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Old 03-13-2008, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,620 posts, read 7,126,331 times
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Default What is the best way to train your dog to alert you when they need to potty?

Snowy was doing well with potty training/housebreaking. He didn't pee for about a month (in house) and didn't poop in the house for about 4-5 months ago (he is 18 months old).

Today he poops in the house!

I have been trying to train him to knock at the door before he goes outside to potty.

He infrequently barks/growls. He just wanders around the house and then does it.

How should I train him to let me know when it is time for him to go?
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
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Hmm.. To be honest with you, I don't know! lol! That sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? But, with our dogs, they just learned to go to the door when they need to go out to go potty. With every dog I have ever owned, once they were housebroken, they would just sit by the door when they needed to go out. If we don't notice that they are sitting by the door, they will come up to us to get out attention and then run straight to the door again. We didn't do anything special to train them to do that though, not that I know of anyway.

Maybe it has to do with how we housebroke all of our dogs? I don't think there are many ways to housebreak a dog really, it's pretty cut and dry, so I don't know? How exactly have you housebroken your dog? With our dogs, we took them out to go potty every 3 hours or so, right after they drank any water, and before and after they ate. We would put them in their crates when we weren't able to be right there with them to watch them as well. Because dogs/puppies don't like to go potty where they sleep, if a puppy's crate is the right size for them, they won't go potty in their crate unless they absolutely cannot wait anymore. We didn't put them in their crates unless we really couldn't be right there to watch them though, and we didn't leave them in their crates any longer than we had to. We also put them in their crates at night and our dogs still sleep in their crates at night. If one of our dogs had an accident, if we somehow missed it, we would just clean it up and that's it because unless you catch them, and correct them, in the act, they don't understand. So to punish them, or correct them, after the fact, whether it is 1 hour, 10 minutes or 5 seconds after, is pointless. Correcting them after the fact is very confusing to a puppy and could even cause the puppy to fear their owner. If we see an accident is about to happen, like if the start to sniff around a lot or start to walk in circles, we would say "lets go potty" or "lets go outside", take them straight outside, tell them to "go potty", praise them while they are going and after they have gone, and then take then back inside. If we see an accident happening, we would say "no" in a stern voice, loud enough to startle them (not yelling though, and not to scare them), take them straight outside, tell them to "go potty", praise them while they are going and after they are done, and then take them back inside. Another thing we did was we didn't leave water out 24/7. I know that a lot of people won't agree with this, but to help avoid accidents for the first few weeks or so, when our dogs were still young puppies and couldn't wait long to go potty, we would put the water down for them every couple hours or so and then take it back up for a little while. It's not like we didn't let them get enough water or anything like that, they could drink as much water as they wanted every time we set the water out for them, and again, they got as much water as they wanted at least once every 2 hours, so they definitely weren't being mistreated in any way. We put their water bowls in the same places all the time, and it didn't take them long to learn that if they were thirsty before we put the water back down for them, all they had to do was sit where their water bowl goes and we would get them water right away. Sometimes though, they wouldn't even want water when we put it down for them. But the reason we did it like that was so we could know every time they drank any water that way we could make sure they always went out to go potty after they drank water. Once they got a bit older and were able to hold it a little longer, and were starting to get the hang of going potty outside, we would start to leave the water out longer and longer. And once they were pretty much housebroken, we left the water bowl out and full 24/7, just as we still do. Oh, and I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but we always let them out the back door to go potty. For walks, we always go out the front door, but to go potty, we always take them out the back door. So, we know if they are sitting by the back door they need to go potty and if they are sitting by the front door they just want to go outside for a walk or to play.

Anyway, like I said, we didn't train our dogs to go sit by the back door when they needed to go out, so I don't know how you would do that really. And again, I don't know if how a puppy is housebroken would affect how they show you they need to be let out, but if it does, the way we housebroke our dogs obviously taught them to sit by the back door when they need to be let out. I know this isn't much help, sorry but I really don't know what else to tell you. I have this book that has tons of tips, suggestions, advice, etc, on training and everything else you could ever need to know while owning a dog, I am going to look and see if there are any suggestions on this and if so I'll let you know. Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Ladysmith,Wisconsin
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I have doggie door and 1 afraid of it so she will either sit at door or come by me and circle and if say potty she runs to door. Someone else had thread sorta like this and asked about a bell or something to make noise so go out maybe try that. Whatever you do make routine and keep working with praise when they do.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:58 AM
 
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I hung a large bell on the back door (formerly hanging around the neck of a ***!). Every time I called the puppies out for business, the bell rang as I opened the door.
At age 12, one of the dogs still rings the bell to go out. He's rung it so hard, the handmade clapper fell out.

