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How to toilet train your puppy

Published on 3 Feb 2021

Toilet Training your puppy

When toilet training a puppy, the most important thing is to have patience. Some pups will get it within a few days, some can take a number of months.

For all pups though, the principles are the same:

1. Watch out for the signs

Prevent accidents in the house by providing plenty of opportunities for your puppy to toilet outside.

Watch your puppy like a hawk and as soon as they are indicating they need to toilet (i.e. sniffing, restless- you’ll get to know their cues) take them straight to the designated area. Make sure you are doing this at least hourly and always after eating, drinking or sleeping.

2. Reward good behaviour

Reward, reward, reward. Your pup is doing such a good job peeing or pooping where you want them to- so reward them with something yummy! 

And do it straight away rather than wait till they return to the house so they know what they are being rewarded for.

Tip for puppy toilet training rewards: need to be yummy, best to be healthy and only really small bits or pieces are required. Try bits of dried liver or dried chicken breast from a reputable company. Always have them on you.

Toilet Training for puppies

3. Toilet time commands

Pair the toileting with a phrase like- wee wee! (mine’s a bit lame- feel free to come up with your own!) This may be handy for you later on.

4. Set a routine

Have a routine- set feeding times and exercise times, and take note when your mate toilets.

5. Ignore accidents

Even if you see them in the ‘act.’ Be sure to clean soiled areas with enzymatic cleaners and avoid ammonium or strongly smelling products (ammonia can smell like wee to animals and we want to eliminate the scent completely).

Remember that puppies, like kids cannot always prevent going to the toilet and accidents are a part of growing up.

Do the above and just be patient, as hard as it is!


    Dr. Claire Jenkins VetChat founder & CEO

    Dr. Claire Jenkins

    VetChat founder & CEO, BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (SAM)

    Claire has spent the past 15 years caring for animals as a Small Animal Veterinarian in the UK, Melbourne and is now based in Sydney. She is passionate about early intervention and how easy access to the right advice drives better health outcomes for pets. Claire’s a life-long animal lover, passionate problem solver and adorer of her gorgeous Kelpie ‘Red’.

    Dr. Claire Jenkins's Pets

    • RedRed

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