Pebbles is a little under four months now. I realize she's still very young and I deviated from "proper" crate training. I'm trying to correct all of this.
I take her outside for walks and to use the bathoom, but like many have posted on here she'll return inside and go all over again. I'm hesitant on keeping her outside longer than we already are...I know she gets really cold.
I've put newspaper in the bathroom (it connects from my bedroom) for that very reason. She'll use the paper provided I'm in the room with her. I'm just afraid that she'll never get my want for her to go outside *only*. How can I get her to understand? Will it be a gradual understanding?
I also read on here yesterday about limiting the space the puppy has access to. It struck a cord with me...because I know I wasn't doing it. So, she's now restricted to the bedroom/bathroom (for accidents).
Can anyone offer anymore advice/suggestions?
Again, I know she's young and we're both getting used to one another. I'm not getting impatient, I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that someday it'll sink it.
My first dog was a breeze so this is the first dog I've ever had to actually train.
By the way, she's a chihuahua and I started feeding her 3 times a day about 2 weeks go.
imo, continually using newspapers is signaling to her that it is ok to go in the house as well as outside. i do not think dogs can understand that the paper is there only for accidents. as long as it is down, she can decide to go inside or outside.
you need to pick whiere you want her to go, and stick with that only. then devise a schedule that will work for you and stick to that. patience, time and consistency is what will get her housebroken.
Thanks Scout. I thought the same thing, but I guess the paper is all about making things convenient for me. I'm starting to see that isn't helping :(
Well, I'll take her paper up this evening and continue taking her outside. I wonder if she'll start to let me know when she has to go. I try to watch for signs, but I swear she'll just drop down at randon moments to tinkle. She doesn't do the customary sniffing around like I use to see.
I agree with Scout. You have to make it very clear that there is only one place that is ok to go potty - that's outside. It's not a bad idea to restrict the space outside where pottying takes place either... makes it easier to clean up.
You don't have to leave her outside for long - as a matter of fact you shouldn't. You take her out, tell her to potty and give her a few minutes, if she doesn't go - you bring her in and put her in her cage. 10 minutes later - take her out again - if she still doesn't go - back in the cage. You simply do not provide the opportunity for her to fail.
Make sure that if she is out of the cage - she is with you. Period. No exceptions. If she starts to have an accident - scoop her up and take her outside - tell her "go potty".
I just wanted to add that she will use the bathroom outside...she'll just come inside and do it again.
For example, we went outside yesterday, and she did everything. I don't think we were back in the house for 20 minutes when she came in the bathroom and did everything again on the paper. I didn't express disappointment because I'm pretty sure she looks at the paper as an "ok" spot. Perhaps 25-30 minutes after that...she tinkles in the doorway on the carpet.
So, I guess that's been on my mind hence my post :)
I was told to give a dog no more than 10 minutes to go outside (I have tried sticking to that). I want her to take her of her business and play later if that's what she wants.
Our wind chill is about 17 degrees here today so I guess that worries me...again thank both and I'll try to put your suggestions to use.
House training a dog, is us really us trying to mold the dogs behavior, (to go in a certain spot). The dog will never know that its "Bad"(or good) to go in the house. First thing to do is make a decision, is the dog allowed to go in the house or not, cause there is no room for wishy washy rules. If the dog is going in the house in front of you, and get angry, or touch the dog to pick it up, to alot of dogs that is seen as rewards.Also, why does the puppy have access to this area? To start the house training, get yourself a small crate that is just big enough for her to turn around in. Take the puppy out first thing, walk around.give a treat after the puppy has gone, but literally throw it a treat before hes barely done, so the treat is associated with going to the bathroom. When you come in, the puppy goes back in the crate, and feed the puppy. In the beginning, I would wait an hour and then take the pup out of the crate and take outside again. Make sure your treating when the pup goes. But this time when he comes in confine him to a smaller area. Wait 2 hours and take out again. Crate when you come in, wait 2-3 hours and take out again. Repeat, and give it time, and consistancey
Another thing, after catching her having an accident (and taking outside), should she be crated for the accident *punished*? Or is the act of taking her outside for correction sufficient?
Pebbies I am starting to see your confusion. I Think if you understood a little better why dogs are able to be potty trained I think you wunderstand a little better how to do it.
