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housetraining accidents and scolding

crazyforcats
January 28th, 2007, 03:22 PM
Why are we not supposed to let a dog know when peeing in the house is unacceptable? Our 12 week old puppy was accident-free for 4 days, and then peed on the floor today. No big deal, but I don't understand how a puppy will ever learn that this shouldn't be done if they're never scolded for it. By scolding I don't mean stuffing their nose in it, hitting, yelling or anything of that nature. I mean taking the puppy to the mess and calmly but sternly saying "no go peepee inside" ("go peepee" is my command word for her to go when we're outside) and then taking the puppy outside to their peepee spot and saying the command "go peepee". I know that by constantly taking them outside it will teach them that outside is the prefered place of relieving themselves, but by not scolding them when they pee on the floor aren't we teaching them that this behaviour is tolerable?

jesse's mommy
January 28th, 2007, 03:39 PM
If you catch your dog in the act, then it's fine to do that, but if they do it and you find it later -- they seriously don't remember doing it and it doesn't do any good showing them.

Kristin7
January 28th, 2007, 04:01 PM
Definitely if you catch the dog in the act, scold it, although don't overdo it and scare the animal (no yelling). Another thing I do is reward the dog for going outside, with a treat, immediately after going (only while in training). At the same time they are going outside gently praise in a soft voice (not to distract, just so they know they are doing something right). You can even use a command while they are going, and eventually they will pick up on this and if you want them to go right away they will do it. If you don't catch your pup going in the act in the house, you need to set up the situation so that you will. Keep your pup near you at all times, even on a leash if necessary. Or, confine them to the same room you are in and watch closely. They are like little kids, just keep them close and keep an eye on them. Take the puppy out soon after eating, playing, napping, and hopefully most accidents will be prevented.

crazyforcats
January 28th, 2007, 07:00 PM
If you catch your dog in the act, then it's fine to do that, but if they do it and you find it later -- they seriously don't remember doing it and it doesn't do any good showing them.
In the case of this morning, she had just done it (like a minute) - we suddenly realized we couldn't see her - I started to look for her just as she appeared, sniffing around - I said "do you need to go out? Go peepee?" and as I went to pick her up, I found her present... I took her to it, said "no peepee inside" and took her outside.

crazyforcats
January 28th, 2007, 07:05 PM
Another thing I do is reward the dog for going outside, with a treat, immediately after going (only while in training). At the same time they are going outside gently praise in a soft voice (not to distract, just so they know they are doing something right). You can even use a command while they are going

I do exactly this every time.

Keep your pup near you at all times, even on a leash if necessary. Or, confine them to the same room you are in and watch closely. They are like little kids, just keep them close and keep an eye on them. Take the puppy out soon after eating, playing, napping, and hopefully most accidents will be prevented.

We do this too - she is allowed free run under our supervision after she has done her business outside. This morning's accident happened about 20 minutes after she had had a pee outside. Usually she's good for at least an hour.

Kristin7
January 28th, 2007, 09:48 PM
That's great. But you are wondering about scolding. Like I said, if you catch the pup in the act, by all means, go for it! Also, puppies will have accidents, it just comes with the territory. Some of them take months to train. Really. Good luck to you!

Spirit
January 28th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Your dog can't distinguish the difference between not being allowed to pee inside, and being allowed to pee outside (this is, in fact, the whole purpose of housebreaking your dog). The dog doesn't understand "no peeing inside", and scolding a dog who doesn't know where to pee, is not a good way to start the puppy/owner relationship. Especially puppies that are not yet housebroken.

If your dog has an accident that you didn't catch, it was your fault. Period. Clean it up and don't dwell on it.

If you catch your dog about to pee (or already in mid squat), the best way you can teach your dog that this is not where we pee, is by picking her up and saying (in a happy voice) "Outside!", and IMMEDIATELY bringing her outside (no time for shoes). The second you pick her up, she's going to do her best to hold it, and when she does finish outside, HUGE praise will be more effective.

Please don't scold your dog for doing something natural (peeing), but instead, teach your dog that outside is where you want her to go. You wouldn't scold your child for peeing her pants because she forgot that she has to use the toilet now...

(edit) Scolding can also cause confusion. One minute you're telling your dog not to pee (again, can't understand), the next you're praising. Scolding could actually hinder the training, and take much longer for it to be successful.

Scott_B
January 29th, 2007, 06:57 AM
Great advice Spirit. :thumbs up

Scolding gets you nowhere. At 12 weeks they don't realize they're doing anything wrong, so scolding them can cause them to be fearfull and start hideing their presents where you don't find them until later.

If you see them squat, a quick NO, then scoot them outside and praise praise praise when they get it right. This is how they learn what is good. You praise the good stuff. If they know every time they go do their business outside they get praise, then thats what they'll do. If you don't catch them, clean it up and move on. The dog would have no idea why you where scolding it after the fact.

