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Old 12-05-2008, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Alaska & Florida
1,630 posts, read 3,398,931 times
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Default What's the best way to potty train a puppy?

I have a 5 month old Shiba Inu and am having trouble potty training him.

I've had him for 2 months and he still continues to pee in the house, he shows no warning signs when he has to pee. If he's on the couch he used to jump off and that would give me an idea he had to go, but I just caught him peeing on the couch right next to me.

I've been crate training him whenever I'm not home and he learned to hold his pee and poo while he is in the cage, but as soon as he is out, he doesn't distinguish the difference between my house and outside.

What advice could you give me so he in some way can warn me he has to go potty?

Thanks a lot for the help!

*add*

I keep him in his crate whenever I can't watch him. I take him out to pee routinely, usually every 1-2 hours. Overnight he sleeps in his crate and I take him out the first thing in the morning. If he pees in the house and I catch him, I say NO, give him a little spank, and put him in his crate.

Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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Are you free feeding him? (leaving the bowl w/ food down all the time?). At 5 months, he's prob. eating several times a day, if you feed him several times (rather than leave the bowl full w/ food), you'll be able to get him on somewhat of a schedule and know about when he has to 'go' etc, take him out when he wakes up, after he eats, when he starts circling etc, sometimes they don't give big signals. Right now he's young and while he wants to please, he doesnt have the bladder/bowel muscle control he'll have in the wks and months to come. Take him outside (on a leash) and praise him to the skies when he 'goes' - you can even give him a small treat (small piece of chicken, steak or cheese) to reinforce it. Keep a close eye on him when you're w/ him, would shut doors to other rooms in fact so he's not tempted to walk behind something to 'go'. Also make sure you're cleaning up w/ Natures Miracle or Resolve for dogs (orange bottle). Would also prob. keep him off the couch til he's more reliable - JMO - you don't want an accident on your couch - would get him a nice dog bed for the floor. Hang in there and good luck, he'll prob. make great strides in the coming weeks and months, it just takes a while sometimes.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Alaska & Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeycrisp View Post
Are you free feeding him? (leaving the bowl w/ food down all the time?). At 5 months, he's prob. eating several times a day, if you feed him several times (rather than leave the bowl full w/ food), you'll be able to get him on somewhat of a schedule and know about when he has to 'go' etc, take him out when he wakes up, after he eats, when he starts circling etc, sometimes they don't give big signals. Right now he's young and while he wants to please, he doesnt have the bladder/bowel muscle control he'll have in the wks and months to come. Take him outside (on a leash) and praise him to the skies when he 'goes' - you can even give him a small treat (small piece of chicken, steak or cheese) to reinforce it. Keep a close eye on him when you're w/ him, would shut doors to other rooms in fact so he's not tempted to walk behind something to 'go'. Also make sure you're cleaning up w/ Natures Miracle or Resolve for dogs (orange bottle). Would also prob. keep him off the couch til he's more reliable - JMO - you don't want an accident on your couch - would get him a nice dog bed for the floor. Hang in there and good luck, he'll prob. make great strides in the coming weeks and months, it just takes a while sometimes.
Thanks for the reply.

I've been giving him scheduled meals and been praising him when he does do his business outside. It's been awhile since I owned a puppy, so I guess I didn't realize that by 5 months it's not unusual if he doesn't bark or scratch at the door to go outside. That makes me a feel a lot better, I was worried I did something wrong. Thanks again!
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonotastic View Post
Thanks for the reply.

I've been giving him scheduled meals and been praising him when he does do his business outside. It's been awhile since I owned a puppy, so I guess I didn't realize that by 5 months it's not unusual if he doesn't bark or scratch at the door to go outside. That makes me a feel a lot better, I was worried I did something wrong. Thanks again!
I think it really depends on the dog, I would find it unusual if by 5 months my dog didn't give me some kind of signal. Or at least some type of warning like I gotta go so I can take them out. By 9wks I had one consistently going to the door. Only problem for me before is that I didn't realize it right off because she was so energy filled she'd run from one end of the house to the other which was the front door just for fun. I soon learned that jumping on the front door (instead of just running to) meant she had to potty. One of my other most recent pups did have a few more accidents then the other, but she still did very good. She was actually a little ahead of her sister though, so each dog is different. The breeder said her sister would go out for #1 but still had accidents of #2 inside or vice versa I can't remember. My girl was almost 11wks alerting to go out, even when baby gated in the kitchen with me, she jump on the gate so I'd take her out.

However
, you say this pup is 5 months but you only had him for 2 months. What was his living situation prior? This is what is important and not so much age, because if you got him as a kennel dog he would have no house training and be used to going in his living area or if you got him from someone who didn't attempt house training just letting him potty in the house agian he doesn't think anything of it. I tell the above about my dogs not to say there is anything wrong with yours but because the point is they were raised by me from a young age, one born here the other came at 9wks. So this make a big difference. It is just so much easier taking them out frequently when they are young so that they learn outside is the place, but when you get a little bit of an older pup who hasn't learned then it is like training an adult, a bit harder because of what they are used to. They've learned inside or their living area is the place.

I would keep him by me at all times. You are taking him 1-2hrs which is very frequent so you are doing everything right I think. You don't have to spank him only tell him no, not that it sounds like you are abusing him at all but I think a firm NO would get the point across. I would really try to watch for subtle signs if he is giving any. That way you can prevent accidents.

I also agree with the above poster about cleaning with nature's miracle so there isn't a smell to encourage him to go. When you take him out to go I'd go potty and keep doing the praise. Even before you take him out ask do you have to potty or whatever so they are learning this all together. That way he gets what it means, now I asked mine and if they need to go they run to the door. I've also found that my males for some reason don't always train as quick. Usually fast still but seem to have more accidents I guess, I don't know why. It also seems that once they start pee they are less likely to stop, but if I catch a female in mid pee she stops with an ah ah. Maybe sometimes they don't have as good bladder control due to physical make up? I'm not sure, only my experience. Oh yes and I agree with big reward for potty outside like chicken might help. Although I think you just have to get the point across that indoors is not the place.