First Dogs go to the bathroom where they think the bathroom is. That's it, no other reason. And this is how they would learn if we were not there. First upon birth and neonatal. They would just go in the den. And momma would clean up. then as the dogs got braver. The dogs naturally would move away from the den, first just outside the den, Then till they got to the Designated potty spot. In nature, the parents and nurse maids will all potty in the same spot, through pregancy and the neonatal days. Then when the pups are brave enough they sooner or later will come to the potty spot. The urine and feces from the parents and nurse maids will tell the pups that this is the proper area. Then once the dog goes just a few times in that spot. That becomes the bathroom. In potty training there is no need for correction. The dogs want to go to the bathroom in the correct spot. It's wired into them. So what we need to teach them is where is the bathroom. and what is the den. The house is to big to be a den, so we use a crate to simulate a den. And so the dogs do not potty just outside the den (crate) we have a door that shuts. If my dog was pottying outside and then inside. I would crate them when we came back in. The crate is not good discpline, the dog will never connect pooping in the house at 5:01 and getting put in the crate 30 seconds later. the timing will never be right. and with rewarding and discpling timing is everything. But agian like I said there is no need to correct. Everytime the dogs come out of the crate. It will learn something. It's up to you to decide what. So essentially the crate helps you teach the dog the house is the den and the yard is potty spot.
I believe a dog's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment he holds dear, is when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-with a ball in his mouth."
Keep in mind, most puppies are not housebroken until 6-9 months of age. They have to be physically able to hold their bladder and bowel - which they aren't until both are fully mature and developed. You will see more accidents when the puppy is going through growth spurts because that is when their bladder and bowel are the least reliable.
It sounds like your bigger problem is the fact that she comes in and goes potty again. Have you tried bringing her in, and then taking her back out 2-3 minutes later? Put her in her crate, then take her back outside. This will help her get the point that she's supposed to go back outside. Gradually increase the time between when you come in and when you go back out. This will help her get the point that she'd better get it all done the first time or she's gonna have to hold it.
I disagree that paper training is a negative thing - especially with a very small puppy. They have such small bowels and bladders that they need to go VERY often (like every 30-45 minutes sometimes). I don't know a single pet owner who can reliably take a puppy that often. And I don't feel crating ALL day, every day is the answer. (I personally feel if you're crating more than they are outside the crate their is a problem) I have used housebreaking pads with training to go outside with a lot of puppies and it works really well if approached the right way. It gives the puppy an acceptable place to have an accident. Once they limit it to one place in the house you stop finding little accidents everywhere. Then, the trick is to pick the paper up when the puppy can see you and tell you they have to go. This takes away the "in the house" option and makes them tell you instead of just going on the floor anywhere. I usually am done with paper by 5 months (or once they are going a reasonable amount of time between potty breaks).
I think small breed puppies are a bit different than larger breed dogs. The smaller the puppy, the smaller the bladder and the slower they naturally seem to catch on to potty training.
Limit the puppy to one room at a time when in the house. Ideally, it is a room YOU are in so that they can communicate when they need to potty. If they have to look for you, they won't. I feed my puppies in a crate so that they don't have an accident while eating. The crate should be a tool - not a place to put the puppy so you don't have to worry about accidents.
I do wholeheartedly agree that scolding when you find an accident is a pointless action. The dog usually doesn't understand that you're scolding for the location rather than the action all together. Dogs heavily scolded during potty training often mature to be the ones who can't potty unless in private. You don't want your dog thinking going potty is bad. You want them to understand the location is bad. If she has an accident, pick it up with some paper towel and take her and it outside. Let her sniff it, then praise her. This should help her understand that you want her to do her business OUTside. If she sees you put her poo outside a couple of times, she'll probably get the point.
Sometimes the biggest battle is communication. We tend to forget we can talk to our dogs. They learn by example and reward. Don't be afraid to try something silly to get your point across.
And be patient. Potty training is something that rarely happens overnight and it IS only a few short months of the dog's life. When the lightbulb goes on, you'll have a party...
Thank you all for your advice. I've been trying to post to this thread since the site change and now I guess things are ok.
Pebbles' first day of puppy education class was yesterday. It's really helping to hear, read, and learn from others. She's doing a lot better inside, as far as accidents go. I've limited her access to one room. She's going outside more often. I'm watching for signals closely. I'm pretty sure things will get easier for us-I'm happy with her progress thus far.