I have a puppy (Poodle mix) who is almost 8 months old. I can't get her housebroken. She wees on every throw rug or full-room rug in the house. We love her to pieces, but we can't seem to get her to get the big idea that "outside" is the place to go. Can you help us?
By Dr. O from East Coast, FL
OK, I'll try to make this brief. I have a Yorkie who pooped in the house until he was almost a year old (even in his crate when we first got him, which they supposedly don't do.) But pee training was fairly easy. Here's what you can try.
Take her outside every couple of hours on a leash, or after meals for pooping. Choose a word to associate with peeing and pooping. When you get outside, tell her Susie, go pee (or whatever word). Let her sniff around, and sooner or later she will pee. Then you jump around and act stupid and happy, and tell her Good Girl! Good pee! And pet her, and give her a tiny treat (bits of cheese or hot dog work great) right away that you have in your pocket. You can't wait until you get back in the house. This is how she connects the treat with the act. Same with pooping. Reward right away! For the pooping you can try taking her out after she eats. That works great for most dogs. Mine was different; he would poop first time out in the AM.
When you catch her starting to pee or poop in the house (look for the "squat"), say "NO!" to startle her into stopping, then say "Outside!" as you pick her up and bring her outside. Then when she finishes outside, praise her, pet her and give her a treat.
It takes a lot of patience sometimes. You might even have to take her out in the middle of the night for a while, like a baby, until she can hold it long enough. Good luck! Don't give up! I almost did, and I'm glad I didn't!
By Mary T
I had a poodle mix, a male, that was very difficult to train. He was just plain stubborn. With him I took him out every hour and if he peed I gave him a treat and lots of praise with a "good girl, out!" (make sure you say the word "out" in the praise) and a treat. If I caught him peeing I would say "No!, Out!" and put him out repeating the word "out" several times. Don't spank though, that will just make them go hide and do it.
Another thing is if you cannot keep a constant eye on her, put her in a crate while you are not able to watch her. Take her out hourly JUST to pee, give lots of praise and a treat if she goes and make sure while she is outside that you watch her saying "go out" repeatedly or just "out" repeatedly, then "good girl out". Put her back in the crate until you are able to let her out where you can keep an eye on her in the house. This really helped a lot too. I would put him in his crate while I cooked supper.
Just when I was about to give up on him getting trained that is when he started really doing well going outside, so don't give up. Good luck.
P.S. He was about 8 months or a little older when he finally got the idea, so it takes some time with some of the more stubborn breeds. It will happen though. (05/29/2009)
I had this problem with an older rescued dog & bought the disposable training pads. I started to work so I switched to a washable one to be more earth friendly and save. With my older one it took a bit but worked very well.
I forgot to say you move the pad closer and closer to the out door and soon she will get the idea. The training instructions usually come included with the pad/pads. (05/29/2009)
This probably won't help but it's funny and I want to share it. I had gotten a toy poodle and she was about 8 months old and still needed some help being trained. I was going on vacation and asked the people who I got the dog from if they would take her for the week. They did. When I returned from vacation the dog was trained. The funny thing is, the people who trained the dog are Puerto Rican and the dog only answers to commands in Spanish! My poodle is now trained and bi-lingual! (05/29/2009)
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