Puppy Toilet Training

Bringing your new puppy home and establishing a toilet routine can be daunting and frustrating – but you are not alone! Toilet training puppies is ALL about routine and sticking to it.

When your new pup comes home, they should be put outside to go to the bathroom:

  • every 1-2 hours
  • after they awaken from a nap
  • after being let out from a crate
  • after a drink
  • after a meal

You also first need to establish long term where you would like puppy to go to the bathroom, is it outside on the grass? Is it in a puppy pad? Or a doggy toilet? Remember having a consistent place you want them to go will make your job A LOT easier in the long run. Once this established you can help show your pup where to go. If you see signs your pup may need to go, such as:

  • Sniffing slowly along the floor
  • Fidgeting
  • Circling
  • Whining or pacing

If you see ANY of these signs, even if your pup has been to the toilet recently, pick them up and take them to the area you want them to go, and have treats nearby and handy.

If they go, they need A LOT of praise and a treat. Make a big deal of this as your puppy will connect the dots! If they don’t go straight away, hang around with them but don’t engage in play and distract them, sometimes they can take a few minutes to go.

Toilet training can take a few weeks or a few months and you MUST be patient with them as they are only learning. Many puppies do not have full urinary control until about 4-6 months of age and new owners must remember this as your puppy is not being “naughty” when they urinate inappropriately, they are just confused and require lots of repetition to get it right.

NEVER rub your dog’s nose in their faeces or urine as this will only confuse your puppy – not to mention it’s absolutely gross! If they make a mistake on a surface such as tiles, carpet or floorboards, make sure you clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner such a Urine Off or Biozet, as these cleansers will break down the smell of urine. Puppies associate where to go with the area smelling like urine, so if not cleaned properly, your puppy will keep using the wrong area.

As your puppy matures you can extend the amount of time between toilet trips, and your puppy will begin to know the times of day to hold on, and what times they will be let out to relieve themselves.

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Enfield Veterinary Hospital has been serving the pet community for longer than any other vet in the South West of Sydney including the suburbs of Enfield, Strathfield, Strathfield SouthHomebush, Burwood, Croydon, Croydon Park, Concord, Ashfield, Belfield, Campsie, Greenacre and the surrounding areas of the greater Inner West of Sydney. We have been part of the local landscape for almost 40 years.