Puppy Regressed Potty Training

Regression in Puppy Potty Training


Regression in puppy potty training stinks, but it’s usually not as bad as you think.
In fact, most of the time, it’s just a sign that you’ve skipped a step in the potty training process.
And that can be remedied by examining where you may have made an assumption or pushed yourself too far too quickly.

You think you’ve figured it out.

At three months old, your puppy is completely potty trained! Amazing! Your oyster is the entire world!
But then disaster strikes a few days or even weeks later.
Your puppy is happily trotting around the house, leaving little pee pads wherever he goes.
So, where did things go wrong?
How did your puppy’s potty training suddenly deteriorate so badly?

Regression in puppy potty training

We use the term “puppy potty training” to describe the process of teaching our dog to pee and poop outside.
We consider our puppy potty trained when she can hold her bladder for an extended period of time indoors or asks to go outside when she needs to.
Regression is a psychological term for going back to a stage of development that you were at before.
When we talk about house training a dog, we mean that they’ve gone back to a stage where they weren’t as well or at all potty trained.
However, the term “puppy potty training regression” isn’t always accurate.

What is it if it isn’t puppy potty training regression?

It’s frustrating, but it’s all too easy to believe your puppy is potty trained when they aren’t.
Some breeders even advertise potty-trained puppies as young as eight weeks old.
However, at this stage of their development, no tiny puppy is truly clean in the house. This impression has happened as a result of the way they have been managed.
Whether this is due to the puppy’s constant access to the outdoors or the fact that they were let out at frequent intervals, no accidents happened.
So, why did your puppy appear to be well-behaved?

Regression in puppy potty training can be caused by a variety of factors.

There are some things that will make you believe your puppy is clean in the house when they aren’t.
They aren’t all bad, and if you haven’t had any accidents indoors up to this point, you’ve established a solid foundation for future potty training.
It’s important to remember, however, that your puppy isn’t going backwards; they’re just not there yet.
The following are some of the factors that may cause your puppy’s potty training to regress:
  • Access
  • bladder management
  • Capacity of the ladder
  • Meal times and portions
  • Excessive crating
  • Expectations that are unreasonable


In the summer, do you like to keep the door to your backyard open? Has it recently gotten cold and you’ve had to close the door?
Or has it recently started to rain a lot?
Puppies who are accustomed to being able to go outside whenever they need to potty are quick to potty train.
At least they appear to be
However, they frequently do not learn how to hold their bladder or bowels. They simply go to their preferred bathroom whenever they require it.
When you take away access to that bathroom, they find another one where they are not restricted.
Or it isn’t so drizzly and windy!

Control of the Bladder

Your dog’s bladder capacity increases as he or she matures. However, it may not grow at the rate you expect.
If you leave a dog in the house for an hour, it will be clean; if you leave it for two hours, it will be a mess.
It has nothing to do with whether they want to pee inside or outside, but rather with how long they can hold it.

The capacity of the bladder

Before the age of three months, most dogs can go an entire night without peeing. However, if their bladder is full, they will be unable to do so. Alternatively, getting filled in the middle of the night.
During the day, dogs require access to water, but around an hour before they go to bed at night, you can remove their bowl and give them one last pee break.
Unless they are in their crate, they should have a bowl at hand (or paw) whenever they want it during the day.


When not used right, crates can be a great tool for house training, but they can also cause a puppy to forget how to go to the bathroom.
Puppy parents sometimes treat them as if they were a place to keep their puppy for long periods of time because they resemble a cage.
If you keep your puppy in his crate for too long, he will use it as a toilet. because they don’t have any other option.
It’s much more likely that your dog will pee in their crate again once they’ve done so once. And once more.

Timing of meals

The mealtime recommendations for your pup change as they get older.
They’ll go from four small meals per day to three larger meals per day, then two, or even one, per day.
If your dog is accustomed to being let out immediately following each meal, you must continue to do so even if the mealtimes have changed.
If they haven’t pooped after their meal, you’ll have to keep a close eye on them or join them in the backyard until they are ready to leave.

Resolving potty training issues in puppies

You must retrace your steps to correct the puppy’s potty training regression. Alternatively, create a new, more stable path!
Return to a time when your puppy was completely odor-free in the house.
Even if this was just your week one plan of letting them out every 20 minutes.
Do not leave the door open, regardless of the weather. Allow your pup to learn to wait from time to time.
Gradually increase the time between bathroom breaks.


It’s critical that you act as if your puppy has never been cleaned indoors. Watch an eye on them, just as you did the first week they were home.
Wait for them to pee when you take them into the backyard.
Stay for up to 15 minutes in their pee spot. If they haven’t left yet, go inside and carry them. Don’t put them down on the floor again until their bladder has been empty.
Repeat the process every 15 minutes until they’ve peed.
Some puppies will ask to come inside before they’ve gone to the bathroom, and then will empty their bladder on the floor.
Use this as a tool to slightly lengthen the gaps between pee breaks when that time is coming to an end if they are clean in the crate.

Can puppies hold their bladders for a long time?

Unfortunately, some new dog owners have been given unrealistic expectations when it comes to housekeeping.
Regression in potty training a puppy is just the result of the dog having to hold its bladder for a long time.
Puppies come in a variety of sizes and breeds, with smaller breeds having smaller bladders and needing to pee more frequently.
Those who have developed the habit of peeing indoors will most likely need to be let out before these times, but these are good guidelines to follow.

8–10 weeks of age.

  • Every hour, take a pee break.
  • Before and after meals, more bathroom time
  • One late-night pee break, around 2 a.m.

10 to 12 weeks.

  • Pee breaks should be taken every two hours at the most.
  • Before and after meals, more bathroom time
  • You might still need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, around 2 a.m.

At 3 to 6 months of age,

  • Every three hours, take a pee break.
  • Before and after meals, more bathroom time

Over the course of six months

Your puppy’s bladder may now be able to hold its urine for up to four hours.
Some dogs are capable of handling up to six.
However, this should not be the norm or a common occurrence.
If you work full-time, you shouldn’t expect them to stay clean indoors for more than four hours at a time.

Regression of crate training

Unfortunately, if your puppy has peed in their crate on multiple occasions, you may need to stop using it for a while in order to break the habit.
For a couple of weeks, use a playpen with puppy pads and an area with only a piece of vet bed, then disinfect the crate thoroughly before using it again.
For the next few weeks, make sure you don’t leave them in there for more than a minute, or when they might need to pee.

Regression in potty training in older dogs

This is a different issue if you have an adult dog that you have owned for several years and they begin to empty their bladder in the house.
And one that is best addressed by a vet check in the first place.
When female dogs are spayed, they may have a weak bladder, and urinary tract infections can cause them to have accidents.
After your veterinarian has ruled out any medical reasons, you’ll have to consider environmental factors.
Examine your home for any recent changes that may have caused your dog to become stressed. Do you have a new family member, whether it’s a pet or a human? Has their routine recently changed?
Look at your home through your dog’s eyes to see if you’ve made any recent changes that mean they’ll need some time to adjust or an extra transition.
If you’re still stumped, the next logical step is to go through the puppy potty training process as if you’d just brought home a new puppy.
It’s also important to remember that if you’re still having trouble, it’s acceptable to return to your veterinarian for additional testing.