View Full Version : Trouble with potty training and another dog

14th September 2006, 01:16 PM
Hey everyone,
I'm new to the forum. I spent quite a bit of time last night parusing the topics and learned quite a few "tricks of the trade." My cav is a tri-color boy named Gatsby. He's six and a half months old, and I've had him for nearly five months. He's adorable, and pretty much my pride and joy.

My trouble is, he's still having accidents, not every day but probably once every other day or so. Part of the problem is that he's had so many accidents in the house since I got him that my carpet has been impossible to clean completely, so I know he smells it. He has one spot in every room in my house (except the bathrooms) where he goes. It's hard for me to catch him in the act, but I spank him when I do.

But, this morning, for example, I was in the shower and couldn't get to him in time for his "morning pee." He went on the rug right by the door, and I scolded him, then put him outside. I thought afterwards, though, that at least he made it to the door and he probably just couldn't hold it, and then there I go scolding him and spanking him when he essentially did the right thing, just not all the way because he can't open doors :lol:

The other issue that complicates things is my boyfriend's black lab, Sadie. Gatsby has known Sadie his whole life, they were introduced when Gatsby was about two months old, and they interact very well together. Gatsby has accidents at my boyfriend's house, though, and he's getting new carpet tomorrow. I'm afraid to even bring Gatsby over there, because if I let him run around he'll have an accident, but if I keep him kennelled he'll bark and freak out because he wants to be playing with Sadie, and who can blame him?

So, my question is, what am I doing wrong that Gatsby still isn't potty trained? He can sit, he knows the names of his toys and he comes when I call him 90% of the time. I'm really frustrated with myself because I feel like it's something I've done wrong, not been consistent or something with him.

Sorry this post is so long! Thanks for reading!!

14th September 2006, 01:22 PM
PLEASE DO NOT SPANK YOUR DOG........ he is still very young and learning still - if he is still having accidents... my youngest is 10 months and still has accidents, then you must continue to place outside every hour or couple of hours along with praise and a treat when he has done his business...get into a good routine, i.e. in the morning let out for a wee, once again before you shower.... and so forth.

Get a good odour cleaner and if I was you spray over the whole of the area...

14th September 2006, 01:30 PM
I ditto Claire ......... would you spank your child for having an accident?

14th September 2006, 01:34 PM
Please don't spank this little baby. I would use praise instead of scolding and also lots of trips to the garden.

If you catch them in the act you can say no gently but firmly, pick him up to finish outside and then lavish praise.

Also I would not allow full use of the house but keep him in the kitchen ,when you go to another room if you take him with you keep an eye out for him and if you see him sniffing take him outside and tell him to go wee wee or whatever word you want to use.

This worked for my dogs and now thay both go to the door to be let out and if i don't notice they will scratch.

Patience is the key factor here, I got Gus at 4 months untrained and he took ages to train but we got there in the end!

14th September 2006, 01:59 PM
I agree its not fair to spank him, he's just a little baby..... Bailey is 7 mts now and house trained.

But the other day my lodger gave him some warm water and a little bit of milk which he love's.. This was at about 6am when I came down at 8am he had been on the kitchen floor because his bladder is still small he can't hold all that liquid.. He has water all day but I only give him treats like that when I know I am going to be around so the door is left open for him to go out...

14th September 2006, 02:09 PM
Also I would not allow full use of the house but keep him in the kitchen ,when you go to another room if you take him with you keep an eye out for him and if you see him sniffing take him outside and tell him to go wee wee or whatever word you want to use.

I do try to keep him with me, always keeping an eye on him. I put up a puppy gate to keep him from going upstairs, and my downstairs is totally open (no doors to kitchen or dining room, etc.). I don't want to prevent him from exploring. He's in his kennel all day while I'm at work and when I get home I take him out and I want him to be able to roam around since he's been cooped up all day.

If I keep him with me around the clock (when I'm home) won't he lose his independence?

And, to clarify to everyone, I'm not a monster. I don't beat my dog. When he does something wrong, I swat him on his bottom. He doesn't cower, he's not scared when I do it. He recognizes that he's done something wrong because whenever I touch him otherwise I'm snuggling him to death. I would never intentionally hurt Gatsby...I'm trying to do my best to train him so that he's an enjoyable companion for me and for guests when they come to my home.

14th September 2006, 02:10 PM
I agree its not fair to spank him, he's just a little baby..... Bailey is 7 mts now and house trained.

What was the process you used to house train him?

14th September 2006, 02:32 PM
Please, please don;t even swat or hot a puppy or an adult dog. All this does is make your dog fearful of you. And it is cruel and unproductive.

