Toilet training your new puppy is easy when you understand a few basics. Hope this helps!
Absorbent surfaces: caret versus tiles
Puppy’s natural instinct is to wee on anything absorbent. This makes perfect sense for at least two reasons that I can think of. One reason being that dachshunds are clean little dogs and it isn’t too pleasant to have wee running into feet. The other reason being it will minimise the area that pup’s scent is spread over and thereby lowers the risk of death by predation.
This basic fact can work with us or against us. If you let a new pup have access to your carpeted or rugged areas, then you are offering the most wonderful and spacious puppy pad imaginable. Pups cannot distinguish between a puppy pad and carpet – likely not a fact to impress carpet companies, but true nonetheless!
For this ‘absorbency reason’, puppy must have limited access to carpeted (absorbent) areas and be under supervision the entire time they are there. Until they are trained, that is.
Also for this reason we keep puppy confined to hard floor areas. This way, the puppy pad or newspaper stands out as the clear one-and-only absorbent surface and therefore the one-and-only wee-station.
In this way, we are communicating clearly with puppy in a way they can understand.
Timing is all-important for your baby dog and you can certainly use this fact to assist them to become house broken.
It’s pretty simple: any time they wake up from sleeping they will leave their bed or spot of rest and have a wee. Note that they are extremely clean and will not wee in their nest. Nor will they wee when you are holding them.
So the trick here is as soon as you wake them in the morning, and as soon as they wake from a nap, pop them outside for their wee and praise them.
You cannot expect a young pup with eyes six inches from the ground to negotiate the layout of an entire house to make it in time to a flap door or puppy pad in time. They cannot possibly map the house that well, nor do they have the time to do so once the signal to wee has reached the brain from the bladder.
So – in short – keep it simple. Keep pup confined to your hard floor areas and have the puppy pad in an obvious spot and keep it there – don’t change the location until it is time to progress outsde.
You can make things a lot easier for you both by installing a doggy door flap. A dog flap door to outside is a very simple way of letting your puppy do the right thing. And for mini dachshunds ,we are talking a small cat flap door. You can even get great circular ones that can be cut into glass if you have glass windows low down. Even if you are renting, it could be worth the investment of a couple of hundred dollars to have the existing window removed (and stowed) and your toughened doggy door one installed in its place. You can take it with you when you go.
The beauty of the dog or puppy having access to outdoors at-will, is huge and goes beyond the toilet training. For instance you can go away for the day and have the peace of mind of knowing they are tucked up warm inside awaiting your arrival.
Pups are quick learners and they are happy to return to a safe toilet location given the opportunity. If you have the time to spend a dedicated week (say) with puppy taking or directing them to the same attractive outdoor location, then you have a chance to cement that location as the toilet spot.
It must be attractive, such as an absorbent sand area or fresh soft turf or even grass. Clean it regularly.
Just remember that this requires a planned approach. You cannot chop and change from one week to the next.
One location and one alone
Now Lady Fi is not one to name names (heaven forbid!) so it is an anonymous albeit true example I offer here in certain knowledge that it is a great learning exercise.
I had an email from a distraught family who were beside themselves regarding the failure of their pup to house train.
They explained that their carpet was now littered with puppy pads and still puppy wee’d on the carpet in between!
By this stage of the article I hope you know the answer…
Puppy could not distinguish between the absorbent puppy pads and the absorbent carpet. Why should he? He doesn’t understand the subtleties of human taste!
So two mistakes here: one to have numerous wee stations (have one only) and two to expect puppy to differentiate between carpet of the wool variety and carpet of the puppy-pad variety.
And a plug to finish
Great news for Dachshund Australia puppy owners is we have your puppy trained to toileting outdoors by seven weeks of age. They have a clean indoor pen area by this age and they exit through a flap door to use grass and/or fine gravel beyond a concrete verandah floor area to do their stuff.