Top tips for House Training Your Puppy - ADVANCE™

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When a puppy moves to their forever home there’s a lot for them to learn, including the house rules. While toilet training should begin right away, it’s important to remember that a young puppy has a small bladder and doesn’t always know that the “time to go” is coming. The urge to go to the toilet can come on suddenly in a puppy, and this means that accidents are likely to happen, especially in the early stages.


What do I need to do to house train my puppy?

When house training your puppy, your job is to be attentive and try to anticipate ahead of time when your puppy might need to go to the toilet. Take them to their toilet area and use positive reinforcement with treats and praise when they go. By rewarding the behaviour you want your puppy to display, there’s more chance they will offer it in the future. It’s empowering to know that you are driving your puppy’s toilet training success.


How do most puppies learn?

Most puppies learn to go to the toilet outdoors quite easily, while for others the process can be more difficult. Usually, inconsistency in training and/or lack of supervision can lead to a more difficult house training process.


Does my puppy need special training?

It’s good to note what environment your puppy was used to before you brought them into your forever home. Puppies that have been reared in unclean or cramped environments often find it difficult to distinguish between sleeping and toileting areas when they move to their new home. These puppies will need careful supervision and an extra dose of patience on your behalf during toilet training.


How do I schedule toilet training?

When toilet training your puppy, try not to allow mistakes to be made in the first place. Take your puppy outside to a toilet spot first thing in the morning when you wake up, then after every meal and nap, and also whenever your puppy has had a period of excitement or play. Look for signs that your puppy needs to go to the toilet such as sniffing, walking away or in circles, scratching at the floor, waiting by the door or being restless. Young puppies will need to be taken outdoors to their toilet spot at least every 4 hours during the night, so get ready to set your alarm for the first few weeks.



Top tips for Toilet Training Success

Tip 1: Praise and reward.

Praise and reward your puppy every time they toilet outside.If you catch your puppy in the process of toileting inside, calmly pick them up and carry them outside.

Tip 2: Never punish.

Never ever punish your puppy for toileting inside. This will only confuse the puppy and delay the process of toilet training.

Tip 3: Not going to the toilet is ok.

If you take your puppy to their toilet spot and they don’t go, that’s not a problem. It’s much better than waiting too long and finding that the puppy has been forced to relieve themselves in the house, which will instead hamper their learning.

Tip 4: Help them learn the ropes.

If you see your puppy start to head to their toilet spot by themselves, reward them as you would have if you had taken them there yourself. This helps them understand that they’re doing the right thing and shows you that they’re starting to learn the ropes.

Tip 5: Never mind about rain.

Teach your puppy that it is possible to go to the toilet outside when it’s raining or the grass is wet.

Tip 6: Help them when they are alone.

If you need to leave your puppy alone while you’re at work, confine them to an area such as the laundry or kitchen. Provide some comfortable bedding, fresh water and a range of chew toys. Create a toileting area away from the puppy’s bed using either newspaper, commercial pee pads, or a litter tray containing turf.


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Meet our expert
Dr Fiona Patterson, Veterinary Advisor
Making the decision to become a veterinarian at just 10 years old, Dr Fiona Patterson has always had an inherent desire to improve the lives of animals.