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Thread: toilet training advice

  1. #11
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    He said if the puppy only ever goes outside, how is it to learn if it's got nothing to compare it to? As in if it never goes inside to discover that there's no reward for doing so, how will it know that inside is not the place to go, or that outside is so much better?
    If your dog pees any time inside - what your puppy learns (especially from your hubby) is that it is ok to pee inside. If your hubby tries scolding (punishment) - it has to be perfectly timed and the puppy has to make the connection between peeing and inside and the scolding which is unlikely. Scolding and rubbing nose in minutes later (or more likely - hours later) will make no connection for the puppy about what you do and don't want. Generally puppies, dogs and children fail to understand "don't". They're much better at "Do".

    So when training you focus on what you do want the puppy to do. And like Beloz said - if the puppy learns "do pee outside" and never pees inside, it will learn that peeing outside is good and never learn that peeing inside is ok. Which is what you want = yes?

    Dogs do tend to think if something is ok sometimes - then it's ok any time. So that's the major flaw in your hubbie's arguement. Every time the puppy pees inside - it's learning that it's ok to do so. And the more often that happens eg 3 or 4 times a night with your hubby in charge - the harder it will be to train what you really do want.

    Hubby might also like to read this. Crates are like the dog's personal cubby house. Not prison.
    Crate Training : The Humane Society of the United States

    Personally - if I had someone "helping" with the toilet training like your hubby, I'd find a way to exclude his help completely eg just take the puppy out for last pee, and crate when I go out. I suspect your hubby may not even notice you did this - given he seems to get hypnotised by the telly or computer.

  2. #12
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    Toilet training pups - the lazy way.
    step 1, get your pup and a friendly house trained dog that you borrow for a weekend.
    Step 2, on waking, post eating, post play sessions, let the dogs out into the garden area, continent dog teaches incontinent puppy how to pee and poo outside.
    Whilst toilet training, rug up so you are not cold, and leave the door open at all times.
    Takes 2 days using this method for my last 2 pups.

    To get my dogs to 'ask' to go out, i hung a bell on the door handle, as they barged outside it rung.
    And naturally, they nudged the bell, which caused human to get off her arse and open the door, thus reinforcing the behaviour.

  3. #13
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    Thanks again for all your help! Really appreciated

    I don't know if it's a good idea for me to crate the puppy when I go to work. My partner goes to work around 7am, I go to work at different times during the week, but mostly I leave around midday(later on mondays and earlier on fridays) and then my partner gets home around 6pm and I get home around 10pm. So I don't think 6hrs in a crate is fair on the puppy plus 4hrs until I get home. Whenever I leave the house, I close the puppy in the bathroom so he can move around, play with his toys, chew his bone/pigs ear and has somewhere to go to the toilet. At the moment Dexter only gets crated over night in our bedroom and in the car. I probably need to work on leaving him in the crate a bit more. At the moment he's fine over night, I try and wear him out before we go to bed so he's tired, though he still normally whines for a few minutes before settling. If I put him in his crate and he can't see me, even for a second or two, he'll start whining and carrying on because he can't get to me or see me. So I'll try working on rewarding him for longer periods of quiet in the crate when he's more awake.

    I don't know if my partner crated him yesterday while he was home(I don't think he did), but he did say on several occasions he took him outside and he peed, then brought him back in and shortly afterwards peed again, on one occasion peed twice just after going outside. Maybe I just have the easy half of the day to deal with? He doesn't seem to drink a lot of water in the mornings, maybe he drinks a lot during the day and saves it up for when my partner gets home. I think I've got my routine pretty well worked out now, I take him out first thing in the morning, he usually pees once or twice and does a poop. Then I bring him back in and try and keep him on his bed at my feet while I drink my tea. Then I'll give him a little while of supervised wandering or just following me around etc, take him out again, maybe give him a run around outside for fun as well, and if he's inside with me, he's either on me (usually sleeping) or interacting with me in some way, playing or training or following me around. If I have a training session I'll take him out again, or if he's just had a nap, or if it's just been a little while since the last outing. Yesterday I managed to avoid any accidents inside in the morning, but my partner reported many accidents in the evening. I'm pretty much trying to do all the research and just tell him what I've discovered and ask him to do 'x' with the puppy. But sometimes if he doesn't agree I need to give him a good logical argument to convince him that's what should be done.

    I'll do some more work with Dexter today to try and get him better with being in the crate while he can't see people and while he's awake. It's probably more of an inconvenience for my partner because he needs to cook dinner and do other things that need his focus so it's harder for him to watch the puppy constantly(which is exactly why I think the crate would be the best way for him to deal with it). I pretty much don't get anything done at the moment because I'm busy occupying the puppy. I'll keep nagging my partner until he agrees to crate him, even if I need to demonstrate on the weekend.

