The Best Way to Toilet Train Your PuppyDawn Greer
How To Potty Train Your Puppy
Helping your puppy to navigate the human world is full of challenges, but one of the first things you will want to do is to begin potty training. Starting on the day you bring your pup home, toilet training can be achieved for most puppies within a week, although for some it may take little longer.
How Long Will it Take to Toilet Train My Puppy?
Toilet training is a big thing for your puppy to master. For many puppies it can take up to 4-6 weeks to be toilet trained. My puppy, Wow, is currently 11 weeks old and although we still have the odd accident during the day, we are in a good routine where she knows that ‘outside’ means going to the toilet. Every puppy is unique, so keep your cool when there is accidents – your pup wants to be clean and won’t like to cause a mess, sometimes they might just get excited!
How Do I Know when My Puppy Needs to go to the Toilet?
Knowing the signs that your puppy needs to go to the toilet is really important when toilet training – whining, circling, sniffing, barking or scratching at the door are all common signs that your puppy needs to go toilet. Take them out right away if your puppy is telling you they need to go, but here are some tips to help you know when your puppy needs to go to the toilet:
- Puppies usually need to go toilet an hour after eating, so take your pup outside to go around this time.
- Take them out first thing in the morning, as they may have been holding it in overnight.
- You pup can get over excited about new things or people, so take them to go before your guests arrive or the kids come home from school
- Puppies have weak bladders and can pee sporadically, so bring your puppy to the toilet regularly, especially after occasions of play and high activity.
- For the first couple of weeks, your puppy will also need to pee at night, so take them to their outside spot at night too, to help prevent accidents.
House Training Your Puppy
When the puppy inevitably has an accident inside the house, you simply pick them up and take them outside. It’s as easy as that! Soon, they will understand that it is outside where they need to do their business.
As with any training, positive reinforcement is a much healthier way of teaching your dog new things. Moving to a new home is stressful for your new puppy; it will miss its mother and siblings, so try not to scold the puppy when it has had an accident. The puppy won’t know what it has done wrong, so the best way is to reward and praise when the puppy pees outside.
Top Tip: I use a cue word when training my dogs to go toilet outside. This can make it easier for them to understand what you want. Whilst Wow is going outside I use my cue word and she will know that it is time for her to do her business. This is very useful when taking your dog outside to use the loo before bedtime.
What do I do if Puppy Wants to go to the Toilet at Night?
At night, I keep a puppy pad in Wow’s crate in case there is any accidents. It means she can get out of her bed and go on the puppy pad, saving me cleaning up a mess (and the puppy herself!) in the morning.
While your puppy is young, they will need to go during the night. I would recommend not feeding your puppy after 6pm and making sure that they go to the toilet before bedtime. This will help to reduce the need to go to the toilet during the night. However, until your puppy is old enough to sleep through the night, if he wakes, try not to fuss or play. Let him out to go, and once he is done, put him back to bed.
Setting a Routine is Important When Toilet Training Your Puppy
Because your puppy will usually need to go toilet about an hour after eating, setting a feeding routine early can really help when toilet training. Set your feeding routine that suits your whole family routine, and ensure that there is always going to be someone there to take your puppy to the toilet after eating. I also recommend that you try not to feed your puppy too late at night-the latest I feed my puppy is around 6pm- in order to avoid any accidents overnight.
Crate Training for your Puppy
When you are not with the puppy, it is best to keep them confined to a small area, and training crates can be a great way to help with this, as well as toilet training.
As always, if you have any questions about toilet training your puppy, or any other aspect of your puppy’s care, drop in-store to your local Petmania, and we’ll be delighted to help.