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How to Potty Train Your Puppy


Our top tips for house training your puppy

Bringing a puppy into your home is a big responsibility which is why Barking Mad dog sitters are sharing their top tips for potty training a puppy

We’re here to help by sharing our top tips for how to potty train a puppy!


If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, you are bound to be wondering what is the best way to start their training. Potty training (also known as toilet or house training) is usually considered a priority by new dog owners. Obviously, puppies can’t learn to use an actual potty but many of the same principles apply as when potty training a human child. It’s all about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. We share our top tips below and answer commonly asked questions.

When should I begin potty training my puppy?

Experts recommend that you begin potty training your puppy between 12-16 weeks of age. This is the point that most puppies have enough bladder and bowel control to learn to wait until they are outside. If your puppy is a little older when you bring them home and their breeder hasn’t started house training, it may take a little longer as you will have to reshape previously learned behaviour. It usually takes 4-6 months to house train a puppy but it can take up to a year. Smaller breeds have smaller bladders and may take longer.

How to potty train a puppy?

The first stage of potty training a puppy is to take the time and effort to establish a routine. To begin with, it can help to restrict the puppy to one room in your home. The kitchen is usually a popular choice as it is likely to have a wipe-clean floor covering. Once they begin to learn that they need to go outside to relieve themselves, you can gradually give them access to the rest of their new home. Your puppy’s new routine should include:

  • A regular feeding schedule with leftover food removed between meals
  • A trip outdoors first thing in the morning where you wish them to toilet and then again every half an hour or so. Your puppy will not be able to tell you at first when they need to go out.
  • A trip outdoors after every meal (as this stimulates their digestive system) after every nap and just before bedtime
  • Always being taken to the same place to toilet as their scent will encourage them
  • Being given the same command whenever you wish them to toilet. If you find this embarrassing try using, ‘hurry up’ instead of a toilet reference
  • Receiving praise and perhaps a treat whenever they toilet outside

Things to remember when potty training your puppy:

  • You must never punish your puppy for having an accident, or rub their nose in it
  • If you catch your puppy in the act, clap or make a loud noise to show it’s not acceptable and take them to where you wish them to toilet
  • Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleanser because ammonia-based cleaning compounds smell similar to urine and might attract them back to the same spot
  • Sleeping in an enclosed space such as a crate can help with toilet training as a puppy will naturally want to toilet away from where they sleep
  • Avoid overfeeding your puppy or feeding them an unsuitable diet
  • Don’t leave your puppy outside on their own. You need to be there to praise them for toileting in the right place.
  • Be realistic and don’t expect to be able to leave your puppy for long periods or all night without them needing to toilet
  • Don’t worry if there are setbacks. As long as you are consistent and stick to a routine, your pup will soon learn.
  • If you are thinking of adopting a rescue dog which is past puppyhood, please be aware that due to their circumstances, they may not be fully house trained either. The Blue Cross, one of the UK’s leading animal welfare charities, offers some fantastic advice on how to house train an adult dog.


Barking Mad dog sitters share their top tips for potty training puppies

Puppies need lots of time, reassurance and positive reinforcement whist toilet training


We adore puppies at Barking Mad Dog Care!

Once puppies have had all of their vaccinations and made progress with their house training, we are happy to consider placing them with one of our experienced host families. Every puppy is different and we would need to make sure that we have suitable host availability for your chosen dates. With this in mind, we recommend that you don’t leave registering your puppy with our dog sitting service until the last minute. Why not find your local branch and have a chat to them about your gorgeous furry friend today?

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