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Toilet Training

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Toilet Training Empty Toilet Training

Post by Eleanor Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:10 pm

Toilet training is a vital aspect of dog ownership. If a dog is allowed to urinate and defecate inside, this can pose serious hygiene risks for the dog and his owners. Teaching your dog not to do his business inside is usually an easy process, but the process can often be upset by incorrect training methods and inconsistency.

Young puppies have next to no control over their bladders, so accidents should be expected, particularly when your little pup gets overexcited and leaks a little or is left alone for more than a few hours. It’s very important not to scold a puppy for urinating/defecating in the house, as he hasn’t yet learned not to do it and may not even have realised he’d done it! Make sure that you clean up the mess properly with an appropriate cleaner, such as an enzymatic cleaning solution; this ensures that no traces of urine or faecal matter are left behind. If you find that your puppy keeps urinating in the same place, it’s probably because it hasn’t been cleaned properly! If the scent of urine remains there after you’ve wiped up the mess, your puppy will associate it with going to the toilet. It is also recommended to avoid cleaning with products containing ammonia for this reason.

When you catch your puppy urinating or defecating, immediately take him outside so that he can associate eliminating with outdoors. Try to remember what times in the day your puppy usually goes to the toilet and aim to get him outside at these times – young puppies should generally be given a toilet break roughly every hour when they’re awake, as well as shortly after meals and naps. As soon as your puppy wakes up in the morning, he should be taken outside to go to the toilet. Whenever he goes to the toilet, give him plenty of praise and encouragement!

My dog is house trained, but he’s started to pee in the house again

If your toilet trained dog suddenly begins to go to the toilet in the house again, it’s often due to an upset in his routine, territorial marking or sometimes an underlying health problem. Separation anxiety may also be a cause of urinating and defecating in the house.

In regards to a routine upset, consider recent changes in your household. Has anything new been introduced? Has anybody left? Even something as simple as the next door neighbours buying a new dog could trigger this. You may have also introduced a new potted plant or an object that was previously outside – this may be a urinating trigger to your dog.

Your dog may also not be getting enough exercise in order for him to go to the toilet regularly enough outside. Walks should be split up throughout the day, preferably with at least two of them – one in the morning and one in the evening – so that the dog doesn’t have to wait twenty-four hours between going to the toilet.

Territorial marking can be reduced or eliminated by removing the objects that the dog tends to mark. For objects where this is not possible, it is important to clean these regularly with an enzymatic cleaner to ensure that no trace of urine is left to entice the dog to mark the territory again. If necessary, keep the dog away from these objects for a while to break the habit. Please bear in mind that both male and female dogs may mark their territory, regardless of whether or not they have been neutered, which is why it is very important to provide them with a place to urinate outside.

For separation anxiety, please see our thread on the subject.

If you suspect that the urinating is due to an underlying medical cause, seek veterinary advice. If your dog develops polydipsia, a sudden increase in thirst and water intake, he is likely to urinate more. If he is urinating frequently and in small bursts, this could be indicative of a urinary tract infection, which needs to be addressed. A sudden change in diet may cause a dog to defecate more often, sometimes in the form of diarrhoea, which is why it is important to change food over gradually.

You’ve probably heard of the ‘stick his face in it’ method, which involves pushing your dog’s nose into his urine or faeces if he does it in the house. Please do not do this! Not only is it extremely unhygienic and dangerous; it is also an extremely good way of terrifying and confusing your dog, particularly if the incident took place a while before you caught him. Dogs won’t associate the scolding with an action that took place more than ten seconds ago. Take the time to toilet train him properly, rather than taking short cuts, and the results will be far better.

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