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Lots of puppies can hold it 3-4 hours but that's the limit. If you're gone for over four hours you should have a designated place where they can go the bathroom if for no reason other than ease of clean up. Beyond ease of clean up consider the idea behind crate training. With crate training we're harnessing dogs' natural instinct not to soil their 'den', the problem is when they're puppies the idea what is their den is usually a pretty small space, if they're going to have an accident its better to give them an appropriate space to do so rather than showing them that soiling their den does not infact bring predators or other bad situations .

I transitioned both my dogs from newspapers to going to the bathroom on walks just fine. If they make the association with the newspaper=place to pee (and most dogs do) then when they can hold it longer and you take away the newspaper they'll hold it a bit longer. Then if you need to (I needed to with one of the dogs but not with the other) when transitioning to the poop on the walk, you can just drop some newspaper on the ground.


Bottom line, if you can take them out regularly enough that they're not forced to have an accident, that is obviously the ideal, but if you can't then you should give them a space where going to the bathroom is appropriate.
 
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