Toilet training a puppy - help needed

in Pets & Pet Care
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We have just got a puppy (8.5 weeks old now) and he is a lovely little boy except for the toilet training. When we got him we were told he was using the puppy pads and wasn't having any accidents (I don't think this was a fib). However since we've got him home he is just having accidents everywhere (wees and poos) and I am starting to tear my hair out a bit.

I know that he is only tiny and of course these things take time so I wasn't expecting a perfectly trained puppy however it is very frustrating that he has regressed so much with no current signs of improvement. The only time he uses a pad is when he's in his cage at night.

I've mentioned this problem to a few people and as you might imagine everyone has a different opinion on how best to deal with the problem - some are saying to be really firm, tell him off, rub his nose in it then put him in a pen for 15 mins as punishment, others are saying to not make a fuss but show him where's he messed then take him to a pad and put him on it. Others say take him outside as much as poss. And there are probably other suggestions too!

I tried the telling off option but tbh couldn't continue as it seemed quite unfair on a little pup (I'm not a pushover but still it seemed a bit much to me....). I'm trying the not making a fuss option but it's not working (yet anyway) and I am trying to get him outside but unfortunately we have some holes under fences which won't be fixed until the weekend so I can't take him off the lead yet (which I know from experience is more likely to make him go).

What thoughts do people have on this? I really would appreciate any thoughts as it is getting quite stressful.


  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    MrsSippi wrote: »
    I've mentioned this problem to a few people and as you might imagine everyone has a different opinion on how best to deal with the problem - some are saying to be really firm, tell him off, rub his nose in it then put him in a pen for 15 mins as punishment

    I thought advice like this had gone out with the Ark!

    You need to take him outside very frequently and praise him fulsomely whenever he pees or poos.
  • gt568gt568 Forumite
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    Take him outside over and over again. Treat profusely when he goes.
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  • UKTigerlilyUKTigerlily Forumite
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    He is very young so i'm assuming you've only had him a matter of days, it could be pretty unsettling for him to have left his Mother & litter, so that could be why his training has gone out of the window maybe?

    Take him out as soon as you wake, before you go to bed, every hour and whenever he looks like he might be wanting to go, and praise him like he discovered the cure for cancer when he does go in the right place. Never tell him off, it's not his fault and he has to know what he is supposed to do instead; if his stomach is a bit upset due to all the change etc that could also be why he can't hold it

    Gwen Bailey has a Perfect puppy book which seems to be very recommended
  • KatiehoundKatiehound Forumite
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    Praise, praise and more praise.
    You want a happy puppy not a little cowering thing.

    As said before, take him out every hour (on the lead at present) and stay out until he does something.After food, before bed.....

    Think of words to go with the actions and say them every times he does whichever; be clean, be a busy boy, wee wee... whatever.

    When he does what you want loads of silly voice praise, make his tail wag! 'What a clever boy! give a teeny yummy treat......So the action becomes one of fun/ pleasure not torture

    Haven't looked but I guess there are helpful fact sheets on Dogs Trust, Blue Cross websites.

    Gwen bailey's Book highly recommended- haven't read it but others have praised it. Perhaps a quick trip to Amazon??
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
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    Many thanks

  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    And if there are still accidents indoors, just clean them up without paying any attention to the puppy.
  • Sky_Sky_ Forumite
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    He sounds like a normal young puppy. They do pee and poo everywhere because they're babies without nappies and haven't learnt bladder and bowel control yet.

    Zoflora pet disenfectant is very good for the smell and avoids your house smelling of poo and pee. Simply clean up any messes without fuss or comment. He really can't help it. My current pup would have eaten puppy pads, (after excitedly running around the house with them) so we only tried those once!

    I've used Gwen Bailey's book in the past and it is very good, but my new favourite is 'Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy' by Steve Mann. His approach suits our current (completely crazy and very high energy) retriever pup better than Gwen Bailey, though hers was great for our previous, quieter retriever puppy.

    I'd second taking him outside very very frequently (we did every 30-40 mins in the daytime) and oodles of praise and a small treat when he performs outside. Also, don't be surprised if he pees/poops as soon as you come back inside at this age. Again, he can't help it.
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  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    He should be where you keep an eye on him ALLTHE TIME.

    When he starts to show signs on needing - starts sniffing and turning round- quietly scoop him up and take him outside . Have a place outside where you always take him so he will associate it with toileting. It is better to keep him on a lead so can prevent him wandering off and getting distracted. Let him wander around the toileting area on a loose lead. When he is older there may be times you need him to go on the lead so get him used to it now.

    Introduce a cue word when he goes and praise and give a small treat while he is in the toileting area.

    Take him out first thing in the morning, after he has eaten, when he wakes forma sleep, when he has been playing for a while.

    Puppies playing are like toddlers. They don't realise they need to go until the last minute.

    For accidents indoors use a solution of biological washing powder or one of the enzyme cleaners you can get in the pet shop. These will kill the smell .Disinfectants contain ammonia so the area cleaned still smells of ammonia (urine) which will encourage him to go there.
  • REJPREJP Forumite
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    Some excellent advice on this thread.
    I would add that you give the puppy properly manufactured treats, on no account give chocolate which is bad for pups and grown dogs.
    Rubbing his nose in it could get you a nasty bite, and is a cruel way of teaching. Please don't do it.
  • BellisimaBellisima Forumite
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    There is a well known saying in the dog training world:

    “if your puppy pees indoors, roll up a newspaper, and then hit yourself over the head with it for not noticing puppy needs to go out!”

    Rubbing puppy’s nose in it is abhorrent and cruel. Would you do that to a baby who soils itself? Punishment will make puppy scared of you and will ruin your relationship. Just horrible.

    It is unlikely he was toilet trained in his last home. I assume he was part of a litter? Housetraining a litter of pups is nigh impossible, but the mum does a lot of clearing up herself. So don’t beat yourself up.

    I worked at a dog rescue shelter a few years ago and have several friends who are trainers. One of them is a brilliant behaviourist. There is only one way to house train a pup and that is to take it out in the garden every hour, stay with it until it goes, and then reward with little food treats and verbal praising. Those pads are pointless - you are just encouraging puppy to pee on them indoors, the opposite of what you actually want. Give it time, you will get there. Good luck.
  • klew356klew356 Forumite
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    Aww he’s still just little, he should be taken outside when he wakes from a nap, after play, after a drink after food and pretty much every half hour during the day, I found the best way for them to learn quickly is when they are taking a pee outside say the word pee and for poo say poo then they learn what is it and you can ask them if they need to go. Praise when he goes in the right place but def no punishment for accidents
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