Here’s my free Puppy Potty Training Free Video Course that’s getting rave reviews.
I’ve also created a Podcast all about Toilet Training Puppies And Dogs. Listen and enjoy!
You are responsible
The most important concept to grasp with toilet training is that you are responsible for their actions! That’s right! When it comes to toilet training, the emphasis is firmly on you. You’re gonna have to make sure your puppy is always in the toilet area when he needs to go. So, the first thing in the morning, take your puppy straight outside the area you need to go and say the words that you want him to associate with toileting, such as “toilets” or “go potties”.
Another important concept is realizing that like young children, puppies are not able to hold on for very long sometimes as little as 15 minutes with very young pups. So YOU need to make sure that your puppy is outside every time that he needs to go.
The waiting game
In the video you’ll see, young Alex, a Spoodle puppy, is in the right area. And then it’s just a matter of time. He’s due to go. It’s been two hours since he last went. That’s about the right length of time that he can hold on for. Much younger puppies may only be able to hold on for fifteen minutes to half an hour or so. Then wait calmly in the area, suggesting every now and then that he goes to the toilet by saying “toilets!”. For the time being, his toilet area is anywhere on the grass. It’s a waiting game to start with, you sometimes have to just be patient. If you’re not and you start becoming stressed because you are in a rush, your puppy will pick up on it and become tensed and unable to go.
A few tips
- First of all, make sure you maintain the same word. This is critical, as there’s nothing more confusing for your puppy than everybody saying a different word when she has to go toilet.
- Use a leash. If your dog’s charging round and isn’t in the right area, then put a long line on them.
- Always use the same area. Go to that area and your dog will associate that area with going to the toilet.
- Stay calm at all times. This will really help your puppy.
Don’t give up
It does become a bit of a waiting game. You may have been outside 5 or 6 minutes and you’re at the stage of thinking, is he really gonna go? And you really feel like giving up sometimes. But, hang in there. If you have been outside for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, then take your dog inside, put them in maybe a crate or a safe place or put them on a surface which is easy to clean. And, try again half an hour later.
Jackpot – your puppy eventually goes to the toilet – this is when you immediately reward your dog by giving it lots of affection AND you give him a treat. Something that’s really really special, that he never gets unless he goes to the toilet outside. That’s the secret to successful puppy potty training!
Prepare for success
Let’s have a look at some of the things that we need to do to succeed. And they need to be done every time.
- First of all, number one: plan. Make sure your dog is in the right area when it needs to go to the toilet. That’s your responsibility. Once your puppy starts toileting inside, there’s nothing you can do. If necessary, set a plan and write down the hours of the day and the times the dog went to the toilet and work out when he’s gonna have to go next. If necessary, set up an alarm or a pinger or a timer to remind you.
- Secondly, prepare! Have your treats ready. Maybe leave them outside in a jar. It’s so easy to get to the toilet area, and then suddenly you realize that you’ve forgotten them. It’s too late then.
- Remember to have that long line ready if your puppy is one of those that runs off in the wrong direction, or into the wrong area.
- And, make sure you have the time to do this, that you’re not in a rush. Rushing the puppy out because you’re late getting ready for work won’t work. You need to be able to say the word “toilets”, nice and gently. Remember, it doesn’t last for very long, so make the effort to make this as pleasant an experience for you both.
- Praise your dog as soon as he goes to the toilet in the right area, with lots of affection and of course, treats. You should make it so that your dog thinks “if I go to the toilet on the grass, I get the most amazing piece of chicken”. It never gets chicken for just lying in its basket and looking cute. That’s working against you. Make sure you save that chicken and your dog realizes that it’s only gonna get chicken if it goes to the toilet on the grass. That’s positive reinforcement.
It would be wonderful if there’s a magic wand we could wave on our puppy to instantly became toilet trained. But, there isn’t. Toilet training is exactly that. Its training and training genuinely takes a bit of time. The key is to get it right for the first few days without a single mistake. And then you stretch it out to a couple of weeks and then suddenly you realize you’ve cracked it.
Looking for additional puppy training resources? Check out my Puppy Coach training program!
Good luck! Comment below and let me know if you nail it.