Dog Toilet Training


Training older dogs, greater than a year old, is possible, it needs however more time. The focus is on the dog learning new ways of doing things, rather than stopping existing behaviour.

Potty training is one of those areas that need treatment. It may be caused by a move, resulting in a disruption, or they never learned when young.

So here is an approach to try, keep with it for at least four weeks and involve everyone involved with the dog, rest of the family, dog walker and dog trainer.

  • 1. With older dogs it is always easier to train a dog to do something, rather than stop doing something. So we want to help him to learn to go outside. Rather than stop him going inside.

  • 2. Identify where you want him to eliminate, somewhere near to the exit from the house, where he can be taken every time. A corner of the lawn, nearby park spot, or a nearby lamp post. Always stop there when you leave the house.

  • 3. Consistency in everything is key, so ensure that the whole family and dog walkers understand the routine and spot.

  • 4. Likewise ensure that everyone uses the same simple phrase, whether toilet or potty or other single word, to signify what is expected. This is very much like training a dog to specific commands such as sit.

  • 5. If there are two dogs, one of which is trained, take him to the same spot the other eliminates. In this case it is possible to reward the dog that does the business. Including the dog whos behaviour you are trying to change.

  • 6. Another elimination, of all the smells and odours in the house that might think it is the place to go to the potty. Dog’s unfortunately have incredible smell, so this can be difficult, so use good deodorising / smelly cleaners, as stronger chemicals that will not damage the surfaces or be toxic to the animal. This can be particularly difficult for soft furnishings.

  • 7. Dog’s will not want to go to the toilet in their sleeping area, so having just enough room to move around and sleep, without space for going to the toilet. To the extreme this is the principle of crate training. Taking the dog straight outside in the morning to do its business.

  • 8. To reduce the risk of him going inside, try to time food and water intakes, so he is not under pressure to go. This might be feeding him, small amounts less often, particularly just before he goes to bed.

  • 9. With smaller dogs you may be able to set up a dog flap, so he can go outside to do his business whenever he needs. An alternative is to set up a bell that he can ring when he wants to go outside.

  • It is possible to treat an older dog toilet training, it is different and you may need to show some patience.

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