Everyone loves a puppy. But, anyone who has had the joy of having a puppy knows that they are also a lot of hard work, they need a lot of toilet training and can leave a messy trail around the house pretty quickly if you’re not well prepared.
If you’re in the process of toilet training your puppy, or perhaps you might even have a dog that still has some issues with peeing inside, then there are a few things you can do and a few products that can assist in the process.
Toilet training is not a quick process and there WILL be accidents around the house. The key is consistency and knowing that it is going to take time for the puppy (and its bladder) to learn how to hold on for extended periods of time.
Top Toilet Training Tips
Take your puppy outside after every meal, drink, sleep and big play session. Every 30 minutes or so is ideal and before it shows signs of needing to go (sniffing and tucking in the bottom).
If you see your puppy sniffing around and tucking in their bottom, quickly and calmly pick them up and take them outside to the spot you would like them to go. Remember to immediately reward and praise them if they do their business at that time.
Do not punish your puppy for soiling inside. They are still learning. When you catch them in the act, again calmly pick them up and place them outside in the spot you would like them to go. If done quickly and regularly enough, they will start to form an association between the action and what/where you want them to be.
Always up the praise with your puppy when it goes to the toilet outside on it’s own merit. Remember rewarding behaviour makes it more likely to occur again.
Do not always use treats as your primary reward! In the early days they can help motivate your puppy in training, but give praise and pats as the alternative. If not, you may find yourself with a puppy trying to go to the toilet every 5 minutes for that tasty reward – when our goal is for them to learn to hold on!!
Crate training is great for puppies, as a dog generally does not like to soil in its den, so it will learn to hold on if crated at night or confined in small places (as long as you have taken it out after dinner, before bed and first thing in the morning).
You can also place the food bowl where your puppy last had an accident when you serve the next meal.
If you live in an apartment, or your dog stays inside during the day or night with no outside access, you can use the Rufus & Coco Puppy Training Essentials Pack including Pee Here, Wee Away and Chew Stopper products, as well as their Posh Pee Pads.
Pee Here are drops that mimic pet pheromones to encourage toilet training by attracting them to that spot, whilst Wee Away helps remove odours and stains and breaks down the uric acid salt crystals in urine to prevent re-soiling in the same spot
If you have a puppy or older dog that keeps urinating in the same spot, remember that dogs like to mark their territory and have a very acute sense of smell. Even when the visible stain has been removed and the urine odour has been rendered imperceptible to humans, animals can still detect it and are compelled to re-apply their own scent! So once an animal has “gone” in one spot, they frequently return to it again and again, no matter what we do. (That’s why we can place a puppy’s food bowl in the spot to discourage that early on!).
Most wee stain products are composed mainly of harsh detergents and masking agents that can actually seal in the odour, whilst those with ammonia can smell similar to urine and make the problem worse. The best way to remove the odour completely is with a stain remover designed for dog wee – like Rufus & Coco Wee Away – and remember to not have your dog around or make a fuss when you are cleaning it up.
Other puppy problems – chewing
Finally another common problem owners face with a new puppy is chewing. Chewing is important for the puppy’s sensory development. It is a way they can explore and learn about their environment and the world around them so if your puppy is getting into the plants, your furniture, shoes and other items laying around the house, then a squirt with the Rufus & Coco Chew Stopper can help keep them off the really important items.
We must then make sure we provide them with a safe alternative so that their primal need to chew can be met. Every puppy will love the new Aussie Dog Buddy Ball which you can also put food or big treats inside to give them added mental and physical stimulation as well. It’s also great for if you want to leave them alone for a while to help teach them independence, but always make sure you get the right size so that they can’t swallow it! This goes for any toy.
Aussie Dog also have a hardy Puppy Pack with a range of interactive products included to make your play time extra fun and safe.
About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog walking, dog minding and dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.