If an action is followed by praise or reward, after a period of time an animal will learn to repeat this action. This simple theory applies in training your pet to efficiently use The Pet Loo.
Training a puppy to use The Pet Loo is as simple as applying basic toilet training principles
- Place your pet on the Loo at toilet time. Puppies usually relieve themselves after a sleep, after they eat and after a play session. Younger puppies may need to urinate as frequently as every 30 mins.
- Keep your pet on The Pet Loo until it relieves itself
- Praise your pet when it does so.
Repetition of this action will eventuate in an animal trained to use the Pet Loo.
Training an older dog to use the pet loo may take a little more time and patience but if you invest the time, you will reap the rewards. Some dogs may instantly take to the Loo and toilet on it from the word go while others may need a little extra help.
Different things will work for different dogs and the options are as follows:
- Teach your dog the 'toilet' command. This is as easy as teaching the 'sit' command or other simple commands- its all about association. When your dog goes to toilet, clearly say the word 'toilet' and when they are finished praise your pet with affection and treats. Do this repeatedly and you will find that in time your dog will "wee" on command. The next step is placing your dog on The Pet Loo first thing in the morning and saying the command 'toilet'. That initial toilet stop on the Pet Loo is the hardest, yet once your pet has marked its territory the rest should naturally follow.
- Dogs naturally want to mark their territory; however some dogs are more territorial than others. Training your dog to use The Pet Loo may be as simple as collecting a sample of dog urine (your dogs or another) and pouring it over The Pet Loo. In an attempt to mark its territory, your dog should voluntarily "wee" on The Loo. Again, that first "wee" is the biggest achievement. Don't forget to praise you dog after it relieves itself on The Pet Loo.
The synthetic grass looks and feels like real grass so dogs will take to it!
Remember, your animal wants to please you so continuing praise is the key.
Getting you started on your Loo
The Pet Loo team are passionate about our pets and our products! We have strived to be the leaders in pet waste management. Why? Because every pet poops!
Toilet training can be that make-or-break stage of pet ownership, so we have put together the following tips to help you and your pet get started on their new Loo!
Before launching into the epic adventure that is toilet training a young pup, it can help the process if you put yourself in their shoes.
So let's look at the facts: an 8 week old puppy, when awake and active, will need to relieve itself on average about every 20-40 minutes, after every meal and after every sleep. Puppies don't start gaining control of their bladder and bowel functions until they are around several weeks of age. This is also the age that a puppy will start developing preferences about where they will go - a vital stage to be learning to toilet on their Pet Loo.
Many puppies may need 15 to 20 minutes of sniffing and circling before they are comfortable enough to go to the 'Loo'. The sniffing and circling is very important, however, this should not become a playtime or play place. Because of this, keep in mind 'play areas' when choosing a location for you Pet Loo.
One of the biggest problems people have with toilet training a puppy can arise from being new to pet ownership – to be specific when supervision of your puppy stops and a toileting 'accident' occurs inside the house. If this is allowed to happen often enough, the pup will soon be conditioned to toilet inside, wherever they like.
We've all been new pet owners at some stage and understand that it can be very easy to become distracted by even the smallest of things, however if you are too busy to watch over your pup then it is very important that the puppy not be allowed to just wander about the house.
At any time that you are unable to supervise your puppy then he/she should be restricted to a safe, confined area (i.e.: a gated laundry, bathroom or a crate). A location with easy-to-clean flooring, like tiles, is preferable. This way, if an accident occurs you are less likely to get overly upset – body language plays a massive role in communicating to animals. Also by restricting the area that they can access your pup will be more likely to choose their Loo to toilet on, rather than their eating or sleeping spaces.
The key with toilet training puppies is consistency. Much like humans, all dogs are individuals; therefore you may need to adapt your training methods to suit your best friend. However, whichever approach that you choose it's important that you stick to it! Don't give up as toilet training can take up to 2-3 weeks! Remember there is no overnight or instant fix when it comes to toilet training!
Punishment is NOT an effective or appropriate form of toilet training. It is far better to learn how to 'speak' to your dog then it is to punish them for having toileting 'accidents'. This is where dogs and humans differ greatly – dogs do not have the ability to associate their incorrect toileting behaviour with the discipline they receive from their owner. Worse still, punishing your dog by yelling at them, pushing their face into the soiled area or by handling them roughly can actually instill a fear of the owner, a fear of toileting or a fear of the location itself. In extreme cases dogs have even been known to lash out with defensive aggressive behaviour.
Accidents occur when there is a lack of supervision, so in truth if any toileting accidents occur, they are actually the fault of the owner.
So how do you get past these accidents? The first thing to note is that they WILL occur with puppies. Puppies need to learn their own bowel and bladder movements before they can control where to 'go'.
The minute you discover the accident take your dog away from the soiled area as soon as you can, then simply clean up immediately as if nothing has happened and start again. As hard as it can be not to make a fuss at these times, do not yell or scold, and never hit your dog.
Alternatively, an aversive noise like a clap, a foot stomp or a short and sharp 'no!' can startle the dog enough to abort the incorrect behaviour. This method can only be given at the start of behaviours leading up to the dog going to the toilet such as sniffing and circling, and that is why supervision is crucial. Dogs may only briefly show these behaviours, and some dogs, especially puppies, haven't quite grasped these notions and so don't do them at all. This is why supervision is vital. By getting to learn your dog, you can better set them up to succeed by reinforcing what is appropriate behaviour for toileting.
