Whether you are thinking of getting a puppy or adopting an older dog, adding a new furry family member is an exciting and wonderful experience for anyone. Chances are, however, that one of the first things you’ll need to do is toilet-train them – but toilet training a dog can be a tricky endeavour to master.
To help, we’ve compiled four useful steps to get it right early and ensure your dog is fully toilet equipped for the many years of warmth and fun that lie ahead!
Some initial thoughts…
Creating an effective toilet training routine benefits both owners and pets. The key to establishing that routine quickly is to start working on good habits from day one.
Even if your new pet is already toilet-trained, moving into a new home can unsettle them and lead to accidents. Be patient with your new pet and give them some time. Most dogs settle in quickly, and following the next four steps of dog toilet training will make it easier to create that all-important routine.
Toilet training a dog step 1 – look for the signs!
This first step is more about training you as an owner than training your dog. Most dogs let their owners know when they need the toilet. Understanding your dog’s signs allows you to show them the way to their toilet spot in time.
Common signs include:
- Going to the door
- Sniffing the ground, lowering their body, or squatting
- Pacing, whining, or restlessness
Some dogs will show their need for the toilet more obviously than others, but within a few days, you should be able to recognise your pet’s signs.
Toilet training a dog step 2 – pick a spot!
Step 2 once again puts the onus on the dog owner. Try to figure out which surfaces your dog likes to use as a toilet and offer them something similar.
If you’re adopting a dog, check with the rescue centre. If you’re getting a puppy from a breeder, ask them.
If your dog is used to peeing on rugs or carpets, you may need to remove them temporarily, just until you’ve established a more suitable routine.
Toilet training a dog step 3 – create a routine!
Showing your dog a consistent routine from the beginning gives them confidence, allows them to settle, and greatly helps in establishing a toilet routine. Here are some key times for taking your dog out to help them establish good bladder control.
- After they wake up, both first thing in the morning and after naps
- After eating and drinking
- After your dog has been very active
- Before your dog goes to bed
Puppies may need to go out as often as every hour, and while this can be a time-consuming exercise for us humans, it is essential to give them this amount of time. Once solid routines are established and the puppy grows up a little, it won’t need to go as often.
Toilet training a dog step 4 – stick to the routine!
Your dog may take a few days to associate being outside with going to the toilet. Don’t give up! Instead, sit down, make yourself appear uninteresting, and give them some time. If nothing happens, simply return indoors.
Reward your dog when they go to the toilet in the right place. Praise them with some verbal cues and make a little fuss, but avoid using treats here because some dogs will then associate those with going to the toilet anywhere.
Give your toilet-training pooch the extra support it needs with VetIQ Toilet Training Aid
It takes time, patience and routine, but once you’ve successfully toilet trained your pooch you’ll have accomplished a significant milestone in raising them and giving them a happy, contented life.
Additionally, if you need some extra help, try Training Aid from VetIQ! It’s a simple, yet safe and effective way to help your dog get toilet-trained to your chosen spots while protecting carpets and furniture as well as lawns and flowerbeds.
Here at VetIQ, we pride ourselves on being a supportive and authoritative voice for pet-related advice and strategies, so make sure to check out our blog to find out more!