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When do you consider a puppy reliably housetrained?

April 4th, 2005, 11:42 PM
Our chow-shepard mix puppy is just over 3 months, we`ve had her about 4 weeks. She came from a shelter, completely untrained. Our older dog is a 3/4 chow mix and came to us at 8 weeks completely housetrained, shes only ever had accidents twice in the house, both within the first week she came to us. The mothers` owners said chow moms often train their puppies (anyone know if this is true?).

So this is our first time housetraining. Last week we were considering her "mostly" trained, but most evenings she would pee in the kitchen once or twice. For about 4 days now she hasn`t had any inside messes. Trouble is we haven`t established a signal for her to tell us when she needs to go. Someone takes her out anytime she is near the front door or at least every hour (usually more often) during the day. I`m not sure if she would wait or scratch at the door if she wasn`t let out right away, maybe I should test it and wait to see if she tells us or goes ahead and messes in the house?

We also haven`t let her on the second floor which has carpet (1st floor is wood & tile) I`m afraid the different surface might confuse her and lead to accidents. She is crated at night and for short periods during the day if I have errands or take a nap. Never has messed in her crate. I`m also wondering about taking her places, although she would be leashed at first, such as my moms house, if we can assume she knows outdoors is the only place to go no matter where she is?

Thanks for any advice from experienced doggie folk

April 5th, 2005, 01:30 AM
I generally wouldn't consider a pup reliably housetrained till about 6 months, and even then there can be occassional oopsies.

I'd suggest a baby gate when letting you pup's ability to roam expand. If you give too much too fast, you may get accidents and need to go back to the last step. When at my parents house at 7 months, I only trust our pup enough to roam 3 rooms, and she's baby gated off from the rest of the house unless I'm going with her to another room. I never found carpet versus tile a reason for a mistake though. It's been more of a 'it's too long a walk to get back to where I'm supposed to go to the bathroom- and here is far enough away from my crate that it isn't dirtying my den' has been my past experience with problems.

Daisy's Owner
April 5th, 2005, 09:03 AM
For a signal, everytime we took Daisy in or out, we took her paw and made her scratch the door. Eventually, she got the hang of it.

April 7th, 2005, 05:35 PM
I'm dealing with the exact same problem as you pamha. My 13 weeks old golden puppy Diego still occassionally pee in the house. When he was younger, he'd wiggle his tail in front of the patio door and we'd take him out immediately. However lately he has discovered the fun of the outdoor, so he frequently sits in front of the patio door asking to go out.

My 2nd floor is also carpeted, and he sometimes pees on the carpet as well. Last night he even pooped in my living room, which really surprised me, but it was my fault as I had companies over and wasn't really watching him.

He's also crated at night, right beside my bed and he can hold for up to 6 hours at night. I am a little bit frustrated at this point as he was progressing so well just 2 weeks ago. I'm wondering if he's too bored. I have not been walking him since he has not yet had his last rabies shot, and I don't want to risk his health. We've just been playing mini-fetches at home and in the yard. Lately the yard is so sluggish, and there is a puddle in one corner and he just LOVES it...rolled in mud twice yesterday and already once today.

How do you gals deal with this problem? What am I doing wrong here? Please be honest and "brutal" with me, I can take it. :)

April 8th, 2005, 08:20 AM
My pup is 4 months old and he always pees and poops outside. He hasn't had an accident since he was 10 weeks old. He became 75% house trained in the first week we got him when he was 8 weeks old.

He would still pee or poop at other people's houses if he didn't know where the exit was. He stopped doing that last month.

April 8th, 2005, 02:32 PM
Have done anything particular to him?

April 8th, 2005, 02:42 PM
I crate trained him.

He slept in his crate and I took him outside after he woke up. The crate was small enough that he didn't soil the crate.

Basically took him outside after each long nap, meal, or hard play session and gave him a treat and praised him when he peed/pooped.

Now he usually goes outside to poop before he eats.

If he pees or poops inside. Interrupt him with a loud noise or say NO! and immediately move him outside in the middle of him relieving himself.

April 8th, 2005, 03:54 PM
House breaking can be such fun ;) !! For our dogs, I have always taken them out about every hour or so and if they did anything, I would praise them and they got a treat. Also, if you use the same exit every time, the dog will go to that door when they need to go out. Our newf puppy (14 weeks) has only had a couple of accidents in the past few weeks. He will go to the back door and if you don't follow - he will come back to the kitchen doorway and look at you. This is his signal that he needs to go out. He goes to work with my husband everyday and the accidents that he has had have been there. It has always been when my husband had customers and Parker couldn't wait anymore. I have noticed when I've been at the shop that sometimes Parker will be laying in the front end and all of a sudden jump and run full blast for the back door. If he does this, you better be right behind him to let him out or he will pee or whatever on the floor.

I think it's just a matter of watching them pretty closely and learning their habits. I know that Parker will need to go outside to poop about 1 1/2 hours after he eats. If it gets close to that time and I see him sniffing around, I don't wait for him to go to the door, I take him out.

Between learning their timelines and praising correct behavior, I think most dogs learn pretty quick. :crazy:

April 8th, 2005, 09:09 PM
All dogs are different. Some get it right away, others take a while, some never seem to get it and some are off & on for the first year. You can bring a dog home that was perfectly house trained for years at its old home and it "forgets" at yours. There are no guarantees.
Breeds can make a difference (toys are tougher) but what makes the most difference is YOU. If you can be consistent, observant and patient - you will have the easiest time of it.

April 11th, 2005, 08:59 AM
tenderfoot: you are absolutely right! We haven't been as patient and as diligent as we were with Diego when he was younger, I have to admit that. Being the first time dog owner, our idea of house-training was somewhat loosely defined, hehe. What confused me a little bit was that Diego would go the the kicken patio door, and wait to go out, but sometimes when he's out, he just wants to play, not pee/poop. After a few times like this, we were no longer sure what he wanted. Sometimes he could hold a long time, like 2 hours, sometimes only half an hour after food. I guess we'll have to be more observant.

Last night we caught him peeing on the 2nd floor carpet, told him "NO PEEING", and took him out immediately. He's so cute when caught doing something he's not supposed to, I fought hard to keep myself from smiling.

April 11th, 2005, 10:02 AM
What confused me a little bit was that Diego would go the the kicken patio door, and wait to go out, but sometimes when he's out, he just wants to play, not pee/poop. After a few times like this, we were no longer sure what he wanted.

My dog did that too. What worked in my favor was that he has a seperate fenced off area where he does his business. So when he whined, I'd take him straight into his potty area. That area wasn't as fun as the rest of the yard so if he peed/pooped I let him out to play for a moment, if he didn't then he went straight back into the house. It didn't take long before he stopped trying to get out to play and let me decide when he could go out.

April 11th, 2005, 02:04 PM
Sounds like that was a great solution Beetlecat (I am sorry - why 'Beetlecat' as the moniker?).
Nymph, your pup is a baby and might just forget that he had to potty once he gets outside and sees all the fun. Patience. Just be sure to watch him diligently when he goes back in the house, even keep him on the leash if you have to, and be ready to correct a mistake, and take him out again.
Also, it makes sense that he would have to go so soon after eating - what goes in pushes the earlier meal out - same with drinking. So be sure to get him out after meals, in addition to when he wakes up, just after he plays and periodically in between.