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Potty Training an Older Puppy

Please help me housebreak my Chi shihtzu mix; 5 months old and neutered. Just doesn't seem to want to cooperate at all. Thanks.

By nelwyn from Bunkie, LA


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June 26, 20090 found this helpful

This sounds too simple to me, but do you use treats as a reward when it does go in the right place? I use treats and a lot of praise. Use a lot of happy, high-pitched excitement when it goes on the pad or outside, followed by a treat. Dogs are a lot like people, they love food and praise as a reward! :) My dog is litter box trained. She has a box in the garage, so she has to let me know when she has to go.

Also: I used to tell her she needs to use the "box", or in your case the "pad" every time I caught her having an accident. I would also say to her: "If you need to go potty or poop, say RUFF! RUFF!, followed by a growl." I then would put her in the box after I noticed and showed her the accident. I use newspapers to line the box.

Also, constant eye contact works better than other forms of punishment. Dogs hate a long... stare-down! ;) The most important thing to remember is treats & a lot of praise when they do something good! It takes a lot of work at first, so be patient. You also can frequently ask your dog if it needs to go potty or poop and take it to the correct soiling area. If it goes, don't forget the treats & praise. I can't express this enough! My best of luck to you!

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June 26, 20090 found this helpful

With a dog with "No idea" of what he is supposed to do, I would "load the clicker" one day by cutting up about 20 bits of soft jerky like treats for dog and clicking with your mouth and then giving the reward to the dog one second after the click. (U could buy a clicker).

Once this idea is planted, then everytime the dog steps on or around the pad, even if it doesnt go, then click and reward. This will happen as you watch it around the house. I would crate the darling, and then straight to the pad after crating, napping, playing, eating, etc.

When it is doing the thing, wait until through, and one second after it is done with it's business throw a treat from a can of the cut up treats you have nearby. Also go to and look up on their free articles and podcasts about marker training. This is an amazing tool for dogs. I am sure you know to check for a bladder infection first, it could be that. Robyn

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