You don’t have to wait long to find out that puppies pee a lot – sometimes up to 12 times a day! It’s your job to figure out when to go outside and teach them what to do when they get there. Read on to find out how to train a puppy indoors and how to spot the red flags when nature is calling.
How long does it take to get a puppy to the bathroom?
It will take between four and six months for your puppy to be fully home-trained. However, this depends on its size, age, and ability to learn. Some puppies can be put to the bathroom very quickly in a few weeks while it can take longer for some dogs and can take up to a year.
How to tell when your puppy needs to go to the bathroom
You can usually tell when your puppy “wants to go” by anxiously looking around, running in circles, and sniffing around suitable corners for a place – this is your cue for getting him outside!
Feel free to walk with them to the toilet area. Wait as long as you have to – sometimes pups can get distracted by the excitement of the great outdoors, no matter how hard they wanted to leave!
How to train a puppy to use the bathroom
When considering how to get a puppy to the bathroom, it is important that you do the following:
1. Take your puppy to the bathroom as soon as he wakes up and after he has eaten or drunk
2. Assign a toilet area so they can see where to go
3. When they close their deal, reward them with a treat and lots of praise
4. Give them plenty of opportunities to go to the bathroom – at least every two hours
5. Don’t punish your puppy for accidents. This can slow your progress, so keep toilet training positive
6. Be consistent! Accidents do have to happen but stick to your routine and your pup will soon be house trained
The importance of a toilet area
Ideally, when thinking about how to get a puppy to the bathroom, you want your dog to understand the difference between the play part of your yard and the toilet area. You can help them by fencing an area and lining it with shredded bark. This will make it look and smell different from the rest of the garden, so your puppy will soon learn to recognize it.
Most puppies prefer to go to a natural place than on concrete or pavement, and bark or grass will give them an environment where they can smell their earlier smell. The most important thing in toilet training a puppy like this one is keeping his toilet area clean by cleaning up the clutter every day to encourage him to return. Leftover clutter in the area can put them off and they can look to other areas to do their business.
Do not carry the puppy outside
Avoid carrying your pup outside to use the bathroom. Let your puppy run, as this will also help stimulate the bladder and bowels, and learn independence and confidence in those around you.
Routine is key to puppy toilet training
Once you’ve set up a toilet area, take your puppy there regularly for him to use, and then reward him. If they sniff around but don’t do anything, be patient. You may have to wait a while. If they still won’t go, bring them back in and watch them closely for the first five minutes. Take her outside again if you see any warning signs that you need to go.
It is a good idea when toilet training puppies to have an accompanying word query such as “busy” or “hurry” when they go to the bathroom so that you can use that command later to encourage them to leave when you get on are in a new location.
Once they’re done and you’ve rewarded them, take them out of the toilet area and play with them for a bit, then bring them back in and keep playing inside.
During the first few weeks of home training a puppy, your mission is to get him to the bathroom as soon as he wakes up after eating or drinking something and every half hour while he’s playing. Make sure to use their encouraging word request and treat and praise them every time they get it right.
How to train a garden-free puppy to use the bathroom
When you have a puppy in an apartment, getting him out on time can be a challenge! This makes it all the more important to spot the signs when your pup is trying to let you know they have to go!
Set a timer for every hour
Taking it out every hour can be helpful as it gives your pup more opportunities to get it right and be rewarded for this behavior. Set a timer every hour as a reminder so you don’t forget!
Use baby gates
Baby gates can be a great option if you are taking your pup to the bathroom in an apartment. Since puppies try to find a place that is far from where they normally spend their time, baby gates help reduce the space they take up during toilet training, which means you are likely to increase the frequency of accidents will decrease.
Use puppy toilets only when necessary
Puppy training pads can help in the short term, but keep in mind that sometimes these can confuse your pup or delay the entire toilet training process. Sometimes you may not have any other option. So if you are using puppy pads, it’s best to keep these near the door so your puppy can associate them with going out. If you choose to have it elsewhere around the house (such as a box or kitchen), this will potentially confuse your pup if he thinks it’s okay to go to the bathroom inside go. Keep a consistent schedule both day and night so the puppy can become comfortable with the same routine.
