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Thread: Potty Training Tips Please

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  1. #1
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    Default Potty Training Tips Please

    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?
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    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! 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.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #5
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    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.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  6. #6
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    That sounds like a good choice of treats.

    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!!
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  7. #7
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    I think she's just a stubborn redhead!
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

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