The Ultimate Guide to Puppy Toilet Training

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time, but it also comes with the responsibility of toilet training. Teaching your furry friend where to go can be a breeze if you establish a good routine and stick to it. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of toilet training your puppy and offer tips for success.

Starting a Toilet Training Routine

When you first wake up, right before bed, and several times throughout the day, take your puppy outside to the designated area in your garden. If you are using newspaper or puppy pads overnight, place some soiled paper in the outdoor area to help your puppy recognize the scent and associate it with toileting. Give your puppy the freedom to explore and sniff the area, as exercise and sniffing can stimulate the need to go. It’s best to let your puppy wander without a leash, but if necessary, an extendable lead can provide enough freedom for them to toilet comfortably.

Avoid engaging in exciting playtime in the garden until your puppy has relieved themselves, as this can distract them from the main objective. If your puppy seems confused or wants to go back inside immediately, gently walk around the garden to encourage them to explore and sniff the ground. Stay outside with your puppy until they have done their business, and remember to offer gentle praise for a job well done. Leaving your puppy outside alone in hopes that they will eventually go is not recommended, as they may become too focused on rejoining you. Additionally, you might miss the opportunity to reward them for toileting outside.

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If your puppy hasn’t gone after five minutes, go back inside but closely monitor them. Repeat the process in 10-minute intervals until they eventually toilet in the right place. This may require multiple visits to the garden initially, so be patient and persistent.

While indoors, keep a close eye on your puppy to prevent accidents. Supervision is crucial, especially during the first few months. Pay extra attention after meals, waking up, or periods of play, as these are common times when puppies need to go.

Recognizing the Signs

Watch for typical signs that your puppy needs to go, such as sniffing the floor, circling, restlessness, or heading to a room where they previously toileted. When you notice these signs, immediately take your puppy to the designated outdoor area and patiently wait for them to do their business. Remember to offer gentle praise to reinforce the behavior.

Dealing with Accidents

Accidents are bound to happen during the early stages of toilet training. Puppies have small bladders and can easily get distracted, especially when excited. It’s important not to punish your puppy for toileting in the house, as this can create fear and confusion. Rubbing their nose in the mess or scolding them is counterproductive and should be avoided.

If you catch your puppy in the act, calmly pick them up and take them outside to see if they can finish in the correct spot. If they do, offer them praise. If they don’t, be more vigilant inside the house next time. If you find an accident after the fact, clean it up calmly without scolding your puppy.

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To clean up messes, use a warm solution of biological washing powder or a specially formulated cleaning product from your vet. Avoid using ammonia-based products like bleach, as they can attract your puppy to the same spot again.

Toilet Training When Your Puppy is Alone

During the initial stages of house training, it’s best not to leave your puppy alone until the training is well established. If you need to go out, leave your puppy in the area they are most comfortable in (see “Home alone”) and make sure they have exercised and toileted beforehand. Leave some paper out for them to use if necessary, but keep it away from their bed area to avoid soiling their designated sleeping space.

For nighttime toilet training, expect some accidents as most puppies cannot hold their bladder for extended periods. Lay down newspaper away from their bed area until they can hold on longer. Take them outside first thing in the morning to give them an opportunity to relieve themselves promptly.

How Long Does Toilet Training Take?

Toilet training your puppy requires consistency and patience. The process typically takes several months, although some puppies may need additional time and assistance. During this period, your puppy learns the importance of toileting outside and receives praise for doing so. Continuously supervise your puppy inside the house to prevent accidents. As your puppy gets older, gradually increase the time between trips to the garden. Watch for signs that indicate they need to go and respond promptly. Over time, you can relax your supervision indoors as your puppy becomes more reliable.

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Keep at It!

House training a puppy can be challenging, but with patience and consistency, your efforts will pay off. Enjoy the journey of training your adorable pup and celebrate their successes along the way. If you need further assistance with toilet training, don’t hesitate to contact the center where you adopted your puppy. They are there to support you and your furry friend on this exciting adventure.

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