How to Potty Train Your Puppy in 7-14 Days
WHY CRATE TRAINING WORKS SO FAST?
🏡 Crate training has been proven to be the fastest way to potty train a puppy. Why? Simple. Dogs don’t like to sleep in their own waste and are natural den animals. Crate training uses the dogs natural instincts to our advantage.
Most “potty training delays” are due to the fact people give their puppy way too much freedom, way too soon. Puppies should consistently be going potty outside before you start giving them full access to your home.
At first you want to keep your puppy in a small sectioned off area of your home where they can play, sleep and eat. You can use baby-gates, puppy pens and crates to manage how much space they have access to.
Once your puppy is consistently going potty outside and not chewing up things they shouldn’t anymore, then you can gradually introduce them to more areas of your home.
Eventually they will consider the whole house as their “den” and they’ll only want to go potty outside.
👍 Crate Training sets you & your puppy up for success! It teaches them when and where you want them to go potty, doesn’t take long and it just works. PERIOD!
2-4 hours max for an 8-12 wk old puppy – basically about 1 hour per month of age – the majority can go 6-8 hours at night (once they’re on a proper schedule).
INCLUDED BELOW: are a few example potty training schedules you can use to “potty train” or housebreak your puppy in 7 days – 2 weeks may be a more realistic goal.
- #1 Potty Training schedule is for puppy owners who are HOME all day with their puppy.
- #2 Potty Training Schedule for people who WORK all day.
- #3 Potty Training Schedule Graphic
These 7-14 day potty training schedules may seem a little restrictive and I agree, they are strict but thats the point and they’re meant to be used SHORT-TERM!
The goal is to get them on a STRICT eating/eliminating and sleeping schedule QUICKLY. Get them going potty outside at regular set times, learn how to communicate a “potty que” to you and eventually be able to leave the crate door open!
Teaching them to use hanging potty bells on the door or better yet giving them access to a doggy door can also help speed up this process.
THESE SCHEDULES ARE FOR SHORT TERM USE ONLY
INTRODUCING YOUR PUPPY TO THE CRATE
Each puppy is unique and will react differently to crate training. Some will be easier then others. Most Puppies will CRY at first and some puppies are way more dramatic, so try to introduce your puppy to the crate slowly, the first day home is best but it’s never too late to start (first time should be during the day when you’re not as sleepy).
The goal is to give them a positive association to the crate.
- Put them in the crate with a chew stick or toy
- Quietly sit or even lay down in front of the OPEN crate door, blocking the door and their escape, for about five to ten minutes and just lay/ sit quietly with them. Not playing.
- Pay attention to what they’re doing. They should be occupied with their chew/toy or getting sleepy or bored.
- Slowly close the door….
- Continue to sit there for a few minutes but slowly start to back away.
- Go into the other room for a few minutes. See how they react.
- If they start barking, wait for a pause in the barking before returning.
- Repeat the steps until you get some consistent quiet in the crate.
- If your puppy becomes FRANTIC slow down and start over at step one.
- This does take patience. Don’t rush it or expect it to be easy. Be prepared.
- It will be easier once they’ve relaxed into it and realize this is not the end of the world but “getting there” does takes some time!
Every puppy can be crate trained. Period.
STAY CONSISTENT WITH THEIR SCHEDULE
Make sure you STAY consistent with the training, eating, drinking, sleeping, playtime schedule you choose and the sooner you get them on one, the faster potty training will go.
- And I mean consistent, like clockwork.⏰ Even on the weekends.
Potty Training Schedule #1 – Owner Home All Day
If they’re consistently going potty in their crate, you need to take them out more.
If they keep going potty on their bedding, remove it for now.
They will be fine just sleeping on the plastic crate tray for now and maybe a stuffed toy to cuddle with instead. I bet they also won’t want to pee in there anymore.. because it’s not absorbent and will get all over them, some super young puppies won’t care about that though either.. just know that will all pass with age.
If you’re home all day, the crate training schedule can be much more lenient, you basically want to limit crate time to 1 hour per month of age (during the day) so for an 8 week old – 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
The point of the schedule is to get their bodies adjusted to eating/eliminating/sleeping on schedule which makes your life a whole lot easier.
