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Positive Potty Training Tips

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by Drgnrdr, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    Potty Training info
    To Train a dog you need consistency, praise, patience, persistence and good timing.
    You also get faster results when using some tasty treats.
    Always make sure there is nothing medically going on to cause all the problems.

    The secret to Potty training is
    SUPERVISION.
    A behavior a dog finds a pleasant/rewarding experience with they are more apt to repeat that behavior. Dogs do not speak English; we must teach them thru consistency and praise what our words mean. Dogs learn when they are "in the act" of doing something, that is when you add our English word. Never reprimand after the fact, dogs live in the moment and they don't remember what they did 3 seconds ago much less hours when you have arrived home and found a mess on your carpet.

    #1 rule


    of potty training : If a dog potties in your home it is YOUR fault...period.
    Important tips to help you get ahead:

    1. Most dogs need to go after they eat, drink, sleep and play. Always give them a treat after they go for you, say a cue phrase when they are "in the act" of eliminating, and stick to that phrase, ("Go Potty" or "get busy").

    2. Food and water: (If the vet recommends a certain schedule for food and water, stick with what your vet says).Try to feed your puppy a quality premium food, they provide the best nutrition; they are more digestible which means smaller stool volume because less of the food is passed out as waste. Fewer smaller stools mean fewer chances for mistakes, more predictable elimination, and easier clean up. Rapid change of food can cause upset tummies. Change should be gradual, 75%(old)-25%(new) for 2 days then 50-50 for two days then 25%(old)-75%(new) for two days so by the seventh day all new food is now being eaten. You may not want to change their diet ( if they have already been on a specific food for a while) until potty training is done, it’ll be harder to set a routine if it upsets his tummy while still trying to train, get him more reliable then switch him to a better food. I would switch, but watch for problems, as soon as any are seen stop or slow, (depending on what the problems are), the transition, say 90%(old) to 10%(new) etc... I don’t recommend feeding a dog people food. A tiny tidbit is a big morsel to your puppy; a dog’s digestive system is not made to handle our type of food.

    3. When to Feed: Free feeding is not recommended when trying to potty train.
    If you don’t know when it’s going in, you don’t know when it’s coming out. Create a schedule for feeding. If they don’t eat what you give them in 20 to 30 minutes, pick it up and try again for lunch or when you feed them next. (It's usually recommended to feed a puppy 3 times a day, at least until they are 6 months old, then switch to twice a day). Once he eats, take your pup out, some need to go immediately some may take up to 30-45 minutes. This is your chance to start watching for his potty dance and figure out his body’s schedule for eliminating. Once you figure this out you can take them out accordingly. Water needs to be regulated also. Offer it many times thru out the day, offered after meals and during and after play. Don’t refuse water to a thirsty puppy. Don’t limit water; just offer it at regular times. Water goes thru puppies pretty quickly, usually within 10-15 minutes or less. Plus if they drink a large amount realize they may have to go several times in the next few hours. Schedule their play and exercise time, since this is an activity that makes them go. If they go first, before play, it gives them less chance to stop play and drop and go in the middle of it, also play can used as a reward for potty. Also, do not play where they go, they will want to play instead of doing business, keep that spot for business only and then when they do go (give them a treat) and then play can be a reward after you have moved away from the area.
    Water is regulated while you are home, if you’re going to be gone for more than an hour or 2 you’ll have to leave water for them, adult dogs can hold it longer, but puppies can not, so expect, in the very least, a piddle spot when you arrive home, if someone can not come in and take the dog out. Stop water at night make sure they have had some about 2-3 hours before bed time, if the dog is still having trouble at night holding it, then try to stop it 4 hours before bedtime, the time varies for each dog, learn your dog’s routine.
    I want to reiterate: Never deny a thirsty puppy water and don’t hold water back just so the dog won’t pee so much, they must flush their system and you don’t want to dehydrate them. Just regulate it, offer water every 5 minutes if you’d like, the difference is you will know when it goes in.

