Potty training for your dog

by Lovejoys Pet Food on May 28, 2021

Yes its that time ... you bring home the new puppy and you now want to get started on house training so here is how to start toilet training your puppy dog... 

It may take a bit of time, patience to get into a routine, but fear not it should be a fairly straight forward process.

Staying consistent is a key part in the training process especially if you have multiple members of your family helping you to raise your pooch.

At first you may feel like you are always outside with your puppy especially due to the frequency required in the beginning of training your puppy, however its important to keep reminding yourself that by doing the process it usually results in a faster process with the success of house training your puppy and fewer dog indoor toilet accidents.

To try and keep you on track with house training your puppy or dog here is a:

Step by step guide to toilet training a puppy or dog


1. Take your puppy to the toilet

  • First thing in the morning when they wake up or when they wake from a nap
  • Regularly - Its usually a good idea to do at least every two hours. However in the early stages its more preferrable once every 30 minutes to an hour. You can always set a timer as a reminder so you don't forget!
  • After eating or drinking - try to keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule
  • After play or exercise
  • After excitement such as a visitor to the home


2. Assign a designated toilet area to help them identify where they need to go

  • Most dogs prefer to go somewhere natural rather than on things like concrete or paving
  • Keep the area clean everyday to encourage them to go back to that same designated area
  • The use of a puppy training pad can be useful. So how do you use puppy toilet training pads? If using these indoors, we would suggest choosing somewhere that has easy to clean floors. These pads will need to be changed regularly. Puppy training pads can also be used to integrate training for outdoors by gradually moving the pad closer towards the door everyday until you reach the designated outdoor toilet area before making the final training by removing the pads altogether.
  • If you notice that they are about to start their business in the wrong location, interrupt them and calmly take them calmly to the designated location.cleaning-in-progress-sign

3. Try not to punish your puppy for accidents

  • It can be a slow process and can take time. Try to keep it positive +... they are still learning. Just clean it up without making an issue of it and calmly take them out to their designated toilet area to finish what they started. Sticking to the routine means they will soon be trained up. 


4. Crate training

  • This can encourage your puppy to hold on a little longer as their mum will have taught them not to soil the sleeping area. This will only work if you keep them in the crate for a short period of time so that your puppy is not caught short or is left feeling uncomfortable.

5. Look out for the signs

  • If your puppy starts to look around anxiously or fidgeting or starts the process of sniffing out a potential corner looking for a place or starts to walk in a circle - take them outside to their designated toilet area!
  • Puppies can get easily distracted so wait for as long as you need to to make sure they are given enough time to do what they needed to do!

5. Choose your command word

  • As soon as they begin to toilet, use a command word that they can associate with that correct behaviour... This could be something like 'Go potty' 'Go pee pee' 'Go toilet', 'Be quick' .. it can be whatever you choose and suits you

5. Reward your dog's correct behaviour

  • The process of toilet training can be challenging at times, however its important to stay patient and reward your dog with praise to reinforce positive behaviour in a positive way.

5. Keep your supplies near

  • It can be really useful to keep your supplies conveniently near the door but out of reach for your puppy to save you time to get your puppy outside quickly for a toilet break.
  • Supplies that we would consider to include are: lead and collar, poop bags, puppy training pads and a torch

How long does it take to toilet train a puppy?

Some puppies can be fully toilet trained on average between four to six months however it will depend on age, size and their ability to learn something new.

Please bear in mind that with smaller dog breeds they can take a little longer to toilet train than some of the larger breeds. This is due to their bladder being small so they have a higher metabolism rate in order that the process of digestion food is quicker.

Some puppies can be trained within a much shorter period of time however some dogs can take up to a year. Its important to go with the flow with your dog.

It also will depend on the individual training the puppy or dog to remain dedicated and consistent. Every puppy or dog is unique and the more committed you are to the steps the faster you will see the results!

If training is continuing to be unsuccessful or you are experiencing difficulty, it maybe worth getting your dog checked over by your local vet to check out any medical illness or injury that could be causing an issue.

What age should I start toilet training my puppy?

The usual recommendation for when to start toilet training your dog is usually between the age of 12 and 16 weeks old. This is due to the fact this is the first stage they have reached in their development to take control of their bladder and bowel movements. By this age, they should have reached a stage where they have the capability of learning to hold it.

If you are trying to toilet train a dog older than 16 weeks that hasn't been trained previously the stages are still the same however it just may perhaps take a little longer.

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