House Training Educate your dog to go in the right place. This is so important and prevents your dog from learning from accidents. You want to demonstrate a routine quickly and take your pup to the toilet once every hour during the day. Dogs all learn at different paces and while some get it quickly, others need patience to get there. Key Times are; After sleeping - After eating - After playing Teach your dog the routine and as soon as they perform (the toilet!) praise them. This reinforces that they have done the right thing and they will link your reaction to their behaviour (of toileting in the right place). Never scold your dog if they have an accident – this is always our fault. If we scold the dog, they may learn to become frightened of us or the act of toileting. Go outside with your dog when they are still learning. Take them into the garden/ toilet area on a lead and NEVER leave them alone. If the dog is not on lead they will do the normal doggy thing such as scent and play and you might
miss the important toileting; if you cannot praise the correct behaviour, they will not learn quickly. You must be animated with your dog when they do the right thing – they are like little toddlers! They love praise, especially coming from their people. Most dogs want to be with and please their people, so we must let them know exactly how good a boy/girl we think they are! (Drama lessons can be attached to this course if required!!!) In order to make life easier, think about leaving wellies/ umbrella at the back door to make this process as easy as possible for you all. When your dog is ‘performing’ this is a good time to say your toilet cue ‘wee wee’, ‘pee’, ‘poo’ so on and so forth. This allows the dog to understand what they are doing and when you say it enough times during the act of toileting, you can then put this on cue: i.e. taking your dog outside at night for a last ‘pee’ they know exactly what you are expecting of them. Once you have successfully toileted in the appropriate area with your dog, then is the time to explore your garden and have a little fun. Pretend you are a dog! Look at the flowers/ shrubs/bushes around you, point things out to your dog – your dog will love investigating with you! This act is in itself a reward to your dog. Do not make toileting all about business with no fun. Toddlers (and dogs) don’t like business only!
PREVENT PREVENT PREVENT Crates, baby gates, puppy pens and house leads will be your best friends during this teaching period. Prevent your dog from having free access to all areas of your home, this will overwhelm them and you are more likely to spend time clearing up after your dog than enjoying them. Set them up for success at every turn! Whenever you are busy or need to go out, pop your dog into a crate or secure area. It is useful to teach dogs that you cannot always be there and they need to learn to settle themselves. This can also be a hugely distressing time (being left alone) so you could always pop some nightwear or a t-shirt that belongs to you in with dog. This is particularly useful for puppies as world is brand new to them and they are used to being with someone (their mum/ litter mates/you). If your dog makes a mistake and toilets in the house, ask yourself what you could have done to prevent it rather than blaming your dog. Clean up thoroughly Pop your dog out of sight and the clean up the accident thoroughly. Some dogs enjoy the cleaning up process, shredding kitchen roll or trying to bite your hands and play as you clean. To prevent this happening, pop your dog into their crate or ask another family member to keep a close on eye on them whilst you clean.
Dogs learn their toilet area by scent. In order to remove the scent you need to remove the enzymes left by the urine. Normal household cleaners will not kill the enzymes therefore your dog is likely to use the same area again. Vets and pet stores sell a variety of cleaners that will do the trick. © The Dog Learning Centre L Haydon/C Russell