Sometimes there can be health reasons why too. Even if they typically can still hold it in the crate, once they are out moving its not as easy. I've known some because of health issues that way, did hold in the crate but not when free and they often don't give signs either, they just start to go, they can't help it.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:36 AM
 
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First, you pup is ONLY FIVE MONTHS OLD!!!!

You're expecting a little too much from him. Puppies have to neurologically mature to the point where they have control over the muscle that holds the bladder and the muscle that holds the bowel closed. At five months he's not quite there. You wouldn't expect a six month old human infant to be toilet trained, right? So don't expect the same thing from your puppy. He's physically UNABLE to do it.

Follow the directions below TO THE LETTER and you'll have a trained dog. Not immediately, but eventually. And, please give him time to mature, both in terms of behavior and the neurological control of his bladder and bowel! And EVERYONE in the house has to follow these directions. Consistency is extremely important.

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.

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 12-08-2008, 04:10 PM
 
2,031 posts, read 4,211,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonotastic View Post
II keep him in his crate whenever I can't watch him. I take him out to pee routinely, usually every 1-2 hours. Overnight he sleeps in his crate and I take him out the first thing in the morning. If he pees in the house and I catch him, I say NO, give him a little spank, and put him in his crate.

Am I doing something wrong?
Don't put him in his crate for being bad. This can cause a lot of anxiety in the dog. When you leave for normal things and put him in the crate, he'll think he's being punished. You want the crate to be a safe place of their own where they can relax.

I'm currently potty training our 4 month old dog. I take him out almost every hour, no more than 2 hours to give him a chance to go. I praise immediately and very excitedly when I see him go. He has started going to sit by the back door now when he needs to go, which is great because he had taken a liking to the most expensive rug in the house. It is just a matter of consistency and giving them plenty of opportunity. As others have said, scolding them doesn't do much and can be detrimental. I have caught him a few times in the act and I just say "no, no, no, we go outside" in a normal voice as I pick him up and run to the backdoor. Good luck, he'll get the hang of it.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:00 AM
 
829 posts, read 6,560,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
First, you pup is ONLY FIVE MONTHS OLD!!!!

You're expecting a little too much from him. Puppies have to neurologically mature to the point where they have control over the muscle that holds the bladder and the muscle that holds the bowel closed. At five months he's not quite there. You wouldn't expect a six month old human infant to be toilet trained, right? So don't expect the same thing from your puppy. He's physically UNABLE to do it.
Interesting, most my pups are house trained/crate trained around 3 months at most. How is this possible if they can't physically hold it? I don't expect 6 month old infants to be toilet trained that young but then we are talking about dogs not humans. Just like I don't expect a newborn infant to be capable of walking, I do however expect this in a Zebra or Giraffe. Same with pups and potty training. Not all pups are as mature, maybe they possibly can't hold it or have not had the same consistent training which would make potty training harder/longer.

I do think the advice is good, agree with most of it. I think it could help the OP. I only say above because I know it is possibly for a 5 month old puppy to be house trained. Maybe not every puppy, but for some it isn't too much to expect.

Quote:
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.
I totally agree with this and have known it happen before to people! They even started making the same mistake with their new pup (after they had done with a previous dog) and I had to tell them. Sometimes they told me what they did to their dog so it is no wonder the dog hides and goes, even as an adult, but I wasn't there to tell them with the older dog as a pup. Some people don't realize that they are only enforcing it because the pup doesn't learn not to go in the house, only to hide so they won't get a negative reaction. This is very sound advice.
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:44 AM
 
7,081 posts, read 23,915,559 times
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Originally Posted by APBT_Samara View Post
Interesting, most my pups are house trained/crate trained around 3 months at most. How is this possible if they can't physically hold it? I don't expect 6 month old infants to be toilet trained that young but then we are talking about dogs not humans. Just like I don't expect a newborn infant to be capable of walking, I do however expect this in a Zebra or Giraffe. Same with pups and potty training. Not all pups are as mature, maybe they possibly can't hold it or have not had the same consistent training which would make potty training harder/longer.
I'm not only a physician, I also hold a Ph.D. in developmental neuroanatomy. You are mistaken if you think that human beings' nervous systems are very different from other mammalian systems with respect to neurologic maturity. They're NOT.

If you compare neurologic maturation to overall life span, mammals are all the same. Bladders and bowels, not being essential for survival, evolved as slow to neurologically mature. However, running IS essential and has evolved to faster maturation in many species. I have NEVER, EVER seen a three month old housetrained puppy. And I've been around for over half a century. It's just not physically possible. I know because my Ph.D. actually looks at comparative nervous system maturation.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:52 AM
 
Location: 80919 Rockrimmon yO!
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I agree with APBT. I've been able to house train every dog i've had within 3 months of age, with the exception of a really stubborn chihuahua.

Crate training works the best, as does rewarding the dog with a treat it really likes, (for my dogs it was canned tuna) immediatley after doing a good deed.

Also, like someone said, don't yell or hit the dog for going in the house. Just a stern "no" will do the trick. Grin and bear it, take the dog outside immediatley, and clean up the mess asap.

Also, i've found that having other older housetrained dogs in the house helps your pup learn much more quickly. For some reason, the puppies always want to immitate the older dogs.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:21 AM
 
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I personally think small terrier type dogs are much harder to train than bigger dogs. If you have other dogs, puppies seem to 'get' the idea much quicker than if they are the only dog in the house.
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