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Old 08-28-2006, 05:16 PM
Kathy29 Kathy29 is offline
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Default Housetraining

I need some help in the potty area of training my new dog. He's 9 months old and I believe the breeder has not done ANY sort of training with him other than getting him to stack nicely. He is a Chihuahua and honestly, I've never had this much trouble housetraining a dog in my life before - he sure is one of a kind.

As he is still fairly new with us (2 weeks), he still gets a little scared when someone stoops down to pick him up. Sometimes he will back up until he is cornered before making a huge leap into my arms. I'm not really sure if it is fear or whether he just likes the whole chasing game but I'm getting *really* tired of it.

I've caught him doing his business where he's not supposed to a few times and have tried to pick him up and put him on the pee pad to correct him but as you can imagine, I end up chasing him around and fecal gets everywhere. I've tried taking him outside but even after 10 minute intervals of me bringing him outside for an hour, he'll go right when he gets back into the house on my rug. I thought maybe he'll do better with a pee pad but nope, he'll go on everything else BUT the pad.

Someone please help - I'm at my wit's end here trying to train this dog to go in the right place so I'm not mopping the floors 5 times a day. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:48 PM
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sourjayne sourjayne is offline
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Instead of just scooping him up, have you tried first startling him so he stops? That's what I've read to do -- a loud clap, a can with ten pennies in it, a loud "Oh goodness goodness goodness!" -- then at least he's stopped mid-poo while you grab him.

Then maybe some training to stop him from running away from you when you try to pick him up, and in the meantime maybe you could always keep him on a leash so you can keep him close to you, then reel him in instead of scooping him up.

I've had to scoop up mid-poo many a times, so I feel your pain He's probably just confused, and it certainly can't help that every time he goes for a poo he gets chased around! Try startling him/sidetracking to get him stopped if at all possible so he doesn't think he's being punished for going poo -- that will make him more likely to hide it from you and less likely to go while you're standing there watching (like when you're outside.) That's why "Oh Goodness goodness" or a coin can rather than "NO!"

I've tried putting the pads down where he tends to go in the house, but it didn't seem to help, and I think pad training just confuses them. Crate training is the way to go, freedom only after he's gone #1 and #2 and only for a limited time (depending on age and how often he eats) and even then keep him close to you whenever possible with a leash so you can stop bad habits before they start.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:49 PM
Herschel Herschel is offline
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This might not be completely applicable because it is from an older post, but it holds true for potty training any dog.

Potty training:

Keep a log book. Write down every time he goes #1, #2, eats anything, or takes a walk. You will quickly see that he will need to go out every 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Once you establish a schedule, any accidents that he has are completely your fault (don't punish the dog).

Also, keep him confined to a smaller area. You should be able to supervise him at all times. We started out by confining our little guy to his crate (1 week), then the kitchen (3 weeks), and now he gets the kitchen and some of the family room. He sleeps anywhere (and everywhere) in that area during the day so he has no desire to eliminate in it.

*Make sure the crate is a comfortable, safe place for your puppy. It shouldn't be punishment for him in there. He should have a blanket and toys. At first, you could give him a couple of treats in there to make him appreciate it more. Do NOT consider the crate to be a bad thing!*

Any accidents in the house are a set back in house training. Training your dog to go on a piddle pad is probably giving her mixed signals. It's like saying, "It's OK to go in the house, but only sometimes and in some places."

We house trained our small-breed puppy in just over a month--and he is only 3 and 1/2 months old now. We kept a schedule and made sure that every 30 minutes we would say, "Herschel, do you have to go out?" and run towards the stairs. He would follow us and we would run down the stairs and let him out. He would usually get the point and go to the bathroom and receive tons of praise, chest rubbing, and treats. Yes--there were times when he acted like he didn't have to go, came back inside and peed, but we just cleaned up the mess and tried again 20 minutes later.

One thing that we were fairly determined about was treating our little guy like he is a big guy. We made a conscious effort to let him run down the stairs and outside on his own. We had him going up stairs by the second day of having him (8 weeks old) and down by the third. If you have stairs, make sure your puppy learns to go up and down them (tons of praise + treats), or if you're just opening up a door then make sure your puppy runs outside on his own to go to the bathroom.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:49 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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He just plain doesn't know. Any sort of frustration or anger on your part will only make him afraid. If he's succeed all this time in going on the rug, he figures, that's where he's suppose to go. He's going to need more supervision when loose in the house. More opportunities to succeed and lavish praise and a yummy treat the second he finishes going outside in your designated spot.

