THIS method of toilet training, sometimes called house training your dog, can be taught to a dog of any age. Of course the sooner the toilet training process is taught the better for everyone.
First of all prepare a place that you will have your puppy do his business in. A small area in the yard with some wood chips, sawdust or sand on the ground in that area might be helpful so the puppy can identify this area from the rest of the yard.
Start the moment your puppy or dog comes into your home. When you bring the puppy home, take him straight outside (preferably on a collar and lead) to a specially designated area for him to do his business in. Wait with the puppy until he/she does the business. Just as the puppy squats praise him by saying whatever word you have chosen for his/her business such as "busy, pee pee, or get going". I will use the word 'busy' as my chosen word here. Say 'busy, good dog, busy' and pat the dog gently. Make sure the word chosen is the first word you say and also the last word you say.
You have so many opportunities to train your dog to 'busy' in the proper area and to learn to do this on command as the puppy will need to go every hour or two for those first few months. The puppy will also need to go soon as he/she wakes from a sleep, just after exercise or play and after each meal, so these are good times to take him/her outside to 'busy'. There are also other signs which may indicate your puppy needs to go out for a 'busy'. The puppy may start to circle in the room or he may start to walk a little faster than usual sniffing the floor. The puppy might even make a little whimper or scratch at the door.
If the puppy does a busy inside just ignore it, accidents do happen. Clean it up and be careful to watch out for the signs next time. Do not growl, shout, hit the puppy or rub his/her nose in it. This will only stress the puppy (dogs cannot learn properly when they are stressed) and he/she is most likely to hide from you the next time he/she wants to 'busy'.
Your puppy will learn that doing his/her 'busy' indoors gives no high reward as the puppy is ignored for this behaviour (dogs hate to be ignored, thus extinguishing the behaviour). The puppy will learn that doing his/her 'busy' outdoors gets him a wonderful reward of praise (thus increasing the behaviour). From time to time give the puppy a treat when you praise him/her for doing a 'busy' outdoors. This helps to reinforce the behaviour.
You will find your puppy soon learns to do his/her 'busy' outdoors. Happy training and Happy New Year to all our readers. - Nicole Mackie (Dog Trainer)