My husband and I were given a Jack Russell terrier for Christmas. He was born October 10, 2009. We have a fenced in small play yard with a doggy door. We have been taking him outside and he has been doing fairly well on his own. We have a baby gate we use to keep him out of the house when we are at work.
Just today (1/17/10) he pooped in my nice cloth chair after he had made 2 poops outside. He did this yesterday in another part of the house. Is this normal? It is frustrating. He is given lots of praise for peeing and pooping outside. What can I do?
By CarolC from MS
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The first thing you need to do is to realize that it takes sometimes up to a year to completely housebreak a dog of any breed. They will have good days and bad along the way, but it does take many many months of consistent training on your part. If he has an accident in the house, don't get upset. Show it to him and tell him NO, then take him outside. Then clean the accident up completely, spraying the area with a pet odor remover when you are done.
I do puppy rescue(save dogs from puppy mills) and I have to house break a new dog every few months. The Keys are time and routine! When pooping happens, firmly tell the the dog NO and put the poop outside where you want him tol earn to go, he'll get the idea. Try to remove all the scent(baking soda left overnight works well). Routine is very important, for example,if you walk him after he eats,eventually he'll know that and expect to do his business after he eats. Set a routine and stick to it and he'll be trained in no time!
I really like this site: leerburg.com...there are a lot of free articles......and podcasts etc.
Basically the simplest way to do it is to watch for the dog to smell the carpet, look like it is about to squat and scoop it up and say lets go potty in a sing song voice.
It always helps to play learning games.
I like to teach them as a game that clicking means to come over here. It is a game of reward and lack of reward if they don't answer the cue, but it is a happy game.
I get a hot dog, cook it, let it cool enough to not burn the dogs mouth and cut it up into little pieces...the dog should be able to grab it and practically swallow it whole. Too big of pieces will distract from the game.
After dog has pottied, then come in the house and get one of the bags of hot dogs, cut up in little pieces and click with your mouth. If the dog comes to you then quickly drop a piece of hot dog on the floor. After he eats it he will want another piece.
Soon have him come to you when called....click and as soon as he comes to you and touches your outstetched palm with his nose or sits or whatever he does, then drop a piece of hot dog.
This is a fun interaction game that lays the groundwork for you to train later.
Also you can teach the dog to go to the door this way too, say outside, and hurry like you are having a good time to the door. When he gets there, open the door and drop the piece of food outside where you want him to go and click and drop the food. I have also found that after a dog gets scolded for something, tell it to hurry and click on it when it comes to you and give it a hug. Don't hold grudges with a dog, and this teaches trust!
Have fun! Good luck!
Also remember these times to try to take the dog out to go, before he misses and accidentally goes in the house:
After a nap
This helps to catch him doing the good deed outside, use the same word each time. I just take mine out every so often, and applaud and make a big deal when he goes!
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I got a new puppy over the weekend. I love it so much, but there are problems. My family and I are not able to train it because it goes outside and pees but then he comes back inside and pees. What should I do? I have tried hitting him, not hard, and telling him no. But I feel so bad. It is a 6 week old boxer, and I need help or he might have to go to the animal shelter. I doubt that will happen. Please help me!
Breanna from Zanesville, OH
Here is a great site to read about training your puppy using the fast clicker method.
Also, remember to praise your pet when he does the right thing outside every 15 minutes or so, and after every meal and drink and play period. Make it exciting to go outside. Praise him like you have never praised anything before, with clapping hands and laughter.
Soon he will be going out to go but there will be some mistakes, until his bladder is old enough to hold in urine for longer times. When he sniffs the floor or turns in circles, or after any eating or drinking or play period, pick him up, even if you string pee all across the floor, and take him outside.
Once he is outside praise him and say "let's go potty," and "good boy." If he doesn't, don't worry, repeat this process over and over. You also will want to invest in a kennel or crate. These are great when you can't watch him, like during meals or overnight. They are not cruel. Dogs have dens in the wild and will like to have one of his own. I like the wire kind. Let me know how it goes. (03/10/2009)
By Robyn Fed
People need to learn patience before they get a puppy. How long before you were potty trained? It didn't happen in the first few days you were in your new home. You have the right idea in taking them out, but you need to keep the puppy out longer, not always easy in bad weather, or take him right back out after you get it in so it learns that the outside is the correct place. Be patient and persistent and you will be rewarded with years of love.
Don't take it to the shelter. While better than abandonment, the shelters are full of people who won't put the effort forth to train their new pets. My daughter works at one and my wife volunteers at the local shelter and have seen too many animals turned in because they were too much work. (03/10/2009)
Please, never hit your puppy or dog. :-( It will make them skittish or cower and possibly mean. Your hand will become fear and punishment, instead of love to them. The other advice here is excellent! (03/11/2009)
If your pup is only 6 weeks old now, he was definitely taken from mom too soon! They start learning things from mom between 4-6 weeks or older. You are going to have a busy life for awhile. I speak from experience. I would start by crating him for about an hour, then carry him outside and place him in the area you'd like him to go. Keep repeating in a soft voice "go potty, go potty" til he does. Then lots and lots of praise.
