Potty Training Help Please! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Potty Training Help Please!

Hi! Bowie is 13 weeks old and I'm having such a hard time with the housebreaking. In the mornings when he first wakes up I take him outside and he will pee and poop. We play fetch and he eats, then I read the paper with him on the bed. When finished I take him outside again and he pees. Then he's mostly with me on a leash in the house or out running errands. If I can't take him he's in a big crate with a cushion and pee pad in it. Toys and chews too. It just seems that if he pees outside and I let him run around he will pee and poop inside. There is no communication from him asking to go out. I just keep taking him out. Everytime we go out through the same door and I say puppy yard and go potty when we arrive at the area. Should I be giving treats when he goes instead of only praise? Sorry this post is long and thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 12:59 AM
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A 13 week old puppy who isn't potty trained shouldn't be allowed to run around the house, even if he's just pottied. Take him out very frequently, and if he doesn't go, put him in his ex-pen and try again in 10ish minutes. Once he does go, give him a little play time, but in a blocked off area with limited space before placing him back in his pen. Put gates up in the kitchen and play with him a bit or keep him on the leash, but don't take your eyes off of him and don't let him get more than 4 feet away from you. His crate should NOT have a pee pad in it, no matter how big. This will only confuse him. If you go a page or so back, there is a thread titled something like "Pee pad in crate - good or bad idea?" Read that for some explanation in why it is detrimental to training.

He is not potty trained, so he should be getting HEAPS of praise and a super yummy, high value when he goes in the right place. If you keep him close to you (like I said, within 4 feet), you should be able to see potty signs and get him out before he goes. If he does start to go inside, give him a quick but not too stern "Uh oh" and get him out as fast as you can.

At 13 weeks, looking for him asking to go out is very wishful thinking. Nino is a total anomaly in that he began signaling VERY early (4 months) and hasn't stopped since, but it isn't uncommon for dogs to not signal for the first year or two. To expect a signal out of such a young baby is unfair; it's on you to be vigilant and take him out incredibly frequently.

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Last edited by KarMar; 10-13-2016 at 01:04 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 08:32 AM
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I have never treated Molly for going potty. I always used a potty command and praised her like crazy when she did it. Best advice I can give is not to give too much freedom in the house too soon. Also, remember that puppies may need to potty any time they change activities. Putting him on your bed after he has eaten and played fetch may be an opportunity for him to have to pee there. I also don't think pee pads in the crate is a good idea. An expen set up makes more sense if you want to train for pads too. Signaling to go out comes with maturity and varies from dog to dog. My last dog was very quiet about it and would silently go sit by the door. This wasn't a very good way to get my attention. Molly started doing that too but thankfully changed her signal over time. Now she gets in my face or nudges my leg to let me know, which works out quite well. Housebreaking takes time, patience, and consistancy. The fewer accidents you allow him to have in the house the better off you will be. With puppies it is their people who have to be trained at first - to watch for signs, know when it is time to go out, and when to gradually increase their freedom in the house. Good luck!



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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 11:33 AM
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Ella is only 11 weeks... a bit younger than Bowie.... She has been accident free in the house for 10 days straight now and I believe she has cried to go potty twice, but I can't be sure. What I can be sure of is what Molly and Kar Mar are telling you is what is working for Ella. It's me that is being trained! If she is out I watch her like a hawk and take her out often. She is not allowed to wonder around and if she gets more than a few feet from me, I call her back. The first sign of sniffing it's out she goes
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 01:37 PM
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When you take your puppy out, s/he may need to pee or poop more than once, so if they're peeing or pooping again when you bring them inside, try staying outside longer.

When Emmie was a puppy I used treats and praise to reward her for peeing/pooping in the right place.
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Last edited by MarinaGirl; 10-13-2016 at 01:40 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ella's new mom View Post
Ella is only 11 weeks... a bit younger than Bowie.... She has been accident free in the house for 10 days straight now and I believe she has cried to go potty twice, but I can't be sure. What I can be sure of is what Molly and Kar Mar are telling you is what is working for Ella. It's me that is being trained! If she is out I watch her like a hawk and take her out often. She is not allowed to wonder around and if she gets more than a few feet from me, I call her back. The first sign of sniffing it's out she goes
Absolutely, it's the owners hat get trained first. Mayzie has had very few accidents in the house, but I don't think she has a clue at all that we prefer she potty outside. It is just that I a take her out crazy often, and she doesn't pee/poo in her ex-pen (like most dogs).

