Potty Training

Potty Training

Postby chelynnah » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:07 pm

From: chelsea76 Sent: 23/08/2003 21:51
My personal opinion in potty training (with which many others disagree and that's okay!) is not to confuse a puppy by offering it paper training and also outdoor training. I don't believe in using newspaper training any more (though I once did) because I think it gives mixed messages to a pup. You are wanting a pup to learn to do it's business outside, yet telling it that 'sometimes' it's okay to go inside. Therefore it's not getting a consistent message about what you want from it. I believe that if you start right off the bat letting it know that outside is ALWAYS where you want it to go I believe that it is a much easier (though still sometimes lengthy) battle.

When we got Chelsea it was 'our' first dog, but I'd had dogs all my life, Nick had never had dogs at all - so training him was first on the agenda - even before training the pup LOL. My words to him regarding potty were:

If the feet hit the floor, the pup goes outside!!

Of course there was more to it than this, but this was the basic principal. If she was sleeping and woke up and her feet hit the floor - she was taken outside. If she was playing hard and stopped (therefore feet stationary on the floor) she went outside. Within 15 minutes of eating - outside. Every time - no arguments. He learned pretty quick that I was right. If she woke up and he didn't take her (had to be him as I'd recently had major back surgery) she peed on the floor. If she was playing hard and stopped, if he didn't get to her fast enough - peed on the floor (or beanbag, or whatever she stopped on LOL). He learned quickly. And in between all those times about every hour or so she would go out. He learned so well that when we got our second pup she only ever had 3 accidents and those were all our faults - however a lot of luck came along with her in that she and her sisters had already pretty much trained themselves before I picked her up from the breeder.

When you take the pup out carry it to the spot you want it to go, bring a small treat with you, and use a word that you want it to associate with doing it's business. You can use one word for both things, or a different one for each. I tend to use 'go potty', but over here in Britain it's common to use 'hurry up' or 'get busy'. (going potty in Britain generally means going silly - so Chelsea lived up to it in both senses LOL). Encourage the dog to 'go potty' and when he/she does praise them like crazy and give them the treat. Quickly they will learn that doing their business outside gets them a treat. Playing up about outside gets them nothing, and doing their business in the house gets them nothing. After a few weeks you won't need to bring the treat with you, but can still offer it to them when they come back in. We did this with Chelsea for a couple of years, but when we moved to the new house that habit kind of died. Savannah got treated until she 'got it' then it just didn't happen. However while we were still treating for 'potty' Chelsea would come in the house and stop at the kitchen after she'd gone, but if she hadn't gone she would just walk past. She knew what the treat was for!

Chelsea was 12 weeks when we got her - and we got her from a rescue centre, she was used to going where she felt. She was trained within two weeks. Savannah was 8.5 weeks when we got her. She was trained completely before 12 weeks. Part of that is luck - we had good dogs, part of it was the training. Savannah was sitting at the door to ask out (or at least heading it the direction) by the time we'd had her a week.

When you're training you have to watch behaviour. If a pup is circling and sniffing it is hunting for a place to go - catch it before it does - and carry it outside and use the words. If they are heading to the door that you always use (and always use the same door for training) pick up the pup and carry it outside and use the words. Always, always praise up really well in an excited voice when they do it for you outside!!

If a pup is more interested in playing than in going, you may want to have the pup on a lead while it's time to do it's business, and when it's done part of the reward can be a couple of minutes off the lead playing.

If a pup does it's business in the house and you don't catch it in the act please don't reprimand it. It will NOT associate the reprimand with peeing, it will associate it with whatever it was doing at the moment you reprimanded it. If you do catch it in the act do NOT make a big deal. Calmly say no, pick up pup, carry outside, put down and say 'good boy/girl potty outside'. If you reprimand/shout or scare the pup all it will learn is to be afraid of going in front of you - and outside you DO want it to go in front of you.

I'm wracking my brains to think if there's anything else I do, but can't think of anything. If I do I'll add another post.


From: chelsea76 Sent: 08/09/2003 16:44
More potty training tips - if you are wishing to teach your pup a particular signal to tell you they have to go, then bell ringing is one that has worked successfully for many people.

Hang a bell or strip of bells by the door that they go out for doing their business. Before taking them out use their paw or nose to ring the bell, then take them out to do their business. It shouldn't take too long for them to catch on that the bell is for going outside to do their business.

They may play up and see if it gets them out to play. If they start to 'abuse' the bell put them on lead and take them out. Give them their 'potty' command and give them a few minutes. If they go great, if they don't take them straight back inside - no play reward for ringing the bell for anything other than potty.