Also teaching them to hold their potty, coming in and out of the crate on command and most importantly learning to be alone and how to self soothe! Something younger puppies are not used to yet.
Timetable Example for 2-6 month old puppy, Eating 3x a day – Home All Day
- 7:00 am – Wake up. Go potty outside, if they don’t go right awau, they probably don’t have too.
- 7:10-7:30 am – Free time in an enclosed area, like a sectioned off kitchen or playpen
- 7:30 am – Food and water – if they don’t eat it all, pull it up, try again at lunch
- 8:00 am – Go potty outside, if they don’t go within 10 mins, put them back in the crate, try again every 10 mins until they do and before any free time
- 8:15 am – Free time in enclosure
- 8:45 am – Crate Time with bully stick or chew toy (if they can eat the whole stick in one day, switch to chew toys)
- 10:00 am – Go potty outside, free play inside enclosure or supervised outside, play ball, burn off some puppy energy
- 10:45 am – Crate Time
- 12:00 pm – Food and water, if they don’t eat, pull up food after 15-20 mins, try again at dinner
- 12:30 pm – Go potty outside, free play in the yard or enclosure
- 1:15 pm – Crate Time
- 3:15 pm – Go potty outside, free play in the yard or enclosure
- 3:45 pm – Crate Time
- 5:00 pm – Food and water, pull up leftover food after 15 mins
- 5:30 pm – Go outside, if they don’t go potty after 10 mins, back to the crate, try again in 10-15 mins
- 6:15 pm – Crate Time
- 8:00 pm – Last Water for the night, leave down until they go outside at 8:15 pm
- 8:15 pm – Go potty outside, if they don’t go potty within 10 mins, back to the crate, try agin in 10 mins
- 8:30 pm – Free time in enclosure, playtime with owner, training games, try to wear them out
- 9:00 pm –Crate Time, until 11 pm OR your bedtime
- 11:00 pm – Go potty outside, if they don’t go within 10 mins, try again in 10 mins before they go back to the crate for the night.
- 11:15 pm – Crate for the night*
* Puppy may still wake up in the middle of the night to go potty the first two nights while their bodies adjusting to the new schedule. If they go both pee and poop by 10-11pm and their last meal was at 5pm, then they should be able to make it through the night by the 3rd or 4th night. No problem.
🕛 FIRST COUPLE DAYS: Write down how long it takes for your puppy to actually go potty and then adjust your schedule accordingly. Maybe they go potty 40 mins after they eat/drink instead of 20. Every puppy is different. Gotta figure yours out.
Potty Training Schedule #2 – Works Full-time
If you work full-time, it’s ideal to either hire a dog walker or have a friend/neighbor come let your puppy out for a midday potty break/playtime. Eight hours is a lot for puppies under 4 months old. If you can’t find someone, then using the crate & x-pen setup would be best.. Read my page on: Dog Crates and Puppy X-Pen Setups
Crate Training Timetable for 2-6 month old puppy, eating 3x a day – Owner Works Full-time
- 7:00 am – Wake up. Go potty outside
- 7:10-7:30 am – Free time
- 7:30 am – Breakfast
- 8:00 am – Go potty outside. Crate Time – Leave stuffed animal & bully stick, a little bit of water or ice cubes [but not food]
- Noon to 1pm – Have a friend/neighbor/dog walker come to let your puppy out for a midday break
- 6:00 pm – Owner comes home. Puppy goes outside
- 6:15-6:30 pm – Free time in enclosure, training session, wear them out
- 6:30 pm – Dinner, pull up leftovers after 15-20 mins, regardless if finished
- 7:00 pm – Go potty outside, if they don’t go after 10 mins, back to crate, try again every 10 mins
- 7:30 pm – Crate Time
- 9:00 pm – Food and water, pull up leftover food and water, they’ll eventually learn to eat on time
- 9:30 pm – Go Potty, if they don’t go within 10 mins, Put them back in the crate, try again every 10 mins, should go once before free time or bed
- 9:40 pm – Free time in enclosure/ kitchen
- 10:00 pm – Potty Outside – If your bedtime is closer to 10 pm, take them outside at 10 pm and then put them to bed at 10:10-10-30 pm
- 11:00 pm – Go outside, if they don’t go, put them back in the crate, try again every 10 mins, if they’ve gone potty at least once after dinner and they’re not going again, just put them to bed
- 11:10 – Crate for the night.*
* Puppy may still wake up in the middle of the night to go potty for the first 2 nights, while their body is still adjusting to the new schedule. If they went both pee and poop by 11pm and their last meal was at 9pm, then they should be able to make it through the night by the 3rd or 4th night.
