The Most Dog Friendly Community Online
Join Dog Forum to Discuss Breeds, Training, Food and More

Stones and Toilet Training


New Member
Reaction score

Join our free community today.

Connect with other like-minded dog lovers!

Login or Register
Hi all,

Chester is coming on well, 13 weeks old now. But we are still battling with toilet training. We are getting pretty good at knowing when he needs the toilet, but getting him to go outside is proving much harder, particularly for number 2s. We're trying to ensure its a pleasurable experience when he goes outside with some treats and some fuss (sometimes we run around a bit but this normally ends up with him jumping up and nipping at clothes).

Yesterday, he managed when jumping up to get a bite at a mince pie. A panicked call to the vets and an injection later his stomach was empty (as was the bank account). He did get a couple of raisins, so was worth doing, but the vet also found a couple of chunks of a slate like stone in his stomach - the largest being about an inch across and with fairly sharp edges. There is a patch of this in the garden, that he seems to gravitate to and quite enjoy, and its proving very difficult to stop him from picking them up and crunching them. We have spotted small chunks in his poo previously.

Our garden has lots of stone borders which are impractical to remove, mostly of cotswold stone. Within that there are plenty of smaller stones, and the above referenced area of slate (which looks more like rubble, perhaps from when a fence was installed previously. So to combat the eating stones we've put him on the lead when in the garden. But this seems to make it doubly difficult to get him to go to the toilet - i lost 45 minutes of the working day earlier taking him in and out (during which he squatted inside 3 times!). Im also then conscious that when he does finally go I cant let him off the lead for 'play' as he'll be heading fairly quickly to the slate. So my approach is to bring him in and play a bit inside.

Can anyone suggest some strategies that may work? I've heard about white vinegar on the stony areas, but this may not be feasible as there are a variety of ornamental grasses and bushes here (i think white vinegar is a weedkiller). I have a bottle of Grannicks Bitter Lemon, which i've considered covering some of the stones with to put him off them. Either way, how long will those last? Alternatively, there is the 'leave it' option but this isnt getting through yet. Im conscious that by the time it does we'll be another 3 weeks down the line and toilet training will not be much better.

Grateful for any tips or links to effective training tips that might help.

By the way, he is very happy with his crate at night and goes in freely during the day, but is having a habit of soiling it. Overnight its because we havent been able to get him to go before bedtime, but in daytime he tends to go in to wee then come out again. This means ive resorted to keeping the door closed to the crate, but im conscious then that he cant go in for a snooze during the day. It also means popping him in the crate to stop him toileting inside is tricky.
Is there a relatively safe area of the garden you could fence off where he'd be safe off lead? We used chicken netting for Jasper, and it's really easy to install and then adjust or remove when you want to: Omlet Chicken Fencing | Poultry Netting for Chickens You could maybe also clear an adjoining area of stones so he has more space in 'his' bit.
There are a couple of areas of grass (though he has a habit of ripping some of it), and a patio. The grass might work, he used to do wees there in the early days, but hasnt been anywhere near it since for toileting, but he's never been to the toilet on the patio area. Only trouble is fencing off the stony areas would need about 40m of fencing. Ideally, i'd allow him everywhere except where the stones are, but could go much smaller, which'd give him a few 25m^2 areas.

Only worry with that approach (and the muzzle) is whether that just delays stopping him eating stones until we remove the fence. Or is the idea that we use that until we can train him to ignore the stones (and anything else we want him to avoid)?
In my experience, puppies naturally grow out of a lot of horrible habits before you can train them out of it. But also, the more they do it, the more likely it is to become a fixed habit, so if you can keep him away from the stones for the time being, he is less likely to do it when you let him into the rest of the garden when he's older.

Welcome to Dog Forum!

Join our vibrant online community dedicated to all things canine. Whether you're a seasoned owner or new to the world of dogs, our forum is your go-to hub for sharing stories, seeking advice, and connecting with fellow dog lovers. From training tips to health concerns, we cover it all. Register now and unleash the full potential of your dog-loving experience!

Login or Register