Toilet training your dog is a fundamental part of its upbringing and is crucial if you want to minimize the hassle of cleaning up after your pooch.
Pee and poop training ensures that your dog knows when and where to go number one and number two, which helps prevent unwanted messes in the house.
This training can be a challenging task, especially if you’re new to the world of doggy training. However, with consistency and the right strategies (plus a lot of patience), you can successfully toilet-train your dog.
Here’s a quick guide to help you with the process:
1. Set a Routine
Much like us, dogs are creatures of habit, and they thrive on routine and consistency. Setting a regular feeding and toilet schedule for your dog can help your pup’s body adjust to a daily routine.
Young puppies typically need to relieve themselves after eating, playing, or waking up. So, it’s best to monitor your dog during these times and take them outside (or wherever their designated toilet area should be).
If you have an adult dog, you may have to take them outside three to five times daily.
2. Choose a Set Area
Aside from the daily schedule, dogs also make a habit of relieving themselves in a designated spot.
You should choose a specific area where you want your dog to go pee and poop consistently. This way, your dog will associate this spot with going to the bathroom. Ensure that this spot is easily accessible and a safe space for your dog to use.
3. Leash Your Pup
If you’re going outside, it’s always a good idea to use a leash. It gives you more control over where your furry pal goes. It also helps prevent your pup from getting distracted.
The leash should be short enough to prevent your dog from running away but long enough to allow it to circle and sniff around the designated spot.
Photo by Samson Katt
4. Use a Trigger Phrase
Sometimes, your pup needs a little encouragement to let them know that it’s time for them to go potty. Using a trigger word or phrase can help them know what’s going on.
You can say things like “Go poop” or “Do your business” while the dog is in the act—this can help them associate the words with the task.
5. Offer Positive Reinforcement
Rewarding your dog for good behavior is key to successful potty training. When your dog relieves itself in the correct spot, praise it verbally and offer a small treat. Doing so will encourage your dog to repeat the behavior in the future.
6. Don’t Lose Your Patience When It Comes to Accidents
Accidents happen, and your dog might do their business in the wrong spots or at the wrong time. But it’s crucial not to lose your patience. Dogs don’t really understand punishment after accidents happen, and you won’t accomplish much except harm your bond with them.
If you catch your dog in the act at the wrong spot, make a noise but avoid scaring them. Immediately take them to the designated spot.
If they pee or poop where they shouldn’t, clean it up thoroughly to prevent them from using the same spot again. You can use an enzymatic cleaner to break down the smell effectively.
7. If Nothing Works, Talk to a Vet
Some dogs have a lot of accidents or don’t respond to toilet training, and it’s not just due to a lack of trying.
It might be due to an underlying medical issue like urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal problems, or even stress. So, a trip to the vet might be the right course of action.
Pee and poop training requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Every dog is different, and some may be more challenging to train than others. The key is to remain patient and consistent and seek professional help if needed.
If you need to talk to a trusted vet, you’ve come to the right place. PetPal can help connect you to a friendly and professional veterinarian. Book a consultation or schedule a home vet visit now!