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What Should Your Puppy Know At 4 Months Of Age?

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So, exactly what should your puppy know at 4 months of age?

As a guide dog puppy raiser, we bring home our puppies at around 7-8 weeks old.

I’ve been raising these guide/service pups since 2006 and over that time I’ve noticed something magical seems to happen when a puppy is around 4 months old.

It’s around that time that everything clicks for a puppy.  Potty accidents around the house rarely happen if, at all, crate training is a breeze, and the mouthy behavior starts to subside.

What should your puppy know at 4 months of age?
What should your puppy know at 4 months of age?

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: We crate-train all of our puppies and recommend the MidWest Life Stages Double Door Crate w/ Divider. We still have and use our first MidWest Crate we bought for Linus over 13 years ago!

As I mentioned earlier we start training our puppies around 7-8 weeks old which means a 4-month-old puppy has nearly 10 weeks of training under his belt.

Of course, if you got your puppy when he was 4 months old then your expectations should be slightly quite different than what you see on today’s list.

QUICK ACCESS: If you’re having puppy training problems then you should join our Puppy Training Tips email list and get instant access to our New Puppy Owner Checklist PDF. To get started CLICK HERE.

Your Puppy Hits A Few Milestones At Around 4 Months Old

  • Vaccinations – Your puppy gets his rabies vaccination which also signals the time when your puppy’s immune system is well developed.  This is always a time of relief for me as I’m not as worried about the places I take my puppy.
  • Feeding Schedule – We reduce our puppy’s feeding schedule by going from 1 cup of food 3 times a day to 1.5 cups of food 2 times a day.  I don’t have to worry anymore about that mid-day snack.  My other dogs are also happy because they don’t have to get excited about a non-existent meal (for them).
  • Teeth – they start to fall out and as the teeth disappear so does the puppy’s bitey, nippy, mouthy behavior (thank goodness).

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: We feed all of our puppies Wellness Core Puppy Formula.

What Should Your Puppy Know At 4 Months Of Age?

Okay, Colby, vaccinations and feeding schedules aside what should my puppy know when he hits his 4-month birthday?

  1. House Training – It’s around this time that our puppy has fully grasped potty training.  If not, they are usually very close with not much more than 1 accident per week.
  2. Crate Training – Can sleep through the night without incident.  Can also stay in the crate for short periods during the day without barking, crying, howling, etc.
  3. Good House Manners
    • Stays off the furniture.
    • Usually not 100% at this age, but a puppy is allowed more freedom around the house.
    • Can sit/down and wait for food for 30+ seconds until released.
  4.  Socialization
    1. Places – pups are usually well-behaved on these types of outings.
      • Neighborhood walks
      • Restaurants
      • Grocery Stores
      • Shopping centers
      • Movie Theaters
      • Book Stores
      • Obedience Classes
      • Indoor/Outdoor Shopping Malls
      • Hockey Games
    2. People – pups are usually “good” with meet/greets with people at this age
    3. Dogs – pups are usually “just okay” at dog meet/greets.
  5. Basic Obedience
    1. Sit – Usually close to 100% without distractions.
    2. Down – Usually close to 100% without distractions.
    3. Stay – Can sit/stay or down/stay without distractions for 30+ seconds.
    4. Come – About 80% reliable with recalls without distractions.
    5. Heel (Loose Leash Walking) – good with loose leash walks in known places like your neighborhood.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: Puppies for Dummies is a great book that will teach you the foundations of raising and training a puppy. We highly recommend it for the new puppy owner. By the way, did I mention Puppies for Dummies was the first book I read before bringing home my rescue puppy, Linus?

A 4 to 6-Month-Old Puppy

4 month old puppy in training
4-month-old puppy in training. Eh…she’s probably a little younger in this pic.

I usually notice puppy bliss during the 4-6 month period as my puppy is still relatively small (compared to his full size) and cute, he behaves well, listens, and understands most of the basics.

However, for some reason around 6 months, puppies seem to hit a regression (at least mine do).

My pup stops listening, he no longer understands his cues, and he’s much bigger and not as easy to handle.

I feel like we always take a step back with our puppy’s training around the 6-month mark.

I think it’s kind of like the defiant teenage years we see in our human children.

So what do we do?

Anytime we hit a regression in training we take a step back and start working from the beginning.

For instance, if our puppy starts having potty accidents in the house after we’ve given him a little freedom then we’ll put him back on his leash when in the house and keep an eye on him 100% of the time.

This allows us to catch him before he has an accident in the house.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: We recently started training our puppies to alert us when they have to go potty by using a potty-training doorbell called the Smart Bell. It requires a little bit of training, but it’s a good alternative to your dog scratching up the backdoor.

How Was Archer As A 4-Month-Old Puppy?

QUICK UPDATE: It’s been several years since we first wrote this article. Archer is now a working service dog helping a little girl with a traumatic brain injury. Thank you to Cascade Service Dogs for finishing Archer’s training and placing him with his new partner.

Archer is 8 months old and I hate to say it, but he was probably a better-behaved puppy when he was 4 months old 🙁

While he may be better at some things he has regressed in others.

At 8 months Archer’s biggest bane would have to be puppy zoomies.

This is one of those things we probably should have nipped in the bud when he was a youngster.

