Free tips for toilet training your puppy

Updated: Mar 13

According to University of California's Davis College of Veterinary Medicine the frequency of elimination breaks should align with your puppy's age. The guidelines are: 6 to 14 weeks/eight to ten times daily, 14 to 20 weeks/six to eight times daily, 20 to 30 weeks/four to six times daily, and 30 weeks and older/three to four times daily. These timescales don’t necessarily alter with breed or size of the dog’s bladder because the volume of water they drink will also vary.

Top Tips

  • Only allow your puppy freedom in the house when you are there to supervise, so that you can pay attention to the signs that he needs to go, and so he can't wonder off to wee in another room

  • Take your puppy out into the garden every 1 to 2 hours initially. You can gradually start to increase this time each week.

  • Start a toileting diary. Keep note of daily routines such as feeding time, play time, training, as well as what time your puppy went to the toilet and whether it was inside or outside. After a week or so, you should see a pattern developing, which will help you to better predict when your puppy will need the toilet

  • Look for signs that your puppy needs a wee, such as sniffing the floor or circling. If you're training your puppy, he may become less responsive during your training session, which could indicate that he needs a wee or a drink

  • You must go with your puppy to the garden and it is recommended that you take him out on the lead to the same spot each time. If you let your puppy off the lead, he may forget why he is out there and then promptly come back inside and wee.

  • Walk round in small circles—the movement will encourage your puppy to go to the toilet

  • When your puppy goes to the toilet outside, say a cue such as ‘be quick’, give him lots of praise and a food reward, and then let him have free time to run around