View Full Version : Potty Training Regressions

2nd January 2007, 07:04 PM
Well, Barkleigh did have a nasty accident, so we have been very forgiving, but...in some ways we have not progressed either.

He is 5.5 months old and certainly knows what to do and where. He always has access to wee-wee pads on the patio and if he is not with someone, he is in the crate. He sleeps in the crate next to the bed and is good for 9 hours and has even gone 15 hours while traveling. He is light on water and food as well.

BUT, he refuses to give us ANY signal that he wants to go out. He almost never barks or whines (but he can). We put bells on strings by the front door and gave treats when he jingled them and opened the door and said "go potty" but he ignored them. We rang them every time we took him out and he never made the connection. He trains easily to basic commands, but he is getting a bit adolescent. (Fixing coming up in a few weeks.)

The problem is he'll sneak away when my back is turned and quickly piddle or poop somewhere. If he is missing, I can usually figure out what he is up to. I act very annoyed (well, I am) and take him right out. He looks guilty, but still no cure. He has gone a week or more without an incident, and then has one.

We are very sweet and gentle and always praise him. I don't want to get tough, but would rather find a behavioral method that would work. He is the more darling doggie in the world (next to yours, of course.)

Thanks! (And, I have had many dogs but they'd at least go to the door or bark...)

2nd January 2007, 07:11 PM

First off glad to hear that little Barkleigh is doing alright now. ;) I was worried for you guys. ;)

Secondly, exactly how important is it that Barkleigh have to physically tell you that he wants to go outside??

I've found personally that it's much easier for me to take Kosmo out in intervals instead of waiting for him to tell me. I've seen him go to the door and bark maybe 3 times since I've had him and those have all been recently. If I get up and let him out every few hours then I can securely feel that he won't need to go for another few hours. This made house training so much easier on us as well. When I knew he'd just gone then I could let him have a little more freedom. We maybe had a complete TOTAL of 5 accidents in the house and that's since he was 10weeks old. (but alas, the first 3 months we also practically lived outside. ;) )

Maybe others can offer more advice.

good luck! :flwr:

Cicero's Mummy
2nd January 2007, 07:15 PM
.... keep on keepin' on .... Sometimes it takes longer to potty train one puppy than the other.

I have learned this through fostering dogs...


1. Chihuahua --- at 8 weeks old never really had to pt... just knew what to do!!
2. Foster dog Yorkie --- Had since a puppy... took 1 full year to housebreak and still not reliable (new owner are even more ocd than me)
3. Foster dog Lhasa Apso --- took about 4 weeks to pt

2nd January 2007, 07:41 PM
We have 1 hr and 45 min. of inside play (or really any continuous awake time) and then it's time to go out - anytime we go for 2 hours she's off in a corner quietly water the hardwoods :shock: . She pees imediatley when we take her out so it's not a big deal to take her out often. Her poop schedule is like clockwork so we know when to give her extra time for that - if for some reason she won't poop when we think she should we jog really fast with her for a couple of minutes and "bam" works every time. Ella is 6 months now and she's never given us a sign either (unless you consider squatting and releasing a sign :roll: ). I think it's just their nature - good luck though - I hope we both started getting signs soon!!!

2nd January 2007, 08:01 PM
I think you are expecting more than he can deliver at his age. 5 months is still very young, and really, most dogs are not close to 100% reliable til more like a year old. They are just young and many things can make them forget -- from you not letting them out in time to an interesting indoor smell to not being thoroughly reliable in each room and trained to each room (you can't just do basic housetraining and expect a dog to know the whole house is included in the 'off limits' roster! :))

Also, most people are only just *starting* to train a pup to ring a bell at his age -- that is actually a quite difficult and complex association for a dog to make (and also, ringing it for him will not teach him to ring it -- I'd try a different and more consistent training method and remember that training takes time -- sometimes lots and lots of time). And yes, I agree with other suggestions that it is better to make sure you take him out at regular intervals rather than rely on him to tell you -- NONE of my three EVER indicate they want to go out, not a bark, a scratch, a whine. I just take them out about every 4 hours. For a 5 month old I'd be taking him out every 3 hours or so.

In short, five months is still much too young for a dog to be totally housetrained or reliable and though it gets frustrating (as I remember well!) the burden is still on you to make sure he isn't in a situation where he is able to go inside (eg not under constant watch and in the same room as you -- the problem is as you indicate; he gets the chance to not be under close watch, and he shouldn;t ever have those chances. Teteher him to you if need be but don;t let him wander around on his own). For me it was at about 9 months that Jaspar could be mostly trusted on his own in the house and still there was the rare accident up til about 12 months. And I take full responsibility for allowing those to happen as most were due to him needing to go and me stretching out the time between outdoor visits to longer than he was able to do at that age, and also not watching him.

