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Housebreaking is impossible!

March 28th, 2007, 07:55 PM
Hello everyone! I'm new to this forum and I look forward to chatting with fellow pet owners. (Or those soon-to-be owners.:D )

I have a serious problem and I'm quite desperate for help. I have a feeling this will be a long post, so for those not into a lot of reading, the essential stuff will be in bold, and the background/filler information I will leave as is. Thanks in advance for any tips or advice.

I adopted a toy breed puppy (9 months old) this past weekend. She comes (unfortunately) from a backyard breeder, (I learned that after I got her...I would never support one of those people...), anyways, as I mentioned, she is 9 months old, without a name and without a clue about anything. She hasn't been taught anything, hasn't been socialized, etc.

She's on the older side of "puppyhood", yet she acts like a complete puppy since she's had no experience with anything.

I have two other dogs, both of which have NOT warmed up to puppy. They both try to attack her at every opportunity. (It's a territory and jealousy thing.) We are working on this non-stop.

Because we are having to keep them seperated, we are finding it near impossible to properly housebreak puppy. Some of the times, puppy is able to walk outside, other times we have to bring her outside in our arms (to avoid the other dogs), sometimes she is inside a room with one of us, other times she's loose in the house with one of us while the others are in a room. (You get the idea...)

There is no way we can find consistancy and I know that is the way to housebreak. Given my circumstances, what should I do? She goes potty outside when we bring her, but she gives no sign that she needs to go, nor has she learned to ask to go out. (Especially when she is inside a room with one of us away from the backyard door.) It's hard to predict her "schedule" since sometimes she holds it 5-6 hours and other times she pees every 10 minutes. The times is outside and does her business, we praise her, but she either pays NO attention, or goes off running the other way. How are we supposed to make her see right vs. wrong if she doesn't really care either way?

Also, since she has no name yet (we haven't decided yet), I feel I can't really connect with her yet or teach her anything. I'm afraid it's going to be difficult to teach her anything since she has NO attention span and just her own world most of the time. We are always playing with her or with her in one way or another, but nothing seems to be sinking in nor settling down. I feel she is way too old to be so far behind.

Please help. We've fallen in love with this little fur ball, but with no name, no connection and two furry distractions that keep consistancy at bay, we don't know how to get a solid foundation of training going or how to do something as basic as housebreaking.

That was long, I know. Thank you SO much for reading I really appriciate it and please help in anyway you can!!

March 28th, 2007, 08:08 PM
you definately need to alot of positive reinforcement, time

March 28th, 2007, 08:21 PM
Welcome to the forum Pom_Pom. How well do your other dogs listen to you? How does this sound? Attach a 5-6 foot leash both to her as well as yourself while you are at home (keep her separated from your other guys while you're not). This way, you'll be able to interupt her if she begins to go in the house. At the same time, you can keep an eye on your other 2 dogs if they come to bother her and teach them that it's not okay to pick on her. Considering where she comes from, you should expect her to behave as a young puppy regardless of her age; she's never been taught anything. Try feeding her meals out of your hands for a few days and see if this will help her begin to focus on you. You would really have to start training from scratch and expect her to make mistakes as she's learning. This is probably a good time to have your other dogs brush up on their manners as well. With alot of patience, she'll turn out to be a wonderful family addition, I'm sure.

