How Long Does It Take to House Train a Golden Retriever Puppy?

Pet Training


June 11, 2020

The introduction of a Golden retriever puppy into your household is an exciting time that is certain to lead to many new experiences. In most cases, one of those new experiences will include house training your new puppy. House training is important to establish early into your relationship with your puppy because it will ultimately reduce the chances of unanticipated messes when your puppy is unattended.  

House Training Your Golden Retriever Puppy

House training a dog is a unique experience to navigate, especially if you’ve never done so before. Whether you’re actively navigating this experience now or familiarizing yourself with what to expect shortly, understanding typical house training expectations is essential. It will give you some general insight into how long it can potentially take to house train your new Golden retriever puppy, and help you provide a supportive learning environment within your home.  

What is House Training?

House training teaches your puppy when and where it is appropriate to relieve itself; this may typically be outside, on a set schedule, or may even be inside if you choose to train your puppy to use pads or other elimination tools. There are a few ways to house train your puppy, including crate training, paper training, constant-supervision training, and umbilical cord training.

One way is not better than another and usually, the resulting method is due to the dog owner’s preference, although some owners do housetrain their dogs using multiple methods. Every method has its pros and cons, so it’s important to consider the implications and make an informed decision.  

How Long Does Housetraining a Golden Retriever Puppy Takes?  

Generally speaking, the length of time that it takes to housetrain a puppy does not vary significantly among specific breeds. Ideally, you should start house training your puppy as soon as possible, but to be realistic, you should consider your puppy’s overall bladder control. Most puppies will not have a strong ability to control their bladder until they are at least 8 to 10 weeks old and so you may not achieve any noticeable results if you attempt to house train them before this age.

If you choose to start house training them before 8 to 10 weeks of age, remember to be patient with them and understand that they will require extensively more supervision in house training during this phase compared to when they are older. 

The length of time that it takes to train your puppy can depend on a variety of factors. It is very important to be consistent with your Golden retriever puppy and use a training method that is fairly easy for them to understand. If you are not training your dog regularly, switch between methods frequently, or attempt to train using a more complicated method, you might not see much progress.

Golden retriever puppies can usually be house trained by the time they are eight months old, but this will depend greatly on your interaction with the dog and the dog’s ability to follow your commands. Every Golden retriever is different, and some may take more or less time to be housetrained, so remember to be consistent and patient with your dog at all times. Some Golden retriever puppies are fully house trained as early as six months of age, but your results may vary.  

What to Expect When House Training Your Golden Retriever  

Golden retriever puppies tend to urinate very frequently when they are in their early stages of life and will typically have 4 to 5 bowel movements per day. This does not factor in times when your puppy is not feeling well, which can increase the frequency and also impact your dog’s performance during the house training period. Having said that, you can expect that you will need to take your dog outside multiple times throughout the day and during the night until your puppy becomes accustomed to your schedule.

The experts say that house training and leash training complement each other directly since your dog will need to understand to obey commands and behave while leashed when you take them outside to follow up on your house training. If your puppy is struggling with either, remember that the learning process can take time. Most Golden retrievers will learn quickly, but some puppies will need extra time and guidance to master these two key levels of obedience successfully. 

The method that you use for house training your dog will ultimately be your decision. Still, regardless of the method you prefer, you must be consistent in taking your puppy outside before they realize that they need to urinate or have a bowel movement. Puppies do not always understand when they need to relieve themselves. By the time they do realize it, it may be too late and can result in a mess on your floor.

Therefore, although it’s important to house train your Golden retriever puppy, it’s equally important to ensure that you don’t provide any unnecessary opportunities for an accident to occur within your household during the early stages of the training process. As you continue anticipating your puppy’s needs ahead of time, the puppy will also learn when it needs to go outside and will let you know when you’re delaying too long between breaks.  

House Training Schedules, Discipline, and Praise  

Developing a schedule is a great way to prevent potential accidents and get your dog familiar with going outside on a more frequent basis. Some owners will take their puppies out every 30 minutes, and others prefer to take them out every hour. As your Golden retriever puppy gets older, you can extend this period to every two hours or adjust it based on their bladder control ability.

During the night, you will most likely take your puppy out much less in comparison to daytime, but puppies may have an unexpected need to go out late at night if they’ve had a lot of water earlier in the day or if they’ve misjudged their ability to control their bladder before bedtime.

However, it won’t be enough to simply anticipate your dog’s needs and take them outside. Your puppy is eager to please you and will need some sign of your approval or disapproval based on the outcome. When you take your puppy outside and successfully avoid any accidents in your house, you should praise your dog and let him or her know that they’re a good dog for listening to you. You can provide treats or simply continue to praise them verbally, but most puppies will certainly appreciate a treat! 

When your puppy makes mistakes, don’t be excessive in your punishments but provide constructive correction. It’s usually enough to let your dog know that having an accident in the house is not acceptable and then gently correct them by showing them where they should urinate or have a bowel movement instead. Sometimes this can be done by telling the dog ‘no’ in an authoritative tone or moving the evidence of the accident into the ideal location.

Either way, force or harsh behavior should never be used. Keep in mind that sometimes the methods used for house training can make it confusing for dogs to understand where it’s appropriate to pee and poop. A great example of this can be during the initial stages of crate training. A dog may not understand that although they shouldn’t do either in their crate, it’s not appropriate to do outside of the crate as long as they’re still inside the house or not in their designated area.  


Although house training your Golden retriever puppy can seem like a journey on its own, it’s a challenge that every dog owner eventually overcomes and a great opportunity to bond further with your new pup. If a specific house training method doesn’t work for your puppy, give it some additional time and then try moving on to a different method. Keep in mind that actions which may seem logical to you may not always be intuitive to your puppy.

If you need additional guidance with house training your puppy, you can also consider reaching out to a professional dog trainer or even your veterinarian for some general advice. Above all, remaining patient and providing your puppy with plenty of love and support will contribute to a house training experience that is less stressful and more enjoyable for both of you.