Toilet training for all ages
When thinking about dogs and toilet training, we quite often think about puppies being housebroken, puppy pads located in different places in the house, maybe the dog crate being erected to assist with the puppy learning to hold their bladder longer, or a bottle of the nice smelling enzyme-killing, carpet cleaner nearby on hand for when the puppy has an accident in their favourite spot.
Puppies will first learn all about toilet training when they first find their new home with a loving family, but some puppies actually grow up never learning anything about toilet training. I have come across many adult dogs who have problems when it comes to toilet training. Some owners who have dogs, do get quite upset, especially if the dog is an adult, who hasn’t really learnt toilet training, the owners are worried that it might already be too late, and that they are destined for a lifetime of toilet accidents around the house.
The good news is that, any dog including adults can learn proper toilet training, but it will require a hell of a lot of patience, precise planning, and 100% consistency from the owner for this to be able to work. It is not impossible to train an older dog to be toilet trained, but without putting in any hard work, it will definitely be a lot harder to train, compared to toilet training a puppy.
When it comes to toilet training a puppy or an adult dog, you need to make sure that you manage their timetable. It’s a good idea to teach your dog to let you know when they need to go out, like training them to bark or even to ring a bell that’s hung by the door, but if your dog can’t be 100% trusted yet, then it’s really important that YOU have a schedule and set the rules, not your untrained puppy/dog. With any good plan, you want to also have control over their intake of food and water, making sure they get just the right amount, and not overdo it and have them eat and drink at times that are irregular. A lot of owners will toilet train their dogs using a crate, so the dog doesn’t have a chance to have an accident. Some dogs don’t like being in the crate, so you must make it a positive and safe association for them, rather than creating any negative associations with the space. When your dog is not in their crate, then you will need to make sure you closely monitor them. Most dogs will defecate and urinate away from the owners, so if your dog starts to wander off, either recall them or start to follow them! And of course, make going to the toilet outdoors something positive and great! Create a toilet cue and remember to reward your dog or puppy if they do their business outside instead of inside the house.
There’s so much more to toilet training and each dog is different, but in all honesty, toilet training can be achieved with ANY dog at ANY age!