house training a pug

Learn how to potty train your pug in 2 months, with extra tips for house training and crate training your pug. Do know that:

  • pugs cannot hold their bladder for longer than one and a half hours, not even when they are in their crate
  • pugs are very sensitive pets and should not be sharply scolded. Never hit pugs with any object or magazine or newspaper nor your hands.

When you are gone all day, then you will not be able to take your pug outside when needed, so you have no choice but to paper train your pug. A dog’s paper training is wonderful for severe cold weather when it is difficult to get outside.

Expect your pug to be house trained after 2, 4 to 6 months when you follow the easy steps below.

Toilet habits of pugs


  • at 3 months of age pugs will need to go out about 6 times daily.
  • at 6 months of age pugs will require 4 times daily.
  • at 12 months and up pugs will need to go out about 3 times a day.

Bowels will vary according to the quality of food and how much you feed your pug.

  • pug puppies: 3-5 times daily
  • adult pugs: 1-2 times daily

Pug house training methods

Here are three preferred methods to house train a pug according to your and their lifestyle:

  • Crate Training – teach your Pug to hold themselves when in their crate – best if you are home some of the day
  • Paper Training – teach your Pug to go on a designated spot of house training paper – best if you are not home most of the day and do not have help
  • Schedule Based Training (SBT) – teach your Pug to go out at consistent, regular times – best if you are home most of the day or have help who is home, and you can be absolutely regular with the schedule

Pick a method that works best for your lifestyle, as it’s critical that you be consistent and set yourself up for success.

How not to house train your pug

It will do no good for you to hit your pug or rub her flat little nose in her mess and if she doesn’t mess in front of you then you certainly can not expect her to understand your anger if you come home to a mess of "chocolates" or piddle.

What you need to know before house breaking your pug

  • If your pug squats directly in front of you, pick her up and firmly say "NO, NO, Outside" and take her outside.
  • Ask yourself what sort of lifestyle and flexibility you have to house train your Pug.
  • Read below or research your preferred method so you know it inside-out and come up with a pug house train game plan.
  • Once you’ve selected the method to train your pug, be sure to apply it correctly. This means doing some homework to research the method, understand it and create a game plan for your Pug and your lifestyle.

Don’t short-change this step! The root cause of most pug house training failures is applying a method incorrectly. Each of the methods listed above works well for pugs, but only if implemented properly. Do your homework and don’t be afraid to look to trainers or other resources for help here.

Think like a pug: try to step into your pugs’ "shoes" for a few minutes to consider the challenges of house training a pug… "you" are small in size… "you" have a little bladder… "you" have to go pee pretty often when young.

So don’t expect to last 8 hours between pees! And if you’re under 3 months old, "you" can’t really control your movements…so expect the house training to take some time before "you" get it!

The above knowledge will help you set realistic expectations for training your pug.

Tips for house breaking your pug

The goal is to teach your puppy the proper place to eliminate. First, you must choose the spot where you want your puppy to go. When you take him outside to do “potty”, always take him to the same spot and always use the same door.

Always bring your pug out on a leash while training. Watch your pug very closely when at the potty spot. Plan to wait for him. Let him sniff around. When he begins to go potty, use your cue : a word or sentence that will tell him this is the place and time to go.

Click and treat just as your pug is finishing. You want to click while the behavior is happening, but not too soon that he stops eliminating to get his treat.

Wait another ten minutes or so just to be sure he is finished. Especially pug puppies do not empty themselves completely the first time.

Never “assume” that he has eliminated. Make sure you see him go. If he goes again, click and reward.  

If you take him to the potty spot and he does not go, bring him into the house and confine him. Try again in about 10 to 15 minutes.

Pretty soon, your pug will understand that going potty in the potty spot brings rewards.

Tips for crate training your pug

It is a good idea to have your puppy pug crated whenever you can’t supervise him and at night. Dogs normally will not eliminate where they sleep.

Make sure the crate is the appropriate size for your pug. Proper size is at least 1 ½ times the length of the dog’s body minus the tail and tall enough for him to stand up comfortably.  

Crates with dividers are wonderful for growing pug puppies as you can increase the space as the pug grows.

Make the crate a wonderful place for your pug. Put a nice comfy bed in there. Keep his toys in there and toss in some treats every now and then as a surprise for him to find.

In the beginning, you can feed your pug puppy his meals in his crate. Start with the door open and feed.

After about a week’s time, close the door when he’s eating. Slowly begin leaving him in the crate and increasing the amount of time he’s crated.

DO NOT let him out of the crate when he is crying or making a fuss. Wait for a quiet moment, a lull in the crying, and then open the door.

You do not want to reward the loud behavior by letting him out. This does not mean ignore his cries completely, just wait for him to stop even for a moment before you open the door.

Click to mark that you’re rewarding the quiet moment, then open the door.

After a pug’s meal is finished, open the crate and carry(!) your puppy pug outside, preferably onto grass, to the spot you want your pug to go potty. You will have to use the same words consistently, for example, say "potty" or "go out".

It is very important that you use the same words, as your puppy will learn both where to go potty and that certain words mean a specific behavior is expected.

In case you don’t have outdoor access or will be away from home for a long period of time, you should begin house training using newspaper placed in some corner place that is easily accessible by your pug puppy. Take your puppy to this spot instead of outside to reinforce the habit of going there to potty.

Don’t let your pug puppy run loose inside after eating, drinking, playing or after it first woke up.

Keep a watchful eye on your pug and you will soon learn to recognize the "signs". When the puppy wants to relieve itself, it will usually start circling and sniffing the floor to find the perfect spot for the evil business. Don’t lose time, grab your puppy and carry it to the spot on which it is allowed to eliminate.

Teach your pug puppy to stay inside the crate without complaint. Put a treat in the back of the crate and encourage your puppy to go inside on it’s own and don’t forget to praise it. Once the door is locked, you might want to hand it another treat through the wires or window of the crate.

This might be a difficult task, but try not to succumb to its complaints. Say "No!" in a sharp voice and eventually tap on the crate to get your pug puppy to understand that it won’t succeed with its theatrics.

Normally, a pug puppy of 8-12 weeks of age will not be able to contain itself for long periods of time. It has to relieve itself every few hours, except at nights. Make sure that your puppy relieved it’s bladder as well as it’s bowel.

Your first task in the morning should be to take your pug outside to potty (or, inside but on the newspaper-spot). When this will be is depending on your puppy. It will often wake you up in the early morning by whining and jumping around in the crate.

Don’t confuse the "Let me out of the crate because I want to play now!" grumbling with the "This is an emergency" complaint though. You will learn quickly to distinguish between the two.

In case you need to be away from home all day, don’t leave your puppy in its crate, but also don’t make the mistake of letting it roam the whole house. Leave the pug puppy in a small room and cover the floor with newspaper. Make this area big enough, so the puppy does not have to relieve itself next to food, water bowls or its bed.

If you follow the above house training for pugs advice without letting yourself be hypnotized by the pair of big round eyes and let the puppy do what it wants, you will soon not have to be worried about accidents happening in your house anymore.

Why your pug doesn’t want to do his business outside?

Do you take your pug outside, she does nothing, and then the moment she gets inside she makes it on the floor?

Usually, when this happens it’s the result of your pug being preoccupied outside. If she’s outside and playing, that play will cause her urge to subside. In the process, the play makes her excited.

Once you go inside, the preoccupation wears off almost instantly, and she’ll make inside usually only a few seconds or a minute after she gets in.

How long to house train your pug?

It might take 2 months, sometimes less or up to 4 and 6 months, before house training a pug becomes completely successful and you can say that the house training is completed.

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