Toilet Train Your Dog

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Anonymous, Lynn, Eng and 2 others

...More
S2NOV36-01.JPG

The whole household is usually happy about the new, energetic pet that the kids were begging for. However, now that the cuddly puppy is growing, it is time to face the irritating fact that if allowed indoors, there will be toilet training problems, and the inevitable smell of dog urine. If you are faced with the task of being the family pet's main caregiver, you will know just how frustrating it is to see wet spots (and more) everywhere. If you are a finicky housekeeper who prides herself on keeping a sweet-smelling home, this problem can reach truly upsetting proportions. Here are some steps you can take to toilet train your dog and make sure you get rid of the nasty urine smells that perpetuate this habit.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

All little puppies will discharge urine and feces at all hours of the day; they can't help it. After they eat or drink, they will do their potty business. That's just the way they are built. It does help, though, that dogs develop a "den" instinct; this makes them generally unwilling to dirty the place where they sleep and eat – unless they have no choice. Bear this in mind and use it to your advantage.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

The challenge of toilet training is by no means an easy one, but it can be done. Even people who live in small apartments can keep a pet without trouble if it is properly toilet trained. However, the whole endeavor needs consistency, patience and commitment. As a reward for your hard work, if you persevere, you will have a dog that presents no housekeeping problems. This is one of the best ways for you and your family to enjoy your pet.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Ad

Getting Started

Dogs won't be fully house-trained until they are about 6 months old, and some breeds actually take longer. Until then, you will need to be vigilant and take them to their designated toilet area when it is time for them to go. In the meantime, this is what you can do to make the whole process easier:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  1. 1
    Establish a toilet area.
    S2NOV36-02.jpg
    Some pet owners will prepare old newspapers in a far corner of the house or the patio, if there is one. Take your pet there to do his business.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Get ready with small, special treats that you will only give him when he successfully urinates or defecates in his special place.
    S2NOV36-03.jpg
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Do not punish your pet for any "accidents".
    S2NOV36-12.jpg
    While this used to be standard housebreaking practice, many experts now say it is not at all effective.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Make a reasonable schedule for feeding your pet.
    S2NOV36-05.JPG
    Remember, dogs will discharge both solid and fluid waste after they eat and drink. Some will do their business right away, while others will take as long as an hour before doing so. This will help you predict when to take your pet to his toilet.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Do not practice "free feeding";
    S2NOV36-04.jpg
    instead feed your pups only as often as your vet advises
    .
    Remember, each feed leads to the potty. Water is a different thing, though. Make sure your pet always has access to water.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    Keep track of when your does his toilet activities.
    S2NOV36-06.jpg
    Write this down; it will help you anticipate his body rhythm.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  7. 7
    Very young puppies will discharge solid waste every 40 minutes or so – except when they are asleep.
    S2NOV36-07.jpg
    When they start to walk around, they will discharge feces wherever their body wants to eliminate the waste material from food they have ingested. If you don't want them to leave their "byproducts" everywhere, either follow them around or keep them in their pen.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

The Training in Earnest

There are two places you must now designate for your pet: one is the toilet area and the other is his den. The toilet area is where he will feel free to go potty, and the other area (the rest of your house) is his den. Remember, your dog's natural instinct is to keep his den free from feces.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

S2NOV36-08.jpg
  1. 1
    If you live in a small apartment where access to the outdoors is difficult, assign the bathroom or a crate for this purpose.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    If you live in a house or apartment with easy access to the yard, designate a nearby corner as his secondary toilet.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Materials to Prepare:

Get the following materials ready so you can start the "housebreaking" or toilet training in earnest:

  • Several bottles of any product that will remove stains and odor coming from urine and feces.
  • A big enough crate so that your pet can exercise in it, but not jump out of it. (Line it with a tarp to make sure accidents don't leak down to the floor.)
  • Treats for successes. Keep these near the toilet area so that he associates rewards with eliminating there.

Helping the Process Along

As you go about taking your puppy to the toilet so it can do its business, you will find that there will be times your pet won't make it. One of the reasons why this happens is his system is not yet developed enough to control his bladder and his bowels. The other reason is that he is not quite sure where to go. If he discharges waste before he gets to the "toilet", not only do you get feces where it shouldn't be, but you also lose a chance to reward him and reinforce good behavior. Therefore, you have to give the process a helping hand.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  • If you are at home, make sure he gets there by simply picking him up and carrying him to the "toilet". Once you get to the toilet (in time, of course), give the reward and tell the puppy that he did well.
  • If you are going out to take him to his toilet, put a collar and a leash on his neck as soon as you have picked him up to prevent him from running off.

When do you take your puppy to the toilet?

  1. 1
    Take your puppy to his toilet the moment he wakes up in the morning, or from a nap.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Take your puppy to his toilet after he has finished eating, drinking a lot of water, or playing excitedly.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Take your puppy to the toilet every 45 minutes or so.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Take your puppy to the toilet every time he is whining in his play pen during the day.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Don't forget to give a reward after each potty time! Keep doing this until your puppy has developed sufficient bladder control and accidents are practically nonexistent. The "carrying to the toilet trick" will last until the puppy is about 3-4 months. If your puppy belongs to a large breed and carrying him becomes impossible before he reaches 3 months, quickly put a leash around his neck and guide him to the toilet.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Your Puppy Learns to Warn You

In the beginning your puppy won't know how to tell you that he needs to go to the potty. Chances are, the puppy himself won't realize this until it's too late. However, in time, the puppy will become better aware of its body's need to urinate or defecate. Usually, your puppy will do one of the following things:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

S2NOV36-09.jpg

  • He will whine if kept in a confined area and can't get to his bathroom.
  • He will sniff around for his toilet, if he is not in a pen.
  • He may go circling around while sniffing.

