House training was the thing I was most concerned about when we were considering getting a puppy. I was really dreading it. I had read stories in groups about people not being able to housebreak their pups until over a year old. After reading a lot of puppy books before we brought Sass home, we developed a strategy that we put to use. It worked great for us and I’m going to share our best tips today!
Sassy was eight weeks old when we brought her home. I would say we had her fully potty trained by the time she was 4 or 5 months old. We did not have a fence yet, so we had to take her out on the leash. Our strategy wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but here’s what we did.
For the first two weeks, after we had brought Sass home, we took her out every 30 minutes during the day. It was literally like having a newborn y’all. Overnight she would sleep in her crate and would wake twice a night needing to potty. She would wake us up via yelp and we would take turns taking her out, rain or shine. We were lucky during this time that our work shifts never allowed one of us to be away from her for more than 3 or so hours. Michael was on second shift so he would leave for work around 2 pm and I worked 8-5.
After she started to get somewhat of a hang of pottying outside the first few weeks, we upped it to taking her out every hour. She really liked to sniff around and take her time sometimes which drove us a little crazy at times. If Sassy didn’t potty when we went outside, I would bring her in and crate her for 15 minutes and then we’d go outside and try again.
We would increase the time between letting her out by an hour as she got better at it. Also, it was literally like having a baby in that you start to know and recognize signs that she needed to go. She would walk around the house and sniff and pace. She would go to some of the other doors because she hadn’t learned which one to go to yet. Eventually, she finally started realizing when she had to go, and now she comes and tells me she has to or wants to go out.
By the time she was 4 months old, she pretty well had the hang of house training. She would only have the occasional accident. Since then, she’s only had an accident inside our house if her belly has been upset.
It was around her 5-month-old mark that we finally trusted her enough to start letting her sleep with us. She is so spoiled, but this is something my husband wanted her to do since she was a baby. My husband got put on midnights, and it was so nice to have her in bed! I was a nervous wreck, and she really put me at ease.
So that is our potty training experience! All-in-all, it wasn’t as bad as I had expected initially. I sure am thankful she knows the drill now though! If you want to print out these tips and get even MORE house training tips, enter your email below to get my free tip sheet.