How to Toilet Train a Puppy and Young Dog

Training a puppy or young dog can be a trying time for many pet owners. Potty training your pup is an important part of the learning process and can take a little bit of patience and effort. But with the right techniques, you can have your canine companion toilet trained in no time!

From knowing when to start to understanding the stages of learning, this article will walk you through all the steps necessary for successful toilet training, and teach you how to toilet train a puppy in 7 days.

To the surprise of some, it takes anywhere from a few weeks to more than two months to fully toilet train a puppy or young dog.

Of course, this is not a problem if you have the time and patience to teach your dog, but many dogs in rescue pounds are there because their owners were unable to do so. You can’t just sit back and assume your dog will pick up commands on its own.

Puppies, young dogs, and some older dogs, like toddlers, have a short attention span and tend to just care about the here and now, so don’t expect them to remember everything after a single demonstration.

Never chastise your dog for having an accident; apart from the fact that we don’t believe in scolding, dogs live in the present, and by the time you realize what’s happening, it’s probably already over. I seriously doubt you’d ever punish your kid for something like that.

Like any training, this needs to be done with care and consistency over and over again. Ignore the negative and praise the positive.

What do you need?

You’ll need to be able to devote nearly all of your time and energy to the pup at this stage. That may seem like a lot, but you’d do the same thing for a newborn or young child, right?

It’s not only about teaching them to use the bathroom; we’re also concerned with making sure they’re secure and sound at home.


In the beginning, it’s best to keep your puppy confined to a small, well-ventilated area of the house that can be easily cleaned or covered with materials like plastic sheeting, newspaper, old towels, or a mix of these.

You should stock up on whatever you decide to use, and if you go with cloth, you should anticipate daily laundry, because of the necessity of keeping the bed clean.

Because accidents will happen, not just on the floor but also on you, make sure to stock up on cleaning supplies. Dogs might mistake the odor of certain disinfectants for that of their own urine.

Because of this, you should probably be picky about what you use to clean, since the standard items you normally employ may not be the best option.

Keep away from ammonia-based products; a pet store will likely carry a more suitable disinfectant.

We also learned that disinfection sprays with a pine aroma are inappropriate. Being aware of the problem and using a solution that suits your needs is your best bet.

In addition, you should provide an absorbent material for the puppy’s bed. When we first got our dog, we lined the bottom of the crate with newspapers that we had been saving for years, and then we put a bedding pad on top.

We made sure to check under the pad frequently, but especially first thing in the morning, and we would replace the newspaper whenever it became soiled.

Make sure there’s an outside ‘potty‘ spot, whether it’s on a grassy patch or hard standing, as long as it’s the place you want them to go and you can simply clean up afterward.

We purchased some training pads for our dog that were approximately 18 inches square and seemed to be impregnated with something to entice canines to use them.


In our experience, our dog was more likely to urinate off the side than to defecate on these. We only used them to cover the floor of the crate where our baby slept.

So, what’s going to happen?

Allow me to rewind to the beginning. A puppy, like a baby, has to go to the bathroom more often than an adult dog with a trained bladder. It’s ideal to let them out as soon as they wake up; the time they want to leave may vary per person, but it’s usually right away.

They should also wait around 15 minutes after a meal or a few drinks. They should be taken outside on a regular basis regardless.

If you want to know when your puppy has to go outside, you’ll have to wait a while – maybe a few months – until you’ve finished teaching them.

Avoid leaving doors unlocked since they may treat the garden like a play area, which will take their attention away from their training.

However, if you can set up a bathroom area just outside and block off the remainder of the yard, that would be a workable solution. Take caution, especially if the entrance is closed due to inclement weather.

You should get up a few times during the night to take your puppy out to go to the bathroom, just like you would if you were changing a baby’s diaper.

Don’t be surprised if a puppy or a tiny dog urinates out of pure joy. Years ago, I had a tiny Yorkie that usually welcomed me by rolling over to pee. Now that I have learned more about canine psychology, I can welcome my dogs with confidence and not stress them out.

Pick up your dog and get them to the designated bathroom place as soon as you spot them crouching, whether you’re at home or outdoors.

Do this for as long as necessary because they will eventually grasp it, but it may be a while before they are able to get there on their own.


In addition to rewarding your dog with a treat, being with him while he performs the trick and lavishing him with praise can help him identify the action with the term you chose.

If you are using a clicker to train your dog, remember to click and treat after every appropriate action. Don’t use “good boy” or “good girl” as a reward since it may lead to potty training.

If you’re lucky, your puppy will quickly learn to tell you when they need to go outside to use the restroom. Our youngest is now quite talkative, and we’ve learned to pay attention when she comes and “talks” to us about how she feels, such as when she wants to play, when she’s hungry, when her water bowl is empty, or when she needs to go outside to use the restroom.

We’ve got to learn to listen carefully to her every time she barks so that we can distinguish between the various needs she may be communicating.

Even after your puppy has gotten all of the necessary vaccinations so that you may take it for a stroll in the park, it may still hold its bowel movements until it returns home. Indeed, you’ve conditioned them to follow you there!

If you take them out for a walk first thing in the morning, before they have a chance to use the garden, they’ll be so frantic to use the restroom that they’ll go then and then.

Ideally, you’d be able to go to a safe location immediately, but if that’s not possible, it’s best to wait to return home until this has occurred, during which time you should provide the same level of praise and reward (a treat) as previously.

You may also lie to read: Do You Make These 4 Common Dog Training Mistakes

Of course, if you don’t have time and have to come home before the puppy has done its business, make sure to take it directly out into the garden so it may do what it has been trained to do.

The outside restroom:

Prepare yourself to regularly clean the bathroom; your dog will appreciate it as much as you would if you weren’t forced to relieve yourself in the same spot as the dog’s previous messes.


Don’t worry, your dog will still be able to smell what’s going on in the area, even if you wash down the area to remove the pee as well as the solid waste.

Dogs have an acute sense of smell; they can detect odors from as far back as a few months, so they will find their way to the bathroom without our aid.

Even though we have a vast garden, we still need to go on a regular poo hunt and clean up. Regardless matter how much you love and care for dogs, walking in dog poop is one of the worst things that can happen to you.

Considering how sensitive dogs’ noses are, you may need to spray out the garden’s designated potty area more frequently if the weather is dry for extended periods and your pet has trouble finding a suitable spot.

Many options exist for getting rid of the solid waste; here are a few ideas:

Obtain poop bags and deposit the contents in your regular trash can. It is also possible to “compost” the poo bag and its contents, as there are biodegradable options available.

throw it in the trash, flush it down the toilet, or bury it in a hole excavated in the backyard using a tiny shovel designated only for this purpose (be sure to cover over with soil each time)

You can use a dog poop composter if you’re truly into composting; just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

If you decide to utilize a pit, keep in mind that canine waste takes longer to decompose than, example, horse manure, and that it may attract vermin if left uncovered.


Toilet training your puppy or young dog is a process that requires patience, consistency and reward. By following the steps outlined above, you can lay down a solid foundation for successful toilet training.

With some hard work and dedication on your part, you will soon have a potty-trained pup who can enjoy the freedom of being able to go out and about with their owners!


More to read: How to Train Your Dog: 7 Reasons Why You Should Do It Yourself