Toilet training your puppy is something you need to focus on as soon as they come home. Puppies are adorable and will fill your life with joy, but they can make a bit of a mess if they haven’t been toilet trained. It may be an aspect of bringing a new puppy home that causes a bit of frustration, but mastering toilet training should be a key goal for their initial days with you. Being patient with them and reacting in the right way will be the difference between success and failure. Here’s our advice on how to toilet train your puppy.

Start toilet training from the very beginning

It’s important to start toilet training your puppy as soon as they arrive home. There are things your puppy will pick up naturally, but you need to be very clear where the ‘no go’ zones are for your puppy to relieve themselves. Creating a routine for toilet training is a smart way to reinforce your message and also to guide them through this transitional stage. Allocate a spot for your pet to use and then take them to this zone:

  • As soon as they wake up
  • After playing
  • After eating
  • After being in a crate

This routine will give you the opportunity to avoid any accidents and help your pet understand the right place to go to the bathroom.

Look for signs that your puppy needs to use the toilet

Just as you communicate with your pet, they will try to communicate with you via body language. Keep an eye out for signs such as turning in circles, sniffing the ground or whining, which could be your puppy telling you they need to go. This is the perfect chance to remind your pet of the spot you’ve allocated for them to use. Your puppy can go to the toilet around a dozen times in one day, so you know that some little accidents will happen. But bear in mind that the way you respond to these accidents will determine the speed and effectiveness of your puppy’s habits.

Use toilet training aids

Puppy training pads are fantastic for creating a dedicated spot for your puppy to relieve themselves. They’re great for apartment-dwellers, but they’re also handy when you want to encourage your pet to walk into the garden. If you’re struggling to entice your pet to go outside, use the training pads by moving them closer and closer to the door to the garden each time. Your puppy will soon enough follow the trail until you no longer need to use the pads.

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Praise don’t punish

Sure, the clean up can be frustrating but you should never lose your temper with your puppy if they go in the wrong place. If they’ve used the right area to go then you should give them lots of praise and positive reinforcement. If you find they have gone to the toilet in the wrong place, gently redirect them to the right place. Avoid getting angry at your puppy as they’ll learn that going to the toilet anywhere when you’re around is unacceptable. When you clean up their accident make sure you clean up properly, as your puppy will be keen to reinforce their scent. Never rub your puppy’s nose in their mess.

Your puppy will be eager to please you, so if you stick to these tips and a good routine, they should pick up the basics of toilet training quickly. Enrol your puppy into Petbarn’s puppy school where a qualified trainer will teach you all the puppy fundamentals including toilet training, basic cues, socialisation and more!

Visit your local Petbarn for loads of great products and advice to help you toilet train your puppy.

Enrol your puppy in Petbarn's Puppy School

Enrol your puppy in Petbarn's Puppy School