How to Toilet Train a Puppy

Toilet Training Puppy

Toilet training your puppy is an important part of raising a happy and well-behaved furry friend. It not only keeps your living space clean and accident-free but also strengthens the bond between you and your pup. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of toilet training, ensuring a positive and successful experience for both you and your adorable companion.

Preparing for Toilet Training

Before you begin toilet training, it’s important to make a few preparations. Establishing a routine is key to helping your puppy develop good habits. Puppies thrive on consistency, so having a set schedule for meals, playtime, and toilet breaks will make the training process much smoother.

Gather the supplies you’ll need, including puppy pads, a leash, cleaning supplies, and treats for positive reinforcement. Also, choose a designated toilet area in your yard or indoors if you’re opting for house training—just make sure it’s easily accessible and separate from your puppy’s play and sleep areas.

Basic Toilet Training Techniques

Two popular methods for toilet training puppies are crate training and the “umbilical cord” method.

Crate Training

Crate training involves confining your puppy to a crate or a small enclosed area when you can’t supervise them. Dogs naturally want to keep their living space clean, so the crate becomes a safe haven that discourages them from soiling it. Gradually increase the time your puppy spends in the crate and take them directly to the toilet area as soon as you release them. Remember to reward and praise them after they relieve themself in the appropriate spot.

Umbilical Cord Training

The “umbilical cord” method involves keeping your puppy on a leash attached to you or a family member at all times. This close supervision prevents accidents and allows you to respond quickly to any signs that your puppy needs to urinate. Regularly take your puppy to the designated toilet area and reward them for their good job. With time, they’ll learn to associate the urge to relieve themself with going to the correct spot.

Dealing with Accidents

Dealing with accidents requires a calm and understanding approach. It’s crucial not to scold or punish your puppy for accidents that have already occurred. Thoroughly clean up the mess using pet-friendly cleaning products, as lingering smells may attract your puppy to go in the wrong place again. Remember, accidents are a normal part of the potty training process, and with patience and consistency, your puppy will learn to urinate in the designated area.

Common Challenges

Sometimes, puppies can be stubborn or experience setbacks during training. If this happens, stay patient and maintain a consistent routine. Consider reviewing the basic techniques, reinforcing positive behaviour, and seeking guidance from a professional trainer if needed. They can provide tailored advice based on your puppy’s specific needs.

Fear or anxiety can also affect toilet training progress. If your puppy seems fearful or reluctant to relieve themself in the designated area, create a calm and comfortable environment. Offer reassurance, use positive reinforcement, and gradually help your puppy overcome any perceived threats or anxieties they may have.

Additional Tips for Success

Understand Your Puppy’s Cues

Even very young puppies give signals like sniffing around, circling, or becoming restless when they need to go. By recognising these cues, you can quickly take your puppy to the designated toilet area, increasing the chances of successful training.

Set a Solid Foundation

Introduce your puppy to the designated toilet area and let them explore it. Encourage them with positive reinforcement techniques like praise and treats whenever they show interest in the correct spot. This positive association helps them understand that the toilet area is where they should relieve themselves.

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule is also crucial for puppy toilet training. Regular meals make it easier to predict when your puppy will need to urinate. Keep an eye on their water intake too, as excessive drinking may result in more frequent trips to the toilet area.

Stay Patient and Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to toilet training your puppy. Stick to the established routine, take your puppy to the toilet area at regular intervals, and reward them for their successful efforts. If accidents happen, resist the urge to scold or punish your puppy. Instead, clean up calmly and focus on reinforcing the desired behaviour. Negative reinforcement can create fear and anxiety, hindering the potty training process.

Use Verbal Cues or Commands

Using verbal cues or commands can greatly assist in toilet training your puppy. Choose a simple phrase such as “go potty” or “do your business” and consistently use it when taking your puppy to the designated area. Over time, they will associate the command with the action, making it easier to prompt urination on cue.

Maintain a Clean and Odour-Free Environment

Keeping a clean and odour-free environment is essential for both your and your puppy’s comfort. Regularly clean the designated toilet area and promptly clean up any accidents using pet-safe cleaning products. This practice not only prevents unwanted odours but also reinforces the idea that the designated area is where they should urinate.

Socialise Your Puppy

Socialising your puppy during the toilet training process is crucial for their overall development. Take them for short walks to expose them to different environments and help them become comfortable urinating outside of their designated area. Socialisation provides valuable experiences and further reinforces positive behaviour.

Mastering Puppy Potty Training

Toilet training a puppy requires time, patience, and consistent effort. Remember that each puppy is unique, and the training process may vary. At Gumtree we have a wide selection of pets and additional resources for pet advice to keep you informed. By following the steps outlined in this friendly guide and maintaining a positive and loving approach, you’re setting your puppy up for success. Celebrate each small achievement and see accidents as learning opportunities. With dedication and a compassionate mindset, you’ll soon have a happy, toilet trained puppy. Enjoy the journey of bonding and training with your furry companion! is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, is arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and is promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representatives (AR) Pet Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 38 607 160 930, AR 1234944 and Gumtree AU Pty Ltd ABN 33 616 996 840, AR 1304608. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing. PDS and Target Market Determination available at

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