House Training Question, and Sort of a Poll - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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House Training Question, and Sort of a Poll

If I wasn't so attracted to this wonderful breed, I think I would be second guessing my choice based on all the stuff I read about them being particularly difficult to house train, and not necessarily always reliable even after they are.

What I'm trying to figure out is whether I've got a skewed perspective because people tend to post more about problems than successes, whether there is something biologically or mentally different about Havs that makes them SO different from other small dogs in this department, and whether there is a particular method that tends to work better than others. Do you all feel you have better success with a particular approach (i.e. doggy door, crate, regular intervals, bell method, no inside potty, strictly inside, etc.)? Certain surfaces inside and out more attractive to them or make for more or less successful training? I'm thinking of taking up all the rugs to make cleaning accidents easier and no lingering smells to tempt her, but poor puppy will slide a lot.

I'm also hoping the fact that I work at home will help because I can watch her more closely and take her out more often. I will probably try the bells, and I'd like to somehow get her to understand that outside is our main potty, but if mom is gone too long or doesn't hear the bells, a pee pad inside is OK too. Pee pad is also OK in a hotel room or airport, and to take it one step further, I'm going to try the covered set-up on the deck as a bad weather alternative. Think that's pushing it?

My one and only dog was paper trained because there was a place for it and she was so small, it was just so easy with her. I've never done the primarily outside potty thing, so I'm not really sure what to expect about frequency and how quickly she's likely to "get it."
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 08:57 PM
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Milo was a nightmare to train but I think part of the problem was I got him too late. He had many bad habits ingrained by then. OTOH, Bailey was so easy to train and "got" it within a number of weeks of my getting him. BTW, Bailey also loves to be clean, which may also play a part. He loves his baths while Milo will run as far away as he can get when he knows it's his turn.

With Bailey we went very quickly from the wee wee pads to the outdoors and never looked back.

<b>Just Milo and me, and . . . </b>Bailey makes three . . . until Ruby said, "hey, what about me?"
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 09:15 PM
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I was really lucky with Pixie.
She learned to go on the UGODOG (with newspaper inside it) and goes on it every time. When we visit my mom, there's one there for her and she uses it too. So, she's indoor potty trained. She's very small, and like your prior dog it works great for us. She takes care of "going" completely on her own. (She knows she can go outside also of course)!

Beth, Pixie Puff and MiG too
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 09:36 PM
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I haven't had any trouble with housetraining my two.
They are 100% reliable.
I did have reasonable expectations regarding the time involved and knew that they would take longer to housebreak than larger dogs that we have had. I was home during the day and was very much on top of the situation. I used the crate when I couldn't be with the dogs.
Of course, they had some accidents but that's normal.

Our dogs are usually gated in the kitchen/family room when we go out and they aren't crated. They like to hang out on the couch. If we are going to be gone over 5 hours, we have someone take them out.

If I had anything to do over, I would relax and let Cali use the pads longer. She was pad trained by her breeder and I was eager to get her trained to the outside. She was simply unable to hold her pee more that 20 minutes in the beginning and I should have just let her use the pads for a month or two, until she had more control, instead of driving myself nuts taking her outside constantly.

I also would have liked her to continue using the pads inside in bad weather, but once she was trained to go outside she wouldn't use the pads. This past winter, during an ice storm, she held her pee for 20 hours, because she didn't want to go outside.

I never used treats with Chico, but I did with Cali and she seemed to catch on to the reward system quickly.
After housebreaking a Wheaten Terrier and a Schnoodle,(years ago) the Havs were relatively easy.

Good luck with your adorable puppy!

Chico, Cali, and Finnegan
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 09:52 PM
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Giotto is my first and only Hav and we've had him a little over a year. I think he was pretty easy to train. He wasn't trained when I got him from the breeder, but he took to the pee pads and outside right away. I think it was about two months before I felt that he was pretty reliable and basically housebroken. From the time he was about 4-5 months to now at 16 months, he's had maybe one to two "accidents" a month, and some of that I think is due to me not getting him out or paying close enough attention to his signals.

When I leave the house I leave him gated in two rooms and leave a pee pad down and I can be gone as long as 6-8 hours and he will not have an accident. Sometimes he doesn't even use the pad and he holds it until I get back. So I think he's pretty good and for the most part reliable.

