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Is there anything worse?
You wake up in the morning the sun is shining and its another beautiful day. You come out of your bedroom and discover your puppy rolling around in his poo! Hmmm.
It’s going to be 30-45 minute clean up minimum. You’re going to be running late today for sure.
Is there anything more frustrating?
You take your puppy or 1 year old dog outside to pee-pee. After they go pee-pee, you return inside. Within seconds of coming inside your dog decides to continue with a little sprinkle all over your new rug.
Surely toilet training a puppy or a dog should not take this long or be so hard?
You’re right. It shouldn’t and it isn’t. The thing is this…
There’s no magic wand but there are a heap of little tricks that will turn your puppy’s toileting around and you are probably not using most of them.
The crazy thing is that most people don’t do any of these things because they have never been told exactly what to do. Nobody has ever explained how important these little things are when you are toilet training your puppy.
And they are all simple and all logical. So let me point you in the right direction with a couple of them so you can get the idea and then I’ll tell you about the most awesome toilet training resource that I found for those of you who are interested.
1. Staying calm:
Firstly the thing that you have to accept is that you are responsible. Like training a young child or baby to use a potty. You can’t blame them for not being toilet trained and take your frustrations out on them.
In fact, it can really set you back. Becoming angry, shouting at your puppy, being annoyed will do nothing to encourage them to relax and follow your commands to toilet outside!
Imagine trying to go to the toilet with an angry frustrated person standing there staring at you!
So all of that rubbish about rubbing a dog’s nose in it to show them not to do it again, is simply old school and so out of date. People who do this sort of stuff have completely missed the point.
Think about it…
Why do you think your puppy pee-peed in the house?
Because they needed to go. Right?
They were holding on, probably bursting, needed to go and so they thought, “OK, I gotta go pee-pee…like NOW!”
And if the door was shut as well, then what do you expect?
Your puppy is not vindictive, or trying to wind you up.
So when you rub your puppies nose in it…they are still not sure where they are supposed to go.
Repeat…They are still not sure where they are supposed to go.
Got it yet?
So when you start telling your puppy off for going pee-pee in front of the couch all you are doing is telling your puppy that this is not the right place. Try somewhere else…
“They are still not sure where they are supposed to go!”
That’s right. You need to show them. You need to train them. That’s why its called toilet training.
2. Stay focused on the goal:
Its odd that the biggest mistake that people make with toilet training is the most important one. Most people take their eye off the goal too soon and start telling poor puppy off when they get it wrong. The secret is this…
Keep rewarding your puppy with amazing treats every time they go toilet in the right place…
That’s right. Every single time. With amazing treats. For a long time!
Nothing will motivate your puppy faster than rewarding them with a couple of amazing tasting little treats immediately after they have finished.
Notice I say immediately. Not 30 seconds later… It should be within 2 seconds. Too late and the connection to the pee-pee they just did will be lost. Get your treat in their mouth quick and they will very quickly start to link the two.
The Ah-Ha moment is when your puppy thinks… “So if I pee-pee on the grass you give me the most amazing treat?” “OK…Deal!”
Unfortunately most of us will reward for a week or two and then stop. We forget, get bored, run out of treats or can be bothered.
One little tip I heard on a great 40 minute toilet training audio the other day is to leave a jar with treats outside by the pee-pee area so that even if you forget to take treats out with you there are already some at hand.
3. It does take time
Remember that puppies are still young and small. They are still learning and it will take time. Anyone with young children will tell you…
Toilet training takes TIME and PATIENCE! Sometimes 3 years or more for young children.
Think about this for a second.
How old is your puppy? 16 weeks! Children can’t even lift their own heads at that age and we become frustrated that our puppy isn’t perfectly toilet trained by that age…
So take a breath and relax. The good news is that you can do it and your puppy is perfectly normal.
So focus on the successes and learn to quickly put the mistakes behind you. It’s great learning for life. Look to see what you could have done differently but don’t beat yourself up. We’ve all been there and the good news is that its not forever.
4. The rug
This is just a little tip I heard from that toilet training audio file I mentioned earlier that I’ll tell you about in a second. It made me smile because it is exactly what happens all the time.
Here’s the scenario…
Your puppy finds a nice thick piece of rug that is not the carpet. The rug feels nice, a bit like grass and looks like it is a good place to go pee-pee. They go pee-pee or even worse poo-poo!
Unfortunately for you it is your brand new, thick, white, shag pile rug and its very hard to get the stains and smell out of.
Even when carefully cleaned, your puppy can still smell the pee and poo and so now it even smells like a good place to go. Before long your beautiful expensive shag pile rug is a very costly toilet mat.
They secret is simple. Pick it up and put it back down in 6 months time in perfect condition. No stains, no marks, no regrets. Trust me on the shag pile rug. Do not take the chance! It is a very slippery slope.
5. Knowledge is everything:
When it comes to toilet training there really are so many things to think about and you will simply not think of them all on your own. You need to be told the secrets before your toileting goes pear-shaped.
And the best place that I have found by far to get hold of all the tips about dog and puppy training including toilet training is Doggy Dan’s website The Online Dog Trainer.
Inside the site are over 250 videos including a whole section with an amazing 40 minute recording on toilet training your puppy. It’s fantastic and covers off everything that you could possibly want to know.
Here’s a couple of tips to give you an idea of what’s inside.
– Those tricky times. What to do during the night and when you are at work to prevent accidents. How long to leave them and what to leave them with.
– Setting your puppy up to win so that they can’t make mistakes.
– Why some older puppy’s regress at 4 months old and why you need to get them back on track immediately.
– Older dogs. Why much older dogs who are several years old can suddenly start going toilet in the house and what to do to stop it.
– Habit Breaking. How to break an old habit if your puppy is toileting all over the house.
– Crate training. Everything you need to know about crate training your puppy if you choose to use that approach.
Plus all the tips, and advice on every topic to do with toilet training such as cleaning up the mess, feeding, watering and toilet frequency and schedules.
So that’s all for now. As you can see it’s a big topic. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and that you get a handle on your puppy’s toileting sooner rather than later.
If you really are struggling and want to end all the frustration immediately then I strongly suggest you take a look at Doggy Dan’s site The Online Dog Trainer and check out the Toilet Training section inside the site.