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Toilet Training Your Puppy

Advice for your toy and small breed puppy

The ideal time to toilet train your puppy is around 12 weeks old!

Your puppy should now be feeling settled in their new home and into the swing of a daily feeding routine that’s helping them grow healthy and strong.

One of the most important things you’ll need to teach your puppy is toilet training. The goal is to encourage good habits in a calm and relaxed setting while building a loving trusting bond

 Housebreaking is perhaps the biggest challenge we face when training a new puppy. If only our canine best friends could talk, it would be a lot easier! Until that day, trial and error, along with these top tips, will have to do…


Timing is essential ...

There are certain times when your puppy is more likely to need the loo. For instance, after a long snooze, after playtime or after meals, first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Pups can’t hold their liquid for long at all so we recommend taking them outside every hour initially.

Take your puppy to a specific spot in the garden ...

This is the perfect chance to praise them when they go in the right spot. Start rewarding your puppy once they have finished doing their business by giving them a little treat or make a big fuss. It’s a good idea to mix it up, don’t offer a treat every time as this will soon become a habit. However, do give lots of praise and fuss every time your puppy does their business.


Don't rush!

Give them space. Try to imagine how you’d feel if someone was watching you…


Catching them in the act!

If you do manage to catch your puppy in the act, breathe, scoop them up and take them outside. Clean up the mess and say no more.

Warning signs!

Your pup will start to show you that they need to go. Look out for warning signs such as sniffing the ground, circling, going behind a chair or sofa or going to the back door. You will need a beady eye to avoid accidents from happening. Timing is essential.

Praise Praise Praise

When you spot your puppy starting to do their business, have a cue word ready which you can repeat each time to remind them. This could be anything from “wee wee” to “toilet” but it must be consistent otherwise your pup could lose the connection between this word and toileting. Don’t forget to praise your puppy after they’ve finished!

Look out for the signs!

After a while, your puppy will get used to the toilet routine and start to bark, whine or pace the room when they need to go.


Look out for these signs:

  1. Slowly increase the time between toilet visits so that your puppy learns to hold their urges in.
  2. Give your puppy plenty of gentle handling, belly rubs and grooming as a reward for good behaviour.

Accidents happen…

If disaster strikes and your puppy has a little accident, don’t make a fuss. Quietly and gently take them outside. Accidents are all part of the process but being prepared can make it easier.

Arm yourself with plenty of kitchen roll, poo bags and a strong canine disinfectant. Disinfectant will neutralise the odour to prevent your puppy picking up the scent and going in the same place. 

Are you going round in circles?

Our puppy experts are on hand if you need a little more help.

Get in touch!
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