Toilet training your new puppy should start as soon as you get her home.
Remember, it will take time and patience, but you will get there in the end. Some pups will pick it up
quickly, others will take a bit more time. Just be patient and don’t get stressed if accidents occur,
because they will.
The key to success is remembering that pups need to urinate frequently, and it is up to you as the
owner to anticipate when she needs to go. Give her plenty of opportunities to head outside and
relieve herself – you don’t want to go more than two hours without giving her the chance to have a
Look out for the signs she needs to urinate – she will walk around looking a little anxious, walk in
circles or start sniffing in various spots around the home looking for a place to go. Take that as you
cue to head outside with your pup. Choose a command such as “go” that she will start associating
with urinating, and use it every time you take her outside.
When she does go, reward her so she makes the association that heading outside and hearing that
command means she can urinate. The reward can be praise, such as a friendly pat on the head or an
exclamation such as “good girl” or a small food treat (be careful, though, that you don’t overfeed your
pup). Remember, give her the praise straight after so she makes the association – there is no point
giving her a food treat once you go back into the house as she won’t realise it is praise for urinating.
If she fails to go at your command, just head back inside and try again soon after. And if she has an
accident, ignore it – never rub her nose in it, as that is just mean and ineffective. Punishing her
actually teaches her not to urinate in front of you, which makes the toilet training process take
longer. Also, pups don’t have full control over their urination until they are a bit older – it’s
developmentally very normal for accidents to happen. Just clean up the area with a non-ammonia-
based cleaning product to take away the scent – this reduces the likelihood she’ll urinate in the same
Remember to take her outside first thing in the morning and then just before you go to bed.
This method relies on you being consistent – the more often you can do this, the sooner she will
If you are training or retraining an adult dog, the rules are the same – consistency and lots of praise.
Continue to follow this method until your puppy knows not to go indoors. You’ll find that you don’t
need as many trips outside as she gets older, and you’ll notice that her signs she needs to go are
pretty obvious – she’ll probably even wait by the door to be let out to have a wee.