How to Toilet Train a Puppy

Read time: 2 mins

09 Apr 2021

By Team Butternut Box


Toilet training is something that every puppy has to learn and it should be pretty straightforward if you stick to a good routine. It’s not in your pups nature to poop near their living area.  

House training can take anything from a few days to several weeks and should begin as soon as you get your new pup home. The quickest and best method is to take your pup out into the garden, (or your nearest outside space), every hour or so or as soon as you notice any sign that they need to relieve themselves. These give-aways include circling and squatting down or whining to go out and will obviously occur soon after eating or drinking….you’ve been warned!

Start first thing in the morning and do another loo trip last thing at night. Some pet parents are dedicated enough to set an alarm to get up in the middle of the night to take their pup out, or you can leave newspaper down by the door and expect to come downstairs to a puddle for the first few weeks. The former suggestion is more painful (for you) but will yield results faster!

Avoid playing games with your pup out in the garden before they have ‘been’ as this is likely to distract them from the business in hand! Stay outside until your pup has successfully ‘performed’ and then give them gentle praise (or a healthy treat). If they still haven’t gone after five minutes then come back inside and try again ten minutes later…and repeat until successful.

It’s also a good idea to put down newspaper around the back door (or whichever door you are using), as your pup can then go on here if there are any accidents or you can’t get them outside quickly enough.

One of the key messages in house training is that it’s important never to punish your pup when they have the almost inevitable accident in the house. Like young children they have small bladders are easily excited- hence little puddles result. If your pup has an accident when you aren’t watching, just calmly clean it up. If, however they are halfway through, calmly pick them up and pop them gently outside where they need to go. You can clean up any mess in the house using a warm solution of biological washing powder or a specially formulated product from your vet.

When you are out and about whilst training your pup use a biodegradable poop bag such as ours that are made with 100% compostable corn starch.

During the initial stages of toilet training it’s better not to leave your pup by themselves – otherwise accidents will happen and you’ll go backwards. Your patience and perseverance will eventually pay off and it won’t be long before you have a house-trained pup.