"Rub his nose in it!!!"


“Rub his nose in it!!!”  How to correctly toilet train your dog!


Let me start by telling DO NOT rub your dog’s nose in it!  When your dog has a toileting accident, it is just that, an accident!  They don’t set out to toilet in your home because they are mad with you or upset with you.  Dogs need to understand through correct house training that they must toilet outside and not in the house. 

You may all be experiencing toileting problems with your dog, either because you have a new pup or a rescue dog that has never been correctly trained or perhaps your existing dog has suddenly started to toilet in the house for no apparent reason!  Whichever the reason, there are some basic steps you can follow before calling for help…

Key Points:-

  • Don’t punnish the dog for accidents in the house, take a deep breath clean it and go about your day

  • Don’t leave the dogs unattended out in the garden without knowing they have gone to toilet, watch them go and praise them for going

  • Paper training your pup once older than 6-8 weeks is not effective and can be counter productive!

  • Just like human babies, they go many times throughout the day and night as they can’t hold it in just yet!

  • Get your puppy socialised with as much and as soon as possible, a nervouss or frightend dog may not toilet outside

  • Use the correct cleaning agents that will deodersie the smell, not bleach or antibacterial soloutions.  Use sprays found in pet shops or washing powder in warm water.

  • And above all else be patient!


Where do I start?

First of all you must realise that the time it takes to toilet train your adult dog or puppy varies between individuals and your personal time commitments.  

Ok, so a valuable tool for this training is a crate…. See ‘crate training’











Having a crate means that your dog is less likely to have accidents when you’re not around. However, if you leave them in it for too long then they will have no option and this is not fair.

Here are some pointers to consider as to when your adult dog or pup is likely to want to toilet….

  • Immediately when you get up and greet your puppy and each time you let him out of his crate or sleeping area.

  • When he starts moving around after resting.

  • Soon after play or 10-15 minutes into play, stop your pup for a toilet break (They will often stop and urinate wherever they are at that time).

  • Within 20-30 minutes of eating or drinking.

  • If they begin to sniff the ground or start to circle, then this can often be a behaviour they perform before they go to the toilet.

  • Ensure you allow your dog access to the garden, supervised, atleast every hour whilst you are training them.

  • At least for the first few weeks of your new pups life you will need to let the pup out at night upto 3 times in an 8 hour night. When you are doing this it is impotant not to pay any attention to your pup except when they come back into the house and only use treats as a rewrd, NO verbal praise, don’t even talk to them! Take the pup straight back to her sleeping place and go back to bed.  For adult dogs you may also need to get up atleast once throught the night.


What to do if they have an accident?

Don’t punish the dog if they have an accident. If you catch the dog in the act then immediately say ‘ah, ah’ and pick them up and take them straight outside even if they are midway!

Clean the accident up with specific products from your local pet store or Vet that will deodorise the scent left by urine or you can use some homemade products such as biological soap powder in water or warm water with vinegar.

What if this doesn’t work?

This training programme is very likely to work if you are self-disciplined enough to be consistent and patient with your pup. You may encounter several accidents before the pup gets it right.

A nervous pup or dog will be very reluctant to toilet outside even in an enclosed garden, early socialising will help with this problem but I would recommend that you seek help from a behaviourist to ensure you are doing the correct things.

Another factor may be medical conditions. This should be dealt with by your Veterinarian as soon as possible.


It is always advised that you contact a behavioural specialist if the problem is persistent and or if your dog has never had a problem with toileting before.

Use this information provided with your own discretion.  This is a guide only.