If you’re in the process of toilet training a puppy, or perhaps you might even have a dog that still has some issues with peeing inside, then there are a few things you can do that can assist in the process.
Toilet training is not a quick process and there WILL be accidents around the house, so it is important to never punish your puppy for soiling inside. They are still learning.
Encourage them to go in one spot
Take your puppy outside after every meal, drink, sleep and big play session. Every 30 minutes or so is ideal and before it shows signs of needing to go.
If you see your puppy sniffing around and tucking in their bottom, quickly and calmly pick them up and take them outside to the spot you would like them to go, if outside toileting is your end goal.
Remember to immediately reward and praise them if they do their business at that time.
If they can’t go outside
Depending on your home environment, such as an apartment with no outdoor access when they are alone, outdoors is not always feasible, so you can use puppy pads like the Vitapet Toilet Training Pads in the same way to create the one indoor spot to go to.
Likewise, if you have a house that has similar flooring inside and out, or no grass area, you could use some turf in a tucked away place and away from the sun and rain.
If you catch them in the act
Should you catch your puppy in the act in a place you don’t want them to go, again calmly pick them up and place them in the spot you would like them to go.
If done quickly and regularly enough, they will start to form an association between the action and where you want them to be.
Bonus reward with treats
Always ‘up’ the praise with your puppy, or use a treat as a bonus, when it goes to the toilet outside or on the puppy pad proactively.
Remember rewarding behaviour makes it more likely to occur again and once they are reliably doing it, you can start to put it on cue.
Do not always use treats as your primary reward though or they may start to go more than necessary and treats should be no more than 10% of their total calorie intake.
I use the Vitapet milky sticks when training puppies as they can be broken up into tiny pieces so you avoid over-treating, plus they contain calcium and other minerals that puppies need to help their growing bodies.
Help direct them to where you want them to go
You can also assist them with the process of going to the designated spot outside with the Yours Droolly Outdoor Attractant.
It’s specially formulated to attract puppies and encourage them to urinate in the spot you have poured it so is very useful for toilet training a puppy.
How to stop repeat peeing
If you have a puppy or older dog that keeps urinating in the same spot, remember that dogs like to mark their territory and have a very acute sense of smell so even when the visible stain has been removed and we can’t smell it, they still can.
That’s why it is important to use a specially formulated cleaning product rather than the many common household cleaning products that may in fact seal in the odour or contain ammonia which can smell similar to urine and make the problem worse.
Also, try not to make a fuss or clean up around your puppy or dog, as we don’t want it to become an attention seeking exercise.
Patience and consistency
It is going to take time for your puppy (and its bladder) to learn how to hold on for extended periods of time.
The key to successfully toilet training a puppy is consistency and rewarding them in some way every time they get it right.
For other puppy tips, behaviour and training articles, click here.
About the Author: Lara Shannon is a NDTF certified dog behaviourist and trainer, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com. Lara also runs her own dog training and boarding business in Melbourne’s Bayside area and is the Author of Eat, Play, Love Your Dog.