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Thread: Toilet training the older dog ..

  1. #1

    Default Toilet training the older dog ..

    As of yesterday my partner and I have taken on my dads dog for a while.
    She is a 3.5 year old Dogue de Boardeaux X English Mastiff. Beautiful girl.
    We live upstairs - in an apartment would be the easiest way to describe it. So to get out to the garden, we need to go out the front door and down the stairs, across the concrete and to the garden.
    We take Juno (dog) out for regular walks to encourage her 'toilet' behavior outside. Yesterday arvo/Last night we took her for 7 short walks, including one at 3 am "just in case", yet she went in our bathroom between 3 am and 7 am inside (in our bathroom). We thought okay, first night over, bit stressful, that's fine.

    I just took her out for a run - she's been on a diet that has cheaper dog food, so is a little clogged up. During the run we had a few poo stops, but for little bits. Her diet will be gradually changed to help with this. We get up stairs, and after 10 mins, she poops (luckily on a piece of cardboard we had down after painting) a HUGE amount. Not even 2 mins later, pee's on o/h's jarrah floor on the opposite side of the room..

    She did not ask to go out, she didn't even look like she was 'needing to go'. How can I train her to 'ask' to go out?

    I know it's repetition, we praise and give her a verbal cue when she does go outside. I don't want her to not go, but I need her to learn to ask. To be fair, she's gone from free access inside/outside, to inside only at night, with walks. During the day she's out and about with us and can go when ever she likes.

    I was thinking of maybe putting down news paper inside, then IF she goes, at least she knows where. Then I could transfer that paper (fresh, of coarse) outside, so she knows that's where to go? Or am I over complicating it ..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Teach Your Dog to Ring a Bell When He Wants to Go Outside! | Steve Courtney Dog Training

    You're "lumping" that's when you ask your dog to learn too many new things all at the same time - you need to break it down a bit and teach as separate things.

    1. work on toileting outside.
    2. teach bark on cue
    3. teach sit at the door before we go out.

    Task 1 - toileting outside (somewhere new).
    So 7 short walks isn't going to do what you need. A dog needs to feel safe and secure where they go (or absolutely busting). So a dog you haven't had very long - isn't going to feel very safe outside in an area it doesn't know very well, full of "messages" from dogs it doesn't know either.

    It's going to take a bit of time for the dog to get all the messages checked out (sniff everywhere) and choose a "safe" spot. So what I'd be doing is staying out there for as long as it takes, with the dog on lead, a really good treat/reward ready, and be really boring, stand there do nothing much, maybe some praise for sniffing (usually precedes peeing/pooping) and when I get what I want... then lots of happy squeaky praise and reward.

    So the first time you might be out there for AGES in the rain and cold.... but the dog will learn very quickly that when it does what is required it gets heaps of praise and to go back inside.

    Task 2 - bark on command...
    Set up a situation you know sets your dog off (eg the door bell here or dinner time), get your dog to bark and then reward - repeat about 5 times for a smart dog - don't use a cue word or command until you've got a bark happening... then add the cue.

    If you've already got a trigger (eg the door bell) then - new cue then old cue (door bell) then reward the barking. After five successful repeats without a cue, then add one: "speak" (ring the door bell) dog barks - reward.

    And task 3 - sit to go in the door or out the door.
    my cue for this is putting my hand on the door handle and sometimes I say sit as well. But the door handle cue works best. If your dog doesn't know "sit" you need to teach this first.

    Then every time you want to go through a door with her, ask her to sit first. With my dog, once I say "go" I don't care which one of us goes through first, if she goes first, I'm less likely to trip over her when she charges past from behind...

    Once you have a sit at the door working - add the bark cue...

    And then if your dog goes and sits at the door on her own - praise like you won lotto, and then open the door and take her outside (and don't come back in until she's 1 or 2'd.)

    My dog - being slightly better at training me than the other way round - asks to be let out for other things, like chasing the neighbours' kids. But if I want to discourage that, I take her out on lead and we don't get to go anywhere until she's "shitnapiss" and then by way of reward - I might let her say hello to the neighbours' kids.

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