  4. #14
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    Sorry I have to ask why is it that puppy cannot go outside, why in these early stages of toilet training can't a door be left cracked open for him when someone is home.

    As a breeder I've raised many puppies and litters of puppies and I don't put added stress on them at a young age to determine different times of when they can go inside on paper and when they need to go outside.

    If I can't watch a puppy or litter of puppies they remain outside until I'm prepared to give them my full attention as the less times they make a mistake the easier it is on all of us.

    I'm sorry but I also don't understand keeping a puppy in a bathroom for 6 hours. To me that's unfair. Why can't he use the cat door during the day? I assume the cat door is closed at night to keep the cat safe and abide by laws?

    So for me I'd make changes to the house to keep him confined to the room that has the cat flap. Crate him of a night toileting him at say around 11pm and then getting up to let him outside at 6am.

    I have 7 dogs ranging in age from 6mths to 6 years. All of them would go insane if confined to a bathroom. I have erected baby gates (you can buy no drill baby gates if you rent) to our kitchen/family room and often leave the back door open if I go out for short periods of time and couldn't be bothered tossing everyone out of the house. Otherwise they go outside.

    With my last litter I used a large C-crate (play pen) it was on the inside of the house butted up against a sliding door so the puppies could come inside as far as the crate and hear and see everyone but also take themselves out to the toilet. A bit of a breeze and some bugs in the house was a small trade off to having the puppies basically self toilet trained by 7 weeks old.

    If you still want to use the paper option then put down several sheets of newspaper, remove the top layers but leave the bottom sheet so that his scent remains and he'll return there. But still I'd have the paper right outside the back door, held down on the corners by rocks or something so it doesn't blow away. Keep things as simple as possible until such time as he's old enough to have bladder control.

  5. #15
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    A puppy has to see a room as his den before it doesn't eliminate in that area, so limit the area he's allowed in.

    Does the kitchen has access to outside, if so I'd limit puppy to the kitchen while your partner cooks with the door open to outside. Get puppy as familiar as possible with this room so he considers it his. Then slowly expand the area as his toilet training gets better.

    I agree crating for 6 hours is unfair, crating for an hour while cooking is fine. I'd but the crate up to the outside door so puppy can go out to the toilet and amuse himself outside but come inside to check that your partner is still there, watch whats going on and get used to all the household noises.

    You cannot respond to any crying whatsoever while crated, if so puppy learns that that is what gets his release. A good bone in his crate for training is great at these early stages. Though I wouldn't do that over night in case he needs to toilet.
    Last edited by MAC; 03-07-2012 at 10:13 AM.

  6. #16
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    Hi mac, thanks for some more ideas.

    I might see if I can find some way to rig up a pen next to an open door so it's completely enclosed. I do not have a cat flap as my cat is an indoor only cat and if I was to leave a door always open he would then be able to get out, which is why I haven't done this. It would be easier if it was the other way around, but cats are very good at getting past barriers that dogs can't get past. But if I can make an enclosed pen up against a door in such a way that the cat cannot get out the door or in the pen then that might work. The puppy is very people focused, he would much rather be at your feet following you around than anywhere else, but I'm sure with a bit of reinforcement we might be able to slowly convince him that being in the pen or outside is ok too.

    A few reasons I haven't left the puppy outside, one being that he is very small and there are a couple of spots in my fence that he would be able to fit under (I've only ever had big dogs before where this wasn't a problem, though I might be able to rig something up to secure these bits), I also have ducks in all areas of my yard at the moment and I'm not confident of their relationship just yet, the ducks seem to follow the puppy around and sometimes peck at him, and if the puppy is in a boisterous mood, he runs circles around the ducks and sometimes nips at them and barks, though I think he's just trying to play. Either way I don't want the ducks or the puppy to be harassed by the other(this might not be such a problem if they both have somewhere to get away from each other).

    I'll have play around and see if I can block off the rock steps that enable him to get to the gate(where the gap is), I'm just not convinced he won't be able to climb the rock wall next to the steps. But if I can do that then he'll have a largish area to roam and that's also where he's been going to the toilet outside. But I might need to make/buy a kennel so he has somewhere protected if it rains and where he can sleep. If he's left outside unsupervised, what can I do if he decides he likes going to the toilet on the concrete? Is something like chicken wire safe to use as a barrier or could the puppy get stuck in it? There aren't too many flat areas in my yard to put up rigid fences, but if I can find a way to block off his access to the gate and also provide an area that the ducks can get away from him, then that might be my best option.

    He doesn't seem too bothered by being in the bathroom. If I give him something to occupy him when I leave and sneak out while he's distracted, he doesn't whine too much. And on one occasion where I put him in the bathroom and sat outside to see how he behaved, he only carried on for about 15mins before quietening down (without something to chew on).

