Please ensure to read the page on Crate Training to ensure you have done this important state first!
It is also crucial to never use any form of Punishment (even just showing a stern body posture and shaking the finger or verbal reprimands) because puppies are urinating without conscious awareness. Use of any form of punishment will scare your puppy, make them nervous about toileting and will take longer to toilet train.
Please read here about Why Not Punishment
OPTION 1: If you are only using a crate inside the house:
For daytime training when you are at home (e.g. weekends):
To prevent accidents happening and bad habits forming, puppies should never be allowed to free roam the house until they have toileted in their designated area.
Having them confined in a pen or crate for up to two hours at a time (depending on their age) will allow you train them to hold their bladder between toileting trips.
Remember, you want to “set them up to succeed” so you can reward the good behaviours!
If you are using a crate only, it is very important you are diligent with taking them out frequently. This will avoid them learning to soil their own bed or become distressed in their crate or pen.
When they have been in the crate or pen for between one and two hours take them to the place you want them to toilet. For baby puppies, initially pick them up gently and slowly to carry them outside to prevent them toileting on their way out. Once they are a bit older clip the lead on before letting them out of the crate. Then use food luring in your hand to guide them outside.
Once they have toileted outside you can allow them to move about freely inside for a short time (30min to an hour). Then lure them back into their crate or pen. Give them a chew or an enrichment item that will keep them occupied until they fall asleep. Then repeat the steps.
If they whine around the time they need to be taken out to the toilet, wait for the short break (3-5seconds) between whines before you go to them and take them out.
Once you’re outside, ignore your puppy until they do their pee and or poo. Once they do their business, reward them with treats, play or cuddles!
For night time management:
If you are using a crate for a puppy without a surrounding pen and pads, then at night it is best to move the crate into a laundry or bathroom where the floor can be easily cleaned.
Ensure the crate door is open as they will likely toilet somewhere on the tiled or lino surface overnight. This behaviour will reduce over time as their bladder control matures.
The alternative to moving the crate is that you keep your puppy closed in their second crate in your bedroom so they are nearer to you and less distressed.
You will then need to get up several times a night to take them out of the crate to the appropriate toileting place.
Even if they are not fully crate trained during the day time, most puppies do well being confined at night as long as they are near their family.
OPTION 2: If you are using a crate inside a pen and your goal is to have your puppy learn to use pads for apartment settings, then follow these steps:
- Initially, the whole pen floor area needs to be covered with newspaper or pads.
- When you see your puppy toilet on any part of the pen on the paper or pads praise them or give them a treat straight away.
- When you note their motions are happening consistent in one area of the pen, start gradually removing one newspaper spread or pad at a time. Start from the end opposite to the preferred toileting areas.
- Progress over several days or weeks to having only the one pad they are using left in the pen.
- If you live in an apartment, your puppy is now pad trained and you can move the pad gradually out of the pen and to the desired area on the deck or bathroom. Do not move it too fast as your puppy might not find it and could have accidents.
OPTION 3: If you are using a crate inside a pen and your goal is to have your puppy learn to toilet outside, then follow these steps:
- Follow the same instructions as for Option 1 during the day time.
- Aim to be taking them out more frequently to toilet outside so they learn the preferred texture for toileting to be grass.
- Follow the instructions for Option 2 for overnight or longer periods they are in the crate and need to use the newspaper or pads. This should be used as rarely as possible because it will act as a temporary measure only when you can’t take them out frequently.
Clinic is located:
2 Ford Rd (corner of Ford Rd and Beattie Rd, entrance is opposite Global Footware) Coomera 4209
Phone: 1800 DR NELA (1800 376 352)