Housebreaking Cocker Spaniel

My Cocker Spaniel, Petey, has had an issue since day one going to the bathroom in the house. We have tried it all, the potty pads(which he just thinks is a toy and rips up), crate training, and he just continues to bark. I cannot stand to keep him in there. Any ideas on what I can do? My white carpet is taking the brunt of everything!

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Derik from Minnetonka, MN

Answers:

Housebreaking Cocker Spaniel

Sounds like a puppy. Set frequent times throughout the day and night when you take Petey outdoors to go potty. Give less water at night. Stay close to the set times and you'll have fewer accidents indoors and more outdoor usage. Dogs are smart and will learn fast to go outside to potty. Use the same term to express potty break and the dog will come to you when he needs to go and will expect you to take him outside or open the door so he can run out and do his business and come back in.

My Cocker comes to us and whines and finds some way to express his need to potty. I ask him, then if he has to go potty, he gets all excited. "Well come on, let's go!" I say to him and he beats me to the door waiting. Just make sure you use some term for going potty when you take him outside. He'll catch on. (10/25/2007)

By Lorelei

Housebreaking Cocker Spaniel

My Cocker was easy to potty train. Every hour or so, and about 10-20 minutes after he ate, I would go to the door and say "gotta' go potty?" in an excited voice. Then when he went, I would always congratulate him, then ask "gotta' go poopy?" and he would usually try. Now, he just goes to the door and asks, and remember, if you take him for "potty walks" don't turn around as soon as he goes or he will think he is being punished for going potty; he won't want to go after that cause he'll figure out that going potty = going home. At home, get him to potty first, and then allow him to play so he gets the whole "work first, fun later" thing down. And never punish a dog for going potty in the house after the fact, unless you catch him in the act, you'll just confuse him. (10/27/2007)

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By watsonsmom

Housebreaking Cocker Spaniel

We have a Jack Russell Terrier and it took about a year to potty train him. Also, we had trouble with him "marking" stuff - even the luggage our company would bring with them. What eventually seemed to work, was to take him outside at least every two hours and 10 minutes after he ate or woke up from his nap. I gave him a treat after every trip outside. But he continued to have "accidents" in the house - usually at the kitty litter box or in the bathrooms. So he seemed to be trying. However, for a while, they were so often that we finally had to "punish" him. (While I know everyone says to NOT do this, it worked for us.) He then started coming to tell me that he'd had an accident.

Inside he is a "quiet" dog. He won't go to the door and bark or hardly go to the door. We have to watch for signs. He will start "sniffing" around and that's a clue. If I'm sitting at the computer or in a chair watching TV, he will come to me, and put his paws on my lap and look at me. I have to ask "outside?" And if he gets down and heads for the door, I know he wants outside. Then when we get outside it's "hurry up!"

However, he will come and put his paws in my lap if he wants a hug or a treat. So it's a guessing game. If I think it's outside and we head for the door, he will stop half-way, so I know he doesn't want to go outside. And sometimes he wants to go outside to just play. If he's been outside barking all the time for the past 10 minutes, then I also know he hasn't done his "job." So, unfortunately, it's a guessing game with our dog.

It's funny, though, when we take him for a walk - he has to "mark" every tree, fence, post, whatever along the way. He will continue to mark even after there's nothing left to mark with. (10/28/2007)

By Noella

Housebreaking Cocker Spaniel

Well, my way of knowing that my Cocker needs to go to the bathroom is to look out for side affects, like sniffing and going around in circles. As for the door, carry a treat with you when you see the sniffing and circling and hold it up so that he/she can sit then open the door. Keep doing that until you think she gets the point. (01/23/2009)

By Nhandi H

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