“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a family in possession of a cute puppy, must be in want of something to wipe up the pee.”
We’re pretty sure Ms. Austen will forgive us for mangling her famous line. It is true, after all – puppies, adorable and cuddly as they are – pee. And house training a puppy can be a difficult task.
But fear not: we here at Kellyville Pets have good advice to share. So that next time you’re shouting to the heavens: “how can I potty train my dog?” you’ll know where to go for the solutions.
Setting the mood
First off: never beat or shout at your puppy to try and punish it for using inappropriate places as its personal toilet. Acting aggressively and in anger will only cause fear, anxiety and confusion, and could make your problems worse.
Be patient, too – don’t expect your pup to be house trained overnight. Rather approach it as a series of small steps, rewarding good behaviour along the way.
Routine is key
Puppies need to toilet much more often than adult dogs. Early warning signs include circling and sniffing the ground. Get ready to commit to the following for speedy toilet training:
- Keep your puppy with you at all times during toilet training. If you can’t watch closely, consider crate training (see below) or using a playpen, the laundry or the bathroom as a safe den. If you can’t watch them all the time, don’t worry – it will just take a little longer to potty train them.
- Motivate by using appropriate rewards. A (healthy) snack after each successful pee can go a long way to teaching the puppy what’s acceptable and what’s not, and is usually more effective than verbal praise or a game. You need to reward the puppy within a few seconds of the correct behaviour, so keep your treats on hand.
- Take your puppy out (or to the designated indoor toilet spot) every hour, and also after eating, drinking or sleeping. Repetition and consistency is key, and the more occasions you have that you can reward the appropriate behaviour, the quicker your puppy will learn.
- Be patient, consistent – and don’t punish your puppy!
Tips and tricks
- Want to work towards your dog toileting on command? When your dog starts urinating or defecating, say something like “go now”, whistle, or introduce a hand signal so that the behaviour is paired with a command. In time, the dog will associate the command with the action.
- If you’re training your dog to toilet outdoors, pick just one spot in the yard where this is allowed to happen. Select an area away from the main play area, somewhere quiet and out of the way. This will make it much easier to control the poo on your lawn!
Need a little help?
Crate training can be a valuable tool to help a puppy to learn how to control her bowels, and to start associating pee-time only with the outdoors.
You can housetrain your dog by using the crate to encourage control and use it to establish a routine for outdoor elimination.
A crate is also a safe space where the puppy can sleep – and a way of containing any oopsies that might happen at night. Kellyville Pets stock a large selection of pens and crates that can be used in a variety of ways.
While not a permanent solution, pads such as Yours Droolly Training Pads can make your life a lot easier in the beginning stages of puppy training – especially if your lifestyle doesn’t allow you the intense focus you need to train your puppy. These pads can also be used to support older, incontinent dogs.
Many dogs do not have access to a yard, and must be trained to use indoor solutions. These include products such as the Go Spot Indoor Pet Dog Toilet guaranteed to make your life much easier! It’s portable, too, and you can replace the mats when needed.