How to toilet train a puppy

Posted by Betty. January 20th 2017. Tagged: Pet training and Puppy care

toilet train a puppy

If you’re struggling to toilet train a puppy, don’t worry it can be a challenging process for anyone. But with proper preparation, a routine and lots of praise your puppy will soon learn that the best place to go to the toilet is outside.

When to toilet train a puppy?

It can be hard to toilet train a puppy in the first few weeks of their life due to the fact they can’t go outside without having all their Parvo injections. For the first few weeks the best thing to do is get puppy training mats. This will train your puppy to go to the toilet in specific areas.

Once your puppy is vaccinated and can go outside take these training mats onto the grass. Your puppy will associate the mat with a toilet. In turn, they will associate the grass with the toilet once the mats have been removed. However, many owners face the struggle of teaching their puppy to go on these white training mats and not their nice rug. They can look the same to your little four-legged fur baby. For these occasions you will have to keep your wits about you. If you see your puppy sniffing around the rug or circling and pacing it’s probably time to take them outside.

How often does a puppy need to go outside?

Your puppy will, on average, need to go to the toilet between every one and two hours. This will increase if they have just eaten or drank something. Puppies will need to urinate within fifteen minutes of eating and will need to poo within half an hour. Your puppy will have poor bladder control and may urinate when they become too excited. Frequent trips outside while the puppy is playing will help avoid accidents.

If accidents occur – and they will, believe us – it is essential that you do not punish the puppy. This can make them scared and afraid to go to the toilet in front of you, whether this is in the house or outside. The fear can lead puppies to hide their urine and faeces by burying it under household items or even eat their own faeces in attempts to hide what they have done, making your puppy very ill. If your puppy does have an accident, we recommend avoiding products with ammonia in them, such as bleach, to clean up any accidents. The smell of ammonia resembles urine and will encourage your puppy to return to the same spot to wee.

Praise, love and rewards

The best way to teach your puppy to use the bathroom outside is through lots of praise, love and rewards. They will then learn that, when they do their business outside, they will be rewarded. This will create a game for your furry friend. A great alternative to treats is giving your puppy their favourite toy, rewarding them with playtime rather than food to avoid overfeeding.

When taking your pup outside use the same cues each time such as “get busy” and “wee-wee” so your puppy knows what to do once they get outside. Always stay with your puppy when toilet training them so that praise and rewards can be given right away. Otherwise your pup may think they are being rewarded for coming indoors rather than going to the toilet. Puppies are habit adopters. Once they get into a routine it is very easy for them to maintain it, so getting your puppy outside and toileting early is key.

By establishing a routine, praising your puppy often and making them feel like when they do have an accident they’re not in trouble, they will soon establish that going to the bathroom outside is the best thing to do.


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