How to Toilet Train a Puppy – Is It Possible To Toilet Train A Dog?

How to Toilet Train a Puppy

About the Author: Nettie Finley, the Professional Dog Trainer at MyPetDoggie. Specializing in behavior rehabilitation, Nettie leads our team with her effective training techniques. As a certified canine behaviorist, she brings transformative change to challenging behavior cases. Her experience and expertise elevate our content, providing practical, insightful training advice for our readers. Also, she loves her Cavapoo!

Life begins when little paws enter your home, and become a precious part of your life. But, do you know that when you become a dog owner there are some essential steps to take, like behavior training, eating manners, and potty training? If he is a small little cute puppy or an adult he needs this training

Most people face problems with their potty which make the house dirty and smelly. Like our toddlers, they pee a lot about 13-15 times in a single day and they don’t easily understand the direct communication of “ GO TO THE TOILET AND DO YOUR BUSINESS THERE”. Are you one of them? Or are you tired of cleaning your puppy’s mistakes every time?

If yes, then I’m here to give you a daydream of a world where your pooch takes care of his business in your designated area, just like humans do. 

You may be thinking that seriously it is possible to toilet train a dog at home. So, my answer is Yes. Here, I will reveal some successful secrets of pooch toilet training, which will surely benefit you.

Puppies can’t control the urine or potty in the bladder until they are 3-4 months of age. However, with the right techniques you can train them to tell you that they have a toilet emergency. The future benefit of this training is that you no longer have to deal with accidental dirties on the carpet or anywhere in the house. But, you just have to invest some time in your pooch’s proper training, and then you can achieve your desired hygienic and harmonious living environment.

Additionally, toilet training will create a strong bond between you and your furry friend and will establish a sense of submission and trust. Which will create a happier and healthier atmosphere.

How to Toilet Train a Puppy if You’re a New Pet Owner?

If you are a beginner don’t panic, just read some guides. Recognize the puppy’s behavior and provide him with a friendly environment. Seek some professional guidance. 

a dog laying on the floor with its paw
A dog owner tries to teach his dog about no pee on the carpet

How Long Does It Take to Toilet-Train a Puppy?

The puppy normally requires 4-6 months to become fully reliable, but it mainly depends upon the size, breed, and age. And also their ability to learn new things. For example, Miniature Schnauzer easily grabs this training, while Afghan Hound feels this task is very difficult and lately grap this manner. Breed differences influence their ability to learn.

A dog saw his owner after peeing on a carpet
A dog saw his owner after peeing on a carpet

Be Patient

We know that training a pooch is a devastating task, but you have to be patient through the journey. The key is to establish this training earlier. By providing the right guidance and positive motivation, they will grab this habit earlier. 

Be Consistent with the training

I know that it is very devastating for you to spend hours with your pooch in the bathroom, to recognize him, that this is your place of doing business.

But, be consistent. Soon your hard work will give you a reward for a clean house, a hygienic environment, and a strong bond between you and your pooch. 

Don’t Forget to Give a Reward

While in the learning process reward him in every step he takes forward in his toilet training. The continuous reward process will motivate him to do his task perfectly. The reward may be a portion of good food, his favorite toy, or something else that pleases him. 

Puppies’ Toilet Training Duration

It is important to note that a puppy’s ability to learn something is different. The examples are explained above. This learning difference also applies to toilet training.

Notice your Pooch’s Every Action

By noticing his every action, you can clarify when he urges you to pee. So, grab your detective hat, follow the cues, and make a wonderful journey with your puppy.

What Age Should a Puppy be Toilet Trained?

Toilet training your puppy is an essential milestone in their development, and the ideal age to start this procedure is around 12 weeks old  (about 4 months). At this stage, puppies have a little bit of control over their tiny bladder and bowel movements. However, you need to note down the timeline for his toilet training as it varies from puppy to puppy.

By starting earlier and being patient, a little bit consistent, and with positive vibes the training process accelerates. 

How to Tell When Your Puppy Needs to Go to the Toilet?

It’s essential to understand the signs that indicate when your little paw needs to go potty. Paying regular attention to the signals will help in preventing accidents and will motivate him to have good manners.

A dog puts all the things in the toilet
A dog puts all the things in the toilet

There are typical signs that your puppy shows to relieve themself. 

Cues your Puppy Needs to Go to the Toilet

Firstly, If he starts fidgeting that means, he is saying there is a toilet emergency. Secondly, sniffing around, they also use this behavior to show that they need to poop somewhere. Thirdly, beginning to circle, another clue for toilet emergencies.

What to do After Recognizing these Cues?

  • Take them to the targeted poop place and reward them also for showing this sign. Try to take them to the same place each time. 
  • When they start their work, use a verbal signal like “ It’s potty time”
  • As mentioned above, reward them for their good behavior. 
  • Before going to your routine work, play with him for some time. To understand them, going to the toilet does not end time outside, which could mean that they can hold it until the last minute before going.
  • If you notice that your dog is going in the wrong direction, stop them but in a loving manner not shout at them, this response may frighten them.

