Toilet training your new puppy:
I guess this is the one I get most of my calls about – toilet training can be frustrating particularly when you’ve just taken them outside and stood with them for 20 minutes and they do NOTHING. You bring them in and 3 seconds later……. you’re cleaning up a nice little mess on the floor!
The most important thing to remember is … YOU have to be there when THEY need to go!
And this is why if you call me, I will send you a copy of these notes so that you can try to train them yourselves at your home – because I don’t live with you.
The only other option I can give you is to do the Board/Train Program at my home – although I can’t guarantee that they’ll never have another accident in your home, I do have a high success rate.
Another area where people go wrong, is using “Potty Pads” – these get dirty, smelly & puppies just LOVE dragging them around – apart from that, you are basically giving your puppy permission to go to the bathroom in the house.
Here are my toilet training tips for you: I warn you, it’s a long one;
First of all, it is far easier to toilet train your puppy if you have them crated – a crate is not a punishment & if trained correctly your puppy will love their crate well into their senior years. https://www.clickerdogs.com/crate_games.php
Firstly, only give them enough room in their crate so that they can go in, turn around and lay down – puppy’s as a general rule don’t like standing or laying in urine & feces ( if you give them too much room, they will use the bathroom in the back of the crate).
Have them on a Feeding & Potty schedule – do not free feed! Put the food bowl down for 10-15 minutes and then pick the bowl up until the next feeding time (this also helps with obedience training – more on that at a later time). If you have a feeding schedule, you will have a reasonable idea of when stuff will need to come out the other end & so you will be able to time it better.
Puppies (just like babies) urinate A LOT!! Their bladders are tiny and they have no control over them at first.
1/ Dress appropriately – you WILL have to go outside with them!
2/ Always take them out the SAME door for elimination – this way, as they get older and they need to go… they will tend to run to the door they are always taken out of to eliminate.
3/ If you have a specific area where you want them to go, now is the time to train them – take them out on a leash, repeat a “phrase” – Go Potty, Take a Break, etc. As soon as they start to go, BE QUIET – DON’T START PRAISING THEM UNIL THEY ARE FINISHED! Then lots of praise, petting or even a treat.
*Note; if you start praising while they are going, they may cut it short – only to come inside and finish off the job in there.
4/ If they have gone, you can then take the leash off and allow them to have some playtime outside or bring them in the house and allow them some free time to play there – make sure they are confined to the room that you are in and not having free roaming of the whole house.
*Note; if the only time you take your pup outside is to go to the bathroom & you bring them in immediately – never allowing them to chew on a blade of grass or chase a butterfly, they will start putting off going so they can have some outside play time so don’t always bring them inside straight away – let them have a little play.
5/ If you haven’t physically seen them go after 10 minutes – bring them back inside and put them back into their crate for another 10 minutes and then take them out and try again. Keep repeating as necessary. Obviously, they are NOT going to have to Poop every time they go out so this is where you work out about what time defecation usually happens so that you’re not waiting on something that’s not going to happen for another 2 hours!
6/ Be Consistent, Be Consistent, Be Consistent!
7 am: Eliminate, walk, play
7.30: Feeding, elimination, walk, play
10.30: Elimination, walk, play
1.30pm: Feeding, elimination, walk, play (very young puppies, particularly small breeds will need feeding)
4.30: Elimination, walk, play
7.30: Feeding, elimination, walk, play
10.30: Elimination – and bedtime.
Notice that I include walk or play at each time – this will help you to have a calmer DOG & a happier YOU.
As you can see, it’s a lot of work!! If you can’t set up a schedule like this, you may want to set up a dog sitter to come in a few times during the day so your pup does have a schedule – as they get older and have more control (usually by 6 months in small breeds & 5 months in others) you can gradually extend the time frame between breaks – now, MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS if you don’t your pup will never learn how to hold it!
As I said earlier, puppies urinate often so …. in addition to the above schedule, here are a couple of things to keep in mind “DANGER TIMES” when no matter WHAT take them outside to eliminate.
1/ Immediately they wake up – whether it’s first thing in the morning or if they’ve just taken a nap.
2/ Immediately after they have just had a drink of water.
3/ Before allowing indoor play.
Watch your puppy all the time!
If they are happily playing indoors and suddenly stop playing……. outside!
If they start to sniff the floor or start to circle……..outside!
If they run to the door………outside!
Now, if your pup does have an “accident” please don’t scold them or anything else negative – you’ll only make them paranoid & they’ll start trying to sneak off to do it somewhere where you can’t see it because they don’t trust you – I’d rather find it immediately rather than later in the dark with bare feet!
Just clean it up & try not to allow it to happen again – remember, the easiest way to house train your pup is NOT TO ALLOW accidents.
I’m sorry, I know this has been a lengthy post – but I wanted to try to get all the as much information I could think of right now into this BLOG for you.
If after reading this you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.
I truly hope this has been helpful for you.