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How to Paper Train a Puppy


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A lot of people have emailed in asking for a guide on how to paper train a puppy. It’s not so much that it’s an awful idea to learn – there are definitely worse ideas out there but it isn’t the best. But I’ll give you a quick look at it and why it’s a better idea to do something else.

By paper training this doesn’t mean training your young puppy to bring your new newspaper to you. (I don’t think this would be impossible – but I don’t know anyone who has actually done it before). Paper training a puppy refers to placing down newspaper and having them urinate on that rather than your new rug. It’s similar to knowing how to litter train a puppy but it’s meant as a shorter term solution.

In my experience knowing how to paper train a puppy is useful when the puppy is having a hard time learning or it’s taking too long and your house is suffering for it. In the long run if you can skip this stage it will be easier for the both of you. Consider it this way – you’re teaching the puppy one thing and then telling them something else and expecting it to stick. It’ll work – but it will take longer. Puppies tend to urinate in the same rough area as they have before. The idea behind paper training is to have a newspaper down to catch the mess so the cleanup is minimal.

The first step is to establish a ‘safe area’ for the puppy to paper train him or her in. Usually the back room is a better choice than in the centre of your living room but whatever works for you. It’s your house after all. Line the area with many layers of old newspaper (you can save up the old ones or get stacks of the local free paper – at least they’d get used for something). Some like to place toys or a bowl on the paper but in my opinion this is optional. I’ve paper trained puppies in the past and kept their bowls in the kitchen.

Similar training ideas as learning how to potty train a puppy apply to paper training as well. The puppy will understand a lot easier when you reward correct behaviour instead of punishing mistakes and errors. You should also take them to the paper before you sleep or go out or before they eat sleep or play.

The young puppy may decide to chew the paper for fun or curiosity. If this becomes an issue and they’re consistently eating the paper then you might want to consider stopping them but if it’s just tearing it up – well look at it this way. Better the news paper than your couch or table leg right?

The next step is to go to their usual urination spot (as I said, they will usually use the same spot and your goal is to change this to the paper) and place paper on it. Now gradually move this paper towards your designated area day by day. How quick you can move it really depends on your puppy. Some move it a few inches a week while some have been successfully moved daily. If you’re lucky and your puppy happens to have picked a an out of the way area then your how to paper train a puppy learning just got reduced to one line: put down some paper.


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  • About us

    Hello, Chris here and thanks for stopping by. I hope I'll be able to help you learn how to potty train a puppy without too much of a headache!

    There's nothing quite like living with a dog and I've potty trained a fair few in my time. I put this site together to help people who were having problems potty training a puppy.

    It doesn't have to be as hard as people make out and the guides you'll find here should make things nice and easy for you.