Puppy Toilet Training
The most important thing to remember in training a new puppy is this: puppies and dogs learn best by being praised when they do the right thing, NOT by being punished when they do the wrong thing. Housetraining can be challenging, but can be made easier if you follow these basic do's and don'ts, and stick to them.
- Keep in mind that a puppy is the equivalent of a human baby and has to eliminate frequently.
- Take the puppy out, or to the area allocated for toilet training, every 2 hours during normal waking hours in addition to immediately after eating, waking, playing and when the puppy starts "rooting" around and before being bedded down for the night.
- Pick the puppy up and take it to the same place each time that has been designated. Give this place a name and stick to that name - I use "Toto" but any word or sound of your choice can be used. This will also help when your puppy progresses to going to the toilet in the garden, still use the same word and your puppy will understand much more quickly what is required of him.
- Praise and reward the puppy with a small treat immediately after it urinates or defecates in the appropriate place.
- Allow the puppy to "go" several more times as puppies don't have the ability to eliminate everything in their bladder on the first squat. If you do not allow enough time, chances are you'll end up with an unwanted puddle or pile!
- Make a loud noise to startle the puppy if you catch him in the act of going toilet in an improper place, scoop him up and take him to the designated place and still always reminding him of the name for this place.
- Feed the puppy at regular intervals. This will make it easier to regulate bowel movements.
- Keep your new addition close to you when you are at home by confining him to one room to make it easier for you to monitor when he need to go toilet.
- As important as it is to know the right things to do in housetraining a puppy, it is even more important to know the wrong things you can do. The wrong things will not only hinder your toilet training efforts but can develop harmful behaviour in your puppy.
- Don't punish the puppy when it has an "accident". Puppies don't have the ability to understand that they are "in trouble".
- Don't take the puppy over to it's mess and put his face in it. This is meaningless to the puppy, and again will only frighten or confuse it.
- Don't leave the puppy to eliminate by itself. If you are not there to praise him immediately after he goes, he will not learn where is the right place to go toilet.
- Don't bring the puppy back immediately after he goes as it takes several squats for him to be able to eliminate everything.
- Don't give treats "for free", as puppies will very quickly lose the motivation to do the right thing that is required of them.
- Don't lose your temper or use corporal punishment when the puppy slips up - because he will - this is all part of the housetraining process. After all, you wouldn't shout or punish a child you are trying to toilet train!
REMEMBER your puppy's progress depends largely on your consistency.
Before you know it, your puppy will grow into a well adjusted fab pet that wouldn't think of relieving himself in the house!