You can begin toilet training your puppy from the moment you bring him home. Take him outside as soon as you get home so he can relieve himself after the journey; from this point begin to establish a daily routine.
Decide on an area of the garden that you want to be used as the toilet area and take your pup there at regular intervals throughout the day. Always stay outside with him (even if it’s raining) so that you can be sure that he’s been and you can reward him immediately.
It can take several weeks, and sometimes longer to get your puppy fully house trained so patience is a definite must. Just as with human babies, very young puppies have little or no control over their bladder and bowel and under 6 months of age they will be unable to hold on for any length of time. It is also very important that you don’t tell your puppy off when he has an accident in the house, as he won’t associate the telling off with what he has just done, scolding a puppy for this can actually create anxiety and can hamper house training as he may associate toileting with punishment. If you do catch your pup in the act then quickly take him outside and praise him if he relieves himself while out. If you are too late to do this, make no fuss (as dogs pick up on this) and simply clean the mess up. Special stain and over removers for pets are available and recommended over household products which often contain ammonia which can actually encourage the puppy back to that spot.
Toilet training pads can come in handy for very young puppies as you can have stationed nearby incase you cannot get outside in time, once the puppy gets the hang of going on the pads you can begin moving them closer to the back door, and eventually outside. When toilet training, points to remember are: praise immediately when he goes outside, ignore and clean up accidents in the home, never punish your pup when toilet training, and finally, patience as accidents will happen but he will get there.
When to take your Puppy to the Area
Always take your pup out to the toilet area first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
In between these times take him out at roughly 2-hour intervals if he hasn’t been.
It can be a good idea to have someone get up in the night to take him outside. He won’t need to go as often at night but won’t be able to last the night.
Puppies generally also need to be taken out after: eating, drinking, playing, waking up after a nap, after any excitement (e.g., a neighbour visiting)
Signs your Puppy needs the Toilet
Your puppy will display certain behaviours when he needs to go to the toilet, you may not get much warning but you will soon learn to recognise them.
Whining can be a sign that he needs taking outside.
He may stop whatever he is doing and begin to circle and sniff the carpet. This generally means he is looking for a place to relieve himself.
You may notice him begin to squat down, again this means he is getting ready to go.
These are usually the signs that puppies display when they need to be taken outside, after a while you will be able to spot them easily. Remain calm and take him outside to the area and then reward when he goes.
Written by Mike Barfoot – Manager of Just for Pets, Kidderminster