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This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Puppies! We all love our puppies.
Lauren
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Tell us about yourself: I am a wife, mother of 2 kids, 3 cats, 1 Standard Poodle (10 yrs) and Xena, a Dutch Shepherd Puppy.

This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Lauren » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:03 pm

Well, Miss Xena is now 4 months old and teething up a storm, poor baby. Her gums are so swollen. And it just really brought home the fact that my baby is growing up...

So, why, oh why, can I not housebreak this wild child? We have a fairly consistent schedule. She has no problems going outside if she is there, or inside if she is not. She does not know how to "ask out"and I don't know how to teach her. She will go in the house whether we are standing there or not and this morning I actually found pee IN HER CRATE! (I had increased it to full size last week) :oops: There is no circling, no sniffing, no whining or barking, nothing that I can see that would indicate that she needs to go. Then boom! she goes. She will go on command when we are outside.

For a while there she was doing better and while she wouldn't ask to go out, she would run out the cat door (to the enclosed cat porch where the litter boxes are) and go there. Then she would reward herself with a cat box snack :eew: . I still had to clean it up, but it at least made me think that she was getting the idea the the house was all "den" and we don't "go" there. '

So for you who have lived through this please tell me: How do teach them to ask to go out? Do you reprimand them for going in doors (the books I have read say not to.)? When can I expect her to start trying not to go in the house? It has been a long time since I have had a puppy and I just don't remember house training as being that difficult at all... :huh:

PLEASE help! any and all ideas are welcome!
Lauren from Western NC

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Schlussdibusti
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Schlussdibusti » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:59 pm

Lauren wrote:Do you reprimand them for going in doors (the books I have read say not to.)?
The word "reprimand" could mean many things. Most interpret it as the old way "sticking the nose into the stuff". But in my world it is "making things clear" like saying "no" and taking the dog outside immediately after the "accident" and praising them there even if no more drop came out. When repeated several times they will connect the dots.

These books.........how is a dog figuring things out if nobody tells them what is right or wrong? There a different way to communicate this to your dog, you know her best and what is working or not.

P.S.: Just came to my mind.....May be she observes the (indoor) cats doing their business in the house and thinks it is okay to do the same. Oh these darn cats!!
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Sugars Mom
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Tell us about yourself: I adopted a Dutch Shepherd mix (without knowing what she was) from the SPCA here in Victoria BC and am now trying to learn everything I can about this breed. My husband and I work from home most of the time so I thought it was time to get a puppy! We have his 2 boys here half the time and we wanted a nice family dog.

Sugar looks like a miniature Dutch Shepherd with floppy ears, and has every ounce of DS traits in her little body!

I hope to learn from other DS owners and share doggy experiences.
Location: Victoria BC

Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Sugars Mom » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:03 pm

OMG, every word you wrote about Xena sounds exactly like mine! It wasn't until she was around 7 months before she would go to the door and bark 'cause she had to poop. That was the start. It did eventually graduate to going to the door when she had to pee as well. It was 8 long months before she totally stopped having accidents in the house.

During this process, I did question the non-reprimanding thing that I too had read. Like Eva says:
Schlussdibusti wrote:
These books.........how is a dog figuring things out if nobody tells them what is right or wrong? There a different way to communicate this to your dog, you know her best and what is working or not.
I think I would change that part of the process if I had to do it again, and not just say "no-no" and take her out, but up it just a notch so she would hopefully learn faster.

All the best with the process!! I feel for you!!
Sue (and Sugar)

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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by alspyce » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:32 pm

You may want to take a urine sample into your Vet just to be sure there isn't any type of infection. I have run into house breaking problems before because of cystitis or other problems with the urinary tract and found that once that was cleared up--no more problem!
Also take her out every time she comes out of her crate and be sure she "goes" before she gets free run of the house. Let her drag a leash around the house for "fast trips to the door". (Or any other misbehavior's)
You may be missing her cues. None of mine go to the door and bark or whine, they come to me and stare me down until I notice and ask if they need to go out, then they will run to the door.
Make sure this isn't submissive urination or that she isn't just is too young to have full control yet. :binkybaby:
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Raven » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:20 pm

Including the advice that you've been given thus far, I can offer what a friend of mine does and it works for her:

A pup immediately gets taken outside when taken out of crate, then gets praised like they are tinkling (or whatever) gold, then she brings them right back in for a spell. This person is home all day with her brood, so she is able to take a pup out every 20-30 minutes just for a tinkle and praise (smaller bladders). Pups will still have errors, though.

If she catches them in the act, a sharp "no" and she wisks them outside. A lot of work and watch-dogging.
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Dutchringgirl » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:46 pm

Ditto what Raven said.

I got Sadie at 4 months so I started from there. Sadie had the leash on her all of the time when she was out of her crate and I never let her out of my site. When I let her out of the crate, first stop is out to pee, or poop. Then I would either set a timer or watch the clock and take her out every 30 minutes. Yes, I had accidents, I would then put her right outside. I also read the books on not getting mad because they dont know yet, but its up to you if you want to give a NO or not. But as she got older I would space out the time. She soon learned to go to the door to go outside. I cant remember exactly how old she was but I know by 7 months she knew to go to the door to go out to pee.
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Lauren » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:17 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I will at least start to tell her "no" when I catch her having an accident. Luckily she doesn't seem to have submissive or excitement urination. My standard didn't outgrow his excitement urination until he was about 8 YEARS old... (We were his 3rd home by the time he was 6 months old because of it). A urine sample would certainly be easy enough to get :roll: and I may try that, but it isn't just a wee bit of pee.

I think that I have slacked off on the every 30 minutes thing. We still go out after crating, after eating, after waking, but it is the hanging out in-between times that I space out on. And if it is raining, I can forget it.

