I've been potty training for 3 months...HELP!

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maryhelen329
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I've been potty training for 3 months...HELP!

Post by maryhelen329 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:54 pm

So, my 5 month pomeranian, Stella, is still having potty issues. I have had her for 3 months now. I've read just about every potty training method there is. I keep seeing on this site that you should take the dog back to square one when having potty issues, the only problem is we still haven't left square one. I keep her in her crate when I'm not home or not able to watch her. I take her out as soon as I get home, after she drinks any water, after meals, during and after playtime. If she doesn't go, I'll either put her in the crate for another 20 min or walk her around the house for a bit then take her out again. And I don't let her off the lead in when she's playing, that way I can act quickly if she starts to go. When I'm giving her obedience lessons, I section off a small part of my kitchen and let her off the lead (I always let her potty before training starts). She will train for a good 15 minutes then pee! She gives no warning, just squats and pees like it's no big deal. I'll clap to distract her and then scoop her up and take her out. When she goes outside I praise her and give her a treat. I use vinegar to clean the mess inside. I don't feel like I've made any progress even though I've been so attentive. PLEASE help me put an end to this!

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Post by emmabeth » Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:42 pm

Shes never going to have a particularly long time between potty breaks being a tiny dog.

If you are withholding water... dont - this tends to do more harm than good and can make dogs gorge on water when it is available.

If you know shes going to go after 15 minutes of training... take her back out after 10 minutes. It could be that simple.

I would also hold off clapping your hands or otherwise making an aversive sort of noise because all this will achieve is her not entirely trusting you - it will NOT teach her not to go there (because that wont happen if you arent there.... so she will learn to merely avoid you and you actively want her to go in front of you so you can reward it, so you can know shes definately been).

Take her out more frequently - increase the reward you give for her going potty outside. Make it the BEST thing she can do to please you!

How long is she left for in the crate... as it sounds like she spends a lot of time in there?

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Post by maryhelen329 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:52 pm

When I clap it's not a loud sound like I'm telling her "No!", just a soft clapping to get her attention so she'll stop peeing. Should I just pick her up while she's peeing instead? I feel like that would scare the heck out of her to just grab her. What do I need to do when she starts peeing inside?
I've been using bits of hot dog when she goes outside and she loves it, but I also use that with obedience training, so it's probably not exciting enough. Any suggestions on a better treat?
Also, I leave her in the crate while I'm asleep (8 hours) and she doesn't have any trouble with this as I've had her on the same schedule since I got her. Then gets to play (on the lead) until I have class (1 hour of play time on Tue Thur and 2 hours on Mon Wed Fri). Then she goes in the crate for about 4, sometimes 5 hours, until I get home from class. She doesn't always have an accident, but I'll sometimes come home to a sad face and a puddle. These are usually the only times she's in the crate. I'll keep her in the bathroom with a puppy gate when I can't be fully attentive to her and she does well with this.
I leave the water bowl down for her except when she's in the crate. I fill it to the brim but it's usually gone in a matter of minutes. Should I leave it in the crate too? I tried this and EVERY time she had an accident in the crate so I stopped.
Thank you for your advice!

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Post by emmabeth » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:15 pm

I would leave her with water during the day, no matter how long you are gone..

Overnight she will be asleep and so the bodies functions all slow down, including the production of urine... Its not unusual at all that a dog wont need to drink, nor urinate overnight, but cannot last even half that time during the day. Even so.. I wouldnt like to be unable to have a drink during the night, i keep a full pint of water by my bed (and it gets knocked over more often than I drink it!) because waking up thirsty is horrible!

If you are using a metal 'mesh' type crate for her then you can get 'coop cups' that fit to the bars - the type that are secured by a wing nut are the best but there are some that just hook on. These are small and will give your dog enough water to prevent discomfort but not so much that she would be bursting to go.

I think the fact that she does gulp down water when its available shows she needs it - if that means she cant last the time shes alone for... that is unfortunate but something you will have to find another way round. Imagine if we withheld water from babies to stop them making a mess!!!..

Five hours alone without a potty break is too long, even really for an adult dog. If at all possible, have someone come in to let her out to go potty half way through so shes only doing 2.5 hours. It might well cost you.... but surely its worth it.

In all honesty - the major benefit of the crate in housetraining is that they will usually treat it like a den, and not potty in it. Once they HAVE toiletted in it.... that benefit is lost and so if shes secure left somewhere else with more space (some dogs like being crated as it removes any other option for things to do, which can reduce their stress)... you might as well leave her elsewhere, where shes got room to NOT lay in her mess or be stuck close to it if shes had an accident.

Really though, whatever you do... 5 hours is too long to leave her without a potty break so you need to fix that.

