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Struggling with housebreaking in cold, rainy weather

March 20th, 2006, 07:56 AM
Hey eveyrone! I have a 9 wk old beagle/blue heeler mix (named Hunter) that I adopted from my local animal shelter. We live in an apartment, and we're trying to get him to go outside (and downstairs) to eliminate. So far he's really good at going the minute we put him outside. 2 problems - 1) he won't let us know when he needs to go if he's inside, he'll still try to find a corner to eliminate (fortunately I can keep a watchful eye on him, and we're working on crate training to help regulate his bowel movements) and 2) we were just hit with a freezing cold rainy front and he hates being outside. It's like, he'll eliminate the very minimum before he runs upstairs and tries to finish on our carpet. He's miserable outside, and I don't blame him. Paper training doesn't work - when we put him on the paper he'll just stop going and not go at all. It doesn't help that he came so undernourished from the shelter that he's all skin and bones and is already dealing with a respiratory infection. Any suggestions on housebreaking would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :pawprint: Maria

March 20th, 2006, 08:10 AM
He's 9 weeks old, it's a bit early to have the expectation of housebreaking particuliarly when he was ill and in a shelter. How long has he been home with you? Peepads and newspapers start to work but you have to give them at least a week to get it right. Each accident you dab up with a pee pad or some newspaper and leave it out so he has his scent to go back to. Normally by about 12 weeks you can start to have more outdoor successes and less indoor accidents.

March 20th, 2006, 09:47 AM
He's been home with us for a week. We don't expect him to be fully housetrained, but seeing the weather and his illness we just want to start planning ahead for adjustments so that it will be the easiest on him as possible. I have tried dabbing some of his messes with newspaper and putting that newspaper down so that he smells it, but he seems to prefer being taken outside than being put on a newspaper. When we see him walking around sniffing and he starts going, and we place him on a newspaper, he'll just stop and sit and start whinning. If we take him outside, he'll finish outside and then run back upstairs and go inside when he's done. But I don't want to take him out anymore because I know it's going to get colder in the next few days.

Of course we try to use the crate training method to avoid the trauma of interrupting him. He'll eat inside his crate and since he's comfortable there, when he starts whining to get out we take him directly outside and he eliminates before having play time in our living room. He's very used to this (smart dog)! But unless I can confine the area of the newspaper he'll look to eiminate in a corner of the house before he'll stick to the newspaper. Outside it just seems he knows exactly what he's supposed to do.

By the way so far it's been between 37-45 degrees Farenheit, and not very windy, so he's not shivering outside and he jsut eliminates and runs inside. I'm concerned when it drops down to 25 degrees Farenheit and we have a freeze alert mid week.

March 20th, 2006, 10:17 AM
You could maybe look into a puppy playyard or playpen. Then he could have space to romp but only be on newspaper for those cold days. It's great that he wants to do his business outside, that's half the battle.

March 20th, 2006, 02:52 PM
You know, I really think that would work... I'll try it the next few days and let you guys know how it worked. Thanks!

March 22nd, 2006, 05:20 PM
I have the dogs crate inside as a part of a 18 sq ft play pen that is lined with newspaper. That way he can get to newspaper and relieve himself when necessary. He has plenty of room to rump around away from his bed and food.

It does not work

He will HOWL like there's no tomorrow when he has to use the potty. My husband ended up taking him outside and the dog relieved himself for about .... 20 minutes in 30 degrees farenheit. I don't even think he cares anymore that it's cold, he'll run, do his business behind a bush or someway that the wind isn't hitting him, and run upstairs when he's done. It's how he wants it.

I guess since he already prefers to go outside (or on my carpet if I'm not careful) we decided to let the newspaper thing go. It's bound to get warmer here in OK from now on, and he's doing great at getting over his illness. Sometimes he wants to stay downstairs a little longer and chase us around. I'm the one that can't stand the weather and run upstairs with him.

March 22nd, 2006, 05:29 PM
Lol, from the sounds of it, he's outdoor training you guys! That's great, wish all pups felt the same.

March 22nd, 2006, 06:05 PM
It sounds as tho you are doing quite well actually - I have had a variety of dogs (as a child, my grandparents' dogs, my own poodle and of all these, my beagle - equally beloved as my others - was THE most difficult to train. I am not sure why. He also exhibited seperation anxiety more than the others - I don't blame the breed - I think it may have been me. My poodle was a cinch, no probs at all. But my beagle, oh my!! I did not have a crate - not sure they were around then and even if they were, he slept with me. He never went in bed but beagles can be very stubborn and their noses take them - and you if you are on the other end of the leash and not very strong (At the time, I may have weighed 100 pounds and a few more) , you go too, lol) He was wel socialized - and we did the obedience training classes and that helped but not so much with the doing his biz part. I gave him lots of time - and never once yelled at him or used any negative reinforcement since that just scares these babies and makes thenm fearful. I would have thought beagles - wuth their noses and sense of smell would be easier but it appears I was incorrect on that score. We finally made it but it was a struggle - compared to the other dogs, not to suggest it was all that difficult, just that I was surprised. He also thought my shoes were great to chew and poo in - lol - fortunately as my dad says, my closet looks like I am opening a Payless Shoe store - one of my weak spots (shoes), sigh!! I do nt have that many so I have quite a few shoes but nothing like Imelda Marcos (I mean I am sure I own less than 100 but more than 50). It is not an addiction yet!! Not like my addiction to books which is serisouly out of hand er reading, lol

March 22nd, 2006, 06:58 PM
He bites everything that's for sure. Every waking moment he's snapping at something or someone... or sniffing around the house as if it's the first time. I'm surprised that he's barely 9 wks and he's so good outside. Maybe it was because it was my husband who started the process immediately when we brought him home, and he has a VERY authoritative voice (only the cats know he's really a softie, so they don't listen to him worth a lick). We don't really let him play around the living room unless he first eliminates outside, otherwise he goes back in the crate for a little longer.

Now we're just waiting for the time when he lets us know that he needs to go outside versus just going on my carpet. But at least we're already half-way there.

Cymba's friend
March 22nd, 2006, 07:26 PM
I would say that you are doing very well under the circumstances. He is only 9 weeks old and from my experience, and some reading, the old method of just taking him out at regular and frequent intervals, and saying "" pipi" (or what ever word you use) while he does it (so he learns later in life to go more on suggestion), and then praise him after, is still a method with results. It takes patience and time. My German Shepherd was 10 weeks a year ago when we got him, and it took us 3 weeks of daily routine each hour or 1.5 hours, going out briefly and then coming in when successful. It was a "LONG" 3 weeks - I felt as if he would never become clean and then one day the penny dropped. Some are faster and some are slower.

I did read though in my Puppy book, that according to the author, if you do not intend to use paper inside for ever, it actually makes the training to go oustide longer. They actually suggest if you intend to have him go outside, train him right away with repetition and patience. So the fact that he prefers to go outside than on your paper, is actually great! Good luck - it is a painful period to go through but I hope one day you can laugh about it. Amazing how quickly we forget...