Tell me your puppy housebreaking stories?

StitchesGr8Fan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Well, we are one week in to our puppy journey. I have seen some improvements in sleep, and he doesn’t cry for as long when he’s in the crate. He’s 9 weeks old now!

Housebreaking is our major focus with him now. I’m much more obsessed on puppy training than my hubby. Today I’m actually going to track all of puppy’s activities to see if I can find a pattern.

Tell me your stories of housetraining a puppy! What helped, what didn’t, how long did it take.
 

mjkacmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Well, I did a bad job with my first, and my second we rescued at 3 months and she was 110% trained, but my advice would be to never use wee wee pads under any circumstances, and to never allow the puppy to have an accident in the house.
 

clutter

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
I had a female puppy that I swore knew how to be housetrained, but then all of a sudden she'd just pee. Seemed to confuse her too. My vet said that they don't gain control of their bladder until 15 weeks old. The day that dog turned 15 weeks, she never peed in the house again. I noticed the same with my next dog.

My last dog, a male, was 13 weeks when we got him, and I used pee pads for a number of reasons. He and my older dog were confined to the kitchen/family room area, that had Pergo floors. I put the pad in front of the tv. At 15 weeks, I weaned him to the yard (he was a little tougher, but a pea-sized piece of a MilkBone everytime he peed outdoors fixed that). The funny thing is that I'm now in a different house with a dog door. But... he's really anxious, especially in storms, so if I'm not home, he might have accidents in the house from fear. When he does, it's always in front of a tv! (At least I know where to look...)
 
  • wenrob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2008
    The most important thing is routine, routine, routine. I do not “free feed,” breakfast is at 8am and dinner is at 4pm. I do this so that potty habits become somewhat predictable and I don’t have my dog waking me up at 2am to go potty. I take them out every hour, let them sniff around and wait for them to go then high praise and a treat. Twenty and forty minutes after eating, same thing. Keep an eye out for signs and when you see them, take puppy out immediately. Make sure everyone is on board. It won’t work if others ignore the training you’re working so hard to do. With my brat girl I hung a set of bells by the back door and would tap her paw against them each time I took her out. Within a couple of days she was tapping them on her own to go out. And I agree, no puppy pads! They create a terrible habit for pup and owner.

    eta: How long it takes depnds on age I think. My girl now was fully trained within a week but she was four months old when I got her. Only two accidents ever that I recall. She’ll even run to the door if she has to throw up. My youngest puppy was probably two weeks. I took my vacation from work to stay home and train him.
     
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    kidshop

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2003
    636D572C-B378-4B3D-92C3-EA209FBABFFE.jpeg My puppy is 9 months old, we got him at 10 weeks. I used crate training, an x pen and kept him confined to the kitchen. He always had eyes on him in the kitchen. I took him out at first every 2 hours day and night. You never want them to have an accident in the crate, if that is their clean space it helps them get the idea quickly. If they do have an accident clean it really well with the enzyme cleaner to elimate the smell.

    This particular dog got it immediately , though I took him outside so frequently he didn’t have much of an opportunity to have an accident. I think he had four, all my fault! He goes out about 5 times a day now, always leashed since we do not have a fence. He sleeps all night 10:30-7. It gets so much better! I really didn’t like him too much that first month. ( first dog ever). Good thing he is cute!
     

    chiisai

    i am satisfied with my care
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2014
    We took him out every 2 hours during the day. Water got put away at 5 or 6pm and brought back when we woke up.

    At night, I took him out when he woke. He slept in a toddler pen. He had no desire to mess his sleep area and he whined when he woke. He started sleeping 10pm - 6am at about 11 weeks.

    He had a few accidents in the house in the first months, but that was on us forgetting the time, I think.
     

    Happyinwonerland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2014
    I don't recall much about the puppy training being a problem, took a day or 2 and then she had it down. That puppy is now 14 years old and has accidents daily. My carpet shampooer gets a daily workout!
     
