Wouldn’t it be nice if puppies came to us fully toilet trained?! However, most of our new furbabies arrive with no clue where they should go to the toilet! Hummm….that expensive rug looks like the perfect place!  Here are our top tips to help make potty training as painless and successful as possible!

1. Confinement:

The key to positive toilet training is CONFINEMENT. Don’t let your puppy have access to your entire house when they first arrive. Instead, choose a puppy proofed space (think of it as their own relaxing retreat!) close to where the family spends most of their time. Puppies have natural instinct to keep their living/sleeping areas clean and this helps to toilet train them. Once your puppy knows where to go to the toilet you can open up more of the house for them to explore.

Confinement is the key, she said.

2. Timing:

As a general rule of thumb, puppies need to go to the toilet every hour (don’t wake them up in the middle of the night to go though!), so taking them to their toiletting area very regularly is super important. Here are some examples of times when puppies can need to go to the toilet:
– When they wake up
– After a meal
– After a drink
– After a play session
– Anytime they are sniffing and circling or acting restless or whining

Mmm… I think I need to pee.

3. Praise:

If they go to the toilet, be sure to praise and reward them straight away! Dogs are people pleaser and any behaviour, good or bad, that is rewarded will be repeated. So when they get a good response from you, they will try the same thing again to get more praise. Remember a reward can be any of the following:

–  Verbal praise
– A treat
– A scratch on the chest
– Their favourite toy

If you find accidents around the house, just clean it up and move on. It is pointless getting mad at a puppy for an accident because puppies are only babies – they live in the moment and have very short attention spans! They don’t remember that they peed in which corner. Instead, if you catch your furbaby going to the toilet in the wrong place, use this as an opportunity to correct them; by gently picking them up mid way through what they are doing and taking them to the area you would want them to use.

4. Final Tips:

Remember most puppies like to wee where they have peed before, but most like to poop in a different area. So, it is a good idea to offer them two toilet spots (e.g. two pee pads or grass trays to choose from). Some puppies will do both in the same spot – if you have one of these you have won the Toilet Training Lottery!


How long does it take to toilet train a puppy? Every puppy is different! But this really depends on how consistent and vigilant you are! It is normal for puppies to make mistakes up until they are 6 months of age. Sometimes they just forget and can’t make it to the toilet on time, or they get frightened and they wee as a consequence. Puppies can wee when they become excited as their muscle control in this area is not as strong as an adult yet. BUT your puppy should be fully toilet trained by 6 months of age. So start your positive toilet training today!

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