    4. Where do you want them to go? Outdoors? Outdoors and Indoors, Indoors only? The answer to this question will largely influence how you answer the next question. Where do you plan to put them when they are not supervised? Giving them free access to your home is a goal you can achieve but not until they learn the house rules. You would not let a 2 year old child have free access to your home, why would you let a dog? Having free access to your home is a privilege not a right. Create an area for them or Crate train them. (Remember the MYTH: dogs won't soil where they sleep or eat). A good rule of thumb is 1 hour for every month old they are, is how long they can hold it during the day. At night they can usually hold it longer, just like us. Don’t give them a huge area when leaving them for the day; give them a space for water, sleep, potty and a Nylabone or Kong or something to occupy them, that is really all they need. Most dogs sleep for most of the day, as long as you exercise and/or play with them, (not to hard with the young puppies, they are still developing their bones and muscles) before putting them in their area for the day or night .If you get easily distracted when home with them you can connect them to you (with a leash) for a short time and they will usually try to move away from you to eliminate, that's when you'll know to take them out. Please note: If it's raining you may need to get an umbrella or make a lean-to and take them out, you don't want a little rain hitting (scare) them to destroy your efforts.
    When utilizing Potty pads or litter box, you must show them that this is where they have to go, just like those training theirs to go outside. When using potty pads, you’ll need to put down enough pads to cover the area your dog is in, all the way to their bed and water bowl (water is left for them if you‘re going to be gone for more than an hour or 2). After a couple of days your dog will use the spots on the pads they want to use, every couple of days, start to take away one pad closest to the sleep and water area, as long as you see the pattern where your dog likes to go, take 1 pad away, until you are left with only the pads covering the areas they are using, those are the ones you can keep there until your pup gets older and starts to use the muscles they’ve developed for "holding" it. Then you can use them while your there (so they have a place to go, like in a high rise or an apartment, or you don’t want them to go outside to eliminate) or when you leave them and they need it in an emergency, like you don’t make it home in time to let them out.
    When going from pads to outside it will be harder than getting to go out in the first place but it can be done if you wish. You have to gradually move the pad to the door to outside and then putting it outside where you want them to go, and then once they get it, take pads away, you may be able to put a stool sample on the ground where you want them to go, or/and spray a scent product for urine, most dogs can be triggered to potty when they smell potty.

    5. Teaching your dog to go where you want: Use the same door for your trips outside. Don’t confuse them with multiple doors. Wait on a "dog door" for now;(unless it's your only option cause your gone)Here's why: you need to go out with them to make sure they go, and you need to treat them for doing so, right then and there when they finish.
    If they just go out and something scares them they will come in and find a safer place to go, maybe behind the recliner. And realize anything we may hear as background noise might be a scary sound to puppies. This can cause them to stop using their normal area for eliminating.
    Don’t distract them when they are going, use a neutral tone when they finally are "in the act" of going. Say the same command each time, then tell them "yes‘, in a happy upbeat type voice and give them a treat, DON’T WAIT TO COME BACK INSIDE TO TREAT THEM. If you miss them and they start to go on your carpet, DO NOT YELL at them, just interrupt them with a "uh-uh", (If you yell, you scare them and they will start to go hide to potty). Scoop them up and as quickly as possible take them where you want them to go, and if they finish just a small drop, praise them in a happy upbeat type voice and treat them. Then come in, (keep them away from the accident) and clean up with an enzyme type of cleaner so you can make sure and get the smell out.
    You can teach your dog to go to a designated spot in your yard, just like having them go on a potty pad or paper. It’s better to start as a puppy, an older dog will take more time, because the smells in your yard take time to go away so that your dog doesn’t smell it and try to go there.
    It takes PATIENCE AND TIME on your part. You must TAKE them to the spot your designating, on leash, and treat them when they go, the best is to put the potty behavior on cue, adding a word to what they are doing then rewarding. Dog’s learn better when they are in the act, so, when you put the English word to the act, that’s how they know what they are doing, squatting, urine or defecating coming, is Potty and Potty 2, or whatever word you want , just be careful what you say, so you can say it in "mixed" company and say it in public.
    Make sure to make an area that is relatively close so they don’t have to hold their legs together to get to the spot and may make a mistake, and make sure it is safe from your dogs perspective, not yours. If you have a tall grassy area you want them to go that is convenient for you, is it for your dog? Your small dog, who may not be able to see over the grass, may think it is to scary for them, or next to your neighbors fence where the dog next door barks or tries to hit the fence when your dog is near.
    Once you’re taking them there after a few days, and they are doing better at it, let them walk over there more on their own without you leading them, say your cue word you’ve been practicing, when they get to the area, don’t say it over and over, just say it once or twice, and let them sniff, give them a treat then praise calmly after they go, pretty soon a leash is not needed, just walk them over there, and say your cue word, and treat and praise, then when they go after a couple of weeks, just praise them, and let them play or some other reward, always praise when they choose the right thing to do, if they try to go somewhere else just give a negative sound like ‘UH-UH!", and get them to the area you want.
    Always make sure potty is done before running and playtime, business first before pleasure applies to dogs also. If you learn your dogs routine and add the potty behavior on cue it makes this relatively easy.
    It’s up to you to watch them, don’t give the job to a small child that can easily get distracted. Make sure you know your child is mature enough to realize that they may have to get up in the middle of the night to take the dog out. Puppies need to eliminate frequently, they can hold it maybe 3-4 hours at night, and if you’re lucky it might be longer. But they still might have to get up and go; someone has to take them out if you’re training them to go outside. Is your child able to wake up when hearing the dog makes noise?

