Toilet Training Tips

Toilet Training your Puppy 
Toilet training a puppy is essential unless you want to see puppy excretia inside your living spaces, on your carpet and almost anywhere inside the house. Training a puppy to go outside can be a daunting task at first especially if he doesn’t know anything about toilet training when you  first take him home.

A lot of people who surrenders their puppies to shelters admit that they could not 'fix'  behavioural problems associated with their dog and they  seemed to struggle with basic training and behavioural concepts when they first took their puppy home.

As a new puppy owner you shouldn't  have to go down this sad path of surrendering an older dog just because of the dogs' poor habits that were allowed to develop as a young puppy.  Set your standards and boundaries early and stick to them and be consistent.

This article is about toilet training, an essential skill your puppy needs to learn as soon as you take him or her home.

Toilet training is a vital life skill so start by making sure that your puppy will know how and where to go for toileting. Most importantly you need to know when your puppy is likely to want to go to the toilet and take him to the right place at the right time and in a consistent manner. Puppies usually evacuate their bowels and bladder after a big sleep or after a big meal. So always take you puppy outside at these crucial times and encourage him to go to the toilet in the correct place.

Here are some Tips to help with Toilet training of your new puppy.

1. Be consistent – toilet training a puppy is just the same as potty training a small child. You need to be consistent with what you say and do because the puppy can be confused with what you are talking about if you keep on changing ideas and instructions and you need to be regular in your efforts to form a good habit. Some of my puppy owners struggle with the  initial toilet training stage because they find it hard or time consuming but believe me it will be harder for you and the puppy if you delay the training because one of the best times to train a young dog is during his or her first few weeks in your home. If the puppy is allowed to develop poor habits in the first place they are always difficult to break later on in life.

2. The toileting place – At first be consistent and take the puppy to the same spot and say the same words. Dogs are creatures of habit. My dogs seem to nearly always have a favourite part of the garden where they like to defecate. So establish this place and take the puppy to the same place to go to the toilet.  Eventually, they will sniff the area and if there are any odors left they will think that this is the right spot where they will go for the 2nd, 3rd or even all the time.

3. Leash – Initially your puppy may go for a poop anywhere inside your house unless you are successful in training him quickly. If you are struggling to overcome this habit  put a leash on the puppy after eating or waking up and lead him outside to your prefered toileting area. Doing this consistently will set the habit and the puppy will acquire good behaviours in the toileting department. 

4. Crate training – Usually very effective. A crate is your puppy's den, bedroom, place for time out, safe area. Puppies rarely poop in their crates unless left too long or distressed. At first do not leave your puppy in the crate more than 2 hours. At the end of this time always take your puppy outside to go to the toilet. Keep the crate clean and free of dirt and make it a fun place, blankets and toys are all ok. The puppy will quickly know that the crate is not an area to poop or urinate and the puppy will respect this unless stressed. 

6. My best tip....... I have found it is always a good idea for the man of the house to take his puppy outside and to initially  urinate himself on the grass while also asking the puppy to toilet. Many people laugh at this suggestion but the puppy is like a toddler in that they copy everything they see. Many people have smiled at this suggestion over the years when I discuss this idea  but they nearly always call me back some time later and say 'guess what it worked'!

Be consistent with your training do and say the same things and your puppy will quickly form good toilet habits.