These notes are equally relevant if you need to house train your dog.
Without doubt, the best way to house or toilet train your puppy is management - Let the puppies out often! Your puppy will need to go to the toilet - when they've woken up - when they've had a wee play session (oops, sorry about the pun!) - when they've had a wee training session - before or after they've eaten - and that's all true, even if all these different things have happened all together in the space of half an hour. They have very small bladders and little control, so anything which changes what they're doing may make them need to go again. Here's some hints and tips on house training.
- Watch for the signals - your puppy will have a pre-amble to toileting - perhaps they'll just sniff the floor, or they may do that whilst sniffing round in a circle. When you see they need to go, get there attention and get them to follow you outside. If they have a mistake, say nothing, don't re-act at all - let them finish and then take them outside, or put them into a different room whilst someone cleans up. If you shout at your puppy or tell them off, it just makes them not want to toilet in front of you. Clean up with a cleaner specially designed to remove pet odours. Many household cleaners just don't get rid of the smell, and worse, they contain ammonia which attracts the dog to pee there - ofcourse, it smells nice and clean to us -
but your puppies sense of smell is 1000's of times better than ours. A crate can really help too. Make it a nice comfy area, and put in a couple of toys and a water bowl. Let your puppy go in there on his own and don't shut the door on him until he seems happy there - that might well take a few days. Then when he's happy, you can shut the door and you'll know that he's not getting up to trouble when you're not able to watch him every second. A crate is not a toilet zone - your puppy will want to be naturally clean and won't want to toilet in his wee den. www.ukdogcages.co.uk has a great selection of crates and also a really detailed dog cage training guide. Using paper or puppy training pads may be an essential for you, but really all they do is teach the dog that it's ok to go indoors and then you have to un-train that. So, getting up in the middle of the night to let them out can really help to ensure that even over night, then don't have a mistake in the house. If your puppy is too distracted in your garden to concentrate on what he should really be doing, then it can help to cordon off a small area - perhaps 1m square - depending on the size of your puppy. Take him there and wait with him until he toilets. Then praise him and give him a treat. Make sure you don't praise too early - you need to be sure he's finished!