The Toilet Training Guide For Puppy Parents

Toilet training your puppy should be quite a simple process, as long as you take the time and trouble to get into a good routine.

Initially, you will have to build your routine around your puppy’s needs, and these are reliably predictable when they are very young. Puppies need to urinate immediately after waking up, so you need to be there to take your puppy straight to the place where you would want him to relieve himself.

Eating its meal stimulates its digestive system, and puppies normally urinate within fifteen minutes of eating, and defecate within half an hour of eating (although this might vary slightly with each individual).

Puppies have very poor bladder control, and need to urinate at least every hour or two. They can urinate spontaneously when they get excited, so take your puppy out frequently if it has been active, playing or exploring.


You can’t be with your puppy every second of the day and your puppy does need lots of rest, usually around 16 hours a day. When you and your puppy need a break, send your puppy to bed somewhere that will limit any roaming accidents. For puppies who love to chew things like power cords, this is a safety precaution that can stop your dog getting into mischief when you can’t watch them.

Some Basic Pointers:

  1. Keep your puppy with you at all times during toilet training. If you can’t watch closely and attentively, consider crate training or using a playpen, the laundry or the bathroom as a safe den.
  2. Use appropriate and motivating rewards. This is usually a treat, as most dogs aren’t motivated enough just by praise or a game. Keep your treats on you at all times so you can reward within a few seconds.
  3. Take your puppy out every hour. Repetition and consistency is key. The more occasions you have that you can reward the appropriate behavior, the quicker your puppy will ‘get it’. If it has been 24 hours since your puppy last got a reward for toileting in the correct place, it will take much longer to learn.
  4. Be patient and consistent and avoid punishment. Punishing your dog after an accident will not teach him anything, except that you are to be feared. If an accident happens, move on and try to take your puppy to the designated spot more frequently.

How To Toilet Train:

First of all keep a diary of your puppy eating, resting and elimination times for a period of 3 days. You should now notice a pattern emerging here where the puppy wants to sleep at certain times, is hungry at certain times and wants to go to the toilet at certain times and on certain surfaces. All you need to do is armed with the knowledge, is to predict when the danger times are likely to be when he wants to go give him access to your preferred TOILETING SURFACE, whilst denying him access to any other than his preferred sleeping surface-simple. The only problem is that the surface you choose may not be as attractive as the surface that the pup chooses. To encourage him to use the surface that you decide he should use, all you need to do is transfer the smell of his urine and feces to this surface via a pair of gloves and then take him there at appropriate times and allow him to sniff. A little trick here is to scatter small food treats in a large circle around this area which will encourage him to sniff the ground and nature will do the rest.Potty-training-a-puppy - Copy
Don’t use ammonia based cleaning agents to clean up afterward as the smell often encourages the dog to use these areas again

Don’t scold puppy physically or try to rub his nose in the mess. This will have the effect of making the pup hide from you when he goes to the toilet thus making the job of house-training much more difficult for you to accomplish. Only scold your dog verbally if you  catch him in the act of going to the toilet in the wrong place and take him to the right place.

Repetition and patience is the key to success in toilet training your pup. Always make sure you praise him whenever he relieves himself at the right spot with praise or treats

Introduce a cue word: To encourage toileting on command it doesn’t take much extra work to introduce a word while your dog is urinating or defecating. So when your dog/pup starts toileting say ‘wee wee’ or whistle (or introduce a hand signal) so that the behavior is paired with a command. This means on those rainy days, or during toilet breaks on long road trips you have a way to quickly get your dog to urinate/defecate on command.

Reward! In order to motivate your dog, use valuable rewards. While dogs do respond to praise, for toilet training you want to go all out. Use tasty treats and lavish praise and really go over the top. You want to reward within a few seconds of your pet toileting, so they know what they getting all that attention for. The more motivated your pet is, the more likely they will work harder to get there.