Then yes, I would look for a better treat than hot dog sausages - cheese? garlic flavoured freeze dried liver (known in our house as dog-crack its that good!) you really do want to make going outside the best thing in the world ever!

Water available all day - you might well find that for the first few days she drinks the lot - start this at the start of a weekend or whatever period you have of days you dont have to go out. Put down lots of little bowls of water all over your place so theres really too many todrink them all. Keep refilling them.

This is goingto make her need to potty more at first but hey... htats more chances to get her outside and reward her, so its not so bad.

I think I wouldnt clap, but would just say 'heyy;' in a nice high pitched tone and then hurry her outside and reward if she finishes out there. You are right not to just swoop down and pick her up though, little dogs quickly learn to hate that and object!

Good luck with her, it may well take a few weeks to see progress but you will get there in the end!

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Post by maryhelen329 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:58 pm

Just a couple more questions (sorry! this is the first dog I've had to potty train!). Getting someone to let her out may not be possible as I live in the middle of nowhere and I don't even know the names of the people close to my house. Are puppy pads a bad idea? I've been keeping her in the medium size bathroom while I'm at school lately and have contemplated putting puppy pads in the shower to teach her to go there and then slowly taking the pads out of the equation. But I've heard that puppy pads often result in more accidents inside the house (in unwanted places) when using the pads.

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Post by emmabeth » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:15 pm

It will double the work, really... because you are teaching her its ok to go inside. and then at some point you will change your mind on that and need to teach her its not ok.

I have found that dogs trained to go on puppy pads will, when there isnt a puppy pad, seek out a similar soft padded surface to go on, which can be your towels.... your sofa, bed, carpet etc.

The other issue with them is that a bored dog will often play a fun game of shreddyshreddy with the puppy pad.... which isnt what you want if they have used it already!

If someone to let her out isnt an option - if you have a secure back yard (or secure part of your yard leading off from a door) you could fit a dog door (for a dog her size not much bigger than a catflap!) though these are not fool proof.

Or is there a doggy daycare or a dog sitter who takes dogs into their house during the day?

You might find putting a notice up in a local store could produce someone willing to do it for a few $ a day, or introduce yourself to the neighbours? There may be a favour you can do them in return.

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Post by Mattie » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:58 pm

maryhelen329 wrote:When I clap it's not a loud sound like I'm telling her "No!", just a soft clapping to get her attention so she'll stop peeing. Should I just pick her up while she's peeing instead? I feel like that would scare the heck out of her to just grab her.
She is a dog, she thinks and speaks dog not English, she doesn't understand what "No" means nor why you are clapping your hands. You can't guarentee you will clap them the same everytime either.

You should be able to work out when she normally goes to the toilet and get her outside BEFORE she goes, once she is peeing it is too late. No matter what you do it won't teach her to pee outside, she needs to pee outside to learn that is what you want her to do.
Also, I leave her in the crate while I'm asleep (8 hours) and she doesn't have any trouble with this as I've had her on the same schedule since I got her. Then gets to play (on the lead) until I have class (1 hour of play time on Tue Thur and 2 hours on Mon Wed Fri).
Why is playtime on a lead? That can't be much fun for her, taking her for a walk would be much better for her and give her a chance to toilet outside.
I leave the water bowl down for her except when she's in the crate. I fill it to the brim but it's usually gone in a matter of minutes. Should I leave it in the crate too? I tried this and EVERY time she had an accident in the crate so I stopped.
Thank you for your advice!
Drinking this much water so quickly should tell you that she is extremely thristy and should not happen unless she is being kept very short of water. If she is in her crate 8 hours over night without water it is far too long. Gulping down water this quickly will also make her pee more because she is taking more water than she would do if it was down all the time.

Drinking this amount of water in one go can also cause her to have bloat which can kill, a stomach overfilled with water can also cause your dog to be sick.

Look at it this way, how would you feel if you went all day without a drink?
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Post by maryhelen329 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:11 pm

"She is a dog, she thinks and speaks dog not English, she doesn't understand what "No" means nor why you are clapping your hands. You can't guarentee you will clap them the same everytime either. " -Mattie

I don't ever tell her "no" under any circumstance. I know that when she does something wrong it's my fault not hers, so I just reward her more when she does the right thing. And the soft clapping was just to distract her so she would hopefully stop peeing, or at least to notify her that I'm there and about to pick her up so she's not shocked when I do, but I'm not doing that anymore.

"Why is playtime on a lead? That can't be much fun for her, taking her for a walk would be much better for her and give her a chance to toilet outside. " -Mattie

Playtime is on the lead because I saw in one of these forums that if a pup is having trouble potty training you should not let her have free roam of the house so I will put her on the lead and play with her. I leave it loose, and she doesn't seem to notice the difference. And since she doesn't know "heel" yet her walks are only around my yard (which is very large) but last about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on her.

