View Full Version : Fed up with trying to housetrain Dottie!

11th January 2008, 05:24 PM
Dottie is 15 months old now and nowhere near being housebroken! I don't know what else to do! She can go all night in her crate with no problems. When I take her out on the leash to potty, she will go! But she STILL will do both in the house as well! She's even peed on my couches 3 times recently and yesterday she went up the staircase about 4 steps and peed all over one of the steps! I am really getting fed up with this. Any suggestion???


11th January 2008, 05:32 PM
Have you sprayed the areas where she has urinated with a spray designed to mask the smell?

How do you react when she messes in the house?

Do you have a garden to allow her to freely toilet rather than being on the leash?

I would recommend totally going back to basics, wash everything and everywhere she has messed in the house (if you haven't done already) with a spray (you can get these from your loacl pet shop) then watch her closely you will soon see when she needs the toilet as she will sniff etc or just take her out every hour or so and praise when she toliets in the right place. It is also important no to tell her off when she has an accident but take her straight outside, when you do it like this she will pick up very quickly that outside is the place for doing toiletting and that she will get no attention from you if she does it in the house.

I hope this helps:)

11th January 2008, 05:46 PM
First take her to the vet to verify this isn't a medical issue. Often when they pee on furiniture and carpets, if is a kidney or urinary tract infection. These are painful as well for the dog so please have her cleared for a medical problem.

Then: Please go out and buy this book or order it here:


I would not advocate telling off a dog, for doing something wrong especially during housetraining, for the reasons noted in the help sheet below. :thmbsup:

The problem is that she is being given too much freedom while still unhousetrained so she has never made any lasting connection between attempts to get her to go outside and the idea that this is what she needs to always do. eg she is being 'allowed' to make mistakes through inadequate supervision and this means she really does not understand that you want her to go outside ALL the time, not some of the time.,She should never, ever have the freedom to be able to pee on couches and stairs if she is still unhousetrained, in other words -- meaning she needs to be in arm's reach of you at all times, or crated, or tethered to you, so that every single time you get her *outside*; and every time she goes outside she gets praise and a treat.

You'll need to get a very structured programme with specific directions which you will get in this book. You need to be supervising her at arm's reach 100% of the time when she isn't asleep or confined. You need to get an all-rewards based approach going. And you'll need toclean extensively with enzymatic cleaner if you haven't and if she has repeatedly peed inside to the extent that carpet or furnbishings have been dellply permeated with scent, and you never cleaned these with enzymatic cleaner to chemically break down the urine, you may need to rip out carpet and dump the furniture as she will keep being drawn back to them.

Please also see this:


They will also help but you really badly need the Kalstone book so that you can get this frustrating situation resolved.

As some of the trainers in the links above note:

total 100%supervision,
total confinement (crate training) when you can't

And this will help until you get the Kalstone book:

House Training Made Easy
The key to successful house training is supervision. Watch your dog constantly. Your first duty is to identify what your dog does right before it eliminates. Does your dog sniff? circle? hold his ears in a certain position? Some dogs provide signals that are easy to spot, while others are more difficult. Watch carefully.

When you see the signs of an impending puddle, react! Quickly -before he has the chance to squat- ask him in an excited voice, "Do you have to go OUTSIDE?" Lead the way, continuing to praise all the way. Once outside, stay with him until you witness the desired results and praise him as he goes. "Good, go potty outside!" Make him feel that he is the most special dog in the whole world.

By confining him to a small place, like an airline kennel, you will teach him to wait to be let out. He will be more reluctant to soil his crate, because if he does he will be forced to sit and look at it and smell it until you return. When you do let him out, take him directly to his assigned toilet area and praise for quick results. (See CRATE TRAINING.) Tethering is another option to keep your little one from pitter-pattering off where you can't see them.

Take him out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and many times in between. Feed and exercise on a regular schedule. Remember, what goes in regularly, will come out regularly. How soon after he eats does he need to go out? Keep track. Free-choice feeding may hamper your house training efforts - what trickles in will trickle out unpredictably! Your dog will probably need to go out soon after eating, after napping, and after exercising. If you can anticipate when he needs to go and hustle him to the appropriate spot at the first sign, you'll avoid accidents.

If you don't stay, you'll miss the chance to praise and you'll also miss the chance to name the behavior. "Outside" is where he needs to go, "Go potty", "Find a tree", or, "Do your business" (call it what you like) is what he needs to do when he gets there. If you stay with him, you'll also know for a fact that both duties were accomplished before he comes back in. (You'll also be glad that your dog is comfortable eliminating in your presence when you're standing in the rain at that rest stop while vacationing with your pet!)

