Toilet Training a Puppy

Over the years of dog training in both the United Kingdom and in New Zealand I have noticed that nearly all pet owners, no matter who they are struggle with this one question. 

How do I stop my puppy from toileting in the house?

Being the owner of 7 dogs at the moment and having helped raise a lot more over the years I have certainly done my fair share of toilet training duties. And I can certainly say that you could count on your hand the number of accidents we have had during the toilet training process. 

Toilet Training Puppies

There are 3 simple things to remember

  1. When your puppy eats or drinks, he will need to go to the toilet.

  2. When your puppy is sleeping, when he wakes up he will need the toilet.

  3. When you puppy is playing and gets excited, he will need the toilet.

The surface that your puppy goes to the toilet on the first time, at your house, will become the preferred surface for him to go to the toilet. Structure this to be the grassy corner of the garden and not your carpet.  When you first bring your puppy home  take it straight outside on to the grass to do it’s business. You should always minimize the opportunities that your puppy has to go to the toilet in your house, so using puppy pads inside the house will always send the wrong message. 

Toilet training puppy
It's a crate not a cage!

Having your puppy in a restricted area, when you are not able to focus on him, will give you the space to get on with your life, but also give your puppy it’s own space as well. Now I’m not saying that your puppy is never allowed out of this area, but when they are you will be focusing on what they are doing, so mistakes don’t happen.This is also a great way to introduce the crate as a lovely place to be.

“You will never reach higher ground if you are always pushing others down.”

 We’ve all hear the stories about hitting your dog over the nose with a newspaper or rubbing their nose in their own pee. Never tell your puppy off or hurt him for going to the toilet in the wrong place. Apart from being a bully, you are going to add tension and stress to the whole situation and as a result your puppy is likely to have even less control.

Just simply take him to where he should have gone and clean the floor with an enzymatic washing powder solution. Don’t use anything ammonia based, which a lot of cleaning fluids are as this will just encourage him to go on this spot again.

If you want to get it right first time, in the first few weeks be prepared to wake up in the middle of the night and take your puppy outside. Set your alarm! Remember the fewer mistakes he makes the quicker he will learn.

Keeping a Puppy Journal

One great way to predict when your puppy is going to need the toilet is to keep a journal of their habits. Puppies only have small bladders and digestive systems, and as they have little control of their muscles there will be a set time it takes to go in one end and come out the other. This won’t change for a while so your journal can be you clock.

Most importantly remember, it’s natural for your puppy to go to the toilet where ever it feels like, it’s not being naughty it doesn’t know any different. It’s up to us as their guardians to teach them what WE want them to do so that they can fit into our lives better.

Be part of the solution not the problem

This is an ACTIVE process on our part, but mistakes might be made. Laugh, be mindful of the impact a negative response will have on your relationship building process.

If done mindfully your puppy will be toilet trained in a couple of weeks.

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