How to Potty Train a Border Collie Puppy? (3 Easy Steps)

Last Updated on July, 2024

A border collie is an intelligent, athletic, and energetic dog breed. Whether it’s a pet or a working dog, you need to house train a border collie early on so that it will establish good habits when it’s an adult dog.

This breed of dogs wants to please their owners all the time. So they will be responding crisply to their owners’ commands. So it’s easy to teach them how to behave well.

Here’s a simple owner guide on how to potty train a border collie so that you no longer need to clean up the mess in your house. Instead, your dog will go potty in the designated area.

Quick Summary

To successfully potty train a border collie, it is important to have a designated area, recognize signs that the dog needs to go, and use positive reinforcement.

It takes time, patience, and consistency for a border collie to be fully potty trained.

Crate training can also be helpful in the potty training process, but it is important to be patient and consistent with trainin

Are Border Collies Easy to House Train? 

Border Collie puppy sitting on a chair

They will soon identify what you expect of them and work accordingly. You need to give clear instructions and use a friendly manner to reap the full training benefits. Always keep things nice and don’t use negative reinforcement at any point.

The first thing you might ask yourself is, is house training a border collie a simple procedure? In reality, it is a straightforward process as border collies are intelligent dogs.

They tend to grasp commands and instructions quickly if you properly teach them. (1)

Things You Need When House Training a Border Collie

Now that you know that it’s not hard to train a border collie, let’s look at what you need to start with the process.

  • A separate area in your house that is easy to clean
  • Puppy pads for toilet training
  • A crate that fits your puppy
  • A suitable treat and reward
  • Enzyme-based cleaner to clean when an accident occurs
  • Use a friendly approach to training and be on the right track

How to House Train Your Border Collie Puppy?

A Border collie family sitting neat the house door

With everything in hand and prepared, now you are ready to take the leap in potty training your border collie. Here is a step-by-step guide that will make your training process smooth and straightforward.

Soon, you’ll have a fully-trained border collie puppy in your house.

Step 1: Create A Designated Area 

Leave a separate area in the house for this purpose, preferably an outside area. However, if it’s an apartment, you need to use puppy pads until your border collie puppy can hold on until it goes outside. 

Make sure to use the same area for this so that your border collie identifies this to be the place for ‘doing the job.’ If you just let them run around the garden and do it at any place, then they won’t be able to associate a specific area with doing it.

In the beginning, you can use objects such as foldable pens to highlight the designated area. Over time, your puppy will identify this to be the place to pee and will go to it when it needs to do so.

Step 2: Identify Signs Indicating a Border Collie Needs to Go to the Toilet

Now that you’ve identified the right place for your puppy to go to the toilet, how do you know the time has come for nature calls. One way to identify is when your dog starts to sniff and scoot around in circles. 

Another noticeable sign in male dogs is the cocking of a leg. However, dogs don’t do this until at least six months. Therefore, you cannot rely on this with a very young puppy.

Puppies have very small bladders, so it’s a key point to ensure that you give them more frequent chances to go potty. It could even be every hour.

So take your border collie puppy to the designated area each time so that it gets the message and goes to pee or poop.

Step 3: Reward Border Collie As Part of House Training

Border collie puppies are intelligent canines and natural people-pleasers. They prove this by responding crisply to their owners’ commands. A successful method of potty training is by encouraging positive toilet training behavior.

If your border collie shows the preferred toileting behavior, you should reward it with a treat or toy. Use this form of reward only for showing this behavior and not for any other. Over time your puppy makes the connection between this behavior and its reward.

Apart from a physical threat, you can also use verbal praises. Use an evident tone when praising your dog once it shows the preferred toileting behavior. It encourages your border collie puppy to show more of this behavior.

Combine both verbal praises and toys to successfully potty train your border collie. Let it know that it has done a great job and is a good girl.

How to React When an Accident Happens?

3 Border collie puppies standing on the ground

An accident can happen at any time, no matter how well your border collie puppy behaved the last time it wanted to go potty.

Therefore, it’s vital to act appropriately when such an accident occurs. 

Never be harsh to your border collie puppy when this happens.

Instead, if you catch it while doing the act, try to distract it with a loud voice and take it to the designated area so that your border collie puppy finishes the job.

Crate training is key to reducing such an accident inside the house. More on this later.

When accidents occur, make sure to clean up the mess using an enzymatic cleaner. It will adequately remove the scent, which can attract puppies to go back to the same area when they want to do the business.

Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners as ammonia is usually found in urine, which will trigger your dog to go back there and do the business.

How Does Crate Train Procedure Affect House Training A Border Collie?

border collie sitting inside a dog crate

Crates can be helpful in the toilet training journey of your pet at the puppy stage. Crate train procedure is an entirely different topic. However, border collie puppies naturally don’t want to soil the place where they sleep. 

Keep your puppy in the crate about 15 to 20 minutes before its scheduled time to go potty. This way, once you take it out of the crate, it’ll be ready to do the business at the designated toilet area. It will not go to the toilet before that because it’s in its crate.

If you have a big crate, your border collie puppy might designate a corner of it to pee. To avoid this, make sure you fill the crate with comfortable bedding so that it will seem smaller and your dog will not soil it.

Never use puppy training pads on the crate as you encourage your puppy to pee where it naturally would not. Also, due to the denning instinct, puppies will always want to keep the place they stay in clean so that they feel comfortable in them.

How to Identify a Border Collie is Fully House Trained?

Border collie puppy sitting inside a bathroom

Over time, you’ll notice that your border collie has not had accidents for a few weeks.

Here are a few signs that indicate your border collie is fully toilet trained.

  • Your dog will ask you to go to the designated area to do the business. Look out for the signs that indicate it’s go-potty time.
  • You will notice that there aren’t any accidents in your home for at least a month.
  • You no longer have to keep a close eye on your puppy to know if it needs to go potty.

Once you’ve confirmed these three, you can be glad that your puppy is fully house-trained. To further confirm, you can try out the different house test where your puppy wants to go potty outside when the right time comes.

How Long Will it Take for a Border Collie to Be Fully House Trained?

Border collies are easy to house train because they are intelligent and will quickly learn. However, it usually takes at least three weeks before you start seeing potty training results in your border collie.

However, it usually takes at least up to four months for your puppy to be fully potty trained. It is because of the time it takes for bladder development in puppies.

Do’s and Don’ts When House Training a Border Collie

Here are a few things to remember when house training your border collie.


Keep control of where your puppy pees. Crate training can help here.
Maintain a proper food and water schedule if you notice your dog peeing at irregular intervals.
Be consistent in taking your puppy to the designated area for toilet purposes.
Praise your border collie each time it shows successful toileting behavior. Always don’t forget to give it a special treat.


Never punish your dog for accidents.
Don’t rub your puppy’s nose on its own mess. It will only lead to your puppy fearing you.

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Border collies can be interesting paw friends with their wit and intelligence. Teach them using the right methods for successful training. Remember to use positive reinforcement all the way and never use negative reinforcement.

Give it some time. If your puppy is taking longer than you expected, don’t fret. Show some patience, and it will be fully toilet trained in no time. Border collies expect a lot of praise from their owners, so remember to do the same.

If you follow the above tips and sound advice, you are well on your way to raising a well-trained border collie showing good behavior wherever you take it to. But, of course, it is only possible if you teach them constantly.




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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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