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Toilet Training Your Puppy

If you plan on keeping your puppy/dog inside for extended periods, it’s important to teach them about going to the toilet outside, and that must start from the moment they come home with you. The goal for any toilet training should be teach your pup to go to the toilet outside the house in the garden, eventually this will happen during walks and exercise times outside the home but they shouldn’t be taken away from home until they are fully vaccinated, this is typically around the 14 week mark. Before you start however, be prepared for accidents – learning to go to the toilet outside isn’t a process learned overnight and will take time, and sometimes accidents will happen. So be prepared to mop or pick up some messes, however will persistence and patience your dog will eventually learn.

Consistency is key for teaching your pup to use the toilet, by setting regular feeding times you can keep them fairly regular and begin to predict when they’ll need the toilet. Additionally, if you create regular toilet times for them, such as at 8am, 12pm, 5pm, and 9pm, and do this every day, they’ll get used to a regular schedule and begin to go to the toilet when they’re allowed outside. Try and keep track of their fluid consumption as well, if you notice they’re drinking more water than usual, they’re going to need to go to the toilet more often. We also recommend creating a toilet phrase to use to signal to your pup that’s it’s time to go, this can be anything you want (your puppy doesn’t speak English!) however we like to say “time for toilet” every time we take them outside, however if you would like to teach them that “lasagne” means it’s time to go the toilet, that’s entirely up to you. We use our toilet phrase both before we take them outside and when they are outside, to reinforce this phrase and teach them that it means it’s time to go. It’s best to avoid playing with them and petting them during this time, so they learn that this is their chance to use the toilet and not time for play, we only use physical affection after they’ve gone to the toilet to reward them for the desired behaviour we’re trying to create. After they’ve used the toilet be sure to bring them back inside with you so that they know the experience is over.

Remember toilet times will differ for every dog, and they may be more frequent or less frequent than you expect, so always try and monitor their behaviour and keep track of them when they’re inside. Typical behaviours signalling that they need the toilet include sniffing around, wandering out of sight, circling, scratching at the door or whining.

Remember that this process depends on you, if you let the schedule lapse or don’t follow through with their training it will slip away. You must stay consistent and patient to see the best results, and whilst you will always have little slips, as long as you get back on the path you’ll eventually see results.

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