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Housebreaking tips, anyone???
I am at my wits end with our new puppy. Well, he's not new... we've had him for 2 months and he's completely clueless about going outside.
Rambo is a dachshund and he is the most stubborn dog I have ever met. I love him because he is our dog, but I will never own another dachshund again. :( Before him, we got a black lab (Bella, she'll be 1 in July) and she was housebroken in 2 weeks. Rambo is almost 5 months old we got him at 2 1/2 months.
We've tried the piddle pads, those didn't work. We've tried taking him outside and if he doesn't go, he stays in the crate and goes back out every 15 minutes until he does then he gets to stay out. He seems to have no clue what to do when you take him outside, except for when we first wake up in the morning and when we come home from work, when he's really gotta go.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you. :)
I think you need to limit his freedom in the house until he can manage this. Piddle pads are useless, because they learn to go to the bathroom in the house. Crating is good, and when he comes out of crate you immediately take him outside and wait. Praise heavily, really make a big deal when he goes where you want. Don't punish when he does go in the wrong spot, beyond a quick sharp "NO", and only if you see him go, not after the fact. Some are just quicker than others - he'll get it eventually. If you just can't see him sit in a crate, you could keep him "attached" to you by keeping him on a leash in the house, and watch him closely. Periodically take him outside and use a word like "go potty", and praise heavily when he does.
Best of luck. At least you don't have to worry about this with fish :lol:
Gwen had great suggestions. So I will just go in depth a bit more in hopes of helping you.
It is a long roller coaster to housebreak the more stubborn dogs, but patience and consistencey is the key.
Keep to the schedule you set... crate, potty, eat, potty, play, potty, crate, potty, eat, potty, sleep/crate, potty.....The more chances you schedule him to be out to potty, the easier to adjust to it.
Pick a single special place in the yard to take Rambo to every single time to potty, and pick a phrase that is always the same "go potty", "piddle", "go pee"...whichever you choose, but make sure everyone uses the same phrase. Stick to saying it just once...walk him to the spot, and say your phrase, then wait patiently. The moment he potties, give him a small bite of his favorite dog treat. Keep him crated or baby gated to a bathroom or kitchen when not being played with, fed, or walked. If you want to give him a little extra out time but arent able to watch his every move, leashing him to your hip works great.
After a while, he will get the hint. When you catch him in the act of pottying in the house, let out a loud sound, like "ah ah", a loud clap, and scoop him up and take him outside to his spot. Dogs hear the word no all too often, and eventually wont respond to it.
Puppy pads have great uses...indoor puppy potty training, senior dog potty issues, and lining an area for a pup when you wont be able to take them out for an extended period of time. My chihuahua is duel trained for outside and puppy pads since she is in her senior years now, and she just learned the puppy pad potty this past year.
A couple of articles that might help a little:
Housebreaking a Dog or Puppy
It's Me or the Dog : Animal Planet
Housetraining Puppies | DogTime.com - Find your wag.
Everyone does it a little bit different, but the things that are a must is patient and being consistant with the training. Hope this helps and let us know if your pup finds himself trained soon.
Thank you both so much for the tips. It sounds like a little more in depth of what we've been doing, and a little more reassuring that this is normal. It probably didn't help that Rambo came from a pet store (the place we get our fish from has other animals every now and then, he isn't a puppy mill dog but he wasn't worked with on potty training either) and Bella came from a breeder who had mom on site and had already started working with her a bit so maybe that's causing a bit of discouragement.
He went through puppy training class, and learned all of his commands very well, so I know he's very smart, that's why I know he's being stubborn here. I will take him outside to go potty and he will chase leaves or chew sticks. We'll be out there for 10-15 minutes and he won't do a thing, then we come back inside and he goes in the house, it's so frustrating! Last weekend I decided to do the crate/feed/potty thing but I do feel bad leaving him in his crate. Doesn't help that his "bark" is a high pitched yelp that never stops, either. And the spray bottle doesn't stop that, he just takes a drink...
But, he's incredibly cute, lol.
You can tell Amanda has more experience with the smaller breeds. I've always been a large breed lover, but we have both - a rottie and a poodle mix, and I must say I've become more found of smaller dogs, but I've never raised a puppy (except once as a rescue, until I found it a home). That's a story in itself - "smuggled" a flea infested puppy out of Tijuana, Mexico (back when I lived in Southern CA). Otherwise, I've always adopted older dogs and this was never an issue.
I bet if you do all those things, and like Amanda says consistency is the key, Rambo will come around.
For the barking, well, you have a yappy breed to start with. lol. When he barks in his crate, he wants to be out and getting your attention. A way to start curbing the attention-wanting bark is to start training him that he only gets your attention when he is quiet. The simpliest way to train this is to stand in sight away from his crate (him in it), let him bark. The moment he is quiet and calm long enough for you to walk to the crate and treat him, then do so. If he barks in the middle of your walk to the crate or prior to treating, walk back to the beginning. He will eventually learn that he only gets your attention when he is quiet.
