Training Outdoor potty after indoor potty. - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Training Outdoor potty after indoor potty.

I’ve spoken to several trainers in my efforts to try to find the right one. Maybe that’s my problem, but I’m getting different Opinions on this topic. I’ve been training my puppy to use an indoor potty now for about 12 days. She is 3 1/2 months old about. She is using an indoor potty consistently but she is confined to one area of the house. I have not yet tested her reliability Throughout the entire house, although in truth my house is quite small. So I would say I’ve tested her reliability in about 1/3 of the open floor plan of the house. One of my trainers said that I should start taking her outside for potty as well. To those that have more experience than I, is this a good idea? Should I wait longer? up until what point?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 12:56 PM
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You know why I think potty training is so hard? Itís because we are constantly second guessing ourselves during the process! That part can be the most stressful.

I would wait longer if you plan to continue indoor training. Even if she seems like sheís already reliably potty trained, if you plan to use the potty tray long term when you arenít home I would spend more time on indoor potty. Unless she is older than I remember, it just seems like sheís only been home for a couple of weeks. If she is using the potty tray consistently and seeking it out and not having any accidents, then itís fantastic that she really gets it! Maybe someone else will give a better, more educated milestone but I think AFTER she is doing that, I would give it a couple more weeks, then start taking her outside.

The reason I think this way is because you donít even need to ďteachĒ outside potty really, if you have been indoor training then once you start taking her outside sheíll figure it out in a day. The problem is that once you do that, she will want to go outside all of the time and if you havenít mastered inside, it will be more difficult to keep it up. If you donít plan to keep indoor potty training for when you arenít home, travel, etc. then I donít see why you canít start taking her outside any time.

A lot of people do both at the same time, which is why youíre getting conflicting information. But the skills you are teaching her by indoor potty training will translate to outside much more easily than the other way around. I really think it will be faster and more reliable long term to focus on indoor first. I made mistakes and this is what I wish I would have done!

She will probably get the concept of potty training pretty quickly because Havanese are so smart, but I donít think thatís the same as being completely trained because thereís a developmental component. Iím not sure if you mean sheís 100% reliable in 2/3 of the house or reliable 2/3 of the time. Waiting until sheís 100% reliable in each stage is going to make training faster in the long run, even if it feels slower now.

It IS hard to find a good trainer, but sometimes your choices are limited by the people available or wait lists. It is impossible to get in with a really good behaviorist or trainer in my area without waiting several months. But, Iím assuming we are talking about basic puppy stuff, not separation anxiety or rescue behaviors. You can gain valuable support and information from a lot of trainers that maybe arenít as experienced if you can communicate well with that person and they are open. If you feel like you donít understand, be direct and honest about it or keep looking. Part of being a trainer, IMO, is to be able to communicate with and teach the family - members of which may have a variety of learning styles - as well as the dog. It is going to be hard to find someone experienced with indoor potty training. Focus on finding someone you communicate well with and is willing to learn about it. Send them to this forum! Then stick with that person so you can consistently follow through with your training plan together, and so you have a support person. In my area a lot of trainers have way more experience with large breed dogs. There are just more large breeds here, for one thing, and I think itís more common for people to seek out training for large breed dogs here.

Regarding my own experience potty training, I didnít expand my puppyís area into a new room until he hadnít had an accident in the previous room for probably a month. I donít think my experience potty training was particularly unusual, we had a few setbacks when he started marking and as we were figuring everything out, so I was cautious and slow. I wouldnít label him as ďreliableĒ until 14 months. That would have been two months after I started relaxing and he wasnít having accidents. Maybe if I had been less cautious I could have started expanding earlier, but there is no way he could have been reliably potty trained at even 8 months. He just didnít have the control. He still had ďexcited peesĒ at that age. Iím not saying that you should expect to have lots of accidents at 8 months, just that 3-4 months old seems really premature to let down your guard, even if sheís doing great. Plus, itís a lot less work if you know sheís well trained in 1/5 of your house than for her to be partially trained in 2/3. Keep in mind each consecutive area will be faster. So even if you spend a full 6 months focusing on your living room, itís not going to take another 6 months to then train her in the family room, if that makes sense. Itís a few days or weeks of vigilance while you generalize your potty training to a new area of your home, starting small and increasing the area. I chose to go slower for many reasons, including my own home remodeling schedule.

