HELP! Housebreaking Nightmares!

  1. Please....I am asking for advice from veteran doggy owners! (Sunnygirl please help!)

    Fattie is about 10 weeks old. We have been crate training. I have taken him to his first vet appt (with OUR vet) and he informed me that he is old enough to hold his BMs/bladder, but is just choosing not to. We crate him overnight and he slept through the night before, but now he needs to be let out about q 3-4 hours. He also messes his crate by time we come home! He also used to only cry when he needed to be let out, now he cries to be let out for ANY reason and I can't tell the difference. So I am probably rewarding him for crying.

    Should I be letting him out at night - or force him to hold it? But he doesn't hold it during the day, so I'd wake up to a mess. He also didn't give any indication that he had to go this AM, so he started pooping in the house. My sister caught it and rushed him outside. I have tried to schedule him but that doesn't seem to be now with my sister living with us she lets him out all the time and I think is messing with his schedule. I don't know what to do! Am I being inpatient? We've had him for about 3 weeks.

    Plus he keeps chewing. I've given him chew toys but he chews on us and nips at us - playfully, but it hurts. How do I break him of this?
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  3. by   WashYaHands
    I never did crate training, and I'm not Sunnygirl, but here is how I potty trained my dogs. Let him outside as frequently as possible because he's a puppy and his bladder is small. If he poops or pees in the house, take him over to it, stick his nose up to it (dont rub his nose in it, just let him smell it), tell him "no", put him outside. You have to be consistent with this, and it is especially important to do this if you catch him in the act.

    As far as chewing, I'd get rid of the chew toys because right now he doesnt know the difference between what to chew and what not to chew on. At this point, don't let him chew on anything. When he does or if he starts chewing on your hand...hold his snout and tell him, "no" and let go. If he starts chewing on things like shoes, take one that he's chewed on, put a little tabasco sauce on it and throw it on the floor. I know that sounds mean, but I read that tactic in a dog training book written by one of the Animal trainers who works for Disney. It's effective unless your dog likes tabasco sauce. You should only have to do this once.
  4. by   hoolahan
    Susy, found this, from Soc for improvement of abandoned animals or something like that, google search "houesbreaking dogs"

    Housebreaking Dogs | Training Advice | HOME


    1. Begin training immediately

    Regular feeding schedule
    Frequent trips outside
    Look for the following signs:
    walking in circles
    sits and whines at door
    gives you the "look" (sustained eye contact with an anxious expression)
    Return to same spot each time-the "nose" will tell him this is the right "spot"
    2. After puppy is finished eliminating Praise Praise Praise

    He will soon associate eliminating outdoors with praise
    He is anxious to please you
    3. When to take your puppy out:

    first thing in the morning - which is shortly after sunrise or when the household begins to stir
    after his naps
    upon returning home to a puppy that has been left alone
    right after meals
    last thing in the evening
    as soon as he shows signs of circling or being anxious
    4. Accidents do happen

    If you discover a mess
    do not raise voice
    do not spank your pup
    do not rub his nose in it
    He is too young, and his attention span is to short, to connect your reprimands with his mess

    If you catch him in the act, immediately take him out to finish and when he does praise him for his efforts
    5. Cleaning up the mess

    Deodorizers and repellants may be effective
    Do Not Use ammonia based cleaners (chemically ammonia and urine are very similar)

    Barricade the spot till it is dry - otherwise puppy may investigate the scent and be back to repeat the mess
    6. Do not allow puppy unlimited or unsupervised freedom

    Keep him in a crate unless you can devote 100% of your attention to him
    When out of the crate keep him close to you
    Puppies are like two year old children, they can get into all kinds of mischief when unsupervised

    1. May have trouble adjusting to new environment

    2. May not have been properly trained - you can teach an old dog new tricks

    3. Start immediately by putting him on a regular feeding schedule

    Do not free feed until 100% housebroken
    Usually once or twice a day feedings are sufficient for adults
    4. Take him outdoors on a regular basis - see When to Take Your Puppy Out

    use the same door
    say things like "do you want to go out?"
    same location in yard
    Praise him when he does go
    Caution: do not send him out alone - he will not learn if he only receives a correction for going inside and never receives praise for going in the proper location.

    5. Dogs usually have a regular schedule already - observe carefully - some eliminate right after eating, for example, and some wait for several hours.

    6. He will learn twice as fast if you spend the time to learn his patterns and praise him each time he eliminates outdoors.

    7. Accidents happen

    do not raise voice
    do not spank
    do not rub his nose in it
    8. If caught in the act:

    firmly say "no"
    take him out and praise him if he finishes eliminating outside
    9. For cleanup refer to Cleanup - Puppies

    * Helpful Hint: both dogs and puppies must be watched 100% when housetraining. If you are unable to devote all your attention to him, then place him in his crate. This eliminates mistakes, and too much unsupervised freedom. There is a crate rental program offered by SICSA. If you have questions about this program please call 294-6505 for more information or Send Us a Note.
  5. by   hoolahan
    Here is another good site that had a lot of links...

    As far as the biting, a firm NO and give him something to bite on.

    Puppies need lots of play, do you take him outside and throw a ball with him or make him run and run and run and have fun. I did that w Shelby, and all I would have to do is pick up the ball and she would do her business.

    Also go out w the dog and when he does his pee pee, pick the words you want to use, one good site recommended "Hurry up." So that was what we used. Every time she peed we'd say good girl, hurry up good girl, then of course act like she walked on water for peeing outside.

    They suggested "Be clean" for poop, but that never worked for us. MY husband tells her to "Go poo poo" in the am, b/c she always does go in the am, so now she will poo-poo "on demand" in the am!

