Your guide to puppy toilet training

Looking to ace puppy potty training? Check out the official upper north shore guide to puppy toilet training. We’ve collected all kinds of helpful tips from all our vets and vet nurses here in Wahroonga to help you ace this vital start to a pup’s life with the family. 

So you have survived the first day and night with your new puppy following our previous blog on bringing home a new puppy. Now is the important time to start training your puppy.

north shore vets guide to puppy toilet training - photo Torsten Dettlaff - fox valley animal hospital wahroonga Just like any Upper North Shore vets, the vets and vet nurses at Fox Valley Animal Hospital Wahroonga believe that a happy, well trained, puppy starts from an early age using positive praise and rewards.

To understand how our puppies learn it’s important to first understand their development. If we think of our puppies as a blank canvas everything they learn in the first 8-12 weeks of life will stay with them. This is why puppy toilet training should always be a positive experience and not based on fear.

Whatever we introduce, show! Whatever we teach our puppy over the next few weeks will help create a well balanced adult dog.

Positive puppy training is the key to success, and this is how you as a pet parent can do that.

When to start toilet training your new puppy

Toilet training should start as soon as you get your puppy home. It’s important to remember that puppies do not have bladder control and accidents will happen.

Here is the upper north shore vets guide to successful toilet training:–

  • Take your puppy outside at least every 2 hours to begin with
  • Puppies will need to urinate after playing, eating and sleeping
  • Always give plenty of praise and reward your puppy when they go in the right spot
  • Use a key word such as ‘go pee’ when your puppy relieves himself. This will be his signal as an adult dog to relieve himself before bedtime or when travelling in the car at rest stops etc
  • Yummy treat rewards need to be given instantly after so the association can be made between the desired behaviour and the positive reward
  • Be patient puppies can get easily distracted outside.If he doesn’t go try again a little later.


What your upper north shore vets say about toilet training accidents

north shore vets - puppy training tips If you catch your puppy going to the toilet inside, shout and try to distract him. This should make him stop and give you enough time to take him outside to finish. Make sure when he does you give him plenty of praise and treats.

If your puppy toilets in the house, calmly clean it up. Never use bleach based products. Clean with either a special enzymatic based pet product or warm soapy water.

Never ever punish your puppy if you find a mess on the floor that was done earlier. They will not learn from it because they can not relate the punishment with the mess. Your puppy will display a submissive response in order to appease you and turn off your anger. The submissive behaviour looks like guilt to us.


Positive puppy toilet training

The key to successful toilet training is to make it positive and reward your puppy.

  • You need to make sure when your puppy goes to the toilet it is the best thing in the world so that it is repeated
  • Training needs to be consistent. If you want your puppy to go on the grass then start here and stick with it. Training on paper then asking them to go outside is very confusing
  • Reward your puppy every time immediately after they go to the toilet
  • Never punish or get angry at accidents as this will slow down the learning process
  • Remember, puppies do not have complete control of their bladder until 6 months of age. So patience on our part is key

Once you have mastered puppy toilet training it is important to continue the praise and rewards. This will reinforce the positive behaviour.

Toilet training is probably the first sort of training pet parents will undertake with great success.

You can also take advantage of some puppy training tips you don’t often hear while you’re at it.

If toilet training is proving a headache and you need some extra help give our upper north shore vets and vet nurses a heads up next time you call on (02) 9489 4805 or drop by. 




About the Author
My name is Hayley and I'm a senior vet nurse at Fox Valley Animal Hospital. I studied, qualified and started working as a Veterinary nurse in the UK over 15 years ago. I worked in a small but very busy practice about 30 minutes outside London in a place called Gravesend. I decided to travel and left old Blighty for the sunny shores of Australia. I worked for Dr Alex Brittan at Fox Valley Animal Hospital during my stay in Oz. I fell in love with the country, the people and the weather so decided to call Australia home. Since then I have Married, had babies, and own Toby a kelpie cross! and I'm still here. I love my job as a vet nurse. I enjoy the challenge of difficult cases, I love and share in the joy of being able to help peoples pets and the reward is priceless. I wouldn't change my profession for the world.