Thatís a lot of information, but I happen to be sitting in our vetís office for our 2 year check up and sometimes there are moments when you look back and these things are very clear
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 06:21 PM
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I don't think any puppy can be considered completely reliably potty trained by the age yours is. No matter how diligent the owner is. You can have errorless training so far, which is wonderful. But the puppy is still much too young to consider it "trained". It still needs constant supervision and/or confinement for several more months.

It certainly doesn't hurt to have the puppy outdoors during that time, and while you are outdoors with the puppy, if she happens to eliminate, have a party. I sure wouldn't stress myself over "training" the puppy to potty out doors. they figure out that "outdoors" is an "OK place to potty" all on their own.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2019, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Nora View Post
Iíve spoken to several trainers in my efforts to try to find the right one. Maybe thatís my problem, but Iím getting different Opinions on this topic. Iíve been training my puppy to use an indoor potty now for about 12 days. She is 3 1/2 months old about. She is using an indoor potty consistently but she is confined to one area of the house. I have not yet tested her reliability Throughout the entire house, although in truth my house is quite small. So I would say Iíve tested her reliability in about 1/3 of the open floor plan of the house. One of my trainers said that I should start taking her outside for potty as well. To those that have more experience than I, is this a good idea? Should I wait longer? up until what point?
As Karen well-said ...your puppy is too young to be "reliably potty trained - indoors or outdoors." If you are indoor housebreaking, don't worry about taking the puppy outside to potty. Take her outside to play, exercise and when she piddles, it's no big deal. I didn't reward Patti for "doing her job outside," but treated and celebrated when she used the indoor potty tray. She nows goes outside and when inconvenient does her job on the indoor potty tray.

After your puppy has gone a couple of months without having an accident in the current room - then move to another room and train her to use the potty tray either in that room or train her on how to get to the potty tray in the first room. Keep her confined, with gates or on a leash - don't let her have the run of the house. You MUST! have eyes on her at all times, otherwise she'll piddle in the house, you won't know it and it will take you longer to housebreak her. After two-three months if she's not had accidents, and is reliability seeking out the potty tray - then decide if it's safe to let her have the run of the house.

I used several kinds of gates but with the free standing gates I used heavy objects or weights to keep Patti from pushing them open. At one point my house was an obstacle course of gates.

At 10-months I was able to take all the gates down. Because I was very consistent and watchful Patti was easy to housebreak and had few accidents - which I caught each time. Large dogs are typically quicker to housebreak than Toy Dogs. Don't be in a big rush ... housebreaking takes time.

I tried working with trainers after we got her at 8 weeks up to three months. While the trainers helped me with some of the - How Tos - such as sitting and down ... I stopped and felt it was too early. They wanted to spend an hour in training and after about 30 minutes Patti would lay down and go to sleep. It was exhausting for both of us.

This website helped me more than any trainer. However, I would have tried again around 6-months for the socialization but was in a location that didn't offer what I wanted.

MY FIRST potty tray was located in the Family-Kitchen area but I didn't want it there permanently. After taking down the ex-pen and opening up the house, I began moving that potty tray - inching it away - from that room into the room where I wanted her to go. Patti followed the tray and I eventually removed it after I was sure she knew how to get to the potty tray I wanted her to use.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 09:15 PM
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Definitely too young to be considered reliable. Oliver was actually trained for peeing much much more quickly than poop. He’s 9 months and still has the occasional poop accident (usually my fault) but knock on wood no peeing since about 5 months old. The thing with poop and him is that he NEVER pooped on the indoor tray, ever. He’ll pee there if he has to but he can hold it quite a while. I do admit, I’d rather clean up the poop once every month or two (this happens when he gets distracted etc and won’t go outside) than pee. Even now, I’ll put him in his confined area till he goes outdoors.

I think it’s about managing expectations. Oliver kind of has run of the house when we’re home, but really he follows me everywhere. If not for that I’d have my eye on him. I would expect her to be a year old or so before you can say she’s reliable. Like, if I did not take Oliver out at the specific times a day he goes, I don’t think I could expect him to “reliably” inform me he had to poop. He comes up and nips at me gently as a sign, but can I depend on this? No. And that means he’s not 100% house trained.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:09 AM
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Definitely too young to be considered reliable. Oliver was actually trained for peeing much much more quickly than poop. Heís 9 months and still has the occasional poop accident (usually my fault) but knock on wood no peeing since about 5 months old. The thing with poop and him is that he NEVER pooped on the indoor tray, ever. Heíll pee there if he has to but he can hold it quite a while. I do admit, Iíd rather clean up the poop once every month or two (this happens when he gets distracted etc and wonít go outside) than pee. Even now, Iíll put him in his confined area till he goes outdoors.

