At what age can puppies control their bladders?

We have an 18-week old puppy. We’ve been crate training her, but when she’s out of her crate, she needs to go potty about every 1-2 hours. The other day, we left her in her crate for 3 and 1/2 hours, and we think she peed a little in there. Does she not have control of her bladder yet?

10 Responses to “At what age can puppies control their bladders?”

  • PinkDagger says:

    A general “rule” seems to be for every month old the puppy is, add 1 to that and that’s how many hours it can hold it.

  • S C says:

    not until 6 months or even after that depending on her breed and size

  • Lauren M says:

    The general rule of thumb is, they can hold it as many hours as they are months old plus one. So if your pup is 18 weeks old (4 1/2 months) she should be able to hold it about 4 to 5 hours. If she sleeps all night, she can hold it all night, but will have to go as soon as she wakes up. Check out a really good potty training book, Housebreaking: Pure and Simple, by Mark and Dru Katz. Has everything you need to know.

  • Mom madness says:

    She has control but who wants to hold it. She let it out

  • hottie316 says:

    when u train them to hold it

  • sillybuttmunky says:

    its not a matter of controling her bladder. Most puppies have to go everyone 1-2 hours. Restrict her water intake DON’T DEHYDRATE her, just monitor. If she’s crated leave a certain amount in there knowing it’ll take about 3-min – 1 1/2 for it to come out the other end. It’s also a helpful rule for potty training.

  • Jade says:

    She should be able to “control” her bladder. 1 to 2 hours is about normal (especially for pups and small breed dogs). The smaller the breed the smaller the bladder, which means they will have to empty them more often. If you have any doubts that she is able to control herself (other than bladder is just plain to full) you should consult your vet, so he can check for a bladder infection.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!

  • sumisubeth says:

    I have to wonder about the rule of adding 1 to how many months old they are. By that logic, a 12 month old puppy (yes, they’re still a puppy) should be able to hold it for 13 hours. Maybe some dogs could, but it certainly wouldn’t be good for them. This does depend a great deal on the breed, and on the individual animal. Larger dogs typically have larger bladders. Also, many animals seem to need to go more often when allowed to, after being forced to hold it for a long time, even after becoming adult. I agree, you should get a book, or perhaps go to a training session–for example PetSmart holds group training sessions for a variety of purposes, for a reasonable fee. They can help you take into consideration breed, home situation, etc. when determining a schedule.

  • Xerxes says:

    I have a six and a half month old golden retriever puppy. We crate trained him as well, and thankfully, he caught on relatively quickly. However, most puppies are not fully trained until about six months old. With my puppy, I just automatically took him outside every 45 minutes to an hour, just so he got used to doing his duty outside. Young puppies do not have large enough bladders to hold it for longer than about three hours, if my information is correct. (My vet told me this when we got our puppy.)
    Another thing that we did for our puppy is that we bought those puppy pee pads you can get at Walmart. We put one on the floor of the bathroom (because of the linoleum floor) and made sure he knew where it was. Eventually, he would just go in there if he couldn’t get our attention. Most of the time, if he had an accident, it was because we had picked up the pad and forgotten to put another one down, or he couldn’t get our attention in time. He soon figured out that if he really needed to go outside and we weren’t paying attention, all he had to do was run into the bathroom, grab the pad and run around the house with it at full speed. It was pretty funny, but it did the trick.
    So, try not to leave your puppy in the crate for that long, or leave it in a way that the puppy can get to a designated spot for relieving himself.

  • empresspekes says:

    Puppies don’t have complete control until they are about 6 months.

Bladder Control