Home > Tips for puppies > How to make a dog hold in their physiological needs


Teaching a puppy where to go to the bathroom requires patience and time to make them understand where they can do it

Adjusting to a new home

When a dog arrives at the new home, its hygiene routines can be greatly affected. Even adult dogs or puppies who have already learned to wait for the walk to go to the bathroom make the mistake of arriving at their new home and leaving a "gift" for its owners. It is something very normal since in a new environment for the dog, the animal does not know where the limits are or what their walking times will be.

girl and puppy between blankets

To this we can add the stress and discomfort of having left what was until now his comfort zone. He doesn't know the people who will take care of him now, all the smells around him are new and his litter brothers or roommates are gone. This tends to generate anxiety in dogs and can cause them to act differently than they used to, unable to contain their physiological needs at home due to insecurity.

On the other hand, we have puppies that due to their age have not yet learned what is called "potty training", dogs that still do not know how to contain their urge to urinate or defecate. In these cases, we will have to do more to achieve the results we want: to avoid dirtying at home. For this we must always keep in mind that until the dog reaches 5-6 months of age they do not have enough maturity and capacity to control their sphincters.


In order for your Australian Cobberdog puppy to learn to control the urge to go to the bathroom, we need two things: patience to teach him and time for his body to grow and gradually allow him to endure more and more. A 2-month-old puppy can last a maximum of 3 hours, so we cannot demand more. In addition, when he is still small and does not have all the vaccines, the puppy cannot go for a walk, so we must be aware that the first weeks we will have to teach him how to control himself at home, and then on the street.

puppy on top of a soaker

Teaching them where they must go the first time at home
Where will we let him go to the bathroom? This is essential and it is better to think about it before taking the puppy for the first time home since the first time they go, it will set a pattern in its behaviour at home. Having chosen the place, when we get home with the puppy we will place the tray with the soaker (the tray is important so that the puppy does not play or bite the soaker). This will be the first place in the house that the puppy should step on when he arrives and we should not let him move out of that space until he relieves himself. We can offer water or food to encourage them. When this happens, we must congratulate him on his great achievement and reward him. Next we will mount the tray for soaking with a new soaker that has attractant of urination sprayed on it and we will put it in the place where the puppy does his physiological needs.

Paying attention to their gestures
The best way to teach a dog is to anticipate his intentions so that he can avoid making the mistake instead of correcting him once he has already done it wrong. To do so, we must know how to read their body language well and if we see that our puppy begins to sniff the ground, he moves away or begins to spin around, that is the signal that he is about to go to the bathroom. At that time we must distract them by calling their name or making some noise so that it is interrupted and we have time to take it to the soaker to do it. As soon as they go, we will reward him.

Paying attention whenever they eat and drinks or wakes up
Puppies have a very small bladder and it fills up immediately, so we must try to take it to their area or take it for a walk (if they can) every time they nap or eat and drink. In this way we are ahead of their patterns and we make sure that they do well to reward him and that he understands what we expect of him.

Correcting them
The correction of a dog must always be done when it is caught doing something bad, that is, we cannot reprimand it if we find the bad deed once it is already done. However, it is not recommended to punish a dog when it is learning to control itself. It is very widespread to scold and even make them sniff their mess to teach them what is wrong but this can be counterproductive. By punishing in this way, we could create a tendency for coprophagy or that the puppy mistakenly understand that he should not relieve himself in front of us, something that we precisely want him to do but when we are out on the street. If we see them doing their needs outside the agreed area, it will be enough to say a forceful "No" and relocate it so that the action ends in the correct area. If we get them to finish relieving themselves in the right area, we should reward them.

Rewarding whenever they do something good
This is basic when it comes to training our Australian Cobberdog. Every good deed must be rewarded, so whenever they go to the bathroom, we should celebrate it extensively.

Cleaning where they should not go
Dogs feel attracted to the same place when they smell where they have urinated or defecated before, so if we want to avoid repeating the mistake, we must thoroughly clean the area where they previously did it so that this does not happen again.


Pay attention to the times
If we are constant in the hours of eating, drinking and resting, it is very likely that the puppy regulates his body and needs to go to the bathroom at more or less fixed times. If we are able to observe this pattern, it will be easier for us to predict when they will need to go.

If your dog doesn't want to do its physiological needs in the street

Often, when a dog learns to relieve himself on the soaker, when we start walking, the dog waits to come home to relieve himself. If we see that this pattern is repeated, we must be patient and when we go to finish the walk and open the door of the house we must turn around and take the dog out again to continue walking. A dog that is taught that he can return to the house and relieve himself, will find himself unable to contain himself and will have to relieve himself on the street. That is when we must reward him.

If your dog doesn't want to use the soakers

The dog must learn to use the soakers, and this is achieved simply by rewarding him when he needs them. To do so, we must be vigilant so that when he goes to the bathroom, we can take him just before where the soaker is so that he relaxes in it and we can reward him. Little by little, he will associate that this is the place where he must relieve himself. Using the urination attractants on the soaks also predisposes the puppy to use the soaker for this purpose.

If your dog does it when you are not looking

It is common for a dog to take advantage when we are not paying attention to relieve himself where he should not. Not finding a distraction in us, he relaxes and looks for any place to got to the bathroom. To avoid this, the advisable thing to do is, when we cannot pay attention, while they are still learning to control their bladder, they should stay inside the gated area where they have the tray with the soaking pad. With a small area, it is very difficult to do it in the wrong place.

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