Housetraining Your Puppy
It is vital that you invest lots of time in this crucial training. Always praise and give rewards when your puppy toilets in the correct place. The more opportunity you give your puppy to make the right choice, the quicker they will learn. Go outside with your puppy for a few minutes each time (calmly and quietly observing them) and place your puppy in the same area. This can help them repeatedly get it right.
Be calm and expect a few accidents. Never punish your puppy for failing to get it right, as this can teach the puppy never to toilet in front of humans! Remember your puppy will not have full bowel and bladder control until the age of 12-14 weeks.
In the wild, dogs move away from their bed area to toilet, so confining the puppy to a fairly small bed area with toys and water will encourage them to keep that area clean. A puppy crate can be a very useful training aid.
Watch your puppy closely and you will soon learn to spot the signs they need to toilet. They may
- Sniff the ground
- Walk slowly or wobbly legged
- Whine or become restless
- Try and gain your attention, or
- Try and find a quiet, private area
Let your puppy outside
- After play or excited sessions
- After food and water
- When your puppy wakes up
- Upon greeting and before leaving your puppy
- As often as is possible!
Accidents then they should be cleaned up with a biological cleanser (e.g. washing liquid), as disinfectant often just masks the smell and so the puppy will keep returning to the same spot.
Puppy crates can help you teach toilet training. In the wild, dogs will naturally move away from their bed area to toilet, so if you are only leaving your puppy for short periods, the crate encourages them to hold on, until you return so that they don’t soil their bed. When you return, let them outside to toilet correctly.
The crate can also be useful if your puppy is nervous or unsure. Position it in a quiet, sheltered area possibly with a blanket over the top to provide a safe hiding place.
Making a Start
Position the crate where you want it to be and make it warm and comfy. It will help to use a bed that your puppy is already used to lying on so that it smells familiar.
Leave the door open with your puppy’s water and toys in. Throughout the introduction get all family members to walk past and drop treats into the back of the crate. You will find that your puppy will run in and eat the treats. Start off by leaving your puppy alone for five minutes and build on this over a period of time.
Crate Training Tips
- Ensure the crate is a nice place where your puppy will want to go.
- Do not allow children to crawl into the crate and tease the puppy, this area should be treated as the puppy’s safe area where it goes for some peace and time alone.
- When leaving and greeting your puppy you must stay calm and not over excite them.
- As soon as you return you should let your puppy outside to its toilet area and praise for correct toileting.
- Always leave your puppy a lot to occupy them with. Make use of rubbish e.g. egg boxes or pop bottles and rotate them daily to prevent boredom.