How to Toilet Train Your Puppy

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

Toilet training puppies

Having a new furry friend in the house is a wonderful and heart-warming experience. However the one part of having a puppy that owners don’t look forward to, is the dreaded toilet training.

With patience and consistency, every puppy can grasp proper toilet etiquette. Before we dive into the how, it is important to keep the following in mind during the training process:

• Accidents happen! At some point your pup will have an accident, this is part and parcel of puppy ownership and training.

• NEVER punish your pup for having an accident. This results in your dog associating the negative feeling of being told off with toileting. This can lead to nervous and stressed pups, too afraid to toilet in front of their owner!

• Remember puppies are still learning! Much like babies, puppies do not understand their bodily needs. They don’t recognise that the full feeling in their bladder means they need to go to toilet. So, it is unreasonable to expect them to tell you when they need to go.

• Use an Appropriate Accident Cleaner. Dogs will toilet in the same spot each time. To avoid your pup being attracted to their accident area again, use an enzymatic accident cleaner that will remove the scent.


When Do Puppies Need to Toilet?

Our puppies need to go to the toilet very frequently. They will need to relieve themselves when they wake up, after eating or drinking, once they start moving after a rest period, after play or exercise and of course when they get excited. 

In fact, puppies need to go to toilet approximately every 2 hours. The key is being consistent and regular with your toileting trips!

Pssst: Remember high quality natural puppy foods will result in better easy to pick up stools! 


Puppy Toilet Training Steps

The process of toilet training is very simple, it just requires lots of praise and patience.

Keep puppy on a regular feeding schedule- this allows you to better anticipate when they will need to toilet. Remember it is down to you to take your pup out frequently. Psst: Want to know about dog diets? Check this Guide to Puppy Nutrition.

Take your furry friend out to the toilet first thing in the morning. Remember puppies need to toilet ALL THE TIME. So, plan to take out your dog every 30 minutes to an hour. The more consistent you are with outside visits the less chance of indoor accidents. 

Always stay outside with your pup. Your garden is an adventure playground so without you there to direct your dog, they will likely get distracted by all the exciting smells. The key is to keep ‘play time’ and ‘toilet time’ separate.

ALWAYS PRAISE! Your puppy is learning that they are being good by toileting outside. Remember dogs will repeat rewarded behaviour. Try using a unique praise word for toileting, so your pup doesn’t get confused when you praise them for other actions. Once dogs get the hang of toileting, they won’t need a tasty treat to encourage the behaviour. For pups though, for the first few times it might be worth rewarding them with praise AND a tasty natural training treat. 

Always take your puppy back to the same spot. Our canine companions have a fun habit of weeing on wee! They will mark territories by urinating on them. Taking your pup back to the same spot will prompt them to relieve themselves.

Keep a close eye on your puppy throughout the toilet training process. Eventually after lots of repetition, they will start moving towards the door when they feel the need to toilet. This is a fantastic step in the process and should also be praised.


How Do I Use Puppy Training Pads?

Firstly make sure you purchase tough puppy training pads. The higher quality the pad the better they are for toilet training. The best pads will not leak, are super absorbent and dry quickly.

The process for training using puppy pads is simple and once again requires patience and lots of praise.

1) Cover an area of floor with puppy training pads and place your puppy on them when they need to go. Remember this will be every 30 mins to an hour.

2) When your puppy starts to actively seek out the pads to toilet, expand the pee pad area.

3) Gradually move the pee pads to the door or area where you would like your puppy to toilet in future.

Looking for the very best puppy products? Look at our carefully chosen Puppy Essentials.

We love everything puppy, so head over to your local Pets Corner store for helpful advice and a free treat or two!