Accidents Will Happen

Of course accidents will happen when you are training your dog. Here are a few do's and don'ts:

  • DO pick up a puppy if it is urinating in the wrong place. It will get startled and stop. You can say "No" while you pick it up and bring it to the proper toilet. Once it is in the proper toilet, set it down. Puppies will usually finish urinating there. Give the reward after.
  • DON'T pick up a puppy if it is defecating in the wrong place. It won't be able to stop even if it gets startled. You will just end up with a messier situation. Just clean up after it is done, and get rid of the smell so that it doesn't get the idea that this is approved toilet area.
  • DON'T make a fuss while cleaning up. The puppy doesn't understand why you are unhappy.
  • DO establish a routine that will help in the training. Take him to the potty when he wakes up, give his meals at the same time, take him out after meals, and always give him a reward for using his toilet.

When Your Puppy is Alone

Toilet training goes on even when you are not around. If you have to be away the whole day, do the following things:

S2NOV36-10.jpg
  1. 1
    Confine your puppy to the toilet or the play pen.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Cover the bathroom floor or pen with paper, and put all of the puppy's things there with him.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Put his toys, food and water bowls in the pen and leave him enough water to last the whole day.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Just clean up when you get home, and put in new papers.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

In the beginning the puppy will chew the paper, or tear them, but that will pass. He will also defecate in just about every spot on the paper. However, after a while, the puppy will start doing his business in a particular spot.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

When this preference becomes established and it no longer moves its bowels in other spots:

  1. 1
    Remove the sheet of paper farthest from its favorite spot.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Gradually remove more sheets at the rate of perhaps one sheet every two to three days.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Do not be impatient; if he soils places outside of the paper that means you are shrinking the area too fast.
    Enlarge the area to include the place where he last eliminated his baggage and wait a while before starting the removal process again.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Remember, your goal is to get to the point where you will have paper only in a small space.

House Training When You ARE Home

Whenever you are at home

  1. 1
    Do the "pick up and carry" routine if you can closely supervise your pet's potty training.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Remember, you are to do this when the dog wakes up, after it eats, and after it has done some rough playing.
    The more you can do this, the faster the housebreaking will go.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Don't forget to reward the dog profusely each time it finishes doing its potty where it should.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

However, if you are home but you can't attend to the puppy

  1. 1
    Apply the paper trick.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Don't allow him to run loose when you can't supervise your pet and take him to urinate where it should.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Letting him do his business everywhere else will undo whatever conditioning you have achieved.
    Moreover, he will leave traces of urine or fecal odor that he will use as a marker for elimination.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

And it is Finally Time for Freedom!

When your dog becomes consistently reliable in doing his business where he should, you can begin to allow him to spend time outside of its play pen. Do this gradually, allowing him access to one room first. Let him play or sleep in that area, but only when you are there to supervise and rush him to the toilet, should the need arise. If you cannot pay attention to him, put him back in his pen because above all, you do not want urine and fecal smell anywhere in the house.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

S2NOV36-11.jpg

Getting Rid of Dog Urine Smell

It is important to get rid of the smell of urine from places not designated as puppy toilet. This smell will draw puppies like a magnet, and instead of doing their business where they should, they will think it is OK to do their toilet business in other places. To start the cleaning process:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  1. 1
    Make sure your dog is consistently using his designated toilet.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Blot up the wet area totally with paper towels.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Pour water over the spot and blot it out again.
    Use clean paper towels to prevent the smell from returning to the spot. Repeat the process until the towel papers are free from any yellowish tinge.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Apply a natural cleaner or an enzyme-based digestive to the spot.
    Leave it there for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    After allowing the preparation to sit as prescribed, blot the moisture as well as possible.
    Allow the spot to air dry.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    Repeat steps 3 and 4 if necessary.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

    Advertisement

Using Your Own Homemade Deodorizers

You can try the following home remedies to remove traces of the urine and fecal odors:

  • Mix two parts hydrogen peroxide with three parts water and the juice of one lemon.
    • Let the mixture sit on the affected area for 10 minutes before blotting up the wet spot.
    • Do not apply on carpet.
  • Soak area in undiluted white vinegar and let it sit for at least an hour. Vacuum the spot after.
  • Apply a thick layer of baking soda over the affected area. Cover with paper towels, and let sit for a few hours. Vacuum the next day. This works best if you can leave the baking soda overnight.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

Comments

VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.




ABTIKWriters
Premier Author
159 Articles Started
3,251 Article Edits
37,405 Points
ABTIKWriters is a premier author with VisiHow. ABTIKWriters has achieved the level of "Captain" with 37,405 points. ABTIKWriters has started 159 articles (including this one) and has also made 3,251 article edits. 922,000 people have read ABTIKWriters's article contributions.
ABTIKWriters's Message Board
ABTIKWriters: Hi, my name is ABTIKWriters.
ABTIKWriters: Can I help you with your problem about "Toilet Train Your Dog"?
 

Article Info

Categories : Dogs

Recent edits by: Maria, Eng, Lynn

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,033 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article
x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No