    6. If your dog ever is potty trained and all of a sudden he stops then please take them to your vet and check them out medically first before getting angry with them, they could have a UTI or crystals (or other medical reason) in their urine. Lots of things can make a dog change their habits. If they were ever scared while eliminating, when you taught them to go to some spot, they won’t want to go back there. It could be something simple like a car backfire or maybe someone threw a rock at fence or transformer blew, or maybe you yelled at them to "hurry" or showed frustration. You may have to change locations to get back on track. Or a simple change in your routine at home can do it. Child goes to college or a divorce, or moving. DOGS LIKE ROUTINE.

    7. Sometimes it is harder to train a smaller dog than a big dog, but look at it from the dog’s point of view. You are living in a LARGE CRATE. They are usually taught by the mother to go away from the living area to eliminate. Well your house is a large area to them, and if you spend most of your time in the living room and kitchen then the back room is far enough away from their point of view. Also, the world is a big place. Having grass too tall could cause a small dog to not want to go outside. Eliminating is a very vulnerable position for a dog, any thing seen as a threat or scares them can cause them to not want to go where you want them, it may be the best place for you, but what about the dogs’ view of the place. It's much safer and warmer to go inside.
    You must be able to have no accidents for at least 2 months straight before declaring them potty trained.

    *
    If your dog is peeing small amounts (already checked medically) and they are not spayed or neutered and they are close to or over 5 months old, chances are they are "marking". This is not a potty training issue, it’s a behavior issue that is hormone driven, if they get into a habit of marking, they will keep doing it to replenish their smell on things. They are putting their calling card on everything and saying this is theirs. You need to stop the behavior, this will require you to "supervise" and control their access and take back control of your home.

    If they are not a show dog, spay and neuter is recommend, the earlier the better. Studies have shown that pets are less likely to develop reproductive-related health problems when spayed or neutered. Without the urge to mate, your pet is more likely to focus on you.
    Take away the hormone and all that is left is the habit, habits can be corrected with training.
    ©Drgnrdr 2004 (revised 2007)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2013
  2. analilia420

    analilia420 Puppy

    Spaying

    when can I spay my puppie? she is 9 wks tomorrow?

    fyi - great read...
     
  3. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    MHO:most vets I know can spay once they know the pup can handle it, some shelters spay earlier, a guideline: usually they are okay by 4-6 months; males they wait till the testicles drop down into the scrotum, like around 4-6 months also, Argo got spayed at 13 weeks, per rescue rules, she had no adverse problems, it did not stunt her growth, her bones seemed to have developed nice according to her x-rays, she's almost 4 and she's doing well.
     