From: KarenzK9z Sent: 09/09/2003 04:36
Wendy, I agree with you 1000% on the newspaper thing. It's too confusing for a puppy...AND sometimes they mistake the $8 magazine that you just put on the floor by your chair for newspaper...paper's paper, right? *G*
I love the bell idea, and am definitely going to use it when we get another dog. I may even try it with Lilly if we bring her inside. When I bring the dogs out to potty, I either say "Go potty" or "Smoke 'em if you got 'em." I don't know what possessed me to start saying the latter, but they picked up on it right away. They're so smart.
Do anyone else's Whippets do this? When I let Grace out for a zoom, she'll be going in these huge circles, 90 miles an hour, then she just STOPS and poops. She doesn't even slow down...it's hilarious to watch. She always goes in the same place (thank Heaven). She's always good about potty training until I bring her somewhere, in which case, no matter how recently she went, she WILL poop on carpet just once. I don't know what that's about.
Happy training,

From: Ri’sSpirit Sent: 09/09/2003 15:33
I do agree with Wendy 1000% too.
I did it they way she wrote in her posts.
It worked on my Chis and this breed is really hard to potty train at times.
Thank You Wendy for the great posts


From: Ri’sSpirit Sent: 09/09/2003 15:43
Oh yeah our comand words are " Lets go pee outside"....lol...they know whats going on and they all go to the door.
When they have to go bad our dogs will go to the door and let us know they have to go.
I am so proud of our youngest member Mindy, she will go to the door and cry. It is really cute but also good trianing 'cause she knows where to go.
We also always made a HUGE deal of it when they did a great job outside ....lol...still do at times with Mindy.
That makes them feel good and important and they know they can make you happy with this, so they do it again.

Keep in mind dogs want to please you and if you act happy about them going pee and pooh outside they will remember and try to make you happy again, so make a HUGE deal out of it .
I thaught my kids to do that too and give a treat once Mindy was done and did a good job , so I kind of thaught our children how to potty train a dog and I thaught the dog how to go potty outside.


From: chelsea76 Sent: 17/08/2004 13:55
Okay - some tips from my refresher course taught to me by my new pup!

I often advise that if a puppy is playing too much outside that it's best to take it out on lead to do it's business and then when finished let it off. I forgot, of course, all the fighting that can go on between the puppy and the lead, so here is what we've been doing.

When she's tired she can go out loose as she'll do her business and come straight back in to sleep (ie the middle of the night). But when she's wired we're using one of Patience's wonderful puppy collar/lead combos and taking her out on that. To prevent her fighting with the lead (or eating stones, or grass etc) we also take out the water gun. If she runs manic we let her gently hit the end of the lead as that's the 'consequence' for running and/or pulling on lead, but if she chews at the lead or starts to eat grass or stones she gets a squirt of water. We've been doing this for 2 days and she's absolutely WONDERFUL now on the lead out the back - she goes out, does her business in a minute or two, she gets her cookie and then she gets let off the lead for a few minutes of play before coming back in. She doesn't fight the lead at all any more, though she still gets a shot of water for eating grass and dirt.

So pottying involved puppy, lead, sprayer and cookie - all just to take a little puppy potty LOL.


From: Jenifer in Japan Sent: 17/08/2004 14:07
GREAT thread! If anyone has any special hints for older dogs, I`m all ears!

From: chelsea76 Sent: 17/08/2004 14:46
Jenifer - I think with your situation the best advice is in the first post really - just start him off like he's a puppy. Dogs who are being rehomed or who have been kenneled need to go back to basics - sometimes for a few days sometimes a bit longer.

Make sure you've got a cue word for him and when he's doing it say 'good boy potty' or whatever your word for him is and give him a dog cookie right away so he learns to associate doing his business with something GREAT happening. Eventually in a few weeks or months you can wean him off the cookies, but the more you reward him now for doing the right thing in the right place the quicker he'll get it.


From: JRT_WhippetMom1 Sent: 18/08/2004 02:02
Wendy - Great advice here!!! Gracie was an absolute pro at potty training, had only two accidents the first week she was here, and none thereafter!! Well, that is if you don't count the poo that came flying out the first time I started the vacuum cleaner around her!!!! Literally scared the *$@! out of her She STILL hates the vacuum...

Just want to add one thing: if anyone wants to encourage/teach their pup to go in the same place in the yard, most pet supply catalogs sell pheromone sticks. These are plastic stakes treated with pheromones, which attract the dog to eliminate wherever the stake is placed in the ground. One brand is call "Pee Post" (hehe, don't you love that name!!!). It can be ordered from http://www.carealotpets.com It costs around $7US and is supposed to last for a few months. I'm sure other places carry the product, too.

