Updated date:

Tips for Puppy Training: Toilet, Crate, Whining, and Biting

Anne has a BSc Hons in Applied Psychology (inc. animal psychology) and has trained dogs, cats, rabbits and donkeys over the past 40 years.

Tips for Puppy Training

Tips for Puppy Training

A New Puppy In Your Home

The day your new puppy arrives in your home is an exciting day for everyone. But your puppy may be frightened and confused. Everything is new and unfamiliar, and they're probably missing mommy and their brothers and sisters. So handle them gently and quietly.

Make Puppy Feel at Home

  • The key to puppy training is consistency, so at first, confine them to one (small) room or a corner of a room.
  • Cover the floor in newspapers and only allow the children to visit Puppy one at a time. Supervise the visits.
  • Provide Puppy with a bowl and bed, along with any toys.
  • Give them some quiet time alone.
  • If Puppy whines, don’t rush to comfort them. Wait for a little while, and see if they settles.
  • If not, then go in quietly and gently pet and comfort Puppy. Perhaps you could just sit in the room without interacting, until they settle. But try not to make this a constant habit or they will never learn to settle alone.

A New Puppy In Your Home

Handle your new puppy gently and quietly

Handle your new puppy gently and quietly

How to Stop a Puppy From Whining

It's a good idea to begin training a dog early.

  • When it's bedtime, settle Puppy in their bed, perhaps with their favorite toy and leave the room.
  • They will most likely whine for a while, but don’t rush back in immediately. If they're still whining after five or ten minutes, go back in and quietly comfort them. Settle them into bed again and leave.
  • Training a puppy takes time and patience. You may need to do this two or three times, leaving them for a little longer each time.
  • If after the third time they whines when you’re leaving, firmly say “no."
  • Don’t shout, stamp your foot, clap your hands, or do anything to frighten Puppy. When they stops whining, praise them.
  • Again, you may need to repeat this several times and for several nights before your puppy gets the message. They will eventually understand and settle down.

Puppy Won't Have Full Bladder Control Until They Are Six Months Old

My local animal shelter tells me that the number one reason dogs wind up with them is because of poor puppy training, and in particular, poor potty training.

But remember, your puppy doesn't have full bladder control yet. However, you can help them to develop good habits on day one.

There are two things you need when potty training: patience and consistency:

Indoor Potty Training Your Puppy

  • Cover the entire floor area in newspapers. Puppy will likely tear them up while playing, but you can just replace them.
  • Puppies always eliminate within minutes of eating, so use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • As soon as they've finished eating, bring Puppy to the area where you want them to eliminate. This can be just one corner of their room.
  • When they eliminates, praise, praise and more praise.
  • They will go elsewhere at other times, in fact most of the time, but ignore that. Puppy can’t control it and punishing doesn't work.In fact it just frightens and confuses them.
  • If you do catch your puppy in the act, lift them gently and place them in the “proper” place. Then praise, praise and more praise.

Puppies Love Praise, So Always Praise the Desired Behavior

Puppy training is based on praising the desired behavior. Eventually they will begin to go in the designated area more frequently. When you catch them doing that, give them lots of praise. As Puppy does this more and more, you will be able to remove the newspapers from the non-designated areas. But be prepared for accidents. If this happens more than once a day, then you've removed the papers too soon and should use them again for little while longer.

Remember, lots of patience is needed when training a puppy. They're not being naughty or disobedient; they just can’t help it. So be careful that your ego does not get the best of your patience. There is no standard time frame for training a puppy. Each one is an individual and you just need to go with that.

Outdoor Potty Training for Puppy

By the time Puppy has had all their shots, they may well be using the designated area more often.But whatever the time frame, once they seems to have the idea, (and they have had their shots), you can begin to teach them to go outside. This does not mean you have to start all over again.

  • When Puppy goes on the newspaper as usual, lift the paper with its contents and place it in the area of your yard or garden where you want them to go.
  • Next time they go to their usual potty place, take them outside and show them the newspaper. They will recognize their own scent.
  • Praise, praise and more praise whenever they go there.
  • It won’t take long to train Puppy to go in the new location. Soon they'll be asking to go outside.

Again, please remember, your puppy will not have complete control of their bladder until she is at least six months old. Be prepared for accidents!

Training Your Puppy Outdoors

Once they've had all their shots, you can begin to train them outdoors.

Once they've had all their shots, you can begin to train them outdoors.

Crate Training Your Puppy

If you want Puppy to sleep in a crate at night, place plenty of newspapers in the crate, under the blanket.

  • Put Puppy in the crate and leave the room.
  • Apply the same puppy training rules regarding whining as above.

There is a school of thought that says puppies can be potty trained faster when crate trained. This is because they don’t like to soil their sleeping area. While this may be true up to a point, very young puppies don’t have control over their bladder or bowel, so you may need to wait until they’re a little older for this method to be effective.

Once they are grown, train them as above with the following changes:

  • Always take them to the designated area last thing at night and wait for them to go before putting them in the crate.
  • Then, first thing in the morning, go quietly to the crate before they’re awake and take them to the designated area. You should do this early in the morning because puppies almost always need to go the moment they wake up.
  • Don’t punish them if they've eliminated during the night. They didn't do it to be naughty, they just couldn't help it.
  • Just clean it out and put fresh newspapers down.

It's important to remember when training a puppy that when they eliminate in the wrong place it is not because they're being naughty, any more than a baby who soils his diaper is being naughty. They don’t have the control and punishing or shouting at them will not make a difference. In fact, it will make them nervous and confused and will delay training.

Children Love Puppies and Puppies Love Children

Teach you child to be gentle with Puppy

Teach you child to be gentle with Puppy

Children and Your Puppy

Enjoy your new puppy. Spend time with them, play with them, and pet them. If you have children, you know they won't need encouragement to do this. Generally speaking, children love puppies and the feeling is usually mutual. Rather, you will need to supervise them.

  • Children, particularly young children, don't always know their own strength and may hurt the puppy.
  • The puppy hasn't yet learned rules or manners and may nip the children.
  • Again, do not shout, clap your hands, or stamp your feet.
  • Just say "No!" very firmly. Then as soon as they stop the behavior, praise and pet them.
  • Encourage the children to do the same.
  • Never, ever hit, kick, or punish a puppy. This will only make them frightened and/or aggressive.
  • Reinforce the desired behavior with petting and praising, and your puppy will grow into a gentle and happy dog.

Here's an Alternative Method to Stop Biting

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Comments

PADMENDRA S R from DELHI/NCR on March 13, 2014:

It's a very useful hub for animal lovers especially those who love Dogs and treating them as a part of their family. Thanks for sharing.

annerivendell (author) from Dublin, Ireland on June 24, 2012:

Thank you Seeker7. Wishing you many years of love and fun with your new puppy!

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on June 24, 2012:

Very informative hub and the video was very good for showing how to stop puppy biting. Having another puppy now who is 14 weeks - yes, the teeth can hurt!!! LOL!

Really enjoyed this hub + voted up!!