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Housebreaking Older Dogs

I have a 1 year old Shitzu I'm trying to train. She has been in her crate all day, and been taken outside every 45 minutes. She has not been to the potty since this morning. I'm very concerned that she has not gone yet. Please help.


By sanailei from NJ


Housebreaking Older Dogs

To begin with; take her out of the cage. Crate training does not mean to keep her in the cage all day. Let her out, but keep a close eye on her. Only put her in the cage at bedtime, and when you go out. Otherwise have the cage in the living room (or whatever room you spend most of your day in) with the cage door open. Don't ever use the cage as punishment. It is more to protect the house when you aren't awake or home to do it yourself.

But she has to be able to be with you. Not just in your sight, but with you. You have to keep a close eye on her. Let her roam the house and satisfy her curiosity about the new home, but follow her and talk to her the whole time. Then make her stay in the room where you are. And watch her closely. If she goes to the door, whether she says anything or not, take her out.


Don't just take her out every 45 minutes. That's fine for puppies, but she's an adult. Watch, and whenever she eats or drinks, take her out immediately after. And when she wakes up from a nap, take her out. Otherwise once every 2 hours would be enough. Take her out after eating, drinking and sleeping.

She's not going to do anything in the cage because that is where she is sleeping. But if you keep the cage open and available to her, then she won't look at it as punishment when you put her in there at night and when you go out. (08/21/2009)

By Cricketnc

Housebreaking Older Dogs

Is there no one home during the day? Is that why she is in a crate all day? She should be out of the crate when people are home, and not locked up. As far as going to the bathroom, she needs to be able to eat and drink enough to do her business. Hope this helps. (08/26/2009)


By S Singer

Housebreaking Older Dogs

I agree with other posters that this pup shouldn't be in the crate all day long. First, the dog will generally "hold it in" when in there, and secondly, if the dog is spending most of its time in there, it isn't getting enough exercise to be able to urinate and defecate efficiently. Not to mention not being socialized by being crated up for that length of time. Having the dog in there that long isn't good for it physically, emotionally, or socially. It will lead to behavioral problems as well as physical ones.

That said, Shitzus are historically tough to house train, but if you catch the dog fifteen to twenty minutes after eating, drinking or a good, active play session (preferably outdoors), you should be able to see some improvement. Also, don't "free-feed", make the dog's mealtimes short and regular.


Ours gets her kibble first thing in the morning and just after we've eaten dinner. Give the dog fifteen minutes to eat what you've set down, then take the bowl up and away. This ends any finicky-eater issues that might come up. They learn quickly that when it's time to eat, it's time to eat. And the scheduled mealtimes will help you get a scheduled potty run. (08/26/2009)

By PupperMom

Housebreaking Older Dogs

If the dog hasn't had to go since the morning you should get in touch with the vet. Old dogs can get kidney problems. I sincerely hope everything is alright. (08/26/2009)

By tyytjones

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