What's The Best Way To Potty Train A Dog?

Unless you want to be clearing up lots of accidents in your home, potty training your pooch should be one of your first priorities as a pet parent. Also referred to as house training, this process is a lot like trying to teach a human child to successfully use the bathroom. It may be frustrating and require a great deal of patience, but it is an essential part of your pet’s development.

How To Potty Train A Puppy

Consistency and patience are the two most important things to remember when it comes to potty training a pup. The process usually takes 4-6 months, but some dogs may require even longer before they can be considered fully toilet trained.


It is also important to understand that different breeds have different toilet habits. Larger dogs have much bigger bladders and may only need to relieve themselves two or three times a day. However, small breeds have smaller bladders and faster metabolisms, and this means more regular bathroom breaks will be necessary.


Much like human babies, your pup won’t have the ability to control her bladder and bowels immediately. As such, you shouldn’t start training your puppy until she is between 12 and 16 weeks of age.

- Consider confining your pup to a crate or room during the potty-training process. As she learns that she should go outside to relieve herself, you can let her have greater freedom in the house.

- Ensure you follow a regular feeding schedule and take away her food between these times. This will make her toileting more predictable.

- When you take her outside to toilet, take her to the same spot every time. The scent will serve as a reminder what she is to do there.

- Allow for a bathroom trip outside first thing, and then take her back outside on a regular frequency. Most experts recommend once every 30-60 minutes. You should also always take her outside to toilet every time she wakes from a nap or has finished eating. Finally, make sure she goes out before she is left alone for any period of time, and before you put her to bed. Younger dogs may still need to go to the toilet in the night, so be prepared to take her out every 3 or 4 hours until her bladder is stronger.

- Every time she goes to the toilet successfully, make a big fuss by giving her some verbal praise, attention and a treat. Alternatively, play a quick game with her – she loves your attention more than anything else in the world!

Not All Adult Dogs Are Toilet Trained

Many people who adopt an older dog may automatically assume that their pet has previously been potty trained. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are some cases in which, through no fault of their own, a dog reaches adulthood without consistently being able to do their business outside.


In other instances, it is entirely possible for a canine to lose their potty-training skills and start to relieve themselves in inappropriate places. This can be caused by a number of things including your pet being unwell, highly stressed or anxious, or feeling the need to mark their territory.


Potty Training An Adult Dog

House training your adult dog is very much like toilet training a puppy for the first time. Routine, consistency and patience are still very much key components to being successful, and you should remember never to scold your dog if she has an accident. Instead, you must reward positive behavior so that she realises that you are pleased with her when she performs in this way.


If you require further support in potty training your canine companion, contact us and speak to our veterinarian who will be happy to help.

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