View Full Version : House training
28th July 2011, 04:34 AM
My Bentley is 6 mos. old...am I expecting too much of him to be completely house trained? I'm starting to get frustrated. In the a.m. he goes out & does both duties. I leave for work & come home in about 5/6 hrs. & his crate is clean....never does anything there. I take him out, he again does both duties, and then all of a sudden, about 1/2 hr. later, I see he peed on the carpet. Tonight, I had him out for a walk, brought him in & he did #2 on my carpet. Sometimes he'll make a motion to go out & if I miss that, well then there's an accident. I try to be consistent with taking him out, taking walks, taking him to the same spots to do his business, I praise him, give him treats, & I just don't know what else to do. Sometimes I just feel I'm wanting him to be better with the house training than he is because he does know to go to the front door, but when he's there, he doesn't make a sound & I'm constantly watching him....then I turn my back and another accident. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I love him to death, he's my boy but I don't want him to feel my frustration. Thanks.
28th July 2011, 07:07 PM
You can do a search and find lots of previous threads on housetraining whoch should be of help. There are also many links in the training section to trainer sites, pinned at the top.
I'd start by saying yes, it is a bit too much to expect a 6 month puppy to be fully housetrained, especially if he has no one in the house to reinforce good potty training during the day. Also the fact that he is able to go on indoor carpet etc means he also is being given too much freedom too early, allwoing him the opportunity to have accidents. It is critical to start to manage him more closely as you are at a key housetraining phase, and repeated accidents will become ingrained habit -- so you are right to look for possible solutions. :)
My main recommendation would be to go back to managing him on a lead, with the crate, or in a puppy pen when he is not at arm's length. Make sure any accidents are cleaned with a vinegar solution or an enzymatic cleaner or he will still smell where he has gone and return to these places. Do not let him run around rooms as he pleases off lead, where he can quickly have an accident, as he isn't housetrained yet. Managing a dog to set him up for success, success, success is the single fastest shortcut an owner can use for housetraining success! A lot of people make the mistake of thinking it is all about training -- it is actually training and management -- or really, to my mind at least 75% management which results in the structure that enables housetraining to success. Limiting access, using a crate, going to the same places, etc are all management approaches to housetraining. :)
Most dogs will be about 90% there by 9 months and really not reliable until a bout a year old. Dogs between 6-12 months often regress on housetraining so management is really the issue -- most of us make the error of assuming a dog is trained long before it actually is, based on a few successful days or weeks of potty behaviour! So all of us have been through this.
If he is actually left in his crate during a workday, I'd really recommend giving him the run of a safe room like the kitchen with his crate door open, or use a tall puppy pen around his crate in the kitchen, to give him more freedom and room than crating, if you are crating him for 5-6 hours daily. I know long term confinement in crates has become, to my mind rather sadly, a common recommendation by some trainers especially in North America, and anyone can of course train a dog to accept sitting in such a small space for hours and hours, but it is such a low level of stimulation and a poor quality 'holding space' and good trainers tend to recommend owners not view a crate as a daily cage for their dog but rather as a short term holding area, safe transport tool, or nighttime sleeping place to keep the dog safe and locatable in an emergency. To put it another way -- we'd be shocked if a zoo animal of similar size -- say, a fox -- were locked into a cage the size of a crate for many hours daily in a zoo yet this has become an acceptable way to manage a dog, a far more social, relaxed animal that needs mental stimulation.
This is great advice from a good trainer on using crates: http://www.dogspelledforward.com/crate-training/
His advice on housetraining: http://www.dogspelledforward.com/house-training/
There's some great advice for managing a dog at home with a pen and crate in Dr Ian Dunbar's free book download here :D
The book is excellent on raising and training a dog generally! There are some free information sheets as well and many on-site videos, blogs by trainers, etc. at the same link.
29th July 2011, 12:16 AM
I went through the same experience. It took a while for Nalu to learn to bark at the door. (You could pretend you're a dog and and have someone run to the door and let you both out after a quick little bark.) At 18 mos. she still gets praise whenever she does something right (from barking to going in the right area.) She always had to go out as soon as she got up from laying down a while. If she drank or ate it wouldn't be long before she had to go out again. While she's out I always ask if she has to pee or poo before we come in. She knows what I'm asking. Good luck!
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