If you’re a soon-to-be-owner wanting to get off on the right paw with potty training your pup, or simply frustrated with your cute bundle of fur, then this blog post is for you.

Puppies are weeing pooping machines! They seem to go all the time in all the wrong places and if you have wooden floors or carpets you may quite quickly feel exasperated with the constant cleaning and that your puppy is “just not getting it”. Although each dog is different there are basic biological factors to consider and the reason your puppy is having accidents in the house is quite simply related to bodily urges he cannot yet control. So make things easy for you and your new puppy by setting a basic routine and sticking to it. Yes I know that when the old alarm clock goes at silly o’clock in the morning the whole thing may seem like a lot of hard work but I can assure you it’s worth it in the end.

I used the below 6 steps when toilet training my dog Grizzle and he didn’t have any accidents within a month of having him. If he’s desperate now (day or middle of the night) he will whine and circle the same spot till we take him outside. Moral of the story? Listen and watch your dogs signals – they are often trying to tell you something.

How to teach your puppy to toilet outside in 6 easy steps

  1. As soon as your puppy comes home take him outside to use the toilet. Select one area in the garden for potty training and praise your pooch lots when he goes in the right spot. You can also give treats if your pup is highly food motivated
  2. To start with take your puppy outside every 30min, extending to 45min and then 1hr as he gets older. Make this a routine even if sometimes nothing happens; keep praising your pup for going in the right place
  3. Take your puppy outside immediately after waking, following a play session and after eating a meal. This point is really important – it’s the biological factors I talk about above
  4. Watch your pup carefully and look for the subtle signs that he may need to go (this could be whining, circling the same spot or sniffing excessively)
  5. If an accident occurs don’t scold your puppy or make any fuss whatsoever; simply clean up the mess and move on
  6. Prevent your pup using the same ‘oopsie’ spot again and again by cleaning thoroughly using an enzymatic cleaner (available from pet supply stores – be sure to follow the instructions). Avoid using cleaning chemicals, especially those with strong odors such as vinegar or ammonia

puppy potty training

My final tip is to try and create an environment where your puppy has a chance to succeed in the potty training exercise; that may mean sectioning off one room in the house or using a large crate or play pen when you cannot supervise his every move.

And don’t forget the two most important ingredients when dealing with new puppies – bundles of patience and love!