eating. 
  • Take the puppy out to eliminate immediately after it wakes up. Afterward, you can take it out after every 30 minutes or an hour. It’s also important to take them out for a walk after they wake up and complete having food. 
  • Remember to take your puppy to the same spot for elimination. Their scent would naturally prompt them to trace the spot. 
  • Unless they are completely house trained, you must accompany them outside. 
  • After your puppy is done eliminating outside, praise them or reward them. You can take them for a stroll outside. 

 What is crate training? 

Crate training is one of the best ways to effectively train your dog. Rewarding and praising your pet for its behaviour and decency is the key to happy and successful training. For instance, praise it when it finishes its food on time or eliminates it at a fixed spot. The more time you devote to your dog, the better would it understand the process, thus making housetraining easier for you. 

Also, for successful house training, you must set a fixed routine. Put your dog in a schedule so that it prevents your pet from adopting unnecessary habits. 

Also, it’s important to make arrangements for your pet when not at home. Unless it’s completely trained, don’t allow it to run around inside the house. It would only increase the chances of accidents. It might also develop the habit of leaving puddles and piles here and there. Confine it to a small room or area, preferably where there are water-resistant floors when you aren’t nearby. However, note that crate training isn’t confinement. 

Crate training doesn’t mean confinement

Dogs usually don’t like to soil their sleeping or resting places if allowed to eliminate outside from time to time. Temporarily confining your dog to a small area will highly allow it to develop and control its bowel and bladder movements. It would also inhibit its tendency to urinate frequently. However, there’s an important aspect of crate training that you must understand. 

Temporarily confining your dog to a crate to regulate its bowel movements is far different from long-term confinement to a restricted area. The only purpose of confining it to a crate during your absence is to reduce the chances of accidents and mistakes. 

Short-term confinement to a crate will help your dog restrict from eliminating when confined. This will make the habit of eliminating when released and taken out. Crate training is an important aspect of house training as it enables your dog to learn how to hold it and eliminate it at scheduled times. 

Facts about crate training you must know 

Remember the following things when it comes to crate training: 

  • Never rebuke your pet

Don’t reprimand your dog if it fails to hold the pressure and ends up soiling its resting place. The crate isn’t a place of lockup. If you leave your dog alone for too long and it ends up soiling its crate, it will severely affect its house training process. 

  • Supervise your pet’s actions every time

Confine your dog to a crate for a short period only when you are present to supervise its actions. Except when it’s sleeping, take your dog out for elimination after every one hour. Put your dog on a leash when you take it out. If she doesn’t eliminate it on time, wait for a few minutes outside then bring it back to its crate. Never allow your dog to run about in the house unless you are sure that its bladder is empty. 

  • Keep a record of its activities

Maintain a diary to note the time whenever your dog eliminates. If you put it on a schedule, it will soon develop a habit of eliminating at regular intervals. Once you know the time when it prefers to eliminate, you can take it out at those specific times instead of taking it out every hour. After it has finished its business, take a stroll as a reward. 

You can also allow it to play around for some time. About one hour before it’s supposed to eliminate, confine it to a crate. This will prevent it from eliminating before the fixed time. With your consistent rewards and praises, your puppy would soon become more reliable and trained. 

  • Optimum Size of the crate

Make sure the crate is spacious enough for your puppy to turn around, lie, stand, move but not too big to be used for eliminating in one corner.

  • Provide your puppy with all necessities inside the crate

If your puppy is confined within the crate for a long time, make sure to provide it with fresh water and food. 

  • Don’t use a crate if your puppy is eliminating from it

If you notice your puppy eliminating in the crate regularly, don’t confine it anymore. This might mean your puppy has brought bad habits from outside. This might also indicate they aren’t going out enough to eliminate outside. It might also be indicative of the crate’s big size.

By now you must have known how long to house train your dog. While house training your pet, remember to deal with them patiently. They will need time to adjust to the new place and habits. Pay attention when your dog signals to the potty. Take your dog out for the maximum time. 

Let them explore the surroundings. Never punish your dog for making mistakes. There’s nothing productive when you scold your pet, it only makes them afraid of you. Negative punishment will harm them psychologically.

An accident implies that you haven’t paid enough attention to your dog. Until she is completely house trained, never let her go out of sight. In case of any accident or mistake, it’s better to resume to crate training. For effective development of bowel and bladder movements, you need to take your dog out at regular intervals and understand when it’s eliminating time. 


Hi, I'm a big dog lover. Goldendoodle and other similar poodle cross breeds have become my favorite. I've had two of them in my lifetime and thought to share my experience with the rest of the world.

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