Toilet Training

Has your dog ever peed inside? Of course they have. Every body makes mistakes, but how is anyone meant to know the right way to behave, if they are not shown the right way?

When I was growing up, I was taught that you rub your dog's nose in their urine and then banish them outside to think about what they'd done. Often this worked. Puppies or new dogs in my family would make the mistake, be forced to make close contact with their urine, and then never make the mistake again. BUT, sometimes they just peed in another room when we weren't looking, or the mistakes became more an more frequent, despite punishing the behaviour occurring over and over. Gosh, we were d*cks!

Nowadays, I have some science to utilise that tells me, "sure you can physically punish your dog, BUT you can get the results you want without being a d*ck". And, you can use your science to not only get results, but develop a great relationship based on mutual trust and respect. So, stop rubbing your dog's nose in their excrement (ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVEN'T CAUGHT THEM MID-MISTAKE), and prevent the accident from happening in the first place. Here's how:

1. When ever your new dog starts sniffing inside, take them outdoors

2. When ever your dog wakes up, take them outdoors

3. An hour after your dog has eaten, take them outdoors

4. Half an hour after your dog has a drink, take them outdoors

5. Before your dog goes to bed, take them outdoors

If your dog is new to your home and they have just been desexed (or have not been), reduce their access to areas that you do not want marked. Continue this until your dog has well and truly settled in, THEN GRADUALLY increase the access. Keep your dog on lead for as long as you can, until you are sure that they are trained.

Feed your dog as well as allow them to sleep in areas where you suspect they might mark their territory. Nobody wants to eat or sleep where they... - and neither do dogs.

If they have an accident, quickly move them outdoors without a fuss and allow them to relieve themselves there. DON'T MAKE A BIG DEAL.

When you take your dog outside each time, ensure you have toys, treats and plenty of praise built up in your voice and behaviour to reinforce their choice. Remember, if they love what you are thanking them for, they will repeat the behaviour. So, make sure what you use to thank them is something they LOVE!

We all have accidents. We all make mistakes. Perfection is subjective and even the best behaved dog's behaviours comes down to the other end of the leash. So, remember that every behaviour your dog displays is a lesson to you. It is a reflection of your leadership, and you are ALWAYS responsible. So, don't be a d*ck, create a predictable and positive routine for your dog and teach them that good choices in this world result in incredible rewards.

Your dog will thank you for it. So will your carpet.

In my book The Rescue Dog, Toilet training among other behaviours are covered comprehensively. For more information on the book, see


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© 2019 by Laura Vissaritis Dognitive Therapy