At 7 weeks I wouldn’t expect very much progress if any. It’s simple anatomy that their tiny little bladders can’t hold much pee for very long at all. 

General rule of thumb I’ve heard is they can hold it an hour or 2 per month if age. So, at two months the most you can reasonably expect her to hold it would be two hours. 

So, unless you are able to take her out every two hours, every day, accidents should be expected.

However, I considered it a win at that age by getting my puppy to only use his puppy pads and in a designated spot. I think that may be a little more realistic at this point.

Even if you take him out every 2 hours or wake him up after a nap, his accident may just happen after naps.

I take him out every hour or when he wakes up from his nap. His accidents happen after naps though. What should I do?


You’ll just have to keep working at it. At that age it will be really hard to totally housebreak him. 

The accidents will happen, but keep taking him out and when he does go outside make sure to praise him, some people even use treats as a reward. 

Just don’t get discouraged. This is nothing that will happen overnight, I’m talking weeks and months.

Take him out every half hour instead. At this age, he is physically incapable of controlling his bladder/bowels. 

For the next 3 or so weeks his training is going to be all about you doing everything possible to avoid accidents by taking him out frequently. 

Even if you have to take him every 15-20 minutes! This will set up a pattern for him where in time he will understand.

It's difficult when they are very young puppies, but if you are consistent and give praise and treats every time he goes where you want, he will catch on quickly.


Are you allowing the puppy free access of your home?


At this age they should be attached to your hip or in a crate/xpen if they can't be watched 100%. 

Also 7 weeks is extremely young. I'm surprised they even let you get the puppy that young. Most breeders or shelters wait till at least 8 weeks.

On average I would say (every dog and training are different, e.g. diet can influence how much he drinks, size of the dog determines the size of the bladder etc.);

  • Week 8 dog just pees when it feels like it needs to, it's your job to understand that he needs to pee before he does and take him outside.
  • Week 11 dog can stay dry throughout the night. 
  • Week 14 dog only has occasional accidents in house (e.g. once a day or once every 3 days) when he is taken out every 2 to 3 hours.
  • Week 20 dog can hold it for 4 to 5 hours and accidents should become really rare.


Potty training 7-week-old puppy in pet friendly apartment

You should be okay as long as you're vigilant about socialization and giving him LOTS of playtime with other puppies. That will vastly reduce the amount of bite inhibition training you have to do.

For house training, the key is to not train the puppy to eliminate inside. That means no potty pads. 

If you have a patio or balcony, you can get a piece of sod or a doggy lawn and train him to use that until he's fully vaccinated. 

Take him out every 1-2 hours, leash him to you inside so he can't sneak away to have an accident, and crate him when you can't watch him. 

Make sure to praise and treat when he successfully potties outside so he knows that's where you want him to go.

For socialization, you can carry him pretty much anywhere. And I mean everywhere. Here is a socialization checklist. Try to expose the pup to everything on this list before 12 weeks old.

If you're going to use pads, the best way to do it is to treat it like you're training him to go outside. 

What I mean by that is, don't keep them accessible to the pup all the time, or else he'll never learn how to hold his bladder. 

Keep the pad in a closet or bathroom, and take the pup there every 1-2 hours for a potty break. Basically, pretend you're taking him outside, but instead visit the pad. 

That will set him up for success when you start transitioning to outside pottying, because he already knows the drill.


Will my dog associate the closet with peeing? 

Dogs don't associate things with location as much as humans do. They think more about environment. 

In this case, you would be aiming to associate the texture and smell of the pad with pottying, and then transitioning that association to grass. 

There might be a re-training phase where you have to keep the closet off-limits, but I don't think that will be much of an issue if you make sure it doesn't smell like a bathroom after the pup is done with it. Nature's Miracle is the way to go there.

When transitioning to outside, will bringing the pad outside at first be a good idea?


I think most people transition that way. It definitely helps to ease the pup into it, instead of plopping him down on the grass and expecting him to know what to do. 


You can bring out the whole pad at first, then half of it, and so on until he's peeing on a tiny piece of it outside, then take it away altogether. 

I've never used pads so this isn't from experience, but I've read this is the way to go.

Is going out frequently perfectly good for him?

Taking him out often is fine. Just be clear what you expect and really reward for pottying.
This is another reason I like putting it on cue. I take my dogs out to go play in addition to potty breaks. 


If I say the cue, they go, and then they get rewarded, play, cookies, coming back in if the weather sucks. 


If I give the cue, I will wait them out no matter what. No cue, we go and play or whatever, they can potty if they want, but not required.


For official potty breaks, I think a daily schedule is the most important aspect initially. I feed them, walk them, and take them out at exactly the same time for several weeks. 

Your goal is to have your dog anticipating the schedule. If he knows the schedule and what's happening next, accidents are less likely.

Related question


How long did it take you to potty train your pup?

I think most (always exceptions) see their dogs starting to ask to go out around 4-5 months. 

Before that, its' mostly just managing their schedule and teaching them how to ask. 

Of course, there are 3-month-old pups that ask to go out, and 10-month-old dogs that haven't learned. So, it really varies based on the dog and you.

Conclusion

Just remember that some puppies don't have full bladder control until they are over 6 months old. 

They might understand what is supposed to happen sooner and just aren't physically able. If you are taking your pup out often enough, you might never see this. :)

I've fostered a bit and I've found that dogs kept in small cages in their own filth take by far the longest. 


Dogs kept outside that are now house dogs are really easy (often no work at all), and puppies cover the spectrum, but consistent schedules work wonders.