Both occasions that Mayzie started to have a poo accident in the house, I shouted and jumped up and said "outside! potty outside!" and ran to take her outside. It scared her, and she ran away from me leaving a nice little trail of something worse than breadcrumbs. She never did go outside either...I had to catch her and put her out there.

I am hanging in there, but I am getting a bit discouraged. Mayzie has started to resist going outside at all now, running away from me when I say "outside". Then, when I do get her out, she wants to just sit on the patio and stare at me. It's frustrating. I don't want to let her know I'm mad at her...hope she can't tell that smile of mine is fake.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 05:58 AM
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I can't believe I am saying this...Loki is 6 mos. this week and I can hardly remember potty training. It seems like it was really easy but I think it was around 4 1/2 months that he was reliable. He came from the breeder using pee pads. I put a UGoDog in one end of the big Richell expandable crate/expen but as soon as I started taking him outside he had a clear preference for going outside. We started bell training from day one. He now sits at the door and rings the bell. As a puppy, he was in the expen or baby gated in the family room if we were with him. My family room is 17 x17 so it was easy to keep eyes on him. Like everyone else, we would reliably take him out frequently but he would still have a pee in the middle of playing with no notice. I swear he didn't even squat he was so tiny. Even now, I make sure he goes out 15 minutes after he eats and right after he wakes up from a nap. I treated extensively and had a potty party when he went outside - either in the yard or on a walk. I still do in the yard because I want him to associate the bell only with going potty. No treats if he rings the bell but doesn't go potty! He now gets to stay in the family room and kitchen for up to an hour with no supervision, and he will use the pee pad in the expen. (only accident he has had recently was when Marc forgot to leave the expen door open and he went on the floor right in front of the expen so I know he was trying to use the pee pad.) Keep at it, Bowie will get the idea he is still really young.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Chasing Mayzie View Post
Absolutely, it's the owners hat get trained first. Mayzie has had very few accidents in the house, but I don't think she has a clue at all that we prefer she potty outside. It is just that I a take her out crazy often, and she doesn't pee/poo in her ex-pen (like most dogs).

Both occasions that Mayzie started to have a poo accident in the house, I shouted and jumped up and said "outside! potty outside!" and ran to take her outside. It scared her, and she ran away from me leaving a nice little trail of something worse than breadcrumbs. She never did go outside either...I had to catch her and put her out there.

I am hanging in there, but I am getting a bit discouraged. Mayzie has started to resist going outside at all now, running away from me when I say "outside". Then, when I do get her out, she wants to just sit on the patio and stare at me. It's frustrating. I don't want to let her know I'm mad at her...hope she can't tell that smile of mine is fake.
It sounds like you really scared her (I know you didn't do it on purpose!!!) This can "poison" a cue, and I think that's what has happened with your "outside" word. I would change your cue to something completely different... maybe "potty break!" in a happy, cheery voice. If you have to interrupt her having an accident, don't use your cue word, because she has no idea what it means yet anyway. Just scoop her up and get her outside as fast as possible.

Make sure, at this point, that you are taking her out on a leash, TO the part of the yard where you want her to eliminate. Then just stand there, in a cheery voice say your cue to potty and wait. I do not let my puppies wander much when it's potty time. When she is done potting, THEN is a good time to let her explore the yard off leash, as a reward!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your words of encouragement and sound advice! He has been on the leash and hasn't had any freedom. I put the big crate in a large pen, added two pee pads and lots of toys. Bowie was so upset! It's crazy because I could put him in the big crate and he'd be fine. Guess he's reacting to the new situation. Luckily my shipment of tracheae came, he was distracted for a good 10 minutes! They will only be used in the pen, car seat/carrier and while grooming.
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