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Advice on toilet training for puppies

Toilet training your new puppy is fairly straightforward, because the mother has already taught them to leave the bed or sleeping area when they need to "eliminate". To build on this programming, it is important to limit the area the puppy has to sleep in. If puppy has access to a whole room at night, it is easy for him to use part of it as a toilet area.

It is well worth investing in a crate. Make it warm and comfortable with good bedding and leave the door open. Encourage him to go into the crate, feed him in there and the door can be shut while he's eating. He will learn to treat his crate as a haven to rest in. He can be put into the crate when he's sleepy and, when happy with it, can sleep there at night. Puppy will not want to soil his crate so this simplifies toilet training. Training for puppies at an early age
The following tips will help:

  • Do not feed after 6pm. This will limit the amount of material to be eliminated.
  • Take him out as late as possible before you go to bed (e.g. midnight).
  • Take him out again in the middle of the night.
  • Get up early and take him out immediately (e.g. 6am).

This reduces the chances of him making a mistake, and training will be more successful. Watch for signs of puppy wanting to go to toilet. These are usually turning around in circles and sniffing - take him out as soon as you see these signs. The times he will be most likely to need to go are just after waking up, after playing, and after eating and drinking. When you take him outside, be prepared to wait as he may be easily distracted. Use a command word and praise or reward him when the business is done.

If he has an accident, be sure to clean it up properly. Disinfectant will mask the smell, not neutralise it, so to puppy it will still smell like a toilet, and it will encourage him to go there again. We supply a product called Odour Eliminator which will completely rid the area of the smell and assist in training.

It is now not considered to be a good idea to train your puppy to go on newspaper, as subsequently you have to teach him to go outside, and it's not practical to cover the garden with newspaper! It is better to start as you mean to go on.

Do not punish puppy for mistakes, as they will actually be because of insufficient vigilance on your part, or expecting too much. Praise him when he gets it right, and ignore him when he doesn't.

NEVER reprimand puppy for something that happened several hours ago. If he looks guilty, it's only because he's reacting to the tone of your voice and doesn't know why you are angry. If he believes it is his poo that upsets you, he may start to eat it so you don't discover it, or he may try not to go at all and make himself very uncomfortable in the process.

NEVER rub his nose in it. You wouldn't do it to a child with a soiled nappy, don't do it to a puppy. Not only is it extremely unproductive and upsetting to the dog, but it is also very unhygienic and messy.

Remember he is only a baby and must be made to feel that life as your pet is fun. Toilet training is the first serious thing 27 March, 2006nd succeeds in this, the more you are building your relationship for the future.

Please contact us if you require any further advice.

Animed Veterinary Group is part of CVS (UK) Limited, a company which owns over 300 veterinary practices in the UK. Company Registration Number 03777473. Registered Office CVS House, Owen Road, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4ER