  • wenrob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2008
    I wanted to add, don’t punish for accidents that will create a negative association. Just calmly take him/her out so they know they’re supposed to do their business outside. Also, I’m sure you know this but stay with them when they go out at first. If you don’t they have no idea why you put them out there. I see so many people do this then they don’t understand why they can’t get their dog to go outside.
     

    arieltoo

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2005
    Well, the day we picked up my daughter's toy poodle puppy from the breeder, the breeder said something to us about rarely being fully potty trained. I almost gave that dog back right then and there.
    Seven years later, and he has been trained from about 14 weeks, using bells hung by the front and back doors. Perfect solution for us and our life style.
     

    Christine

    Would love to be able to sit on
    Joined
    Aug 31, 1999
    Strict feeding/water schedule.
    Go outside every hour if you can. Every time you are out, use the "potty" word of your choosing, especially while the puppy is going. Give a treat. Back in the house.

    The general rule is that the puppy can only hold it's bladder for as many hours as it is months old. An 8 week puppy can hold for about 2 hours.

    At night, try to get up and let the puppy out every 2-3 hours (not forever). You just don't want the puppy to be comfortable with urinating in its crate or in your home.

    With a young puppy, many people either confine the dog in between trips outside, or they keep the puppy tethered to them with a leash. Just don't let it out of your sight and give it a chance to go in your house.
     
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    StitchesGr8Fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2009
    Strict feeding/water schedule.
    Go outside every hour if you can. Every time you are out, use the "potty" word of your choosing, especially while the puppy is going. Give a treat. Back in the house.

    The general rule is that the puppy can only hold it's bladder for as many hours as it is months old. An 8 week puppy can hold for about 2 hours hours.

    At night, try to get up and let the puppy out every 2-3 hours (not forever). You just don't want the puppy to be comfortable with urinating in its crate or in your home.

    With a young puppy, many people either confine the dog in between trips outside, or they keep the puppy tethered to them with a leash. Just don't let it out of your sight and give it a chance to go in your house.
    We are doing all of this except the tethering. I don’t let him out of my sight, but my husband does a little during the day while he is working and that is when we have accidents.
     
  • Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    Well, we are one week in to our puppy journey. I have seen some improvements in sleep, and he doesn’t cry for as long when he’s in the crate. He’s 9 weeks old now!

    Housebreaking is our major focus with him now. I’m much more obsessed on puppy training than my hubby. Today I’m actually going to track all of puppy’s activities to see if I can find a pattern.

    Tell me your stories of housetraining a puppy! What helped, what didn’t, how long did it take.
    if you're going to track all of the puppies activities I think you're overdoing it. We just finished training two puppies. We didn't track anything. nor did we have a strict food or water policy. we did only feed them twice a day, but it was not exactly at the same time everyday. We walked them regularly. We praise them when they went potty outside, and scolded them when they went potty inside. They got treats for going potty outside. When we walked them outside, we made sure not to distract them until they had gone potty.

    We got the puppies when they were 8 weeks old, and by time they were four or five months old they were almost completely housebroken. They are now about 8 months old and doing great.
     

    tcufrog

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2012
    One of the best things we did was train our dog to ring dog bells hanging from the backyard door to tell us when she wished to go outside.
     

    Minniedap

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 21, 2005
    My daughter and I both used the bell method with our now 3 year old dogs. I can be in the back room on the computer and when I hear the bell ring I know he has to go out.
     

    wgeo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2011
    My dog was 13 weeks old when we brought her home, but I devoted a solid week to potty training and she was pretty good by the end, but I would say it was easily another few weeks before I would say fully potty trained.

    I live in FL and it was July and I left a door open all day long so she could walk outside whenever she wanted to. I also get her penned in, with me, into a very small area inside the house so that she could never walk away from where I could see her. That way if I noticed her acting "suspicious" I could get her outside right away. I didn't get any work done that week and it was exhausting but like I said by the end she had it figured out. I also went with her and everytime she went to the bathroom I said "good girl Go Potty, Go Potty good girl" and often rewarded with a training treat. Oh how I wish I had chosen a different phrase lol. She learned to associate the phrase with the act and I can give her the command and she'll go outside and try. Really wish I had used a phrase that wasn't so silly :)

    Personally I'm not into negative training so when the accidents happened I didn't make any kind of deal out of it at all.
     

