Toilet training for your dog

How to effectively toilet train your dog or puppy.
Written by Mayhew team
Updated 2 years ago

  • Make sure toilet areas are far from your dog’s bed and food. Healthy dogs tend not to toilet where they sleep or eat. 
  • At the start of a toilet training program have lots of regular ‘toilet’ breaks, starting with around once every 1.5 hours. 
  • When outside, wait for your dog to toilet and calmly praise them when they do.
  • When finished, reward with a high-value treat or toy. 
  • If your dog is not on the lead, make sure you supervise them closely – if your dog has an accident, that was on your watch, so step up the supervision next time!
  • Do not tell your dog off for having a toilet accident – this will only make your dog afraid to toilet in front of you, and that makes toilet training very difficult. 
  • Dogs will not toilet train themselves correctly if you don’t provide guidance! 
  • If your dog has an accident, do not use a household cleaning product. You can either use a specialist cleaning product (from a pet store), or a biological washing powder (with enzyme action) in water, but remember to test on delicate surfaces first. 
  • Confine your dog from areas in which they have had repeat accidents or are likely to have accidents e.g. carpets, beds. 
  • Keep a toileting log for your dog so that you become familiar with your their routine e.g. record what time, where, how soon after eating, drinking, playing etc.

Along with regular toilet training breaks, your dog will need to be brought to the toilet after: 

  • Eating or drinking (depending on your dog’s age, but generally within 15-30 minutes).
  • A game, play, or physical activity. 
  • Waking up from a nap or sleep. 
  • Greeting people, or when people come home, or any excitement.
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