Toilet training

Toilet training your puppy can be a frustrating – and messy – experience, but help is at hand to make it all a little easier for you, and a little cleaner for your home. So start as soon as you can. In these early growth and development days puppies eat more food, burn up more energy and always seem to need the toilet! 

Be patient and allow for some mistakes during toilet training. And don't expect instant results. Your puppy may not gain full bowel and bladder control until he or she is 6 months old.

Step 1 - Designate an area where you want your puppy to go to the toilet. If you have an outside area, make it the garden. If you live in an apartment, use a dog loo or wee mat on the balcony or in an allocated room.

Step 2 - Take your puppy to this area when you think they need to go. Puppies almost always need to go after a meal, after a snooze and when they’re excited. A common sign is sniffing around and around to the point of circling as they look for a suitable place to squat. Once at your designated area, wait until the job is done.

Step 3 - Praise them and offer a treat. By associating the designated toilet area with a reward, they are more likely to continue using it. Remember - patience, persistence and consistency!

If your pup forgets to toilet in the right place, don’t get angry – they won’t understand what they’ve done wrong. Instead, soak up urine or pick up the poo in a paper towel and, along with puppy, take it to the designated area.

Let your puppy sniff the paper towel while you are in the toilet area and tell them they’ve been good. This helps them associate being in the toilet area with urine, faeces and getting a reward.

You’re not going to be able to watch your puppy all day every day, so it's a good idea in the early days to puppy-proof a room. Put down some newspaper or puppy trainer pads on the floor as a toilet area (keeping it well away from sleeping or eating areas). This softer flooring helps to encourage them to toilet there. But don’t be surprised if your puppy doesn’t always go in this area. Mop accidents up with the paper or pads and, as with the paper towel above, use it to encourage the puppy to toilet where you ultimately want them to be going.