    MrsJackSparrow4Life

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2009
    I had to buy a new house to get my dogs potty trained

    It didn’t seem to matter how hard we worked on it, neither one of them seemed to get it. Turns out it was the old carpet in the house we were staying at. The dog that lived there before them had marked all the carpets so they saw it as fair game. Once we moved into our own house that didn’t have marked carpet they immediately started going outside. Everything we had taught them kicked in years later.

    The other house is getting all new flooring installed so hopefully nothing like that happens again.
     

    Disneyland1084

    OH PLEASE SOMEBODY TELL ME!
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2005
    I adopted a mini 4 month old poodle mix from the humane society last August. She was fully potty trained in 7 days, and I NEVER used puppy pads. Whenever she had an accident in the house, I would show it to her and say "NO NO NO" and immediately (sp, having a brain freeze) put her out the dog door. She got the hang of it really quickly.
     

    jsmith

    <font color=darkorchid>And now I am off to get my
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2000
    1) Pee pads are for disabled or incontinent dogs not puppies
    2) Select a potty spot in the yard, if your breeder littertrained puppies at home sprinkle some of the shavings or litter there. Take puppy there everytime you want them to eliminate. Use a command to encourage the behavior-i.e go potty . When they go give a small food reward with lots of praise-Good go potty, good girl. treats can be a piece of puppy kibble, or a tiny piece of training treat.
    3) out after every meal, and every two hours inbetween ( I feed three times a day til 6 months of age but I have large breed dogs). Also they will give signals they need to go-if you see circling or other potty behavior or if they start to have an accident, pick them up, whisk them out to the potty spot, and treat and praise when they go there.
    4) Crate or xpen if you can not have eyes on and overnight. I need my dogs to be comfortable crated because we travel and compete so this accomplishes two goals. Adult dogs do not have to sleep crated but dogs under 1 year or with a propensity for ingesting inappropriate items do.
    5) Potty bells-you can teach puppy to ring it to go out by having him or her ring before you go out-once they have the hang of it they will ring when they need to-having said this my dogs either sit by the door and bark or simply come jump in your lap when they need to go out.
    6) Once go potty is understood teach them to go on a leash-same command, same praise same reward, while leashed. A dog that will not eliminate on a leash can be a huge problem if they have to stay at the vets or travel.
    7) If puppy has accidents its not puppies fault its yours :)
    8 ) doggie door can be a good idea if it works for you. Not an option where I live.

    My dogs have been 100 percent reliable by 16 weeks of age.
     

    Praying Colonel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2004
    It's been quite a while since our sweet departed girl was a puppy, but the thing I remember was when the person working with the adoption group was talking with us about house training. She said if you see stuff in the floor, you should take a newspaper, roll it up...and swat yourself on the head for not watching the dog closer and realizing when she had to go out.

    We kept her close to us and didn't give her free run of the house. We took her outside whenever we thought she needed to go, and about every 90 minutes or so besides. When she did do her business outside we praised her to no end. And we had her sleep in her crate at night until we were sure she was housebroken.
     

    jaybirdsmommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2008
    It's been quite a while since our sweet departed girl was a puppy, but the thing I remember was when the person working with the adoption group was talking with us about house training. She said if you see stuff in the floor, you should take a newspaper, roll it up...and swat yourself on the head for not watching the dog closer and realizing when she had to go out.

    We kept her close to us and didn't give her free run of the house. We took her outside whenever we thought she needed to go, and about every 90 minutes or so besides. When she did do her business outside we praised her to no end. And we had her sleep in her crate at night until we were sure she was housebroken.
    We may have had the same trainer, ours did that too.

    Most of potty training is watching the puppy and making sure they don't get used to going inside the house (ie, no puppy pads). They'll eventually develop a preference for the "foot feel" of going outside.
     

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