Puppy and Adult Dog Toilet Training - From Tears To Triumph!
Updated: Jul 9
Toilet training can seem like an uphill battle - one minute you think you've nailed it, and 10 mins later, your puppy or dog has left an unwanted present in the house! You're left wondering where you went wrong or if your dog will ever grow out of it!
Stress no more! Here are some handy tips and tricks to make toilet training your puppy or dog much easier!
Do's and Don'ts for Success
There's a lot of misinformation out there for toilet training problems - many of them are old school and will harm the success rate of your training. Never:
Rub your dog or puppy's nose in it - This will build a negative association with you and your hands! Your dog will not understand what you are doing and won't make the association you are hoping for!
Punish your dog mid way or after having an accident! It won't teach your dog what you want them to do, but will teach them to hide where they toilet next time! No one wants to find an unpleasant puddle under their bed 4 days later! This is also how obsessive poo eating can start! Always ignore accidents!
Don't use puppy pads! They only teach your puppy or dog that it's ok to toilet indoors. They may be convenient in the short term, but they are likely to cause issues long term or delay your toilet training success!
Instead, we should be preventing the accident from happening. Always:
Take your puppy or dog out every 30 mins at first so you don't miss an opportunity, but you give them plenty of chances to get it right!
Take your puppy/dog out after eating and drinking.
Take them out after a nap or long sleep.
Take them out after a play, training sessions or visitors.
After periods of time alone or before starting time alone training.
Start a toilet training diary. This will help you to understand when your dog will likely need to go so you can start to build up the time between opportunities.
What Else Can I Do?
If your puppy or dog is still struggling or you want to increase the chances of success to the maximum, you can :
Reward your dog for toileting outside. Make sure you have your reward ready to hand and immediately drop a few rewards as soon as your dog or puppy has finished! This will also give you some time to pick up after them - win, win!
Consider a vet check if your dog or puppy is still struggling, toileting very frequently with lots of small puddles, or if the toilet training issue has become a sudden change!
Ensure your puppy/dog is on a good diet. Poor diets = lots of poop or softer poop, good diets may make your toilet training woes much better!
If your puppy/dog is toileting when you leave them alone, it may be related to a stress and fear response. Find out how to help with this here.
Remember! Your puppy will take a few months of consistent toilet training before they are considered 'reliably toilet trained.' Just because they haven't had an accident in a while doesn't mean they are reliable!
What About Bells?
I get asked this a lot, and my answer is always the same - don't get them!
Why? Well, it's not long before our beautiful dogs learn that if they ring the bell, they get to go outside, regardless of if they need the toilet or not!
They will ring the bell and it might be for the toilet, OR it could be to chase the leaves, birds, dig in the garden or just frolic! You'll soon get pretty tired of hearing those bells!
In addition to this, you still have to go through the effort of training them to use them anyway. Unfortunately, they won't know how to magically use them and stop toileting in the house!
It's best to avoid them (and the headache!) and stick to the other tips in the article instead.
If you are having difficulty toilet training your dog or puppy, get in contact today!