I think itís about managing expectations. Oliver kind of has run of the house when weíre home, but really he follows me everywhere. If not for that Iíd have my eye on him. I would expect her to be a year old or so before you can say sheís reliable. Like, if I did not take Oliver out at the specific times a day he goes, I donít think I could expect him to ďreliablyĒ inform me he had to poop. He comes up and nips at me gently as a sign, but can I depend on this? No. And that means heís not 100% house trained.
And to add two things to this excellent advice...

AMNY young Havanese have a "set back" around a year. Kodi SEEMED totally reliable at around 9 months. all our gates were down, no mistakes, and I remember someone telling me to be careful about the 1 year "trouble period". Not _MY Kodi!!! Well, yeah... He had a couple of accidents right around a year. We tightened up the confinement and supervision for a few weeks again, he got back on track, and that was the end of it. That seems to be a pretty common pattern.

The other thing is the "signalling". I remember when Kodi was around 18 months old, we never had any accidents, so from that perspective, I suppose he was "potty trained", but he also never gave any indication that he needed to go out. So in some ways, I felt like _I_ was the one who was "potty trained" to get him out on the proper schedule. It works, but I kept HOPING... Then suddenly, when he was just over two, I heard him give this single, low bark at the door. A different bark than I'd ever heard before. I went to see what was going on, and he CLEARLY wanted to go out!!! From then on, that was his signal! It took a long time, but he DID figure out his own signal. (We had tried bells, but he HATED them!!!)

With the girls, I was more relaxed about the whole thing which made it easier, plus they just came and went when the older dogs did. So the process was more organic. Both the girls scratch on the glass of the door to go out or in, and they figured that out much younger. But they do figure out a signal of their own sooner or later.

I've got to tell you another funny "signal" story. For the first 5 years of Kodi's life, we did not have a fenced back yard. So he went out the front door on leash to potty. When he was 5, we re-did our kitchen, built a deck with french doors out of the kitchen into a fenced back yard for him because of the increased pressure of coyotes around here. "Kodi's Kitchen" For the next couple of years, even though he KNEW he would be going out into the back yard, he would run and bark at the front door to signal that he needed to go out, then run to the kitchen door to be LET out! Silly boy!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:57 PM
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Definitely too young to be considered reliable. Oliver was actually trained for peeing much much more quickly than poop. He’s 9 months and still has the occasional poop accident (usually my fault) but knock on wood no peeing since about 5 months old. The thing with poop and him is that he NEVER pooped on the indoor tray, ever. He’ll pee there if he has to but he can hold it quite a while. I do admit, I’d rather clean up the poop once every month or two (this happens when he gets distracted etc and won’t go outside) than pee. Even now, I’ll put him in his confined area till he goes outdoors.

I think it’s about managing expectations. Oliver kind of has run of the house when we’re home, but really he follows me everywhere. If not for that I’d have my eye on him. I would expect her to be a year old or so before you can say she’s reliable. Like, if I did not take Oliver out at the specific times a day he goes, I don’t think I could expect him to “reliably” inform me he had to poop. He comes up and nips at me gently as a sign, but can I depend on this? No. And that means he’s not 100% house trained.
And to add two things to this excellent advice...

AMNY young Havanese have a "set back" around a year. Kodi SEEMED totally reliable at around 9 months. all our gates were down, no mistakes, and I remember someone telling me to be careful about the 1 year "trouble period". Not _MY Kodi!!! <img src="http://www.havaneseforum.com/images/smilies/wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" /> Well, yeah... He had a couple of accidents right around a year. We tightened up the confinement and supervision for a few weeks again, he got back on track, and that was the end of it. That seems to be a pretty common pattern.

