9 week old Pug toilet issues

Posted by Yasmin
Nov 27, 2007
We have a 9 week old male pug and live in an apartment. We are gone 10 hrs a day for work and when we return he has done his business on the floor of our kitchen but we have also got puppy wee pads all over the floor in the laundry which he has access to but doesn't want to go. When we are home if we see him need to go or start to go we quickly startle him with a "No" or spray him in the face with water (suggestion from Sit,Stay,Fetch) and take him to the laundry but he'll either just lay there or play and wont go there. As soon as we let him out he goes out in the living room/kitchen. We are getting frustrated because we are following the suggested techniques but it's not showing any signs of improvement - any ideas or advice??:confused:
Posted by MartyEd
Nov 29, 2007
Hi there Yasmin,

Thank you for your post regarding your 9 week old pup who has been having some toilet training issues. The problems you are encountering are very common with young puppies of this age and they are relatively easy problems to correct with time. Firstly we need to look at a general house training strategy. I would ask you to review our bonus book ‘Secrets to House Training’ for further ideas.

In order to help maximize the training of your puppy, it is important to understand when a puppy is most likely to urinate (pee) or defecate (poo). Typically, this can be divided into four categories:

1. A puppy usually eliminates (urinates or defecates) soon after it wakes up, since during sleep urine production continues to fill the bladder. It is important to remember that puppies sleep several times a day and so have several waking periods.
2. After eating a meal a puppy is likely to defecate within ten to twenty minutes. This is due to a physiological function called the gastro-colic response which is, in more simple terms, a bodily response produced after eating that causes a dog’s bowels to move leading to defecation. Since young puppies are generally fed at around three to four times daily, they will also need to be taken outside, or to paper (depending on your training method) after being fed.
3. If a puppy has been highly active at one time, it is likely to eliminate soon after.
4. In general puppies usually also eliminate before sleeping each night.

As you can see, there are many times throughout a single day that a puppy may eliminate. It is important to remember that, as well as these general categories, a puppy may eliminate at any time and thus you need to be aware that accidents will happen. They are bound to occur no matter how prepared or organized you are since:

The muscles in a puppy bladder are still developing resulting in less control
The smaller size of the bladder results in more frequent urination of small volumes.

From what you described in your email regarding the puppy accidentally urinating a small amount once he returns in side the house, you may need to leave the puppy outside slightly longer after you wait with him. He is very young at the moment though and most people only begin training there puppy at 10 weeks old, so it sounds as though you have a head start here. Take it easy on your puppy for this reason – he is young and will not learn everything immediately. This combined with the fact with the physiological differences between a puppy and an adult dog as described above mean you have to take it easy with the training and not get too upset if small accidents occur.

You can help regulate the elimination process with well controlled schedules and a frequent regime of resting, eating and playing. At times when this schedule is changed by other family members having other separate activities with the puppy, his schedule and need to eliminate will change as well. A common mistake made by many owners when they get their new puppy and bring them home for the first time is to allow free run of the house. Allowing the puppy a free run will interrupt and set the training process back several weeks. This setback happens because the puppy will most likely ‘accidentally’ eliminate in several areas of the house. As a result of the odor and his familiarity of the area, he may remember these areas as being those at which he can go back to in order to eliminate again. Unless these areas are scrubbed and deodorized the problem will worsen.

Supervision of the puppy must be carried out at all times at this early stage. Not only does this ensure your puppy cannot cause trouble, but it also greatly aids the training process. In circumstances where it is not possible to devote all this time to supervision, crate training could be used - please refer to SitStayFetch for more info on this. Alternatively - it would be more ideal to fence off a small area of your house - such as just your laundry with a baby gate so that he doesn't have the run of the place. This will make it a lot easier to train him. Because a puppy will generally eliminate in an area they have previously urinated or defecated, it is important to remove and neutralize any area that has been affected. This is a very important aspect of house training both puppies and adult dogs.

By making set times during the day when someone in the family is able to feed and then supervise your puppy you will be able to help his in getting to the area you have chosen to train his to eliminate in. In general a puppy should be fed three to four times per day. The day should therefore be arranged such the puppy can be fed on three to four separate occasions with supervision. It also needs to be arranged so that when the puppy awakes from sleep, someone is available to take his outside to the toilet.

Whether it’s the middle of the night, early morning or after a day-nap, an awakening puppy needs to be taken outside to urinate and/or defecate. As stated earlier, puppies are generally fed three to four smaller meals per day. Elimination after a period of activity or exercise is also common, so you should wait with his outside and encourage his to urinate/defecate before letting his back into the house.

By following the guidelines above, you should have more control over your puppy’s house training problem. Puppies generally do not give you much warning that they need to go out, because they haven’t yet learnt that they HAVE to go out! For this reason following the guidelines above will give you the best idea of when your puppy will most likely be feeling like urinating or defecating. If you catch his about to toilet inside, quickly run and pick his up to carry his outside. Sometimes he will end up urinating or defecating in your arms, but this is just something you will have to put up with for the next little while until he is properly trained. If you are too late to pick his up, but he is still in the act or it is definitely only seconds after the event, you can reprimand his with a guttural growl “AAAAH” and a clap of the hands so that he knows what he has done is wrong. Doing so after the event, be it more than 10 seconds will be pointless and only confuse your dog as well as potentially giving his a submissive complex later in life.

Also make sure that when you take your puppy outside to toilet you do the following:

1. After mealtimes, waking up and exercise your puppy should be gently picked up and taken outside or preferably lead via a collar and lead outside to your chosen toileting area.
2. While waiting patiently for your puppy to eliminate, use an encouraging, high pitched tone of voice to say the word or phrase you wish to use. Repeat this while you wait. eg. “Toilet!”
3. Continue repeating the word you have chosen until the puppy has finished urinating and defecating before giving plenty of praise and attention. “GOOD GIRL!!, WELL DONE, YOU’RE SO CLEVER!!” – using an excited and happy high pitched voice. This praise needs to occur directly after the puppy has finished in order to be effective. You may then both return inside. Do not play with the puppy until it has eliminated. It may be a good idea to briefly play with his after he toilets outside since it may help that last little bit out that has previously been coming out inside!

It sounds as though your puppy already has a good idea of where to defecate. He is very young and will definitely pick up what to do very soon. It does take a couple of months for a puppy this young to get the full idea of what it’s all about. Once you have completed your toilet training and you’re happy that your puppy knows what is right and was isn’t, you can consider installing a doggy door and training his to use this so he can go outside to the toilet whenever he feels the need to.

Best of luck with your puppy. I hope the above advice has been of some help to you with his problems.

Kind Regards,

Mark Edwards
Kingdom of Pets Team