Top tips for toilet training your puppy

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Toilet training your puppy is not only an opportunity to teach them basic control and commands, it’s also an important bonding experience between you and your new addition. For that reason, we have put together some useful information and tips to help you with toilet training your puppy.

Dedicate your time

It’s important that you take time out to get into a routine with your puppy. However, ensure that you build this routine around your puppy’s needs, giving them plenty of opportunities to go and do their business.

You may find it helpful to keep a record of when your puppy eats and sleeps, as this is usually a trigger for your puppy needing the toilet not long afterwards.

Recognise behaviour

Puppies have poor bladder control and need to urinate every 1-2 hours. Getting excited can sometimes make them urinate on the spot, so it’s good to be prepared for any accidents especially if inside the house.

Eating stimulates the digestive system and puppies urinate within 15 minutes of eating, and defecate within 30 minutes (this may vary slightly by each individual puppy).

Puppies also need to urinate immediately after waking up.

Other signs that your puppy will show when they need to go toilet are; fidgeting, sniffing around and beginning to circle before squatting.

Never punish your dog if you find an accident after the event or as it’s happening. Your dog may become scared and confused as they won’t associate the punishment with the accident.

Training and reward

When you take your puppy out to the toilet in the garden, repeat cue words like ‘wee wee’ and ‘poo poo’ while the puppy is urinating or defecating. Use different words for each action so that you will be able to prompt your puppy later.

Try to take them to the same place each time, and when they’ve finished reward them immediately with lots of praise, a treat or a bit of play time. Fortunately, puppies are creatures of habit, so if you introduce the garden to your puppy as its toilet area early on, you should be able to avoid most of the common pitfalls.

Going outside the garden

Some puppy owners get frustrated or disappointed that their puppy will not go to the toilet when out on a walk. This is normal for young puppies as the only place they know to go to the toilet is in the garden, because this is what they have been taught.

Don’t despair, you can break this habit by investing a little more of your time. Get up very early one morning and get your puppy out on a walk before it has had its morning wee. Then don’t return home until your puppy has been forced to go out of desperation. If you are unsuccessful, and your puppy has not been, then take it immediately into the garden on your return home.  Keep trying this approach, and once your puppy recognises this new routine, and the cue words are said at this new safe environment, they will start to go outside the garden.

If you need any further help, information or tips for your puppy, please don’t hesitate to contact us