The secret to successful toilet training lies in PREVENTION, not correction! Unless your dog is about 80-90% reliably toilet trained, it must not have the run of the house. Make sure you have a safe, puppy-proofed area where the dog will stay when you are unable to supervise him. This area will also serve as the dog’s toilet if it is to be trained to do its business on newspapers. A safe area could either be a playpen or the kitchen/laundry area.
- Decide if you want to train the dog to do its business on newspapers or grass. When using newspapers, do not worry if your puppy shreds and plays with the papers. It will outgrow the habit. If it is grass, always go to the same area for the dog’s toilet. The smell will encourage the dog to do its business.
- Avoid free feeding (i.e. leaving food out all day). Puppies under 5 months old should be fed at least three meals a day. During meal times, leave the food out for no more than 15 minutes. Remove the food after 15 minutes. This prevents a fussy eater and the dog will learn to eat during mealtimes. Having regular mealtimes will also enable you to monitor your dog’s food intake.
- Puppies are not able to control their bladder very well. They must be brought to do their toilet every hour or so whenever they are out of their confinement area.
- If the puppy makes a mistake, do NOT scream, yell or punish the puppy! The puppy did not make a mistake. You made the mistake of not keeping a close eye on it. Screaming, yelling or other negative reinforcement makes your puppy afraid of you, and does not teach them what you wish for them to do.