Aah, puppy potty training – is there anything more fun?
Puppies are statistically proven to be the cutest things on the planet, and I think the reasoning for this is so owners persevere through potty training, and don’t just give them back after a day.
House training requires some pretty special powers of patience, consistency and lots and lots of positive reinforcement.
Training your puppy is a challenging process that can seem a bit relentless while you are going through with it. You have to stay on top of your puppy’s actions and either reward or stop him immediately otherwise he has no idea why you are doing it.
Anything that can help things along for a tired and frustrated owner can be fantastic, which is why inventors have come the rescue on a lot of aspects of this process.
What steps does puppy training involve?
There are two essential goals of house training or potty training for your puppy; get him to wee in the right place and poop in the right place.
It usually takes between 4-6 months but can take up to a year. Smaller puppies have littler bladders and need to go more often, so they may take longer to train.
Puppies who have been rescued from traumatic circumstances may also take longer (and also require a lot more patience and consistency in many areas of care).
You can start training your puppy from about 12 weeks of age; earlier than this they cannot control their bladders enough to hold on. Keep your puppy contained to a smallish area, such as one room or a fenced off part of your yard or house, or you could use a training crate.
- As soon as you wake up, take him outside to do his business.
- Take him again every half hour to hour throughout the day
- Take him outside straight after meals or after he wakes from a nap
- Make sure he goes out last thing at night before bed as well.
- Feed him regular meals and take away his food in between.
- Take him to the same spot in your yard to go, as his scent from before will encourage this again
- Stay with him until he goes
- When he goes where you want him to give him a treat or lots of positive attention and reinforcement, so he knows he has done the right thing.
- If your dog has an accident indoors do not negatively respond afterwards as he won’t understand why
- If you catch him in the act, clap loudly to surprise him and get him to stop, then take him outside immediately
- If he does have an accident inside, clean with an enzymatic cleaner rather than an ammonia based one, because the smell will discourage him from going there again.
During this potty training period, watch for signs that your puppy may need to go. This can include whining, circling, sniffing, barking or scratching at the door.
Comparing the best potty training toilets for puppies
Piddle Place Indoor Dog Toilet
This is an indoor toilet great for your puppy to use if you live in an apartment or don’t have easy access to grass. Your dog wees on fake grass which sits above the drainage system, allowing the wee to fall below your dog’s paws.
Comes with a lid and fake grass for your dog to use as his toilet. The turf pads are absorbent and replaceable.
- Plastic tray with lid and 2 replaceable washable turf pads
- Patented groove and drainage system
- Bioenzyme treatment with odour protection
This is a handy device for apartments, as well as for owners who are elderly or have mobility problems.
It is also good for travelling dogs and can be used on caravans etc. It can be used for dogs, cats and small pigs apparently.
Dogs like this better than the absorbent paper pads, and it looks much better to boot. There is also a bit less wee handling than with the puppy pads.
You can also buy the BioTreatment Spray for around $22 which reduces odours and keeps the turf fresh in between changes.
There are cheaper ones on the market. You will need to replace the turf pads after a while. Replacement pads cost around $35 each.
Simple Solution Training Pad Holder + Training Pads
The system seems to work equally well for training but is more of short term option than the piddle place, which can be a toilet alternative for dogs with no access to grass very often.
- PVC tray holder
- Training Pads purchased separately
This is a cheaper solution than the Piddle Place but is really only for while you are training your dog, not as an ongoing toilet alternative.
There not really any drawbacks to trying this system. It is cheap and safe. The training pads are only for single use, as opposed to the Piddle Place turf pads which don’t need to be replaced as often.
Woofaloo Dog Toilet
Similar to a cat litter tray, this can be used both inside and out, and your dog can be trained to use it long term. You can fill it with either disposable litter or cut any brand of absorbent puppy pads to fit.
Suitable for puppies and small to medium dogs, this is very highly rated. It is not at good looking as the Piddle Place but is still cute.
- Easy to clean
- Lays flat for travelling
- Little plastic tree for dogs to aim for
Reasonably priced and if filled with litter would not need to be changed more often than once or twice a week. Dogs really like it and respond to it.
Can be used for travelling and is suitable as an ongoing toilet for dogs who stay mostly indoors.
Not as attractive to look at as others and will need to be changed more often than the grass turf pads. Not suitable for big dogs, but none of the toilets we have reviewed are, as they are designed for puppy training.
Rascal Dog Litter Box
Similar concept to the Piddle Place, but a cheaper product and comes with a splash guard as well. This uses washable turf pads and a drainage system that allows the wee to drain away from the pad and your puppy’s feet.
This product gets higher reviews because it is an equivalent product but not as expensive.
- Lightweight, washable, transportable
- Comes with splash guards and one washable pads
- Training spray
A great product, reasonably priced and works really well both for toilet training and as an ongoing solution for housebound dogs. Dogs like the fake grass which has a smell added to it to attract dogs to go there.
The dish holds a lot of wee and can be easily tipped into the toilet for flushing. The pad is washable.
You could also use the tray for puppy pads or newspaper. It is not the sexiest dog toilet (if that was a thing) but it is fantastic value for money and everyone who buys it really seem to like it.
You still have to handle the gross wee-soaked pad to wash it, but it has less wee in it than the paper puppy pads.
Clix Toilet Training Bells
These bells hang on the inside of your external door and can be used to teach your puppy to ring them and let you know that he needs the toilet. Once trained, you don’t need to watch for other cues, and he won’t bark or scratch at your door to let you know that he needs to go.
They are adjustable so can be used for different sized dogs and doors.
These can be taken when you travel and when hung on the door to a hotel room for instance, he recognises how to let you know that he needs to go.
This is a nifty product for use when you are taking your dog out and about, for picking up poo. The Handipod holds fresh poo bags, and also a hand sanitiser. The model comes with an interchangeable torch as well. It attaches to your dog’s collar.
There is also a Mini version.
This is a good-looking product and would make a great gift for new pet owners.
VetIQ Training Aid
This handy little liquid allows you to spray where you want your dog to go, for instance in the grass or on puppy training pads. The smell imitates the dog sexual pheromones which is the smell he is looking for when he wants somewhere to go.
Just spray this liquid wherever you want your dog to go. It works for puppies as well as older dogs who have moved to a new home or new retraining.
This is a cheap and easy product, and the reviews of it seem to be very positive. You will need other products as well probably, unless your dog has easy access to outside and you are able to stay completely on top of training him.
Some customers have claimed that it doesn’t work for their dogs. Because it is still a safe product both for your puppy and for your garden, and doesn’t cost much, it is probably worth a try anyway.