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Basics of Dog Training: Toilet Training

Getting a puppy is a fun and exciting time. But without training, they could start exhibiting destructive behavior.

Don’t panic! This series of posts will give you the basics.


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We’ll start with the most important one: toilet training.

When do I start training?

Answer: immediately. Start as soon as you bring them home.

Your puppy will respond better to training when they’re young.

Ideally, they should be between 12 – 16 weeks old.

Your puppy won’t have control of their bowels before this age.

Like babies, puppies prefer a set schedule.

Make sure to schedule your puppy’s meals.

After your puppy has finished eating, immediately take them outside.

You also need to wake up at the same time every day. Take them outside first thing in the morning.

At first, take your puppy outside more often than normal.

You should do this every hour to avoid any accidents.


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Before you leave the house, take your puppy outside. Do the same last thing in the evening.

Following these rules will minimize the number of accidents your puppy has.

How do I train my puppy?

A new dog owner often thinks, “Where do I begin?”

You can become overwhelmed by the number of training strategies.

The best method is to be simple and consistent.

Say ‘outside’ when taking your puppy outdoors. They will learn that this means going to the toilet.

Always take your puppy to the same place when toilet training.

As gross as it sounds, the odors in the area will encourage them to go to the toilet.

This way, your puppy will learn the rule to only go outdoors.

What do I do about accidents?

You’ve followed these steps, so everything should be sorted, right? Not exactly…

Your puppy will need the toilet at different times, even with a brilliant schedule.

Watch out for sniffing or pacing around the house.


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It’s a sign they need the toilet, so take them outdoors immediately.

Even the perfect puppy will have an accident inside.

When this happens, do not punish them. When your puppy has an accident, you should:
• Say “no” in a firm voice.
• Take them outside. It enforces the rule that the toilet is outdoors.

Don’t get discouraged when your puppy has accidents.

All new dog owners go through this.

Follow these steps, and eventually, they won’t happen.

In the meantime, be patient. Stick with training, and your puppy will become an A+ student!

What do I need to remember?

You need the schedule as much as your puppy.

Stick to it! Be consistent, or your puppy will get confused.


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Follow the golden rule: ‘praise – not punishment’.

Puppies respond more to encouragement. Stay outside with your puppy.

Praise them when using the toilet.

Rewards for good behavior could be treats or even a half-hour walk.

What comes next?

Follow these guidelines, and your puppy will be toilet trained in no time!

Look out for our next posts.


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They will cover leash and clicker training, basic commands, socialization, and proofing behavior.

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