||: At Home
Busy persons guide to toilet training
House training doesn’t have to be a drama. Pups naturally like to clean their sleeping quarters or ‘den’ clean, and most dogs are easily toilet trained. Don’t, however, expect too much from your pup at first. Young pups simply do not have sufficient control of their bladder and bowel muscles sometimes not until four or five months of age, so accidents can and will happen. You just need a little patience – and some newspaper or plastic covers to protect the carpet!
Results won’t be immediate, but begin toilet training your dog on the first day at home.
Pups will often want to go to the toilet straight after a meal and upon waking, so take advantage of these times. Take your pup out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and straight after meals, naps, exercise and play sessions. But don’t limit yourself – take your pup out every hour or two in between these times. Remember: a young pup can’t hold their bladder for more than a couple of hours.
If your pup is circling or sniffing about looking for a place to torpedo, gently grab your pet and go outside. If you live in an apartment with no access to a garden, puppies can be taught to use a litter tray.
Once you see your pet eliminating in the appropriate place, give generous amounts of praise (and a treat) for a job well done. Praise is the key to successful toilet training. Dogs need to associate praise with an action, so it’s critical to give the praise while and immediately after the pup has relieved himself or herself in the appropriate place.
You can help your pup by providing meals at the same times each day – regular meals encourage regular toilet habits.
Choose a specific command at toilet training times, like “do it” , “potty” or “toilet” and your dog will learn to associate the word with the event. This can come in handy prior to long car trips, when your perfectly trained dog will go on your command. It won’t always work, but now is the best time for your pup to learn.
At a glance:
Never rub your pup’s nose or face in their urine or faeces. Harsh discipline like this not only makes your pup fearful of you, but it doesn’t work. A dog that done something naughty in the lounge room at 2pm, won’t understand what’s making you so angry at 5pm. If you come home only to rant and rave, your dog won’t think your homecoming is much fun. Instead, just clean up any mess with a minimum of fuss.
- Do be patient.
- Do use loads of praise.
- Do take advantage of the pup’s urge to go at certain times (upon waking, after meals, exercise etc).
- Do feed your dog at the same times each day.
- Do your best to eliminate leftover smells from ‘accidents’.
- Do be consistent.
- Do make sure the whole family is following the same routine with the pup.
- Don’t expect too much too soon.
- Don’t physically punish your dog.
- Don’t rub your pup’s ‘nose in it’.
- Don’t train using newspaper on the floor, your pup will just think it’s acceptable to go inside the house.
Clean the area as well as possible, using a pet-friendly product designed to kill odours. The lingering scent of dog faeces or urine will attract your pup back to that spot. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaning agents, which have a similar smell to urine. Try eucalyptus or citronella disinfectants instead.
If you catch your pup ‘red handed’, say “no” clap, or use a shake-can to distract the puppy, and take them immediately outside.
"No" is an important word for a dog to understand. Be firm, but not scary!