From: llpoolej Sent: 07/09/2005 18:56
I have found puppies much easier than older dogs. I have trained both, but the older dogs need untraining then retraining.

With puppies, I have always slept with them as mine SCREAMED if I didn't. So, if they tried to leave the bed, I took them out. I took them out first thing in the morning and I carried them until we got to a grassy area. Lots of praise, lots of happiness when they go. I also use the words "Go outside". Whatever phrase you want, just use it each time.

If they start sniffing the floor, take them outside and give your catch phrase till they get it. Praise again

Never leave them unattended before they are totally trained. That just sets them up to fail.

Leash them to your belt so they don't explore unattended.

I do similar things with older dogs, they are just sometimes hard to break of old habits. They get a treat after going outside and lots of excitement. I still go out with cinnamon for the last trip at night and MAKE SURE she goes. It is routine now. She took about 4 months to be good and reliable, plus ask to go out.

I never ever use paper or pee pads. For the same reasons stated in the thread. It is just confusing. I also don't want it in my house.

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 08/09/2005 01:38
I start house training pups at the same time I start lead breaking at 6 wks of age. When they have to 'go' they don't fight the lead ;-). I also put a 'litter box' filled with cedar in their indoor pen that they sleep and eat in, the litter box is on one end and feeding/bedding area is on the other. They learn very very young to go to the cedar box to piddle and poo, I put the box in with them at 4 weeks of age. Once they get a bit bigger I put cedar on the ground outside where I want them to go and they do. After a few days of that they don't need the cedar to show them where I want them to potty. Most of the pups that leave me at 10 wks already have the basics down, of course they are still tiny babies and aren't trustworthy alone but they have a very good foundation. The ones I keep are house trained and trustworthy by 3 mths tops.

Eat, drink ... outside after 15 minutes
Nap and waken ... outside immediately
pup's nose goes to the floor ... outside right away
I also verbally condition them by telling them go pee just as soon as I see their body's start to squat and as soon as they start to go I tell them "GOOD Potty!"
The biggest things are controlling when they eat, you then control when they have to go. Not leaving them unattended. Most puppies (under 3 mths) have to go about every 20 to 30 minutes, their bladders are the size of a thimble <GG> so going out LOTS is a wise move. OH I also don't let potty time be a play time. Play time is a reward as soon as they do potty.

From: WickaWhippet Sent: 08/09/2005 02:36
I agree with everything Wendy said. All excellent advice.

Wicka, whom I got at 6 months, came house trained. But before I got her, I had many Collie pups, all of whom, using the methods in Wendy's post, were house trained by 12 weeks.

One word of advice--when you pick the phrase you'll use to tell your dog to go potty (I use "hurry up"), choose something that won't humiliate you if the neighbors overhear it.


From: Asante Sent: 08/09/2005 23:11
Well this isn't a tip but a question. In my ever ending quest to potty train my pup (10months) I find rainy days always pose a problem. She wont go outside when it is raining and when I take her for a walk to force her to go, she wont ever go "number 2" so I wind up with it in the house. GAH! I hate rainy days like this morning..any hints?

From: chelynnah Sent: 08/09/2005 23:33
I have stood out in the rain with an umbrella over the dog (while I get soaked). If you're home and you know she hasn't been you just need to be really vigiliant and try taking her back out. If you catch her in the act a really disappointed or quick sharp NO followed by whatever word you use and 'outside' (ie potty outside) can help - but don't scold - just let her know that that's NOT what you want.

One of my girls would hold it all day rather than go in the rain. This is one of those cases where your determination for her to go needs to win over her determination not to. Take some really scrummy treats out with you so that when she DOES go you praise her with a really really happy voice and she gets a jackpot of treats, and this will help.

Sorry - it's late and I meant to go to bed ages ago so my thoughts are a bit disjointed.


From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 09/09/2005 02:59
Ha! You think rain is bad? Wait until you've got snow. I once stood out in the freezing cold trying to get Bambi to pee in snow because she refused to go outside and was starting to go in my old condo. This was a battle of wills, and I eventually won but not without freezing my behind off first. You'll probably have to do the same. A quick potty outside means she gets to go inside from the rain. Her refusing to go shouldn't be rewarded. Refusing to go should just mean that she's going to be one soaken wet pup. Oh, and don't put a rain coat on her either. Let her get good and wet for her refusal. And then the moment she's done her business, it's inside to the nice warm, dry confines of home. Good luck! I know from experience, you're going to need it. Be strong! Don't give in no matter how many sad puppy-eyed looks she gives you.

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