Puppy Toilet Training Tips

Having a successful outcome when it comes to toilet training is primarily dependent on your MANAGEMENT, patience, re-enforcements and observation. Different breeds can take different amounts of time to train and weather factors can also play a role.

Some general tips include

  • Restrict your puppy’s access to 1-2 rooms in the house to start with to allow closer observation.
  • Provide a place to toilet inside – especially if the puppy is being left inside. You may use things like newspaper, litter tray or training mats.
  • You can use a crate or play pen to restrict the puppy for short periods if you are unable to observe them.
  • Make a note of when your puppy toilets – a toilet diary can be useful with some puppy’s that may follow a routine.
  • Reward your puppy when he does go to the toilet OUTSIDE.

Signs that your puppy may need to go to the toilet:

  • Sniffing
  • Circling
  • Whining
  • Hunching his back

Times you should always take your puppy to the toilet:

  • After waking up
  • After playing
  • After eating – your puppy will usually have a routine with this so it is a good idea to take note of your individual puppy’s needs.
  • After exciting activities

Accidents will happen!

All puppies will have accidents inside, and it important that you NEVER PUNISH YOUR PUPPY for having an accident. Punishing them for urinating in front of you can teach them that it is not safe to toilet in front of you and this can lead to problems later in life.

If you see your puppy going to the toilet in front of you, pick him up and take him outside, telling him that he should be going to the toilet outside.  NEVER PUNISH them.

Cleaning up Accidents:

NEVER use Ammonia based products as this encourages puppies to go back to the same area. Use an ENZYME based cleaner

  • BIOZET laundry detergent is easy and will break down urine stains and odours.
    Mix 1 tablespoon of powder to 1 cup of water – a spray bottle is easy to mix in and means that it is handy for when accidents happen
  • Products like Urine Off and Bac 2 Nature are commercial products available from Vet clinics or pet stores.


Other tips for success:

REWARD your puppy with treats every time they go to the toilet outside – your reward  needs to be immediate for the puppy to associate this with toileting.

Use a word that you can use as a cue

If you are having trouble with your puppy running back to the door and not toileting outside, use a lead as this gives you control over the situation while also allowing you to chose the area where they toilet, as well as being able to see if they toilet, and also allowing for IMMEDIATE REWARD!