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When a puppy or kitten is brought home and has not yet completed the full cycle of obligatory vaccinations, it’s a good idea to keep it away from places other dogs habitually frequent.

It should stay indoors for a period of time and, consequently, do its ‘business’ indoors, perhaps on an absorbent cloth. How do you train it to do so?

Vets usually tell the owners not to take their new puppies on walks where other animals spend time. The puppy’s immune system has not yet been bolstered by all the vaccinations it needs and it could easily pick up a serious disease.

It will have to do its ‘business’ in the house, preferably on an absorbent cloth placed on the ground in the right spot.

Not unlike newborn human babies, puppies cannot control their bowels and bladders, and they haven’t learned how to let us know they have to ‘go’.

You need patience to teach your new pet to ‘go’ in the right place, and the first rule is to be consistent in your actions.

Prevention, in this case, is the best tool we have and it’s best to put the pet on the cloth right after meals, after playing and just after it awakens, which is usually when they need to go.

It’s a good habit to take the puppy to the cloth immediately before we think he has to go, and encourage him every time with a word he’ll learn to recognise like ‘pee pee’ or ‘good boy (girl)’. That way he’ll associate the action with the word and eventually learn.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and they’ll never learn if we confuse them about what they can and cannot do. So be determined with your commands. This means that if he goes in the wrong place we have to let him hear a sharp “NO” and then take him to the cloth, where you encourage him with the right words. When he does do it in the right place, reward him the first couple of times with a puppy snack, and then with a nice pet on the head or compliment.

Important: When the dog is grown up, the cloth should never be used as an alternative to taking him out for his walk, only as an emergency solution if he has to stay home alone for long hours on end.


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