Bringing a puppy into your home feels amazing. Having the chance to develop that special relationship from day one is your goal. Part of getting to know one another and helping your puppy get use to the human world is another area that has to be worked on especially in your house.
I wanted to write a blog post on how to house train your puppy to save you time and frustration and make it easier on all the puppy parents. Yes, puppy hood has a long list of things you will experience but if you and your puppy are on the positive side of house training that will give you the confidence to handle anything else that comes up.
How long does it take to House Train a Puppy?
The process of house training your puppy could take up to 4 to 6 months. However, it could take longer and that is a reality a puppy parent needs to know as a possibility too.
I have heard from client’s that their puppy can sleep through the night or go eight hours without an accident. This is not the norm, and if it does happen, you still need to be aware that you are not in the clear when it comes to accidents. A puppy does not have a strong enough bladder yet and it takes time as well as sticking to a good routine.
I know not having a clear answer is not a fun place to be as a new puppy parent. On the other hand, if your puppy is two months old then he/she has to be taken out to urinate every two hours. Each month that passes will help in house training your puppy and give you more time to minimize the accidents and master it all.
Related Post: How to Puppy Proof Your House
How to House Train a Puppy when you Work Full Time
House training a puppy can feel challenging to begin with, but add your work schedule into the mix, and that can make you feel like it will not work. Depending on your work schedule as well as how far you have to commute to work will help you get creative with your game plan.
Also, it cannot hurt to explain to your employer that you have a puppy and see if they are willing to be flexible with your schedule. Maybe you can work from home a couple days and that will help to be consistent with the house training and feel like you can manage work and your puppy.
I think having a house training schedule on your phone, when your puppy urinated or pooped last, will tell you how soon you have to get back to your house. If there are days you know you cannot get your puppy out then hiring a professional dog walker to do a visit with your puppy will help relief that stress.
Hiring a Professional Dog Walker Can Help with House Training
I know it may seem appealing to have a roommate, friend, or family member back you up when you cannot get home but their schedules may change and that can add to making house training worse for you and your puppy. Hiring a dog walker will give you someone who is committed to helping you and your puppy.
I would have the dog walker give you a text message after the visit and let you know if your puppy went the bathroom or not. Then you can estimate your time before your puppy needs to get taken out again.
Some dog walkers have packages and it cannot hurt to ask them how flexible they are to your schedule. The best thing about house training your puppy is it will teach you to ask for help rather then suffer alone.
House training a Puppy in an Apartment
If you live in an apartment then house training your puppy will present some challenges but that does not mean it cannot work. If you have a balcony or patio that would give you an option if your puppy is not yet six months old and fully vaccinated.
I had a client who bought grass to put out on her deck to help house train her puppy. PETMAKER Freestanding Pet Gate – Wooden Folding Fence for Doorways, Halls, Stairs & Home – Step Over Divider – Great for Dogs & Puppies or STARROAD-TIM 39.3 x 31.5 inches Artificial Grass Rug Turf for Dogs Indoor Outdoor Fake Grass for Dogs Potty Training Area Patio Lawn Decoration
These two options above could give you a chance to work on house training your puppy even when you cannot use walks yet in house training your puppy.
We still want to give your puppy a chance to get out and urinate on grass, and other places(like dirt, rocks, etc.) when going on a walk. The problem is getting your schedule and your puppy’s age to work to your advantage. Like I mentioned above hiring a professional dog walker to come over to your apartment is a good option as well.
Also, setting that alarm on your cellphone or clock next to your bed to get up and stick to a schedule will help you and your puppy. I know it is easy for me to tell you to wake up when you hear the alarm but I know it gets tiring. The exhaustion feels like it will never end but it will. Hang in there and you will see.
Finally, crate training your puppy is going to be another thing that will help if you live in an apartment. Having your puppy in a secure area rather then left to have the freedom to go the bathroom anywhere is going to help manage accidents too.
Related Post: Three ways to have a Better Bond with Your Dog
House Training a Puppy at Night
Towards the end of the day you may be tired and ready to go on a last potty walk (depending on the age of your puppy) and hope that is it for the night. The reality is you may have to get up multiple times during the night to a puppy that is whining and needs to go out.
Your puppy drinks and eats as well as his/her age will determine how often your puppy needs to go on a potty break. Also, remember the schedule may change because you get home late from work and that may mean more chances are needed for your puppy to go the bathroom and make it through the night.
Even when you think your puppy is good for the night I would still play it on the safe side and give one more opportunity. Another area we can get mixed up on is when was the last time your puppy went the bathroom. That is why it is important to write it down on a calendar, on your phone, whiteboard, or whatever else works for you.