🕛 FIRST COUPLE DAYS: Write down how long it takes for your puppy to actually go potty and then adjust your schedule accordingly.
Puppy Crate Training Schedule #3 – Graphic
Best Way to Occupy Puppies Time In the Crate…Chews!
WHY IS MY PUPPY STILL GOING POTTY IN THEIR CRATE?
If you’re puppy is still going potty in their crate, then it’s usually due to a few different issues… all of which are in your control to fix.
🐾 The crate is too big, an oversized crate can ruin the whole point of crate training. Dogs instinctually do not want to sleep in their own pee and poop. If their crate is too big, then they can easily sleep on one side and then eliminate on the other. So, just get a smaller crate or use the divider panel that comes with most wire crates. [Appropriate crate sizes listed below]
🐾 They’re peeing on their bed and blankets, simply because they’re absorbent and its just not discouraging enough not to – versus no bed and having to sleep in an actual puddle of pee? Definitely not something they’ll want to do.. Remove the bed & blankets and replace them with a soft teddy bear to cuddle for now. You can give them their bed & blankets back once they’re fully potty trained.
GIVE THEM A STUFFED ANIMAL INSTEAD OF A BLANKET OR BED
THE “GOTTA GO” PUPPY SIGNS
🐾 Until you figure out your puppies elimination schedule just keep following the Potty Training Schedules above, basically let them out every couple hours while also watching for gotta go potty clues – like circling, sniffing and whining. Once you have them on a set schedule, this all becomes much easier to predict and you can leave them out of the crate for even longer.
HOW OFTEN DO PUPPIES GO TO THE BATHROOM?
💩 Every puppy is different, some go right after they eat (within 10-20 mins), while others may take 30-40 mins (or even longer).
🍼An 8-week-old puppy will urinate approximately every three hours and a 12-week-old every four hours.
💩 Some puppies only poop 1x a day, while others may go 3x to 5x a day. Depending on several factors like diet, stress, exercise.
SO YEAH, NO HARD SET RULES HERE – EVERY PUPPY IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT
🕛 * WRITE IT DOWN IN A NOTEBOOK WHENEVER THEY ACTUALLY GO – THEN YOU CAN FIGURE OUT YOUR PUPPIES ELIMINATION SCHEDULE – AND EDIT THEIR CRATE TRAINING SCHEDULE ACCORDINGLY
🐾 DO NOT leave food and water out all day. Put them on a set feeding schedule and stick to it.
If puppy doesn’t eat or just nibbles, this can be due to the stress of a new environment or even crate training the first week home, just keep feeding them at your set mealtimes. Eventually, they’ll adjust and they’ll also learn to eat when it’s time to eat.
A puppy that’s allowed to graze all day, will also pee and poop all day!
Leaving food and water out 24/7 will make potty training near impossible, they won’t be able to hold their bladder in the crate and you’ll be totally clueless when they might need to go.
Work smarter, not harder!
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I TAKE MY PUPPY OUTSIDE TO GO POTTY?
- Use a release phrase when you let them out of the crate like “Let’s Go, Max” and then put them on a leash. With a leash, you have more control of them and also where they go in your yard and you can also see if they’ve gone or not (at night). Using a leash will give them more practice just walking on a leash, since most 8 wk olds never have.
- Use a cue phrase like “Go Potty, Max” include their name and just keep repeating that over and over until they go. Whatever phrase you use everyone in the family should use the same one and every single time.
- Use LOTS of praise once they go, throw them an over the top – party of praise! 🎈🎉
- Use another “task complete command” like “YES! Good Boy, Good go potty outside Max”!!