Pick him back up, bring him in the house, set him at his food and water supply, to have some if he wants. You may have to put him back in the crate for a short time, then carry him outside, and repeat these actions over and over and over. The only time he could be crated for longer periods of time, is when you go to sleep. You may have to take him outside in the middle of the night, but do it the same way. Eventually the crate door can even be left open. The crate will become his "safe" spot/ haven, and he won't mind being in it while you're gone.
For now, you will have to keep an eye on him all the while he's not in the crate. If you should see him squat or lift a leg in the house, give a firm and loud "no!" A good way to break a puppy from ever starting a bad habit, is put a few pennies in a soda can, tape the top, and when you see him start doing a no-no, shake the can. It should distract him from the bad "action," then as long as he didn't do the bad thing, call him to you and give lots more praise.
Always let him know when he's made you happy, because that is what he wants to do. Yelling and/or hitting are not good ideas. He could become afraid of you and do worse things. Also, make sure if there are others in the house with you, they must obey the training procedures too. Consistency and repetitive actions from people is a must. (03/11/2009)
A 6 week old puppy is too young to understand what you are asking of him and not able to hold itself for long periods of time. I suggest the following link for help: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/housebreaking.htm
Whatever you do, do not hit him. Like infants a puppy has very brittle bones that are easily broken or cracked. A "NO" is sufficient, as is praise when he goes outside. Please follow the directions on the link and I think you will be pleased. By the way, it takes 5 to 6 weeks to train your puppy. (04/24/2009)
Wow, you obviously haven't had a puppy before. I had 3 pups at the same time, and they weren't trained overnight, that's for sure. I'd take them out regularly to pee, but there were also puppy pads. As they got older we crate trained them, but there were still accidents for one of our dogs until he was around six months old. Hitting your puppy isn't going to do anything except make him fear you. Please stop hitting, and get educated about training your puppy (04/24/2009)
Housebreaking your puppy is best started with puppies are six-sixteen weeks in age. When puppies are this young, they tend to go to the bathroom predictably and frequently. The earlier you start the housebreaking process, the happier you will be as a new dog owner!
The most important tip for successful puppy housebreaking is "Persistence is the key".
1. First, you need to teach your puppy where you want him to go to the bathroom. Your puppy will not know where to go if you don't show him. Therefore, he won't know if he went in the wrong spot. We suggest starting the housebreaking process outside. Many people tend to paper train and in essence you are making the training process harder for you and may end having to retrain him.
2. Praise is essential in the puppy housebreaking process. It will make him feel more confident when you praise him with a treat or pat on the back for a job well done - not messing in the house! While mistakes can and will happen and you may get frustrated - it is very important to not punish your dog, yell or swat him if he has an accident in the house.
3. Be aware of your puppies eating and bathroom habits this will help you get him out side in time to prevent any accidents in the home. Puppies usually have to urinate upon waking up; don't delay taking him outside upon starting his day. Puppies also defecate regularly after each meal - usually within twenty minutes from eating. Pay attention to your puppy, he will give you signals he has to go out but you have to be in tune with them. These signs include restless circling, squatting and sniffing.
Never carry your puppy outside! You should choose a command to signal him it is time to go outside and that should be the command you always use - puppies like and need a routine that they will become familiar with. When he makes it out the door and does finish his business, praise him - puppies also love attention and affection, let him know he did a good job for his master!
4. Some days will be harder than others but if he makes a mistake in the house, try to ignore it the first time. Yelling at him or swatting him will only make the training process harder for you and your dog scared! Avoid negativity at all cost. Again, we know this might be hard after a day at the office and dealing with the kids but you will be thankful later!
5. If you will be leaving your puppy alone for a couple of hours, barricade off a corner of the house or use a dog crate but don't just leave him free to roam the house! Puppies usually will not toilet the area in which they sleep.
Take your puppy outside right before putting him in the crate and then take him outside again immediately upon returning home. Don't leave any water down on the floor while in this housebreaking process, if you are gone too long he may not be able to help it and have to go. Do make sure to leave him plenty of toys to keep him busy.
A crate can be a very helpful training tool for your dog while in the training process and not wanting to give him full reign of the house just yet. This will happen over time. But remember along with bathroom accidents, puppies like to chew and they will chew anything in their path if they are able to reach it and you aren't there to tell him "No!"
In closing, Praise your puppy and set him up on a routine, the end result will be a happy dog and a happy dog lover!
Chrissie Cole The owner of Indulge Your Pet, http://indulgeyourpet.com - a site dedicated to providing information and resources for dog lovers, cat lovers and horse lovers. In addition we have a section for Pet Business Owners. Meet us on the Pet Lover Forums to chat with pet lovers!
How do you teach a puppy to come when called? We have a 6 months old mix; we think she's mostly Brussels Griffin; when I want her to come to me she thinks it's a game, starts running all around and won't let me catch her. I live in a split level house and she won't go down the stairs. That's good except if I plan on being in the TV room, she won't come when called. Any suggestions? Val (02/16/2006)
Val, what you want to do is be the most interesting thing there is to your dog.
Think of it from her point of view. Why should I come when she calls? What's in it for me? Teach her that you have treats in her pocket and will give her one if she comes when you call. Reward her for each step she comes down. You won't have to keep giving her treats forever. She will learn that it's okay to go down the stairs. She will learn that you MIGHT just have some treats for her and praise her when she comes to your call.