How to Teach a Dog or Puppy to go to the Bathroom?

¿Cómo Enseñar a un Perro o Cachorro a ir al Baño?

The education of your dog is very important to maintain a good relationship and coexistence with him. How to teach a dog to go to the bathroom in the right place requires a lot of dedication, observation, perseverance and patience.

We share some tips that you can apply on how to educate your puppy so that it relieves itself in the right place.

How long does it take to potty train a dog?

There is no specific age at which a dog learns to relieve itself in the right place. How long it takes will depend on several factors, the size, age or breed of your dog can also influence how long it takes to learn it (younger dogs have smaller bladders, and small breeds have faster metabolisms and need relieve yourself more frequently).

So your dog will take time to learn to relieve himself where you want depending on the interest you put in him and his intelligence. But if you dedicate time and effort consistently and enough for between two and six months, you will be acquiring this new habit.

What do I need to teach my dog ​​to go to the bathroom?

To potty train a dog, you will need a few items before you start training:

  • Leash to direct him to the designated location to relieve himself.
  • Training tray with an absorbent mat or newspaper in the designated place, the dog will associate its scent with a single place where it can relieve itself, making the area more hygienic.
  • Waggy's Rewards in order to congratulate you when you have understood the instructions. We especially recommend these relaxing treats for dogs if your dog or puppy is nervous, suffers from anxiety or stress :


How to teach him step by step?

Now with the basic elements it's time to train, follow these tips continuously to make it easier to teach him to do the bathroom instead.

Define the place

Locate an accessible place for your puppy to eliminate, such as the garden, the garage or the bathroom. It is important that the place you choose as a bathroom must be separated from the places where your friend plays, rests or eats. For no reason can he be near his food bowl or bed. Also for this first step you will need a bit of his pee sample, which will serve to mark with his scent the point designated by you as his place to go to the bathroom. Just a small amount is enough.

Introduce him to his place

Put the leash on your dog and show him where he needs to eliminate in a positive way. Once in the place, let him smell, investigate and explore. Accompany this process with a phrase like "go to the bathroom", "go pee", this will be used as an order and will serve as reinforcement while he smells and stands on his new bathroom.

We are not playing

Do not play with him while you show him the place where he should relieve himself, nor allow him to play, bite or tear the newspaper or absorbent mat.

keep the brand

Until he has acquired the habit of going to his place to relieve himself, it is advisable to always keep a small amount of pee in the designated space. Make sure that the other parts of your house or yard are always clean and free from the smell of stool. To eliminate the trace of odor that may have remained in other places in the house, use a little vinegar mixed with water, this will neutralize the smell and your dog will be able to focus on the right place.

Establish a routine

Get your puppy used to a routine and fixed schedules so that he associates each specific hour with each activity such as playing, sleeping, going for a walk and doing his business.


Do this exercise at least three times a day, ideally after you feed him when he is most likely to have a bowel movement. Repeat until you notice that he goes alone or when you give him the instruction “go to the bathroom” or “go pee”. Remember that accidents are inevitable during training, either due to lack of time or simply because the puppy can't take it anymore. If he does not succeed or is in the wrong place, you should not punish him, since he can get scared and damage his training, and you will only get your puppy to start relieving himself where you cannot see him. So just wipe it off quickly and just pay no attention to the situation.

Reward him

Praise your puppy every time he urinates or defecates instead. At first, all the puppies relieve themselves where they shouldn't, and they still don't know where it's right and where it's not. But every time he does it well and where he should always try to congratulate your puppy, encourage him and caress him saying "Good boy!", Well done!" or if you say “wee” to him, he will recognize your positive tone of voice and understand that he has done the right thing. You can also reward him with treats such as Waggy's cookies to reinforce his great behavior, which will help him feel safe and make the education period easier, as well as help him relax and be calmer in his day to day.


    Check it out after meals

    Lastly, keep an eye on your dog after meals, waking up, and after playing. Be sure to take him to his bathroom several times, especially early in training, so he begins to understand that this is his specific place to relieve himself.

    Each dog is unique and has its rhythm and time to learn, don't be discouraged. The training is based on repeating many times until the appropriate behavior is achieved, and of course, on positively reinforcing the new habits.


    Reasons why the process of going to the bathroom could be prolonged

    What can you do if your puppy does not relieve itself where it should? If your puppy is taking time to understand the process of going to relieve himself where he should, some inconveniences may arise in the process such as:

    • Some diseases or medical problems could lengthen the control of the pee.
    • Puppies that have lived in unsanitary conditions earlier in their life may not control their sphincters.
    • Some small dog breeds may take longer to control their needs.
    • Older dogs with incontinence problems will also need longer training.
    • The training could be extended with dogs with anxiety problems (if you want to know more about anxiety in dogs you can visit our article: Anxiety in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and How to Control it in 3 steps.



    In conclusion, we know that the process of training a dog to relieve itself in the right place can take anywhere from weeks to months, so it can be exhausting, however; Patience is very important in this process and it is something that should not be stressful for the human or for the pet. We hope these tips will be useful to you, remember that if you need more help, you can always rely on a canine coach to guide you step by step in this process.

    Leave us a comment with your experience and tell us which methods have worked best for you.

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