Toilet Training a Puppy

Toilet training your puppy seems like a massive task, make it easier by following our tips

Created: 15/12/2021 Updated: 15/12/2021 - Shelley Audis-Riddell

behaviour, Behaviour & Training, new pet, puppy, training

Toilet training is something every pet owner has to tackle. Some puppies train faster than others, but keeping a stress free training period will benefit your puppy’s progress. The key to the success of toileting training is your time and support.

Keeping a diary of your puppy’s toileting movements will help you train and support your puppy's learning. Here are some examples when your puppy may need to toilet:

  • After sleeping

  • After mealtime

  • After a play session

  • When you have returned home

Puppies learn where to toilet by how the ground feels through their paws. Find out from the breeder what substrate they have used for the litter to toilet on. Try and replicate the same substrate at home. Beaphar Puppy Pads are a great product.

Accidents are going to happen! Clean any poops or pees with Beaphar Spray Away, which will clean the area of residual smell and stain.

Make sure your puppy has good easy access to toilet areas. It can be good to have a few options available in the house; for example, having a toileting area by your puppy’s bed and back door.

Watch out for telltale toilet signs from your puppy. Here are some examples of when your puppy may need to toilet:

  • Being restless

  • Starting to circle

  • Sniffing the ground

  • Crouching

Shetland sheepdog blue merle puppy sat on grass

Putting toilet training into practice with your puppy

Now you have set your puppy up to succeed with toilet training, we need to put it into practice. When you see the telltale signs your puppy needs the toilet, move them to the toileting area. They may not ‘go’, immediately, so be patient and keep moving them to the desired area.

If they seem distracted, especially if you are toilet training outdoors, bring them indoors or move them away from the distractions for 30 seconds and then try again.

When your puppy has toileted at the area,reward their behaviour. This will help to teach them that you want them to do this again. Puppies tend to be motivated by treats, praise, or a quick game with their favourite toy.

It is important to understand that using punishment to correct your puppy’s behaviour will make your puppy anxious and confused. It can lead to problems such as hiding away, or being reluctant to toilet in front of people, or coprophagia. This is a behaviour issue where a puppy will eat its own toilet to hide the mess. Maintaining a consistent, positive and rewarding approach will help your puppy to achieve toileting training success much quicker.

Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscars.co.uk.