- Give them a high value treat like raw chicken treats (or something they only get during training) you can also reward them with just affection, both will work but younger puppies do seem to catch on quicker when treats are involved.
- IF PUPPY DOESN’T GO RIGHT AWAY – If they don’t go within 10 mins, they probably just didn’t need too go yet, take them back inside and put them back in the crate, try again in 10-15 mins.
- When you put them back in their crate use another command like “Crate Max!” OR “Kennel up” or “Place” then they’ll eventually learn to go to their crate with just a verbal command.👍 You can make up your own commands just as long as you use the same ones everytime.
TEACHING YOUR PUPPY TO GO POTTY ON COMMAND!
The whole point of using the same “go potty” phrase every single time is just like with any command, it’s so they eventually learn to “go potty” on command and BELIEVE ME IT WORKS and it does not take long for them to catch on.
There’s nothing better, then when you’re out in the cold rain/snow or just late at night and you’re extra sleepy and you really NEED them to hurry up and go potty and LIKE MAGIC they listen to you?!
YES! So, I call that a VERY USEFUL COMMAND to teach!
Same with the “Crate” command, these are definitely two of the more useful commands.
🤝 Not very often…do I feel the NEED to shake hands with my dog..but it’s still a fun one!
TREATS & TOYS DURING TRAINING?
Treats can become a slippery slope, puppies who are trained too long with treats can start to only obey a command they know well – if a treat is involved. That can become pretty frustrating.
Treats are super helpful when teaching a new command BUT should be phased out during training once they know the commands. Treats should only be given after they perform a command. Even when you’re not training at least make them “sit” before giving them a treat.
HEALTHY “HIGH VALUE” TRAINING TREATS – MEAL TOPPERS!
My dogs and puppies love Instinct Raw Boost meal toppers! They make great high value treat for training and also great at encouraging picky eaters to eat! Puppies may have short attention spans but I promise, your puppy will pay very close attention to you with these secret weapons! They’re just freeze dried pieces of chicken and some fruit and veggies mix.
Another Great Brand of Freeze Dried RAW Meal Toppers and treats… that puppies and dogs will pay attention for and are also healthy for them! STELLA AND CHEWY for the win! You can skip dinner after training with these, they’re meal toppers that can be feed alone, during training or just a few on top of their kibble to encourage picky eaters.
DURING TRAINING SESSIONS YOU CAN PHASE OUT THE TREATS ONCE THEY KNOW A COMMAND
Once your puppy has learned the new command, During a training session – start to phase out the treats by giving them a treat every other time, or every 3rd time they obey a command, replacing treats with physical & verbal praise. Become unpredictable when you’re gonna give them a treat or just a.. ‘YES! GOOOD BOY” verbal praise.
The goal is they’ll perform the command or task consistently and regardless if treats are available. This doesn’t mean you should never give out treats “just because” but treats should also never become necessary for your dog to listen to you!
ENGAGING & BONDING WITH YOUR PUPPY
A great way to create a strong bond with your puppy is through training.
Teach your puppy the basics as well as some fun tricks. And don’t forget to give them lots of positive reinforcement with verbal praise and treats.
Get down to your puppy’s eye level, talking to them in a happy & upbeat tone of voice. Teaching your puppy the “watch me” command will also encourage great eye contact and bonding.
The Whole Family Needs To Be Consistent When Training Your Puppy!
When training a puppy everyone in the family should be using the same verbal commands, for example the “go potty” command and also helping to make sure your families new puppy is following the potty training and feeding schedule.
A puppy should be secure about how his owner(s) are going to react to them from day to day as well as person to person, otherwise it’s easy for them to get confused about what’s expected of them..what’s ok and what’s not ok – with who and when? So, BE CONSISTENT.
For example, if Dad let’s the puppy mouth and bite on his hands or jump up on him for “a hug” you really can’t get mad at the puppy when they try the exaxt same games with your kids or worse your visitors & their kids.
Just be careful the behaviors you reinforce unintentionally, sometimes we can accidentally train our puppies unwanted behaviors, simply by not correcting them in time or not everytime, like “l’ll let it slide this time” and then next time they do the same exact thing… you get on to them.
