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How To Toilet Train Your Puppy

Updated: Aug 3, 2022

How to toilet train your puppy
How To Toilet Train Your Puppy

Puppies have tiny bladders and underdeveloped impulse control, which can make for a messy house. Equally, every puppy is different and the speed of being toilet trained varies from puppy to puppy, just because Joe down the roads puppy was toilet trained at 18 weeks that may not be the same for your puppy.

Deciding On The Toilet Area Firstly you need to decide where you'd like your puppy to eliminate themselves. If you live on the 12th floor in an apartment then the puppy may not be able to hold its bladder for the journey to the outside, you may need an option inside of the apartment as well until the puppy can hold their bladder for longer. There is nothing wrong with creating an indoor toilet area for the just-in-case moments but please don't cover every square inch of your floor with puppy toilet pads, one pad is plenty.

How Often Does My Puppy Need The Toilet The guidelines are: 6 to 14 weeks- eight to ten times daily 14 to 20 weeks- six to eight times daily 20 to 30 weeks- four to six times daily 30 weeks and older- three to four times daily.

What Does It Look Like If My Puppy Needs The Toilet If your puppy gets up from eating a chew toy. After your puppy has eaten or drunk water. If your puppy is wandering away from an area in which they were just playing. If your puppy is sniffing the floor (plus circling and sniffing) If your puppy looking a bit distracted from what they were doing. if your puppy is looking towards the (garden) door. If your puppy is wandering off to an area where they have soiled before

Pick A Phrase You are going to decide on a phrase to say when your puppy is eliminating itself. Good suggestions are 'Quick Quick', 'Hurry Up', 'Get Busy'. If you have a designated toilet area in your garden, take your puppy there (it can be helpful to take your puppy out on a loose lead to keep them focused on one spot). Stand still and quietly wait until they look ready to eliminate.

Don’t stay out for too long if your pup doesn’t eliminate. Go back in, watch your puppy like a hawk, and try again in 5 to 10 minutes. This will speed up the learning process.

As your puppy squats, quietly say your chosen phrase, wait patiently as your puppy goes, and as soon as they are done, praise and give your puppy a treat immediately (it’s important you give the treat there and then. DON’T give your puppy the treat standing at the garden door when they trot back to you. Then you reward your puppy for coming back to you, not for eliminating).

When Inside Make sure you always have an eye on your puppy. You can either attach your puppy to you with a lead or keep them in the same room (close all doors, it only takes a few seconds for your puppy to run into another room and eliminate there). It’s your job to prevent that from happening!

At first, restrict your puppy’s access to rooms that you rarely use and keep doors shut so your puppy can’t run into another room to quickly eliminate. Then introduce your puppy to one room at a time in a slow and controlled manner to ensure the pup knows it is part of the ‘den’ and mustn’t be eliminated in. Always be present when your puppy explores a new room and ensure your puppy has been to the toilet beforehand. Spend time in each room with your puppy, feeding their dinner, doing some training or playing, resting while you are reading, etc. and with time, your puppy will begin to think of it as part of their home.

Crated or gated off in a small puppy-proofed room: Puppies are less likely to toilet in areas where they sleep or eat. Keeping your puppy crated or gated off in a small space where they can sleep help them to learn to control their bladders. Make sure your puppy has eliminated before they go to rest in a crate/gated-off space and don’t leave them for longer than two hours max. When using a crate, ensure your puppy has been introduced to the crate properly and views the crate as her safe haven and resting place. When to take your puppy outside: Get the puppy into a routine from the start with regular toilet breaks at the same time every day, so that they can start to develop habits and expectations (every 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size and age of the pup). In addition, you should take your puppy out after • sleeping/ resting, eating, playtime / a period of activity, drinking after you’ve released your puppy from their confinement (i.e. crate/pen) A regular feeding schedule will ensure regular bowel movements and you’ll be able to predict when your puppy needs to go within a few weeks. Puppies don’t have full bladder control until 20 or 30 weeks of age (or longer for small breeds) so repeat this exercise until you are certain that your puppy gives you clear signs every time she needs to go.

Good Luck!

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