I think the first month or two will be a challenge, but they pick up quick. I would make a schedule and take the puppy out every 1-2 hours (if possible), until they get the hang of it and can hold it longer and then just stretch the intervals. I also think the pee pads are a nice alternative. I want Giotto to do most of his business outside, but having the pad is nice reassurance for the times he's home alone and I leave one out at night. He doesn't use it every day, but it's there. I think it does help him to be successful and at least not have accidents on the carpets and floor.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 10:26 PM
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I think every dog is a little different, and every Hav different as well. I do think the smaller they are, it is logical that their bladder is small, and if the puppy is young, their sensory nerves immature. Just like human children going through potty training, dogs take different amounts of time and methods.

We did strictly outside training because we have a lab who went out with Jackson every time and he learned quickly. If I had to do it over again, I would have tried pee pads with him because it was the dead of winter and I got very tired of having to take him out the freezing cold and bad weather. I do think it's a good idea to take up the rugs, and I also like crate training and basically keeping them self contained. I also have read a lot about the tether training method if you are at home.

We have bells, and they are great. Jackson (who's 1 1/2) does ring them for all sorts of reasons now, including wanting just to go outside and play. He used to ring them when he was a puppy, I think, just because he always got our attention, so we had to figure out if he really needed to go. I do think the light bulb did not totally go off in his head until six months, and then he seemed to really mature and "get it." Only a few accidents after that . . . no pee in the house now at all.

Kathy and Jackson Jackson
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks you guys, that's very reassuring, and great ideas. I don't know if having someone come over if we are gone longer than 5 hours is realistic, but a pee pad backup would be a great solution. I'm rarely away more than a few hours at a time, but I can think of a few occasions where the occasional all day outing or long evening could present a problem if she didn't have an alternate potty.

Her ex pen will be set up right behind my desk where i work all day, I'll be turning around a lot to see what she's up to, and I figured we'll take at least hourly breaks for some trips outside and short training sessions, but I think when she uses the pee pad in her ex pen, I won't try to stop her, probably will just ignore it, but praise like crazy when she does it outside. Hopefully if she's not scolded, startled or whisked off a pee-pad mid-squat, she'll get that those are still OK, but not as cool as the gravel doggy potty I'm hoping she'll agree to use (lol!).

I too absolutely dread standing outside with her in bad weather, and this is the primary reason I got a spring puppy. Our yard probably won't be as Fort Knox secure as I would need it to be to feel comfortable letting her out on her own before at least next year, plus I think they will sometimes run right back in again before finishing if it's nasty out, so I know I'll be supervising for awhile, rain or shine.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 11:12 PM
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Whatever you do, you need to be very observant of your puppy and very consistent. I think if you know what you want and have a plan for getting there, you can do it. A breeder that will get your puppy and you off to a good start will be invaluable too.

Indie was tough to housetrain, but she was 11 months when we got her. She had been doing fine at the breeder's house, but sure was tough to convince when we got her here! We've had her a year now and she is finally trustworthy. We still don't give her the run of the entire house when we are gone, but she's fine when we're home, rings the bell to go out, and even got through a rainy day without any issues yesterday!

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 05:35 AM
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Potty Training

Bella was our first Hav, she arrived at just over eight weeks. I have had house dogs all my life and she was the quickest to catch on. As long as we were paying attention, she went outdoors. She is never left out along as where we live she is at the bottom of the food chain. When she would wake up, out she would go to pee and after she ate, out to poop. She sleeps with us and has never had an accident in the bed. She is thirty two months now. We have a litter of two, six weeks old and I am amazed at how well the pee pads work with them. I'll let you know how it goes with them going outside in a couple of weeks. We also have a lab that "helped" with the process. I am hoping Bella with help with her girls.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 06:05 AM
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i was soo on top of his training, i took him out every 2 hours, then 3 then 4 etc.etc. he was house trained by the time he was 7 months. any accidents in the house were few and my fault.

i think the key is consistency. my breeder also told me peepeepads don't work well with havs cuz they have a tendency to rip them up. i wish i had trained him on peepee pads cuz now that he's on prednisone it would be nice for him to go on the pad vs. the floor when he has an accident, which, by the way, i am happy to say he's down to 1/4 pred. every 4th day and few if any accidents! my hope is to remove him all together from this awful med.

a friend of mine has a labradoodle and she constantly changes how she's house training her pup, different doors, etc. i think the key is keep it simple. also, every ime we took him out we rang the bell on the door which he got the hang of and he always got a treat when he came back in. that helped alot as well.

he's a boy too, are they easier to train than females?
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