Toilet training a puppy is not a natural idea to them, but it does not mean they cannot learn. Puppies just aren’t naturally born with the understanding that going to the bathroom inside the house is wrong and outside it good. They just aren’t wired that way and unless you teach Fido where to eliminate, he will make his own judgment as to where he believes is the right place to do his business. Most of the time, his idea of the best place to go ends up being your new carpet. In fact, that is the main reason why people give up on having a dog because they are not willing to put up with a pooch that destroys their floor. The poor puppy then loses his home and ends up in a shelter because the owner did not want to come home to a mess they had to clean up every night. That’s why doing a bit of research in advance is such a crucial part of pet ownership. Not every training method works for every puppy and some dogs are just tricky to train, but once you make a toilet training plan, you wouldn’t dream of sending your puppy away.
Puppy Toilet Training Methods
There are three main toilet training methods pet owners can choose from to house train their puppy; create training, puppy pad training or paw-holding monitoring training. These tried and true methods of puppy toilet training are quite effective, but one method does not fit all. Whether you decide to train using a crate, designated puppy pads or supervision, each method comes with its own set of pro’s and con’s. Don’t worry, we will break down each methods and you can decide which house training trick will work best for your situation.
Crate training is the act of using confinement to discourage inappropriate elimination. Dogs don’t generally enjoy soiling themselves or soiling in the area in which they are sleeping. So, by placing the puppy in a small crate the dog will be less likely to eliminate inside the crate and more likely to wait until he is let out to go to the bathroom.
How to Crate:
The crate that your puppy will start out with should be just big enough for him to standup and lay down in. Before you leave for work, you will let Fido out to potty and bring him back into the create. When you come back home, you will immediately let him outside to do his business and return him back to the crate. As time passes and no accidents are found, you can gradually make the crate larger and eventually more him to a room in the house. Before long you will be able to leave you puppy in the home, unsupervised and he will wait for you to return to let him outside.
- Perfect for owners who are not home to let the puppy out every time he needs to go.
- Highly effective
- Crate training will also be helpful when you need to put Fido in the crate for the vet or road trips.
- Not ideal for owners who are gone more than 10+ hours
- The puppy often gets bored in the crate (We recommend giving him a toy or Kong with a treat inside to keep him busy while you are away.)
Puppy Pad Training
Puppy pad training is a method sort of similar to that of cats with their litter boxes, where they are eliminating in the home but in a pre-approved spot. Puppy pads can be purchased at just about any local or online pet store, and are reasonably priced.
How to Pad Train:
You will need to pick a location to keep the puppy pads and continue to use that specific spot to avoid confusing the puppy. He need to know that that specific spot is the only spot that is appropriate to eliminate, other than outside the home. You will need to take him to the pad every time he looks like he need to go or when he starts to eliminate. You will likely need to confine him with the pad in one room of the home until he gets the idea before giving him the run of the home.
- No mess to clean up, just the pad
- The puppy learns the exact place he can eliminate
- Perfect for owners who are away from home during the day
- Requires monitoring and consistency
- The dog will continue to eliminate in that location even if he has reached adulthood and is no longer allowed to do so.
Paw-Holding Monitoring Training
Taking your puppy outside every time he needs to go to the bathroom is the most effective way to toilet train your puppy, both now and in the future. Paw-holding monitoring training is the act of supervising the puppy at home, taking him outside as frequently as possible.
How to Paw-Hold Monitor Train:
Placing a leash on your puppy, take him to the same spot outside and tell him to eliminate. You can use a simple phrase or simply “go” to remind the puppy what he should be doing when you reach that spot in the yard. After he has eliminated, praise him followed by a little playtime before returning to the house. You will need to repeat this behavior at least every two hours, immediately flowing a meal, playtime or a long nap.
- You will be able to control the toilet training situation and reinforce the behavior directly
- Paw-holding monitoring training is generally faster than other methods
- You will form a bond with the puppy as you engage in playtime or a walk after elimination
- Paw-holding monitoring is appropriate for puppies and adult dogs. You won’t feel the need to retrain the puppy when he outgrows other methods. (puppy pads)
- Requires a great deal of commitment and consistency
- Only works if you or a family member are home to take the puppy outside
- It can be tough work for an inactive person
Toilet training your new puppy is one of the most important steps in building a pet-owner relationship. Teaching your puppy where and when to go are the building blocks to a long, happy life with one another. Just be prepared, as toilet training your puppy is often easier said than done. House training a dog requires a great commitment, consistency and above all, a ton of patience. Your puppy will have good days free of accidents and others not so great, but if you stick to your basic toilet training plan, your newest family member will get the hang of it in no time!