Let me start this article off by saying that potty training your cockapoo is a long process. It will require some patience…. some more patience…. and finally lots of patience.
Your cockapoo will likely be 8 weeks when you bring them home. That’s only 56 days old….. and they have just been taken away from their mum and siblings. Expecting them to pee perfectly in a few weeks is going to be almost impossible.
I’ve put together some tips that will help you train your puppy. I think ours took a good 6 months before they fully got it, which I think its quite slow. Each dog will take a different amount of time. Yours might get it in a few months or it might take them a whole year.
Use Your Voice
Whenever Luna went to the toilet we used phrases like “Go to the toilet” in an excited voice. Although you may think its silly, your dogs clever and will pick up on this. Use a command that works for you whenever your dg uses the pads. Also use the same commands if your dog goes outside. After a while stop using the command inside on the pads but really really praise them when they go outside with the command.
Slowly Move The Pad
We started off with the pad in her playpen. After a few days of her using it, we slowly moved it towards the back door. A few weeks later it was by the back door.
We only moved it a few inches each day, not enough that the dog suddenly wonders why the pads moved over the other side of the room. What you are slowly doing is moving them to wee outside.
Mark a Scent Outside
Our dog goes for a wee outside now in almost the same 2 places each time. Once right in the corner of the garden, and the other down the side near the BBQ. This just must be where she feels most comfortable and where she can smell her own scent of where she’s been before.
We bought one of these (insert yellow marker here) and stuck it in the grass outside. These are meant to make the puppy want to wee near it. I have to be honest it didn’t work at first but after a while, she did start going near it. We sort of wiped a dirty puppy pad over it as to put her scent on it.
It’s important to clean inside with a good cleaner, but one that’s dog friendly. You don’t want your dog to smell that inside is a normal potty place. We used this cleaner (link here) which seemed to work pretty well.
Remove The Pad
Once your dogs gone outside a few times, try removing the pad, or blocking access to it. Hopefully your cockapoo will then realise that they need to go outside where they have hopefully already been going a lot. Luna just started sitting at the back patio door and giving us a look as it to say “I really need to go outside”. Then if they go outside follow the advice below.
Praise, Praise, Praise
If they go outside then use a lot of verbal praise. We would often tell her what a good girl she was and offer her a treat as a reward. This was done as soon as she had finished going to the toilet.
Watch Their Behaviour
As you get to know your puppy you will be able to tell the signs of when they are about to go. With Luna, its a lot of sniffing and walking around in circles trying to find the perfect spot. If you see your dog doing that, quickly pick them up and put them outside. As soon as they go, praise them.
Don’t shout at your dog or scold them for having an accident inside. This will only make them fearful of going and make them anxious and just delay the process of getting them to do their business outside.