During a Zoomies attack, Archer has been jumping on the bed willing to play the chase game with any takers (Linus).

This is a behavior we never saw in the 4-month-old version of Archer.

However, he did have puppy zoomies at 4 months and we should have managed those zoomies in a better manner to keep him in control during that frenetic behavior.

QUICK TIP: One of our favorite ways to manage puppy zoomies is to put our pup on a short 4-foot tie-down and give him his favorite chew toy. Beef Collagen Sticks work great because they can occupy your puppy for 10+ minutes giving him a chance to calm his energy.

Enough about my puppies…

What were your puppies like at 4 months? 6 months? 8 months?

Did you experience a similar bliss and regression with your puppies?

Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

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Have you ever wondered what your puppy should know at 4 months of age? Let me start off by saying every puppy is different. However as puppy raisers we do set goals and hope to get our puppy’s on a good schedule (for potty training) and establish good puppy behaviors. #puppytraining #4montholdpuppy #4montholdpuppybehavior #4montholdpuppyschedule #4montholdpuppytraining
What should your puppy know at 4 months of age? What should you expect?

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. Here’s another article on potty training that you might find helpful: https://puppyintraining.com/how-to-potty-train-a-puppy/

    You might looking into getting an enzymatic cleaner that will completely remove the odor from the accidents. We might not be able to smell out but a dog’s nose is hundreds to thousands times more sensitive then ours. And when a dog smells a spot that smells like urine he/she will try to potty their again.

    If our puppies aren’t potty trained one thing we try to do is keep an eye on them when they’re in the house. If they show any signs that they might potty like sniffing, circling, squatting we take them outside immediately to their potty spot.

    Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  2. I’m having a problem house training my puppy she’s 3 1/2 months old. Sometimes she hates the doggie pad other times she just pooped all over the place I bought stuff to spray. I’ve made up my own concoction with lemons. I’ve also made up a concoction of rug cleaner, water, and lemon juice and spray on the P or the poop. I put doggy pads down where she goes the most. She just doesn’t go there then please help me. By the way, I’m also handicapped so it’s not easy for me to get around. Yes I walk, but very slowly.

  3. My 18 week old Aussie comes when called 90% of the time when inside the house. When she’s outside off leash, she often ignores us when we call her. Her bred requires a lot of exercise, particularly running which is hard to do on leash. What do you suggest?

  4. Archie is 4 months old tomorrow, he is a Chocolate Lab Retriever – he’s been house trained since he was 3 months old, with no mishaps since, he will sit, down, stay and come, for a treat – he will fetch his ball 90% of the time when we’re out in the park. He’s not been in a crate at all, and sleeps in the kitchen all night with no issues, I work from home and after his morning walk he’s under my desk most of the time, We have no issues with Archie inside or outside unless other dogs are around – he wants to play all the time, even if the other dogs don’t or their owners don’t 🙂 at this time come, stay go out the window – I don’t like to have him on a lead but when other dogs are around I have no choice – is there a magic resolution to this ?

  5. Congratulations on your new puppy! You might try giving him a stuffed frozen KONG that he only gets when you crate him during the day. Also, I would reduce the amount of time you leave him in the crate and slowly start working up towards a longer period of time. Hopefully, that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  6. Hi I’ve got a 15 week cocker spaniel & it’s going well, he’s 99% toilet trained in the house & sleeps for a good 8-9 hours a night in his crate but he doesn’t like being on his own in the day when we go to work he cries & howls we r trying to leave him for 30 mins at a time then come back etc but he hate it. Any tips? Please

  7. We have a 4 month old dachshund that we got when he was 10 weeks. He still hasn’t fully grasped the concept of house training. He is still having accidents a couple times a week. Crate training at night has been great and he wakes me up during the night when he needs to go potty but during the day the cues aren’t as often and they are usually after he’s already had the accident in his crate or playpen. We reward the crap out of him when he goes potty outside i.e lots of praise, pets, and a treat! I know dachshunds are a bit more stubborn when it comes to house training but with the amount of work I’ve been doing with him I just don’t know why we are still having accidents a few times a week. What am I doing wrong?!

  8. Dogs are den animals. Dens are dark. Try fully covering the crate so they have the comfort of a true den, walk away, walk around, make noise, but wait 10 mins before you give in to the whining. Hopefully they quiet down and you can take full advantage of crate-trained puppy! My dog only whines now if there is light peaking in from a corner or something. Fully covered pitch black, he’s a sound puppy for at least a few hours.

  9. I’m having a really difficult time socializing my 4 month old Husky Labradoodle. He LOVES people to the point of hysteria! Never had a pup get so excited! He is now 40 pounds and the jumping clawing biting needs to stop! I went camping last month hoping would socialize him as more older people camping that know what your trying to do. In a week was better but still sees some one is on a run for them. Walking him is exhausting if there’s anyone out. I meet two people and I’m done wrestling with him! Any help please? He’s very smart. Potty trained-Sit-down-shake-high 5-not grabbing treats all learned. Almost there on stay-does ok on come unless he sees someone or dog!lol

  10. I would agree with that advice. I lost my 11 year old male staff last November, I already had a 13 year old female staffy who is the most amazing beautiful girl with a gorgeous temperament. I got a 7 week old puppy in May and it’s probably not been as positive for her as I’d hoped. The age gap is too big, she wants a quiet life and he’s rowdy. I think waiting is sound advice. Good luck

  11. My puppy was doing great. He hit 18 weeks and now he’s a nightmare. Started peeing in the house again. Jumping on people again. Biting to the point of drawing blood on my and my husband. Resource guarding. Not sure who’s body snatched my perfect puppy but I want him back and this monster gone.

