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Our Guide on Toilet Training a Puppy

Toilet training a puppy: Golden RetrieversToilet training a puppy can be tough! We know the scenario… You’ve been out in the garden for half an hour with your new little fluffy bundle of puppiness waiting for him to do a widdle and he’s having none of it – sniffing about is much more fun! Eventually, you give up and assume that he doesn’t want to go, but the moment you get in and take your shoes off, he’s widdled on the floor!!! Grrrrrrr!

Don’t worry, we’re here to solve all your puppy problems! Here’s our guide on toilet training a puppy.

Choosing a Command

First of all, choose a word you want to use to command your puppy to go to the toilet. One for wees and one for poops. For ease, were going to use wee wee’s and poo poo’s, but you choose whichever word you’d like.

We’re sure you’ll be using puppy training pads indoors for your puppy. In the first few days, keep and eye on him. Every single time he goes on the pad and does a wee, use your word in a really upbeat tone, in this case “Wee Wee’s”, and immediately reward him with a small treat and lots of praise and strokes. Repeat the same tactic for poops – using the word “Poo Poo’s” in an upbeat tone and again treating the puppy with tasty treats and lots of praise.

Now, bear in mind that there will be times when your puppy doesn’t make it to the training pad – accidents WILL happen on your floor or your carpet! This is expected when toilet training a puppy, after all, he’ll just be a baby and as with our babies whilst they’re potty training, accidents often occur.

Dealing with Accidents

NEVER shout at your puppy for having an accident away from the pad.  In fact, don’t say a single word or look at the puppy, just calmly clear the accident up and leave it at that. Following on from this, completely ignore him for 15 minutes. Your puppy will constantly crave your attention and praise. The fact that you’re not talking or looking at him will translate to your puppy that maybe he or she has done something wrong. Next time, your puppy may remember that when he toileted on the pad, he was rewarded with a ruffled head and a delicious treat and may be encouraged to repeat this toileting habit. See where we’re heading? Now this may not happen overnight. It may take several tries, but be patient, it will come if you follow our puppy training advice.

Toilet training a puppy: Yorkshire TerrierWhat do I do next?

Gradually, move the pad nearer and nearer to a door leading outside. When your puppy is consistently using the pad every time for his toileting, move the pad outside so that it can be seen outside. When your puppy is standing by an open door, allow him to venture outside in the hopes that he will see and use the training pad.

The next step involves letting him into the garden. Walk around with him using your chosen toilet word and keep repeating it until he does a wee or poo and reward with praise and treats.

When your puppy is consistently going to the toilet on command, reduce the amount of praise you reward. First, start by perhaps saying “good boy” but still maintain the upbeat tone every other time. Eventually, you won’t need to say anything or reward your puppy with expensive treats – he’ll instinctively go!

So, there you have it! If you’re having difficulties toilet training a puppy, try our top tips, visit our advice page or contact us for more information.

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