As for the water, I have started leaving it down all the time and she's not gulping it down so much. So thank you.

"Look at it this way, how would you feel if you went all day without a drink?" -Mattie

I can't really apply that to myself, however, because I often go all day without a drink and it doesn't bother me at all. You guys seem to use that example a lot, but it's not very well based. People haven't been leaving their dog without water for a whole day, it's usually an hour or 2. I understand that you think they should have water at all times, but making it out like we're abusing our favorite pets isn't the best way to get your point across. I agree with you about the water down all day thing but I've noticed other forums where people don't agree. I think it would be better to come from a non-accusatory angle (because it seems like you're accusing us of abusing our babies, which none of us would do).

Thanks for all the advice, though! It really is helpful.

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Post by emmabeth » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:32 pm

We actually have come across people leaving their dogs without water except for breakfast time and tea time!

So what Mattie says is based in experience - it would appear to be something that is commonly advised in teh US and on US based forums, but its completely alien to us in the UK and is against our animal welfare legislation!

Regardless of various countries laws though, I do think a basic right for all animals is to have access to fresh water at all times. The fact that some of us can go a whole day without a drink doesnt really matter - we all have the OPTION to go and get one if we need one.... a dog doesnt have that option if the owner doesnt provide it.

My dogs rarely are seen to drink from their water bowl (a huge washing up bowl actually!) because of the diet I feed being relatively high in water (raw meat) - but even so... they have access to it all day and night.

You might find that if you start taking your dog for walks she will toilet on the walks - exercise helps the bowels move! You can teach her to walk to heel out there on the street, have a look at the stickied post about walking on a loose lead.

If you dont take her out, she is missing out on vital socialisation and life experience by just going round your yard so you really do need to get her out there.

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Post by maryhelen329 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:09 pm

I understand completely what Mattie is saying and I agree! (Now) But most people when being told something, true or not true, from an accusatory stand point will do just the opposite. It's stubborn human nature. I think if you really want people to leave water down for their pups at all times, tell them why they should do it in an understanding tone.
Just saying that it's law in the UK isn't very helpful. Most people want to learn more about their pets, so if you maybe say why dogs need water at all times they would say "Okay, I never knew that, thanks." Instead of insulting you and your country as I've seen previously in another forum.
I think that Emmabeth's approach in the previous reply was very well said.
Mattie, I am just giving my humble opinion that if you approached any situation like this with a less harsh tone it would turn out better. Even if you may not mean it as I have interpreted it, the point is that that is the way it's being interpreted, in an accusing tone. Nobody on this forum wants to hurt or deprive their pets, so there is no need to make it out like they do in order to get your point across.
Thanks!

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Post by Mattie » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:35 am

maryhelen329 wrote: Playtime is on the lead because I saw in one of these forums that if a pup is having trouble potty training you should not let her have free roam of the house so I will put her on the lead and play with her. I leave it loose, and she doesn't seem to notice the difference. And since she doesn't know "heel" yet her walks are only around my yard (which is very large) but last about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on her.
This is the first time you have said you leave the lead loose, all you have said is you put her on the lead to play. I have never taught a dog to be clean in the house by having a lead on them nor have I recommened it, people have different ideas of training even when using positive methods. If you want to put a lead on a dog to house train them it should be a long lead fastened round your waist so your dog has freedom but you can still see what your dog is doing. You watch for the signs that she is going to pee and TAKE her outside before she starts. Once she starts there isn't much you can do. clapping hands no matter how gentle and picking her up is teaching her nothing.
As for the water, I have started leaving it down all the time and she's not gulping it down so much. So thank you.
You may find that it is easier to spot when she is going now, you may be able to work out roughly when she goes, they dog get into a habit of going about the same time.
I can't really apply that to myself, however, because I often go all day without a drink and it doesn't bother me at all. You guys seem to use that example a lot, but it's not very well based.
Relating to us what is happening to dogs does more often than not help the owner see what is happening, very few people will go all day without a drink so you are an exeption, that is not meant to be nasty, just a fact.
People haven't been leaving their dog without water for a whole day, it's usually an hour or 2.
People are leaving animals without water for all day and a lot longer, we can only go by what is written, if people don't put all the facts in that is not our fault. You have said that she is in her crate about 8 hours over night without water, that is not an hour or 2.
I understand that you think they should have water at all times, but making it out like we're abusing our favorite pets isn't the best way to get your point across. I agree with you about the water down all day thing but I've noticed other forums where people don't agree. I think it would be better to come from a non-accusatory angle (because it seems like you're accusing us of abusing our babies, which none of us would do).
This is the internet, you can't see me and I can't see you, I can only reply to what is posted and often what is written comes across differently to the person reading it. That doesn't mean that you are being accused of cruelty to your pets, I don't need to hit at that, if I think it I will say as has happened on quite a few occasions. I don't accuse, I just write what I think will help, if you take that as an accusation, that says more about you than me.
Just saying that it's law in the UK isn't very helpful. Most people want to learn more about their pets, so if you maybe say why dogs need water at all times they would say "Okay, I never knew that, thanks." Instead of insulting you and your country as I've seen previously in another forum.
It is the law in the UK, often we don't know were the poster lives, if the live in the UK and are witholding water they can be prosecuted, by telling someone this could save them a jail sentence. It may not be helpful to you are you live in the USA but to someone in the UK who has been advised to leave water all the time but doesn't want to, it can be very helpful.

