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Neep help with house breaking my chihuahua

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 11:31 AM
Hi guys, I desperatly need some advice on how to go about house breaking my 7 month old huahua. When I bought him, the breader told me to train him on doggy pads, so I did that for the first 3 months and it worked ok except he often did right next to the pad instead of on the pad....so a little over a month ago, I started training him to go outside, but he just won't go. I live in canada and it's winter now so he just stands there at the door shivering. I have tried everthing I can think of but he just will not do his business outside.

So here's the details:
He's crate trained, so he sleeps in his crate at night and spends the whole day in it when I'm at work, it's a small crate so he should not pee or poop in it, but sometimes he does, which makes it very hard to train him as I can't control what he does during the day and at night. I put him outside before I go to bed and first thing in the morning, sometimes he will elinimate but most often not, he will pee on the floor as soon as I let him back in the house. I put him outside regularly (every hour or so) and I praise him and give him a treat when he does happen to go outside. I watch his behavior and make sure to put him out if I think he's looking for a place to do his business, I ask him "do you need to go pee?" and he gets all excited and sometime goes to the door but as soon as I open it he runs back to his bed...
When I catch him pooping or peeing inside, I say "no, you pee/poop outside" and I put him outside right away and if I find that he already did in the house and I take him to his mess and say "no, bad boy" very firmly and put him outside.

So Am I doing something wrong here? Is it normal that he's not getting it even a little bit after 6 weeks or training? Do you have any advice to give me, something different I could try?

Thanks so much!

BenMax
January 20th, 2009, 11:53 AM
I can so relate to you. I have a min pin that has been work in progress for months now.

Firstly the weather is very cold for these little ones. I have purchased and altered sweaters with tight hoods to go over the ears. I also have bought boots.

I have had to resort to those pads as well which is totally against my grain, however due to the climate I have no choice. I have put them by the door so that she understands still that going to the door is a good thing.

Weather permitting I take her out for walks regardless. She goes very quickly and we 'run' back in.

The best advice I can give you is ROUTINE. The dog should not go out every hour unless you plan on doing this for the rest of his/her life. I am firm with my 'NO's' if I see her going anywhere else than outside while I am in the house. While I am at work, she is free however has learnt that the pad is where elimination is to take place. 9 out of 10 times she is successful.

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 11:59 AM
I do have a sweater for him and what I do is I put the pad outside, just out the patio door so he doesn't have to go far and since his used to the pads, I thought it would work well...wrong!

jessi76
January 20th, 2009, 12:07 PM
He's crate trained, so he sleeps in his crate at night and spends the whole day in it when I'm at work, it's a small crate so he should not pee or poop in it, but sometimes he does, which makes it very hard to train him as I can't control what he does during the day and at night.

how long is "the whole day"? I very much support crate training, but this seems like crate abuse to me. A pup should NOT be crated this long. general rule is 1 hr per month old. 7 mths = 7 hrs. not all day and all night. how is the pup LEARNING anything by being left alone in a crate?! you need to TEACH the pup when and where to eliminate.

YOU need to rearrange your schedule and life to accommodate this pup (come home every couple hrs, or hire a dog walker). OR you need to put this pup in a doggy daycare for socializing and training.

you are setting this pup up for failure by crating him for such long hours. bad habits and health problems arise quickly when dogs are crated for so long.

don't show a dog his mess and try to tell him he's bad. that's pointless. dogs live in the moment. ONLY correct if you catch him in the act, say NO firmly but calmly, take him where he IS supposed to go, on leash, keep him there until he goes (this could be 5 min or 30 min), and give him a treat and PRAISE when he does. you want to make going out to do his business a POSITIVE experience. focus on that. don't focus on the negative accidents. accidents are accidents, clean up, move on.

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 12:13 PM
he's almost 8 months and he's in his crate only while I'm at work, that's what I mean by the whole day. I work 7 hours/day

jessi76
January 20th, 2009, 12:17 PM
clearly, it's too long. this dog needs to be let out during the day. I'd suggest a FEW times per day until he learns where to go. Also, please know it takes time for a dog to build up bladder control. they are not born able to hold it for 8+ hrs. my dog will be 4 in the spring, and I pay a neighbor to come over at noon EVERY DAY to let him out to do his business. Pups NEED socializing during the day as well. crating a pup for the whole day isn't doing him any good. if you have to leave him for the whole day, it's better to have an area for him, not a tiny crate. have a whole kitchen (gated) with his crate (left open on one side) food/water available, and puppy pee pads on the other end of the room so he CAN do his business if necessary.

BenMax
January 20th, 2009, 12:45 PM
Unfortunately the reality these days is that people do work in order to have the luxuary of having a pet. Though I agree it is not ideal for a pet to be crated all day and then again at night, a suggestion of having a dog walker or puppyday care is excellent.

The other very important part of dog training is to participate with your dog. You must absolutely go outside for a walk with him/her in order to turn this into an 'adventure' and you can easily praise the behaviour when he does do his business in the outdoors.