April 2nd, 2007, 03:10 PM
Welcome as well. The best advise I can give you is CRATE-TRAIN. Honestly, when your pup is not being supervised, put her in her crate, even very young puppies do not want to defecate or urinate where they sleep. This will be her special den that she can feel safe and secure in. If she doesn't like to be in there at first, try giving her treats or feeding her in there, she will eventually feel comfortable in there. When out of her crate, she should be in an area where an accident is easily cleaned with no fuss, like a kitchen, somewhere where you will spend a lot of time. You may find it easier for the first little while, to have your other dogs in another part of your home so your little guy isn't distracted so much and can try to get this potty training thing.
Do not free feed, have scheduled mealtimes for puppy, then you can get a better idea as to when she will need to go. This will be usually following rest-time, after feeding etc. Go outside ALOT...and praise, praise, praise...when she goes outside where you want. Mistakes inside will happen, maybe a firm "no" when caught in the act, otherwise ignore. Basically at the beginning, YOU are being trained more than puppy it seems, but eventually she will learn to communicate her needs with you. I found a bell hanging on the door extremely helpful. Just hang one to the doorknob that you use to take puppy will ring when you go out. Pup cannot help but associate that ring with doing his business...and hopefully she can ring it on her own when she needs out, like our Emmy did. This is a trick my friend taught me, and I even found a website that sold these bells you hang...silly, cuz all you need is any bell, and a ribbon or string. Good luck, be persistent, it will happen! :thumbs up

April 2nd, 2007, 03:23 PM
How come you haven't named her yet?

I think this is a really important step in establishing a proper relationship. I'm no expert - I brought up one dog - but I'd find it really hard to do any sort of training without a name. She'll learn to recognize it quickly if you're consistent with it. "Good girl!" and "Good girl, Holly!" will get very different reactions from my experience.

April 2nd, 2007, 03:45 PM
A bit of a reality check is needed. You just got this pup and she's from a mill or byb background. Most likely she has never been required to be clean at all. She's 9 months old. She may not be completely clean in your house for up to a year from now. The crate may be of no help at all either if that is what she is used to living in. You may need to go back right to square one with her and work on pee pad training, leading up to outdoor business. You can't scold her for errors. You need to ignore them and whisk her outside when she starts an error or place her on a paper and praise like heck when she completes the error in the right spot. Also, have her urine checked. Best to rule out a possible uti. Poms are tricky to housetrain under the best of circumstances, so patience and the realization it could take a long time might alleviate some of your stress at no progress. When she's out with you around the house, put her on a long leash tied to you so that you can remember to keep an eye on her and get her out quickly when she starts an error. Best of luck with your new addition.

April 3rd, 2007, 01:02 PM
Hi there - I'm new here too - I feel for you, we got our little Yorkie from a well-known pet store (despite our vow of never doing such a thing but you know when you see them you just want to rescue them from such an awful environment). Anyway, we have been very fortunate. Contrary to the horror stories I've heard from others who got their pets from the same place, our Yorkie is extremely well behaved, loves to be around people and is really just eager to please us. She gravitated to her pee pad right away when we brought her home. She is trained to do her business outdoors or indoors if the weather is very bad or if she just can't wait. We've had accidents and we still have some from time to time, but the incidents get farther appart with each passing month and we are confident that eventually we will only experience the odd "so excited she peed" episode. We do use a crate, have from day one. We crate trained at night for the first week but after three nights she would bark in the middle of the night to go outside so we simply bought some baby gates from Toys "R" Us and her new home is in our kitchen - the crate is her home, her "safe-place" and it works well. Be patient. Sounds like your doggie has some well-established bad habits that are truly not her fault. She will bring you a lot of joy so work with her and be patient ... and do name her, she is after all a member of your family and deserves a name ... PomPom is a great name for her. Good luck to you. PS, visit your local book store for some reading material on the breed's temperament, it will help you understand her.

April 3rd, 2007, 03:56 PM
Hi! Sorry to hear about your problem, but your new puppy is lucky you brought her home. I used bells I bought at Walmart and tied them to a thick black cord (more like a thick shoelace/ribbon). After the puppy would eat/drink, I rubbed peanut butter on a bell and she would lick it off (ringing the bell), then I would take her out to go potty. The dog I am talking about is a toy poodle, but I have heard of other breeds using this with success. Our poodle also lets us know when our older rescued dog neeeds to go to now! I think she was able to learn this in about 3 days, but it was I who had to keep up with the peanut butter and taking her out.