The other thing is the "signalling". I remember when Kodi was around 18 months old, we never had any accidents, so from that perspective, I suppose he was "potty trained", but he also never gave any indication that he needed to go out. So in some ways, I felt like _I_ was the one who was "potty trained" to get him out on the proper schedule. It works, but I kept HOPING... Then suddenly, when he was just over two, I heard him give this single, low bark at the door. A different bark than I'd ever heard before. I went to see what was going on, and he CLEARLY wanted to go out!!! From then on, that was his signal! It took a long time, but he DID figure out his own signal. (We had tried bells, but he HATED them!!!)

With the girls, I was more relaxed about the whole thing which made it easier, plus they just came and went when the older dogs did. So the process was more organic. Both the girls scratch on the glass of the door to go out or in, and they figured that out much younger. But they do figure out a signal of their own sooner or later.

I've got to tell you another funny "signal" story. For the first 5 years of Kodi's life, we did not have a fenced back yard. So he went out the front door on leash to potty. When he was 5, we re-did our kitchen, built a deck with french doors out of the kitchen into a fenced back yard for him because of the increased pressure of coyotes around here. "Kodi's Kitchen" <img src="http://www.havaneseforum.com/images/smilies/wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" /> For the next couple of years, even though he KNEW he would be going out into the back yard, he would run and bark at the front door to signal that he needed to go out, then run to the kitchen door to be LET out! Silly boy!

Oh gooood please don’t let there be a potty regression lol. You know, what you’re saying about the signaling makes sense because we take him out for walks on the leash with every potty (or at least to the front yard). I wish I had not made him associate walking with pooping and that I could fix this colossal mistake now that it’s fall/ winter. He can be so stubborn and NOT go till he’s thoroughly done walking. Our backyard is fully fenced. It’s just shady and gets muddy. I wonder if I can somehow transition him to go in the back off leash. I can follow him around and clean it up. He still gets multiple walks a day. Arg! What a mistake that was!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 09:41 AM
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Oh gooood please donít let there be a potty regression lol. You know, what youíre saying about the signaling makes sense because we take him out for walks on the leash with every potty (or at least to the front yard). I wish I had not made him associate walking with pooping and that I could fix this colossal mistake now that itís fall/ winter. He can be so stubborn and NOT go till heís thoroughly done walking. Our backyard is fully fenced. Itís just shady and gets muddy. I wonder if I can somehow transition him to go in the back off leash. I can follow him around and clean it up. He still gets multiple walks a day. Arg! What a mistake that was!
I'd put him on leash, stand still, say "Go potty!" ONCE, ...and then wait him out. Wait 10 minutes, then take him in and confine him. (just as you would with a little puppy) In half an hour do it again. Go to the same spot and don't move. Don't walk around, don't let him wander. Eventually, he'll eliminate. Then have a party, and take him for a little walk as a reward! He'll get the message. It depends how much you want it, and how willing you are to train it.

This was important to us, so we don't START a walk or get in the car until the dogs have pottied. They are pretty funny. Even if they really don't need to, you can see them roll their eyes and say, "Oh Ma!!!" squat and squeeze out three drops to mollify me, then go to get in the car! (or leave on the walk) LOL!


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 10:15 AM
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Even if they really don't need to, you can see them roll their eyes and say, "Oh Ma!!!" squat and squeeze out three drops to mollify me, then go to get in the car! (or leave on the walk) LOL!
I LOVE that my dog does this. He always looks to see if Iím watching what a good boy heís being while he strains to squeeze out those 3 drops. It makes me so proud! I love his happy little prance afterwards, too.

It used to take longer for him to go potty quickly away from home, because heís finicky about finding just the right spot of grass, but even that has changed. Since heís older and I know he can hold it, if I give him a chance to go and he takes too long, I pick him up and take him back to the car. I didnít feel I could risk it when he was little, so I waited until he went. When I stopped waiting, he learned very quickly to go when given the opportunity. Seeing how easily he figured this out, I definitely could have trained it earlier. I didnít really make the connection between room specific potty training and the fact that he views his place in the car the same way.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 02:15 PM
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Patti, also, had a temporary potty regression when she went into Heat around 10-months. At the time I didn't have a fenced yard and was taking her for walks on a leash. Patti was constantly marking her territory as we walked. A little squirt here - another tiny squirt there. She had been reliably indoor-housebroken to a tray but suddenly there were a couple of times when I caught her stating to squat on the floor. Fortunately, the need to go and mark her territory ended after that Heat cycle.
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