Would you train your dog to use the toilet? One woman says “here’s how!”
October 21, 2011
• Health & Wellness
*note: When I received a query from a FIDO Friendly fan about training a dog to use the toilet, I wasn't sure I was sold on this. "How can one do this and why, perhaps she is joking," I mused. Apparently not. Elaine Hirsch shares a very detailed plan on how to get your dog to use the toilet.
Our question to FIDO Friendly blog readers - check out this article and let us know if you would ever consider doing this with your dog. Thanks to Elaine for being honest and frank in sharing her thoughts.
Did you know you can potty-train your pet? No, not house train. Potty train. As in, to use the toilet. No more wet floors or stained carpet. No more litter boxes. No more getting up in the middle of the night to let the dog out. Your cat or dog can be potty trained, and you don't have to get an online PhD or anything to manage it. If you’re still skeptical, search for online videos and see for yourself. This is my favorite.
Potty training a cat is all about strategic movements of the litter box. Potty training a dog is a bit more work, but since it frees you from having to take the dog outside, has a bigger payoff. With a little patience and some easy construction, you could be the proud owner of a fully potty-trained dog or cat.
All dog training is easier the earlier you start. The two key points are: 1. rewarding good behavior, and 2. constant vigilance. Your dog wants to please you, but you need to have patience, and he needs time to learn.
-Sturdy plastic tub, 3 inches deep. A child’s training toilet will make it easier when you move on to the actual toilet, but isn’t essential.
-Platform at least two inches wide on all sides and sturdy enough to support the dog. The tub will set down inside of the platform, so an old pallet with a hole cut out works very well.
-Although not crucial, it would be helpful to have a separate bathroom for your dog to use at the beginning.
How to do it:
Make sure each step is fully mastered before moving on to the next step. Remember, dogs respond better to praise for good behavior than punishment for bad behavior.
Your dog needs to be house-broken. If you’re not there yet, consider a few outdoor training tips for making the potty training easier:
-Take your dog out on a leash.
-Pick the same spot every time so the dog gets used to going in the same spot.
-Use a word, like “go,” “out,” or “pee” every time. He will learn to associate the word with doing his business.
-When your dog is fully trained and you can communicate when it’s time to go outside, you’re ready to start potty training.
Take the pallet-potty that you built to your dog’s spot, and get him used to going inside the tub.
Move the tub inside. This is where it might get frustrating. Keep the carpet cleaner and the paper towels handy, because there may be some accidents as the dog gets used to going inside the house.
Move the tub into the bathroom, as close to the toilet as possible.
Six inches at a time, raise the tub up until it’s the same height as the toilet seat. It is absolutely essential you make sure the pallet-potty is sturdy every time you raise it. Falling off or having the potty crash out from underneath of the dog may take you back outside for good.
Position the tub inside of the toilet, underneath the seat. This is where using a child’s training toilet is handy, because it should easily fit into the toilet under the seat. If you have the dog going in a separate bathroom, make sure the tub stays ready all the time. If not, leave the tub in the toilet anytime it’s not in use by a human.
Your dog is going to have to get used to balancing on the toilet seat now. The bigger the dog, the harder it’s going to be. This would be a good time to consider what kind of toilet seat you have and how slippery it is. If this is to be a long-term situation, you don’t want the poor puppy slipping into the toilet every time it tries to go.
Clean the tub out as quickly as possible after the dog goes. Dogs are naturally clean animals, and if the tub starts to get dirty, he might not want to use it anymore.
Finally, remove the tub, and pat yourself on the back. Your dog is toilet trained.
If you’re training a cat, the basic premise is the same, using the litter box instead of the tub. Cats are more independent than dogs, so it may take you a bit longer to train them. Use lots of treats and lots of love, and send your potted plants on vacation until the training is complete.
Remember, your pet has to be deliberately trained to use a human toilet. It may take him a while to warm up to the idea of going in public, so when you’re out be prepared to let him go outside or in a litter box. Consistency is key in any type of training. Be patient, and soon you’ll be uploading your own videos to YouTube.
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