The Ultimate Guide to House Training a Puppy

How to house train a puppy
When will a puppy want to go?

Constantly it seems! They’ll need a wee as soon as they wake up, shortly after eating, when they get excited or when they’ve been playing or whenever else they fancy one.

Young puppies’ bladder control is pretty non-existent so give them a chance to go outside to relieve themselves every hour or two.

When they need a poo they often walk around in a circle and sniff about. That’s your cue to take them outside to the spot where you want them to go. They’ll often need a poo about 15 to 30 minutes after a meal.

After a few days you’ll get to know your puppy’s toilet schedule. Keep a record of it if it helps.

At night when a puppy isn’t as active they’ll need to go less frequently but you’ll still probably have to get up in the night to take them outside.

Puppy toilet training outside

Your puppy won’t know that your fluffy rug is the wrong place to go unless you teach them!

Have a dedicated area outside, where you want them to toilet. After a meal, upon waking, every hour or so and anytime in between when you suspect they’re thinking about going whip them off outside to their special toilet place.

Also take them out there after a daytime nap and before they settle down to sleep at night.

If they’ve previously been trained on puppy mats or newspaper, place this outside on the spot you want them to go so they know what’s expected of them.

You can say to your puppy “ wee-wee ” or “ poo-poo” or “ toilet time”.

When they’ve done their business give them a fuss and lots of praise.

Using their crate

Puppies in theory don’t like going to the toilet near where they eat or sleep so if they are in a puppy playpen or dog crate they’ll hopefully avoid going in it.

If the crate is too big and they have room to eliminate away from where they eat and sleep they will be tempted to go so make sure it’s a small enough size for your puppy.

To avoid accidents when you can’t watch over them, even for a few minutes, pop them in their crate for a short time.

Some people put their puppies in the crate at night to stop them from eliminating but when they are very young you’ll have to get up in the night anyway to take them outside.

Never leave them in their crate for too long though.

How long will puppy toilet training take?

A lot depends on the age of your puppy.

Between two and four months the puppy will have little control over their bladder and may have to go up to 12 times a day. So they’ll need constant monitoring.

Once puppy is four months they’ll probably be able to control their bladder and bowel for around four hours at a time.

By six months puppies can generally hold for a poo for 6 or 7 hours.

It also depends on the puppy and how rigorous you are in house training!

Accidents will happen

Mistakes and messes are bound to happen when you are house training your puppy. Clean up any puddles and poos without fuss and without punishment, especially after the event as the puppy won’t know why they are being told off.

Use odour eliminating cleaning products to stop your puppy going in the same place next time.

Puppy house training tips

Don’t let your puppy eat at different times or overfeed him treats. Stick to a feeding schedule so you’ll be able to predict his toilet habits much more easily.

Don’t leave your puppy too long by itself as it’ll be desperate and will have to go.

You’ll know when you’ve cracked it when your puppy goes to the door by themselves and whines to be let up to do their business.

House training a puppy can take time and persistence but it won’t take too long to master.