How and when to end housetraining

The secret to effective housetraining is to ease out of it gradually. What you don’t want to do is suddenly give your puppy free access to the house. You’re just asking for accidents.

Time to stop housetraining

If your puppy hasn’t had an indoor accident in at least two weeks, slowly give her more freedom. For instance, after she eliminates outside, let her wander around the room you keep her crate in–you can use safety gates to block it off–making sure to keep an eye on her. If she goes another two weeks without an accident, open up another one or two rooms after she’s had a successful bathroom run. If she ever has an accident, go back to using the crate until she’s had another two accident-free weeks.

Keep in mind that although puppies can get the hang of housetraining within a few weeks, many aren’t totally reliable until about eight months of age, by which time they’ve entered adolescence and will want to chew everything in sight. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep your pup in a puppy-proofed area when you’re not with her until she’s about a year old.