Clean Soiled Areas
Smells arising from previous accidents can encourage your dog to toilet in that location again. It is important that stains and smells are removed from these inappropriate toileting locations by using products like Whiff Off and/or Liquid Ate, which get to the source of odour or stain to eliminate, not cover them up.
Pulling the Grass from the Pet Loo
We mentioned above what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour from an owner when it comes to punishing your dog. This can be hard for owners to follow, especially when your dog is young, but it is a crucial step that should not be ignored. It has been well documented that pets respond faster to positive reinforcement than they do to negative. Instead, if you find that your dog is pulling the grass off or playing/lazing on the Loo, a simple and stern 'no' followed by taking your dog off the Loo and away from the area will get the message through soon enough.
Generally when a male dog cocks his leg, he does so to mark his territory. Male pups will start to do this from around 4-6 months of age.
Something we advise owners to try is to place a small plastic pot-plant container upside down on the centre of The Pet Loo. This will give the dog something to cock his leg against. He may not understand what he's to do at first, depending on his age, so this trick may require supervision at a time when he would normally urinate. After all, dogs are creatures of habit.
You may want to put him on a lead, pick him up and place him on the Loo until he urinates against the pot. Once he's doing this on his own, the supervision can stop and over time, gradually take the pot away.
Slipping Grass Mats
We do not fasten the synthetic grass onto the base unit as the fasteners would act as a trap for urine and faeces.
However, Velcro dots purchased from your local haberdashery shop can help to act as a temporary fastener while your dog gets accustomed to their Loo. We do recommend that this is only a temporary solution though, until your dog is using The Pet Loo confidently.
Pup-Pee Solutions has all areas of pet toileting covered. This now includes a toilet training attractant, Skip to My Loo. In a handy 125ml squirt bottle, simply lift the synthetic grass of your Loo, give the bottle a few squeezes of Skip onto the corrugated tray, put the grass back down and put your pup or dog onto the Loo for a sniff around. Nature will take over and after a few circles and sniffs your pup should be 'tinkling' to their hearts content.
Training from Puppy Pads or Newspaper
If your pet is trained to toilet on Puppy Pads or newspaper in a specific area, simply place The Pet Loo in that area, and put the pad/paper on top. Each time you need to replace the pad/paper, cut it in half so that more and more of the synthetic grass can be seen underneath. Eventually your pet will not need the pad or paper at all.
If your dog is reluctant to step up onto the Loo during this initial stage, you can a similar technique; take the synthetic grass off the base unit and place the pad/paperon top of the grass and on the ground, in the area that your dog prefers to toilet. After a day or so of successful toileting on the grass and paper combination, you can then introduce the base unit to your dog by placing it next to the synthetic grass. Allow your dog another day or so before placing the grass and paper back on top of the Pet Loo. Only then, once your pet is confidently using their Loo, should you start halving the paper/pad on top of the grass.
Pet Loo Position
When you first bring your new Loo home make sure that you begin training in an area that your dog feels comfortable toileting in. If your dog has never toileted inside the house before, it's a good idea to start outside during the initial training stage. The same can be said if your dog is used to toileting in a certain room in the house – even in those areas where he/she keeps having accidents. Always start where they are comfortable toileting. Once your dog is using their Loo regularly, only then should you move it to the area inside/outside the house that you would prefer them to 'go'.
Please note that although your dog may be using their Pet Loo confidently, a sudden change to their toileting habits may confuse them. Make sure that if you are moving the location of The Pet Loo, that your dog is introduced to the Loo's new position promptly and in a positive manner. Also, make sure The Pet Loo is placed in a safe and secure area (i.e. in a corner or a small room) like us; dogs don't like to feel vulnerable when they are toileting.
Inside or Outside?
The Pet Loo was designed for both indoor and outdoor use. However it is important to remember that when used outside, it should be in a covered area so that the catchment jug does not overflow when it rains. Also note, for countries and cities that experience extreme cold weather, urine does freeze which will make emptying and cleaning the unit more difficult. If the Loo is to be located inside the house, make sure that; your dog can access it at all times of the day and night, that it is separate from your dog's eating and sleeping area and that there is some form of ventilation to the room.
We've all heard the saying 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks', but we're here to tell you that this just ain't true! Dogs of all ages, just like their human counterparts, continue to learn throughout their lives. In fact, older dogs can be calmer and less energetic which can translate to a longer attention span. They are also well accustomed to 'pecking orders' which allows them to understand human leadership and therefore be willing to accept their owner's commands. Sometimes though, it's not always their minds, but in fact their bodies that find the adjustment to new toileting behaviours difficult. A simple step can seem like a mountain to an elderly dog suffering from any number of age-related illnesses. We have aimed to make the step onto the Loo as minimal as possible, however keeping in mind the Pet Loo's patented draining system, this still can be too high for some elderly dogs. In these cases, a simple option is to create another step. You can do this by running a solid object like a piece of wood alongside the Loo. This will help to ease any pressure on ageing bodies.
Additional Tips about Training:
- Keep training sessions short. Your dog will pick up training far more effectively in shorter burst then in long sessions. I.e.: 5-10 minutes is ideal.
- Don't repeat commands unnecessarily. Saying, 'toilet' or 'sit' over and over only teaches your dog to ignore the first time you say something. Once your dog knows the command, give it once, and then reward obedience.
- Be consistent. Choose a method, and then stick with it. Your dog will be confused and won't comply with your commands, which will leave both you and your dog frustrated. Also be consistent with commands and treats. If your dog gets rewarded one day for doing something, and then does it again with no reward, he won't understand what he is to do. Be consistent.
- Always end a training session on a positive note!