The Riff Raff Guide To Toilet Training Your Puppy

The Riff Raff Guide To Toilet Training Your Puppy
Welcoming a new puppy to your home is one of the most amazing feelings for dog lovers. 

The excitement of getting a new puppy may, however, soon be forgotten when you find out that housetraining your new furry can be quite the challenge. It won’t take long for you to realize that puppies poop and pee frequently around the house, and it’s your duty to toilet train them. 

Puppies have smaller bladders, and they digest food quicker, so it’s expected that they relieve themselves frequently. Toilet training ensures your puppy relieves itself in a designated area rather than soiling your house. It’s also a way of caring for your dog’s natural needs.

If you’re ready to begin the journey to grooming a proper house-trained good boy or girl, you’ll find this guide very helpful. 

What to Know Before You Begin Toilet Training Your Pup

The idea of toilet training might seem a little overwhelming at first. But we promise you, it’s a fairly easy process. Some patience and tolerance will get you through the training. To prep you, here are some things to know before you begin the potty training journey. 

  • When Should I Start Toilet Training My Puppy?

  • Start training your puppy as soon as they get into your home. Don’t get so carried away by the excitement of the furry addition that you delay the training. 

    It’s easier for you in the long run when you set the rule from the onset. Unless your puppy is orphaned, he already got basic training from his mother. They learn not to poop or pee in their "den." So, as soon as they come to your home, finetune the training by showing them where to do their business. 

  • What Do I Need for Toilet Training?

  • Some of the things you need for toilet training are;

    • Your pup’s favourite treats. You need this in abundance because you’ll use the treats as a reward for a job well done
    • A scotch tape or whatever item you can use to mark your pup’s sleeping area
    • A crate — the key item in crate training, which ranks high as a toilet training method
    • Puppy playpen
  • Where Will Your Pup’s Designated Toilet/Toilet Area Be?

  • If an outdoor toilet area is more convenient for you and your dog, choose a small, enclosed area with grass or a soft surface as the toilet. The area should be convenient enough for you and your puppy to accommodate their frequent pooing habit, which can occur at any time of the day, including late at night. 

    Don’t get tempted to use puppy pads if the toilet area is outdoors. Otherwise, your pup might think it’s okay to relieve himself inside the house. 

    But if you live in a house where your puppy can access your toilets more easily than the outdoors, consider getting puppy pads and litter trays.  

  • How Long Will It Take to Toilet Train Your Pup?

  • This varies. Your dog’s breed, personality, age, and type are factors that affect how long it will take to potty train your dog. Even your consistency and training method play a role, too.

    Some dogs are quick-witted; they can pick up the lesson from the training within, say, four weeks. Others may need a little longer to pick it up. 

    If your dog falls in the latter category, don’t fret. Just be a little more patient. Sometimes, the puppies that take longer to learn become the most reliable. 

    Toilet Training Your Puppy — How to Get Started

    Now it’s time for action. Here’s the breakdown of what you need to know as you start to potty-train your young pup:

  • Start With a Crate or PlayPen

  • Many dog owners feel less enthusiastic about using a crate because they see it as a small prison. On the contrary, using a crate is one of the easiest ways to potty train a dog.  

    Firstly, dogs are den animals, and the crate simulates a den-like structure. The crate should be a comfy and safe zone for your puppy. You can read our crate-training guide to learn more about this.

    Also, dogs naturally don’t like soiling their den. So, when you notice they need to relieve themselves, take them out to the designated toilet area. This act tells your puppy that it’s not okay to soil any area of your home except the toilet. 

    But the crate should be just the right size. If it's too small, you can hurt your puppy, but if it's too big, your puppy might feel liberated to use one side for pooping. 

    The playpen functions similarly to crates. 

  • You May Also Try Puppy Pads or Paper Training

  • Usually, you take your puppy to a designated outdoor area to relieve themselves during training. But if your lifestyle doesn’t allow you the time to do that as frequently as you need to, you can turn to paper training. 

    Paper training acts as a temporary solution to house training. It’s also useful, especially for younger puppies restricted from going outside due to ongoing vaccination procedures. It allows your puppy to do their business in “legal” spots in your home. 

    You’ll have to create a comfortable and large enough confinement area for your puppy, where it’ll stay when you’re away. Then place puppy pads or newspaper in the area. Your pup will eventually get used to pooping and peeing on paper. 

    Look out for where your puppy likes to relieve itself in the area. Then gradually reduce the size of the papered area until it’s just your puppy’s preferred area for pooping.

