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toileting and teething

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Hopefully these toileting and teething infographics will help and make life easier. Both toilet training and teething can take time.

Toilet Training

has 2 parts- learning to go outside and communicating that they need the door opened so they can go outside. Learning the appropriate place to toilet usually is first.

Troubleshooting outside toileting

The biggest problem people have is that pup went outside, mucked about, came inside- and then toileted:

They’ve  confused toileting with outside exploration and play. Pop them on the lead, put on your coat (if it’s cold) and go to a boring spot. Wait it out. Being on the lead will help as they can’t move around too much. With you there to help keep them relatively stationary and on task, they shouldn’t get an opportunity to be so distracted that they forget why they’re outside in he first place  Reward and praise joyfully when they do toilet. They can play outside once they’ve gone, if they want and weather and time allows. If they like to play and investigate, unclipping the lead would be an amazing reward for getting it right. We trainers call granting wishes for good behaviour “functional rewards”. It’s a very useful technique that hammers any lesson home- especially good when changing behaviour. Dogs remember the lessons brilliantly as it closely echoes the way they learn.

Make sure inside smells clean to them by using specific “urine destroying” cleaners that get rid of the enzymes that they can smell and we can’t. So outside should smell appropriate for toileting and inside won’t.

Confusion with the “let me out” barking/ a little bell

Asking a dog to woof (or touch/ paw a bell is a great way to encourage an obvious “let me out” signal. Be ready to open the door immediately after they make the noise- very like it’s a functional reward. The biggest reason for confusion is a delay (usually for a well done treat). We’re trying to set up an association between the noise and door opening, but even a small delay can stop the link forming. Verbal praise (and the door consistently opening after) should work well instead


It’s hard, at first, to tell playing and teething, especially when they are tired. If in doubt, offer something like an antler, toy or frozen carrot if you’re unsure, and try putting them down for a nap.

Fun fact: the reason why skin is more sensitive than fur (aside from fur being an extra layer of protection ) is that our skin is attached to the muscles underneath. Dogs skin and fur are separated. Not only does it give them a protective barrier when rough housing with their siblings, this makes puppies look wonderfully cute as it often seems like they need to grow into themselves.

Toileting and teething infographics from Sue’s book- available here