Toilet Training your Puppy

Training your puppy to toilet in the garden or on walks can be quick and easy if you are careful to be proactive and watch for the body language that indicates a squat is imminent!  Training should start as soon as you get your puppy home, training pads or newspaper can save carpet scrubbing, but can delay the learning process considerably.  Basically there are at least six times during the day that your puppy will need to toilet. At these times you should take your youngster outside to a grassy or similar area for up to 20 minutes, stay with your pup, but don’t play as that will distract from the purpose he’s there!

  • Morning wake up
  • After a sleep during the day
  • After eating
  • After exciting playtime
  • When you arrive home from a trip
  • Last thing at night

Choose a phrase to use as praise, rather than “good girl/boy” as this praise will be used at other times in the house and could trigger the pup to squat! Your pup will make mistakes, but never smack or tell your puppy off; he will only get anxious and not understand the cause and try to hide to toilet.  Clear up using a non ammonia based cleaner, there are many to choose from in pet shops, if there are any lingering smells (not to the human nose!) your pup will think it’s ok to continue to use that spot. Females often get the idea much quicker than the males, but it should not take long if you keep to a routine and provide lots of vocal positive reinforcement. Your Bark Buster therapist can offer additional advice and can help you to achieve toilet training within 2 or 3 weeks, as well as provide invaluable advice and training in all aspects of Puppy Management and development into a lovely family pet.

Retraining Toileting in an Adult Dog

Some dogs never seem to learn to toilet in the appropriate place and issues continue into adulthood.  Other dogs, especially rescues, may not have had an opportunity to learn.  Previously well trained dogs may start to “mark” new furniture, a new home or even the owners bed!  This is a dog’s way of creating a “safe” area, protecting a member of the family or a feeding area, telling any other dog that “this place is taken!” After ruling out a physical reason by checking with your vet, it is important that the underlying cause is researched. Sometimes linked with Separation Anxiety, toileting is unpleasant and distressing and it is  important not to scold, smack or rub your dog’s nose in the mess, it will increase or create anxiety.

Although more difficult to resolve than with a puppy, once the root cause has been discovered and the appropriate training put in place, toileting issues in an adult dog can be solved in a matter of weeks.