Puppies and Toilet Training

July 15th, 2019

puppy toilet au

Toilet training your puppy is of top priority when you first bring your four legged friend home. Not only will you be creating good habits for your new pet, you will also be strengthening the bond between the two of you. Each puppy will be different when it comes to learning  and in order to achieve desired results you will need consistent training, patience and positive reinforcement.  Training your puppy should start at 12 weeks of age as they will have enough control over their bladder to be able to hold it. Even if there are set backs along the way, be sure to keep up your training routine with positive reinforcement and your pup should be trained in no time!

Toilet Training
The process of toilet training your furry friend relies on a strict training routine and positive reinforcement. In the initial stages of training, it is best to restrict them to only a small section of the house so you can keep an eye on them and see the signs of wanting to go to the toilet. Allow ample opportunities for your pup to go outside and reward him with treats, affection, or playtime every time he goes to the toilet in your desired area – whether it be on the grass or a specific location in your backyard. As they begin to learn that they should be going outside to use the toilet, you can allow them more freedom throughout your house.

In order to make training easier for you, follow these simple steps:

  • Have a routine feeding schedule that they can get used to
  • Take them outside first thing in the morning; after every meal; when they wake from a nap; before bedtime; and once every 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Take them to the same spot in your backyard each time as their scent will prompt them to go to the toilet
  • Praise them for going outside with a positive reward (change the reward each time)

Knowing the signs
Being able to determine whether they need to go to the toilet or not plays a major role in house training your pup. Below are just a few signs that they need to go:

  • Whining
  • Circling
  • Sniffing
  • Barking
  • Scratching at the door

Accidents are extremely common with puppies – something all owners should realise before they decide on getting a dog. These accidents can be a result of many factors, with the common reasons being incomplete training or a change in environment for them. It is important to not get upset with a little accident as negative reinforcement may set your training back, teach your pup to fear you, or leave the pup with anxiety when it comes to needing to go to the bathroom. When catching them in the act, clap loudly so they know they have done the wrong thing. However if you don’t catch them during their accident, don’t be angry with them later as they are not capable of putting the two together and will begin to fear you.

If done correctly, your pup should be in a routine within a couple of weeks and begin to show signs of learning not long after that. Don’t stress them out anymore by getting angry when they have an accident – the more positive you are towards their toileting habits, the quicker they will learn.


The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Petplan.

One Response to “Puppies and Toilet Training”

  1. Emma says:

    These are great tips! I remember when we were training our first puppy, it was rough! The only thing I would add to your list that sometimes home cleaners aren’t enough for cleaning up after accidents. Like you said, pets like to go in the same place over and over again if they can smell it, and a lot of time DIY cleaning does’t get the smell out enough. I recommend using a carpet cleaner (Chem-Dry saved our carpet when we were toilet training a puppy) instead.