View Full Version : Question about toilet training

28th November 2009, 08:44 PM
We're doing some toilet training with Chrissie at the moment as she's had quite a few accidents in the house. We watch her 99.9% of them and bring her out with treats and she goes and comes back in for the treats. The one thing I can't get is how to figure out when she needs to go out. For example, I let her out about an hour ago and she had a pee and came back and got her treat. Then a little while later she went wandering into the kitchen and I went in and she had pooped in the kitchen. Sometimes she's restless and goes wandering to a different room so I'm finding it hard to figure out when she's just being restless as opposed to wanting to go. Thanks in advance.

28th November 2009, 08:50 PM
It is all very hit and miss when they are young... its hard to know what to do.. it eventually all comes together but could be 6months or a year. :(

28th November 2009, 09:10 PM
This really is the hardest bit, but you have to literally follow her around everywhere, ie if she goes into the kitchen and you think - 'Ah she's just going for a drink of water' you have still to get up and follow her in there immediately. If she goes behind the chair, you've got to get up and see what she's doing - just as you would do if you had a very young toddler!:eek:

In fact pretend that you are attached to her all the time by and invisible piece of string.:biggrin: It's the only way to avoid accidents, and it is the quickest way to house train, because you can pick her up and put her outside the moment she begins to squat.

When you are not able to watch her all the time, then place her in a pen or a cage.

What you want to work towards is giving her no chance of making a mistake, and then she will not get into the habit of doing so. Constant vigilence will pay dividends, though you'll probably not be able to sit down for more than a couple of minutes at a time.:biggrin:

28th November 2009, 10:13 PM
I agree with Yorkysue. As my ever-favorite Dr. Dunbar says, the less freedom you give them as puppies, the more they'll be able to have as adults. For instance, when I'm in the living room cleaning or grading papers, I attach Leo to his six foot leash with toys and a nice kong and water bowl and get on with what I have to do. That way, I can look up at him every so often or go over to him and pet him, but I'll always know exactly where he is at all times.

As for knowing when they have to go, a lot of times you can teach them to give you a cue. I have to carry Leo down a flight of stairs to take him to go "aye aye" because I don't want to mess up his little growing joints. I make him sit before I put his leash on and sit again when I open the door. Now, whenever he has to go, he sits with his nose pointed toward the door.

29th November 2009, 10:18 AM
I started with every 15 mins and added 5 mins every 4 weeks,now he is 6 months i let him out every hr.

30th November 2009, 09:11 PM
Thanks guys for all the great advice. Chrissie is a recue dog that we got in July. She's probably around 2 years old and we've noticed that she has started to have more little accidents around the house. 99% of the time she's great. Will she eventually give some indication when she needs to go out? So far she doesn't bark, cry or go to the door. Thanks again.

2nd December 2009, 12:15 AM
Whoops! I thought you meant a puppy! When it comes to rescues, I'm the first to admit that I have no experience! I hope someone more experienced will come along and help.

2nd December 2009, 07:08 PM
Have you taken her to the vet to be sure this isn't a medical issue? If this has started to happen more and more I'd suspect a UTI or other problem, so this would be the first step. :thmbsup: If she doesn't have a UTI or other problem, then you know you can move forward with training etc. instead. It might be as simple as treating a UTI though.

Most dogs actually need to be trained to give a signal to go out, if that is what you wish to have them do. There are several posts from the past on this, training to use bells, etc. that may be of help if you wish to train her to do this. None of my dogs give signals.

It sounds like overall, though, that right now, she has too much freedom as she is not housetrained fully (not if she is having regular accidents), and therefore, has to be managed and trained as an unhousetrained dog. The only way to deal with this, once you get an all clear for a health issue and assuming that isn't the problem, is start from scratch. There are lots of links in the training sections I've pinned to this section on housetraining; Ian Dunbar's free download book also has plenty on housetraining so any of those things should help. I'd start from square one. Put it this way: every single accident further lengthens the training process because it reinforces that this is an option for her, and every accident makes it more and more difficult to address and re-train, so managing this to halt the acidents immediately is really critical. She needs to *never* have the opportunity to make these mistakes, which means constant supervision/management, just as you would with a puppy.

Unfortunately some adult rescue dogs from some backgrounds simply never will be fully reliable for many different reasons-- and in such a case there may be nothing that can really be done but to accept and manage this (eg get rid of area rugs and never allow her in rooms on her own or with carpet unless she is on a lap, in crate, at arm's reach etc).