Toilet Training Trouble

Most toilet training issues arise when the original toilet training has not been adequate. We consider a dog to be toilet trained when it has not had any accidents for four weeks.


These processes can be used with puppies and adult dogs. However the owner should begin with the end in mind, as dogs do develop preferences for surfaces to eliminate on. Therefore, owners should be encouraged to start training in the place they would like the dog to ultimately eliminate in.

  • Take the puppy/dog to the place where you want him to eliminate and praise when you get the desired response
  • Take puppy/dog to the same spot each time. Encourage them to walk rather than carry, as this teaches the pathway to the area
  • After meals, after play, as soon as it wakes, if it hasn’t been for a while
  • Can introduce a cue word such as empty, toilet etc.
  • Keep alert and watch for signs that the dog may need to go out
  • Restrict access to house to prevent accidents and ensure adequate supervision
  • Don’t feed just before bed – allow time for digestion and toileting
  • Clean up any mess in the dog’s absence to avoid unwanted attention
  • DO NOT use cleaners that contain ammonia as they smell like urine
  • Keep a chart if you are having problems. This helps to recognise patterns and pre-empt accidents
  • Startle the dog if you catch him in the act
  • Never punish the dog after the event. Even if you take the dog over to the mess, they do not understand

NEVER rub the dog’s nose in faeces or urine

If you follow the steps and advice above you should see results within two weeks. We consider a dog to be fully toilet trained if it does not have an accident in 4 weeks.

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