2nd January 2007, 08:03 PM
Better way to train to ring a bell:


PS On a reread: what do you mean by you don't want to 'get tough'? :shock: He's only five months old :( -- and there is no 'get tough' method that works for housetraining. You cannot punish a dog for relieving itself because you are assuming the dog will make a cause and effect association. It will not. What you will do is introduce worse problems (eg the dog's logical response will be to think that going in front of you is bad, so therefore he will go inside where you don't see him, or become fearful of going at all, or become fearful of you generally because you illogically get angry and punish him for a normal and necessary bodily function. He will only distinguish the RIGHT place to go by being *rewarded* for the right place, which means you have the responsibility of always making sure he always is in the right place, every single time. :thmbsup: :)

2nd January 2007, 08:24 PM
One thing I did with Holly (admittedly when she was older than Barkleigh is) was to ask her a question. It sounds bizarre, but it worked. When she hears "Holly want out?" she either hides under something (which means 'no thanks!') or looks interested and then follows me to the door. Although a stranger would find it odd to hear me tell my mum (as I have more than once) "I asked Holly if she wanted out and she said no.." :lol:

From a training perspective, you need to ask before you take the pup out so that he associates it with the option of going potty. However, I don't think it's effective for you in the short term- it worked well with Holly because by the time I started doing it she was virtually 100% reliable in the house, and didn't appreciate being put out if she didn't need to go! :lol: Having said that, I don't suppose there's any harm in getting him used to the idea that those words (or similar) are used to let him know you're about to chuck him out; later, you may find he does as Holly does and hides to indicate that he doesn't actually need out at that point in time.

Like Karlin says, five months is still very young. Amber has gotten to the stage where she's reliable most of the time, and if she's happy and settled doing something (as she is right now) then I can safely relax and do something else, while keeping her under my eye. I don't need to worry about a sudden pee or poop. I'm also starting to do as outlined above, but I don't expect her to 'get it' for quite a while yet, even with Holly there as an example. I'd stick to a regularl going-out schedule for the moment, and teach him to pee/poop on command too. That does make it easier.

2nd January 2007, 08:24 PM
We also put our doggies out on a schedule of approx. 4 hours.

Charley never, in 14+ years, barked to go out.

We put them out at 8am, noon, 4pm, 8pm and just before our bedtime.

The last one is to ensure that they are comfortable during the night.

We are trying to get Mary Alice to "go" on command before the snow flies!

So far, it isn't working.....but she'll get it eventually!

I also would rather put a doggie out, than clean up any accidents.

Pups, as Karlin says, would need to go out more often.

2nd January 2007, 08:43 PM

Your message cracks me up!! I was going to write something about that but I am chicken.. icon_whistling icon_whistling

For the last month or so I've come to the point at the regular interval times I say "Kosmo, do you have to go potty outside?" and he drops what he's doing and runs to the door, LOL. If he doesn't have to go he literally looks at me like "woman, are you nuts?" and goes back to what he's doing.. My mom cracked up she said I was crazy! :lol: :lol:

Denise G.
2nd January 2007, 11:27 PM
I think the one year mark is really true. Mia will be a year old in a few weeks and she hasn't had an accident in probably 4-6 weeks. We went out of town for Christmas and I expected she would probably have a few accidents until she got acclimated--but she didn't have any accidents at all. She'll even go to the door and sit when she needs to go and I didn't really train her to do that--she just figured out that's where to wait. It would be nice if she scratched the door or something. Sometimes I'm upstairs and come down to find her patiently sitting by the door to go out for who knows how long--ha!

2nd January 2007, 11:54 PM
Most of our dogs let us know in their own way that they need to go out...some bark, some run around in circles, etc. Not Casey; he is the strong silent type. Everytime I would think our Casey was trained, he would have an accident. We taught him to ring a set of bells that hang on the back door and problem solved! He then had a way to communicate that he needed to go out. hang in there, your pup will get it!

2nd January 2007, 11:55 PM

Your message cracks me up!! I was going to write something about that but I am chicken.. icon_whistling icon_whistling

For the last month or so I've come to the point at the regular interval times I say "Kosmo, do you have to go potty outside?" and he drops what he's doing and runs to the door, LOL. If he doesn't have to go he literally looks at me like "woman, are you nuts?" and goes back to what he's doing.. My mom cracked up she said I was crazy! :lol: :lol:

Glad to know I'm not the only one. It wasn't til I typed it out that I realised how demented how sounds... :lol: