Training a puppy to urinate and defecate outside of the home instead of inside takes patience and persistence. Puppies are like children in that they learn toilet training and muscle control in their own time. Some breeds, like the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, seem to have problems with their bladders up until they are two years old, but they can mentally grasp the concept of housetraining – even if their bladders can’t.
First Time Home
How do puppies know where to go? By smelling traces of urine or feces on the ground, carpet of wherever they happen to be. When you bring your puppy home for the first time, take him or her immediately to where you want the puppy to go. Wait until the puppy squats and then verbally praise the puppy. Puppies have small bladders so you will probably only have to wait a few minutes.
As soon as you can – maybe even the very first time – you want to give your puppy a verbal command that tells him or her that this is a good place to use as a toilet. Make this a simple phrase that everyone in the household knows, such as “Go now” or “Show time.” After the puppy squats, say “Good go now” or place the word “good” in front of whatever verbal cue you are using.
What good are verbal cues, besides getting some strange looks from the neighbors? Over the years, your dog is going to go to a lot of strange places. It could be visiting the home of your friend, or off to a boarding kennel or an adventure in the big city. The verbal cue lets the dog know where it is safe to squat.
Some puppies seem to think that the only doggy toilet in the world is their own yard and will hold on to their urine until it suddenly bursts from them. Holding on to urine for prolonged periods of time can also lead to urinary tract infections.
Pay Attention To Puppy
Your puppy is bouncing along after a ball and suddenly begins walking in circles, sniffing the ground. The puppy is just about to squat. Take that puppy outside immediately; give the verbal cue and praise. Puppies usually need to urinate right after they wake up, right after vigorous exercise and a few minutes after eating. In general, until a puppy is six months old, he will need to urinate about very two hours at least.
If your puppy does leave a puddle in the home, do not fuss or scold the puppy. Remember when you were a small child and couldn’t hold your urine? It’s the same thing with a puppy. It can’t be helped. Just take the puppy outside, give the verbal cue and praise if the puppy squats. Clean the urine with an enzyme-based cleaner because that will remove the urine smell most effectively. Don’t use ammonia because that smells like urine.
And that’s it, except for repetition. Eventually, the puppy will get the idea. Until puppies are about 18 months old, they may release a few drops of urine when they are excited. This is normal and can’t be helped. But if you know your puppy always pees in excitement when meeting a neighbour, have the meeting done outside.
“KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy.” Liz Palika. Dorling Kindersley; 2002.
The Humane Society of the United States. “Housetraining Puppies.” http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/housetraining_puppies.html
Best Friends Pet Care. “House Training Your Dog or Puppy.” http://www.bestfriendspetcare.com/bf_training_14.cfm
HubPages. “How to Train Your Dog to Pee on Command.” Rena Sherwood. http://hubpages.com/hub/How_To_Teach_Your_Dog_To_Pee_On_Command