Putting a dog outside by themselves is not the answer and will not teach him/her very much.

You must absolutely have a routine even on weekends.

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 12:45 PM
That's what I used to do, he was in the washroom with a pad and food/water, but he destroyed the room, chewed EVERYTHING but the toilet...it's a dog trainer who suggested to crate him during the day, because of that and because he eats the pad and his poop...

BenMax
January 20th, 2009, 12:47 PM
That's what I used to do, he was in the washroom with a pad and food/water, but he destroyed the room, chewed EVERYTHING but the toilet...it's a dog trainer who suggested to crate him during the day, because of that and because he eats the pad and his poop...

Your dog is understimulated and for this reason destructive. Do you do any activities with this puppy?

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 12:53 PM
There's no way I can take him out during the day, I carpool to work and I don't have the money to pay someone to take care of him, so unfortunately, the crate is my only option and I'm going to have to work with that at least until he's house broken...

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 12:55 PM
Your dog is understimulated and for this reason destructive. Do you do any activities with this puppy?

Yes my son and I play with him all the time, but obviously not when I'm at work and he's at school...that is when he chewed...

BenMax
January 20th, 2009, 01:10 PM
Does he have some toys in his crate such as a kong filled with squeeze cheese or peanut butter? Just imagine yourself staying in one area, in one position all day without anything to do.

There are people here such as Bendyfoot or Tenderfoot that may be able to provide you further solutions.

Good luck.

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 01:23 PM
Does he have some toys in his crate such as a kong filled with squeeze cheese or peanut butter? Just imagine yourself staying in one area, in one position all day without anything to do.

There are people here such as Bendyfoot or Tenderfoot that may be able to provide you further solutions.

Good luck.

Yes he's got his rawhide bone which he loves and a stuffed animal. I totally agree that it's not ideal, the ideal situation would be for me to be at home with him 24/7 but it's just not possible. I know chihuahuas are very hard to train and maybe I want him to learn to quickly, I'm sure I wouldn't have any problems if it wasn't -40 C outside!

Anyway thanks for the insight guys.

BenMax
January 20th, 2009, 01:26 PM
Yes he's got his rawhide bone which he loves and a stuffed animal. I totally agree that it's not ideal, the ideal situation would be for me to be at home with him 24/7 but it's just not possible. I know chihuahuas are very hard to train and maybe I want him to learn to quickly, I'm sure I wouldn't have any problems if it wasn't -40 C outside!

Anyway thanks for the insight guys.

Don't give up just yet. There are some excellent trainers on here that will log in at some time and help you out. Bendyfoot and Tenderfoot are excellent.

And I totally understand about the weather. My dog does very badly and screams in pain if it is too windy and cold. Her ears suffered frost bite from whomever had her before and now they are very sensitive.

Trust me - I can relate.

jessi76
January 20th, 2009, 01:37 PM
rawhide is dangerous. it can cause blockage if ingested in large chunks. certainly not a good idea to leave w/ a pup who is unsupervised. just an fyi.

you can get a frame to hold the pad - this may help minimize the shredding/eating. as for eating the poo... well, it's not ideal, but certainly shouldn't do the pup much harm. one battle at a time... work on that one later! you can also put the pad inside a shallow tray - much like a kitty litter box, just make sure the pup can get in/out easily.

I would go back to the gated room, but make it as puppy proof as possible. get down to his level to see any hidden dangers (wires, papers, garbage, etc...)

there are many toys on the market to entertain pups. a few off the top of my head... talk-to-me treat ball, buster cube, kong, busy buddy toys, etc... toys that you can fill w/ kibble and/or treats so your dog is rewarded for playing with them.

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 01:49 PM
rawhide is dangerous. it can cause blockage if ingested in large chunks. certainly not a good idea to leave w/ a pup who is unsupervised. just an fyi.

Oh never heard that before! good to know, thanks!

bendyfoot
January 20th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Some thoughts:

Overall, it sounds like you're very much on the right track but I think your expectations are unrealistic, and I think you're kinda setting him up to fail at this point...

You've got a toy breed, which a) are notoriously difficult to housetrain as puppies and b) have very tiny bladders which fill quickly and need to be emptied more often. I personally would think that if, at 7 months, the little guy was perfectly housetrained, you would have a freak of nature on your hands. :D What you're dealing with is pretty normal. We have a small breed puppy who is about 9-10 months old now, and we are JUST starting to consider her "pretty reliably" (but certainly not 100% and under constant watch) housetrained. Our large breed dogs were good by like 4-5 months old.

