Below this blog is a free pdf to guide you when you need to take puppy into the garden and when he/she is indicating to you that he/she needs to "go" and next week I will be releasing a blog post, video and free pdf on how to teach your puppy to press a button to let you know when he/she wants to go into the garden :-)
always stay with puppy in the garden until he/she has done what they have to do.
Pens take up a lot of space
Make your puppys' crate its cosy den with its water, bed and toys
If you have a very large garden, consider fencing in a smaller area just for puppy to use.
Take puppy out to the garden the moment he/she wakes up
Download this free pdf puppy toilet chart which tells you when puppy needs to be taken into the garden
One of the most common enquiries that I receive regarding puppies is how to quickly and successfully house train them. Here are the common mistakes I am currently seeing new puppy parents make and how I house train my new charges, whether they are puppies or rescued dogs from kennels.
How old will they be before they stop peeing in the house?
This is a common question and apparently the average puppy will not have full control of their bladder before 6 months of age. However, please bear in mind every puppy is different and how you tackle house training can also have a big affect on how quickly puppy will learn. Rescued dogs and puppies of 6 months of age or more I have usually house trained wihtin a week.
Set up your environment for success
I have always only ever used a crate with my pups. I have one small crate in my bedroom for sleeping in at night; a slightly larger one downstairs for daytime use and another in my vehicle for safe travelling. My bedroom crate remains until puppy is house trained and then sleeps downstairs. The current trend seems to be for puppy parents to also use pens AND their crates to give their pups as much freedom as possible whilst still remaining confide. In every case where I have seen this set-up the puppy parents have been struggling to house train their new baby. In every case where this has occured I have advised the puppy parent to remove the pen (which they have not minded at all because these things do take up ALOT of space) and only use thier pups crate (which can later be replaced with your pups bed only). Every case reported a marked improvement in their pups "accidents" in and around the home within the week.
I use crates as my pups den. This is where they sleep, play, eat and drink when I am unable to fully supervise them. A puppy will rarely poop in their crate where they sleep unless you are not giving them enough garden time or the crate is too big for puppy for its size. Crates should only be large enough for puppy to sleep comfortably in with a bit more space for said toys. I only use water pales attached to the side of the crate to prevent spillage or puppy from learning to dig its water all over the place (great fun!). I never free feed my pups (that is when puppy parents leave their pups food down for them all day long) because I want them develop a eat, sleep, poop routine quickly; so I do feed my pups in their crates at first. This also encourages them not to poop in their crates.
Again this seems to be something pup parents believe they need to help teach their pups to be clean in the house, but in my experience they only confuse the situation. In one home they were everywhere as a "just in case", please do not do this. To puppies the use of these seem to indicating "you can go here, or here, or here!" Completely the opposite to what you are trying to achieve, so if you do use these only place one by the door that you want your pup to go out of to the garden.
When to take pup into the garden
Below is a free pdf to assist you here. Basically there are times when pup must be taken into the garden to poop and indicators your pup will give you that he/she needs to go into the garden.
Pup must be taken into the garden to relieve itself as soon as it has woken up. Now puppies sleep ALOT so this will be frequently to begin with. As soon as puppy wakes up I always clip on its lead, pick him up to carry him into the garden to prevent accidents on the way and to the area in the garden where I want him to use as his toilet throughout his life with me. I also repeat this procedure after puppy has eaten; been playing or is sniffing around looking distracted.
Why use a lead?
You must never be tempted to just plonk puppy in the garden and leave him/her to their own devices. Puppies become distracted from the job in hand very quickly and forget what they are in the garden to do. So I always stay with them until the job is done. I keep them on lead at this point so that they can not wander off and get distracted and so that they learn to "go" in the dog area I have allocated for them.
Put a command to it!
Yep, thats what I said. I always encourage my pups to do their business on command. Now obviously pup will not know this command to begin with but they do quickly associate the command with their actions and how pleased you are with them for "going" outside. Such commands can be "go potty"; "be clean"; "business" or the one I use is "hurry up" because when its the dead of night, freezing cold and pouring with rain that is exactly what I want them to do!!!
Accidents will happen
No matter how careful you are the odd accident will happen. If this occurs just clean it up and forget about it; its your fault for not paying attention to puppy and nothing can be done about it. For heaven sakes NEVER scould a puppy for having an accident indoors; its going to happen and puppies don't associate your annoyance with something that happened even just a few minutes ago.
Teach them to use a bell
We taught little Kobi to press a button that says "garden!" when he wants to go out. A video; blog post and free pdf on how we achieved this will be posted next week.