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Old 07-14-2008, 06:58 AM
Jillinmaine Jillinmaine is offline
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Default Housetraining Tucker

Hi,

I just joined yesterday... nothing like jumping in with both feet!
Anyway, I thought I had Tucker - my corgi / wheaten terrier mix - figured out - potty wise. (He is 8 months & I have had him 4 months) but I have some questions.

He had been really good in the house for at least the last two weeks until yesterday when he had two pee accidents and one this morning. I try to let him out at least every hour or two and about 20 to 30 minutes after he eats. He just will not do anything to let me know he needs out. Shouldn't he (after 4 months with us and 8 months old) be housetrained by now? We have been trying to train him to ring a bell - and he will ring it if we ask him if he needs outside - he will run to the door and slap the bell. But only if we ask first...

I know that he is very likely to have an accident if left in the house alone outside of his crate no matter if he has just gone outside or not. If we happen to go outside to tend the farm animals and leave him alone ... He will pee on my bed and poop in my daughters room - this happened twice before I figured it out and I layed down the law to my husband and children that Tucker is NOT to be left alone in the house outside of his crate. I think he jumps on the bed looking out the window for us - and becomes stressed and just goes. Not really his fault I guess and I never punish him for that.

Anyway, I just thought I would throw this out there to you all to see if you had any comments or suggestions.

Thanks,

Jill
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2008, 07:08 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillinmaine View Post
Shouldn't he (after 4 months with us and 8 months old) be housetrained by now? We have been trying to train him to ring a bell - and he will ring it if we ask him if he needs outside - he will run to the door and slap the bell. But only if we ask first...
There is no "right" age where a dog should be potty trained. My dog is four and while she hasn't had an accident in probably about 6 months, I still don't really consider her "potty trained", and don't know if I ever will. The trouble is that when they have an accident in the house, and you don't catch them in the act, they have basically rewarded themselves for pottying in the house.

Sometimes it's helpful, though, to keep a log of when he does have an accident - what you were doing at the time, what he was doing at the time, where the accident was, etc. Maybe that way you'll start to see some patterns, like how you now know not to leave him unattended in the house.

I've never used the bell method to teach my dog to tell me when she needs to go out, maybe others here can help you with that one.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:25 PM
bristolandrocky
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My rat terrior did not want to tell us when she had to go until she was 1 year. Just one day she started sitting, looking at me, and turning her head toward the door. She will occasionally go on our bed... but that is to say she is mad that she hasnt been walked or been able to play outside with me. I used doggie diapers until she decided to let me know when she had to go. I got them at http://www.doggievogue.com/category/...-doggy-diapers
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:08 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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My rat terrior did not want to tell us when she had to go until she was 1 year. Just one day she started sitting, looking at me, and turning her head toward the door. She will occasionally go on our bed... but that is to say she is mad that she hasnt been walked or been able to play outside with me. I used doggie diapers until she decided to let me know when she had to go. I got them at http://www.doggievogue.com/category/...-doggy-diapers
Chances are, your rat terrier did try to tell you when she had to go, but you weren't noticing her subtle hints. Finally one day, after trying other options, she learned that sitting in front of you and looking at the door was the right combination to get what she wanted.

And dogs don't pee out of spite! This seems to be a recurring theme. Dogs simply don't have the mental capacity to figure out what makes you mad, and to decide to do it because she's mad at you. She's going on your bed because either she's learned that that's a good place to hide (she's rewarding herself), or she learned that when she goes on your bed, you take her for a walk or play with her outside because you feel bad (attention-getting).
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:35 AM
Sch3Dana Sch3Dana is offline
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I used doggie diapers until she decided to let me know when she had to go.
I would not recommend doggie diapers- that's not housebreaking, that's giving up! I think in some cases it works bc the dogs don't like the feeling of the wet diaper after they go, but many dogs just pee in them and don't seem to care at all. Gross.

Quote:
We have been trying to train him to ring a bell - and he will ring it if we ask him if he needs outside - he will run to the door and slap the bell. But only if we ask first...
I have found that many dogs never seem to learn to tell you they need out. This really increases the chances for accidents and is stressful for both the people and the dog. It's great that you are trying to train Tucker to ring the bell and it sounds like he's half-way there. I would now start him on a daily training exercise to make him really want to ring that bell and get him sure about doing it without your help.

The best time to train is first thing in the morning when Tucker really needs to go. Instead of taking him out (and taking the responsibility for his toilet habits) go with him near the door (the one with the bells) and wait. If he shows any indication that he's interested in going out, especially if he shows an interest in the bells, then cue him to ring the bell and take him out, praising like crazy all the way. If he doesn't act like he wants to go, try to wait him out, keep him with you on a leash or put him back in the crate a while longer and try again. The goal is to make him think you've forgotten and that he will have to remind you.

It may take a while the first couple of days for Tucker to take the initiative, so start on the weekend when you have time. You may find this frustrating and it can certainly be. But if you are patient and let Tucker have some time to think this through, he will be totally different after this training. He will know that he has to takes some initiative when he needs to go. If you practice every morning for several months, you should get to the point where you can go into a different room and ignore Tucker and he will run to the bells and ring them without any cuing from you at all.

Make sure you work in this direction gradually so that Tucker has lots of success with you near him. And, keep a close eye on Tucker even when you pretend to ignore him. If he decides to pee on the floor rather than tell you he needs to go, tell him "no" sharply so he knows that that is not an acceptable solution to the problem. Then immediately take him to the bells and encourage him to ring them. This way he can compare the options- pee on floor=mad mommy, ring bells=chance to pee outside and very happy mommy
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:21 AM
bristolandrocky
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if dogs arent smart enough to pee out of spite then what makes them smart enough to to tell you when they have to go. Dogs arent idiots and rat terriors are EXTREMELY smart. And trust me i would never praise a dog for peeing on my bed or give it attention. We take her for walks and to the park almost every day and the only days she pees is when she doesnt get to go to the park... hmm Coincidence.. i doubt it

Last edited by bristolandrocky; 07-17-2008 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:14 AM
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if dogs arent smart enough to pee out of spite then what makes them smart enough to to tell you when they have to go.
Because dogs do not understand that peeing is repulsive to you, they don't see urine in that way, so why would they do it out of spite? They may do it out of stress, not spite. Dogs learn to ask to go out because they have been taught going out to potty is great and when they do a certain behavior (whining, hitting a bell etc.) they get to go out. It's cause and effect, simple.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:44 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Dogs learn to "tell" you when they need to go out because whenever they do [behavior], they get to go out.... Just like how they learn to sit, whenever they sit they get good things from us. Going outside is a reward.

And, not all dogs learn to "tell" you when they need to go. Luckily humans are smarter than dogs.

Praise is not the only form of reward she could be getting for going on the bed. Maybe you yelling at her is actually a reward, because it gets her attention, and maybe attention is all she wants. Maybe she learned that peeing on the bed is her way of telling you that she needs to go out, and whenever she starts to pee on the bed you'll take her out really quickly. Maybe she just likes the feel of peeing on the bed, and it's a completely self-rewarding behavior.

To do things out of spite requires a really high mental capacity. They have to realize that peeing makes you mad, and that you will understand that they're punishing you for doing or not doing something hours ago. It's an indisputible fact that dogs do not think like this. In fact, I don't think there are any animals, besides humans and maybe some chimps or something, that do have the capacity to think at this level.

Maybe she pees on days she doesn't go to the park, because she usually pees AT the park.

I understand that rat terriERS (e not o) are very smart, but no member of the dog species is capable of doing things because of spite.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:09 PM
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The dog keeps peeing on the bed most likely because an enzymatic cleaner has not been used on everything (has it soaked into the mattress, have you replaced it?)--Personally that room would be off limits (as in door always closed).

Some dogs around 8 months go through some training set backs. I would just start from square one personally--don't let them out of your sight, take them for breaks at regular intervals--praise when outside. Make sure you are cleaning things thoroughly with something like Nature's Miracle.

My dogs don't ever "tell" me when they have to go to the bathroom, they now know that inside is not acceptable--and I let them out at regular times.

Dogs are smart but they don't have emotions such as "spite"
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:23 PM
Jillinmaine Jillinmaine is offline
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Thanks for the replies.
I never thought that Tucker was peeing out of spite... Only because we left him alone and he became stressed / nervous looking for us. Now I know not to do that and he hasn't gone since (on the bed I mean).
Since my post, Tucker has not had another accident in the house - I am going to try the method reccommended by Sch3Dana - about letting him try to figure out to ring the bell on his own. I know first thing in the morning is a great time because he ALWAYS has to go right away - running for the door as soon as the crate is opened - and if I ask him to ring the bell he usually slaps it high! (it is pretty funny to see).
He us usually sitting on my feet, so I can keep a pretty close watch on him during the day - I work from home which is a plus.
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