Your puppy will have key times when it is likely to need to go to the toilet, i.e immediately after waking up, after meals, in the middle of hyped play and after traveling in the car. Get your puppy out at regular intervals to reduce the risk of toileting inside.
Once outside don’t hang about, keep your puppy moving. Your puppy should go within 5 minutes of being outside, if it goes, GET EXCITED let your puppy know you are really happy – you don’t need to treat.
If you prefer to use treats then treat the puppy outside don’t rush inside to treat. Your puppy needs to know the reward happens outside not inside.
If your puppy doesn’t go within 5 minutes then don’t waste time, bring your puppy inside and confine it to an area where it is most likely not want to toilet – i.e the crate, it’s bed or have your puppy attached to you on a lead so it doesn’t have the opportunity to toilet.
Within 20 to 30 minutes take the puppy back out to the toilet and if it goes praise if it doesn’t, then confine it and follow the plan above.
Rule #1 – No free time in your house until you have seen your puppy toilet outside.
If you catch your puppy going to the toilet inside, tell your puppy off, clap your hands sharply and use a ‘naughty’ command. Take it quickly outside so it can finish off its toileting .
If you come across a mess inside and you don’t catch your puppy going then DON’T tell it off, it’s too late. DON’T clean messes up in front of your puppy as they see this as positive attention or a game. How many times have you cleaned a mess up in front of your puppy and they have tried to play with the cloth or mop? Great game!!! Put your puppy away and then clean the mess.
Rule #2 – Don’t clean messes up in front of your puppy.
Don’t leave food down for your pup to graze as it will lead to irregular toileting patterns. Get to know when your puppy is likely to poo, i.e when they wake up or after meals. Get your puppy out to toilet so it doesn’t poo inside. If you catch your puppy in the middle of a poo inside, do not interrupt it as you can can cause damage. Wait until it has just finished and then tell it off. Always follow the rules above.
Unless you have to, don’t use toileting pads or newspaper inside. This is sending a message to your puppy that it is OK to toilet inside. Teach your puppy right from the start – outside is the place to go.
If your puppy is toileting at night, then look at confining your puppy into a smaller area, i.e a crate or get a fireguard and block off a smaller area, so your puppy has less room to move about. This motivates the puppy to hold on as it doesn’t want to toilet near its bedding area.
Minimise access to water at night and make sure the room is dark or the crate covered, this will encourage your puppy to sleep longer.
We ourselves as humans toilet less at night as we are confined to a bed and don’t drink. During the day we are more active and drink more so our toileting increases. This is where we ascertained the principal of night time toileting.
Living in an Apartment
We recommend a consistent ‘go to’ spot for the puppy to toilet in an apartment, an easy accessible place is best. We also recommend setting up a distinct ‘go to’place. In our experience a big plastic flat container with artificial grass is a great solution. The grass must be cleaned or replaced regularly.
Then all you need to do is follow the plan outlined above.
How long does it take?
Every puppy is different, some take longer than others. Once you are getting days of no toileting inside, then you can be quietly confident your puppy is getting it. Your puppy should be fully toilet trained by 6 months, if it is still a problem by then then we highly recommend getting Professional help.
If you need more help please call us – we are the experts in all things dog!!.
If you live in other areas of New Zealand or internationally we can still help you – we now have skype and telephone consultations available.
Good luck with toilet training!