  12. I just got a puppy and have a 10 year old dog. My advice don’t get the puppy. There is too much difference in age. Gsulleng@gmail, com if u want to talk

  13. I’m failing miserably at potty training my 4 mo old Springer Spaniel. I thought he almost had it a week ago and now he’s having 4-5 accidents a day inside. I am home all day so I try to anticipate his needs. We have an older dog so they both go out together. I’ve had 5 goldens and I’m sure they didn’t have this problem.

  14. We are about to adopt a 4 month old Bernese/retriever/poodle cross pup, and my concerns is that he may have already developed some bad habits, and he is not completely potty trained. Should we wait for the next litter and have a pup when they are 8 weeks old, to begin training immediately.
    We have an 11 year old chessy, who is the best girl ever. I am also worried that she may feel displaced.

  15. We have a 4 month old red fox lad and most of the training is going well. There are a couple of things we still need to work on. Did enjoy reading what you posted. I do have a question on socialization? I know it is important but how do you do that and other things in this time of COVID without putting yourself at risk?

  16. That’s awesome! Everything seems to come together around this age. I have a 7 month Labrador Retriever puppy right now and she’s having a bit of regression right now. I’d love to hear updates when he gets a little bit older. Thanks for sharing!

  17. My standard poodle puppy is 16 weeks today. He is great at sitting, stop, down, off, leave it We are still working o STAY. He has a habit of moving. We just started PLACE and he’s doing well with that. At this point, his HEEL is perfection; between week 8 – 14 he was a nightmare. He is potty trained with limited accidents.

  18. Hi! We just adopted a 4 month old beagle/dachshund mix. She’s wonderful and mostly trained. Sits on command, goes in her crate willingly(still whines a bit), never poops in the house, but she pees constantly. She can comfortably go every 20 minutes and pees in her sleep. The longest stretch she held her pee was about 2.5-3 hours at night. We have an appointment for the vet to see if she has any medical issues/uti. Any suggestions on how to help her hold her pee?

  19. We have a 4 month old golden retriever and she is amazing! The problem is she is still very anxious in her crate and is not the best walker. She get’s anxiety when the door closes. She also will stop walking and sit on the ground to stop walking. Any advice?

  20. I’m glad your puppy is a quick learner and it sounds like he’s doing well. Let me know if you have any questions.

  21. Hi, thank you for this article. My family adopted a sweet shepherd mix puppy one week ago. He was 14 weeks. It’s helpful to know that he won’t have all the training you described under his belt in one week’s time when he will be 16 weeks. He’s picking things up quickly, though!

    I also appreciate knowing about puppy zoomies! I’ve seen it and now know what it is!

    Best wishes,


  22. The best way to guess the size of your dog when full grown is to look at the parents. If you don’t know the parents then you can ask you vet to take a guess based on her current size. Just knowing a dog is a Lab mix makes it difficult because you don’t really know what other breeds your dog is mixed with. We’ve had dogs we’ve fostered from the rescue who were labeled “Lab mix” and ranged from 20 pounds to over 100 pounds.

  23. if a lab mix female is 3 and half months old how much might she weigh when grown.

  24. Hi. I have a 4 month American Labrador and he is doing really well with the lead walking,call back off his lead and with the house training,he hasn’t had a accident in almost a month and his butting was starting to subside until he hit the 4 months and now he has a few bit outburst of jumping at you and biting a lot. Please tell me this is just a faze and he will calm down again as all what we used to do to make him stop before is not working this time. Any tips welcome.

  25. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience. With all dogs and puppies it’s important to supervise play. I’m sure your puppy will mature as she gets older. Good luck with your training!

  26. How pleased we are to have found your website. We happen to have a 4 month old Pyredoodle and she is wonderful. We purchased her as an ESA for me. She and I have bonded and get along well except when we are outside and other dogs give her grief or want to play rough. I am sure that will change as she grows…Hoping it changes!!! Thank you for sharing information…much appreciated.

  27. I have two 17 week old pups and guess what? yours is the same story as mine.

    My experience with previous pups and dogs is just be persistent patient and understanding.

    Persistence and consistency will rule the day.

  28. We have a 5 year old 50 lb mixed breed who loves people (except for one shady neighbor) and other dogs except for two – A Bassett with aggression issues and a doberman. The biggest reaction comes from the large doberman. She can smell that dog a block away. Inside the house, on the fenced porch, or on a walk she absolutely hates that dog. Other dogs don’t like this dog, either. Our vet said that it could be that this dog’s body language is causing a reaction. It’s owner keeps it next to them on walks, never socialized it, and I’ve never seen it play or so much as relax. I feel sorry for it. Any other dog we meet, big or small, she immediately goes into tail wagging happy mode and wants to play. I don’t expect her to ever become best friends with this dog but it’d be nice if it didn’t cause her so much panic.

