Advice & Tips
puppy toilet training

Puppy Toilet Training: 5 Tips to Train Your Pup

Written by Ryan Gliozzo


We all know that even the most goodest (that's definitely a word!) pups will have their share of accidents, and puppy toilet training can be a difficult task. Worry not, as Waggel's typically helpful guides come to the rescue! Read below to get the training started!
A puppy in toilet training next to a wet patch


Puppy toilet training is the process of teaching your puppy to do its business outside. It's not always easy to determine when your little furry friend would like to go, but with some patience and great tips, you will get there!

Puppies, like children, get their basics such as potty training from their parents. Getting a pup to "go" in the designated spot is not so difficult with some guidance and effort. The same is true with housebreaking. It is possible, as long as you are consistent and set a good example.

The first thing you need to be aware of is your puppy's age - you can't expect a 6-week-old pup to be able to go potty on command, for instance.

You also need to think about how much time you have to devote to house training because you can't be in all places all the time. Your pup will have plenty of opportunities to take a quick toilet break and the first year of your pups life can certainly be a tricky time for a toilet accident (or two).

A consistent schedule with toilet breaks worked into your daily routines is the main point of this toilet training method.

You'll also be well advised to catch any accidents immediately so the stench doesn't get too bad, and always have treats ready to reward a pup who goes outside!

The odd accident will occur, but lots of praise when your pup is on their best behaviour, coupled with a consistent routine will make sure you can get the potty toilet training for your canine companion done and dusted in no time.

Our full guide and puppy toilet training tips are below. If you have a new pup and want to see how much it would cost to insure them, get a quick quote here with Waggel! We offer great coverage options and all our members get some amazing rewards so you can benefit from some fantastic savings for you and your pup!

Waggel pet insurance also comes with FREE expert advice from our dog behavioural guru, Junior Hudson, as well as a 24/7 online vet via Joii.

puppy jack russell going to the toilet

5 tips to successfully toilet train your puppy

A puppy sniffing a wet pad

1. Reward your puppy every time they do the deed outside the house

A good incentive is to give them a reward after they’ve done their business. You can encourage them with a treat or a "good boy/girl hug" for doing their business outside. Verbal praise works wonders but you can also reward them with a game of tug with a toy or a ball, or even a walk.

Overall, the idea is to make it fun!

If you want to encourage your puppy to go potty on command, you need to make it fun for them. It can be done with a simple game or a treat or an excited voice when they do their business in their designated spot.

2. Keep a puppy toilet training diary

One of the keys to successfully toilet training your puppy is to keep a diary of your progress and setbacks. Recording when and where your pup does their thing will help you understand their patterns and better plan your weekly training session.

While this may sound tedious, it can also be an engaging activity for you and your dog to do together!

3. Show your puppy where to pee and poo outside and stick to one spot.

It is a common misconception that a dog will naturally know where to "go" outside. It's important that you show your puppy where to go and then stick to one spot so they learn. To train a dog, you must be consistent and predictable. Otherwise, your puppy will be confused and worried.

Choose a place that is private and comfortable. A puppy is toilet trained best when it is comfortable enough to do its business.

When you take your puppy out to the potty, go to the same place each time and stay there until the pup comes to you. You must be calm and gentle with your puppy as puppies learn by observation so high praise is always better than loud shouting.

4. Teach the puppy how to go on a puppy pad or newspaper.

dog looking at a toilet bowl

Set aside a corner of your house or outside for their designated potty area. Provide them with their own personal newspaper or puppy pad. Your puppy shouldn't be allowed on the furniture, carpet, bedding, etc. until they have learned how to properly go without an accident.

If you're wondering if your pup needs to go potty, the answer is often a clue in their demeanour. To quickly identify the warning signs of a dog who needs relief from a full bladder or a rectum full of stool, look for these classic signs:

  • The dog may trot instead of walk

  • The tail will wag more erratically

  • They may sniff at the ground

  • Their ears could be drooping down, showing they are sad.

Place the puppy on the pad or newspaper and step back. Do not allow the puppy to walk off the pad or newspaper, but be full of praise when they do their business.

5. Address accidents firmly, but calmly

If a pup relieves themself in your home, don't punish them too hard for it. This will cause confusion for them and may result in more accidents.

Instead, clean the area of the soiled spot and keep them away from it until it dries.

It can be a frustrating and awkward situation when a pup relieves themselves in the home, but the key to success is to make sure that the pup uses your chosen location.

You might find yourself carrying a pup outside"mid-stream", or to their newspaper/ puppy training pads. Just know that we all have to endure such hardships until the training is completed!

Remember to keep your dog's crate training and the overall area around their potty spot accessible and free of any obstacles.

Routinely take your puppy outside to their designated potty place and supervise potty breaks until you can leave your pup alone for a while. It will help your puppy become accustomed to their potty place in your absence.

puppy next to a wet patch

Puppy toilet training spray

Puppies are adorable, but when they're in the house, accidents happen. Products such as a puppy toilet training spray can help with teaching your pup to pee in a specific area. As we have mentioned, getting your pup used to doing their business in a specified area will encourage them to return unaided.

A spray such as this will help speed up your puppy toilet training.

One idea is to spray this product on a puppy training pad to encourage them to pee on the pad while they are trained to use the outdoors. You can also spray this in a certain area outside, such as on the grass, to prevent your pup from going on a deck or patio.


In conclusion, puppy toilet training can be much easier using a few simple techniques. It is important to teach your puppy where to do its business by having a dedicated place for them to learn and build a routine.

By following the five tips laid out in this article, you should be able to successfully train your dog to do their worst outside, leaving your home smelling fresh and clean.

Waggel's take

Puppies can also suffer from worms which can make their bathroom habits change so bear in mind the health issues which could already be present in your new pup.

As a pet insurance company, Waggel also advises you to get your puppy insured from 8 weeks as any condition which is treated by your vet will be considered a Pre-Existing condition and would not be covered.

Waggel Pet Insurance

Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.

Not a member? Why not get a quote now and cover your furry friend for a range of illnesses, all while enjoying our amazing perks and rewards.

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