Toilet Training a Puppy

August 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Puppy Training Article

Toilet Training a Puppy
One of the very first things you must do after bringing a puppy into your home is to toilet train it.  Even if you bought a puppy that was already house broken, you still will have to do a small amount of training to get it used to its new home.  If you start while the puppy is young and stick to the routine, your new puppy will be toilet trained in no time!
You’ll need to get a few items together to start your training.  First, you’ll need a dog crate.  You’ll also want to get treats, a collar, and a leash.  You may also want to purchase a baby gate or two to restrict your new puppies access to your house.
If your puppy comes to you young and has is not house broken at all, you will need to keep him where you can see him at all times during the day.  Even when you’re just relaxing at home, it’s important to not let your puppy out of the room you are in, otherwise it could develop bad potty habits that will take much longer to break later on.  Use baby gates or a leash to make sure your dog stays where you can see it.  Alternatively, you could close as many doors as possible to restrict your dogs access to places where they may want to eliminate inside the house.
At night you are going to keep your dog in its crate.  This may seem cruel, but rest assured that it is not!  Providing your puppy with a crate and plenty of soft bedding gives it a “room” of its own that it feels safe and secure in.  Dogs naturally avoid eliminating where they sleep, so confining your dog to a crate at night will keep him in an area he naturally won’t want to go to the bathroom in.  Make sure to select an appropriately sized crate for your dog.  If you choose a crate that is too large, your dog may do his business in one corner and sleep in another.  If you have a large breed dog that will grow significantly over the years, you may need to purchase multiple crates as your puppy grows, or buy an adjustable crate that will grow with your dog.
Now for the real fun.  In the morning you should take your dog out to use the bathroom immediately upon waking up.  Use the leash and collar and keep your dog with you, even if you have a fenced yard.  As soon as your dog eliminates, offer plenty of praise.  Play with your puppy for a few minutes if you have the time.  Associate going outside to eliminate with good things.  When you come back inside, offer your dog a small treat and more praise.  This will teach them to come back inside when they are done doing their business.
Next, feed your dog their breakfast.  They will need to go out again approximately half an hour after they finish eating.  Repeat the same process as before, taking them out on a leash and lavishing them with praise as soon as they eliminate.
Throughout the day your dog will need to be taken out every couple hours and offered the opportunity to eliminate.  If you wish to train your dog to ring a bell when he needs to be let out, now is the time to start the training.  Attach the bell to your door, or wherever you plan on placing it and ring the bell each time you take the dog out to use the bathroom.  Do not ring the bell at any other time.  Soon, your dog will associate the bell with getting to go out to eliminate.
Keep your dog within eyesight while at home, and watch for signs that he needs to be taken outside.  Sniffing the ground or digging are both indicators that your puppy needs to relieve himself.  As soon as you see a sign, take the puppy out.
At night, open the door to the dog crate about an hour before you go to bed.  Let your dog see the crate and enter and exit as he pleases until it is time to go to bed.  This will help him transition into the crate and will familiarize him with the crate before he is put in it for the night.  Right before you go to sleep, take your dog out again.  When you go to bed, put your puppy in the crate and go to sleep.  Some puppies can’t hold their bladders all night long, so if your dog wakes in the middle of the night and starts barking or making noises, you should let them out of the crate and take them outside.  This should decrease as the puppy gets older and learns to hold his bladder for longer periods of time.
When you are not home, the dog should be left in their crate until they are fully house broken.  If possible, you should return at mid-day to let the puppy have a chance to go out, or you should enlist a neighbor to help.  Most puppies cannot hold their bladders for longer than 6 to 8 hours at a time.  Avoid using newspaper or puppy training pads while you are gone, as these products only teach your dog that it is allowed to eliminate in the house.
If you follow this routine carefully, your new puppy will be house broken in no time and you will never have to worry about your dog eliminating in the house!

Chloe snow is a writer who specialises in animals and animal welfare. You can check out her latest website at weaning puppies where she provides infomation about weaning puppies and other infomation about looking after puppies including puppy injections worming puppies and more.

Brie is a 4 lb. 2 year old maltipoo. When she was a pup my wife and I trained her to ring a bell to go the bathroom and ring a bell outside to gain entry into the house. For two weeks we would take her paw and ring the bell when we took her out to go the bathroom. We always rewarded her potty breaks with small treats and still do. This video is long due to her confusion. Since im standing there (to record her) she is confused why the door isnt opening. Minutes earlier she was ringing the bell with authority like she always does. I need to hide a cam to record it better. I will repost then. -Mike

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