Without a doubt, the life of a new puppy parent has its ups and downs. The ups are particularly enjoyable; who can deny the bursts of love and affection as your puppy clambers all over you, delighted to see you after a long day apart. The snuggles, the long walks together, the bonding with your kids – it’s all a complete delight.
The downs are there too, of course – it would be remiss not to mention them. By far one of the biggest challenges you will face in your puppy’s early years is the toilet training question. It’s not something many of us like to talk about in polite society, but given how much of an issue it can be, pretending it’s not a concern isn’t particularly beneficial. The reality is that toilet training a puppy can be incredibly difficult, and until you do, it’s probably your carpets and upholstery that are going to pay the price!
If toilet training doesn’t seem to be taking for your new pooch, there might be a reason for that. It’s important to never forget that for dogs, the whole concept of toilet training just doesn’t register with them. For the early months of their life, when they need to go, they – well, they go! Not only are you training this instinct out of them, but also trying to accustom them to a new behavior at the same time. Trying to juggle all of this can mean you find yourself endlessly frustrated, constantly in search of the best home carpet cleaner to clear up the accidents, never seeming to get any closer to the blessed land of completed toilet training.
So, where are you going wrong?
ISSUE: Lack Of Consistency
To fully grasp what’s expected of them, your puppy needs absolute consistency when it comes to toilet training. In the first stages, you will be taking them outside (or to a designated puppy pad) any time they show signs of needing to go as well as at regular periods. And you’re going to need to do that, over and over again, no matter how tired you are or how comfy your existing position on the couch is.
If you send mixed signals, then your puppy isn’t going to be sure if they need to go outside all of the time, or just some of the time. From the moment you get into toilet training, you have to be absolute. No breaks; no changes; no deviation from the routine.
ISSUE: Puppy Isn’t Getting It
You can do absolutely everything right, but your puppy might still be struggling to grasp what’s expected of them.
Some puppies will pick up toilet training in the snap of your fingers and you’ll never have to worry about it again. Others will… well, it’ll take a little bit longer. If you have been waiting an undue length of time, then it’s always worth a visit to the vet just to check there’s no underlying issues causing the frustration, then you’ll have to be persistent.
ISSUE: Too Long Between Outside Trips
The best method of toilet training is to take your puppy outside every hour or so, even when they are showing no signs of needing to go. If you start extending this period before they have truly grasped the purpose of these outdoor trips, then you’re going to run into problems. Set an alarm to make sure you’re going out regularly and remember, it’s best to kick training off over the weekend when you have time to dedicate to it.