PUPPY TOILET TRAINING
Puppies need to learn to control their bowels and bladders and to do this they need TIME to learn how to do this – the best thing you can do is be patient! Here are some hints and tips that might help the process along and minimise the mess you will have to clean up...
When you first get your puppy home, take him to the place that you have already chosen for him to do his eliminations. Bring him inside and introduce him to the parts of the house that you are comfortable having him explore. If you don’t want him in the bedrooms, then don’t show him the bedrooms. Give him a drink and then take him back outside to his toilet place.
It is really important that you establish an eating, drinking and eliminating routine. This means that you will have to stick to a schedule of feeding your puppy.
Make sure you take your dog outside first thing in the morning and last thing at night and within 15 or 20 minutes of him eating or drinking. You might need to carry him outside in the morning so that he doesn’t eliminate on his way to the door.
Don’t give him any water after he has had his evening walk. To begin with, try to be outside as much as possible with your dog so that he associates this as the place to relieve himself. If this is not possible, try to take your dog out every 15 minutes for the first few days.
Catch him while he’s ‘good’ – once he has finished eliminating outside, praise him so that he understands the connection that this is a good thing that he has done.
Dogs are able to associate words with commands, so if you say something like ‘toilet’ or ‘business’ when you place him on his toilet spot this will help him associate the word with the action. Once he starts, don’t say anything else, just let him get on with it!
Use the word again when you praise your dog, say something like ‘good dog, business, good dog’.
To begin with, confine your puppy’s indoor space. Dogs are clean creatures and do not like eliminating in their sleeping and eating space. Some people have found that using a dog transport kennel works well especially at night or if you have to leave the house for a while. We don’t recommend this if you are going to be out all day as your dog will not enjoy being cooped up for long periods and will need space to move around. When you get home, immediately take him outside to his toilet place.
Put newspaper down for him to eliminate on in the furthest place away from his bed. This will also minimise the amount of work you will have to do in cleaning up after your puppy – at least it will all be in one place! Once your puppy gets used to toileting on the newspaper, you can extend the amount of space you give him because he will know to go to the newspaper to relive himself.
Watch for signs that your puppy is getting ready to relieve itself – things like sniffing the door and circling around as if looking for a suitable place. When you see these signs, take your dog outside to the toileting place and don’t leave until he has relieved himself.
Make sure you use this place every time so that your puppy makes an association with this and toileting. Keep your dog on the lead so that he doesn’t get the idea that he’s outside to play!
If your puppy eliminates in an inappropriate place, don’t scold him, rub his nose in it or hit him with a newspaper. Remember, your dog is just beginning to learn the ‘rules’ and hitting him may teach him to be fearful about reliving himself when you are around. He may also feel insecure and confused. If you catch your puppy in the act of relieving himself in an inappropriate place, then say ‘No!’ sharply and carry him outside.
If there are going to be several people in your household helping to train your puppy, make sure everyone is consistent with the routines and rules of housetraining so that your puppy does not get confused.
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