In the Library section I have a post in the Considering a Cavalier thread that lists 10 things a dog asks of its owner. This is number 7:

Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones of your hand, but that I choose not to bite you.

A puppy that is hit as a puppy that will one day in panic snap back, probably as an adult, maybe with a small child who grabs him unexpectedly, and that may be the end of the line for the dog. At a minimum you are setting up potential behaviour and psychological problems. You are teaching him every time you hit him (because you set the behaviour example, just as you woud for a child) that reacting with sudden force is fine.

Consider too how pointless hitting or scolding is, especially after the fact when a dog will make NO connection between the fact that you have suddenly turned angry and violent, and the fact that at some earlier point, it carried out a bodily function *that it had to do*. If the dog is going inside, it is because it has not been trained sufficiently yet to recognise it needs to go outside. Only you can do that, and by scolding you actually make it MORE likely that the dog will wee and defecate when you are someplace out of sight -- like in the shower -- because he knows he is at risk of being hit and scolded otherwise. In his mind, all he is connecting is he gets in trouble sometimes for defecating in front of you. In his mind, to please you he thinks the solution is to go when you don;t see him because obviously going in front of you is bad. When you punish him anyway, he has NO IDEA why you are punishing him at random moments and this just hugely increases his confusion and anxiety over anything to do with housetraining. Hence more accidents.

Housetraining is tough but the rate of success is directly proportionate to how assiduous you are in never ever ever allowing accidents to happen. The only way you can do this is by having the puppy or dog under control, within eyesight, at all times. many people also use a crate to help with training, which helps structure the times the dog goes.

Please see the Library section under Caring for your Cavalier where there's a post on housetraining and crate training. There's some good articles there and also I strongly suggest buying Shirlee Kalstone's book on Housetraining a dog in seven days.

You will get there but your dog is entirely dependent on you teaching him where you want him to go. To him inside the house seems a totally normal place to go until you consistently show him otherwise *in a positive, rewarding way* that makes him want to go outside -- eg you have to make the reward of treat and praise so welcome to him that he gladly holds himself to please you. If he has enough free rein to roam about the house and go because you aren;t watching him or are taking a shower while he is at large, this will keep allowing him to make mistakes. I'd guess one or two weeks of religious dedication to housetraining will solve 99% of your problems. :thmbsup:

14th September 2006, 02:59 PM
I crate trained mine.. It took one week... its suprising how quick they learn...

I used to put him in his crate in the morning with his bowl of water, his bed and a few toy's. Then go off to work, I am quite lucky that I only work 5 mins from home so I used to split my brakes and come home a few times during the day to let him out so he was never left for more than 3 hours .... He still sleeps in his crate at night...

Bruce H
14th September 2006, 06:25 PM
We have 12 dogs in our house that we house trained :yikes I can tell you that each dog was different . The easiest one (Anna, I think) was totally reliable by about 5 months. The nightmare was Star at almost a year old; we had almost given up on her when one day we realized she hadn't had an accident in a long time.

I agree with what others have said regarding the other issues. Good luck with your puppy, he will "get it" eventually. Just be patient with him.

14th September 2006, 09:10 PM
Yep, I agree with the others too. No one is impying taht you are a monster here. They are merely saying not to smack, tap or hit your little one.

It is much better to say a firm 'NO!' and immediately lift him up and pop him outside (I've always gone out with mine in my jim jams whatever the weather :roll: ). He'll soon get the message.

You also need to use an enzymatic cleaner for the carpet - see if there's a special doggie smell one at the pet store. this will help remove his smells from the carpets and stop him going back there.

He's still only a baby and it is perfectly normal for him to have the occasional accident in the house at this age.

Also, before you shower or anything else in the morning then go and take him out for his wee and poop. Give him tons of praise when he gets it right and just a firm no and nothing else when he gets it wrong. Good luck!

Kerry, is this the same lodger who is so knowledgeable on what you should be feeding Bailey? If it is then surely he'd know that milk is not good for dogs ;)

14th September 2006, 10:43 PM
Hi Kelvin,

I have a little boy myself who I've had for approximately 5 months (just a little over) so I am quite fresh with the housetraining.

I am happy to report that Kosmo has only had a handful of accidents in the house since we brought him home!! He hasn't had an "accident" for probably around 2 months although I know others tell me to expect it.

The best advice I can give you is to literally take him outside ALL the time. I am telling you when I first had Kosmo I would take him outside every hour and sometimes more if he looked like he was circling. When we went out we didn't stay out for 30 seconds, we stayed out for at least 5 minutes and when he relieved himself I would seriously do a dance and a clap and give him a treat with kisses and hugs.. It got to the point where he would go pee and SPRINT to me when he was done because he knew he was going to get something good.

