How long can you leave a puppy in a crate for housetraining?
Assuming the puppy is on a proper housetraining program and getting the appropriate amounts of exercise and attention, a general rule of thumb is to take the number of months in her age and add one. For example, if you have a four-month-old puppy, he should be able to stay crated for up to five hours. Dogs should never be crated for more than nine hours (a typical workday).
Puppies six months and younger need a midday potty break; it’s just not realistic to expect them to hold their bladder and bowels for a full workday. If he tries, your puppy could risk getting a urinary tract infection.
Or, you could be teaching him to soil his crate. (If he has to go badly enough, he’ll eliminate there, and you don’t want that to become a habit.) So when your puppy is six months and younger, plan on at least one midday break. If you can’t come home for lunch, hire a pet sitter or dog walker to help out.
Typically, puppies are better at “holding it” at night when they’re less active. If on a regular feeding schedule, a six-month-old puppy should be able to hold his bladder and bowels through the night.
Keep in mind, though, that every puppy is different. Toy breeds may need more frequent potty breaks than larger breeds. And if you’re not following a good, consistent housetraining program, it may take longer to teach your puppy where and when to go. Use these general guidelines and note your puppy’s individual needs to develop a schedule that works for both of you.