The problem there is, if he can't physically hold it during the day, and he's
being crated, then the only option he's left with is to soil his crate. He has no choice. Unfortunately, this is teaching dirty habits, and will not make your job easy in the long run. I'm all for crating, but it has to be used properly or you'll run into trouble. I agree with the other posters, either you need to make arrangements for him to be let out during the day (a friend, family member, neighbour, retiree, who would do it cheap/free/for companionship of an animal???) or you need to change his environment. The former would be preferable because changing the environment again means allowing him to potty indoors, which is NOT the behaviour you want to encourage. By changing the environment, I mean using an x-pen or a much larger crate in which you could provide both a sleeping and a pottying space (either a pad or a litter box). Again, I REALLY don't recommend this, because you're just making a bad problem worse by encouraging/allowing the undesireable behaviour. What you WANT is for him to go outside, and the only way he's going to learn is...by ONLY going outside. You have to give him the opportunity to learn and to succeed.

It's freezing out, you've got a dog with a coat not meant for cold climates. Get him a really warm, windproof coat and a pair of booties. When you're out with him, don't "ohh, poor widdle snookums hims is soo coooold, awww" at him, keep it light and business-like. Use a command like "go potty" and praise like crazy if he manages to go. When you're home, set up a predictable routine (as soon as you wake up, 15 miinutes after breakfast, just before you go to work, then as soon as you come home from work, then every 2 hours before bed or similar) so he know's when it's time to go, and you can then practice the "go potty" cue at specific times.

As far as chews go: toys are great for crate time but I would never leave either a rawhide or a stuffy with an unattended puppy. Rawhides can be serious choking hazards, and many dogs will de-stuff a stuffy and injest it, also a serious hazard. A sturdy chew like a nylabone would be better and safer. Keep in mind, too, that any "consumable" chews like rawhide are just going to fill his tummy and make him need to go to the bathroom sooner.

kaotiksymphony
January 20th, 2009, 04:42 PM
Thank you very much, that was very helpful. :)

jessi76
January 21st, 2009, 07:50 AM
"ohh, poor widdle snookums hims is soo coooold, awww"

:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:

OMG, that cracked me up!

great advice!

Mouthov
January 21st, 2009, 11:47 AM
Hi, This is my story
I have a chihauhua shih tzu mix but more chihauhua. Training has been quite easy for us. At first of course not and still we come home and sometimes she has destroyed her pee pad or pooped right beside it, sometimes even pees on the floor still. My puppy is only 4 months old but for the most part when we are not home she eliminates on the pad and when we are home she sits at the door and waits to be let out. We tried the crate thing for a day or two. Then we blocked off the kitchen but she got out..I have no carpets (had to pick them up she peed and pooped on them) so we gave her range of our house. Not all of it we closed all the doors so she just had the hall upstairs and the main floor. At first she kept peeing at the bottom of the stairs, I bought some of that enzme cleaner wow it works wonders till this day she has not peed there again. When she gets mad I think she tears up her pad, she is left alone while we are work. A good idea is change her toys, we give her some for a couple of days and then change them, she gets so excited when we give her ones she has not played with in a day or two it really keeps her busy. We do the treat in the kong and sometimes I hide treats around the house like a scavanger hunt...she finds them all. At first we kept going outside with her, if we didnt she wouldnt go and yes it's cold. She loves outside though, loves the snow because we took her out everyday to play. It is very hard to train them just keep at it, try giving her a room, we now just starting keepiing our door open to our room for the day,( this is where she sleeps) and we put a pad up there too. Ihave also put a mat back by the front door and no accidents on it yet, she actually likes to lye on it now and chew her toy. Just try giving her a bigger room, keep taking her out, try walking her (my dog has yet to go pee or poo on a walk she comes home and goes to the back door to be let out..wierd) but still goes outside, tyr changing the toys so they dont get bored and lots of praise, praise and treats really work. Good luck it is tough.

kaotiksymphony
January 22nd, 2009, 08:18 AM
Thanks for your comment. That's a good point about changing the toys...works with kids so why not with puppies eh? :) What is that enzme cleaner you're talking about?

kaotiksymphony
January 22nd, 2009, 08:22 AM
"ohh, poor widdle snookums hims is soo coooold, awww"

lol my son does that a lot

jessi76
January 22nd, 2009, 09:04 AM
oh I think we're all guilty of it from time to time! Nature's Miracle is a fantastic cleaner, sold at pet supply stores. it gets rid of the scent well.. regular cleaners may clean the spot and remove the stain, but if the scent is still there (which we can't smell) the dog is likely to go in the same spot again. Natures Miracle is one brand name of a special cleaner to rid the scent. there are a few others on the market.

you can also look at your floors with a blacklight... this should reveal where there have been accidents.

kaotiksymphony
January 22nd, 2009, 01:12 PM
I will look for that stuff. Love that black light idea!

Mouthov
January 26th, 2009, 03:11 PM
I believe I have that Nature's one as well. Any of them work, just check the ingredients it's really just alcohol and natures enzymes and some have detergent in them. I just got a small bottle and have only used it twice it was like 8 bucks. Dont' buy a big one at first if your lucky like me then you wont need a big one. Good luck is your puppy getting any better?