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Toilet Training a Puppy



Congratulations on your new fur baby! It’s such fun having a puppy in the household and who doesn’t love that puppy smell.

Now, let us begin setting up your little girl or guy for successful toilet training.

By now you would have noticed there are a lot of different opinions and methods out there. The only methods that I would consider wrong would be methods that are either cruel or create fear.

Today I’m just going to blog about how I’ve toilet trained the latest edition to our household, Joe, a baby Great Dane.

For the first week at home I prefer my pup stays home with me. I want my puppy to get to know me, know the sound of my voice, recognise their name, and it also gives me an opportunity to work on successful toilet training. Most importantly though I want to build up their trust in me so they are confident being with me when I start to socialise them out & about in the big wild world.

Firstly, decide where you would like your puppy to toilet at home. Personally, I find the further away from the house the better – no one likes to step out their back door and onto a poo pile! The area you decide on might be grass, a mulched garden, a paved area, or a doggy toilet from the pet shop.

From the moment I brought my latest puppy Joe home I took him out to the ‘toileting’ area every hour, especially straight after he woke up from a nap.  You may notice your puppy will run around sniffing when they need to toilet.  I started taking Joe outside as soon as I woke up in the morning and the last toilet trip was just before I send myself to bed.

Don’t forget to take them outside even if it’s raining; you don’t want a dog that’s happy to toilet inside because they’re not use to walking outside in the rain.

When Joe toilets in the correct area, I use lots of praise. I like to use the word ‘good’ in an upbeat, happy voice, like your puppy toileting outside is the best thing in the world (which it is!).  I also introduce a command word which they will eventually associate with toileting.  I use the word ‘quick’, but you can use any word you like as long as you use it consistently.

I also recommend crate training your pup. They rarely toilet in their crates so it is a great way of ensuring your puppy doesn’t make any mistakes and it keeps them out of mischief when you are not around.

If Joe has an accident inside, it happens, I don’t scold, he’s just a baby.  I ignore the accidents and just keep on being consistent by regularly taking him out to toilet and giving him loads of praise when he gets it right.  I also like to use the laundry detergent Biozet to clean the area they have accidently soiled so it loses the scent of urine or faeces which will reduce the chance of your puppy repeat toileting in the wrong area.

It usually takes me about ten to twelve days to establish the area I want them to toilet in. However, because he is still so young, I still take Joe outside first thing in the morning, whenever he wakes up, and before I go to bed. He’s had one or two accidents since we started, but so far so good.

All dogs learn at different speeds. If you find you are struggling with establishing toilet training, my best advice would be to start the training from the beginning again, taking the puppy out every hour again to your designated toilet area. If that is not working, please contact a professional dog trainer to help you.  Pooch Professionals, who run our inhouse puppy classes, are available for home consultations – you can check their website out on

Good luck 😊


Julie Gledhill

Veterinary Nurse