View Full Version : Toilet Training Issues

27th July 2008, 12:25 PM
I know this has been done numerous times, but we are having big problems getting our 15 week old house trained.
He knows he has to go outside to poop, but wee is a completely different issue. We take him out regularly at key times, but even then he will run back in (dog flap) and wee inside. He is dry all night, and also when we leave him at times during the day - the problem only seems to be there when we are here. Help!

27th July 2008, 11:56 PM
Please buy Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining as it will give you a better idea how to proceed. You can get it easily on Amazon.co.uk.

There are also a lot of threads that will give an outline on housetraining as well as a thread in the Library. They all say pretty much the same thing. There are no special circumstances -- housetraining always follows a basic pattern and problems are always due to the same mistakes or misunderstandings.

Basic problems I see from your description are:

!) You need to be taking him out yourself, not sending him out so that he can come back in through a dog flap on his own. Taking out means on a lead, every time, rewarding and praising. Never, ever punish for going inside.

2) You need 100% supervision 100% of the time and there are NO shortcuts to avoiding this. The fact that he can come and go as he please at this very young age -- WAY too young to have such independence -- indicates he isn't getting 100% supervision and hence has set up a pattern of going inside as he pleases. Most dogs cannot be left to come and go without constant supervision til they are closer to a year old. He's still a baby.

3) ie: you need to bring expectations in line with his abilities. He is still a very young puppy. He absolutely will not be housetrained at this age. Too much expectation that he would be, or already is housetrained, apparently has created a situation in which he is being given too much freedom and not enough supervision (see, all these things are all related! :)) Hence he goes inside the house because he does not understand he needs to go outside. Giving him that clear understanding is the humans' job -- he cannot learn if you do not teach.

4) And yes, full circle again: teaching means 100% supervision or confining him when that cannot be given. It means taking him outside on a lead regularly. It means rewarding achievement. It means setting him up to succeed and removing the possibility of failure. Every single time he goes inside is like regressing two steps back as it further imprints going inside is OK in his mind. It means it will take longer to get to the end goal.

5) Successful housetraining is a combination of excellent management -- by his owners -- and excellent teaching and guidance -- by his owners. Puppies won't learn on their own, they won't intuit what they are supposed to do.

Finally every single accident must be cleaned up with an enzymatic cleaner that can break down the scent for the dog. Normal housecleaning items *will not do this* and he will just keep returning to where he has gone before.