And you cant expect a 12 week puppy to hold it, or be housebroken yet. It can take up to and sometimes over 4 months to fully house train them. And even then you can still get the odd accident. Best to again, clean it up. Remember, after meals, after drinking, after they wake up, take them ouside. And watch them like a hawk. When they start sniffing around looking for a place, you can betcha something is gonna happen.

Good luvk and don't get frustrated yet :thumbs up

4thedogs
January 29th, 2007, 08:50 AM
All the accidents my dog ever had when he was a pup was my fault.
Pups have accidents but it us usually not their fault. It could have been that you were not watching close enough, he was given freedom too quickly, he asked you or another family member who didn't know their signal, he was able to go out of your sight and you didn't notice when he had to go, you leave the food out all the time and don't know when he ate last, had a nap and you were not quick enough to get him out the moment he woke up. Puppies also have to go during and after play times. Watch to see any signals.

There is a learning process that you, family and puppy need to go through. Puppy needs to learn what you want and you and the family need to learn the signals to let you know it is time. Teach your puppy how to tell you in a clear way that is not mistaken for anything else. A bell is a great way to do this.

You need to know when your puppy needs to go. Right after any sleep, shortly after eating, usually within a half hour, during and after play times.
If your puppy is able to go out of sight you will have a harder time with house breaking. If your puppy really has to go you need to learn their signal and if you are having an accident you need to catch puppy at the time they are going, not after. If you catch puppy, give a stern no or ahh, ehh. Pick your pup up in hopes they will hold the remainder but don't start walking to the door until you know he has stopped otherwise you could have a trail to the door. Take puppy out to your chosen place and encourage to go with the word you want to use. As soon as your puppy begins to go start praising and when finished give a much bigger reward and treats are always good. If you show your puppy how pleased you are they will repeat to get the same reward. Be silly happy. You will find your puppy will learn quickly if he is set up to succeed. Don't do things that will encourage failure and frustration on both your parts.

You need to be supervising your puppy at all times. If you are unable to then your puppy should be in a safe room or crate so you can control the accidents. If your puppy doesn't have accidents in his crate this would be a good tool to use. The only time puppies tend to have accidents in the crate is when it is too large or when they have been left in it too long. A puppy of 3 months can physically hold two-three hours during the day if they have been taught to do so, night training will be longer because they are not active.

Get some enzyme cleaner to clean up and remove all smells left from any accidents. Household cleaners will not remove the smells and if they are amonia based they will actually smell like urine and puppy will think these areas are a good space to go.

Spirit
January 29th, 2007, 11:10 AM
It can take up to and sometimes over 4 months to fully house train them.

Well, kind of...

You can housetrain an 8 week old puppy (in a new home) in 36 hours if done correctly, but this does not mean that there will not be accidents. The dog (at 8-9 weeks old) may learn that when the urge hits, to cry at the door, but puppies don't develop full bladder control until they reach about 4 months old. So when that puppy runs to the door and whines, you've got SECONDS before an accident will occur.

I've seen 8-10 week old dogs do this, and pee on the way out the door because the owner took too long to open it. And you can't scold a dog for trying!

Timing here is cruicial though. If your dog thinks to himself "Oh no! I have to pee! I'd better run for the door so my owner knows!" and you're dilly-dallying around not paying attention to the puppy, an accident WILL occur, and the next time you're not paying attention, the dog might not try harder to tell you (it might only whine once or not run to the door at all), and another accident will occur even quicker than the last (and so on). The dog learns from this that when you're too busy or not paying attention, it is okay to pee inside (until re-taught otherwise). Again, scolding here can be counter productive. After all, the dog tried to tell you... you just weren't listening. ;)

So close doors and make the space small (no free run of the house!), and when you're not watching or paying with your puppy (or when he's sleeping), put him in the crate or exercise pen (make sure both "waste bins" are empty, or leave out pee pads if that's your thing).

Scott_B
January 29th, 2007, 01:16 PM
Thats pretty much what I meant Spirit about the 4 month thing. :thumbs up

crazyforcats
January 29th, 2007, 06:01 PM
When they start sniffing around looking for a place, you can betcha something is gonna happen.
That's a tough one - she's always sniffing around! Either smells our cat, looking for miniscule tidbits left on the floor from my children, or just sniffing. I'm starting to notice that the pee-sniff is a slightly quicker sniff-about.

Teach your puppy how to tell you in a clear way that is not mistaken for anything else. A bell is a great way to do this.
I've heard of using a bell, and I think it's a great idea - I wish I could use it! But unfortunately I have a 1-yr old daughter who would entertain us endlessly with a bell left within her reach, which it would have to be for our puppy to also be able to reach.