  29. One thing I notice and I think I mention this in the article is that my puppies do great at around 4 months, but around the time they hit 6 months they act like they forgot everything. Number 1 for me is to stay consistent, persistent, and patient with training. With my pups by the time we hit 12 months they are pretty well behaved. If he’s regressing in his training try taking a step back and start over with the basics when it comes to the commands your teaching. Another thing you might look into is having a certified professional dog trainer help you with training especially if it’s your goal to train your dog to be a PTSD Service Dog.

  30. I got my 5and a half month old puppy at 4 months from a puppy rescue ,He I now been with me 6 weeks he was sitting on command come on command and going potty outside every time I took him out he was rewarded with high praise and high value treats! He even started going for his leash when he had to go out X We may have had 1 accident per day! About a week ago he started to regress going potty in in the house even though we go out often! He refuses to come or sit or lay on command cant grasp leave it or off he does sleep thru the night! He is nipping and biting me when I pet him or rub his tummy and often when he wants my full attention like if I’m on the phone ect he wont heal pulls when walking! I want him trained as a ptsd dog after he has all his regular training! I started to teather him to me today he didnt like it and took 30 mins to settle down he takes stuff and runs with it! He gets plenty of play attention and exorsize He is an Aussie so I know the breed is very active busy and also smart! I self trained my last Aussie and he was very well behaved everywhere we went! I’m worn out lol please help!

  31. I have a 4 month old puppy who is still a little nippy (only when petting), but is 100% on his commands in a non-distracting environment. My two biggest issues:
    1. He seems to be well kennel trained and can sleep through the night. But about once a week he regresses and yips to be let out. I ignore it but as his attention span gets longer it seems it takes longer for him to settle.
    2. On walks he is pretty well behaved unless he sees another dog. Then the sight of the dog is so overwhelming that he pulls and I cannot recapture his attention even with the use of high-value treats. He has met many dogs in his short life so far so I am not sure how to get him to understand that this is no big deal.

  32. I have had my puppy for 2 months. She is 4 months old. I would go out with her 15 to 20 times a day. She doesn’t seem to be bothered by the snow. She was doing pretty good. She sleeps through the night and I take her out first thing. She is still peeing in the house, 3 to 4 times a day. I have rewarded her whenever she goes outside. Really discouraged. I have had 3 other min poodles that were males and don’t remember it ever being this hard. This one is a female. I have done everything by the book. Help.

  33. Congratulations on your new puppy! Adjusting to a new home is a lot for a new puppy. We’ve had several puppies come to us and miss their litter mates and mother. After a little bit of time our puppies have always gotten used to their new home. Good luck with your puppy.

  34. My Chihuahua is four months old; however, I took her away from a 5 dog family. All bark like crazy. Not used to people. She is quiet, loving, sweet and only heard a low tone bark she heard something. This was day 2.
    She seems to sleep all day. I try to play but she is not interested. She enjoyed the sun and grass today and was playful when she woke up only, because she hides under my bed and plays until I get her out from under the bed. Chased a ball for a few minutes ! My concern is her laziness. Is she lonely. Seems like when I took her to see her mother in day two. She ran around with the barking dogs yet she didn’t act up like them.
    Could she be depressed. In day three…

  35. I’m Bill, my puppy Lucy has been allowed to regress to peeing in house because I dislike to carry her outside at 2am. The 4 year & 9 month old Pitt peed outside. I didn’t make the new Beagador, 4 month old 6 days ago, go out with Pitt.. She will be carried out at my discomfort from now forward. I appreciate your advise. Goodnight neighbor.

  36. Here’s an article that might help with the nipping: https://puppyintraining.com/the-ultimate-guide-how-to-stop-a-puppy-from-biting-and-nipping/

    A few tips regarding “Touch”: what value treats are you using when training? If you were using low value treats when working with “touch” you might try using a higher value treats to get better responses from your dog. If she’s doing “touch” when you don’t want then ignore it. Only reward the actions you want him to do.

    Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  37. We have a 4 month old Bouvier Des Flanders. We had almost or 100% of; stay, come, 100% sit, waits for food laying down, never grabs treats, Nose nudges for out= potty, play or hike up the hill. She potties on command. She know her toys and what not she will try to get out attention by trying to take something that is not hers. We have 2 issues: 1 she still nips, but only when 1, I am petting her, she will roll over for “Rub A Tummy” & in 1-2 seconds she will nip me. She will climb in my husband lap for cuddles and nip him right off. Or when we are putting on or off her harness. 2nd issue I am teaching her TOUCH on command she got it right off. She 100% for over a week now she will choose when or if she is will to do this. Even when she has to give up her favorite treat. Sometimes she will to it 3 times. That all we ask. Other times not at all. She I lays down & turns away, if I ask her if she wants her treat she come back, but will not touch to get it. I know this is a stubborn thing but how do I get around it?

  38. I think the suggestion made at your puppy class is a good one. Smaller groups might work better for your puppy at this time. A puppy is most flexible for socialization from around 3 weeks old until 12 weeks old. It’s not that they can’t change when they are older, it’s just that it will take more work from you to get them used to new and unfamiliar situations.