Everytime he goes inside, that's one more reinforcement to him that "yes, this is where I go to the bathroom." It's very difficult when they get older and this has been going on for so long. So, extreme diligence on your part is needed. Anytime he goes inside, it's your fault, not his. That's the hard truth of it.

Why are you having to chase him? Is he afraid? Why wouldn't he come outside with you? You need to make the behavior you want be fun, pleasant, rewardable. He needs a payoff for wanted behaviors and you need to prevent payoffs for unwanted behaviors. For him to come with you or come to you, it must be the best thing in the world, the safest, the most fun and even a treat...if you want him to come along with you. Don't use force too much, even though it's easy to pick him up. Teach him what you want and let him learn to do it by himself. Motivation and reward training is best, especially for these sensative little guys. They are often submissive just on account of their size.

I hear your frustration. My little girl Chi was 7 months when I got her and the same thing....."dirty puppy syndrome." She was allowed to go anywhere in this puppy room...newspapers all over. It took a lot of patience and time to train her. She is fine now...but....if no one is there to let her out, she won't hold it, won't even try. I have to make sure to offer her the chance to go out plenty often. If I'm in her sight, she will stand by the door and look restless so she knows to go out. She just doesn't quite get it that if she has to go, to try and hold on for a while....like the other dogs. It's not like there are many times where I'm not around for a long stretch. I'm a full time dog mom.

So hang in there, be consistant, reward her lavishly the second he finishes when he DOES go, (give a cue word quietly, while she's going, "go pee" or whatever) prevent accidents and don't take your eyes off him for one second while he's loose in the house.

Are you using a crate? That helps. If not, you have to condition him to liking that...gradual, no force, treats, toys, food in there. Keep the door open the first few days, don't use as punishement....always pleasant.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:53 PM
Herschel Herschel is offline
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Redyre Rottweilers no longer posts here , but she is the one that got me started:

House Training
Copyright 2004 R L Pless, all rights reserved.
Free for use by anyone as long as author credit remains intact.


House training your dog is simple if you follow a few basic rules.


1) The puppy must have NO time unsupervised in your home. NONE.
If you are not directly watching the puppy, it should be in the crate, or outside in a safe area. You MUST watch the puppy at ALL times when loose in the house. Use baby gates, crates, or tie the leash to your belt.
2) The puppy should sleep inside the crate by your bedside. This way you can hear if the puppy should happen to need to go out during the night.
3) You must go WITH the puppy outside for ALL trips for elimination. You must have treats with you. When the puppy is urinating, say "GO PEE PEE" in a nice praise tone of voice the entire time. When she is finished, pop the treat into her mouth at once, and praise praise praise. This should be something she gets at no other time, like tiny pieces of string cheese or boiled chicken. Same for defecation. Say "GO POOP" while she is going, and food reward and praise afterwards. You must observe and reward ALL outdoor potty time.
4) Keep a schedule. Feed at the same time, and walk outside at the same times. Your pup needs at least 4 trips outdoors each day, and 5 is probably better. Pup needs to go out at wake up time, lunch time, 4-5 PM, after dinner or any other meals, and before bed.
5) Use a key word each time you go out. I say "Let's go out!!" in a happy tone of voice each time I'm opening the door to go out with the dog.
6) If you catch the puppy IN THE ACT of eliminating in your house, CLAP YOUR HANDS, say AH AH, OUTSIDE!! And immediately rush her outside. If she finishes there, do your usual food reward and praise.


The keys to getting your dog reliably housetrained are:


SUPERVISION: NO loose time in the house if you are not watching


REWARDS: ALL outdoor elimination MUST be observed and rewarded. If you only do this ONE thing, your puppy will get housetrained.


PATIENCE: Anger and punishment have no place in dog training. Elimination is a natural and pleasurable experience for your dog. You can teach her to not soil your house, but punishment will NOT help. It will only teach the dog to hide when she needs to eliminate.