Letting them chew on some shoes but not “these shoes”. Also, you have to catch them in the act for them to understand why they’re in trouble. You can’t get onto them for something they did 20 mins ago.
NEXT STEP… THE CANINE GOOD CITIZEN TEST!
Once you and your puppy have mastered basic obedience training & commands.. You can sign up them up to take the Canine Good Citizen test!
The Canine Good Citizen Program teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners. The 10-step Canine Good Citizen test is a non-competitive test for all dogs. It is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups.
Whether you decide to take your puppy to a puppy training class like the 6 week programs they have at Petco or Petsmart, or you go to a local trainer OR you decide to just teach them at home is up to you. JUST DO IT SOMEWHERE! There are so many FREE puppy training resources online, like on YouTube for example.
There’s just no excuse for not training your puppy.
WHEN SHOULD I START TRAINING MY PUPPY BASIC OBEDIENCE COMMANDS?
You should start training basic obedience commands like sit, down, come, leave it, watch me as soon as you bring puppy home! Just make sure each training sessions is reasonably short and include lots of WINS for your puppy and you’ll be surprised how fast puppies can learn!
An 8-12 week old puppies attention span is still pretty short. Training sessions should last no longer than 15 mins at a time. You don’t want to loose your puppies attention or bore them, it should be fun for both of you!
Don’t stress them out, with too much, too soon.
You want every training sessions to end on a high note and a big win for your puppy!
Puppies can learn simple obedience commands very quickly, for example you can teach an 8wk old puppy to “sit” in literally one or two – 10 min training sessions, using only treats and hand signals!
Whatever commands you choose to teach, be consistent, always use the same verbal command and hand signals.
Puppies seem to learn hand signals super easy, even faster then a verbal command, but you can train using both and eventually they’ll both click.
Take advantage of this age! Puppies are like little sponges the first 4 months! Do not wait until they’re older, the best time is definitely NOW!!
Best Crate Sizes for Our Mini Aussiedoodle Puppies:
I recommend the 24 inch size crate for our mini Aussiedoodle puppies during crate training and they will also fit them into adulthood.
MIDWEST ICRATE DIMENSIONS: 24L x 18W x 19H inch crate – ideal for dogs 13 – 25 pounds.
The smallest crate I’d recommend for our mini Aussiedoodle puppies is the 22L x 13W x 16H inches icrate, for 7 – 12 pound dogs they will most likely grow out of the 22 inch crate as an adult – but it will also be good size for training.
Best Crate Size for Medium & Standard Size Labradoodle & Aussiedoodles:
For our medium – moyen and standard size Labradoodle and Aussiedoodle puppies is the 30 inch iCrate during crate training and will fit continue to fit some moyens into adulthood. I recommend the 36 inch iCrate for our standard size adults and will work with a divider for puppies.
MIDWEST I-CRATE DIMENSIONS: 30L x 21W x 24H Inche crate, for 26 – 40 pounds – for our larger standard size puppies they may grow out of this as adults (comfotably) but it’ll be a great size for training.
THE PLASTIC PUPPY CRATES & PEN SETUP
The Plastic shipping crates, also work for crate training. Some puppies prefer them actually, I believe because they may feel more secure in them, while some hate them and like the more open feel of the wire crates. If your puppy is still hating their crate after a few days of trying..you can always try a different type of crate, location or setup.
The puppy pen setups are also nice for free time out of the crate and for people who work, I would rather see people training their puppies to ONLY go outside but sometimes that’s just not possible so in those cases the x-pen setup may work for you.
PLASTIC SHIPPING CRATES ON AMAZON
MIDWEST X-PENS ON AMAZON
The Midwest X-Pens also connect easily to the Midwest I-Crates I recommenx above.
These training schedules were originally published online by Jason F. Foster, DVM and Craig C. Meyer, DVM from Lake Travis Animal Hospital.
I have made some edits to their schedules, if you want to you can download/view the originals below…
THE ORIGINAL SCHEDULES – SCREENSHOTS
There are two extra schedules for puppies 3-6 months old below that are not included on this page, I only included the schedules that I thought would be most helpful for our Dreamydoodle puppy families.