  39. My 4 month old mini labradoodle has already hit a bit of a regression period! She was doing very well with coming when called and looking at me, as well as walking on a leash, but now she seems to ignore us a lot of the time!
    We’re also experiencing some socialization problems because per our vet’s recommendation, she only got her last round of vaccines just recently, so she had very limited exposure to other dogs and parks, but now she seems extremely hesitant and almost fearful of other dogs. Doggy daycare and puppy classes seemed like too much for her, and the employee suggested making friends with other friendly pups and doing one-on-one or smaller playtimes. Do you have any other recommendations?

  40. Congratulations on your newish puppy! It sounds like it’s a good time to bring in a certified professional dog trainer. Based on what you wrote here are a few thoughts: If he’s having accidents in the house then limit his freedom. We keep our puppies on our leash and by our side, if off leash we keep an eye on them 100% of the time, or we use their crate. When he’s outside I’d keep him on leash or a long line so you can retrieve him if he doesn’t return to you. It sound like some of his commands might be poisoned. While you can fix this it sometimes easier to just use a different word(s) like “Go Potty” = “Get Busy” and “Come” = “Here”. Try not to use these words unless you know he’s going to do them.

    As I mentioned earlier I think your best bet would be to start working with a trainer or your could also try group training classes. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  41. It’s tough to tell exactly what’s going on. A good way to assess your situation is to have a certified professional dog trainer come in for an in home evaluation. I’ve had similar experiences in my home with my black lab Stetson. He started waking up earlier and earlier to go out and eat his breakfast. He was doing a good job training me. I ended up having to ignore him until I was ready to wake up. It took about a week or restlessness, but eventually I got him on my schedule. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  42. My mini aussie doodle puppy is 4 months old. I got him at 10 weeks old. I introduced “potty bells” on 2 doors in our house around 14 weeks. Before that, he was very good at going potty when I took him outside and said “go potty.” He’s had progress and regression, back and forth. I reward “potty outside” when he does, and when he signals with the bells. But lately he rings them just to go out, roam around and sniff, find gross things to put in his mouth to eat and make me chase him. (His recall is also regressing, as he seems to test me more). I think since the snow melted and it’s warmer out theres more he wants to explore. I kick myself when I trust he won’t scamper off unleashed to go potty. Anyways, I’m looking for advice on both these matters – recall/getting him to come when he has some dead gross thing in his mouth, and potty outside. (“zoomie puppy” is also an issue, but gotten better and I figure fairly normal behavior – call it psycho puppy phase). I use enzymatic cleaners on his potty spots and clean as best I can. He takes his sweet time when I walk him around on leash to potty. He stopped ringing the bell to go potty outside a lot of the time now, even first thing in the morning. : ( I’m hoping to correct bad behavior ASAP so they don’t continue, although I think this is all normal….? I am getting tired of repeating “go potty” and “come”, and I think they become meaningless to him more too when I have to repeat them, but he is ignoring my commands. HELP!

  43. We have Two 18 week old lab puppies. They slept throigh the night when we first brought them home, but now one will wake up at 3:00-4:00 am every day barking. We tried letting out to potty but then learned he gets out when he barks, and started earlier and earlier. We also cover their kennels and got them heartbeat toys, but they became very expensive chew toys. We also play white noise for them, but we are at a loss for what else to try. We wake up about 4:40-5 am each day and they run to the bathroom once out. Please help!

  44. A few thoughts:

    1. Make sure the area he’s having accidents is thoroughly cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner. If he smells urine that could be a cue for him to potty in that same spot.
    2. If you’re using the same tie down spot and he’s having accidents there you might try moving him to a different tie down area when you leave him at home.
    3. It could just be that he’s taking longer to learn then your past dogs. We’ve had 8 week old puppies figure out potty training after around 1-2 week. Meanwhile, Stetson probably was still having accidents at around 6-7 months old.
    4. If you haven’t already you might consider getting a vet check to make sure he’s not having any bladder problems.
    5. If you’re still having issues then bring in a certified professional dog trainer for an in home evaluation. It’s a lot easier for a trainer to assess a situation in person then via email.

    Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy.

  45. He’s on tie down for about 7 hours over night.
    Off and on during the day at hour intervals.

  46. He’s on tie down for about 7 hours over night.
    Off and on during the day at hour intervals, at home but on full tie down when we are staying out of our home with with him.

  47. If I’m understanding correctly your puppy is having accidents while on tie down when you come home with him. How long is he on a tie down during the day and at night?

  48. No he’s just on a 4 foot tie- down when we’re not home and over night. We just started letting him free roam for longer periods during the day, with his leash attached. He is our fourth dog and this is the first time we’ve Encountered this issue. When we take him anywhere over night he is on full tie down except for his park and outdoor time.

  49. Congratulations on your new puppy! I’m not sure what’s happening here. Are you leaving your puppy at home alone to roam the house or you using some kind of containment like an x-pen or a crate? At 4 months old I think most puppies will have accidents in the house if given the freedom to roam the house for more then a short period during the day. If your puppy is having accidents in the crate then how much time is he spending in his crate before he has an accidents. Puppies shouldn’t be spending too much time in the crate during the day. Hopefully that helps. If you have more specific questions please let me know.

  50. My puppy is only 4 months. We are still doing potty training. The problem is we can take him anywhere overnight, no problems no accidents. We come home and it’s two or three. We’ve kept the same park schedule. Any ideas? We are at a loss on what the issue my be.

