The last thing any dog owner wants is a lot of nasty messes to clean up all over the place. If you take the time to toilet train your dog, you'll not only avoid stepping in an unpleasant surprise as you head to the bathroom at night, you will confine all mess to a specific area. However, it does take some time and patience to teach your dog, particularly if you are starting with an older canine.
How to Toilet Train Your Dog
Your dog instinctively prefers to stay clean. If you watch a puppy that has been tied up or left in a kennel, he will automatically defecate away from where he eats and sleeps. You will be able to use this to your advantage when training your dog to use one particular spot for his or her physical needs.
Step One: Creating a Bathroom Area
It's a good idea to choose one specific spot where your dog will be eliminating before you even bring the puppy home. The best way to do this is to pick a spot, perhaps in the corner of the yard where your dog will be comfortable defecating. Some dogs prefer to do their business on grass, while others will actively seek out dirt. If you know ahead of time which type of area your dog prefers, this will help you prepare a nice spot.
Step Two: Establish Living Areas
Your dog will instinctively avoid defecating or urinating within living areas, so you'll need to make sure he understands that the entire house is considered a living area. If you are crate training, you can simply move the crate from room to room, while keeping the dog inside. Otherwise, establish one spot as a sleeping and playing area and then begin to move the dog's bed and toys from room to room until he has accepted that the house is his home. Be sure to progress slowly so the dog has a chance to get used to each area.
Step Three: Be Regular
Dogs do very well on a schedule and this goes for a feeding schedule, as well. If you are starting with a small puppy, you'll notice that he needs to eliminate after each feeding. So, once he has eaten, simply take him to the assigned toilet area and let him do his thing. Your dog will catch on very quickly that this is where he should be defecating.
Step Four: Rewards and Consistency
It will take some time to toilet train your dog. Be sure to allow him frequent access to the toilet area and never leave your dog too long in his crate or alone in the house, since this will result in training issues as your dog won't be able to hold it.
Rewards every time your puppy uses the assigned elimination area will help increase his interest in the toilet training. You don't necessarily need to use edible treats, simply responding with a fun toy or verbal praise is often more than enough to let your dog know that you are pleased with him.
By staying patient, not getting upset when your dog slips up and being sure to let him know that you are happy when he uses the toilet area, you'll find that most dogs pick up the idea of house training rather rapidly. Confusion or being shut up indoors can cause delays in the learning process, so be sure to be consistent and calm about the whole thing. Your dog wants to please you and by using his natural instincts, you are encouraging traits that will come naturally to your pet.
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