toilet training my puppy

Toilet Training Your Puppy (or Dog)


First off – please don’t rub their face in anything! That’s gross and grossly unfair.  Plus, it may mean your pup associates your presence with ‘scary’ so, pup may avoid toileting altogether when you’re around.  Worse still pup might resort to stealth-poops to avoid the ‘face-rub’; or perhaps even gobble up the ‘evidence’ – none of which are helpful. Here’s what to do instead:

Get pup to the designated pee-spot…

  • Every 30 mins and…
  • After he wakes from sleep/nap
  • After he’s eaten
  • After play, exercise (or excitement eg guests coming over)
  • After he’s been left alone
  • If he looks like he needs to go!

7 Toileting Tips

  • Soup Glorious Soup! Add water to your pup’s meals – a sort of canine soup. This makes it simpler to predict pup’s toilet needs as liquid is consumed with his/her meal, rather than randomly.  You can do the soup-thang by adding water to dry kibble, wet food and even raw food – simples!
house train my dog
  • Make sure you have yummy food – secreted in your pocket – so you’re ‘armed’, ready can reinforce successful toileting when it happens.  To be clear – you’ll need to give pup really tasty treats, not just dry/mediocre ones.  Remember the mantra “What gets rewarded, gets repeated” – say it with me peeps…!  So, if you want pup to nail toilet training, make it worth their while: reinforce successful toilets with high value treats.  NB: Food is canine currency – your pup is ‘working’ hard to try and fit into your Human life so let’s pay pup a generous ‘wage’.

“What gets rewarded, gets repeated”

puppy toilet training
  • Wait!  Till your pup has fully finished peeing/pooping tho … and then produce the food reinforcer.  Do not say or do anything until pup has completed his ablutions.  Otherwise, you may interrupt his ‘flow’ … and pup may end up ‘finishing’ on your Persian rug when you get back inside, yikes!
  • Keep a Pee/Poop Dog Diary.  I’m serious.  Having accurate data makes toilet training easier.  Start writing down what time you do things with your pup eg feeding, playing, napping – and what time your dog toilets each day. I bet you’ll soon spot a pattern.  Bingo! 
house soiling
  • For drier nights, give pup their evening meal at least 2-3 hrs before bedtime. What goes in, must come out! I’d also suggest removing the water bowl at bedtime, providing you gave pup ‘soup’ for dinner. It’ll be easier for pup to sleep soundly and stay dry overnight if he’s had a few hours to ablute after dinner, before settling down into bed.
  • If your dog has an accident and you’ve missed it, never mind.  Clean it up calmly and quietly (with an enzymatic cleaner).  Remember dogs do NOT house soil out of anger towards you – ever. They toilet because they need to go.  It’s on us – the responsible adult – to arrange the environment so that this young being can be ‘successful’ in our human world. 
  • If toilet training is still a real struggle, consider a trip to the vet to rule out a urinary tract infection or other medical condition.

The above are guidelines only; for detailed advice please consult an experienced Dog Trainer to help you.