I am a new onwer (3 weeks now) to an awesome but thick skulled Hav named Max. Max is now 4.5 months old and refuses to learn potty and poop management. Before I go on my rant I want everyone to know that I have read "over and over" again all of the threads about potty training and how best to get the little one to abide by the house rules. I have pick a few out and have stuck to my guns but nothing seems to work.
Sooooooo, to say the least my little Max is quite the knuckle head when it comes to house training. Some examples of his issues are:
-I take him on a 20 minute walk every day after work and he will only pee outside. Only to come inside and poop on the floor. Regardless of my efforts it seems that he will do his duty without any warning signs.
-I take him outside constantly (every 20-30 mins) to go potty which he does and he will come right back in and either go potty or poop. As for a favorite spot, he does not care. He will go anywhere.
-At night while in his crate he will pee and poop 3-4 per night regardless of taking him out.
Those are just a few to name. I cannot trust him no matter where he is. I understand that he is young and it will take time, but after 3 weeks you would think he would understand that outside is where he needs to do his buisness. I also have tried the bell training, but Max thinks its a joke.
To give you a little more insight as to how our days work:
6am - I leave for work (at this time I get max out of his crate and take him outside to go potty (potty only because he refuses to go poop). At this time I always clean out his crate)
7-9am - My wife will get Max out to get a few hours of play in as well as take him out 3-4 times. She then leaves for work.
9am to 2 pm -Max is home in his crate with his brother Hercules who is fully potty trained and allowed to roam the home. This is the only time where Max usually will not have many accidents and I think it is because he has not eating for a while and has nothing to poop.
2-2:30 pm I arrive home and get max out of his crate and take him out. From this time on (untill around 9pm) I take Max out every 20-30 minutes. He normally during this time will go potty and on occasions go poop. DON'T misunderstand, I watch him like a hawk and he will still have 3-4 mess ups.
I usually will let Max free feed 3:30pm-6:30pm and will stop letting him drink water at 7pm. Please help. I don't know what to do. My patience is running thin.
First, you have to understand that on the puppy's part there IS no understanding at this point. It is all about developing good habits. The fact that Max doesn't HAVE any good habits at this stage makes me wonder about his upbringing before you brought him home. Did he come from a reputable breeder? If so, reputable breeders start their puppies on potty training as soon as the pups start to leave the whelping box. If your breeder did this, I would STRONGLY urge you to talk to the breeder and ask what you a re doing "wrong" (differently) that he is having such a hard time adjusting to potting at his new home.
If Max DIDN'T come from a breeder who gave him a good start on potty training, he probably has been allowed to pee and poop where ever he was, so that IS his habit. If that's the case, you a re going to have to keep him crated at all time except for when you KNOW he is "empty". That means that if you take him out and he doesn't poop (and you think he should need to) back in his crate he goes. Wait 20 minutes and take him out again. If he goes, he gets to stay out and play. Otherwise, it's back in the crate.
I understand that in the morning, this may be a problem, as you need to get to work. So if there isn't someone available to take him out on the 20 minute schedule, set him up in an ex-pen, with his crate in one end, and the rest of the ex-pen floor covered with pee pads. He will PROBABLY choose to eliminate outside of his bed. (it can help to elevate his crate by a couple of inches over the surrounding floor too, to give it more definition as his "den") Assuming that he gets reliable about NOT eliminating on his bedding, you can SLOWLY over a period of time, remove on pee pad at a time until he has only one "potty spot" in the ex-pen. You can give him this same set-up at night if he is currently soiling the bedding in the crate. With some puppies that have not been raised well, you may have to completely remove the bedding in the crate for a time. That usually stops them eliminating there… most prefer the soft surface of the pee pads.
It's your choice if you want to continue working on "outside only" potty training while you are home. Tom King, my breeder, and someone who has trained, literally, HUNDREDS of puppies, says that the people who have the worst time with potty training tend to be those who insist on "outside only" in the beginning. They ALL tend to reach a point where they prefer outside, without the owner really working on it. Then, if you want to maintain an indoor potty option (which I do, because we live in the "frozen north
) you have to really work on THAT piece!
We found this to be absolutely true with Kodi. He was completely reliable in an ex-pen with his crate and a litter box when we got him. We first worked on making sure he knew the "OK" places in the house. (litter boxes, never further away than in the same room with him to start with) Of course, we always praised him HIGHLY when he eliminated outdoors, but we never pushed it… our "training" was to get him to know where it was "OK" (and conversely, "not OK") in the house. When he was reliable with the litter box in the same room with him, we expanded to two rooms, then the whole down stairs… he was well over a year before we allowed him upstairs unsupervised. Some Havs are very hard to read in terms of potty "signals" (though I've watched Tom with young puppies, and he's AMAZING at seeing it coming!
) I have to admit that with Kodi, until he was close to 2 years old, he didn't have accidents, but I felt like I
was "trained" to know his schedule, rather than him doing anything to let me know. We tried bells, and as smart as he is about other things, we failed "bell class"
But then one day, seemingly out of nowhere, I heard this deep, gruff, "different" bark at the door… just a single bark. I wasn't sure what he meant, but he was sitting at the door, so I took him out. He IMMEDIATELY pooped! From that day on, that deep bark has become his "potty signal", and he is completely reliable about it. …Meaning I no longer have to worry about his schedule or guess when he "should" need to go out.
The important part is to find SOME way to get it through to your puppy what is an APPROPRIATE place to potty, so that, eventually, he can learn what is "inappropriate". Right now, he's not being hard-headed… he truly has NO idea.