TOILET TRAINING YOUR PUPPY Toilet training your new puppy should be a simple, clear and a good relationship building process. You need time and patience to develop a good routine that makes sense to your puppy. Most importantly the routine must be specific to your puppy’s needs. When they are very young puppies are quite predictable if you take the time to observe. Puppies need to urinate as soon as they wake up, so they need to go straight into the garden without delay. Eating will stimulate their digestive system. Usually a puppy will need to urinate about 10 minutes after food and defecate within about half an hour. This will vary slightly depending on the individual puppy. Puppies have little bladder control so will need to be took out to the garden every 1 to 2 hours. Keeping a simple diary will help you develop a pattern of your puppy’s toilet habits. When your puppy toilets in the garden introduce a cue word, such as ‘clean boy/girl’ or ‘wee wee’. ALWAYS go into the garden with your puppy to support them, don’t just put them outside on their own or leave the door open and expect them to know what to do. They need to be taught in a kind and patient way, praise and reward with a little tip bit immediately after toileting so they understand the association. NEVER scold a puppy for toileting in the house, remember he doesn’t understand until taught and this takes time. Remember if you stick to a routine that makes sense to the puppy he/she will not need to toilet in the house. Puppies are creatures of habit so successful introduction of the garden is important. Sometimes things may not be going to plan, some of the reasons may be; unsuitable diet, irregular feeding, feeding at the wrong times and overfeeding can cause puppy to toilet at different times and defecate overnight. Also salty food or treats can cause excess drinking, leading to excess urination. Crate training puppy can help with night time toilet training. But remember a very young puppy can’t be expected to go all night without toileting. So initially you need to be up early and do a late evening toilet. If puppy toilets indoors, don’t clean up with ammonia based cleaning products as these smell to the puppy like urine and will only encourage toileting in the same spot again. To introduce puppy to toilet on a walk, take them out first thing in the morning on a slow short walk. Allow them to sniff and take their time, say you cue word, ‘clean boy’, etc. If puppy isn’t comfortable to toilet, go back home and straight into the garden so they can relieve themselves. This step will be easier for some puppies than others, so again patience and kindness is the key. Remember dogs don’t speak our language, but they do understand routine. Keep words short and gentle, always allow time to sniff and explore. Don’t go out with a set time in your head e.g. 5 minutes, this will put pressure on you and consequently be felt by the puppy, causing a bad relationship with toileting. Done with patience and kindness, it will be an enjoyable experience for you and your puppy and a great way to start building a mutual relationship of trust and understanding. It will also happen naturally quicker than you expect. Happy toilet training!!!