Whether that dog is a puppy or adult, it is quite likely there will be some accidents to clean up. Unfortunately, while it is a theoretically simple thing to do, training your dog to toilet outside can be frustrating and a lengthier process than it should be, particularly if you don’t have good guidance.
There are 4 basic steps to follow:
Keep your puppy with you at all times during toilet training. If you can’t watch closely and attentively, consider crate training or using a playpen, the laundry or the bathroom as a safe den. More on this to follow.
Use appropriate and motivating rewards. This is usually a treat, as most dogs aren’t motivated enough just by praise or a game. Keep your treats on you at all times so you can reward within a few seconds. We have some training tips for those who are new to it.
Take your puppy out every hour. Repetition and consistency is key. The more occasions you have that you can reward the appropriate behavior, the quicker your puppy will ‘get it’. If it has been 24 hours since your puppy last got a reward for toileting in the correct place, it will take much longer to learn.
Be patient and consistent and avoid punishment. Punishing your dog after an accident will not teach him anything, except that you are to be feared. If an accident happens, move on and try to take your puppy out more frequently.
Many advocate the use of puppy training pads to put on the floor or newspaper to teach your puppy to go in the correct place. Once you have them toileting there, you can start moving them closer and closer to the door. While this will work, you will have to teach your dog to use the pad, then they need to relearn that they then need to start going outside.
It is simpler just to go for the behavior you want the first time around, rather than teach two separate things. The main advantage of these absorbent pads is that they make clean-ups easier, so while your puppy is being crated, or is in his den, playpen or the laundry you can put a puppy pad down to absorb any mess.