Puppy training 101: Toilet training

Publish Date:

puppy rolling over

Post Categories

Post Tags

Post author

Emily Crane

Toilet training your puppy will take time and patience but if you are consistent, reward pups for going outside and ignore him if he makes a mistake, you can establish a good routine.

Crate training

If you are crate training your puppy the crate can be a fantastic tool to use during toilet training as long as it is used correctly. Dogs rarely soil their own beds and if your pup is used to a crate, you can put him in there for short periods when you are unable to supervise him.

Getting started

It is a good idea to establish an area in your garden that you are happy for your pup to do his business.

When puppies are very young it is fairly easy to predict when they are likely to need a trip to the garden.

Puppies will need to go outside:

  • Immediately after waking up
  • After eating or drinking
  • If he is excited or have been quite active
  • If he starts whining, circling, squatting or sniffing the ground
  • If he starts getting fidgety
  • Every 45 minutes

It is important that you always go with your pup to his designated toilet area so that you are there to reward and praise for successful toileting straight afterwards. This will let your pup know that it is the right place to go and encourage him to do so again. While your puppy is doing his business, use a phrase like “be clean”, eventually he will learn associate this phrase with doing his business and you will be able to use it to remind him what to do.

If you put your pup on a regular feeding schedule and observe and make note of when he does his business, it will not take long to work a rough toileting schedule for him. However, it is important to remember that other factors like salty treats or exercise may prompt large drinks and may mean he needs to go more frequently.

Your pup will not necessarily go every time you take him outside, if he doesn’t want to its important not to make a fuss or seem disappointed as it may confuse your puppy, just go quietly back into the house and continue as usual.

If you see your pup going to the toilet in the wrong place just ignore it. If you punish your pup for going indoors, he won’t learn that going indoors is wrong. He’ll just learn that it’s not safe to go when you are around, which will have a negative effect on his house training. He needs to feel confident doing his business outside while you are there.

This also applies if you find your pup has had an accident when you haven’t been around, if you punish him, he will have no idea that it is because of the mess he made earlier, he will just be confused and may be reluctant to be around you.

It is really important to ensure accidents are properly cleaned. Use an enzymatic cleanser rather than an ammonia-based cleaner (as this may emphasise the smell) to minimise lingering odours that might attract the puppy back to the same spot.

The key to successful toilet training is time and patience. It is important to remember that if training is unsuccessful after a few weeks, and little progress is made or you are having difficulty, get your pup checked by a vet to rule out any form of illness or injury that could be causing a behaviour problem.

Post Author:

Emily Crane

My little rescue dog Django lives with me and my family in Suffolk where he has the big open countryside to explore. It is my dream to one day own a coop of chickens and have my little girl collect their eggs just as I did when I was small. I have always loved animals and have had a variety of pets from fish and hamsters to cats, dogs and chickens over the years. I am the Content Manager at We Love Pets and my favourite thing to write about is how to be a better pet owner with handy tips and education from the animal world.

Related articles

Ideal first pets for children

Ideal first pets for children

When your child is pleading with you for a new pet and you’re not sure if you can commit or which pet is going to be suitable – our vet nurse has all the advice you need.

read more
23 questions you need to ask a dog walker

23 questions you need to ask a dog walker

Walking a dog might sound like a simple job but there’s so much more to it behind the scenes. Asking the right dog walker questions will find out who is going to take care of your dog the way you want them to, as well as provide all of the safety and security precautions you expect. Here are 23 questions you need to be asking your dog walker before you let them walk your dog.

read more

Is a franchise right for you?