  • Create a Potty Schedule + Time Frame

  • It’s time to create a potty schedule. As we stated earlier, puppies pee and poop a lot. If you want to successfully potty train them, you need to target when they might need to relieve themselves and make it a routine to take the puppy out during these periods. 

    Generally, a good schedule for taking your puppy out is:

    • Early in the morning
    • Last thing before bed 
    • After playing
    • After some time in a crate 
    • After a nap
    • After chewing on something, like a toy
    • Following a drink

    This schedule may vary from puppy to puppy. So, watch your puppy before setting a schedule. 

  • Monitor and Direct — Learn Signs That Tell When Your Pup Wants to Potty

  • Your schedule may not always be effective. Just like a human baby, sometimes it can be difficult to tell when your puppy will drop little packages in your home. Therefore, you need to watch them closely for signs they show before they go. 

    In other words, watch out for the signals your puppy gives before they go, and then act on such signals before they do their business in an unwanted area. 

    Depending on the puppy, some signals to watch out for include:

    • Whining,
    • Scratching,
    • Walking in circles,
    • Looking around anxiously,
    • Sniffing around, and
    • Fidgeting. 
  • Adjust Your Puppy’s Diet if Necessary

  • For many animals, the internal systems of their newborns take some time to develop. The same goes for dogs. Their digestive system, in particular, makes them unable to handle a lot of food. So, experts advise dog parents to divide the food schedule for their puppies into three small meals. 

    Additionally, you should only feed your puppy quality food. You don’t want to upset their fragile stomach. If you feed them something that doesn’t agree with their system, you’ll be risking their health, and they may unintentionally soil your house in response to the food. 

  • Take Them to the Toilet at Night

  • Taking night trips to the loo with your furry companion should be part of your potty training schedule. Nighttime potty trips are essential in preparation for a good night, to prevent “accidents” as much as possible. 

    When you take your puppy out to relieve itself at night, be patient. Try your hardest not to indulge them with play or much interaction, resist those puppy eyes. If you do otherwise, they might learn to disturb you at night whenever they’re bored.  

    Tips for Effective Potty Training

    Potty training can take a while. If you’re not doing it right, it may take longer than it should. Use the following tips for maximum results:

  • Use Praise and Rewards

  • Have you ever been praised for doing something right? Maybe that one time you topped your class or secured a great deal for your company. How did it feel when you were praised (and possibly rewarded)? Surely, you tried to keep doing your best. Guess what? Dogs can be like that too.

    When you praise and reward your puppy for using the toilet area when it needed to go, it’s highly likely it’ll keep using that area. 

  • Don’t Carry Your Pup to the Potty Area

  • You won’t always be there every time your pup needs to go in the future. So, while potty training them, teach them independence by letting them walk to the toilet area themselves. 

    Additionally, allowing your puppy to walk will aid in stimulating their bowels and bladder. This will cut down on the time you have to spend waiting. 

  • Deal With Accidents Kindly but Sternly

  • Accidents are inevitable during training. When they happen, don’t punish your puppy. It won’t resolve anything. Rather, quickly take them to the toilet area and clean up the mess. 

    You can sternly say “no” when they are dropping the package in the wrong place, not afterward—otherwise, they won’t know what they did wrong. 

  • Be Patient

  • Patience is very important during the period of housetraining your puppy. Your puppy will have many accidents, and you may get frustrated and feel like giving up, but keep going steady. Just look into those puppy eyes and let all the frustrations disappear! 

  • Avoid Playing or Interacting Much With Them During Potty Time

  • Puppies are easily distracted. If you talk or interact with it while it poos or pees, you may have to wait longer for it to finish. Let it focus. You can’t play either while they go. When they finish though, you may play games with them to show you’re happy about their behaviour. 

  • Clean Up Properly

  • Clean up properly after your puppy to avoid a strong puppy pee and poo smell from overpowering your home, which may encourage the pup to continue pooping indoors. Use an enzyme cleaner for effective results, and you should always try to keep your puppy away while you clean. 

    Consistency Is Key to Successful Results

    Patience and consistency are vital when it comes to toilet training your dogs. If you skip days, it just won’t be effective. Just the way you never miss your favourite TV show, follow up with toilet training in that manner. 

    Use crates or playpens, adopt paper training if needed, set a schedule, learn the peculiar signs your dog shows when they need to go, and adjust your dog’s diet to reduce poo/pee time. 

    Then, crown your efforts with success by following the tips we provided for effective training. Do this consistently, and you’ll get favourable results in no time. 


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