Puppy Toilet Training: New Thinking!
Our wonderful head nurse Sharon is available at the clinic to discuss behaviour problems in your dogs and cats. Here she outlines the current thinking on how to toilet train your new puppy:
Training Pads or Training ‘mis-hap’ that is the question!
House training a puppy doesn’t have to be a messy and stressful job. Just a few simple steps and sticking to a routine will soon lead to a ‘clean’ puppy.
Gone are the days of newspaper piles all over your home, hoping to catch a small ‘tiddle’ here or a ‘poo’ there. So too are the methods of rubbing your puppy’s nose in his urine because ‘that will teach him’, no more do we have to gradually move the training pad to the back-door, to the back step, onto the patio before finally finding an appropriate place on the lawn, only to have the dog pee as soon as he gets back indoors! Scolding your puppy or showing any angry body language around your puppy when accidents happen is to be avoided at all costs as this could make them fearful or toileting in your presence.
So, what is done these days?
A puppy will need to eliminate frequently when very young, (6-10weeks old) about every 1-2 hrs. As you get used to having your puppy around you will start to learn his body language and what he is trying to communicate to you. Often things such as sniffing the ground and walking a little quicker to an area comes prior to passing urine. Holding a more crouched posture and ‘circling’ will precede passing a stool. If you see these displays do not reprimand your puppy but instead either guide him outdoors or interrupt it with gentle words and lift the puppy outside. Remember always praise your puppy for going to the toilet in the correct place.
Take your puppy outside every 1-2 hours, after mealtimes, sleeping and playtimes. Use a word or phrase such as ‘be quick’ so that your dog learns to associate your words and actions as a command prior to elimination. Don’t be tempted to leave the back-door open in the hope that your puppy will choose to ‘go’ outside. You need to be with them to praise them each time.
The use of newspaper and training pads is only a good idea if you are going to be out for a long period because they can help to reduce staining on the floor, that’s of course if your puppy hasn’t used them as a chew toy. Using training pads at other times can prolong the house training process and cause confusion for your puppy because you will naturally want to praise your puppy for using them, but you will then also be praising your puppy for eliminating in your home too!
Puppy crates or confining your puppy to a smaller area overnight, which just has room for a bed and water, can also help the puppy be clean quicker. Often dogs will not soil their bed and the puppy may whine if he wakes and need to go. If you hear your puppy ‘crying’ in the night, go and see why. Keep quiet and calm and give your puppy the opportunity to eliminate outside. If your puppy just wants to play put him back into his crate, tell him its ‘bedtime’ and go back to bed.
Here at the surgery we run puppy clinics where you can come and discuss your concerns. We have fully trained staff to give you up to date advice on puppy training. We also run puppy classes on site where your puppy will learn how to socialise properly with other dogs and you will learn the correct way to train your dog. If you would like to enquire or enrol your pup on these puppy parties give us a call at the clinic.