What to do if a Puppy Doesn’t Show any Interest in Toilet Training?

I was facing this problem, my puppy was not attending my command thoroughly. But, my adult dog understood the situation and started teaching him how to potty properly without creating any mess

Research has found puppy training far easier with the help of an adult dog and a new puppy. The puppy will look to his senior for guidance and will copy his behavior thoroughly. This may be a good idea for everyone who wants their puppy to adopt this behavior earlier.

Puppy’s Toilet Training at Night

Puppy seeing his poop after doing it
Puppy seeing his poop after doing it

It is the most essential and hard part of the training. Here are some of the basic techniques to follow during the training.

Establish a Bedtime Routine

Give your puppy a last call to do his business before going to bed. This will prevent the chances of accidents during the night.

Set an Alarm

Small puppies need to pee at least once in the night, so set up an alarm. When it rings, get him to the toilet. In small puppies, the toilet break is around 3-4 hours, depending on the breed type.

Control his Diets

Make a light dinner routine, and balance his drinking and eating, which will reduce the chances of puppies’ toilet needs at night.

Wake Up Before the Puppy Wake Up

Sometimes, when he wakes earlier than you, he may do his business in the room. So, wake up early, and when he wakes up get the puppy to the toilet immediately.  

3- Different toilet training techniques

Every owner has his style of giving toilet training to his lovely puppy, but these 3 methods work a lot for me. These methods are;

The Target Method:

The “target method” is a famous method of toilet training dogs that includes teaching them target objects and touching them with their paws. This method can be cracked into various steps.

Step 1: Introduce the Target

Initially teach him to touch an object with their paws, such as a target stick or a designated spot. Treat them well, when they follow your command. 

Step 2: Associate the Target with the Toilet Region

When he becomes familiar with the target, Move the target object close to the toilet and motivate the puppy to touch it there. This helps them to recognize that this is the place to eliminate. 

Step 3: Add a Verbal Command

Introduce your verbal command, such as “ GO TO THE TOILET” or “ GO POTTY”, while your puppy is targeting the object in the targeted toilet area. Repeat the command with consistency to associate it with the expected behavior.

Step 4: Remove the Target

Once your dog is grasping the toilet habit, eliminate the target from the designated spot. Motivate him to directly eliminate his poop in the toilet without the need to target him.

Step 5: Motivation and Reward

Continuously reward your puppy, when they successfully eliminate his poop in the toilet. Patience and courage is the key to reinforcing the desired behavior.

By following the targeted method, you can effectively train your dog to utilize the toilet and create a clean and more hygienic environment for both of you.

The Pallet Potty Method

A dog feels so relaxed in his parent's arms
A dog feels so relaxed in his parent’s arms

The pallet potty method is a procedure where we cut a hole in a pallet and then allow our companion to balance himself on it. The detailed steps are mentioned below;

Step 1: Make a Hole in a Pallet

Make a hole in a pallet round about 1-2 inches, the hole should be enough for your puppy to balance on. Insert a plastic tub or litter box into that hole to create a pallet potty.

Step 2: Set a Verbal Command

Teach your puppy to go to the specific area of the toilet when you say to him “Go Potty” or “Potty Time”. It’s recommended to treat him every time during the training. 

Step 3: Teach your Puppy, How to Use the Pallet Potty. 

Take out the pallet from your toilet to the dog’s toilet and free him to analyze it. Teach him how to stand on the pallet, when he catches the trick place the potty pallet in his toilet. Treat and praise him. 

Step 4: Now start Commanding Puppy 

Move the potty pallet inside the bathroom over the toilet seat and start commanding him through the verbal cue to do potty while on the pallet potty inside.

 Step 5: Start Raising the Pallet Potty

Start raising the pallet potty, a sturdy pallet or thick piece of plywood should be used, your dog may feel comfortable when the potty is raised. Put some bricks or other solid materials under the pallet to rise a few inches at that time, consistently commanding him to use the pallet potty to review himself. Make sure the pallet is not breaking, it may hurt your puppy if he falls from the pallet.

Step 6: Place the Pallet on the Toilet

Place the pallet on the toilet and use it. Then remove the bin from its frame and place the bin under his toilet. Motivate him to use the toilet seat, you can also add a kid’s toilet seat to make him comfortable. Clean the bin out after every use. 

Step 7: Remove the Poop

When your puppy becomes friendlier using the toilet. Remove the bin and allow him to jump on the toilet seat and do his business directly in it. Treat him at every step.

The Lure and Shape Method

This is the ultimate method that assures that your puppy is learning something quickly and easily. This method includes uring first, then capturing it, and finally shaping it. The main functions of this method are;

Step 1: Make him Friendly with Your Verbal Cue 

Make him friendly with the “ GO POTTY” command and use it outside in your yard or during walks. Use lots of rewards to motivate him. 

Step 2: Secondary Toilet Option

Place a potty tub or pad outside where your puppy mostly relieves himself. Lure your Puppy over the pad or tub and when he is positioned ask him to relieve himself on the pad or tub. Give him a treat for his good behavior.

