I think we all agree puppies are so cute!! But are also a lot of work. Along with ongoing general training, then the socializing all puppies must-have during the early stages, the regular healthy and nutritional feeds, there are also many questions on how to toilet train my puppy.
Having worked with and owned several dogs from puppyhood I am going to give you a head start when it comes to toilet training your puppy, and here are some tips and tricks I have used for years when it comes to knowing how to toilet train your puppy.
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Do not Rush Them
You must remember that you have just taken them away from a remarkably familiar environment where they had their siblings, mum & dad, and all the security they needed for the past 8 weeks, and now they are in a home with none of this.
Everything they knew before, is now new within this environment and your puppy will need to get used to you and the family as well as his new location.
Just imagine all the new and unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. Then put yourself in his little shoes if that was you.
I am the first to say that toilet training your puppy should start from the moment you get them home, but as I like to say “Remember Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day” it will take time and oh so much patience!
Puppies Will Usually Give You a Sign
There are several signs your new puppy will give you when they need to go to the toilet and while each puppy will be different, I have highlighted a few common ones to watch out for below:
- Sniffing Around – As they get older this will be a common thing for dogs as they are simply seeing what has been around the area. In a puppy, this often means they are looking for somewhere to go to the toilet.
- Beginning To Circle a Certain Area – If you have owned older dogs before you would have seen that they will usually do a few circles in the area that they are going to pee. It is no different in your puppy’s behavior, this will normally mean that he is about to pee all over your new rug.
- A Whine or Whimpering – This is also a great indicator that they need to go to the toilet.
- Sudden Movement – If your puppy has been happily chewing away at their favorite new toy and suddenly get up this could mean that they are about to go.
So if you keep a constant lookout for these tell-tale signs during the toilet training stage I can guarantee you will have fewer more accidents on your newly cleaned floors!
What To Do If I Notice the Signs
Puppies, like dogs, thrive on a routine so before the toilet training even begins you need to decide on an area outside where they can do their business.
The first signs you see of puppies wanting to go to the toilet, take them directly to this area. At the early stages, I would carry them to this area as calling them (You have done no recall training at this early stage) will be a wasted effort and they will pee where they are.
What this will start to teach them is that the spot you take them to is the spot they will need to pee at. Remember I said dogs and puppies thrive on routine and this is what you are now starting to instill.
If you work, it is also important to start taking your puppy out according to certain times. Sometimes I would recommend it as soon as you wake up after they have had their food, just before you leave for work, and again as soon as you get home.
In the early days, even with the times I have mentioned above puppies cannot hold their bladders for very long so when you get home to a few accidents on the floor, don’t be discouraged. This will all change as they get older.
Puppies Understand Associations
I mentioned before, that before you get your puppy home you will find a spot outside that you will want your puppy to associate with going to the toilet.
Some things your pup may associate with toilet time are.
- The smell of pee or poop.
- Going to the same location every time.
- As they grow a little older, commands will be something your dog will associate with.
So, in the beginning, try to take your puppy out at least every hour if time permits of course. Put the lead on your pup and take them out to the spot they are now associating with toilet time. When you get there do not expect your puppy to instantly open the waterworks, they are not robots.
As tempting as it may be with your new bundle of fluff, do not play with them. I say this because they have associated this spot as their toilet, if you start playing with them this will confuse them, they will be thinking is this a pee spot or somewhere we can play!
If the puppy does go to the toilet when you take them out, and it is in the place they have associated with toilet time, REWARD them with either a treat or heap the praise on them. You want them to know that when they go to the toilet here, good things happen!
Once this is done take them away from this area and have a little play with them.
Going On Command
Just imagine being able to tell your puppy when they need to go to the toilet!
You will not be able to do this straight away, however, with a routine, this will be possible as your puppy grows.
With all my dogs and the puppies I have trained, I have always used the command “Toilet”. Now you can use any command you want for your puppy to associate with going to the toilet but use this command every time you take your pup out to the toilet. Eventually, they will associate this word with its time to open the waterworks sewerage pipe lol.
Once they have the word association with toilet (Or whatever word you choose) you can use this just before it’s time to go to bed, or if you have decided it’s time to take the 2-hour car ride to see the in-laws.
Now imagine being able to get your dog to pee on command. Well, it will all start from puppyhood!
Puppies Are Puppies – Accidents Happen
Just like babies (Only they have nappies) accidents will happen, after all, they are puppies and at this early stage have little control over their bladder.
The one thing you cannot do is get angry at them just because you didn’t notice the signs, they were desperately trying to show you beforehand (Oh yes they were, you just didn’t see it).
Like babies, your puppy did not go to pee on your favorite rug on purpose, puppies, as I said don’t have control over their bladder like an older dog, does – This is why we are toilet TRAINING them, to try and hold their pee and let them know where they should go.
You should never shout at your puppy for going in the wrong place, this will only make them scared to go in front of you, so even when you take them to the place they have associated with the toilet, they will be scared to go for the fear of being shouted at. Simply clean up the mess with no fuss, anger, or shouting.
Another favorite saying of mine is “Accidents Happen” well prepare yourselves for a few of these as your new puppy learns.
Look I Did Pee in The Right Spot
Positive praise and reward are so important when training your dogs and this applies to toilet training as well.
Puppies and dogs associate doing good things with fun, praise, and rewards, and just like us who doesn’t love that?
Every dog or puppy responds to certain rewards, below are just a few examples.
- Talking to them in an upbeat positive way.
- Their favorite treats.
- A good old-fashioned cuddle.
- Some playtime with their favorite toy or chew.
Why Is My Puppy Not Getting This Toilet Training Thing?
A few things can affect toilet training and how quickly your new addition picks this up.
If you work longer than a few hours and you want your dog to be an inside dog, being stuck inside for long periods of time can lengthen the time it takes for your puppy to get the whole toilet training thing.
Your pup has just come into an environment that is so new to them, they could still be nervous and scared which can affect the quickness in the way they learn. Be Always kind, calm, and loving toward your new puppy and in time they will get it.
If nothing you are doing is working, and you have put into place everything I have outlined in this article, it may be worth a visit to your vet as there could be some medical issues that are affecting your puppy’s ability to hold on.
Did We Cover Everything You Needed To Know?
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this article on How to Toilet Train My Puppy and if you have any more questions on this or would like to leave your own personal training tips or advice please feel free to leave a comment below and I will respond to them as soon as possible.
May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair!
Founder of our Dogs World 101