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Max is simply a bundle of joy. Pugs look cute and cuddly when you see them on the street. But when you have your own, your heart melts whenever you look at them. Despite their drooling, they make for the perfect evening sofa companion. And their curled up little tail can make even the coldest of your in-laws break out in a smile. However, your Pug isn’t without their flaws. For example, they’re yet to understand that you don’t want them going to the toilet on your floors or furniture.
You did not envisage dog ownership would entail being on your hands and knees several times a day cleaning up their business. So training your Pug to go the bathroom where he should is vital for your sanity. It also means less bacteria floating around your other pets and young children. Lastly, if you can tackle this habit, you can then turn your attention to training them more fun commands, such as 'roll over'!
Training your Pug to go to the bathroom isn’t as challenging as many owners think. The trick is getting the dog into a consistent routine. Once they are in the habit of going to the bathroom your work will be mostly done. However, to get to that point, you will need to find the right incentive. So mouth-watering treats or a favorite toy will play an important role.
If your Pug is just a puppy then they should still be getting into a routine and training may take just a week or so. But if your little buddy is older, stubborn and set in their ways, then you may need up to six weeks. Get training right and you will have complete control over where and when your Pug goes to the bathroom. You also won't have to worry when you turn on the downstairs light each morning.
Before you start training, you will need to stock up on a few bits. Treats and toys will be the most important component. You will also need a short leash and an easily accessible bathroom location. You may also want to use a clicker for one of the methods below.
The other main requirement is time. You will need to set aside a few minutes at several points throughout the day to take your Pug to the bathroom.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and some antibacterial spray, then work can begin!
The Routine Method
If you want to be able to take you Pug to the bathroom regularly, then you need to get their body clock into a consistent routine. So feed them their meals at the same times each day. You will then be able to predict when they will need to go.
Access to water
If your Pug is dehydrated then their toilet habits will be harder to predict. So make sure you regularly top up their water bowl and that they always have access to it, even if you aren’t around.
Head to the bathroom
Secure the pup to their leash and take them to their bathroom location around 15 to 20 minutes after they have had a meal. If you are already in the spot when they need to go, then they will have no choice but to go there.
As soon as your Pug does successfully go to the bathroom, hand over a tasty treat or play with a toy for a minute or so. It’s important they associate good bathroom habits with positive consequences.
Now you simply need to take your Pug to the bathroom regularly throughout the day. Note if they are a puppy, they may need to go to the bathroom every couple of hours. Just continue to give them rewards until it becomes habit.
The Environment Method
Make sure you give your dog privacy to go to the bathroom. It can be hard to resist staring at them while they go, but just like humans, Pugs need their own space. So turn away and afford them the same privacy you would like.
If you are struggling to get Max to go to the bathroom in the right spot, try wiping down some of a previous toilet visit in the area. The familiar smell will automatically put them at ease and make them more likely to go there.
Whenever your dog goes to the bathroom in the right place, you must give them a great reward. An effective incentive will encourage them to go there again. If you use a clicker when you train, you should first click when they have finished going to the bathroom.
If your Pug does have an accident, do not punish them. This could lead to them going to the toilet out of fear, which will give you an even bigger hurdle to overcome. So remain calm and simply remove them from the area when they have an accident while you clean it up.
Clean up accidents
If your Pug has an accident, make sure you clean it up thoroughly. Use antibacterial spray and make sure the smell is completely gone. If they can smell they have been there before, they may have another accident there again.
The Verbal Cue Method
Head out regularly
Secure your Pug to a leash and take them to the bathroom several times through out the day. When they wake up and before bed are particularly important times to go to the toilet.
Just as they are sniffing around and about to go, issue a ‘toilet time’ command. Give it in a high-pitched, playful voice. You want them to think this is all a big game. This will become a trigger you can use later on to get them to go to the bathroom.
As soon as they have finished going to the toilet, go over and give a tasty reward. The more they love the food, the more likely it is they will reward the behavior. They will soon start associating the command with the action and the reward.
It’s important you all react in the same way if the dog has an accident. That means you all clear up the accident quickly and do not laugh or giggle, or scold the dog. This will only confuse your Pug and set back the end result.
Lose the treats
Give the command whenever you need to get the dog to go to the bathroom. Soon enough the instruction will make them need the toilet. At this point you can gradually phase out the treats.
By James Barra
Published: 04/10/2018, edited: 01/08/2021