Teach Your Dog to Use the Toilet

By Dyna Whiting

Training dogs to use the toilet is possible, but results vary and are not guaranteed for every dog. If you proceed with the training, be very patient with each step of the training process since desired results may take anywhere from a few weeks up to several months.

Preparation

Associate a code word with going to the bathroom. For example, you could say something "pee pee" every time your dog relieves himself until he understands what "pee pee" is referring to. Meanwhile, choose an item to be used as a substitute toilet. This can be anything from a plastic tub or litter box to a pee pad.

Getting to Know the Substitute Toilet

Place the substitute toilet near your dog's usual bathroom spot and begin encouraging your dog to use it instead of going on the ground. Continue to say the associated word every time the dog performs the desired behavior. Once your dog is comfortable with going in the substitute toilet, move it inside the bathroom next to the toilet. Encourage your dog and praise her each time she uses the substitute toilet properly. There will likely be accidents, and in such instances, scold the dog firmly by saying "No" when the dog is caught in the act. Refrain from punishing the dog if the accident is discovered later. The dog won't understand what the punishment is for.

Using the Real Toilet

After the dog is fine with using the substitute toilet in the bathroom, begin moving it closer and closer to the toilet's level by using books, steps or bricks. Eventually, you should finally be able to place the substitute toilet inside the actual toilet. If all goes as planned, your dog will balance himself on the rim of the toilet and go to the bathroom in the toilet. Leave the toilet seat up so that the dog can go to the bathroom as he wishes.

Alternatives

Not all dogs are able to be taught to use the toilet. Whether due to size, age or just personality in general, some dogs are picky when it comes to how and when to use the bathroom. In such cases, classic housebreaking methods where dogs must be taken for walks might be the most useful way for your dog. However, some pet trainers insist that small indoor dogs can easily be taught to use a litter box using similar methods to the toilet training process plus some companies have created toilets just for dogs to use indoors.