Dealing with accidents during puppy toilet training
Accidents happen in the house, especially during the first few phases of training for the puppy toilet. However, if your puppy goes to the bathroom indoors, it is important to stay calm and remember that this is all part of the learning process.
If you spot a small puddle or mess, whether you’ve been there or not, just clean it up without making it a problem. Ideally when your pup is not watching.
Never be angry or scream – it’s unfair to punish them for something that they take for granted. If you catch them red-handed, feel free to take them outside to the toilet area to finish what they started and thoroughly clean the floor with a neutralizing spray so that your pet doesn’t associate an odor with a toilet area can. The more work you put into toilet training a puppy, the faster he’ll pick him up.
Puppy crate training
One method that you might want to try for house training a puppy is crate training – and this is especially useful at night. While the pups are still with their mother, she has taught them not to dirty the sleeping area, and with a crate, you just continue what the mother has already taught them.
Using a box encourages them to hold on a little longer. However, this only works if you keep them in their box for a short period of time so they don’t fall short or feel uncomfortable. Read our guide to Sleeping facilities for puppies More tips on crate training.
How to get a small breed puppy to the bathroom
Smaller breeds like Shih Tzus, Dachshunds, Maltese, and Pugs can be a little more difficult to train than larger breeds. Their bubbles are small and they also have a higher metabolism so they process foods faster.
If you bought a puppy from a breeder who started toilet training, it should be pretty easy to move on. If your puppy hasn’t had a household routine before, you may need to take them out more often, and the entire puppy toilet training process can take longer while your puppy learns what to do.
Take the puppy outside often
Take your little puppy out as soon as you wake up, right after eating or drinking, and after playing. Ideally, you want to give your pup plenty of opportunities to get it right. So try to encourage and reward this behavior every 30 minutes during the day.
Combine puppy toilet training with sleep training
If possible, it’s better to incorporate puppy toilet training into crate and sleep training, as your puppy will still have to go out at night for the first few weeks. If you crate training, your pup is much less likely to pollute his sleeping area, so he will need less frequent night-time outdoor toilet trips.
A large puppy should only need 1-2 additional trips at night. Smaller breeds are likely to need more frequent trips at night until they are a little older. Try not to give your puppy much attention when you get him out at night – keep the process very functional before putting him back to bed.
How do I deal with puppies?
Some breeds are more likely to have an “early onset of anxiety” period that can affect your puppy toilet training. While many puppies go through a “fear phase” after about 7 weeks, breeds including German Shepherds and Yorkshire Terriers may experience anxiety early on (usually after 5 weeks), which means it will happen sooner for them.
As a result, they can feel anxious, nervous, and slow to adapt to new situations and experiences. This can make puppies uncomfortable outside, more concerned, less able to learn, and less relaxed. In this case, make sure that the toilet area you choose is calm and stress-free. Puppy toilet training should be reward-based from the start, and remember that it doesn’t take much before they worry about making a mistake in the presence of their owners. Although it feels very difficult for the first few weeks, do your best to keep it going and you will see progress soon!
Toilet training and retraining
If you stick to a consistent puppy toilet training routine, your dog will soon learn to use the toilet outdoors. You can still occasionally fail, but this is only natural. No panic. Just increase the number of outdoor visits for a while until you are sure your dog is back on track.
After a while, you both get to know the routine – your puppy will understand how to wait until he’s outside and you will pick her up Dog body language. You can then let the routine tours run out and be guided by your dog’s signs.
Retraining an adult dog
Of course, not only puppies need to be trained in the house. If so rehomed a dog. They don’t automatically know where to go in their new home. You need to learn about the warning signs and regularly take your dog outside. As with a puppy, offer them plenty of quiet praise for doing what you asked them to do.
So now you know how to get your pup to the bathroom! Remember, consistency is key. Keep your routine going and before you know it you will have a fully trained pup.