  4. Mariya22

    Mariya22 Puppy

    I really pissed off with my dogs potty behavior. It will do where ever he finds a place, in garden, terrace, and so on.... I really want to put an end to this...
    Does your tip gonna really work... Did somebody tried or did you tried it... Don't mind I dont have time to do all those things so I'm asking... But I can ready to spent time for my puppy.... I love it a lot...
     
  5. Phantom

    Phantom Little Dog

     
  6. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    sorry been busy and not been around...okay here goes,
    your bed and pillow has some of the most concentrated smells of YOU
    he's marking over those smells...
    which tells me your not really in charge, one: he's getting on your bed without an invitation
    two: marking, you wash it without getting all the enzymes of him out and he goes to replenish his smell becasue it got weak, not what a subordinate dog would do, but one whos' in charge
    Please read my leadership follower tips and start the NILIF if he's really bad after you read my tips on how you can tell he's in charge...do the cold shoulder routine before implementing the NILIF and tips/solutions
    If he just recently got neutered then he hasn't got all the hormone out of his system yet, not for at least 2 months. but, if this is not a hormone issue, neutering will only help the same percentage it's causing...to explain, if he is doing it because his hormones are driving him to like, 90%, then neutering will help 90% of this problem, but if it's 80% a behavior, i'm in charge issue and hormones are only a 20% reason, it will help 20%..hope that explains it better.
    Now he must go 2 months with no accidents to declare him potty trained. Being an outdoor dog , you'll have to do what I have suggested here.
    Hope that helps...

    oh you can put a computer mat on your bed, spikey side up if you can't close off the room, that might make the bed bite him and make it unpleasant for him to settle up there,
    if he "launches " himself up there a little bit of comforter cushion might be in order I don't want to puncture his pads, just make it unpleasant.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2008
  7. Gatlinsmommy

    Gatlinsmommy Little Dog

    Those tips are wonderful! Thank you! I just brought my 6 week old puppy home 2 days ago, and having two older dogs, I take Gatlin out, and my older dogs go with us! They are loving it because they get to go out and play, and Gatlin I am surprised, but he goes potty outside very time! We've had 1 accident in the house since we've brought him home. Is this normal? Or do I have a really good dog? I know I still have many many weeks a head of me, but I am very proud! He even goes to the door I take him out of and pace when he needs to go! And he's only 6 weeks!
     
  8. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    IMHO: you brought your dog home to early, they should be at least 8 weeks Minimum. Mom helps teach the pups to move away from the sleep/living area, also teaches mouthing inhibition, body language, how to be a dog.......
    okay I said my peace here goes the answer to your post...
    your dog must go 2 months with NO accidents to declare them potty trained as I've said before, the pup is following the older dogs like they would MOM moving away from the area, it's a pack and they follow.
    Your really lucky he's only had one accident I attribute that to maybe supervision you're giving him, so keep watching him like a hawk and he won't have accidents, clean up the spot with some enzyme cleaner like Nature's Miracle or Petzyme, and make sure you get all the way down to the foundation and carpet pad, try and make sure the pup goes potty before play or you'll get a pup that wants to play first and do business later, which if he does, he'll sometimes go out and potty, others he just wants out to play no potty and you won't know the diff. with his signal;Supervise, use leash and when he goes let him off leash and let him play then as a reward, instead of treats every time eventually.
    Hope that helps; setting up rules now is much easier than later, dogs have adult brain waves at 7 weeks old, but it's a clean slate, so start training now and they will follow much easier, this way you mold your puppy into the dog you want him to be.
    Take lots of pics, and no matter my personal opinion: congrats on your puppy:D.
     
  9. Gatlinsmommy

    Gatlinsmommy Little Dog

    Thank you for the advice! I know he was only 6 weeks when we brought him home, but he's a little more advanced than most puppies I have worked with. At 3 weeks old, he stopped going to his mom for food. I was there for all 9 of the puppies births, and helped them weekely grow up.When I would call, my sister (she has the mom pit) would put me on speaker, and with it on camera, Gatlin would walk up to the phone and start licking it when I would talk to him. He and I have an incredible bond, and it just felt right to bring him home at that time. I talked to my vet many times asking if it would be ok to bring him home when I did, and he said as long as he was eating the puppy food, not wanting to go to Nikta, then it would be ok. I do watch him like a hawk. But I also work at a pet store, and have many resources available to me. But I do have to say that this site is so informative, and so nicely laid out. I would love to find some other pitbulls on here that are close to my area and have some social time with them. Gatlin loves playing with other dogs, and having other pits would be the icing on the cake! I don't want anyone to thinking badly because I brought him home at 6 weeks. He was actually 6 and a half when I truly brought him home. We took a half week to intoroduce him to my 2 other dogs, so for the first 4 days he would come over for a few hours, then go back home...
     