If you have RELIGIOUSLY followed these instruction for 4 weeks and you are still finding spots after the fact in your home, it's time to take stronger action. Take a good sized newspaper, roll it up tightly, and band it on both ends. Keep it handy.

The very NEXT time you find a spot that puppy has left, yank out that paper, and hit YOURSELF over the head several times as you repeat: I FORGOT TO WATCH MY PUPPY.

Works every time.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:54 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Wow...sorry guys...when I was typing, nothing was there. LOL.

Good advice. The only difference in my way would be that I wouldn't use the startle tactic too much, if it's too loud. These little Chi's can be nervous as it is and submissive just because they're so small. You don't want your dog to worry and associate you with scary or unpredictable times. You need him to trust you completely. If you can pick him up to interupt him, great. Better yet, take him out more often so an accident isn't as likely. Or keep him off the carpted area, if possible.

Good luck.

Herschel's post....about logging all that is a good idea too.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:55 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Yeah...that's good Herschel.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:18 PM
Kathy29 Kathy29 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
Why are you having to chase him? Is he afraid? Why wouldn't he come outside with you? You need to make the behavior you want be fun, pleasant, rewardable.
I don't have to actually chase him but rather, walk towards him as he backs up a bit. His tail is wagging the whole time though so I don't know what it is. Even at the breeder's, she tried to pick him up for me to have a closer look at him, and he did the same thing - backed up and made it into a game.

Quote:
Are you using a crate? That helps. If not, you have to condition him to liking that...gradual, no force, treats, toys, food in there. Keep the door open the first few days, don't use as punishement....always pleasant.
I am using a crate and it's adequate size for him but he STILL goes in there. I've tried reducing the space a bit as well but no luck. He is so different from my other Chihuahua, who goes outside when I'm home and available to take her for walks but uses the pee pad when she has to go and I'm not readily available like in the middle of the night or when I'm in the shower. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:21 PM
Jynx Jynx is offline
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I think toy breeds can be notoriously hard to housebreak. My sister got a 6month old papillon from a very reputable breeder last year, unfortunately even at that age, alot of breeders just do not even try to housebreak their toy dogs. It's easier to put them in an xpen and clean up the mess, if they have multiple dogs. So by the time they are that age, they are so used to going on the floor they don't know otherwise.

If he's "going" in his crate, you can bet he's used to doing that to and it more than likely doesn't bother him.

I wouldn't allow him access to the house, if he is, he should be tethered to you to avoid accidents. I'd put up a small xpen on a very cleanable floor (or throw some plastic down) with your puppy pads there, (tho I'm not a fan of dogs using puppy pads).

As for his backing up when you approach, I think again this can be a toy dog thing, (my sisters was like this for a long time), imagine what THEY are seeing? This GIANT walking towards them *vbg*...try kneeling down and calling him/treats in hand to you,,worked for my sister, and now her pap will just come a running when she calls and "jump" in her arms..

Good luck!
just some ideas
diane
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:35 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Jynx has some great insight there. I feel for you...I know how some of these little dogs can be with housebreaking, although my boy Chi mix was a snap, caught on within a couple of weeks and has always been really reliable. But I got him at 9 weeks old. But when they're raised for all those early months where they are not trained, it's really a challenge. It may never really happen the right way. You may just have to take him out super often, keep trying the pads, although sometimes trying to show them two different places can be more confusing, I think. I mean, if he's allowed to go on the pads inside, do you think it's enough distinction between on the pads or somewhere else? It seems like inside is inside. But I know people are successful with them. I just let mine outside, even when it's 30 below zero. Isn't that awful?

And yeah...that backing and crouching a little. My little girl does it too and she's been treated very gently. It's the size, I'm sure. Like Jynx said, can you imagine????We must look like dinosaurs to these little dumplings. They're so cute.

Well, best wishes. At least if you keep it up at full steam, he might just get it. Be sure that when he does go where you want him, be right there, ready to give him a high value treat and praise the very instant he finishes. The more of that reinforcement, the more the probability of his repeating that will be. All behavior is dependent on consequences and yummy consequences tend to really reinforce strongly.... and cause that behavior to be repeated.
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