Toilet training

Toilet training is a process that we quickly forget once it is over, but it is a process that can make you feel very low when you are struggling.

Teaching your new puppy to go to the toilet at the right time and place is one of the most important first steps you can take for a long, happy life together. House soiling is among the top reasons why dogs lose their homes or end up in shelters. Few people are willing to put up with a dog who destroys rugs and flooring, or who leaves a stinky mess that you have to clean after a hard day at work.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you do some research in advance, decide what will work best for your own situation, and make a plan.

The following methods for training your puppy have great success They involve:

  • crate training
  • frequent trips outdoors
  • providing a place to go to toilet when confined in a puppy proof area for a long length of time.
  • keep a consistent schedule; this pertains to trips outside, feeding and exercise.
  • reinforce your puppy for “going” outside.
        Frequent trips
        Understanding just how frequently small puppies need to toilet is important because repeatedly failing to allow a puppy to empty themselves in the appropriate place can lead to long term soiling problems. In fact, incomplete or inadequate housebreaking is the most common cause of soiling problems in dogs as a whole. So, it’s important to get this right.
        Avoid mistakes

        The key to successfully and swiftly house-training your new puppy lies in avoiding mistakes where possible. Puppies are creatures of habit, and if a place is an unfamiliar place to wee, then the dog will not want to wee there. If your dog has never pooped on your carpet by the time, he is three months old, the chances are he never will. Try to remember that there are no ‘bad’ or ‘dirty’ puppies, accidents always happen for a reason, and every puppy learns at his own pace. 


        Start taking your puppy to a particular spot outside and name the behaviour, toilet for example. The place you take him to go to toilet outside should be relatively quiet, without too many distractions. 

        Stop praising him for going to toilet, as this can cause some to start go to toilet inside for attention and boys never completely empty their bladders so there is always more wee in there. If you praise when they are going to toilet or with an excited voice, they empty their bladders less and then when back inside they remember they still have quite a full bladder and go again.  Once your puppy has finished going to toilet move away from the area and quietly tell him he is a good boy. I would then just hang out with him outside for a few more minutes. As more times than not especially boys they will go again.

        Have a schedule
        Take puppies out to go to toilet after eating, after playing and after sleeping. If they don’t go to toilet bring them back inside and either place them in a crate or keep them with you so you can constantly watch them. After about 10 mins take them back outside and see if you can get them to go to toilet if they do reinforce as above. If they don’t repeat the crating or constant supervision etc until they finally go.
        Accidents happen

        If your puppy has gone inside and you didn’t see them do it, just clean it up with an odour removing solution. No point saying anything to them. If you see them going inside, tell them outside (or whatever word you want to signal he should be outside) in a stern voice that will usually shut of the bladder and then immediately pick them up and take them to the outside toilet area. Reinforce going outside as above.

        Be patient, there is no shame in taking your puppy out to his toilet area more frequently for a few days if he has had a few accidents, or in going back to supervising him more frequently.

        Remember that small pups have very small bladders and very little control over them. When they need to go, they need to go now!   This is why your best line of attack is to pre-empt them with plenty of trips outside. Good luck with your puppy toilet training schedule!

        Have Fun With Your Dog All Year Long!

        GRCWA is offering Drop-In Classes run by a Certified Professional Dog Trainer at affordable prices because we believe a dog's training should be fun, convenient and ongoing without breaking the bank!