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I know this will vary -- but at what age could one expect a puppy to be housebroken?

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Does it depend on the size of the dog? I mean, do some breeds mature faster than others? I'm still looking at smallish dogs, around 25-30 lbs as adults. I wonder, if we got a dog now, if we could expect it to be housebroken by Christmas.

I'm pretty clueless about dogs. So many years taking care of children, you know.


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Hi Tanya,

Most puppies have good bladder control by 16 weeks of age. There are certain small/toy breeds that are "known" to be difficult when it comes to housebreaking, like Westies, Norwhich Terriers, other terriers.

Retrievers tend to be smart about it. Crate training works best rather than paper training.

Hope that helps,


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I highly recommend the book Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Dr. Dunbar. It will answer so many questions about how to prepare and be ready when you bring that pup home.

Basically, we made sure that our pup never had an accident in the house. It requires diligence! but, the reward is that you have a housetrained dog very quickly. By that, I mean that they know to go outside. It does not mean that you can leave the dog inside when you leave and come back and things will be as you left them!

We used the crate for training. It really helped so that they knew where to sleep, where not to potty, and it was a great safe place to let her stay when we were gone. We also put her toys in there so that she learned appropriate things to chew on. We never had anything she ruined because she was left to roam and destroy.

Puppies are lots of fun, you just have to be prepared. I hghly recommend this book.

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