Contrary to popular belief, the control that is required for a puppy or a dog to hold their bladder and wait until they reach a designated toileting area is not something that occurs naturally or just happens as they get older; It is something that must be taught.
Like a toddler transitioning from pull-ups and waiting until they reach the toilet - The exact same notion applies.
Many owners that have dogs who frequently have accidents seem to be just waiting for their dog to have the “lightbulb moment’ (or grow out of it) or reach a particular point where they can wait until outside or on the grass. To that we say, Don’t hold your breath.
If you do not teach your dog bladder control, it simply will not exist.
Of course, as your dog becomes more mature, the length of time in which they can hold their bladder will increase, but without teaching them first that they NEED to wait until in an designated area, a puppy or dog will simply squat and pee or poop whenever the urge strikes. Not ideal!
Teaching your puppy to hold their bladder will occur organically through house training. If you remain vigilant with your toilet training, a connection and association will be made with the correct toileting area and puppy will begin to learn to wait until they reach that specific place before they toilet.
Puppies Have A Small Bladder
Although you are teaching your puppy to hold its bladder (i.e., learn to not toilet the moment the urge strikes), puppy STILL needs to be taken to the toilet frequently.
To begin the process of house training and thus helping puppy to learn bladder control, is to first acknowledge that your puppy in fact has a small bladder and will need to be toileted at least every hour, immediately after food or drink, during or after play time and the moment they wake up from a sleep.
As your puppy’s age increases so will their bladder capacity but approximately two-four hours is still the longest that most puppies can hold it at this early stage (this will vary from puppy to puppy). A general rule of thumb for a puppy at age 6-10 weeks should be at least every hour. When your puppy reaches 3-6 months, you could consider the one hour per month rule. Three-month-old puppies can wait for three hours, four-month-old puppies for four hours, and so on. Again, this will vary from puppy to puppy.
At Found By The Hound, we believe that when used correctly, a Crate can be your one of your most useful and effective training tools for Toilet Training a puppy or an older dog. In conjunction with being an effective training method, a crate can also emulate a den for your puppy and provide a means of safety and security should you be unable to supervise.
Why Is A Crate an Effective Training Tool?
Puppies and dogs alike, naturally do not like to toilet where they sleep and eat. The crate serves as a space, big enough for puppy to comfortably sleep and eat but does not allow additional space for toileting. Because puppy will be reluctant to toilet in its crate, this will be the starting point to teach a very valuable skill; bladder and bowel control and how to hold it. Taking puppy straight from the crate to the designated toileting area, will also give you an opportunity to teach puppy exactly where it needs to toilet.