  51. If a puppy is not fully vaccinated yet we do not recommend places where other unknown dogs visit frequently like public parks. It’s also a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to get an idea of the dangers of diseases like parvo in your area.

  52. Your puppy is to young to go out and about, takes her to the park as often as you can forget about around town as she will be scared of the traffic your puppie is looking to you for reassurance try to remember she is still just a pup think of her as a baby give her plenty love and affection patience and consistency is the key don’t try to rush things small steps also get a clicker or use the yes when she’s good and the word no when doesn’t

  53. Congratulations on your new puppy! The best thing to do is to get a certified professional dog trainer for an in home evaluation to determine what you can do to help your puppy. We’ve had several puppies that refused to walk on lead in the beginning. However, it often just takes time for the puppy to get used to the leash. One thing we’ve tried when our puppy was sensitive to the leash and collar was using a harness and attaching the leash to the harness. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your new puppy!

  54. My Labrador puppy is now allowed out. She is 3 months old and seems a normal puppy. However, although she is now used to a collar (she went into her crate and sulked at first) she refuses to walk on a lead. She sits and she trembles. Kind encouraging words, patience, offer of treats, even chicken, has no effect. If I leave her with the lead attached she stays sitting in the garden for ages without moving. Can you help please?

  55. Come when called can be a difficult command to teach. If you tell your dog to “come” or use her name for her recall and she doesn’t come to you then she is learning that she does not have to come to you when you say her name or say “come”. I understand this very well as I had this issue with one of our puppies years ago. What we ended up doing is using a different command for recall and made sure to teach it properly. Basically anytime you use the recall command (we changed to “Here” for recalls) you have to make sure you dog always comes to you. We did this by using a long line anytime we worked on recalls. I’ll put together a more detailed blog post on teaching recalls in the next few weeks. Hopefully this helps for now. Good luck with your training.

  56. What you need to do is take her out every 30 minutes after she has had her food and drink but feed her in her in crate not outside but make sure you take her outside on a leash when she has done her wees and pops give her a reward and plenty of praise as soon as she has finished also clean the areas where she has weed and pooped with an enzyme cleaner to make sure the is no trace of the dogs wee or poo same in the crate as this will tell the dog it’s a toilet but if there is a mat she has soiled take this outside and walk her up and down a few time then take her to the mat and say wee wee a few times stand by the mat and wait and if nothing happens take her in and wait half an hour to an hour and try again you have got to be consistent and patient.

  57. Help with training my guide dog he 10 week old puppy and I want him to become a service dog. How do I go about that?

  58. This was a great post! When I adopted my puggle the adoption place said he was potty trained. I got him back to my apartment at the time and that wasn’t the case. Needless to say my pup ruined those floors. After reading this post and many others I see the flaws in my potty training ways. There is so much to remember but they are our fur babies so they are worth it. I took a couple classes and downloaded a couple ebooks (one is here) and within a month he was much better. I always appreciate bloggers who share much-needed content with the rest of us who need the advice. Thank you.

  59. It never occurred to me to stop a puppy from having the zoomies. How would you do this?

  60. I have a just about four month old whom I recently adopted, and am having trouble with the potty training, too. Has yours gotten better?! I need hope!

  61. Hey Colby,

    I recently adopted a 4 month old husky puppy. I’m pretty sure she was kept in a small kennel most of her life and allowed to pee/poop whenever she needed too. We are having a hard time with the potty training. She has never pooped in the house (though we have had some poop accidents in the crate), but pees constantly on the carpet (and only the carpet). She also does pee outside but won’t eliminate all of her urine at once. She will pee several times in small bursts and has recently started walk-peeing. We tell her a firm “no” and clap when she starts peeing in the house and immediately bring her outside. When she successfully pees outside we reward her with one of her favorite treats.

    Is there any other tips we should be doing? Since she is 4 months old already without much training (and being a stubborn husky) I know it’ll take a little bit more training to get her where she needs to be.


  62. We have a 8 month old labradoodle. He’s so smart and keeps us laughing. The problem I’m having right now is he still pulls whenever I have him on a leash. Plus zoomies he runs at me and jumps and nips as he runs by. He’s never bit me or knocked me down. But I need to stop this now. He’s 70 pounds of energy.

  63. Hi, I got my miniature jack russell at 8 weeks. He will be 4 months next week. He is very hyper & in the mornings, when i get up he constantly bites at my toes. He sleeps on a dog bed since i got him. No problem sleeping tbrough the night. When i have visiters, he constantly bites at their shoes and jumps on them. I bring him on a walk in the morning & afternoon. He bites the lead, biten through one lead already. I have let him off the lead in the field but there are gaps at each end of the field that lead to main roads & he runs out as soon as he hears the cars. Charlie crys & barks when i leave the house (have to shut the door quietly). He has started chewing the skirting board beside him bed. I have got him lots of toys but hex still rather go after my feet or anyone elses feet.

