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Good advice to empower every dog owner to have a happy, rewarding relationship with their four-legged friend.

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Toileting habits

Dogs are naturally inclined to want to move away from living areas (where they spend significant amounts of time) in order to toilet. This is a natural instinct, which dogs have inherited from their ancestors. A puppy, taught from a very young age, will learn quickly to want to move outside of the house they are living in, to toilet.

Encourage your puppy outside into the garden at the following times:

  • After each meal
  • After playing
  • After exercise
  • After any excitement (e.g. visitors arriving)
  • Immediately upon waking
  • First thing in the morning
  • Last thing at night 
  • At least once every hour

In the initial weeks you will need to stay outside with your puppy (coats and umbrellas may be needed; they will only follow you back indoors if you do not stay outside). 

Try and ignore them so you don’t distract them, allow them to wander around and sniff, be patient, it may take them a little time before they go. 

Wait a few minutes. If nothing happens, go back inside, remain vigilant and try again a short while later. The more times you take them outside to give them the chance to go in the correct place the quicker they will learn.

As your puppy is toileting, say the words ‘busy busy’ once or twice in a casual voice. Praise them for toileting outside either with verbal or physical praise to let them know they have gone in the correct place.  

Accidents happen

Your pup does not toilet inside on purpose, they have just not learnt/understood that we want them to go outside. Do not tell them off, there is no point, they do not understand that they have done something wrong. Clean the area thoroughly with biological washing powder solution, allow it to dry, and wipe over with alcohol (surgical spirit) which will remove enzymes (test an area first to avoid staining etc).

If at any time of the day you notice your puppy walking around in circles sniffing or getting ready to squat, immediately interrupt them and take them outside quickly. If you caught them already doing it, quietly and gently pick them up without scaring them. If they have only been thinking about it, call them excitedly and run to the relevant door and let them out. Once your puppy begins to understand, watch for signs like running to the door, which will indicate that they need to toilet.

Night times

Puppies like children have limited control at first, when they need to go, they need to go. Expecting them to last all night is just too much. They will become dry quicker if you get them up in the night. Take them quietly outside, when they toilet praise them with a quiet pat/stroke, take them back to their sleeping area, then back to bed for you.

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