View Full Version : Potty Training Tips Please

Sydneys Mom
13th December 2012, 06:20 PM
I've been following Ian Dunbar's training, though it's not quite as easy as 1-2-3 as his paragraph makes it seem. I bring BellaMia outside every hour and tell her to go potty, followed by lots of praise and a delicious treat. I'm watching her body language also for when she has to go and when I see it, we go right outside. So far so good..........

BUT, she hasn't made the connection to ask to go outside and will eliminate inside if I don't grab her in time. I know mistakes will happen and I don't scold or punish her, but she's 15 weeks old and has been here for a month with the same routine from day 1. Any tips to help her make the connection that asking to go out and take care of business will equal a treat?

13th December 2012, 08:25 PM
Patience. Wow. 15 weeks is nothing in my experience! I thought many times that Bentley had the hang of it then he'd revert back to accidents, (or quite possibly on purpose). He's 2 years old now and has been largely OK for over a year. I still watch him very closely; thankfully, he doesn't have to go nearly as often, but there are certain areas he's drawn to when he's needing to go if we don't hear him scratching at the door. He goes to the tile in the entryway, which definitely is preferable to carpet. It cleans up easily and I always use something on it to take away the smell. Happens maybe once a month. He never pees inside.

13th December 2012, 09:51 PM
I'd agree that a month of potty training with a 15 week old is not very long. :) Some pups just take a while, too. What do you use for rewards? Often the 'value' of the treat is too low. I used small bits of cooked sausage (hot dog would do) or dried liver etc -- now those are high value treats and lots of praise plus that high value treat really helped convey the idea much faster!

Also leave a small bit of her feces where you want her to go as this helps trigger her to return there.

I don't have a single dog that asks to go outside -- this really needs to be trained (you need to train her to bark on command, or to ring a bell...not worth the bother to me but some like doing this! :) ). On other words, training them to ask to go outside is an addition to actual housetraining -- which gets them to be clean inside and hold themselves. A few dogs do just naturally start to ask to go.

It can take a while but you do start to get a few breakthroughs then more and more.

Personally I found housetraining so exhausting that I have stuck with adding in new adults rather than puppies for the past 8 years! :lol: We have a puppy coming in the new year but will be a large breed -- a bit easier to housetrain than the smallies.

PS try some of the other approaches that trainers suggest -- lots of links in the training section to trainer sites. I tended to read lots of approaches and that helped me understand better what to do even if I didn't use them.

13th December 2012, 09:57 PM
Some suggestions:


Sydneys Mom
13th December 2012, 10:12 PM
Thanks for the replies . I'm giving liver treats or small pieces of steamed chicken. I guess I got spoiled with Sydney. I had gotten him at 5 months (so a bit older than BellaMia), and he automatically started tapping on the door to go out. As a puppy, he only had a few accidents in the house. I was hopping that BellaMia would at least go to the door with some kind of signal/body language as her way of asking.

Well, we'll keep on with positive reinforcement with a large dose of patience and lots of cuddles. Luckily, I'm at home, so I can be attentive to what she is doing.

13th December 2012, 10:28 PM
That sounds like a good choice of treats. :D

Many say females are harder to housetrain than males.

You can work to train a scratch or tap or bark to go along with going outside. I do def recommend teaching separate words to poop and pee -- incredibly useful when in a hurry or on a road trip!!

Sydneys Mom
13th December 2012, 10:36 PM
I think she's just a stubborn redhead!:rotfl::rotfl:

14th December 2012, 12:43 AM
I agree about separate words for poop & pee. Wish we had done that from day 1, but did not. We just say "Let's go potty." Funny thing happened a few minutes ago related to what I posted earlier: Bentley had asked to be taken out several times today but would only pee (except for first thing this morning.) I knew he should be needing to poop again. I gave him his supper and he immediately trotted around the corner into the livingroom toward the tile entry. I looked just in time to see him beginning his squat and I said, "no-no-no-no-no!, Let's go potty outside!" He was actually able to shut it down and ran toward me to attach his leash. I was so happy I caught him and that he obeyed. My "no-no" was not done in a scolding tone, just urgent, and he seemed to get it.

Sydneys Mom
14th December 2012, 02:54 AM
I agree about separate words for poop & pee.

We actually do use separate words, seems that it just comes naturally to say pee pee or poopie! Today was really funny though. We had a major rain storm, BellaMia's first. She was a little unsure of going out in the rain and was non too pleased to get her feet wet, but the funniest part was me with the umbrella. She was totally afraid of that darn umbrella! In the end we both got pretty wet. Luckily, in So. California, we don't get that kind of rain often. Eventually I'm sure she won't give it a second thought, but for today, I did give her a few extra treats for going outside in the rain.