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I'm a House Breaking Failure

November 24th, 2004, 01:43 PM
We live in an apartment on the 12th floor with our new 10 week old Rat Terrier. This is the second week we have owned him. He is so smart and so sweet. He knows lots of commands (sit, stay, ok, drop-it, come,) and he really listens and trys to learn when we work together on newer commands (like lie-down right now.) He goes on lots of walks and LOVES to meet new people more than anything!

Housebreaking however is not going well. He has only pooped inside once... which happened because he went at a really odd time of day when he never goes. We are crate trainng him and he has the occasional pee accident in the crate. We don't leave him longer than 3 hours. We have a little box type of thing set up on our balcony to use and he won't have anything to do with it unless he has really got to go. He goes outside whenever we take him out. I try to watch him constantly while he is playing but if I turn my eyes away for a minute he has peed. He seems to pee inside at least 2 times a day if not more. I know it is my fault for not watching him every second,,, but the truth is I am completely exhausted. I wake up at 5:30 and go to bed by 11:30. During the day if I am not working I am watching the dog. I hardly have time to eat, or make a phone call.

Just before i started typing this I took him out and he wouldn't pee or poop. He just pooped on the floor. :sad: The thing is I don't get angry or upset about him going inside. He have no real carpets... but I feel like a complete failure for not being able to better housebreak him. I read some people who say that puppies should never have an accident because you should watch them all the time.

If we keep trying this way will he eventually get it? We are planning on getting the bells and trying that so he can let us know when he has to go. I don't mind if it takes him a while to 'get it'... but eventually we obviously want him housebroken.

I could really use some advice or encouragement. I love this little dog so much but I feel next to tears everytime I find he has had an accident because I feel like a failure as an owner.

November 24th, 2004, 01:45 PM
10 weeks? Cut yerself some slack. Takes time. My Duke is 10 months now and after over three full months of no accidents, after a terrible training session when we got home he regressed and peed in the house not once but three times.

November 24th, 2004, 02:09 PM
Well I would say to make sure you use specially formulated spray that covers the smell in case she/he is going there because thats his spot. It doesn't hurt to let your dog know thatyou are disapointed in him/her when he does this if you don't act in any way how will he know hes wrong. Show him the pee and put him outside right away. Capone peed in the house for the first time in atleast 8 months, so accidents happen. Don't stress yourself out so much. You just need to keep doing what your doing and make sure you let him out as soon as you let him out of the crate. I found capone often peed in excitement that we were home.
I think your doing a good job and stop beating yourself up over it.

November 24th, 2004, 02:56 PM
Hey Batman, reading your post makes me smile.

I feel like you are writing my thoughts. I have had Bentley for 3 weeks now (he is 11 weeks old) and he still pees on the carpet. I think I have already finished a bottle and a half of Natures Miracle. There are times that we have been outside playing and I have said the business command 100 times and the second we come in, he runs straight onto the ONLY carpet we have in the house and pees J He has become pretty good at peeing on demand, but at times he is all deaf ears. He has only had one poop accident inside (my fault) but the peeing is an endless struggle. My husband is away this week and I spent the last 4 days confined to the kitchen and puppy playroom just to avoid problems.

All I want to do is fall on the sofa and become brain dead, but I know that if I take my eyes off the little monster for 2 seconds that we will have a wet spot under the table. It is also really frustrating as we will play in his playroom for hours with no accidents, (he has pee pads in there just in case) and the second we go into the living area, he will pee. Sometimes I think he does it to wind me up J he is a clever guy.

He is so good when I am not home; he is confined to his playroom (our sunroom), which is a nice space. He has pee pads in one corner and all his stuff everywhere else. He nearly never uses the pee pads, he seems to hold it in till I get home to let him out. When he does go, he goes on the pads. But I then think, you can keep it in for 4 hours in the morning and 3.5 hours in the afternoon, but only 5 minutes in the living room :(

I have decided that all that is needed is consistency and patience. I am following the rules (except for crate training, he has his room instead) and I guess that at the end of the day, he is still a very little guy and he is learning J

Please please donít deem yourself a failure, cause if you do that makes me a failure too and I am so tired that I think I will cry at the fact :)

I am trying to set up a puppy play group, maybe I should set up a puppy parent coffee session instead :)

Lucky Rescue
November 24th, 2004, 02:58 PM
Would you feel like a failure if your 8 month old human baby was not toilet trained?

This is the same thing and you have very unrealistic expectations of this four-legged baby.

Living on the 12th floor of an apt building with a 10 week old puppy to housetrain is quite a challenge, but you already knew that, I'm sure.

He needs to be taken out many times a day - after he wakes up, plays, eats or drinks. And in between too - since he is so tiny his bladder is very small too. He has very little time between feeling the "urge" and actually going and just the time it takes to get outside can result in an accident.

The thing is I don't get angry or upset about him going inside

Glad to hear that, since it's your fault. :p I do NOT mean that in any derogatory way. He can't help it. Do not leave him loose at any time unless you are SURE he's emptied his bladder. Keep him attached to you with a leash so you'll know if you see any sign of him thinking about going - circling, restlessnes, sniffing...even then getting him out in time is not easy.

Just think of all the exercise you'll get - rushing up and down 12 stories many many times a day.:)

Don't expect him to be reliable for many months to come.

Since your situation is not a good one for a puppy that young, I really think paper training will be best, even though it's not highly recommended. At least this way, he'll know where to go, and as he gets older you can gradually eliminate the papers. Here's a link on different housetraining methods for very young puppies.

Choose one and stick with it.
Housetraining young puppies (

November 24th, 2004, 03:40 PM

Best article ever on house training! Remember the dog's a baby you can't expect perfection for some time..... :D

November 24th, 2004, 07:45 PM
I only have a second while my little devil plays at my feet....

Thank you all SO much. I feel much more positive about everything after reading all your replies.

Kimbilly, I would love to talk to you a bit more, maybe by email or MSN? If you live around my area I know of one other puppy who is 10 weeks. It would be fantastic to have a puppy play group. Batman LOVES other dogs but they just don't take him seriously due to his small stature. :p