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Puppy Toilet Training

Cute puppy

Toilet training is unfortunately not a skill puppies are going to learn overnight, in fact it can take puppies up to 22 weeks of age to be sufficiently toilet trained.

Your puppy is not intentionally being ‘naughty’ or deliberately going to the toilet inside the house to annoy you, they simply aren’t fully toilet trained and just don’t have full control of their bladder just yet so unfortunately, they will have accidents, sometimes at inconvenient times and in some inconvenient places in the house.

Toilet training is all about the 3P’s ;- Patience, Persistence, Praise combined with lots of supervision, time, consistency and understanding, did we mention time?…

You will have to take your puppy to their designated toilet spot for regular toilet breaks, yes that unfortunately means there may have to be a few 2 or 3am toilet breaks in the first couple of weeks of toilet training, remember to assign a command and praise them when they do go in the right place even if that means needing to be outside in the cold at 3am in the morning.

To help to really set your dog up for success, we need to follow the golden rules as mentioned, the 3P’s ;- Patience, Persistence, Praise along with supervision, time, consistency and understanding.

If the expectation in the long term is for the dog to only toilet outside consider minimising the use of toilet pads.

Puppy pads may initially make your job easier but be mindful that you may end up needing to double toilet train the Puppy once you decide that the Puppy is now old enough to only toilet outside rather than on the pee pads that you have taught them to use over the last few months.

If we do need to use toilet training pads because the puppy is being left alone inside while you go to the shops etc try and have them as close as practical to the exit you eventually intend the puppy to use to go outside for toilet breaks, this helps to make the transition from going to the toilet inside to outside that little bit easier.

Puppies will generally prefer to toilet on porous surfaces when available so consider closing off rooms or using Baby Gates for bedrooms or carpeted rooms when we can’t keep a very watchful eye on the puppy, this will also help to avoid those unwanted accidents while we aren’t looking. 

One of the golden rules for toilet training a puppy is to take them to the toilet spot at all of the key times, this means first thing in the morning when you first get up, last thing before bed, immediately after a drink of water, or a big play session, roughly an hour after meal times, and every two hours or so during the day until they have better control of their bladders. 

A rule of thumb is that a two-month-old puppy will need to toilet every two to three hours during waking hours (longer overnight as they are at rest) three months – three to four hours, four months four to five hours as a rough guide.

Remember to assign a command (toilet or wees, whatever word you would like to use and gently praise them after they have finished going. (We say gently as we don’t want to get too excited and distract the puppy, so it stops or to hype them up too much and give them the excited wees)

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Justin Jordan Trainer

Justin Jordan

Master Trainer

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