Toilet Training – Getting it right from the start

Toilet training your new puppy can be one of the very first challenges you face when you bring your new bundle of fun home. So if you are reading this article before you bring your puppy home then congratulations you are ready to set yourself up to succeed, however don’t worry if you are a few weeks into your training, the same principals apply.

First and foremost – you don’t need to go out and buy expensive toilet training pads, neither do you need to use newspaper. Newspaper, if you still get one, was the traditional method of choice for house training, and toilet training pads seem to have been designed as a modern equivalent with an additive to encourage your dog to relieve itself. The downside to using these methods is twofold:

  1. Using pads or paper will only lull you into a false sense of security thinking you have the puppy toilet trained, but you then have to go on to repeat the whole training process for your puppy to learn to perform outside. The pads sound like a great idea but the feel of them is very similar to your carpets, rugs, towels, etc as far as the puppy is concerned.
  2. You are training your puppy to relieve itself INSIDE which is never a good idea!

Your puppy doesn’t come knowing what the difference is between inside and outside, unless of course you have found one of those fantastic breeders who has started this training for you, so it is our job to teach them where we want them to toilet.

So start off as you mean to go on and make it your mission to get your puppy outside every couple of hours. Take your puppy, on lead, to the spot where you want it to relieve itself and allow it to wander around and sniff. Once your puppy squats I find it useful to attach a word to the action so later on I can get the dog to perform on command. Repeat the word whilst the puppy is having a wee for example “good dog, hurry ups, good dog”, and then when they have finished give them a reward.

Try not to worry if you have the occasional accident indoors – it happens – just clear it up straight away without fuss and ideally with a product that totally eradicates the smell. It is our inconsistency and inattention that usually leads to mishaps so please remember your puppy is learning and needs to be taken out after he eats, drinks, sleeps and exercises.

Once your puppy is consistently toileting outside then you will know you have cracked your training.