Finally, at night is when you can be tired and actually follow asleep unintentionally before taking your puppy out to go the bathroom. Therefore, use those alarms on your phone to wake you up as another backup to help stick to a schedule. Technology can help make house training at night go better with your puppy so stick to one thing and do it everyday.
Related Post: 5 Best Puppy Training Tips For New Puppy Parents
House Training a Puppy with a Crate
It is completely understandable to want to have your puppy around you to play with and build that great bond. However, life responsibilities like work, friends, family, the list goes on will need your attention too. Therefore, giving your puppy a place to be alone as well as safe to help minimize the accidents in the house is what crate training can offer.
I would recommend a crate that your puppy can around in easily. Your puppy is going to continue to grow and the crate size being bigger will help you avoid having to buy another crate because the one you got is too small.
Here is a crate you might want to check out. I like that it has a pull out tray to make cleaning up an accident easier.
Steps to Start Crate Training Your Puppy
- When house training your puppy with a crate things have to be simple and positive in the beginning. You cannot expect your puppy to instantly go in the crate or even be able to shut the crate door right away. If that happens that is great but you have to be realistic with your puppy.
- Have some high value treats to throw toward the entry of the crate. See if your puppy will go for them and try working on this for five seconds and then move on. Another option to make the crate training not be so stressful is to have a playpen around the crate.
- The playpen can keep your puppy safe as well as contain any accident that does happen with your puppy. That is a lot easier to clean up then looking around your house for a mess. There is no need to make house training harder for you both.
- Who knows you may find your puppy in the crate when you come home. Things have to be simple as new things can be overwhelming for a puppy. Work on the crate when you have time and are not in a hurry.
Additional Crate Training Tips
- Whether you use a crate by itself or with the playpen make sure not to leave a bed, or blanket inside. I know you want your puppy to be safe but he/she is going to put everything in the mouth. I want you to avoid the frustration at all the chewing a puppy can do.
- There will be a time when you can put a bed with your puppy, but right now the focus is just getting your puppy use to the crate. If your puppy ends up liking the crate then if he/she has an accident the mess will be contained in a smaller space minus having to wash the blanket or bed.
- The crate itself can have a pullout bottom that you can easily clean it. This is going to be another way to keep things clean and not teach your puppy that urinating in the crate is a good thing to keep doing. Here is a crate that has that feature.
Related Post: How to Crate Train Your Puppy
Supplies to have on Hand for Puppy Accidents
Accidents are going to happen in the process of house training your puppy. However, if you have the supplies easily available then it will save you time cleaning them up.
I would definitely have a couple containers with the supplies in your house. If you are going in the backyard first thing in the morning then keep a container there. Sometimes in the process of getting your puppy to go the bathroom their bladder and the time it takes to get outside don’t always work together.
Here are some supplies to help Cleanup Accidents with your Puppy:
- Paper Towels – Having accidents is no surprise with house training a puppy but they will help make clean up easier. I like
- Baby Wipes – I like the unscented wipes and they can be very handy to wipe up your puppy’s paws and butt if he/she got urine or poop on them.
- Black Trash Bags – Are great to use to contain the mess and take it right to the garbage.
- Poop Bags– I like having poop bags because if there is poop with the accident you can pick it up rather then spread it everywhere before using a cleaner and paper towels.
- Cleaning Supplies – It is important to use a cleaning product that has enzymes to help your puppy not smell the urine and think it is okay to go the bathroom there. Nature’s Balance is the one l like to use.
- Disposable Gloves – When cleaning up poop and urine gloves will help to not leave your hands smell like it and make it easier to clean it up rather then just using your bare hands. I like these gloves because they do not break as easily and the color is helpful to see them if you drop one on the floor compared to the clear disposable gloves.
- Container – Having all the supplies I mentioned above in this list in a container is going to save you time. I would make two containers and have them in your house so they are convenient to grab when their is an accident. I like this container because you can see what is in it which is great to know when cleaning up a mess.
Related Post: How to Stop your Dog from Peeing in the House
House Training Your Puppy will get Easier
I know puppy parents want house training their puppy to go easily and not have it drag out. However, you have to keep in mind that your puppy has not idea about the human world let alone his/her body and is getting use to so many things at once.
Be patience and consistent with house training and know that it will get better it just takes time. At the end of the day your puppy wants to do the right thing, but he/she is learning and needs your help to figure it out.
If you need more support and training with your puppy then book a free discovery call with me to see how I can help you and your puppy thrive through puppy hood rather then just survive it.