House Training

Whilst the puppy has been at the breeders (hopefully ours) the majority of the work has been done firstly by his mum. While he was really little she would have kept the whelping box clean by eating his faeces. As soon as he started moving about this would have stopped, and he would have soon learnt to go outside his sleeping area to go to the toilet, his only alternative was to sleep in a dirty bed.

At this point of his life, his world revolves around eating and sleeping. So it follows that he relieves himself after eating and straight after he wakes; the puppy forms this habit. Adding on to this I will put newspaper down outside the whelping box, the pup will begin to learn that this paper means toilet.

Once you take him home the work begins for you. It is quite feasible that you can train a pup to newspaper in a couple of weeks maximum. However you need to give it a 100 per cent for this time. Cover the floor area your puppy will have access to (we try and limit this to wooden or stone floors but with small interested kids about this does not always work), with newspaper several sheets thick. Each time the puppy has been fed or wakes up try and keep him there until he relieves himself. Then LOTS of praise and fuss needed, then replace the soiled paper with clean. As the pup gets used to this idea you will find he runs to the paper to relieve himself. Over the next few days slowly reduce the amount of paper.

When you are down to a small area you can start working on training to go outside by gradually moving the paper outside. Gradually you will eliminate the paper all together. It is much easier to house train in good weather. We try and spend a lot of time outside with the puppy watching for ‘telling’ signs that they are about to relieve themselves (useful to recognise this for when you are watching the TV or have guests) and then follow up with lots of pats and praise. This is a good time to start reinforcing their name so ‘Good girl Bubbles’ repeated over and over again (I still dream of this one). You can also use a word for toilet if you desire to teach the dog to respond to a command such as ‘Good dog for toilet’, I can never keep it up but works brilliantly for some. I have never shouted or scolded too harshly for ‘accidents’, pups like humans tend to respond to positive praise best (though I have been known to emit a high pitched squeal of horror).

Always keep an emergency kit for accidents. Fabreeze, kitchen roll and a cleaning spray (not containing bleach) works just fine.

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