When you bring your puppy home for the first time, he will probably be around 8 weeks old. He will be full of curiosity and excitement and you will both be looking forward to getting to know each other.
How To Get Started With Toilet Training Your Puppy
One of the first things you should do is introduce your new puppy to his new home gradually. It can be overwhelming for a puppy to come into a big space they are unfamiliar with, so introducing them initially to a smaller space (like your kitchen for example) will help them feel more comfortable. Also at the start, it is advisable to pick a room that leads to the back garden, so they have easy access to a safe area outdoors.
Creating a daily routine for your puppy from the start will make for a happier, more relaxed pet, as puppies crave routine. Introducing a regular meal-time, drinking and sleeping cycle will make toilet training so much easier for your puppy and you!
Please note your puppy is still developing both physically, mentally and emotionally up until he is around 18 months to two years of age (smaller dogs are fully grown physically at a younger stage). However, toilet training is one of the first training exercises you can do with your puppy.
What Age Should A Puppy Be Toilet Trained?
Keep in mind that from 12 weeks of age Puppies have more bladder control, so they will be better able to avoid having accidents in the house from that age.
In the meantime, you can start toilet training, so he can learn the process and will succeed on some occasions.
Patience and consistency are key throughout this process.
Remember to reward/praise when your puppy gets it right. He will be very keen to please you, so positive reinforcement is important.
Feeding Your Puppy When Toilet Training
Up to six months of age puppies should be fed three meals per day. This should be on a morning, mid-day and evening schedule. This will aid their development and digestion and lead to a predictable toilet routine.
Puppies should have their last meal at least three hours before the families’ bed-time and you should always take your puppy outside before he goes to sleep for the night.
Most puppies can sleep 7 hours without needing to go to the toilet. So, during the day and first thing after you wake up in the morning, aim to help your puppy get to where you want him to toilet, as soon as possible.
Monitoring puppy behaviour very closely will speed up the toilet training process.
When Should My Puppy Be Taken Out To The Toilet
Key times for toileting are:
• When your puppy wakes up after sleeping (so after naps during the day as well as the night-time sleep).
• After meals.
• After drinks.
• After play / excitement.
How To Tell If Your Puppy Needs The Toilet
Your puppy will start to circle/sniff/crouch. As soon as you see this, you must move quickly out to the back garden, encouraging your puppy to follow you. Always bring him to the same spot, as his scent will encourage him to go.
When your puppy toilets…give lots of praise!
Repetition and Consistency are Key
Do not worry if an accident happens indoors (just clean it up and ignore) Do not scold or get annoyed with your puppy as your puppy will learn faster through praise.
If you are going out of the house and you need to leave your puppy for longer than an hour, you can leave newspaper, or a puppy training sheet, beside the back door. As with your toilet training, the first place he will run to when he needs to toilet is the back door, so this will reinforce his training.
Also, it is a good idea to feed your puppy a few hours before you go out, so he has toileted by the time you leave the house and limit water intake prior to going out.
How Much Water Should My Puppy Be Drinking?
Puppies daily water requirement is 60ml for every 1lb of his weight, so this will help you avoid worrying that he has too much, or too little water. Of course, just like us, if it a particularly hot day or your puppy has been exercising a lot, he may need more.
A handy tip is to put an ice cube into his water bowl on these occasions, as this will help him cool down more easily.
Remember puppies are not as well able to regulate their body temperatures, as adult dogs are.
Can You Toilet Train A Puppy In 7 Days?
It typically takes a couple of months to fully house train your puppy, however, you will see improvements nearly immediately.
Crate-Training can be a very effective aid in toilet training. Using a crate to reinforce a Daily Routine (eating-drinking / elimination / sleeping) will help mirror a puppies natural cycle.
Crate Training Your Puppy
Here are some crate training tips, that in turn will help you with your puppies’ toilet training:
Firstly, if you are leaving your puppy on his own in his crate for any period, always remember to please REMOVE HIS COLLAR, as it can be a safety issue.
Leave the door open to the crate during the day, so your puppy can come and go as he chooses.
You can leave his bed in his crate during the day, as well as during the night. He will naturally go into the crate to rest and relax, as that is where his bed is.
In a puppy’s mind, his crate should be his “safe place” to go!
Your puppy should want to go in voluntarily (when he is tired during the day and at night for bedtime) or when he needs a break from visitors or children.
Using positive reinforcement and teaching your puppy that his crate is a good place to be, will help him to be a more relaxed and contented puppy. You can encourage him by encouraging him with his favourite treats and toys/teething sticks. You should keep his favourites for his crate, so he feels that the best things are kept for crate time.
You can try a bit of training and say, “Into Bed” while pointing into his bed in the crate and throwing some of his favourite treats into his bed, in his crate.
You can put his favourite toy in and his favourite blanket too.
Please note that puppy should Not be approached when he is in his crate (people should not put hands into the crate to pet him when he is in the crate). This will ensure he feels safe and secure and he will understand that the crate is his safe place and he will want to go in voluntarily!
Then you can just call him to come out when you need him (so it is his choice)!
Remember, use the crate to reinforce your Daily Routine with your puppy (eating-drinking /toileting/sleeping).
Good luck! Give your puppy loads of praise when he succeeds and toilet training will be just another box to tick on your path to a happy life with your canine companion!