    Charlie is my first ever dog

    Please help

  64. We just got our puppy, Rena, last Friday. As of this week, she is 9 weeks and two days old. I know she’s only 9 weeks but we haven’t even begun to really teach her any commands such as sit, down, stay, etc. it’s mostly been “no bite” as she is VERY nippy. We’ve told her some other commands such as “off” and “alone” (leave it) but none very seriously. She doesn’t know her name yet, and she has to be very focused and the room has to have NO distractions whatsoever for her to get “Rena!” And look at us. She is a Standard Poodle Bernese Mountain dog Mix and pretty smart as she picked up on pottying outside almost immediately, even though she had never been outside before 8 weeks of age.
    I am worried we won’t really hit those milestones by 4 months, as she has no attention span whatsoever and is mostly bitey (as puppies are lol).
    Any tips? We are working with a trainer but those sessions will only last a couple months. She seems a bit young to me to catch on and as this is our first young puppy (we got our other dog at 15 months) I’m not really sure how to begin training her effectively.

  65. My 4 month old pup can sit, down, paw, jump, drag, leave, bring, dont bite and he understands yes and no. He also knows how to walk without a leash but he runs of to other dogs so I need to work on not letting him run away whenever he sees other dogs. It also didn’t take me long to teach him these maybe about one or two days for a trick I got lucky for picking a go-with-it pup, some people get hyper pups and pups harder to train and I respect them for their effort and time taken

  66. Max is a four-month Maltese. He does real good with the training pads except he likes to poo poo on the hardwood floors and not on the pads. he is very good about the urine on the pads. He is aggressive and he is constantly trying to bite and nip at us and of course lots of times too hard. This is our first attempt at training a puppy my husband and I are retired and we thought we would enjoy a puppy. I should have done quite a bit of research before we got involved in this project. He tries to be too dominating and I have watched videos I have read done everything I could possibly do to correct this Behavior. Tonight He barked so badly and try to bite that I just locked him up and time out away from us in a small room. I hope it’s not too late to correct some of this Behavior. At times he can be a very calm sweet puppy but other times he is too aggressive. This is frustrating and I’m concerned that we’re going to have to enroll in an obedience school. I can’t believe a four pound animal can devastate my husband and myself. LOL I do want to say that sometimes he is very loving and just a sweet puppy. He just goes through episodes of hyper

  67. We just adopted a 4 month old german shephard female. Former owner couldnt keep her due to some health & other issues but shes been lkved & well cared for. We have 11+ yr old lab/chow mix who was never kenneled & potty trained early & easily.
    Puppy (Ricca) has been mostly outside but has some potty training.
    I take her oit to potty every couple of hours & right after she eats & before bedtime. I set an alarm & take her out in wee hourz.
    Still having pee & poop almost every morning.
    Bought some potty pads. Will this help?

  68. Linus and Raven will often times bark at squirrels and cats that run through our backyard. One thing that has helped with the barking is giving them something to do as in I will usually go into a training routine and ask for a “sit” or a “down”. This will sometimes help move their focus away from the distractions outside back to you the trainer. You also might want to consider brining in a certified professional dog trainer for an in-home training session.

  69. Hi my 6 months min.poodle knows all of her commands but now there is an issue of noise when she hears things, anything in backyard she has to bark, bark, bark. I tried to stop this by treats a little clapping and no, no. Not working. When I walk her she is good and she is a little shy to machine noise and gets scared and stops and I have to pick her up and pass this obstacle. Can you give me suggestions for the barking at anything. Last night was fireworks. Please…help….

  70. I got this message from a reader on my Facebook page the other day:

    “…I have a 7 month old Golden Retriver & have been in classes since he was 7 weeks old – he was great but now he is acting crazy. Not minding me ect… Was wondering if you have experience with this ?”

    I pulled this out of my puppy manual: It says that adolescence begins at around 5-6 months of age. Exact words “You may be thinking your puppy used to be so good, now he sometimes ignores you.”

  71. The good ole puppy days! 🙂 Before meal time and waiting for food is a great time to work on training. We work on sit-stay and down-stay while our pups wait for their meals. By the way, you answered one of my most common questions: My puppy pees in his crate in the middle of the night. What should I do?

  72. Now I’m reminiscing about our puppy days…Missy & Buzz are almost 5 years old now, and they came to live with us at 8 weeks of age. I remember countless trips up and downstairs from our 3rd floor apartment while potty training. I set my alarm for every 2 hours during the first few weeks – it made for a seriously interrupted sleep cycle at night, but boy, did it pay off. The pups were definitely 100% housebroken by 4 months of age. They had minor cases of the zoomies after our morning walks (1-3 minutes), then plopped down and were waiting for their breakfast. I used that behavior to teach the “down-stay” and waiting time before food was being served.

  73. That’s awesome! Yep, 4-6 months if my favorite age for puppies (although the 2 month olds are so cute). Thanks for sharing!

  74. My 5 month old staffie/collie pup, Harvey, has always been on a loose leash with me. He usually walks off lead, he’s a most obedient little puppy. He rarely does his toileting indoors anymore and already is going out after his breakfast in the grass in his chosen spot.. The biting has eased nearly altogether although he does like to chew gently on one of my fingers, but mostly as a comfort thing at night when he’s dozing off on my lap.

