Unfortunately puppies do not generally arrive in your household all pre-trained in the art of knowing where they are supposed to relieve themselves, so it is your responsibility to show them the way.
Puppies all share a common need to relieve themselves at certain key points during their day:
- After feeding
- After sleeping
- After playing
Now the trick is to successfully catch these times; if you are using a puppy pen/cage for your puppy to sleep in overnight this will make your task a lot easier as usually a pup will not soil their place of sleep. First thing in the morning let your pup out of the cage and usher them to the garden as quickly as you can, then place them on the ground and point to the floor repeating a word as you do. I chose the word ‘Tinkle’ for training mine but any word will do just ensure it does not sound too similar to another word that you frequently use, such as saying ‘Relieve’ when you could also be training your puppy to the word ‘Leave.’
Too many similar sounding words will only result in confusion and your little pup will not know what he/she is actually supposed to be doing!
By selecting times that your puppy will naturally want to relieve him/herself should make the task easier as they should go fairly quickly. When they do your next job is to praise like crazy, however silly you might feel stood in the pouring rain with your pyjamas on and talking in a very excited voice, trust me I have been there!
Have some puppy safe treats handy and the instant your pup goes reward him/her, the message will soon make it through that you are delighted with them when they go outside and that this is what they should be doing on a regular basis.
If you are not using a pen/cage you will find it advantageous to place newspaper down mainly for the overnight period, then remove it from the floor first thing in the morning and encourage your pup to go outside. You need to teach them that the paper is not really the place to go and that outside is the much better option; if they happen to go on the paper you must not scold them for this but just keep implying that the garden is the preferred location. Leave the paper up out of the way during the daytime and only place it back down overnight and keep up with the praise when they do go outside.