If you leave him out alone, you won't know if he completed his assigned tasks or was distracted by a butterfly. Many young puppies are distraught about being separated from their owners. They may spend the entire time while outside just sitting on the porch. It's unlikely that your pup will want to ask to go outside if it is a negative experience to be separated from the security of its human family. "He was out for two hours and came in immediately made a mess." He may have spent most of the past two hours napping, awoke to the sound of the door and came running. Now he's finally back inside - is he apt to want to ask to be left out again?

If he has an accident, swat yourself with the rolled up newspaper, not the dog. It was your fault for not watching him closely enough! Rubbing his nose in it (yuck!), scolding or hitting will only teach him to avoid you when he feels the need, rather than come find you. Correcting before the dog learns how to ask only teaches the dog to sneak off down the hall where you won't see him.

If you have been a good cheerleader, your dog has probably made the association between the feeling of a full bladder and your excitement at the prospect of going outside. You may notice that he circles and then looks to you like, "Well? I'm feeling it - are you going to get excited?" Now is the time to start playing "stupid". "What? What do you want? Show me!" The more stupid you appear, the more explicit he will be when trying to communicate his needs. Before you know it, he will be asking.

Upsets in schedule, changes in food, or illness may contribute to temporary lapses in housetraining. See your veterinarian if it persists. Outside stresses, changes in weather, a new pet or baby in the family, may also upset your dog's toilet habits. Punishing long after the fact will only add to his stress. Back up, give him more structure; confine & supervise. Help him be good!

Daisy's Mom
11th January 2008, 06:10 PM
And might I add? Really GREAT treats when she goes outside! Act like she just cured cancer and achieved peace in the Middle East!

Take her outside A LOT. I got Daisy when I was home (e.g., off work) for the summer so that I could take her outside very, very frequently for housetraining. It still wasn't easy. I said "Good potty!" every time she went outside and gave her a super desirable treat (like boiled chicken or home-made liver treats). If she went outside and didn't potty, no treat. Now, when I let her out, if I'm in a hurry, I say "Go potty -- get a treat." and she knows exactly what I'm talking about and she runs out, pees, and then runs back to me for the treat. I only do this when I'm in a hurry to leave or something, and only if I know she's had her daily poop already.

Good luck! I know it is very frustrating, but you are going to have to go back to crate-training/house-training 101. As Karlin said, right now, to Dottie, apparently only her crate is her "home" in terms of where she isn't supposed to pee, everything else is "outside" so is fair game for pottying. You have to enlarge her idea of what's "home" little by little. Eventually, your idea of "home" and her idea of "home" will match up.

We still have to watch Daisy like a hawk upstairs in our house because if she has to go potty, and she has the opportunity, she will occasionally sneak upstairs and go. So to her, upstairs is like the outside (but needless to say, she and I disagree on this point!) It's only happened once in the last 4 months or so, so it's not a frequent thing. She's generally not allowed upstairs (my kids have toys with small parts out on the floor up there so I'm scared she will eat a toy part), so I think that's part of it -- she doesn't really see it as part of our home.

11th January 2008, 08:07 PM
I agree with Karlin that you must first get her checked for UTI and then you need to start over as though she was a puppy. She apparently has not gotten it yet. It is not too late to teach her, but you have to be diligent.

One main problem you have is that you now have urine odor in the house. You may need to throw some things away. You need to get a "black light" and locate the areas which have retained urine and treat them with an exceptional product. I have not used this but know people who have and say it works just about the best of anything they have tried: http://www.planeturine.com/

This is not just you. Our Buddy who is almost three will sometimes sneak into the basement to "poop." It is generally when the weather is bad. I suspect my "helpers" who have let him out, not liking the bad weather either, have failed to watch and make certain he has both peed and pooped. In addition to re-emphasizing the need to "watch," we have also fixed the latch on the basement door, to work on "confine."

11th January 2008, 08:14 PM
I have two other dogs that I had no problem crate / housetraining with, so I really do know the basics of it. I am also a full-time mom so I do spend hours of time with her. I just hate to crate for her long periods of time, but I may just have to get really tough with her. I only fuss at her when I actually catch her in the act, and I NEVER hit her or anything more than just saying, "NO, Dottie, you go pee-pee outside!" What's strange is that if she is outside in our backyard, she will go poop and pee on the concrete patio rather than in the grass. If she is on leash with me in the front yard, she will go in the grass.

Oh well, thanks for the suggestions .... maybe I will get one of the books you have suggested too.