  75. Many thanks for the detailed information. We (Aussie couple) are raising a guide dog pup in Turkey – it’s the first of its kind here so we feel a bit overwhelmed. Your blog really helped us understand where we should be at with Yasmine who is just on four months old. Thank you

  76. I definitely notice a regression in most of my pups somewhere around 6 months. Terrier’s can definitely be a bundle of play energy! Right now we’re managing Archer’s over exuberant behavior by leashing him until he calms down. It usually takes about 5 minutes.

  77. Thanks! Good point about having a few solid skills vs. many shaky ones. My pup’s down and sit are rock-solid; I have a very hard time finding a distraction outstanding enough to keep him from dropping on command like he’s on fire!

  78. He’s still such a spaz I’ve kept it really informal for now. I started with a no-pull harness and that helped a lot but he had a sore under his arm after a really long walk with it. I switched to a cloth slip collar and I try to pop a treat in his moth whenever he isn’t pulling and when he’s extra crazy I stop and work on some tricks to remind him he has some self-control. As he gets bigger I’ll do more sudden turns but I’m such a klutz I tend to accidentally send him flying when I try it now.

  79. What a great milestone guide! I shared this with my sister who has an eight month old wheaten terrier who is going through the adolescent phase now too, like Archer. It made her feel a lot better to know that some regressing is normal and to just be patient and keep training.

    The biggest issue she’s having with her terrier is nipping and overly exuberant play. He’s a jumper and it’s hard to keep him from play attacking them and any guests. He’ll sit, down and stay when asked, but he’s a bundle of play energy.

  80. Archer has been jumping up more than I’d like. We’ve been teaching targeting and working towards turning on and off the light switch, but he’s also jumping up at inappropriate times. I’d love to come to your house and say hi to you and the pooches. Maybe we’ll have to make a trip out to the Seattle area 🙂

  81. All of our dogs are well behaved. One thing that I should have nipped in the bud with Scout and Zoey is the barking. It was so cute when they were little and they still do the same barking and it’s still cute, just damn loud.

    I also allow my dogs to jump on me, but not strangers. They understand, but I probably shouldn’t allow them to jump on me either.

    I went to a luncheon last week for a local organization that trains service dogs and I had an opportunity to meet a few of the fosters. Amazing people. Thank you for doing what you do.

    Now I just wish you’d come to my house and check out my dogs. That would be a hilarious blog post – kind of a He Said She Said post. LOL

  82. We’ve had several different types of puppy when it came to loose-leash walking. Some pups will sometimes automatically start off with a nice loose leash walk even as a puppy (that was Linus). Others like to pull on their leash and walk out in front (Stetson liked to pull on his leash). Finally, we’ve had the reverse pullers that will take a few steps forward, but then just sit down and wait (the puppy we had this weekend, Aspen did that on our walks). If you have a Linus then make a donation to your favorite rescue and you’re done teaching him loose leash walking. If you have a Stetson or an Aspen then my article that I hopefully get out next week on “Stop Your Puppy From Pulling On Leash By Walking Backwards!?” should help you. Sorry I don’t have more information now. I’ll get it published as soon as I have all of the information together.

  83. If you’re close to inline with the puppy skills outlined above then you are doing well. When we raise our guide dog pups we consider it a marathon not a sprint. We get our pups from 8 weeks – 18 months and during that time we do our best to perfect our puppies basic obedience, house manners, and socialization. Since I’m raising Archer with a slightly different set of guidelines I have taught him a few more cues then outlined above, but I can tell you it has come at an expense. His “sit”, “down”, “come”, “stay” are not as strong as my past puppies mainly because I’ve spent more time teaching him these new cues and less time mastering the basics. If Link doesn’t get his “stay” mastered by his monthiversary don’t worry. Be patient, take it slowly, and make sure he’s successful every step of the way.

  84. Yes, 4 months has always seemed to be the magic number with my puppies. I manage Archer’s zoomies by putting him on his leash and having him sit or down calmly next to me for about 5 minutes. It’s been very effective and he returns to being a normal puppy. In the beginning I let him play them out with Raven which wasn’t too big a deal when he was a little guy, but now that he’s bigger he bounces off the furniture, walls, and it’s no longer cute/funny. If it was something I managed from the beginning then I don’t think it would be excessive as it is now. Kind of like it’s cute when a puppy jumps up on you when they’re little, but when they weigh 70 lbs it’s not longer cute. I do use the kennel once in a while to manage the zoomies, but in general I try not to very often because I want him to always associate positive things with the kennel.

  85. I haven’t even started with the loose-leash walking yet. What did you do to begin teaching that? Treating him for looking at you and walking nicely?

  86. This made me feel better about my puppy “parenting” skills! My pup is about to hit 4 months (this Sunday I believe) and he’s about on the level you described. I think the loose-leash walking thing JUST clicked yesterday. I keep seeing people on forums bragging about their 9-week-old puppy that knows, like, 6 different tricks and I feel a little behind. Link is really bad at stay but I bet I can get him to do a few seconds by his “monthiversary” this weekend!

  87. It starts to get better around 4 months? I’m almost there! Haha, just kidding. I know not to expect too much. I was actually going to ask you when they start to understand the potty training so I’m glad to hear they generally start to get fairly good by 4 months. What do you do to manage the zoomies? Or what do you wish you would’ve done? Remy goes crazy when we get home from a walk or outing, so sometimes I just put him straight in his kennel for 10 mins to rest and come out when he’s calm.

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