Bringing a puppy into your life is such an exciting time! From the moment you pick them up, it’s the start of a beautiful new relationship. There are so many enjoyable parts to new puppy parenthood. From exploring the world together to teaching them new skills, and all the cuddles they provide. However, not all parts of raising a puppy are quite as fun… One of the biggest challenges we want to overcome in those early days is puppy house training.

Sadly for us humans, puppies don’t come pre-programmed to know that your garden, or outside, is the desirable place for them to go to the toilet. It’s a life skill we need to teach them and encourage from day one. If we’re going to avoid frustration, we must gear ourselves up to expect accidents indoors. But the good news is, with some consistency and the right approach, you can help your new puppy to become fully house trained. In fact, you can do this in as short a time as a matter of days. Want to have a clean house and a toilet-trained puppy within days of them joining your life? Follow these easy puppy toilet training tips and learn how to house train a puppy.

1.       Start as you mean to go on!

You should treat puppy toilet training the same way you would with giving puppies exercise. It’s important to get it right from the start. The first day in a new home can often be quite overwhelming for a puppy. So, make sure you introduce them to some key areas as soon as they arrive with you. First, focus on their sleeping space and then your garden. A good puppy toilet training tip is to avoid making the garden too stimulating at first. We want it to be about the job of toileting in those initial few weeks. Take them out there as soon as you get home and if they happen to “go” then give them calm praise. You can even give them a high-value treat as soon as they’re done to reinforce this.

2.       Ditch the Puppy Pads

When learning how to house train a puppy, many make the mistake of only using puppy pads. Puppy pads or newspapers might feel like a shortcut to a clean home, but in reality, they tend to slow down the whole process. You want your dog to learn that the ‘outside = good’ when it comes to toilet training. Not only do puppy pads offer the invitation to go indoors but they’ll also leave the smell behind. Our dogs learn so much through their noses, so if they keep smelling pee or poop indoors, they’re more likely to keep going there. These floor coverings can also become a bit of a toy or something to chew or tear up. And your dog might mistake your favourite rug for another space to go – one floor covering is just as good as another! If you want your puppy house training to be more successful, stick to the outdoors.

3.       Clean Up Any Accidents

It may seem obvious, but what we actually clean up our puppy’s accidents with is an important part of the process. When puppy house training and cleaning up the mess, avoid any bleach-based products. These wouldn’t be good for your dog to ingest but also can leave an ammonia smell behind. And that ammonia smell can more than often encourage peeing in the same space. You can buy enzyme cleaners or dilute some biological washing powder and use that to clean your floors.

While we don’t want to bathe our puppies too frequently, it’s essential to use the right dog shampoo. This will help avoid stripping their coats of natural oils. As some puppies do end up sitting in their own mess or standing in their pee, keep them clean with our Soothe & Calm Sensitive Dog Shampoo.

4.       Have a Pee Party!

What gets rewarded gets repeated! This is a great mantra to remember when it comes to puppy house training. It’s one of the most fool proof puppy toilet training tips. When your puppy goes to the toilet in the right space, reward them for finishing the behaviour. This can be done with a clicker or positive-sounding “yes, followed by giving them a few small pieces of tasty food. If they enjoy verbal praise and cuddles, you can add on further by giving them lots of your attention too.

And just as we want to praise the right behaviours, we also want to avoid giving those accidents any unwanted attention. The key to puppy house training is to avoid using any punishment while your puppy is learning what’s ok and what’s not. Ignore those indoor accidents and clean them up in a calm manner.

5.       Be Fair

For our puppies to get things right, we need to give them the opportunity to do so! To help set them up for success, let your puppy have access to your garden as frequently as every 30 minutes while they’re awake. Most puppies can last (during the day) about an hour per month of their life between pee breaks. If they’ve just woken up, had a meal, drink, or been engaged in a fun activity, let your puppy outside more often.

6.       Not Toileting on a Walk?

Don’t panic if your puppy doesn’t seem inclined to toilet on walks in those early days. Going out into the big wide world is an exciting and sometimes scary experience for them. They might not be able to focus on basic activities such as going to the toilet. Or, they might not want to leave behind their scent while they’re still young and vulnerable. It will soon come as they grow in confidence! In this case, our puppy toilet training tip is to make sure you pop them into your garden straight away after returning from a walk. This will avoid any indoor toileting.

We hope that after reading this blog our advice for how to house train a puppy brings the results you need. Use our puppy toilet training tips above, and you’ll be able to fast-track the process!

Find answers to your most asked questions…

No matter what your puppies needs are, at Dorwest Herbs we have a natural and safe solution to help support them. Speak to herbal experts you can trust and get in touch with us today. You can find a variety of our products available to buy online including digestive aids for dogs. For any assistance, contact us today by calling +44 (0) 1308 897272

Written by Caroline Wilkinson, Certified Animal Behaviourist & qualified dog trainer

Looking for more puppy tips? Here’s Caroline in our latest video with some top behavioural and training tips to help you settle in the new addition to your family, and build the perfect relationship with your puppy…