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Toilet Training Your New Puppy

There is no doubt that when you first become a pet-parent, a major question that is asked is 'How do I train my new pup?' Although it is a simple concept (albeit, time consuming!) it is something that people worry about and can have problems with. So here are some top-tips to help pet parents understand what to do (and what not to do!) when toilet training your new pup.

1) Do not punish your puppy if they get it wrong. This is the number one rule, and for a good reason! Punishing them when they get it wrong just makes them feel confused, as well as making them lose trust in you right at the beginning, and this just isn't fair on the poor pup. It also means that the process will take much longer and will be much less reliable than if done properly.

2) Reward your puppy every time they get it right! It may seem obvious after tip number one, but puppies don't speak the human language - so when they go to the toilet in the right place, you need to make sure that they know that you are happy with what they're doing and that this is where the toilet is!

3) Make sure that you're in a position to reward them every time they get it right (whether this be with attention, treats or a toy!) This means that you need to go out with them every time they go out - not just leave the garden door open and hope for the best! Every reward you give them reinforces the correct behavior, and every time they aren't rewarded it lengthens the process further.

4) Try to prevent accidents before they happen. Each time that your puppy pees/poops in the house, the toilet training suffers a setback (as do the carpets!) This means it's important that you keep an eye on them as much as possible, and when you think they need the toilet - lead them outside with a reward at the ready.

5) Learn when you're pup is most likely to need the toilet. This is usually when they wake up, after a meal or drink, after playtime... you get the idea. Take them out at these times. Each puppy has their own tell-tale signs too - whether this may be sniffing at the floor, turning circles or sitting by the door.

6) If you are unable to watch them for long periods of time, then it's always a good idea to restrict the area that they have when they are alone or sleeping by using a crate or playpen. Puppies have already been taught by their mothers not to go to toilet in the sleeping area - so this means they'll be able to 'hold it in' for longer.

7) If your puppy does have an accident in the house, you should clean it up properly using an enzyme based cleaner. Normal household cleaners will make the area smell clean to us, but to a puppy's sensitive nose - it will smell like a toilet, so they'll be more likely to go there again.

8) The minute you get home with your new puppy, you should take them to their designated toilet area the first chance you get. After their journey they'll definitely be needing the toilet and this is the first chance you have to getting the process started.

9) In this toilet training process, if you need to leave the puppy - then it's always a good idea to ask a family member or friend to watch them whilst you're gone. Expecting a puppy to stay on their own without having an accident is unrealistic, and it makes the training take much longer.

10) Relax and don't worry too much about it. As long as you are rewarding your pup every time they get it right, and preventing as many accidents as possible - toilet training is easy, and it's a great opportunity to help your new fur baby gain trust in you, as well as perfectly kick-starting the journey to a lifelong friendship.


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