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Toilet training takes time, consistency and practice. Here are our top tips for toilet training your puppy.

An awareness of their bladder size

Puppies physically have very small bladders so can’t hold urine in for too long.

Generally, they need to go to the bathroom every 40 minutes at the beginning. This should be supervised so you can capture behaviour you’d like to see more of such as toileting in the correct place. As time goes on they won’t need to go out to the bathroom as regularly.

Puppies do not go to the bathroom indoors out of spite or to upset you, it’s simply because they physically cannot hold it. Don’t tell your puppy off or punish them if they have an accident indoors, they will not know why you’re telling them off. You run the risk of scaring them and they may start to go the bathroom in private where you cannot see it, maximising the problem.

A note on puppy pads

A lot of dogs will go on pads because they are comfortable under their paws – it’s not wet and soggy like grass can be. Obviously this can translate into challenges however when it’s raining and they won’t go to the bathroom outside.

Removing the puppy pad and making a concerted effort to follow a toilet training plan is a better idea.

Key moments to go to the bathroom

Take your puppy out to the toilet:

  • When they wake up
  • After a play session
  • When a visitor arrives
  • Before bed
  • After a meal time

Be really boring (we don’t want the area they go to the bathroom to be full of fun and excitement as they can get too distracted). Ensure you go to the same spot each time so your dog builds up an association with going to the bathroom there.

Spotting the signs

A lot of dogs will sniff the ground and circle if they need to go to the bathroom. Recognising these moments and encouraging your dog to go outside will help them go to the bathroom in the correct spot.

What to do when your dog has gone to the bathroom in the correct place

When your puppy goes to the bathroom in the correct spot then reward them with a treat and praise. Make sure you’re doing this after they have been not during as you may stop their flow!

Toilet training can take consistency, time and patience. Remember to reward your dog when they go to the bathroom in the correct spot as what gets rewarded gets repeated!

If you need support with your toilet training get in touch.

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