Other than that, I guess you have to be attentive to his signals. Pacing, looking at the door, even scratching at the floor.
If he's adopted, you have no idea how or if he was trained a specific way, and how he'll tell you.

Of course, there's always the Beagle method- he stands at the door, clawing at it and yowling to wake the dead. After going outside, he comes in and pees in a corner of the carpeted bedroom, steals some chicken bones from the trash, and goes to sleep for the day.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Texas
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What we did with Bluebelle was established a pattern early on where we would take her to the door and say, "Let's go potty! Let's go outside and potty!" Once we got her outside in the yard, we'd repeat it: "Okay, go potty!" She has now learned that going to the back door means "go potty" and she'll stand there and look at you until you ask her if she needs to go. She'll let you know that she does, and once you let her outside, she goes and does her thing immediately. We used that - "potty" - as a buzzword with her, tying it into going to the door, and that's how she learned.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Jax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSJones View Post
What we did with Bluebelle was established a pattern early on where we would take her to the door and say, "Let's go potty! Let's go outside and potty!" Once we got her outside in the yard, we'd repeat it: "Okay, go potty!" She has now learned that going to the back door means "go potty" and she'll stand there and look at you until you ask her if she needs to go. She'll let you know that she does, and once you let her outside, she goes and does her thing immediately. We used that - "potty" - as a buzzword with her, tying it into going to the door, and that's how she learned.

I do something very similar.

I try to stick to some sort of a schedule for going outside, this way the dogs generally know when they'll be able to relieve themselves and will "hold it" if necessary.

When it's time to go outside, I use one word: "Outside!" and we all go out. Once there I use "Potty" or "Go Potty" since I've conditioned them previously to know what that means. I try to get them to focus on their "business' first before they get distracted and play, chase a squirrel, whatever.

If my dogs need/want to go out outside of the usual schedule, they usually let me know by walking towards the back door with some sort of a "signal". Each dog has their own signal:

One barks - loud and clear! There's no mistaking what he wants!

Another whimpers. Just sort of a soft, complaint whimper, enough for me to know what she means.

The third is tricky. She's the new dog and only recently housebroken. She sort of circles quietly and I have to pick up on this subtle clue. In time, I think she'll become more vocal as she learns more from the others.

I think you could train Snowy to bark at the door if you want to, or to paw at the door. To do that, encourage the behavior each time you head out. Just pick up Snowy's paw and swipe the door or make a bark and encourage Snowy to do the same. It will take a while, but he'll make the connection.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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Our older dog took the reigns and trained US that when he hits us in the shin, he needs to go, our younger guy just has a bladder of steel and knows we'll let him out at some point before he really has to go, so if he really does have to go though, he just goes to the patio door and gives a wierd noise and gets in kind of a fidgety sit. But my moms dog was having trouble because she really didn't know how to tell them and they had no clue she had to go. They adopted her as an adult so there was a learning curve for everyone So, they had taught her to sit already, and they always use the same door, so they would have her sit at that door and take her out...they did this every time they went outside, until she just started doing it on her own, she just goes and sits at the door (they are lucky to have an open floor plan so they can see her from most main parts of the house, but if they are in a bedroom or something, they just need to make sure they keep an ear out for her dancing around at the door. Works for them.

Good luck
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Riverside, California
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When we first started training my dog, we would notice that he circled around the house and then would go. We started taking him out as soon as we saw him circling, and that was essentially how we trained him. After taking him out so many times, he eventually learned that was the right place to go. Now he will come up and bug somebody until we take him out. He doesn't go to the door, but right into our faces.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
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He is a quiet dog (he rarely barks) and I have started giving him treats to knock on the door before he potties. However, with the situation with my dad (in South Carolina), has lead me to drop him off at a friend's house on a 3 day weekend. Until I get more stability at home, I guess I will have to deal with poop in the house from time to time. At least he does it on Ceramic Tile and not on the oriental rugs.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 22,764,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titaniummd View Post
He is a quiet dog (he rarely barks) and I have started giving him treats to knock on the door before he potties. However, with the situation with my dad (in South Carolina), has lead me to drop him off at a friend's house on a 3 day weekend. Until I get more stability at home, I guess I will have to deal with poop in the house from time to time. At least he does it on Ceramic Tile and not on the oriental rugs.
I'd go easy on him for a few accidents here and there considering the circumstances .

You can control the poops a lot by controlling the intake too. Regulate what goes into his mouth and you'll have better control over what comes out the other end! Meaning, not too many treats between meals and such.
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