You open the front door and enter the house, but you hear the faint sound of trickling water coming from somewhere in the house. Your initial thoughts are ‘is the radiator leaking, did I leave the tap on?’ But then you remember you have a weird and wonderful dog, who only seems to be able to quench his thirst by drinking from your toilets. For most people, it’s a humorous cliche, but for you, it’s a bizarre reality.
The problem is, drinking from the toilet as you can probably imagine, is not great for his health. Toilet water is packed full of all sorts of bacteria that you wouldn’t want anyone or any dog to digest. Training him to steer clear of toilet water could save him from a serious illness, including worms, and no dog should have to endure the discomfort and pain that come with an infestation of worms!
Training your dog not to drink from the toilet will involve not just obedience commands, but also taking steps to limit his access to the toilet too. On top of that, you will need to use positive reinforcement to encourage him to drink from his water bowl instead. This is vital training to keep your dog healthy, happy and free from expensive vet bills.
While the training itself may be relatively straightforward, it can be time-consuming to break a bad habit. For that reason, training younger dogs will be easier than training older dogs, who are often stuck in their ways. If your dog is young and receptive, you may need just a few days to flush out the bad habit. For older dogs, be prepared for it to take weeks. However long it takes, consistency and patience are key if you want your toilet to be a dog-free zone!
Before you get up close and personal with your toilet water, you need to get several things together. For the positive reinforcement, you will need treats or your dog's favorite food. You will also need a water bowl for him to drink out of instead!
For one of the methods, you will also need to get your hands on a toilet lid lock which can be bought from a number of stores and online retailers.
The only other things you need are a proactive attitude and probably some hand sanitizer! Once you’re fully equipped it’s time to get to work!
We adopted Bentley when he was one month old from a rescue center, he had been badly abused at his previous home. The rescue center thought he was going to be used for pitbull fighting as he had a T cut into his stomach and that kids had a lot to do with his abuse. We've now had him for a year and a bit but hes still very skittish at home when people are around - even people hes known for sometime now - hes OK when we take him out to the dog park or on a hike and is well behaved but still can get easily scared by people especially kids. Hes very friendly towards other dogs. We have taken him for training but it just made him more frightened and every time we got in the car to take him for training he would vomit everywhere and just shake the entire time we were at the dog training. Do you have any tips on how to get him used too people and children when hes at home because he can see a kid outside of the house and be relatively OK but the moment we're at home and their are kids around he barks and just runs away from everyone including me to the point where i have to put his harness on and have him with me the entire time people are over, we are all just worried that he wont get over his fear of children and need some way to try and get him used to them.
Hello Rachel, For this behavior it sounds like you really need to work with someone in person. I would look for someone who offers private training, who can come to your home. Specifically ask them how training is going to be practiced around kids, since kids need to be in the sessions after initial foundation training to see progress. Honestly, the training will really only be feasible if it can be practiced around kids often, and that needs to be done under the supervision of someone who is very experienced with extreme fear, counter conditioning, and behavior issues. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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