how to house train a puppy

How To House Train A Puppy

It’s been a very long time since I had to house train a puppy. Precious Stella was my rescue girl and my darling Brodie arrived way back in 1993. I’m pretty sure ideas and techniques have changed a lot since then! how to house train a puppy how to house train a puppy

I haven’t made a firm decision on my own future canine companion. However, I know the lovely boyfriend’s children would be beside themselves with glee if a small fluffy bundle arrived on the scene!

Therefore, it seems the right time to share some tips while I brush up on my own knowledge.

Three Tips for Good Puppy House Training

Bringing a new pet into your home is an exciting time for everyone in the family, but it is important to remember the need for house-training amidst all of the excitement. It is a good idea to start house training your puppy once they are at least 12 weeks old.

Puppies are generally easy to train, although some breeds learn faster than others. However, all breeds of puppy require some form of house training to avoid the chances of your new pet ruling the roost and urinating inside.

Using these tips, your puppy will be house-trained within a matter of months to ensure that they make the perfect family addition to your home:

1. Feeding times

When training your puppy to use the toilet outdoors (and not on your fresh carpet!), it’s important to feed your pet at the correct times. This is because when eating, the digestive system of puppies is stimulated and leaves them needing the toilet, so it is a good idea to feed your puppy shortly before taking them on a walk.

As a general rule of thumb, puppies will need to defecate within half an hour of eating and they should be needing to urinate within fifteen minutes.

2. Enforce consistent routines

Establishing routines is essential when house-training a new dog. Without it, your pet may become confused at what they’re being asked to do which in turn, can further delay your training progression.

Using cue words that communicate to your pet that it’s time to use the toilet help to do this. For example, if you decide to use ‘toilet’ as your cue word, repeat the word to your puppy. This allows them to associate the cue word with the action, helping them to understand your commands.

3. Urinating whilst walking

To eliminate the chances of your puppy having an accident inside the house, it’s a good idea to gently encourage them to urinate when they’re already outdoors. When you’re on your daily walk, encourage your pet to do their business to break the cycle of only weeing in their garden.

Training your pet to do this also has many other notable benefits and can help with their socialisation, along with teaching them to walk sensibly on a lead.


Common mistakes

When it comes to house-training a pet, here are the most common problems and how to avoid them:

Incorrect feeding

Feeding your pet at unsuitable times is the most common issue that new pet owners run into when training their puppy. As we mentioned earlier, the time in which you feed your pet has a direct impact on their need to use the toilet, so work your pet’s feeding time around your daily lifestyle to ensure that you’re available to let the puppy urinate outside.

But it’s not just when you feed them that matters, you should also ensure to feed them a diet which is suitable for their age.

Punishing your pet

If the time comes where you pet accidentally uses the toilet inside, it’s essential to not punish your puppy for their mistake. This can further delay training and the reason can be as simple as not fully understanding their training routine.

When it comes to house-training your puppy, it doesn’t always have to be a frustrating task. In fact, these three training tips will set you up for training a happy and sociable dog that you can trust won’t use your furniture as a toilet!

Remember, before getting a new puppy you should carefully consider the costs and efforts associated with owning a dog. Puppies require a lot of attention and can be very costly, so make sure you are prepared to look after them for the next 10-15 years at least! Consider dog insurance which can help protect you from some of the financial pressures from costly vet bills.


Good luck to any and all of us looking to embark on this exciting journey…I’m trying to hold off until 2018 while I’m still mourning the loss of my best friend. But, never say never! 🙂


*collaborative post

**featured image photo credit: Crazybananas Puppy! via photopin (license)


  1. good tips that can also apply to a rescue, who may already be toilet trained but lost those skills and routine with being in kennels.

    Popping over from #AnimalTales

  2. I recently got to look after a puppy for 3 weeks and it was great fun … I pretty much got him house trained and he was fairly good at coming back to his name. I would certainly say routine and consistency are key and a well trained dog is a happy dog. Thanks for adding this post to #AnimalTales and maybe all new puppy owners should have to read it!

  3. Oh yes, I remember house-training Doc, it does feel like a long time ago though. To be fair, he was easy of course we had accidents and lots of chewed up furniture, but he got there in the #animaltales

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