You should begin toilet training as early as possible. Puppies need constant supervision. Being vigilant and making sure they go outside at the right time will lessen the number of accidents in the house.
To do this you should make sure your puppy goes outside on a regular basis to a designated area in the garden.
Your puppy will need to go out every 1-2 hours especially after:
- excitement (having visitors)
- first thing in the morning
- last thing at night
Allow your puppy to sniff at the ground and make sure you stay out with them until they have been to the toilet. Never hurry them. Puppies are easily distracted and if you leave them to it they will spend the time trying to get back indoors with you, where they will promptly go to the toilet. Always make sure you praise them when they have finished and keep an eye on them when they are in the house for any signs of whining, sniffing the ground or looking uncomfortable. If they show any of these signs take them outside straight away as young puppies cannot hold on for very long!
If there is a short period of time where you cannot keep a close eye on them all the time, it is better to confine your puppy to a smaller area like a play pen. You can place some training pads in an area of the pen so if your puppy does go to the toilet it can be cleaned easily.
If you follow these guidelines your puppy will soon learn that they need to go outside to go to the toilet. The more frequently your puppy goes outside at an appropriate time and the fewer accidents they have indoors, the quicker they will learn. Once they have begun to learn this they will show signs of wanting to go outside when they feel the need to go.
At night time it is unrealistic to expect your puppy to last 8 hours or more without an accident. If your puppy wakes you up to tell you that they need to go to the toilet it is worthwhile doing so as this will help toilet train them much quicker. You can leave newspaper down as well to help with any accidents.
It is normal for your puppy to have accidents but it is very important to remember not to tell them off. These accidents will decrease in frequency and eventually stop altogether.
It is important that the accidents are cleaned thoroughly with suitable cleaning products to remove any trace of the scent. Puppies have highly sensitive noses and will detect the scent of urine which will encourage them to use the area again. Suitable products are available from your veterinary practice. You must ensure you do not use bleach or similar products. A solution of biological washing powder (1 part powder to 10 parts water) is most suitable.
Please feel free to ask your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets for any help and advice.