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How to Toilet Train Your Dog

Posted on 19th July 2013 by Green Lane Farm Team

Toilet training is a simple process but will require time and a lot of patience. Following these steps will make the experience a lot easier both for you and your dog.


It is useful to observe your dog before starting to toilet train. Most will exhibit the same signs when they need to go to the toilet. Most dogs will start to look around somewhat anxiously. They may start to walk around in circles or to sniff spaces and corners in order to find a suitable place. If you can recognise the signs that your dog may need the toilet then it becomes easier to whisk them outside and avoid accidents.

Special Space

When you are starting to toilet train your dog it is ideal if you can spend as much time as possible with them, but there will be times when it is not possible to directly supervise your dog and this is when you should make use of the special space.

This can be a small area or even an indoor kennel where you have placed food, water and bedding. Don’t make the special space too small as the dog will be discouraged from going to the toilet there if it is quite a small space. You should also make sure that the special space is not somewhere that will make the dog feel isolated from the rest of the family.

Regular Routine

This is one of the key points to remember about toilet training as it will help your dog learn to control their bowel and bladder and to recognise that there are specific times to go to the toilet. You must take your dog outside first thing every morning and wait until they have had a wee and a poo. It is important to give lots of praise when they do go as this reinforces the fact that going to the toilet outside is good behaviour. When you return inside let the dog have full access to the room if you can supervise them directly or send them to their special place.

Take your dog outside every hour after this so that they have the opportunity to go to the toilet. You must also take them outside after meals and any period of play or exercise. If your dog goes to the toilet then write down the time and what they actually did. If your dog has been used to going to the toilet on newspaper in the house then initially placing a piece of soiled newspaper in the garden may help them adjust to going to the toilet outside as it will contain their scent.

This routine must be followed for at least one week. It will help your dog understand that although they may have to wait to go they will have opportunities for the toilet. You will also have a written record of when your dog has actually gone to the toilet over the week which should help you to see a pattern. It should be easier to now predict their toilet requirements and adapt when you will need to let them out.


There are bound to be some accidents while you are toilet training your dog. It is important not to be angry with your dog and never punish them for an accident. It is vital to ensure that when you clean up their mess you disinfectant the area thoroughly to remove any scent. This will prevent the dog from returning to use the same spot as a toilet again.


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