  10. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    I still hold to my opinion, but your situation was unique, puppies don't know what is good for them, but if the vet said okay, then alright,

    anyone else out there: the vet may not be a trainer has he had formal training to be a trainer, or a member of apdt, or is he a certified behaviorist along with his reg practice? I usually don't blame the owner of puppy it's the breeder who should know better, as a breeder they should know about developmental stages etc...
    I don't really blame you, that was not what I was posting,I apologize if that is the case, since we have a lot of lurkers and they read the post on here, I wanted to make sure I addressed them too, so they can be educated...
    again I apologize if I made you feel bad...
     
  11. Neostar

    Neostar Little Dog

    Thanks!! Big help
     
  12. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    Neo I think your stuck on a feedback loop....LOL
     
  13. Gatlinsmommy

    Gatlinsmommy Little Dog

    It didn't come across that way at all! I am very blessed to have Gatlin, and he has been doing fantastic! He's a good listener, and is so much fun!
     
  14. barackpit8

    barackpit8 Puppy

    This is great information. My issue is that my pup pees in his crate. He is almost 10 weeks old. I take him out before he eats and after he eats and many times in between. He will not poop in his crate. That he will hold. How can I break him out of this habit? I am not sure if this behavioral, or that he is still too young to hold it. I have crate with a divider in it, so I don't think it's because he has too much room. Any suggestions??
     
  15. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    how long is he in the crate between you taking him out? have you had a urinalysis done on him? or checked to make sure he doesn't have a bladder infection, crystals or UTI or anything medical that has to do with urine?
    He can hold it for about and hour and a half, but if he drinks water he will need to go, if he drinks alot of water he'll need to go more often than and hour he'll go after about 15 minutes, then 30 min later and probably an hour later he has to get rid of it and it trickles thru him just like it would you, if I said drink a 32 oz glass of water and you have to drink it all NOW, it would trickle thru you too.
    So does he go potty right before you stick him in there and for how long do you leave him in and have you cleaned it with an enzyme cleaner to get rid of smell?
    where did you get him from? what kind of conditions was he kept in, was he kept in a area with his siblings, or kept in a crate by the breeder or did you train him to the crate yourself? and when did you get him? has he always done this?
    answer my questions and we'll continue :)
     
  16. xosirisx

    xosirisx Big Dog

    I have a 10 wk old as well, he is doing pretty well but it seems I have to pick him up to take him outside to pee. If he has to poop he will wait by the door and when opened he will walk out on his own. However, if he needs to pee and I am walking to the door he will sometimes, not all times, go to the door with it wide open and stand there and pee on the carpet. I immediately yelled no, picked him up, took him to the grass and then praised him for going "potty outside". Anyway, do you have any thoughts on why he might be doing that? I praise him a ton every time he goes outside and I don't tell him no or he is bad unless I catch him in the act. Not sure if I am doing something wrong or what. I do not have an enzyme cleaner yet, however, he doesn't have a favorite spot either. I am thinking it has something to do with me picking him up to take him out because I am afraid he will stop half way to the door to go......

    Thanks!
     