On the up-side I have a dog that can and will relieve herself on any conceivable surface, so we won't ever HAVE to find a patch of grass...
:g_wink:
Lauren from Western NC

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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Dutchringgirl » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:53 pm

at 4 months I would make sure I took her out every 30 minutes and keep her in your sight at ALL times, If you cant watch her sometimes, crate her. I would put sadie up anyway for some quiet time or so I could get stuff done then immediately take her right out when its time for her to come out.
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Raven » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:38 pm

She knows what "no" means, yes?
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Lauren » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:13 pm

She knows what it means.... almost always.
Lauren from Western NC

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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Dutchringgirl » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:21 pm

At night I stop their water early and make sure they go out right before bed, that may help her overnight. When you catch her in the house, do you say "NO!" then take her right out? Try that if you havent, you may have said it and I missed it.
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Marjolein » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:15 pm

I never punish, I ignore the indoor peeing. But I do make sure I watch a pup, and learn their signs, then let them out. If any error occurs, it's usually my fault :oops:
If I have no time to wath the pup, it goes in it's cage or in the outdoor kennel so any peeing is outside, and therefore fine!
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by CaroleBoaz » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:00 pm

I also never punish indoor peeing.

For puppies, I do like others say. I take the puppy outside every 30 minutes, at first. Gradually, I increase the time.

I watch the puppy like a hawk if it's loose inside the house. When the puppy starts to squat, I make a loud short high-pitched noise, like an "AKK!" Usually, that is enough to distract the puppy from peeing. Immediately, following the AKK!, I am scooping puppy up in my arms and placing the puppy outside. Yes, sometimes I get peed on in the process. But I've never had to do this more than 2 or 3 times on one dog.

This is great for me because I have a patio door and the pup just gets carried over the threshold to finish peeing. If you live in an apartment, then it's a little more difficult.

So far, this has worked well for my last 2 boys. My Malinois was a challenge. I don't know if it was because she was my first puppy, or if she truly was/is challenged. (Judging my her antics in the rain last night, she has her own special view of the world.) Also, my puppies always seem to learn from the other dogs.

About signalling. I haven't taught my dogs any signal for potty. I tried bells on the door, but that just scared them. My Malinois will circle frantically at the door. My DS and Laeken will both come over to me and lick my arm with a vengeance. My first dog never signaled, he would hold it as long as it took until we went outside for play time. Poor guy.

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Tell us about yourself: I adopted a Dutch Shepherd mix (without knowing what she was) from the SPCA here in Victoria BC and am now trying to learn everything I can about this breed. My husband and I work from home most of the time so I thought it was time to get a puppy! We have his 2 boys here half the time and we wanted a nice family dog.

Sugar looks like a miniature Dutch Shepherd with floppy ears, and has every ounce of DS traits in her little body!

I hope to learn from other DS owners and share doggy experiences.
Location: Victoria BC

Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Sugars Mom » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:37 pm

I think that is odd...that it is not unusual for a DS to not signal when they want out...they are sooo smart!! You'd think it would be easy for them to learn or figure it out. My other dogs would go to the door and whine or scratch until I let them out.

Sugar will go to the door and bark when she wants out at home but wanting out does not neccessarily mean she wants to pee either, so I do have to be aware and take her out enough times. When at my parents house, she has had 2 accidents in the house (on their white carpet - my Dad not too pleased I must say) and both times she had barked, but not at the door, and I was wondering if she needed to go out, but I didn't react in time and missed it :( My fault.

I do wish she was clearer at letting me know, or would just hold it until I take her out.
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Dutchringgirl » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:09 pm

I havent taught my girls to signal either, they both just knew to go to the door and look at me and I let them out.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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Tell us about yourself: I adopted a Dutch Shepherd mix (without knowing what she was) from the SPCA here in Victoria BC and am now trying to learn everything I can about this breed. My husband and I work from home most of the time so I thought it was time to get a puppy! We have his 2 boys here half the time and we wanted a nice family dog.

Sugar looks like a miniature Dutch Shepherd with floppy ears, and has every ounce of DS traits in her little body!

I hope to learn from other DS owners and share doggy experiences.
Location: Victoria BC

Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Sugars Mom » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:30 pm

But that is their signal; they go to the door and look at you.
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Marjolein » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:29 pm

Sugars Mom wrote:But that is their signal; they go to the door and look at you.
you got it :dswink"
Ivil's "signal" is to walk up and down the room constantly, it irritates me and then I go "oh yeah, the back door is closed, she might have to pee..." :oops: :D
With a pup, you would be too late... :?
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Lauren » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:14 am

Thank you all for the ideas. Xena really is doing better. BUT she still runs out on to the cat porch for business when the kids forget and leave that option open. I think that this would all be a lot easier if I could just let her out and not worry about chickens... must have her on the leash at all times etc.

I space out and forget that there is a puppy wandering about....

Right now my cats are sharpening their claws on me. That means that i spaced and forgot to feed them on time... gotta go! ouch.
Lauren from Western NC

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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:10 am

Marjolein wrote:
Sugars Mom wrote:But that is their signal; they go to the door and look at you.
right, but I didnt teach them to signal, they learned that if they go to the door to outside, they can go out to pee.
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Re: This housebreaking is killing me. Advice please!

Post by Marjolein » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:56 pm

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Marjolein wrote:
Sugars Mom wrote:But that is their signal; they go to the door and look at you.
right, but I didnt teach them to signal, they learned that if they go to the door to outside, they can go out to pee.
yup, my point. Ivil found out I get irritated if she walks up and doen the room all the time, so she get's attention, than at one point the lightbulb in my hide lights up and I remember she can't get outside without my help :D I never thought her that... or did I :mrgreen:
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