Potty training your puppy

Bringing a puppy into your life is exciting! But, if this is your first experience, it can be sobering to realize that your time is being spent cleaning up after that cute little fur ball. You may be asking, how do I handle this? How soon can my puppy be potty trained in a humane way, and how do I do it?  This post is designed to help you understand a bit about your puppy’s development cycle, what is realistically possible, and how to manage it all.

First, it’s important to understand that your puppy is the equivalent of an infant. Their brains and bodies are evolving rapidly, but there is only so much they are capable of depending on their age.  Here are a few things to know:

  1. In general, puppies can only hold their bladders for about 1 hour per month of age.  So, for example, if you have a 3 month old puppy, they can only hold their  waste for about 3 hours on average.
  2. A young puppy’s digestive system is very, very fast. If they play a lot, just ate, or just drank water, they need to go and they need to do it within 5-10 minutes. As they get older and their systems develop, their ability to hold their waste increases.  But ideally, even for an adult dog, it’s a good idea to get them outside to do their business within 30 minutes or so of eating for health reasons.  I’ll explore this topic in a later post.

So how do you manage this?  Here is a video that summarizes what to do to potty train your puppy in a humane and loving manner. It contains some good tips on successfully training your puppy.  While the video says that it may take a few weeks to get your puppy trained, I’ve personally seen this work in as little as a week if you are watchful and consistent.  Hopefully, this will help you get off to a good start with your new buddy.

If you have stories you’d like to share about your puppy training experience, please leave a comment.  And enjoy the new puppy ownership experience!