You’re snuggled up at night, finally drifting off to sleep when you hear your dog moan downstairs. He didn’t want to go to the toilet when you took him out a couple of hours ago, but now it’s the middle of the night he wants to go. If you don’t take him out, you come downstairs to find he’s relieved himself all over your clean floors. If he could go to the toilet in the house though, well that’s one less job each day. He could just take care of himself when he needed to go--what a dream!
If he can go to the actual toilet, you’ll never have to get up late at night again, or early in the morning. That means when it’s winter, snowy and freezing cold outside, you can stay in the cozy warmth.
While it isn’t the easiest trick to teach your dog, it isn’t as hard as some people might think. The challenging part comes in showing him how to use the toilet and encouraging him that it’s the quick and easy thing to do. Once you’ve overcome that initial hurdle, he’ll take to it like a duck to water. It’s quicker if he’s a puppy because he’ll be easier to train. It may take just a few days or a week. If he’s older with years of going to the toilet outside under his belt, then it may take a few weeks to drill this new behavior into him.
Get it right though, and you’ve saved yourself a daily hassle. You’ll still have to remember to feed him, but he’ll be more independent than half your kids! It means no more cleaning up a mess on the floor too.
Before you can turn your dog into a fully fledged toilet user, you’ll need a few bits. Treats or his favorite food will be used to motivate him to begin with. You’ll also need a child's plastic potty to start with.
You’ll also need time to commit to training when he’s likely to need the toilet, after meals and in the morning and evening. A good degree of patience will also be required and some anti-bacterial spray for the first few attempts.
Once you have all of that, you can head to the bathroom!
How do I stop Cloudy to bark at night? He sleeps alone in our terrace.
Hello Charisma, First, is he barking for attention because he wants to be with you or is he barking at things he sees outside? How long has he been sleeping out in the terrace. If it has been less than two weeks, and he is just barking because he wants to be with you, then follow the Surprise method during the day to help him adjust to being alone and settle down (don't give treat during the night though). Also, if he doesn't have access to the bathroom out there, after 5-8 hours he may wake up needing to go potty. If he is sleeping for long stretches, then waking up after a few hours, he needs to be taken potty calmly, on a leash, then taken back to the terrace and put back to bed - ignoring any barking after that point since his bladder is empty. Barking to go potty is something he should outgrow within another month as his bladder capacity grows - as long as you keep potty trips boring and don't give him reasons like food, affection, or play during the night to encourage him to wake up for those things too. Surprise method for teaching him to be quiet while alone: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If it has been longer than a couple of weeks or you are endanger of being evicted due or getting in trouble due to noise bothering neighbors, you will need to take a firmer approach. Follow the Surprise method during the day, but also teach him the "Quiet" command. When he barks, tell him "Quiet" calmly, one time. If he doesn't stop the barking and stay quiet, then when he continues barking or starts barking again shortly after, calmly go outside, tell him "Ah Ah" while using a Pet Convincer to spray a small puff of pressurized, unscented air at his side (not face, and do NOT use citronella - it's too harsh). The puff of air should surprise him enough to make him quiet down for a bit. After you correct him, go back inside and ignore him (you don't want to give any more attention - good or bad, than you have to while doing this. During the day, if he stays quiet for at least five minutes, return, sprinkle a few treats onto the terrace, then leave again. Practice all of this during the day to help him learn through rewards and corrections that he's not supposed to bark but he is supposed to be quiet and calm. Also, be sure to give him a dog food stuffed durable, hollow, chew toy during the day to keep him occupied and less bored. At night only use the corrections calmly when he barks - do not give treats. Yelling also isn't effective - you may accidentally train him to only stop when you yell. If you are consistent about the training while, he will learn to listen to you while you are calm. Surprise method for teaching him to be quiet while alone: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Quiet method for teaching Quiet command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark If he is barking at other people or animals, in addition to the above training, you will need to work on socializing him and desensitizing him to the things he is barking at. If he is barking at people for example, then work on exposing him to lots of people with rewards and pleasant, calm interactions with them - so that he is less afraid of strangers. If he is barking at raccoons for example, sit with him outside at night and reward him whenever he stays calm and quiet when he sees a Raccoon. All of this advice is assuming he is safe where he sleeps and wild animals cannot get to him. If wild animals can reach him, his barking may be what protects him from them and not something you want to stop just yet, and you may want to consider a safer sleeping space for him at night until he is bigger - such as inside your home in a crate at night. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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