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Old 03-07-2010, 02:11 PM
 
7,079 posts, read 34,413,263 times
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Here is my housetraining post. Follow ALL the directions TO THE LETTER. The quality of the treats is CRITICAL. They must be VERY SPECIAL (chicken, cheese or steak - NOT crappy 'cookies' from the store). Everyone in the house needs to do follow these directions,too, because consistency is very important. This works. But you have to be patient. It's not just for puppies, but for older dogs in need of a refresher course.

Housetraining your dog (puppy or adult!)

The first thing you need to do is to remember that you’re trying to reinforce a new behavior. That means that the rewards for this behavior must be WONDERFUL. NOT crap from the store. Wonderful treats are poached chicken breast/turkey breast, cheese and steak. And you don’t have to use big pieces. Tiny pieces (about 3mm cubes) are just fine! I poach a whole turkey breast every few weeks, cut it into hunks when it’s cool enough to handle, wrap them well and store them in the freezer. When I need some, I’ll thaw a hunk overnight and cut off pieces and dice finely, storing them in a plastic bag in the fridge. One hunk will last about five days. Cheese is also popular, so variety is fine.

I carry these plastic bags in my jacket pockets in the winter and in a fanny pack in warmer weather. You HAVE to have these with you, or this method won’t work, because you need to reward as soon as the dog finishes pooping or peeing. It’s not going to work if the rewards are in the house.

Remember that you’re trying to change a very ingrained behavior. Some dogs like to feel certain things under their feet when they eliminate, like fabric, or newspaper. This is called a ‘substrate preference.’ What you’re trying to do is change this substrate preference, and to do that you have to make the treats SO wonderful that the dog will change this very well-entrenched behavior. Thus the chicken, cheese, steak.

I love clicker training, but this can be done without clickers. You just need a way to ‘mark’ the behavior you want to reinforce. Use the word ‘YESSSSS!!!!’ very enthusiastically – that works for some.

You’re going to need to GO OUTSIDE WITH your dog and the dog needs to be on a leash. Yes, even in winter. If you don’t reward IMMEDIATELY after the event (when dog immediately finishes pooping or peeing) and wait inside, the dog is going to be reinforced for coming inside, not for doing its business. So, leash up your dog. STAND IN ONE PLACE. Be boring. Bring a book or magazine for yourself.

Eventually, the dog will do what you’re waiting for. The NANOSECOND that the dog is finished, HAVE A PARTY – lots of loud, high-pitched praise, treats and running around. You want to make this memorable for your dog! You’ll find that once the first event is achieved, the others will come more quickly. Keep on treating (you don’t have to throw a party except for milestones – a milestone = if he only pooped outside but now peed, too, or something equivalent to that) until he’s good and used to peeing/pooping outside. Before you know it, you have a trained dog.

Regarding accidents in the house: NO SCOLDING. Just clean them up. If you scold you’ll get the dog to think it’s bad to pee or poop and he’ll do it in places you won’t see. Until you step in it. Invest in a big bottle of Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution and use it liberally on accidents.

To quote Patricia McConnell, author of “The Other End of the Leash” and co-author of “Way to Go” (a booklet on housetraining), “Once you face the fact that you just have take your dog out every time you turn around, give them the treat immeditely after they potty, and prevent accidents in the house… well, it usually goes so smoothly.”

With young puppies, remember they have little control of the muscle that holds the bladder closed. This is something they grow into. Just as it’s not expected that a human baby is toilet trained at six months, don’t expect much from a puppy. Patience, patience, patience!!!! The nervous system in a puppy has to mature, and it won’t have much control over the sphincter (closing muscle) at the neck of the bladder until six or seven months. The same goes for the anal sphincter. Until control is achieved, both of these muscles operate on reflex: there are stretch receptors in the bladder wall. When the bladder is full, it sends impulses to the spinal cord and these, in turn, send signals to the sphincter to open and the dog pees.

In the stomach wall, there are also stretch receptors. So when the dog eats and the stomach is stretched, the impulses again go to the spinal cord, but this time the reflex, outgoing, nerve signals are sent to the anal sphincter, so the dog defecates. This operates in people, too – which is why some people rush to the ‘reading room’ after a meal – especially breakfast.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Webster Groves, MO
1,104 posts, read 1,898,926 times
Reputation: 900
Default Specific Potty Training Situation

We have a black lab/pitbull/boxer mix puppy. He's mostly black lab his mother was a purebread. We got him at 8 weeks and have had him for about 5 weeks. We did no formal potty training method with him other than taking him out frequently and giving him treats and praise whenever he went to the bathroom outside. He is fairly good about it but still has accidents in the house. He may go three days without any, including holding it through the night, and then the next day will pee three times right in front of us.

So my question is what would be the best method from here forward? I don't know if introducing a kennel and trying to kennel train him now would be productive. I'm also not a big fan of having him in a kennel other than for potty training purposes.

Not to be rude but I don't need to hear responses about what we did wrong, as I'm well aware of that. Just wanting to hear some suggestions for moving forward from where we are at.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:16 PM
 
1,004 posts, read 2,020,537 times
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Consistency and patience. Your doing the right thing.

My pup is going through the same thing. Some there have been a few days in which he's surprised me by holding it the entire night, but most of the time I can expect something ( mostly urine) in the morning.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:30 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,284,048 times
Reputation: 3512
Quote:
Originally Posted by scocar View Post
I'm also not a big fan of having him in a kennel other than for potty training purposes.
Who says you need to use the kennel for purposes other than house training?
Your dog is still not reliable and you can use a kennel to confine him until he is reliable (for many dogs this can be up to 10-12 months!) or you can continue to clean up the messes. Are you a fan of cleaning up messes?

Free range has to be earned.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:30 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,367 posts, read 31,247,713 times
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What was going on when he pottied in front of you? How did you react?
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:43 PM
 
491 posts, read 2,029,361 times
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He's still young, so just stay the course. You can use a playpen or dog gate to keep him confined to a room - he's not ready for run-of-the-house yet. Start making the potty times around the same times every day. Feed at the same time and don't free-feed. That will help create a regular schedule that the pup will understand and will be convenient for you as well. Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:00 PM
 
146 posts, read 304,670 times
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Not to be rude but I don't think this is really a specific situation. Our puppy is 19 weeks and did the same thing at 13 weeks, except we started him in the crate immediately at 9 weeks when we got him. He still has an accident maybe every 10 days. I think purehapa's advice is excellent. You are doing fine, just be consistent and get him used to the crate, even if not for house breaking reasons.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Webster Groves, MO
1,104 posts, read 1,898,926 times
Reputation: 900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
What was going on when he pottied in front of you? How did you react?
Nothing was going on. We were watching TV or on the computer. We weren't directly engaging him. We reacted with a loud "Oliver, no" and immediately took him outside.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,367 posts, read 31,247,713 times
Reputation: 8054
Maybe Before he peed he was Trying to tell you? IF you cant watch him EVERY Second hes loose then Yes Crate train him & Only let him out 1 after hes gone outside to potty & you Can watch him!
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,791,619 times
Reputation: 6615
ViralMD's potty training method is a never fail if you follow it to the letter...however, keep in mind that your puppy will not get full bladder control until they are 4-5 months old depending on the breed.

House training puppy
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