  17. barackpit8

    barackpit8 Puppy

    thx for responding. Yes I took him to the vet. They did an urinalysis, He say no chrystals but did say the white blood cell count was high. They gave me biomox(amoxicillin), but the vet said he wasn't sure if he had a problem, because male pup his age normally do not have urinary issues. Yes he pottties right before I put him in the crate. I got him from a breeder. He was kept with his siblings, but I have had him since he was a little before 7 weeks, which I know is early. His mother is housetrained, and he has never pooped in his crate in the 3 weeks I have had him. I am the first person to put him in a crate. I always clean the crate after he pees with Oxy Solution.
    His schedule is the following:
    5:30am take him out crate and take him to potty.
    5:40am feed him
    6:00am potty time
    7:00am potty time
    8:00am potty time
    12:00pm wife comes home from work to take him out.
    5:30pm potty time
    6:00pm -11pm feed, multiple potty times.
    11:00pm back in crate

    when he is out of the crate i keep him on a leash with me, and yes he has always peed in the crate. i think i got everything.
    thanks!
     
  18. Drgnrdr

    Drgnrdr Big Dog

    Okay, lets see
    xos: at 10 weeks old he may not be able to hold the urine long he's still trying to develop the muscles so to speak for doing so, if he can't make it it is very important you SUPERVISE,SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE, block access to house keep them with you, use the leash learn their potty routine not the one you want, and take them out shortly before they need to go, how often after he drinks does he need to pee, after eating, sleeping, playing? control the water and food access also, that's importnat read the section about food and water, DON'T DENY WATER AND FOOD, control it, what goes in comes out find out when it has to do so, learn their potty dance, what do they do before they have to go? circle, hunch up the back, tail raises? And take a treat with you and TREAT them after they go not when they come back in the house, if you want give them 2 little bitty treats (about the size of a pea), one at a time, for going out or where you want.
    yes he does
    you'll have to really saturate and clean that area with the enzyme cleaner like nature's miracle or petzyme.

    bp8:okay a medical issue is present
    he has learned to live in his urine, that's why it's important they DON"T pee and OR poop in the crate, I am not sure oxy solution is good enough to clean up, if left in their crate to long they will potty in their crate (8 - 12 is 4 hours) at 10 weeks he can maybe hold it if he potties right beofre putting him in it at 8, for maybe 1 1/2 hours at 10 weeks old, when does he drink water and how much? If you can I would put him in an area like a exercise pen or dog proof room with his crate left open (take the door off), so he can have a place to pee without doing so IN his crate, I could not use potty pads for my dog she liked to chew and destroy, so I had her on linoleum (sp?), easy to clean and disinfect, and cleaned it, she had to be there for 2 weeks until I could start to take her to work, plus she had an infection and crystals in her urine, so ph balance was off.
    is he peeing in it at night? from 11 to 530a? when does he get food last and water last? or is water and food kept down for him all day and night? does he potty between time your wife gets home from work (lunch? or stays home for the day?)and goes back and someone home at 530p? read the potty tips, okay some info and more questions :)
     
  19. Gatlinsmommy

    Gatlinsmommy Little Dog

    Nature's Miracle is truly a Miracle. We use it at work, and I use it at home (I've had problems with my puggle peeing in the house since we brought home Gatlin-- my 9 week old is better potty trained than my 2 year old) and I love using it at home! I have hardwood floors, and it sinks down between the cracks, but the natures miracle goes down with it.. I am really impressed with it!
     
  20. barackpit8

    barackpit8 Puppy

    Thanks for your feedback! I give him water after he eats in the morning, when he goes out in the afternoon. I feed him at 6pm and pick up the food at 6:15pm and from about 6:30pm to 8:30pm he can drink as much water as he wants. He does drinks abut 8oz of water a sitting.
    It’s a tossup if he goes at night. When he does, it’s normally in the morning right before I am about to take him out. It is also a tossup whether he pees between the times my wife takes him out during lunch and when he is taken out after we get home for work. When we take him out after work he pees hard.
    I can pen him in my kitchen eating area and put down paper, the question I have is, since he now has room and is not penned up in his crate what would make him stop going on the floor?
    The dogs(GSD, Staffy, APBT) I had before we would keep in the crate with paper, and they would eventually stop going to the bathroom in the crate when they got older and could hold it. Now it seems that the advice is once they start going potty in the crate they always will. This was true for my last dog (Brazilian Fila) he would poop and pee in his crate consistently, even at 3 years old. Eventually, I had to give him away. However, he was the only dog I ever had that would not house break. Was I lucky that my other dogs stopped peeing in the crate when they got older? Or is that normally the case?
     

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