How to Toilet Train A Puppy 8 Top Tips
Having a new puppy is a very exciting and fun time! However, it can also be quite hard work! There’s a lot you need to teach your new friend and knowing where to start can be tricky!When it comes to house training, you should begin training your puppy when you first bring them into your home, typically around 8 weeks of age. Young puppies, less than 12 weeks, have a limited ability to “hold it.” However, once they reach 12 weeks of age, they have enough control of their bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it. If your puppy is much older than 12 weeks when you bring them home and used to doing their business in a cage, training may take longer.
But, no matter how old your new pooch is when you start, the tips below (plus a little encouragement) should help you potty train your puppy!
8 Essential Steps to Train Your Puppy
1. Give your pup their own space!
Do you like a little quiet time? Your puppy feels the same! Puppies like their own space, normally a crate or an area in a room where they feel comfortable and secure. With a little time and reinforcement, you can gradually give your pup more freedom to roam around the house as they please. When taking your puppy out to do their business, take them out on a leash. This will help associate the difference between indoors and outdoors!
2. Routine is key!
Don’t let your pup hound you! Make sure you feed, exercise and take potty trips outside at regular times. A routine is important. Not only will your pup learn what to expect, and make bathroom breaks easier, but a clear schedule will help them feel calm, safe, and secure. To reinforce your training, be sure to feed your pup at the same time each day and take away their food between meals. After meals, give them some time to digest their food but they should be taken outside shortly after eating to do their business!
3. Keep them comfortable
Does your pup have a comforting area to stay when you’re out? If your puppy feels stressed or anxious, they may have an accident, so make sure you create a safe space for them. Choose a warm and comfortable sleeping area, with a bed and blanket and put something belonging to you, such as an item of clothing, in their bed to make them feel secure. Giving them safe chew toys and other distractions will also keep them occupied and comforted. Puzzles and the sound of music or the radio are other good ways to make sure your puppy doesn't feel alone.
4. Use a crate
Keeping your pup in a crate while potty training can be a huge help! It allows you to keep an eye on them for signs that they need a toilet break! Whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or scratching are all signals from your puppy to say ‘I’ve got to go, take me outside!’. Crates are also a great way to create that secure comfort zone for your pup. To reinforce that safe feeling, be sure never to use this area for punishment, make it as nice as possible with toys and blankets. Try and make this a ‘puppy only’ zone. Your pup’s crate should be large enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down but ideally not large enough that they could create their own potty area. It will also need adjusting as they grow.
5. Take them outside!
Take your pup outside as much as possible! Giving them regular trips outside (like first thing in the morning and then at least once an hour after that) will allow them to relieve themselves and they won’t get desperate to go!
Some of these trips outside should be after they have just woken up from a nap and after they’ve eaten. They should also go out last thing at night before bedtime, first thing in the morning, and before they are left alone for any length of time.
6. Save that spot
While potty training, it can help to take your pup to the same place each time to do their business, as their scent will prompt them to go. You should stay with your pup outside - at least until they are house trained and it’s also a good idea to stay outside with them for longer than you think - puppies frequently want to go more than once.
7. Reinforce with rewards
It’s all about puppy love! Rewarding your puppy with treats or fuss will help them understand that what they are learning is positive! One of the best ways to reinforce house training is to catch them doing the right thing, then give them lots of happy fuss and attention!
Creating a cue-word is a good way to prompt your puppy to go outside. Each time your pup is outside and looks like they’re about to go, say the word, then reward and fuss them when they have finished. Your puppy will soon understand what your word means, and you can use it as a cue whenever you open the door to let them out.
8. Accept that accidents happen
Never punish your pup for having an accident. This can give negative feelings or even damage your relationship with your pawsome pal! If you do catch your pup going to the bathroom inside, don’t yell, simply pick the puppy up and carry them outside to finish. If you found the evidence but didn’t see the act, don’t react or yell. Your pup won’t understand your anger with their accident. This will make training harder and potentially damage your friendship. Clean up any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner (rather than an ammonia-based one) - this will help remove the odors and stop your puppy going back to the same spot.
Accidents can happen in puppies up to a year old - this could be due to incomplete house training or a change in the puppy’s environment or stress. So, when they happen, just stay patient and keep training your pup! If your puppy doesn’t seem to be learning and you’ve tried the methods above, then it’s always worth consulting a vet to rule out any medical issues.
Using an ADAPTIL Junior Collar can help to enhance the learning process and improve your pup’s response to socialization and training. The collar is effective at relaxing newly adopted puppies by sending “comforting messages” that help your puppy feel comfy and secure. With this support, you can help your dog learn effectively, and encourage their development into a confident, balanced, and well-trained adult dog.
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