Myself and my fiance brought home a little yorkshire terrier puppy 3 days ago. (10 week old male). He is really cute but obviously needs to be toilet/house trained. We've bought the potty training pads but need some advice because we think we may be confusing the pup.
During the day he stays in the downstairs bathroom, which houses his little soft bed, water bowl, some toys and a teddy. The floor is tiled but I cover in newspapers. He seems to pee at the front (right inside the door) and poop at the opposite wall to where his bed is.
When we get home we take him out to garden. He only runs around - doesn't seem to want to go to the toilet. We then clean and change the newspapers and give him his food. Then we play with him again either indoors or weather permitting in the garden.
However in the morning he wees anywhere he likes in the kitchen when he is with me and then when playing later in the day he may just stop and go pee. We have tried to look out for him sniffing or circling and get him onto potty pad - my fiance even lifted him mid pee yesterday to see if that would work but this morning while making breakfast I turned around to see him going in two separate areas of kitchen.
Also was reading up on crate training and wondered should the crate be placed opened in the bathroom (bathroom door closed) while we are not there with a puppy pad on the opposite side of the small room. Then when we come home place the crate where we are going to be i.e. living room.
Just a bit confused and want to do the right thing. Would appreciate any tips or advice, as am feeling a little upset/stressed at the moment.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Gillian Yes, housebreaking is probably one of the biggest challenges new puppy owners face, and it can be tricky to decide how to handle it.
Puppies have no idea that eliminating indoors isn't acceptable, and have no qualms about squatting pretty much wherever they happen to be (as you've found out!). The only basic instincts they have is not to eliminate where they sleep as they think of that as their 'den'. Your goal is to help your puppy think of your whole house as his 'den'. The fact that dogs are creatures of habit helps, as once he gets used to doing his business outdoors, he will prefer to keep doing it that way.
First of all I'd recommend that if you haven't already read my Crate Training page that you do so. It explains why crate training is the best and simplest method (takes advantage of that 'den' instinct) and also encourages a puppy to learn bladder/bowel control. I would definitely recommend using the crate to train your puppy. You need to be consistent and patient and supervise him closely whenever he's not crated, but if you follow the directions on my Crate Training page you should be successful.
Tiny breeds like Yorkies can be a bit challenging as they have tiny bladders, but they're also very smart and I doubt your little guy will take long to 'get the picture'.
I'd recommend not using the wee wee pads at all as it does confuse puppies, and after a while they tend to see the pads as playthings. They really don't make the connection between 'potty' and 'pad' very easily.
Don't get too stressed out over this, potty training takes time and patience but you'll get there in the end. To reduce the worries, keep your little guy confined to rooms with easily-cleaned floor surfaces, use the crate A LOT while he's learning and supervise him closely.