While it's difficult to potty train a dog younger than eight weeks old, you can start laying the groundwork when they're between three and three and a half weeks old. This is the age when puppies begin to move and go to the toilet without the help of their mother. While you can start potty training when your puppy is 6 weeks old, don't expect perfect results. At six weeks, puppies have not developed the physical ability to wait to go to the bathroom.
Using several methods together will help your puppy learn what you want them to do faster. That can vary considerably, says Dr. There are many factors to consider, such as age, learning history, and their methods and consistency. An 8 week old puppy has a very different development than a 5 month old puppy.
Some puppies have perfect manners after just a few days. Others may take months, especially if the dog has had an unideal situation before coming to you. However, with patience and persistence, most dogs can learn. Burch says using puppy pads and paper training can be “tricky because you're reinforcing two different options for the puppy.
Many owners get excellent results by also placing a doorbell on the door handle and training their puppy to ring the bell when they need to go out. Experts recommend that you start training your puppy at home when they are between 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age. Always walk out the same door to the same area where you want your puppy to go to the bathroom and keep him on a leash outside while you train (even in a fenced yard), so you can see what is happening and react immediately. Learning to teach puppies to go to the bathroom at the right time and place is one of the most important first steps you can take to have a long and happy life together.
As you follow your schedule, it helps to firmly establish the rules for where your puppy should and shouldn't eliminate, and dog cages and pads can be very useful training tools to help you establish your potty training plan. The principle behind using a cage for home training is that dogs are very clean creatures and don't like a rug soaked in urine in their living spaces any more than you do. It usually takes 4 to 6 months for a puppy to be fully trained at home, but some puppies can take up to a year. The reasons for accidents range from incomplete training at home to a change in the puppy's environment.
That's why it's so important to make sure you do some research ahead of time on how to train a dog at home, decide what will work best for your situation, and make a plan. If your puppy is more than 12 weeks old when you bring it home and has been disposing it in a cage (and possibly eating its waste), training at home may take longer.