How to toilet train your puppy

This blog was written by the trainers at The Bondi Behaviourist and So Help Me Dog

There’s no doubt about it, puppies are cute, but they can also hard work, especially when you are trying to toilet train them. The most common question I get asked as a dog trainer is “When will my dog be toilet trained” Unfortunately I don’t have the answer as there are many variables to this question. But the more consistent, repetitive, patient you are the more likely it will speed up the process. 

Remember, this process can be even more stressful for your four-legged little canine as they are still getting used to their new environment. It is about taking them to the desirable toileting place and rewarding them. There will be accidents and setbacks here and there, and that’s ok because they are still learning, and so are you. 

A few key tips for toilet training

  • Be consistent with taking your puppy out regularly and rewarding them whenever they go to the desirable spot. 
  • Reduce access to areas of the house you would not like them to go into
  • When you can’t supervise them use a playpen with the a toileting option 
  • Schedule regular feeding times. In knowing when the food goes in we can predict when it will pass through. You can set a timer to help you understand your puppies bowel movements 
  • Learn your puppies signs and signals for when they need to go to the toilet 
  • Buy enzyme and odor remover to clean up the accidents. Follow the instructions on the label for the best results of breaking down the enzymes. 
  • Select a safe area for where you want your puppy to go. Make sure it is a quiet place with minimal distractions. 
  • Puppy pads can sometimes end up being a chew toy for the dog more than the toilet. Fake grass or real grass are the best options for training

Please do not punish your puppy. Punishing a puppy for not going in the right spot or after the fact can create a fearful dog that will stop going to the toilet in front of you. It is important to remember a dog's brain moves on in half a second, so we can’t tell them where to go if they have gone and we don’t catch them.

The reason the puppy may have gone in that spot is that 

  1. It couldn’t get to where it wanted to go.
    B. We didn’t let them out in time or missed the signs
    C. The are unsure of where to go and it smelt like the right spot

Remember consistency, repetition and patience.