With his breed, make sure to keep his weight under control as to not put any additional pressure on his back. As he gets older keep a look out for any pain as it is common for disc issues in Rambo's dog breed. Proper diet and proper exercise will (and limited jumping) will help ensure a healthy back. And consult a vet every year for details in research on what is show to help keep his back healthy. Normally issues dont happen til later in life, but it is something to be aware of ahead of time so that maybe he wont have any issues. Its also common in bassets, corgis, and other long back short leg breeds.
Training is a constant reminder for dogs. You should always be working with commands, daily. Not only does it re-ensure your dog's training, as well as your bond together, but it also is mental stimulis for your dog.
Good Luck with the training...feel free to ask for any help, I have worked with dogs in the pet industry for years (rescue and foster, vet tech, kennel tech, behavioral training...).
My training has been with all sorts of dog breeds and sizes...if I had the money and the yard, I would have a solid black Newfoundland! Those dogs are beautiful, smart, gentle, and HUGE!
But for personal owner experiance, it has been with lots of breeds as well, especially since after I rescued dogs, I would train them with their basic commands and manners prior to adoption. I have worked with shih tzus, corgis, labs (lots of labs), goldens, spaniels, pugs, mutts, chihuahuas, pitts, huskies, german shepards...and many many more breeds. I love them all though!!!
I ended up with my chihuahua because she was my dad's rescue from the pound and my sister was suppose to be her owner...my sister was a very immature teenager, and I was in my mid- twenties and had already worked as a vet tech and kennel hand, so my dad knew she would be okay with me. They got her when she was 3, I got her when she was 4 1/2, and now she is 8 years old. They adopted her at 11 pounds!! She was super overweight, she waddled, tummy dragged, and had to have special harnesses that prevented chaffing. Well, as of last summer's annual vet exam she is 8 lbs even, and in June when she goes back for this years exam, we are hoping she will be between 6.5-7 lbs. She has also battled arthritis in her knees, a fluxating patella (giving her the arthritis), allergies, sensitive ears, as well as cataracs. She spent a year on joint repair meds and the equivalent of doggie celebrex/vikoden, and her patella has stayed in place as well as her arthritis in check for 2 years now. Her allergies are under control, and her small cataracs has not grown any in 3 years. The doc (a chihuahua specialist) was shocked that I was able to see the cataracs (spelling) as it was very small. And I was the one who asked them to check her patellas. I'd like to think that my vet enjoys not having to guess whats wrong when an owner is experianced and trained like I am, and all she has to do is go back over and officially diagnose and write scripts.
Sorry for the ramble all about myself and my dog, I can easily get carried away. On the other hand, I also always feel someone deserves to know the experiance of the person they are getting their advice from. :-D
Amanda and Gwen have given excellent advice, so I have nothing to add other than to keep at it, be consistant and stay outside until he goes and make a HUGE deal about it when he does. I've never had a puppy, always large dogs that have been rescues that were never housebroken. I always do the leash at the hip and it works great. You're able to get an adult dog housebroken in three days. I'll never forget (before I knew about the keeping them leashed to you) my first morning with my German Shepherd. I woke up to him standing at the corner of my bed with his leg lifted, saturating my down comforter. :shock:
Thanks everyone again for the advice. We have been working with a trainer for the commands and such, and she has given me housebreaking tips as well, mostly what you all have had to say in a nutshell, but everyone has their own tricks that work for them and you all have given me some new ideas to try. We have not stayed outside for an hour to go potty, I do keep him leashed outside, as we are using the front yard right now, but as soon as the weather breaks I am going to use a baby pen in the back yard so he can have that confined space for a half hour or so to do his business. I honestly don't have an hour to spend outside with him, that may make me a bad "mom" to him, but I have a 4 year old human child inside who will cause a lot more ruckus than a dog piddling on the floor, lol.
Hmm... 4 year old child and 9 month old lab alone inside for an hour... or clean up dog pee??? lol
My lab is great, she listens well, did great with the training class... but labs should come with warning labels like everything else does.
WARNING:::: CHEWS EVERYTHING IN SIGHT... (I knew that part, but what I didn't know was that...)
WARNING:::: CHEWS WHATS NOT IN SIGHT TOO!!! LOL :)
Thanks again for the help ladies, very glad I found this board. People who love dogs, and fish. What more could I ask for. :-D
I understand completely about not having an hour to spend, and it isnt always needed...most dogs will pee within the 20 min mark. Since he is on leash, keep him moving, walk in circles, that will encourage him to potty faster in most cases.
Glad you found us here...and good luck!!!
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