If you have a garden that’s wonderful. Its easiest to house train a dog if you have immediate access to an outdoor area. Apartment dwellers and disabled people have a few more logistics problems but wherever you live and whoever you are do the following.
- Select a toileting area away from activity and distractions.
- In the garden, yard or public place, choose an area easy to clean. Scooping is easier from a hard surface than from grass.
- Have scoops (such as biodegradable poop bags from the clinic or surplus plastic bags) always available and get everyone in the family into the habit of cleaning up immediately after your dog dumps.
- Some puppy stools are occasionally soft. Carry tissues to help when cleaning up and bagging these.
- Prevent burnt patches on the grass by installing a sand pit toileting area for your dog. Alternatively, pick up some “Dog Rocks” from the clinic. A Dog Rock is added to the water bowl and absorbs nitrogen, the element that burns grass. Ideally train your dog to urinate in a specified area.
At the times we have mentioned, go out with your pup. You want it to be relaxed. If it’s out and you’re in it may concentrate on wanting to get back to you rather than on relieving itself. If you stay inside and it sees you that might excite your pup. Then, if you let it in, the very excitement of seeing you can stimulate it to mess inside.
Dress as needed. Take an umbrella if necessary and be prepared to be outside for four or five minutes while your pup sniffs and wanders. Have patience. Don't play games. Be silent and still as a statue. As it eventually starts to urinate or defecate say the word or words you’ve chosen to associate with it relieving itself. If you say the same specific word or words each time your dog urinates, it will come to associate those words, not just with urinating, but with the need to urinate. Hearing that word will speed up its performance. Trainers called this ‘conditioning’. Your pup develops a “conditioned response” to hearing certain words they call “trigger words”. Learning to urinate or defecate “on command” when it hears your chosen catch phrases means that later, if it needs to be left at home for a period of time or you’re taking your pup on an extended journey, you’re assured all systems are preventatively emptied.
After your pup has finished, give sufficient praise to make its tail wag. Overreact with joy when your pup performs, the faster it learns what to do, where to do it and eventually to do it on command. “Wow.” “That amazing!” “Good Girl!” “Your wonderful!!” “That’s the most humungest turd a little dog ever passed.” Be a clown. Use a happy voice. You want it to think it’s incredible for eliminating outside. If the weather permits, stay out a little longer. Give a treat and toss a ball or play chase or let it walk around and explore. You want it to learn that first it urinates or defecates, then the fun begins. Don’t overdo the food treats. A really clever dog will learn to deposit just a thimbleful of urine for a food reward and keep a large reserve in the tank knowing that more food rewards are possible. Play a game. Most dogs love the opportunity to be outdoors. If however after five minutes it hasn’t relieved itself, return indoors and keep an eagle’s eye on activity so you’re prepared for a quick return.