    I also had read that it takes 12 weeks for them to reach maturity of the bladder, and I swear it was 12 weeks to the day when it clicked for Shelby.

    NOw that I am older, I was much more patient w her than the kids or the other dogs. I never scolded her for an accident, unless I caught her in the act. And I do understand the frustration of interference, imagine how it was w two teenagers who would come home from school before me? I was really fortunate though, in my HH job, I almost always got home at about noon time to let her out, and my son got home at 2:45 for the next round, so she really didn't have to push it.

    I would say definitely NO to making him hold it to learn, just setting him up for failure. Give him every opportunity you can to make him successful. And DO watch for "the look" mentioned above, I get that all the time, Shelby will just stare at me, and not leave. If I say, you want to go outside? She starts off toward the door, then I know for sure.

    Be patient w Fattie, he will get there!!!
  6. by   LasVegasRN
    This worked with my schnauzer, "Oliver" who is now a 13 year old grouchy old man doggie. My parents have had him for the last 10 years - he was doggie-napped when I moved out to Vegas.

    When Oliver was a puppy, I kept him in bed with me at night. This doesn't work if you don't like dogs on/in your bed. The thinking was that puppies do not mess in their den. And he didn't. As soon as he made the motion to get off the bed, outside we would go. HIGH HIGH praise when he did what he was supposed to. I had a week off from work when I got him and that's all we did for the first week. Even during the day, when I knew I'd be gone for long periods of time, we'd spend in the "den". I got to know his habits, he got to know mine. It worked when he was very young (about the same age as fattie) and we did the more advanced housebreaking as he got older.
  7. by   Q.
    Thanks for the info guys; the confusing thing is I read and hear so many conflicting things: show your dog the poop, don't show your dog the poop. Crate him for 8 hrs, don't crate him for 8 hrs he'll go psycho. Chew toys, no chew toys. He can hold his bladder at this age, he can't hold his bladder.


    No wonder I'm not a parent. Being a puppy mumma is hard enough!
  8. by   Mattigan
    Best thing you can do for chewing is just go buy gallons of Bitter Apple and spray everything in danger. Puppie are going to chew. Also, make a teething ring with a frozen wet wash cloth and that helps. Get the book Puppy Preschool.
  9. by   sunnygirl272
    I pm'ed you with a bunch of stuff...hope it helps...
  10. by   hoolahan
    Suzy, I trained my dog exactly by these instructions above, but no crates.

    Oh yeah, if you walked into my house right now, you would see shoes lined up on the dining room tabel, you will have to keep anything you don't want chewed out of site, and esp out of reach.

    I came home the other day, and Shelby had gotten into the pantry, took a box of Stove Top pork chop dinner in a box, and she ate open the box, and ate the seasoning packet, and was working on the bread crumbs. That was a first. And yes there was food in her dish, I think she did it out of spite for my leaving, or related to the new cats. Just when you think you've got the place baby-proofed....
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    First of all, get him in puppy kindergarten classes. Early and continuing obedience training is MUST! Also Nature's Miracle for pet stains works WONDERS on fabric/ literally eliminates the odor so the pet does NOT become drawn to mess the same spots. You can use it in a carpet shampooer also, to generally clean your carpets if they are stained in many places.

    If you don't use a crate or are out and about in the house w/the pup, keep him on a leash at all times with you and IN SIGHT. I used a flexi w/my pups; that way, if/when they did wrong, I COULD CATCH THEM AT IT, say NO! and be done w/it. NO HITTING, like said above

    My mom is a dog trainer/show person. She gave me a lot of the above hints that helped me.. It takes persistence, consistency and LOTS of positive feedback, just like w/kids. Also, remember, You have to take pups out OFTEN!!!! (as often as every one or two hours when young, cause they are immature, just like human babies.) This may mean you setting your alarm clock at night every 2-3 hours to get the puppy out before he messes his crate. Fortunately, this is not a lengthy time and these precious babies grow up fast.

    With patience and *obedience training*, nearly every dog is much more a delight to be around and the relationship between human and dog enhanced enormously. Good LUCK!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 22, '02
  12. by   Rustyhammer
    1st, what is a crate? Do you mean a box of some sort?
    You wouldn't keep a dog there would you? I'm confused.
    We have dogs here and found that if you just leave them outside for a long time when you first get them they dont WANT to relieve themselves in your house. We usually don't let our dogs in the house at all. Once in a great while they come in but not for long.
    When they go "poo-poo", we don't even know when or where. They find a spot far away.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    A crate is a large cage/carrying case for dogs. And many dog-trainers who keep dogs indoors swear by them. They become the "doggy-dens" ....My dogs used to go in them on their own when they had enough of the kids and noise, just to nap and get some peace. It is a rare mature dog who will mess his/her "den" indoors, or out, hence the use of them in house-breaking. It is NOT inhumane or cruel in most circumstances, unless taking in an animal who has been caged excessively and/or abused in a cage.......It works and is a viable option for those who don't live in the country or have huge, fenced yards as options in housebreaking dogs.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 22, '02
  14. by   Q.
    I swear by that crate! I was kind of against the idea, and instead gated Fattie off in our guest bathroom, simply expecting a mess. I realized that I did NOT have to forgoe my bathroom and have it stinking like dog pee. The crate is much easier.

    Today, I got home and Fattie only peed in the crate and shredded the newspaper. So, no big mess, just threw the paper out. Took Fattie outside, he peed, fed him, played a bit. Then he farted. Lately this has been his indication that he needs to go poop. Sure enough, took him outside, and the longest log came out of his butt! What a good boy. Brought him inside, played with him again, gave him a treat, and now he's in his bigger, cushier crate - relaxing.