Toilet training

Post image for Toilet training

Toilet training or breaking a dog’s habit of tolieting in the house can take time, so you will need to be patient and consistent in your approach.

Going to the toilet inside the house is far less stressful than going in the garden away from you and the family.  Your dog is also likely to scent mark his territory (your house) by going inside, doing this in key areas such as; doorways, the hallway, against the chairs, on the stairs landing or even the radiator (as the warm air helps spread the scenting molecules).  So, your dog may repeatedly mark over these areas.

Dogs may also toilet in and around the house when left alone due to stress or panic, when something exciting happens like a visitor comes to the house, while some believe it’s a means of creating a scent trail so other members of the family can find their way home – but realistically how can we prove this to be true?  In the meantime, see our tips below to help you with toilet training your dog.

How to tackle the problem…

  • Take the drama out of it.  If you catch Fido toileting, say nothing and calmly pop him outside straight away without fuss.  That means you can now go and clean up the area without your puppy trying to assist!
  • Be patient.  You may not catch your dog every time; concentrate on likely toilet times such as after eating, upon waking, after play, when something exciting happens (you come home or a visitor arrives), first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
  • Take your puppy out at regular intervals throughout the day/evening – you could be as controlled as every 20 minutes or so.
  • If you live in an appartment, consider purchasing some fake grass so your dog has a spot he can go porch-pottyto quickly when he’s ‘caught short’.  Check out the various products available online such as the ‘Porch Potty’ or Indoor Dog Toilet sold by most large online retailers.
  • If the weather is bad, ensure you have some sort of over head covering to protect you and your puppy from the elements as lots of young dogs feel the cold quickly and do not enjoy getting wet.
  • When your dog goes outside go with him.  If you stand inside while he’s outside in the dark, wet or cold, the dog is less likely to want to stay out there – and it will be harder for you to check if the dog has eliminated.  Instead, follow your dog into the garden and reward him when he does eliminate.
  • Use a word to associate the action of going to the toilet (e.g.) “Clean Boy”, “Toilet”, “Wee wees” or “Hurry Up”.  Get your dog used to hearing this word when he eliminates and then praise and reward immediately with a tasty treat.  This helps build a positive association with toileting outside.
  • Lead your dog to the area you want him to go.  Designate an area outside; place his poo or soiled puppy mat/newspaper in this area and leave for a couple of days or so, in order for him to understand this is where he should be going.

Top tips:

  • Use biological washing powder or specific cleaner for pet urine/poop when cleaning up your dog’s toilet mistakes as this helps to break down the fatty enzymes, leaving the area scent free.  Avoid household cleaners like Dettol, Flash, Harpic, Mr Sheen etc, as these typically contain ammonia compounds so this will smell like another dog’s wee to your dog, and he may be more likely to scent mark over it.
  • Watch your puppy’s body language for early warning signs, if he starts circling, sniffing, looking agitated or becomes distracted (for example, when you are training) this is the time to encourage him outside for the toilet.
  • If your puppy eliminates in the wrong place and this is not spotted until later, it should be thoroughly cleared up without any further reference.  This should be viewed as the owner’s mistake and not the puppy’s.  Punishment of any kind can delay toilet training and be detrimental to your relationship with your dog.

So with kindness, consistency and patience, you will get there.

Previous post:

Next post: