How to House Train a Puppy That is 4 Months Old or Less


You brought home your new puppy and quickly discovered they are a peeing and pooping machine. House training a puppy may seem like a daunting task, but I’m here to tell you that it’s totally doable—and in less time than you might think. By following my tips and tricks, you’ll have your puppy house trained in no time flat.

Let’s acknowledge one thing before we get started… you are going to miss times your puppy has to go out and there will be accidents. It’s going to happen (and yes, even us trainers blow it and must sop up pee and pick up poop) so don’t beat yourself up. Your puppy is just a baby and hasn’t been on this earth very long.

The first thing to keep in mind is that puppies have tiny bladders and can only hold their urine for a limited amount of time. For this reason, it’s important to take your pup out frequently—ideally, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The younger the puppy, the more frequent you will need to go out. We know this can seem like a lot, but trust me, it’s necessary if you want to try to avoid any accidents inside the house.

In addition to taking your pup out regularly, it’s also important to establish a good routine. Feed your puppy around the same time every day and take them out for bathroom breaks at regular intervals throughout the day. Be sure to take them out the same door each time. If you can stick to this routine, your puppy will quickly learn when it’s time to go outside and do their business.

Last but not least, be sure to praise your puppy whenever they go outside to do their business and follow the praise with a high value treat. This positive reinforcement will help them understand that they’re doing exactly what you want them to do—and they’ll be more likely to repeat the behavior in the future. Soon enough, you’ll have a fully trained puppy who doesn’t make messes inside the house.

House training a new puppy may seem stressful or overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be—just be patient, consistent, and make sure to positively reinforce your pup whenever they do potty outside. By following these, you’ll have your furry friend fully trained in no time flat.

One final note- Accidents are our fault, not our puppy’s. If they go to the bathroom in the house, it’s because we weren’t actively supervising or waited too long to take them out. Never punish your puppy for going potty in the house. They can’t help when they have to go and punishing them can lead to bigger house-training challenges.

Product spotlight: As the saying goes s%&t happens… and so does pee. We’ve tried many enzymatic cleaners over the years and Wee Away is our absolute favorite. Bonus- it also works as a great stain remover on your clothes. A friend of mine spilled coffee on her white shirt and it took it right out.

House training giving you a headache? I help you with a house training plan for you and your puppy in our Puppy Concierge program. Want help? Yes, please! I’m tired of cleaning up pee and poo.