    There's a lot of options and opinions on how different people do things, it's hard to know which way is going to work the best.

  7. #17
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    Ah, the indoor cat does make things more comlicated, doesn't it? When I got my dog, I had a couple of indoor foster cats and I found it a bit of an organisational nightmare sometimes. I ended up having to lock the cats in a bedroom when I was out, so I could leave the backdoor open for the dog. Fortunately cats don't mind too much being confined for a few hours during the day as they just sleep anyway. So I wonder if that might be a temporary solution for when your partner is home with the pup too?

    And definitely sounds like your pup is trying to round up the ducks!

  8. #18
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    Ok I see now. I agree with Beloz, at this stage it would be easy to confine the cat to another area of the house and concentrate on pups toilet training so that can get organised, OH can go about cooking etc and puppy can learn to go outside thru an open door to toilet.

    Me personally there is no way I would bring a puppy home unless the yard was puppy proof.

    I wouldn't worry if he goes on the concrete, that will change with time and he'll go further and further away form the house.

    It's normal that puppies want to be under your feet, but looking long term it's good to build up their confidence to be on their own. A happy well adjusted dog is content with it's own company while the family is out.

    Also, and I apologise upfront if I sound negative, but I see this so often, puppy may seem content in his little world of the bathroom for now, but often once puppies start to really feel at home a room is not enough and they can become destructive and bored; imagine spending the day in the bathroom!!

    However as much as I don't like it the bathroom is preferable to him escaping thru a crack. The problem is often not so much now but a few months down the track when they become a little more adventurous and curious.

  9. #19
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    Thanks, you definitely make some good points.

    I suppose I didn't really consider the yard as something that needed an immediate fix because I had always intended to litter train the puppy and thus it wasn't going to be outside unsupervised, until I was told it is vastly more difficult to litter train a puppy. It's just the bottom corner of the gate where a few pailings have broken, I can probably just screw on a 'patch' to block off the gap it creates. Any other areas of my fence that are not right to ground level I have plenty of bricks I can sit up against to block it off.

    I'll see how my cat goes being in a room, if he's already asleep I'm sure he wouldn't mind being shut in for a little while, but he's pretty interactive when he's awake, he likes to be around you and see what you're doing and he throws pretty big tantrums sometimes, I'll make the suggestions to my OH anyway. The cat might just have to deal with it.. I'm sure he won't mind if he gets chicken as compensation.

    I may have to invest in lots of insect repellent though! we have sooo many mosquitos here it's not funny. Even taking the puppy out to the toilet in the evenings for 5mins you get eaten alive.

    Thanks for pointing out that he's going to outgrow the amusement contained in the bathroom. There is one option I could do for that (can't believe I didn't think of that before >_<). If I open the bathroom door so he has access to the laundry as well, the back door comes off the laundry, so I could perhaps leave the backdoor open just enough for him to get in/out and if I move the cat's litter tray out of the laundry, then I can close the laundry door and the cat won't be able to go outside. That's probably going to be the simplest solution. Just means I need to go and make sure the back fence is all good. And I should put a padlock on the back gate, I've found it open a few times and I don't know if random people open it or what (my yard backs onto a park). Only issue then is how safe is it to leave your house unlocked and open while you're out?

    This is probably just me being overly paranoid, but one concern I have with letting the puppy go running around unsupervised in my yard, is that I have rock steps and retaining walls. Being a dachshund, I'm concerned for his back, if he decides to launch off a rock or accidentally tumbles off a retaining wall, I'd hate to find him with an injured spine. Hopefully he's smart enough to keep out of trouble, though being a puppy he's probably bulletproof in his mind. Also I have lots of toads around here, if he decides to chew on one while no one's here, being so small, is he likely to get really sick from it? I've had bigger dogs grab toads a few times while I've been out, but they were fine once I washed out their mouth (scared the crap out of me to come home to a dog with a foaming mouth though!). Sorry if I'm being over protective or worrying about nothing, but as I've said, I've only had big dogs before and little dogs seem so much more fragile.

  10. #20
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    Ahhh, sorry didn't realise his breed. Yes do need to be very careful with jumping off things. They are also excellent diggers so those holes that are being blocked need a good job done on them, especially when he's feeling more at "home".

    Also backing on to a park you will need to be very careful of people especially while at the cute puppy stage.

    Have you considered those grass portable loos, don't know what they called, but google should bring up something.

    Maybe toilet train to that so he can go into a bigger area, keeping him save from theft, fence holes but out of the bathroom.

    But still fix the holes as when the breed gets on the scent of something they can be quite determined and away out a small hole very quick even while under supervision.

    Purchase of the dog is the cheapest part of owning a dog.

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