Looking for help on toilet/potty training - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for help on toilet/potty training

Hi, I'm in the UK and my KC registered havanese is now 18months old. I have 4 others dogs too, a Pomeranian 13yrs, shih Tzu 10yrs, Shih Tzu 9yrs and shug who is 8. I do agility (beginner level) with my 9 year old Shih Tzu and bought my havanese to take over the agility when the Shih Tzu retires from agility. I've potty/toilet trained all my others without issue. There are indoor puppy pads but they also all choose to go outside too. I had read that havanese take longer to potty train, but I'm now lost as to what I can do, bearing in mind I have 4 others. My havanese pottys 80% of the time in the right place so she must know what she's meant to do, and I would have thought she would have learnt from the others but she's hasn't and now she's started to pee and poo in my hallway. I've tried blocking off the area she keeps going with obstacles, in the hope it will put her off, but she just pees next to the obstacles. I can't block off further as the others need access. I don't want to get cross with her as she is very sensitive. I feel restricting her when she sees the others wandering around will just distress her, if I try crate

ing her at night, I think she will cry (they all sleep in the bedroom with me and can all roam freely). Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas I could try?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 09:47 AM
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My dogs have been trained from little on to love their crates, therefore they do not see crating them as a punishment at all. I am wondering if most of the accidents occur at night. My dogs are always crated at night near me so I can hear them if they need to go out for emergency potty which is rare. I do not think a dog needs or wants to roam freely at night. They feel safe and secure in their crate.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 10:29 AM
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Dogs can only learn so much from each other. They can learn where to GO. They can NOT learn where NOT to go. That is COMPLETELY up to you to teach. And there is no way to teach that while allowing her to roam. And it will be much harder, having allowed this to go on until she is 18 months old. Havanese are CERTAINLY no harder to potty train than the other breeds you currently have. Anyone who told you that is just giving excuses. In general, little dogs take slightly longer and require more attention to details than a Golden Retriever or a GSD. But all toy breeds can be more challenging, and Havanese are LESS challenging than many other toy breeds.

At this point, however, you will need to go back to basics and treat her as if she were a completely untrained new puppy. Which is NOT going to be popular, but is the ONLY way that you are going to end up with a completely reliable dog. That means that she needs to have 100% EYES ON supervision, at ALL TIMES, unless she is confined to a small space where she can be 100% successful with a potty pad (or whatever your indoor potty solution is) How you accomplish that is up to you. Some people tether the dog to them. Some people use gates to keep the dog near them. Some people use ex-pens, others use crates. The important part is that she MUST NOT be allowed out of your site unless she is locked up in some way that you know she can't/won't make a mistake. In the mean time, do everything you can to COMPLETELY remove any lingering trace odor from places where she has eliminated in the past, and start making a big deal about feeding her and playing with her in those areas, so that she starts associating them with food and play rather than "potty". And because she isn't a puppy and the mistakes have been going on for 18 months, I think you'd better count on a good year of remediation before you get this ship fully turned around.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your kind advice. I think your right and I kind of knew it but was hoping to avoid it. I will try putting her in a crate next to me at night and keeping her in the room with me during the day. Fingers crossed.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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P.s. I also agree I can only blame myself, I think I was a lot tougher with the others. Part of the reason for that is that she's so sensitive. All my others are very confident. I was so concerned to treat her softly hoping her confidence would grow, I may have just been too soft.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 01:54 PM
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I don’t think you were too soft because I really don’t think reaction has much to do with it. You were right not to react, the last thing that you want is a confused puppy hiding accidents.They really shouldn’t learn where to go based on your reaction, IMO, when they have an internal sense we can take advantage of to teach them instead. I think you just gave her too much freedom too soon, and it is difficult to break the cycle once accidents are happening.

I agree you should do whatever you possibly can to completely remove any traces of urine. Even if you’ve already treated, I would treat again. If she’s having the accidents in the same spot in your hall and it is feasible to replace, repaint, or reseal the affected portion of flooring/baseboards/carpet, I would do it. Just the existence of a pee spot, that seems completely gone but she can sense traces of, is sending her a conflicting message.

I think it will be a long while to re-teach her, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Set up a clear system to supervise or contain her constantly and be methodical in playing and doing your current training with her in every part of your house, including the hallway. Problem solving how to accomplish the supervision and establishing those habits are the hardest parts, but remember you are establishing YOUR new habits, and once you do that it will become easier to follow through long term. Following through over that long period of time is what will shape the habits of your Havanese. When you stop seeing accidents your life will get a lot easier, but don’t give her freedom right away. Slow is good

I can only imagine it’s challenging to restrict her when the other dogs have freedom, but maybe there are creative ways to manage this. Maybe keep the other dogs elsewhere for part of the day as you practice and introduce her to a small ex pen, and then introduce one of the dogs to the room while she’s in it, and go from there based on what needs to be addressed. Or start giving her “nap time” in an ex pen every day and gradually increase the length of time she’s in it, keeping her tethered to you when she’s out.

Hope to hear more about all of your dogs, and see pictures
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipbun View Post
P.s. I also agree I can only blame myself, I think I was a lot tougher with the others. Part of the reason for that is that she's so sensitive. All my others are very confident. I was so concerned to treat her softly hoping her confidence would grow, I may have just been too soft.
It's completely possible to be firm but kind. Often "soft" dogs do best with firm boundaries. It' makes them comfortable to know exactly what the rules are!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by EvaE1izabeth View Post
I don’t think you were too soft because I really don’t think reaction has much to do with it. You were right not to react, the last thing that you want is a confused puppy hiding accidents.They really shouldn’t learn where to go based on your reaction, IMO, when they have an internal sense we can take advantage of to teach them instead. I think you just gave her too much freedom too soon, and it is difficult to break the cycle once accidents are happening.

I agree you should do whatever you possibly can to completely remove any traces of urine. Even if you’ve already treated, I would treat again. If she’s having the accidents in the same spot in your hall and it is feasible to replace, repaint, or reseal the affected portion of flooring/baseboards/carpet, I would do it. Just the existence of a pee spot, that seems completely gone but she can sense traces of, is sending her a conflicting message.

I think it will be a long while to re-teach her, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Set up a clear system to supervise or contain her constantly and be methodical in playing and doing your current training with her in every part of your house, including the hallway. Problem solving how to accomplish the supervision and establishing those habits are the hardest parts, but remember you are establishing YOUR new habits, and once you do that it will become easier to follow through long term. Following through over that long period of time is what will shape the habits of your Havanese. When you stop seeing accidents your life will get a lot easier, but don’t give her freedom right away. Slow is good

I can only imagine it’s challenging to restrict her when the other dogs have freedom, but maybe there are creative ways to manage this. Maybe keep the other dogs elsewhere for part of the day as you practice and introduce her to a small ex pen, and then introduce one of the dogs to the room while she’s in it, and go from there based on what needs to be addressed. Or start giving her “nap time” in an ex pen every day and gradually increase the length of time she’s in it, keeping her tethered to you when she’s out.

Hope to hear more about all of your dogs, and see pictures
THIS!!!


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 11:32 PM
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Lots of good advice here. Good luck! Welcome to the forum! Looking forward to hearing from you again.
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