How to Toilet Train a Puppy: 7 Days & 7 Quick Tips!

Tue, Jan 11, 22

If you’re someone who has just brought home a new puppy, then congratulations! It’s going to be an adventure full of learning curves. Experiencing messy homes and smelly smells is something no pet parent can escape. This is why giving your puppy toilet training at home is a must. 

With 26 years of experience in dog training and canine behaviour, Shirin Merchant explains how to toilet train your puppy in 7 days!

Watch Now: How to Toilet Train A Puppy

How does toilet training start for a puppy?

  • When a puppy is 2-3 weeks old, it is their mother who is the first one to toilet train them. She will nudge them off the surface they eat and sleep on when the puppy wishes to relieve themselves.

  • If a puppy who has been exposed to this process enters your home, they quickly learn what’s called as surface discrimination. This means that your puppy knows to not relieve themselves on the same surface they eat or sleep on. You can use this to your advantage when you start your toilet training!

How to start toilet training a puppy at home?

Our expert Shirin recommends following these 7 simple tips to toilet train a puppy at home


Before you bring your puppy home, choose a designated spot you wish for them to be their permanent relieving spot. This spot can be a backyard or a balcony with all your training essentials around such as puppy pee pads, a loo box and an odour destroyer.

HUFT Recommends: Try our reusable puppy pads. With an anti-skid base, these are breathable, reusable, comfortable, machine-washable and offer a 4-5 layer protection to soak liquids easily! 


Once you bring your puppy or even an adult dog home for the first time, it is important to expose them to the spot immediately. Do not let them relieve themselves anywhere but the designated spot. If you get the first or second exposure correct, the rest of your training becomes easier! 


puppy schedule

Your puppy is likely to relieve themselves at three specific timings: 

  1. Right before or after eating (with 5 meals a day)
  2. Right after a nap (with 5 naps a day)
  3. After playtime is over (almost 10 times a day)

This makes it easier for you to predict when your puppy might wish to use the loo. Once you have the schedule ready, be ready to take your puppy to their spot.


Just like human children, your puppy will need your help and patience when they’re relieving themselves. Make sure you take your puppy to the pee pads at the designated spot at the right time. 

Remember: Your puppy is at a tender age when they might feel scared being alone. Hence, be present with them when they’re doing their business. 


Just like human children, your puppy will take their time to learn something new. Hence it is fully natural for them to pee in different areas around the house. Here are some do’s and don'ts:

Puppy with Child

The Dos

  • Be kind, and understanding so your puppy doesn’t lose their trust in you.
  • If you catch your dog doing their business in the wrong spot, simply discourage the behaviour and take them to the correct spot. 
  • Create an indoor toilet spot for your puppy as taking them outside may not be convenient at all times. Keep yourself in check by asking, ‘Did I fail to take my puppy to the right spot?” These questions will only help you keep yourself in check.

The Don'ts 

  • Do not scold your puppy when they fail to get their behaviour right as it will only make them associate you as someone negative. 
  • They will eventually start to hide themselves when they do their business and stop relieving themselves in front of you, even when you take them for their walks once they grow up. 


  • Use a puppy pee pad or a newspaper to clean up the mess. Take this wrapped up pee pad and keep it in your designated spot. When your puppy smells their urine at a particular spot, they’ll want to do their business there. This is how we can use the mess to our advantage!   
  • Avoid using strong smelling chemicals like ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners since they would simply conceal the smell of urine with a much stronger smell. Your puppy will find this smell alien and would want to cover it up by urinating at the same place. These could also cause skin irritations if your dog rolls around on the floor. 
  • Shirin recommends using a soapy solution made from human clothing detergent. Put the solution on top of the pee-pad when you’re cleaning the mess. Let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes before cleaning it off. Do not use anything else once the area is clean. 

Shirin’s Tip: Why use your own detergent? Your puppy will find familiarity with the detergent’s smell as they would associate it with you! Hence, they would not wish to pee at the same spot.


Remember to keep guiding your puppy to the designated spot according to their peeing schedule. If you wish to see improvement in just seven days, be disciplined in maintaining your puppy’s daily eating, sleeping and playing routine. This will ensure that their peeing routine is consistent as well! 

What if I wish to toilet train my adult dog?

If you’re bringing home an adult dog and wish to toilet train them, you can follow the same tips too! Just remember that their feeding, sleeping and play time will differ from that of a puppy and hence their toilet schedule will be different as well! 


*All imagery and videos used are the property of Heads Up For Tails and cannot be used or distributed without prior permission.


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