You know how it is. He was looking calm and cute a minute ago, then slowly wakes up, sniffs around, hunches his back, and all of a sudden there is a soggy pile of poop in the middle of your living room floor. Argh!
And right on the rug, not even on the tiled part of the floor. You feel like hurling him out the window then he gazes at you with those cute eyes and you instantly melt. But of course, you warn him “Next time I will….”
When Snowy first came to us during Christmas, 2015, he was not yet toilet trained. We lived on the 5th floor of an apartment block. At first, I tried teaching him to do his business in the shower stall which I could easily clean up. This was only mildly successful but left the whole bathroom really stinking no matter how well I cleaned the drains or which detergents I used. And it was only mildly successful because most of the time he did his business in the middle of the living room.
House Training Your Puppy
Then I came across a tutorial that slowly took me through the toilet training process. I would feed him and attempt to take him to a grassy area next to the ground-level parking lot. Of course, he would poop on the stairs, and most times it would be somewhere between the third floor and first floor.
That always left me in a dilemma. Do I go back to my fifth-floor apartment to get some tissue and a mop and clean up the mess? Or do I continue with Snowy downstairs, play till we get tired, then take him up and come back down with the cleaning equipment? Most times I will go up, bring the stuff down, clean up, then go up to return them, before coming down once again to play. Hectic I tell you.
Finally, I just bought ordinary paper bags and a slightly bigger litter bag which I would carry around with a small mop inside. Obviously, the bags were for the poop and the mop was for the pee. I also considered purchasing a box of latex surgical gloves but never got around to it.
My first lesson learnt was the best way to toilet train and keep my apartment clean is to schedule Snowy’s toilets. Dogs are intelligent creatures and know how to keep schedules even better than us. So once you start them on a strict schedule, they will remind you when it’s time.
I scheduled Snowy’s toilet times in a few very easy steps.
- Feed your dog at a particular time each day. For Snowy, I picked 8:30 pm daily for his dinner and 3:50 am for his breakfast. It is okay if you feed your dog only once a day. I chose a small breakfast and a slightly larger dinner to make up his full portion.
- Immediately after his meal, carry clean water and his watering bowl and take him out to play. Take him on his leash so there are no delays on the stairs and no stopping for distractions
- When at the play area, first pour his clean water into the water bowl and keep it accessible and visible so he can run to it at any time.
- Play as hard as you can, reward with treats as often as you need to, and let him drink as much water as he wants.
- After play, empty and pick up the bowl and pack up your toys. No more water and treats from this point. Lead him by leash for a regular walk to give him time to do any last business.
- Make him get used to doing his business at one particular spot. Dogs will usually pee at one spot and poop at a different spot close by. Restrict him to those two areas.
- Once done, take him back him and restrict his access to water. Do not feed him again and watch the amount of treats you give him. There will be accidents in the beginning but once he identifies and marks his spots and gets his routine, things will be good.
- The most important point is ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT.