At Wits End with potty training with my 7 mo old Wheaten
Iím sure this issue has been beat to death, but even after so much research, I still havenít figured out a solution and Iím ready to pull my hair out.
I have a 7 month old female wheaten terrier named Mika (we also have a 2 year old male mini schnauzer). She is the sweetest dog but with one big issue, we have major bathroom problems with her. Before I continue, she does not have a bladder infection and got tested at the vet for other issues. She did have a parasite for awhile but after 2 rounds of antibiotics, the parasite is gone. So initially like with most puppies, she was going all over the house. We had her on a schedule, but understood that while we were at work for a few hours, accidents would happen. We crated her for awhile and would come home every single day with her covered in her own urine and poop. We then decided to take a different route and section off her and my mini schnauzer in the kitchen when we werenít home. Our mini schnauzer is completely trained and would never have any accidents. We started walking our wheaten at the same time every single day and she went from peeing everywhere to actually waiting for her walks EXCEPT For when we arenít home. We come home every single day (sheís still sectioned off in that area) to our floors covered in pee and poop. Also, there are days where we work long days, so Iíll drop her off at my fathers house and she will go everywhere in the house despite being walked 5x a day. Not really sure where to go from here! Iím sure she thinks she can go in that area since weíre not home to stop it, but the few times we caught her going, we told her to stop it and immediately took her outside, where she is always praised and rewarded. We donít really have another area to put her in since we live in an apartment and the spaces are limited. Does anyone have ANY suggestions or ideas on how to stop this? We could try crating her once more, but when trying it a 2nd time, she immediately went into the crate and peed in it. Maybe we didnít allow her to sit in her pee long enough to know she wouldnít like it, but we got frustrated and just assumed that crate training wasnít for her. I would appreciate ANY advice since this is the first dog I have had that has had this problem for this long! I know 7 months is still a puppy but I think my this age, they should be house trained!
How big is the crate you have for her? If it is bigger than it needs to be, they are more likely to washroom in the crate, just away from the bedding. Is she fed in her crate? Generally dogs do not like to pee where they eat, unless, of course, she has enough room to have the 2 seperate "areas" in her crate
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Make sure your crate is only big enough for her to only lay down turn around and stand up comfortably! No larger because some puppies will potty in one area and sleep in the other. If you have any bedding in there wile she was in the crate the last time and pottied in there take it out or you could put bedding in there because most dogs do not like to potty where they sleep.
As for house breaking you can always give this a try ( this is what I tell people who adopt older dogs/puppies from me when potty issues arise):
Treat her like she is a puppy, of about 8 weeks old...like she knows nothing about proper potty manners or behavior...start from ground zero so that you initiate the trips to the potty area. Start back at the begininng by going back to the basics because she is in a new house with a different set of rules and smells.(You can give this a try at you fathers house) Just remember when pottying where you want her to she get a reward for pottying in the right spot right after she has gone potty like a salmon treat, a piece of cheese or other treat that you can give her just for pottying in the right spot.(It helps if it is a treat that she absolutely loves!)
House training your dog is simple if you follow a few basic rulesthis is one of the information sheets that I give to all adult dog/puppy buyers)
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 applied these techniques carefully for 4 weeks and you are still finding spots or piles after the fact, it's time for stronger measures. Roll up a newspaper and fasten both ends with a rubber band. Keep it handy. The very next time you find a spot of a pile that the dog has left behind, whip out that newspaper, and hit YOURSELF over the head firmly several times as you repeat "I FORGOT TO WATCH MY PUPPY". LOL
Works every time.
This also works on Adult Dogs that have been rehomed or dogs that need a stroll down MEMORY LANE for POTTY TRAINING!
Sorry this is so long! I hope this helps you.
Firstly, thank you so much for that informative response!!! Really, appreciate it!!!!
We took this past weekend as an opportunity to reintroduce her to the crate. In the past, we tried crating her (and perhaps it wasnít small enough) and she would eliminate in the crate and then just hang out in her own poop. This time when reintroducing her to the crate, we started feeding her in her crate, giving her treats in there and eventually, we found her going in there by herself to relax and nap. We needed to leave the house for a few hours during the weekend and we figured it was a good time to put her in the crate while we were gone (we walked her right before). We came home to find that she pooped (but did not pee) in the crate. We thoroughly cleaned it out and fed her in the crate at night and had her sleep in there by our bed. The next day, we went to work and left her in there for about 6 hours, to come home to a MESS. She totally eliminated in there and was basically covered from head to toe in poop. And the crate is definitely the right size this time Ė she could only turn around and stand up. IS this normal?
I know dogs are not supposed to eliminate where they sleep/eat, but I really feel like she's okay with it because she's used to it. I dont know....
We walk her about 4-5x a day and praise her every single time she goes outside. She already knows to expect a treat as soon as she goes.
In the morning right before her walk, she will wait for me at the door and will not have any accidents.
Also, at night right before her walking time, she will pace around the door basically "telling me" that she needs to go..
So the accidents don't really happen when we're not home (although they sometimes do) but more when we're not home. So we could keep her leash on us, but what concerns me is what happens when we leave her - whether it's in the crate or in a gated area (where she was previously before reintroducing her to the crate).
At this point, we're both so clueless and tried and not really sure what to do.
We're never aggressive or harsh about it and always praise her when she does the right thing...
Should we continue the crate training and have a sticter schedule? If the crate does not work for her, not really sure what to do at that point since we do work and cannot keep her supervised ALL day. And once again, we do have another dog who never has any accidents, so she's definitely not picking this up from him.
Sorry for the ramble! Just quite upetting after dealing with this for months already.
It's a Terrier Thing. There is hope, though. Tallulah (APBT) was the WORST about letting me know when she had to go out. She was, though, very good about using paper on the floor.
And then, one day, she started telling me she had to go out. First it was just a quiet stare, then a stare/nudge, and now she has no problem at all with stare/nudge/IWANTTOGOOUT!!!!! I have created a monster, though. She insists that I go out with her and walk out into the yard where I can see her so she can come back in and get a goodie. She will even take me out and do a fake pee to get one
Keep working on it.
Oh, and animal crackers and pork rinds work miracles
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