As with all other areas of dog training, advice on toilet training is riddled by urban myths and misinformation that can be potentially detrimental to your puppy.
Before I advise you on the most effective way to toilet train, let's take a look at some of the common myths and what the consequences of pursuing them might be, bearing in mind the old expression "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".
might also find that after you have taken your puppy out for a good long
walk, it waits until you return home and then wees on the carpet, roughly
in the same area where the newspaper used to be. This can become a very
long and drawn out process to correct. So please be very careful when
choosing the toilet training method which you would like to follow.
This very old and very outdated advice contains no ancient wisdom at all. In fact I would go as far as suggesting that it causes many puppies grave and long-term emotional stress. Puppies (and adult dogs) live very much in the here and now. They really do not sit there thinking about what they did five or even ten minutes ago. So there you are lying quiet happily on the floor chewing your favourite bone when in comes mum wearing the most fearsome expression you have ever seen.
next thing you know is you are being picked up by the scruff of your neck,
dragged across the floor and then your face pressed into a pool of wee
or poo on the carpet whilst your usually happy and smiling human has turned
into a screaming banshee. Terrible isn't it when you look at it from this
angle? Unfortunately there are still far too many people around offering
this type of advice.
puppy on earth has ever toilet trained because their owners used such
methods. If the puppy did eventually toilet train, it did it despite the
owners - NOT because of them! The vast majority of dogs are very clean
and do not like to go in their living quarters unless they can really
help it. Therefore most dogs toilet train because they were going to do
so anyway, of their own accord, and not because of some human intervention.
What puppies learn from such negative experiences is to be wary of unpredictable
humans, especially if there is wee or poo on the floor. Some will even
learn to slink off to another part of the house where they hope no one
will discover what they have done. I promise you your puppy will not make
the association that you are angry because of what it did some five or
ten minutes ago!
in very plain and simple terms, what puppies learn from such experiences
are that "wee or poo on the floor plus you equals very bad news, and NOT
that it should go outside next time to avoid your anger.
the times your puppy needs to go, e.g. first thing in the morning. Most
puppies need to wee as soon as they wake up. So before you greet the puppy,
open the door and place it outside. As soon as it wees, praise and reward
it for going in the correct place. After breakfast most puppies like to
have another wee and perhaps to do their poo. Once more place the pup
outside and as soon as it goes, praise and reward profusely.
the puppy as much as you can whilst it is out so that you can reward it
immediately anything happens. This doesn't mean to say that you have to
stand outside the whole time; I watched my puppies from the window and
then ran outside to offer rewards.
If you catch your puppy about to wee or poo in the house, then scream its name at the top of your voice so that it startles and then get yourselves outside as quickly as you can. It may take the puppy a few minutes to calm down after this shock, so keep an eye open, and when it eventually finishes what it had already started, praise it and re-establish your friendship. As previously stated, there is no point - absolutely no point whatsoever, in scolding the puppy after it has had an accident.
puppies have accidents from time to time, even those who appear to be
learning very quickly, so please don't be surprised and panic when it
happens. The muscles which control such activities are not fully developed
for sometime to come - perhaps as long as eight months in some cases,
so please be patient.
Away The Accidents
Therefore I suggest using cleaning materials that contain odour eliminators. Such products may be purchased from veterinary surgeries or from all good pet shops. A good cheap alternative is biological soap powder and white wine vinegar. In fact for very ingrained smells, using a combination of all of these products can bring great benefits. Also the door-to-door catalogues: Betterware and Kleeneze sell pet accident sprays, which have been highly recommended.
You cannot over-socialize a dog, but you can under socialize, so please do get your dog out and about into as many situations as you can, and try not to fuss or become anxious yourselves when the puppy shows any sign of fear. The puppy likes to see your confidence, so the best advice I can offer is to stay calm and adopt the attitude "I'm not scared so don't you bother yourself either". If the puppy appears to become too distressed then calmly walk away from the distressing situation and perhaps return to it at some other time. Some very fearful dogs may need additional support to help build their confidence. Please contact me for further advice.
Since I first wrote this article, I have had the 'pleasure' of potty training an additional member of the household. She is now 11 months old, and completely dry. Whilst she was still very young, I came across a new product by the name of "Pet Fresh". Like many products I have been asked to try over the years, I was very sceptical. In fact, I almost walked away from the sales rep. However, I decided to give it a try, and I am so pleased I did.
For my pup ,who had not been the easiest of any dog I have lived with, to toilet train. Pet Fresh was the turning point. It completely eliminated any trace of uric acid. Fantastic product. Order yours from the website linked below.
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