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Toilet Training Puppies!!!

Lucky, lucky you! You’ve got a new puppy in your home and can’t stop gushing over how every little thing she does is just the cuuuuuuutest thing EVER!! But wait!! What’s that on the floor?! Did little Princess just make a wee-wee? And that ain’t a piece of chocolate, is it?! Oh, but it’s so small and so cuuuuute.

Yeah, right. Trust us, that sentiment won’t last for long if Princess grows up and that tiny wee spot becomes as large as a lake! If you want to avoid unwanted weeing (and pooping) in your home, know that her toilet-training should begin the very moment she steps paw into her new abode - your home. If she’s already got some toilet-training, your task should not be too, too hard. However, if you’re starting from square one, be prepared for accidents and a bit of frustration (OK, a lot of frutration; just remember how darn cute she is and it'll be all right!). And know that it’s never too late to toilet train an older dog too!

Firstly, it’s best to understand a few things about the wonderful world of canine toileting. Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive on routine so as long as YOU develop the habit of taking her to the same spot, roughly around the same time every day, she’ll soon catch on. This means, of course, timing it with her feeding schedule, but more about that in a moment. Next, know that most dogs really don’t want to make a mess in their “den”, so if you haven’t got on-board with the idea of crate training your dog (no matter her size), we suggest you think long and hard about that decision. Dogs left in a crate for sleeping, when you’re out running errands, or simply not able to watch her every move, will do all that they can to not make a mess in their space (not to mention that crating keeps them safe from chewing wires, shoes and other no-no things). If you’ve got a crate much larger than your little piddling puppy, craft a divider out of heavy-duty cardboard (or plexiglass) so she doesn’t have room to toilet at one end and to sleep at the other. Of course, with a puppy (and smaller breeds, such as Yorkies and Chihuahuas) you’ve really got to keep in mind just how tiny their digestive system actually is, meaning they simply don’t have the capacity to “hold it” for a very long time. So you rightfully can’t expect her to hold it for generally more than 2–3 hours when she’s awake doing cute puppy things, and perhaps a bit longer through the night when she’s doing cute puppy sleeping things (a general rule of thumb is that she can hold it for one hour for every month of age... but that’s not set in stone).

Toileting Tips:

  • Select a spot in your garden or along your walk where you’d like her to do her business. The scent of urine and poop from her previous deposits will trigger her reaction. Generally, she’ll perform as expected in the same general area each time.
  • For apartment dwellers, you’ve really got your work cut of for you. You might be tempted to try some wee-wee pads and while they may work to solve the immediate problem of toileting inside, they can create a long-term problem, with Little Princess trained to wee (and poop) inside.  Our best suggestion is that you work extra, extra hard to anticipate her toileting needs and timing (and learn to get outside as quickly as possible). 
  • Be prepared to whisk her straight outside for a wee the very moment she opens her eyes, even during the day when she’s up from a nap.
  • When she does her business say something like, “ Get busy!!” and giver her lots of praise (a treat even) once she’s done the deed.
  • Time her toileting trips to coincide with her feeding schedule. About 15-20 minutes after she’s scarfed down her meal (puppies have so little self-control!), take her for a walkie. When she ingests food her digestive system kicks in and will activate her urge to go. 
  • Finally, be prepared, as she’ll probably have a few accidents until she’s fully toilet trained. So unless you catch her in flagrante, try not to reprimand her AFTER she’s made a mess (as challenging as it may be). She won’t connect your displeasure with a deed she’s committed possibly hours (even minutes) before.

Need a crate (or travel box) for your dogs? Dubai pet owners and pet owners eveywhere should see this link for more information about sizing and other useful tidbits:

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