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Tips for Toilet Training your Puppy

At Craig A. Murray Dog Training, we have a few tips to help you with the toilet training your dog, we are going to give a couple of different but basic ways to toilet train your dog. We make sure to all teach you good toilet training practices throughout our Dogschool puppy classes.

The first option is to confine your pup into a smaller area so that they learn not to mess in their immediate area. A way to accomplish this is to use a play pen or laundry area of the house where it is a small room with no risk that the pup can access chemicals or anything else that could be hazardous. You can ensure that the pup has bedding, water and a toilet tray to access. This could be either a plastic toilet tray that you can use with the paper puppy pads or it could be the plastic toilet tray that has a synthetic grass topper. The puppy learns to access the tray for any toileting it may require. With this method, we find that as the puppy grows, it starts to hold its bladder and naturally prefers to wait to be taken out to toilet rather than to keep accessing using the toilet tray but that in times of need, the tray is still handy to have around.

Another option is to use a kennel crate. Naturally you must associate the pup to the kennel crate at first to ensure that it is comfortable and happy to spend time in the kennel crate. (We will have a ‘how to crate train your puppy’ in a blog for you in the near future). The pup spends time in the kennel crate and anytime the puppy has woken from sleep, eaten or had a drink you should remove the pup from the crate and take it outside to be able to toilet. Very quickly the puppy will learn that the opportunities to toilet are regular and they will start to hold for you to release them from the crate. At first the pup will still require you to take it outside to the toilet throughout the night intermittently but over the coming weeks, this will diminish and you will find the puppy naturally sleeping throughout the night and holding it’s bladder. You will also start to identify subtle behaviours that are indicators that the puppy is restless and needs to toilet. If you have done this process correctly and not rewarded the puppy for attention seeking behaviours, it will be easily read and understood that the behavior the puppy is displaying is subtle but different and this is the start of your toileting indication. As your puppy gets better and better at this process, they can have longer and longer periods of time out of the kennel crate as they will become more reliable at holding and indicating their toileting needs.

Don’t forget to reward the puppy when it does toilet for you when you do take it outside and you can even go as far as giving a ‘go toilet’ command once you are sure the puppy has good understanding of the process. This will start your toileting on command process that really does make your life a lot easier if you are a social family that likes to take your dog out and about in public or to friend's houses with you. You can ensure your puppy has toileted before entering your friend’s home.

There will sometimes be mistakes in the learning process for the puppy but try to ensure this doesn’t arise due to poor management from the owner. When the puppy is tiny, don’t allow it to run loose throughout the house without supervision as it only takes a second to urinate and often mismanagement in the teaching phase of the toileting process sets our pups up for their future learning and habits. Take the time to really commit to this process and you will have a great dog that can confidently be indoors without leaving puddles throughout the house.

If your puppy does toilet in the house, remove the puppy from the area and then clean up so it’s not so significant to the puppy. For some pups, there is a lot of attention given from their owners for doing undesirable behaviours. Turn the situation around and teach your puppy how to have good toileting patterns and praise the puppy for a job well done to promote more reliable toileting habits!

We also offer private lessons for dogs at any age if you’re struggling with toilet training your dog.

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