Step 3: Move the Substitute to your Puppy’s toilet

Place the tub on your puppy’s toilet and again command him to “ Go Potty” his business there.

Step 4: Put the Tub in the Toilet Seat 

Put the poop pad under the toilet seat. Place a stool before commanding him because if you directly put the pad under the seat, then there are chances that he may not notice it and fall in the toilet. Lure him up to the toilet seat with a treat, allowing him to use a step if needed.

Step 5: Now Command

Assist your Puppy in balancing himself first and then give him a command to “ go potty” When he successfully does his business, reward him. Eventually, remove the bin and pad from the toilet and use the kid’s potty seat. Apply the same commanding method.

Things you will need during the potty training

A dog sits on his couch peacefully
A dog sits on his couch peacefully

The things that I found most useful during my puppy’s toilet training are given below. These things not only help you but will spread away all the tension from you.

Disposable Poop Bags

Dog Poop contains hazardous environmental pollutants, which are not good for the atmosphere. Therefore, poop bags may be a good option.

 Pooper Scooper

The best way to clean up the poop is without touching it. Pooper scooper may be a perfect option for those who have limited time flexibility, or some other injuries or disabilities.

 Gloves (optional) 

It is optional, but I use gloves while washing my puppy to save my hands from various germs.

Paper Towel or Wet Wipes

Keeping your puppy’s private place clean can prevent irritation and dry itchy skin.

Disinfectant Spray or Pet-Safe Cleaning Solution

When your pet is in the training zone, there is a need for a disinfection spray or solution. This type of spray is usually used to disinfect the area from various germs and parasites in preventing the most killer diseases.

Through the Used Bags and Gloves

It is recommended to through the used items somewhere, where it can not increase the pollution.

Common Question:

How do I stop my puppy from peeing in the house?

As I say, they don’t have pee control initially, they will take some time to develop a sense. When he is a small puppy, bring him to the toilet after each hour. Don’t leave him in the house for more than 30-40 minutes.
Bring him for a walk, allow him to observe,9+
 and make him use the public washroom. Make a toilet seat attractive for him and reward him every time.

How long can dogs hold their pee?

Dogs that weigh less than 10 pounds only hold their urine or pee for up to 1-3 hours. Medium size dogs about 30 pounds can control urine from 2-4 hours, while larger dogs between 40-60 pounds can control between 4-8 hours. However, big breeds over 60 pounds can hold their pee for up to 6-12 hours.

How long does it take to toilet-train a dog?

Mostly, it will take about 4-6 months for your puppy to become fully reliable, but this depends on the breed size, age, and ability to learn new things. Some puppies get trained very quickly in a few weeks while some breeds take longer like about a year.

Is it possible to train a dog to use a toilet?

To teach your dog how to use the toilet properly, you have to teach him some basic skills. Teach him the command “GO POTTY” or “GO TOILET”, and how to use toilet seats properly,  to target objects, or by using a poop box or container that can be used as a toilet in the beginning.

How do I stop my dog from pooping in the house?

Establish a routine of outdoor walks with your dog. Make a place in a yard and command him to potty there. Make him able to understand good dog behavior and when he poops in the house don’t give him his reward if he does his business correctly outside, then immediately reward him, that will motivate him surely. And he will stop doing poop in the house.

Is toilet training a puppy easy?

House training of your puppy is not that easy, it requires patience, consistency, and commitment. Accidents are part of the procedure, but if you follow the right techniques. You will be rewarded with a clean and clear house, a hygienic environment, and a wonderful relationship between you and the puppy.

At what age do puppies stop needing a toilet at night?

When they are 4-6 months old, they have full control over their bladder. When they have control, they start sleeping the whole night.

Do puppies poop after every meal?

A puppy between 2-10 weeks will poop directly after the feeding. But, when they cross 12 weeks the poop rate decreases and then they poop 4 times a day.

Final Thought

In the end, the answer to whether it is possible to toilet train a train is that it can be done but with the right commitment between the owner and the pet. It’s a journey of ups and downs. But, during the procedure make sure, you are building a great connection with your puppy.

The most important thing is that successful toilet training needs patience. Dogs have different learning capabilities. If the process is slow don’t panic. Enjoy the small victories and just keep in mind your puppy is just learning new things to impress you.

So, you have to be consistent with the job and make a perfect routine that does not bore him and he learns everything very easily. The great technique is when he does something new, reward him.

The rewards may be a thing which is according to your dog’s needs. They communicate in their language, so if you want to be the best owner, understand their signals also.

Keep that in mind, that during the training, something will happen in a good way and some accidents will also take place. So, it’s your responsibility to cover that accident and don’t punish him. This will create a positive environment between both of you. 

When the puppy sees your effort he will love you more and start respecting you.

You will also get rewarded throughout this journey, and your reward will be a loyal friend.  A well-cleaned house. Hope, you find this advice beneficial. GOOD LUCK!

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