House breaking - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-08-2014, 02:03 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
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One thing I am not seeing here that helps is PRAISE when the dog potties outside. Verbal praise, cookies, pets, whatever the dog likes. Generally, dogs are highly motivated to please, and if you reward them immediately for doing whatever it is that you want them to do, in this case potty on command outside, that positive reinforcement will help them learn much more quickly. Once they know what on earth it is that you want, they're happy to oblige. This also teaches them to go on command, even if they don't really 'have' to go at the moment. Having a dog that will do so is VERY handy on trips, etc. Some dogs, especially if they're new to the household, are too anxious and worried about being locked outside to actually go out into the yard to potty and just sit by the door wanting back in when they're new and in training too.

With a young adult dog, they can physically hold their bladder for 8 hours give or take, but you have to teach them that is what you want before you can even begin to expect it. When not directly supervised in the house (as in, eyes-on-the-dog), the dog should be confined either with a leash, a kennel, or a pen just like a puppy. I also recommend picking up their water bowl overnight and feeding/last water at least an hour before bed. Take her out right when she wakes up and when you get home, right before bed, and 15-60 minutes or so after eating or playing as those are the times dogs tend to need to go anyway, so you can 'catch her in the act' and reward her for doing the right thing. Other than that, every hour or three should be fine if she's actually going when you take her out.

If they do go in the house, that is you, the human, at fault for giving them a chance to mess up. I have retrained more than one dog that had been disciplined (nose in poop, a stern talking to, etc, what counts as punishment varies depending on the sensitivity of the dog) for messing in the house, and the only thing they had learned was that it was bad to potty where a human would see them, so they got better at sneaking off to potty. If you catch them in the act, immediately take them outside of course. If they pottied a half hour ago, they're not going to connect that with getting kicked outside for "punishment." All they know is "human saw a mess, I got punished, best not mess where humans will find it."

People are good at saying "No, don't do that" with dogs, but not nearly as good at the "Yes! Good dog! Keep doing that" (in this case, when they potty outside) part of the equation. Yes, this does mean that you need to go outside with the dog while you're training them. I have never had any of my foster dogs take more than two weeks to 100% potty train this way unless there was an underlying medical issue (incontinence, infection, cushings, etc). Even dogs who were surrendered to the shelter for house-soiling. Usually they would be 75% reliable in 3-4 days.

ETA: I would love pictures too! Heelers are one of my favorite breeds!
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-08-2014, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharpie View Post
One thing I am not seeing here that helps is PRAISE when the dog potties outside.
Excellent point and that is one very important thing I DID leave out of my first post.

Thanks for bringing that up.

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post #13 of 18 Old 01-08-2014, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Here they are
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-09-2014, 08:54 AM
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Love the pic!!!!!
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-09-2014, 11:55 AM
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Oh my gosh, so cutteee!

I don't have anything to add... I've never potty trained a puppy before o.o I'll have to keep this thread and its suggestions in mind when boyfriend and I get a puppy.

EDIT--Actually, I've never potty trained /anything/ before o.o

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-09-2014, 12:38 PM
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They are cuties! As some have said before, practice a lot of patience and try not to scold if they have an accident, even if it is the 1,235,564,646 time they have an accident. :) Clean up accidents really well leaving zero scent behind. Always praise them when they use it in the proper place outdoors.

What really worked for me were bells hung on the door for my dog to let me know he needed to go out. I bought some bells and tied them to a strand of yarn (or you can go buy one already made, and overpriced, at any pet store). I hung them from the front door knob and each time as I was leaving to take my little guy out I'd shake the bells. And whenever he did anything outside I made the biggest commotion to praise him, which probably made my neighbors think I was a looney, but hey. By the fifth time he caught on that ringing the bell meant he could go outside. The key to this is you must take them out each and every single time they ring the bell. The downside to this is when they first learn that ringing the bell is their ticket outside, they ring it every thirty minutes. But hang in there, it's well worth it. After about a week of several 'fun' but uneventful trips outside, I learned his schedule and adjusted my response to his ringing the bell. He then realized that it should only be used for potty breaks.

Another tip is to use some catch phrase whenever you take them out like 'get busy' so they can associate that time as them needing to use it and not play around.

Hang in there!
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-09-2014, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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One more pic.
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-09-2014, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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How did that happen upside down
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