Potty Training!! Please HELP

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Potty Training!! Please HELP

This is a discussion on Potty Training!! Please HELP within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Okay everyone I’m in need of some serious advice because I feel hopeless at this point 😞 I have a 1 year old pit bull ...

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Old 03-08-2019, 10:30 AM
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Potty Training!! Please HELP

Okay everyone I’m in need of some serious advice because I feel hopeless at this point 😞 I have a 1 year old pit bull and Australian Shepard mix who is a female. My dog will not for the life of me go outside to potty. Whenever I take her outside we walk around my whole yard for 15-20 min each time and I instruct her to “go potty” the whole entire time. She has a regular schedule and gets let outside 6-7 times a day.. Sometimes she will go to squat like she is going to pee but then will stand right back up and never will. When we come inside she will immediately pee or poop in my house.. once in a while she will actually go potty outside and I do reward her with treats and praise but that’s only once in a blue moon. When she does potty in the house I do bring her to the mess and tell her “no” and “bad girl”, and she usually goes in time out in her cage for about 20 minutes. I have tried puppy pads, she will not use them, and shreds them up, I even tried diapers and she will only pee and poop in the diapers. I cannot continue to do that because it can burn her skin. It’s getting to the point now where she will go potty in my house and immediately go to her cage because she has done wrong and knows she has.. I steam clean my carpets on a regular to pull the pee smell out of the carpet.. I’ve taken her to the vet, she does not have any urinary tract infections or anything internally wrong that would cause her pain to go potty.. I’m just lost.. I have a baby on the way, who will be here the end of April, and I really don’t want to get rid of my dog but I cannot have my baby crawling around on pee and poop floor.. please help!! I’m running out of options, should I try stress and anxiety chews, is she scared to go potty outside? It is winter here in Ohio so I can’t just leave her outside for a long amount of time because it is way too cold.
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:09 PM
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6/7 times isn't enough for a dog that isn't housebroken, and dogs don't understand time outs after the fact.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:41 PM
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Follow this to the letter and she'll probably get the hang of it by the time the baby gets there.

It probably looks like a lot of effort for something that seems to come naturally for other dogs but you have to train the dog in front of you not the one you want. If it seems too much spend the time between now and the baby looking for a home able to take your pup with their potty training issue.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:02 PM
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Try a gentler approach for better results with potty training

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Originally Posted by KaraRaquel View Post
Okay everyone I’m in need of some serious advice because I feel hopeless at this point 😞 I have a 1 year old pit bull and Australian Shepard mix who is a female. My dog will not for the life of me go outside to potty.

When she does potty in the house I do bring her to the mess and tell her “no” and “bad girl”, and she usually goes in time out in her cage for about 20 minutes. It’s getting to the point now where she will go potty in my house and immediately go to her cage because she has done wrong and knows she has.
Try a gentler approach for better results with potty training...

If you do not catch your dog in the act of a potty mistake inside it is useless to "bring her to the mess" and reprimand her.

She will not understand her mistake after the fact, but she will act like she does.

But---she is most likely responding to your frustration or anger with her when you are scolding her and telling her "bad girl" and she is watching your body language/facial expressions so she knows you are upset. Obviously she doesn't quiet understand the whole "potty outside" thing yet, otherwise why would she want to get in trouble or displease you? And your scolding her may be scaring her, and confusing her, thus making it harder for for her to actually learn the correct potty procedure.

Think about if it were teaching a (human) baby or toddler to to potty. Would you get much success if you yelled at the human baby? Probably not.

Most learning is done quicker using positive reinforcement rather than corrections or punishment, I have found.

So instead, maybe try a different approach. If you catch pup in the act, go over to pup, and say "no, no let's go potty outside!" But do it in a caring gentle way. Then as you do this, lead your dog outside. And again say "we go potty outside."

Use lots of treats and praise anytime pup pees outside. I like to say Yes! the minute my Puma pup's butt goes down to ground and starts to pee outside.

Puma was a super picky potty dog. Never accidents inside, but she liked to take forever to pee outside. Very annoying since she comes to work with me and I don't have all day to wait for her to pick a perfect spot. But I kept up with the YES! marker and the treats/praise every time she pottied and now it is much better.

I crate trained her as a pup and took her outside every time I opened her crate. Very often throughout the day. She learned very quickly to potty outside.

Potty training and constant mess cleaning is no fun. I hope you guys get it all worked out soon!
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:49 PM
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Don't use your dog's crate as potty punishment, try this method instead

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Originally Posted by KaraRaquel View Post
d When she does potty in the house I do bring her to the mess and tell her “no” and “bad girl”, and she usually goes in time out in her cage for about 20 minutes.
It’s getting to the point now where she will go potty in my house and immediately go to her cage because she has done wrong and knows she has..
Important.....Your dog's crate should be her safe, cozy retreat spot with no negative connotations. In other words, it is best to never use a dog's crate as punishment at all. Only good things should happen in her crate like rest, special treats, safe chewies/toys. No bad stuff or punishment related time outs.

Time outs should generally be no longer than than 2-3 minutes to be effective.

But--- time outs are much better to use for other issues such as when a dog is playing too rough or puppy nipping. Not so helpful in potty training.


Maybe try this gentler, more effective method instead:

You are going to want to set up your dog for success. And reward that! Give her no chances to mess up or make errors.

So....Can you keep your dog in a small enclosed room with a baby gate while you are home as you work on the potty training? So, put your dog in room or area. Give a chewie or toy or treat dispensing toy or jar with peanut butter to lick on-- or you go in and play with her for a bit.

Then go let her out to try to potty after a bit. If she potties, then she gets free range of house for a bit. If no potty action, then back to her little room she goes until the next potty break. Rinse and repeat until she starts to really get the message that pottying outside= more freedom/privileges inside.

I would normally suggest using a crate to help with potty training, but since she already has some negative experiences with that being used as punishment or time out, I would try the baby gated small room instead. And by the way, make sure the little room is not punishment at all, more like her private relaxation/playtime space. No negative correlation here, just a training tool for you guys as she is learning.

We trained our Puma pup to like to go to her baby gated kitchen area by telling her in a super fun voice, "Puma to to your bed!" and then always giving her awesome treats for going to her kitchen bed. So useful now.

This may really help. Basically retraining potty training!

Last edited by AthenaLove; 03-13-2019 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:59 PM
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As already said, if you don't catch her in the act, saying no and punishing her will only confuse her, as she is unable to connect current punishment with a past act. When you do catch her in the act, say no and take her outside, where she will hopefully complete what she started in the house. Then lavish her with praise and treats. Ours quickly learned that going in the house yielded her nothing, going outside was for her a virtual key to the pantry.
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