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Old 12-28-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
3 posts, read 38,077 times
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Help! My fiance and I have a pitbull/lab mix puppy who seems impossible to train. We got her when she was 7 weeks, and now have had her almost 7 weeks. I have read that these puppies can be hard to train in particular. We have a crate that we use, and we also give her treats when she is a good girl and potties outside. But it doesn't seem to be working. This morning, for example, I took her out of her crate and we went outside. She peed twice, and we spent another good 10 minutes after she went, wating for her to go again. We went back inside, and had not been inside for 3 minutes when she decided to go in the floor. My fiance and I are getting so frustrated. We both have had dogs all our lives, and never have had as many problems housetraining. So please, I would appreciate any advice you can give my way!
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,856 posts, read 63,036,675 times
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Use the 'search this forum" feature to look for posts from ViralMD on housebreaking ro training a dog. It's a lengthy post and works quite well. Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:18 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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and keep in mind ..... a 14 week old puppy is barely over 3 months old..... and is still a baby..... she doesn't have control over her bladder and bowel yet.... anymore than a human baby does when still very young......
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: California
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Agree on both above posts! Lots of patience...and at 14 weeks, she is not even capable of holding her urine for any length of time. Doubtful if the breed has anything to do with this.
Here is ViralMD's instructions...well worth the read and if you follow them...you will have a well trained puppy.
Posting the thread itself, since it was buried in a link:

11-10-2009, 11:52 AM
Viralmd
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Join Date: Sep 2006
6,424 posts, read 5,528,644 times
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Here's my housetraining post: follow it TO THE LETTER and you'll have a trained dog. NOT immediately, but eventually. Your pup is WAY too young to have much control over his bladder. And the treats HAVE to be very special.

And NO SCOLDING. When he makes a mistake it's YOUR fault - NOT HIS!

Here's the post:

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.

To quote Patricia McConnell, author of “The Other End of the Leash” (a MUST read) and co-author of “Way to Go” (a FABULOUS 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 immediately after they potty, and prevent accidents in the house… well, it usually goes so smoothly.”

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 12-28-2009, 02:37 PM
 
7,079 posts, read 36,829,644 times
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You're expecting WAY TOO MUCH from this infant. Would you expect a six month old human baby to be toilet trained? Of course not! Then don't expect this little baby to be able to control her bladder or bowel very much. You need to be MUCH MORE PATIENT.

This is something which matures gradually, along with the rest of the nervous system. You should be enrolling this little girl in training class (one that uses ONLY positive methods - And DO grill the trainer about this - NO pops on the leash, no 'corrections,' no pushing the dog into position and NO alpha rolls) as well.

Here's my housetraining post. Follow it TO THE LETTER. Including the part about the KIND of TREATS you use and putting your dog ON A LEASH AND GOING OUT WITH HER. THAT IS CRITICAL! And NO SCOLDING. If she has an accident where you don't like it, it's YOUR fault, not hers.

Here's the post:

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 12-28-2009, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,244 posts, read 15,634,826 times
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Found this:

How long can your puppy wait between potty breaks? A formula that works fairly well is to add one to your puppy's age in months. If he's three months old, he can probably wait four hours. But eight hours is about the limit. (Can you go all day without a potty break?)

Bringing Doggy Home and other pet resources - FamilyEducation.com

Don't like some of the info on their site, but as for how long between potty breaks, it seems fairly accurate.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:14 PM
 
5,715 posts, read 14,556,839 times
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I agree with everyone here. You're expecting TOO much of a very young puppy.

And, it's probably in ViralMd's instructions but I'd like to also point out that when a dog goes outside it gets bombarded with sounds and smells of outdoors and they kind of forget why they're out there. (actually, they don't have the first clue WHY they're outside. Outside to them is just very cool!) Even adult dogs can always pee a little bit... here and there. That is not the same as really taking care of business. I've taken my dog for a walk before and he's still not taken care of all his business so we have to hang out until all is well. In those cases, it's like "go potty"... "do your business" and when it happens "good boy" ... PYou have to be sure to keep them outside long enough to be sure that everything gets done.

Pitbulls and Labs both are very intelligent dogs who WANT to please their owners.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
3 posts, read 38,077 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you all very much!
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
3 posts, read 38,077 times
Reputation: 11
While we do realize that Hera is very young, we have been doing all of these things listed. We use a leash, give wonderful treats, and act like she has just spoken when she goes outside. We would love to enroll her in a class, but hope we can do it ourselves. The hardest part is when we haven't been back inside (and she will have gone twice outside) for more than 30 minutes when she decides to go in the house. She is never in her kennel for more than 4 hours at a time without a break.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:33 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 36,829,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelStripling View Post
While we do realize that Hera is very young, we have been doing all of these things listed. We use a leash, give wonderful treats, and act like she has just spoken when she goes outside. We would love to enroll her in a class, but hope we can do it ourselves. The hardest part is when we haven't been back inside (and she will have gone twice outside) for more than 30 minutes when she decides to go in the house. She is never in her kennel for more than 4 hours at a time without a break.
If you've never done any formal obedience training, enroll in a class. You will not be able to problem-solve (and there WILL be problems) yourselves. Get a copy of Pat Miller's wonderful book, 'The Power of Positive Dog Training.' That's a good start. Your pup needs to have her nervous system mature (i.e. she has to be able to control her bladder which is now acting on REFLEX - without her active control) before she can be reliable in the house.

Remember to take her out frequently - every 2 hours or so while you're home and after every 20 minutes of playing (yes, playing - because the heart beats faster, more blood gets to the kidneys and more urine is made).
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