Over time as he got more reliable I didn't take him out as often, and even still we will go out every 4 hours.. more often if he is stalking the door, it just depends on the day.

One thing I would definately recommend outside supervision 100% of the time. In my experience it's extremely important to be out there when they finally do go outside so that you can make a big deal out of it. I don't know how you do it but I still take Kosmo out on a leash so I can watch him. Plus then I KNOW for sure when he's gone and then I can make a better estimate of when he'll have to go again.

Good luck with everything and house training is not easy just hang in there.. It will be worth it in the end! :)

15th September 2006, 09:26 AM
Donna, Yes the same one...

I didn't know milk was bad for him.... I also let him lick the top off my yoghurt.

I did read somewhere or someone told me not to give him milk with his royal canine (must of been the vet) but I didn't know it was bad for him.

He's had milk (about the amount you would put in your coffee) with water about 4 times....

I read raisens and grapes are bad for them and things like apple pips etc...... Is there anything else I should not feed him.

15th September 2006, 09:35 AM
Milk can upset their stomach - if it is really watered down I am not sure, whereas the plain yoghurt (not sure what type but I am sure someone will come up with it) is good when they have an upset stomach....... grapes, raisins are bad as they can affect the kidneys...

15th September 2006, 01:24 PM
Goats milk is supposed to be alright I think.

I give Merlin cows milk for a treat ( or in summer when he isn't drinking enough), BUT is very watered down. I leave a bit in the pint bottle and then fill up with water ( its about 1/8 milk and 7/8 water). He thinks he's getting full milk because it looks like the bottles the milk man leaves outside that he gets told off for licking the tops of!!!!

Cathy Moon
16th September 2006, 08:25 PM
I think there is some kind of black light you can buy and then shine it on your carpet to locate all the old wee spots in order to clean them with enzymatic cleaner.

If you cannot find a black light, another suggestion would be to get a steam vac and a large jug of Simple Solution enzymatic cleaner (available at PetsMart). Then just go over the entire carpet with the cleaner.

This will remove all odors that might tempt your dog into weeing again.

Even with 3 grown cavs, to this day I make sure I let them out every 3-4 hours when I am home. They are house trained but they never really learned how to tell me they want to go out. When I am away from home I confine them in a large kitchen with pet gates. The kitchen has 3 wide openings into other rooms, so I bought some freestanding adjustable wooden pet gates to block the doorways.

17th September 2006, 04:19 AM
hey there...and welcome to the site...i also had a bit of a problem with houstraining my dogs and sometimes got a bit frustrated with them for not listening (but never ever to the extent of touching them in any way shape of form..just a firm "NO").. but i soon realised that i was the one being unfair to them as i cant just expect them to hold their bladder... when i realised this i started taking them outside every 2 hours and praised them lavishly when they urinated outside..and since they are great dogs and just LOVE to please you after 3 days they never had an accident in the house through the day or night...i still take them outside often and they are doing just great i am very proud of them..however even though we havnt had any accident since i still dont doubt that on the rare occasion they will have an accident inside..but its okay. you just have to persist with your training and take him outside lots of times and eventually he will get the message...physical abuse of any sort (even swatting) is not to be used! dont worry... we dont think your a monster! ..,anyway good luck!!

17th September 2006, 07:10 AM
Thanks for all the tips--especially about the enzymatic cleaner! I'm going to get my carpets professionally cleaned but I'll use the cleaner before on the spots to make sure everything is all good.

I think I was/am expecting too much, I was thinking that once he was trained he'd never have an accident, and the fact that he isn't perfectly trained would be a reflection on me, that I was doing something wrong. It was really helpful to read about all the different rates that dogs are at, how some were easy to train and some still aren't.

I'm so glad that I found this site!

17th September 2006, 11:16 AM
And we're all glad to be of help! You're not on your own, if there's a Cavalier related problem you can virtually guarantee that someone on here has been there :roll: :lol:

Kerry, yogurt is OK for them. I give my two a small dollop of pre/pro biotic yogurt every day. It keeps the yeast and tear staining down and helps to keep Charlie's tummy settled (I can also hide Maxx's frusemide in it :lol: ).

I think it's the lactose in cows milk that upsets their tummies. I myself am not supposed to have cows milk because of this but I sometimes do and it does ghastly things to my insides - the pain is something else but I'll never learn :roll: . Yogurt, cheese and a few other dairy things don't have this and are fine :D