What you don't seem to realise is that we have no prior knowledge of you or anyone else, we can only go by what you say if you don't put all the information in then that isn't our fault but yours. If you don't like the advice we give, you don't have to take it. We are volunteers who give our time and experience free to help people like you, we don't appreciate being attacked because not enough information was given but we are expect to know it without being told.

It sounds like you are blaming me for something you have done even though you didn't realise you shouldn't. Everyone makes mistakes but we don't all attack others because of our mistakes.
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Post by mum24dog » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:47 am

maryhelen329 wrote:Mattie, I am just giving my humble opinion that if you approached any situation like this with a less harsh tone it would turn out better.
I've reread Mattie's post and I can't see anything harsh or accusing in it.
It's common practice on UK forums to ask people to put themselves in the dog's position to try and get a point across and very few people seem to take it personally.
We do tend to be pretty straight talking though - just our style.
I go on some US forums and find myself getting irritated that people seem to be so polite to each and the point can be obscured. It often comes over as insincere to me because I can guess what the posters are really thinking.
I guess it's just what we're each used to.
Remember that advice is given voluntarily to many different people and posters may want to cut to the chase rather than beat about the bush (sorry for the cliches) before getting to the point. It all takes time.

Pam

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Post by maryhelen329 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:11 pm

"We are volunteers who give our time and experience free to help people like you, we don't appreciate being attacked because not enough information was given but we are expect to know it without being told."
What I was saying wasn't about what advice you gave, it was about the way it was interpreted. What I was saying is that if I interpreted it this way, someone else could take it that way too. I'm not sure how this got turned around into me attacking you. I was merely giving you my input. You can say whatever you like to these people. I just know that where I live, people take a tone like that offensively. I am not offended by it, because I don't know you and because I'm not easily offended anyway. I thought it might be helpful for you to know that someone who is easily offended might take it a bit differently.

"It sounds like you are blaming me for something you have done even though you didn't realise you shouldn't. Everyone makes mistakes but we don't all attack others because of our mistakes."
I am well aware (now) that I should leave water for Stella. And I repeatedly thanked you for letting me know this, because I didn't realize before that it could harm them.

And the reason I took the water up when she was sleeping was because a training book designed for poms said that water should be taken up while she's in the crate. But once again, I don't do this anymore.

"What you don't seem to realise is that we have no prior knowledge of you or anyone else, we can only go by what you say if you don't put all the information in then that isn't our fault but yours."
I am well aware that you don't know my life story. And once again, your tone is very demeaning. I am not a stupid person and you should treat me like one because you don't like what I say.

This has nothing to do with the advice (which is very helpful) that you give. I am extremely thankful for the time you put in to help less knowledgeable people like myself.

mum24dog- It is good to know that the tone is just a straightforward one and not an accusatory one. Thanks.
I live in the south in the USA and we have what we call southern hospitality. No matter what we say, we say with politeness and class, and that's our style. So seeing a very straightforward comment could be interpreted as harsh. It is just the way I was raised.

I am aware that this isn't a forum about how to be polite and I'm sorry that it seemed to turn into one. It is a fact that some people will get offended by a comment made because of the tone. Some people will also do the opposite of the advice because of this just to prove they're right. When you take the harsh, straightforward tone, it could turn into an argument instead of just advice.

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Post by Mattie » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:19 pm

I will probably get into trouble with this, but what gives you the right to tell others how they should or not speak. Just because you live in a different country with a different culture doesn't give you the right to tell others that the way the speak is wrong.

As far as you are concerned, you won't be getting any more help from me, I haven't made any personal attacks on you but you continue to make personal attacks on me.
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house breaking dog

Post by josie1918 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:18 pm

Just a thought, but you might take a urine speciman in to your vet to check for a urinary tract infection. There a a number of factors that could have caused one. I am NOT saying THIS is the problem, but I have seen a number of dogs who's owners were tearing their hair out trying to housebreak, and the dog had a UTI.

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