View Full Version : Big problem

29th September 2007, 03:27 PM
I've made a cardinal mistake. When we got our puppies, Hermie and Maija, in the spring I started leaving the back door open fairly soon afterwards. They soon learnt to go out when they needed to go to toilet. But now - I have to keep the door shut most of the time as it's getting colder and they don't know how to ask to go out! I keep finding puddles and poohs all over the place:sl*p: This has now been going on for about a week. The puppies are 8 months old already. There are a couple of other factors that may be partly to blame: Hermie is in season and my husband has been away on business for a week (and will be for another two weeks).
I know I shouldn't have left the door open - that was a bad mistake, but I didn't realise it then. Now I just feel utterly helpless with these two. I don't know how to go about correcting the situation - is it even possible any more...? I take them out to the garden several times a day but often they don't do anything there, just play or stare at me and wonder what I might be standing there for! I can't take Hermie for walks at the moment because of her heat but I take Maija twice a day.
Any tips? I'd be grateful for any help. h*lp

29th September 2007, 03:40 PM
Yes, it's good you pointed it out, leaving the door open isn't really house training. It's not too late though. If there is a regular time the dogs go out for a wee, when they wake up in the morning for example, I would have a treat ready and say a command when they wee and treat. I think treats are your answer here and lots of praise for ever toilet trip taken outside. If you catch your dog in the act of weeing in the house, (don't freak out, they will only hide and do it next time), say uh uh! pick them up, mid stream, and put them in the garden to finish. reward if they finish outside. I think this won't take too long, maybe a week or two, after all, they did used to do all their wees outside. Keep a very close watch on them this weekend. Don't give them free run of the house.

My experience of getting Dylan to ask to go out was easy, hopefully for you too. In the house he was quite happy to scratch on a door to ask to go through but not the back door. So I just scratch the door myself before letting him out then took his paw and made his do it! He soon caught on.

29th September 2007, 05:01 PM
Great tips from Pauline there!! Don't beat yourself up over it either, what's done is done and we all learn from experience! Given the age of your girls I would just pop them outside on their own with the command "Be Busy" or whatever you prefer, then leave them and watch discreetly, if you are with them they might think you are waiting to take them for a walk or likewise and be in a hurry to get back to you. they will soon get the message don't worry!

29th September 2007, 05:08 PM
It won;t be too hard to train them; they just need structure now to remind them that they need to go *outside* all the time. I always recommend Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining; you can easily order it off Amazon. It gives full schedules for people at home or work and also tips for working with older dogs, etc. and really makes housetraining easy and understandable. I have housetrained adults, so don't despair! :) You can also try training them to ring a bell if you want. Some here have done this.

29th September 2007, 10:45 PM
I would give the poochie bells a try. My Ellie learnt how to use them in a day. She even closes the door on command :).

30th September 2007, 06:49 PM
Thank you all for your brilliant help!:smile:
I've now ordered the book that Karlin recommended and kept a close eye on the girls yesterday and today - no accidents so far! I've been trying to teach them to scratch the back door but I'm very interested in the bells. Where can you get pooch bells in the UK? Or perhaps they are not too difficult to make yourself?

1st October 2007, 03:18 AM
How about a doggy door?

1st October 2007, 10:58 AM
Do you mean like a cat flap? Probably not possible, about a year before we got the dogs we changed the back door because it had the previous owner's cat flap in it! Now we have an extra warm door, I don't think my husband would be happy to put a flap in it...

1st October 2007, 06:44 PM
And I made some poochie bells myself today, let's see if they learn to use them!:xfngr:

1st October 2007, 07:20 PM
I too have gone round and round with my Lily. She still is not 100% all the time trained. She will do great, I mean absolutley wonderful, for several weeks. Then she gets it in her head that it is too much trouble to bother me and will just go when she has to. If I am not in the room with her, which is rare, I don't see it happening. Now that it is cooling off here in Florida I am leaving the doors to the back wide open. She loves to run in and out playing all day. I will do this for a few weeks or so until it gets cold. This is not usual for us, but I did do it last year when she was still training and it did backfire on me. She got so used to not asking or even trying and I think that was where we messed up. I hope that now that she is well on her way to being trained it doesn't cause issues this year. But it is not hopeless. It just takes a lot of work and paying attention. Tiresome days ahead!!! :)

1st October 2007, 10:49 PM
Yep! Had a disappointment today again: they both (I assume it was both) poohed in the dining room. And I've been with them almost every second of the day but at that moment I went upstairs! It's been raining all day and they hate to go out when it's wet, although I do make them, but they can't be bothered to stay long enough. Argh!!
I've realised how hard many things are when you have two puppies the same age, it's really difficult to teach them. Hermie is the runt of the litter and we we had only reserved Maija, but when my husband went to pick her up he couldn't leave Hermie behind, nobody had reserved the poor little thing. So here we are...;)

2nd October 2007, 06:03 AM
Best advice is if you leave them even for a minute, confine them. :thmbsup: It really does work. That said, our Buddy is two and a half. He is generally very, very good. I actually have to encourage him to pee more frequently then he would if left to his own devices as his little bladder can hold enough to keep that little leg in the air for what seems like forever. That said every once in a while he will sneek down to our unfinished basement to poop. :rolleyes: Have no idea what triggers this. It has become with me, of course, a human issue in that some household residents do not know how to keep the basement door closed. Rule is, if you leave the door opened you have to go hunt for and scoop the poop if found. The point of my story is that very few of them are perfect but it will get better if you are diligent. Good luck!