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Maggy's Dad
20th March 2007, 09:20 PM
We need some urgent advice. Through no one else's fault but our own we find ourselves in a very fustrating situation. We have to hold our hands up and say that we didnt properly train our little ruby, Maggie. We used newspaper to start with because we lived on the top floor of an apartment complex. We have since moved but have not changed her training. Now we wake every morning to be greeted with a mess which she has usually walked through. She is also starting to pee and poor outside the newspaper area. Its starting to drive us mad. Infact I get a little mad at her. I know this does no good at all and that I need to take a proper approach.

We need to rectify this and need some advice. She is 6 months old and we feed her three times a day - 6am, 6pm and 9pm. We are in a position to walk her in the morning and evenings. Is it too late to start using a pen?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We know we are at fault.

mishmosh
20th March 2007, 11:06 PM
who has been letting her out during the day?

Karlin
21st March 2007, 12:35 AM
1) She is too old to be getting three meals a day. After 4 months or so she can go to two, so start by eliminating a meal. The fact that you are giving her food at 9pm is leaving her with a bursting bowel -- that is a LOT of food over three hours -- two full meals -- so no wonder she has to do a poop before you get up! Her last meal should always be at 6 and yu need to walk her and make sure she poops before you go to bed, last thing at night. Is no one there between those hours, 6 and 6? This is going to likely cause problems for you with this particular breed as well as housetraining problems -- they really need to be walked midday and visited, by a hired dog walker or by being left in day care if you cannot get home during the day. Even adults should not be left daily for more than about 6 hours without a break, 8 hours absolute maximum. They simply cannot hold themselves without being in pain. That is certainly already compounding your problem.

2) You need to go buy Shirlee Kalstone's housetraining book. It will give you careful explanations, model schedules, and the right way to successfully housetrain through reward and structured training. :)

http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTB132

It will be the best $8 you will spend this year.

I would recommend crate training as a tool. But NOT to leave the dog in a crate all day if people are out.

Keep in mind someone really needs to be there during the day to maintain housetraining structure for a puppy. If people work all day, and no one can come in at least once during the day for a break for her, then your puppy will have a very hard time understanding she is always supposed to hold herself to go outside. She won't be able to physically hold herself and if you aren;t there to reward her for using papers, then she quickly will lose any understanding that you want her to always use papers. Someone has to be there, over time, to guide and reward or you will be dealing with a very slow learning curve.

PS Please do not get mad at a puppy -- a puppy only knows what you successfully teach it. You need to find the right way to communicate with your puppy, not get mad at a puppy for not knowing what you are trying to do. :thmbsup:

Caraline
21st March 2007, 12:38 AM
I'd start the toilet training from scratch again, just as you would a puppy. It is never too late to crate train and this certainly makes toilet training much easier. See some of Karlin's notes at the bottom of the forum.

Kodee
21st March 2007, 01:45 AM
I have that book and think it really would help you. It has a timetable for families that work. You can feed her 2x a day but can also leave her a kong with kibble mixed with a tsp of cheese whiz really packed in. It take determination to get it all out and would also serve the purpose of keeping her entertained.

You mentioned in the morning she walks through her messes. I find if you dont at least crate them at night, they will never get the hang of it. Use an xpen or gated area for when you are at work and really try to have someone let her out mid day. I cant see a small breed dog holding it without some break. The book also talks about pads and litter bins. It warns many dogs will not use them. But if your at your wits end, you might try training her/him to use a litter pan (Yesterday News pellets). It suggests to also sprinkle some on the grass to do double duty training - showing the dog its ok to go on grass and the pellets. Likewise it says you can add a piece of sod to the litter pan.

Cathy Moon
21st March 2007, 01:55 AM
In addition to what the others have said, our dog trainer told us to take our dogs out 6 times per day for potty. Puppies need to go potty more often than that. Could you pay someone to take Maggy out when you're not home?