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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dog is a 5 month old hound mix and I've never had a harder time potty training a dog in my life. To be honest, I'm only 19 and when I was young my family just used the "put their nose in it and pop them" method. This always seemed cruel to me and, now that I'm older and have a dog and place of my own and did proper research, I realize that this is not the way to go. To be fair to my dog, I've been inconsistent with what I've wanted him to do. I tried using traditional puppy pads, then switched to a grass pad that I kept inside. I then tried moving the grass pad out on my balcony before finally moving it back inside. I live in an apartment so my goal is for him to use the pad long term (eventually out on the balcony) because honestly I don't want to take him downstairs every hour. For the last month, the grass pad has been inside in the same spot. Everytime he used the bathroom somewhere else, I interrupt him with a "ah-ah" and move him onto the pad. When he does use the pad, he gets a big celebration and a few treats. Now, my problem is, I KNOW that he has put two and two together and associates peeing on the pad with praise and treats because whenever he pees on it he will IMMEDIATELY run where I keep the treats and stare at them wagging his tail. He does this every. single. time. Despite this, he still pees on the carpet and in the kitchen 85% of the time. I can only assume at this point that he just doesn't care that much. I know he likes the treats because I use them for training tricks and he seems VERY interested in them then. He's always willing to give me a high five or a spin in exchange for a treat. I don't know what his deal is when it comes to potty training. Please help.
TL;DR: Puppy clearly associates peeing on pad with treats, but still won't pee the on pad 85% of the time, but will do tricks for treats.
 

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You know because youve written it yourself that the title of this thread should be.....OWNER is at fault.

@JoanneF has great advice re potty training so Im tagging her but the fact is your pup isnt doing this on purpose his head is spinning with all the changes you are making.
Plus once a dog has marked a spot unless youve got 100% of the smell out it can be like a huge neon sign that tells them Pee here!.

Im sorry to tell you this but having a dog means going outside when they need to , rain shine hail snow afternoon morning middle of the night if they need to go out you get up and you go...Its exactly the same as having a baby.
The effort you put in is the result you get out....
 

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I personally hate puppy pads for housetraining, they just give mixed messages about whether indoor toileting is allowed or not.

Well done on recognising that rubbing his nose in his toilet is wrong. I do think you using different things and different places has confused him though.

First, you need a routine - if that means using a grass pad on the balcony, do that. Pick that as the one place he toilets. It would be a lot better if you actually took him out, because using the balcony will make it harder to train him to toilet outside, he will likely wait until he is home and can use the balcony, so you are just delaying another problem. But, if the priority is to have him not toilet in the house and you think the balcony will be easier for you, then do it.

Then, toilet training happens when two things come together - the ABILITY to hold the toilet, along with the DESIRE to hold it in order to earn the reward for doing so.

Ideally you want him to not be in a position where he needs to toilet before you have him out or on the balcony, so that every toilet is outside. So set him up to succeed by taking him out even more than he needs; for example every hour and always after sleeping, eating, playing. The time between a puppy realising they need to toilet, and being unable to hold that toilet, is zero. So your aim is to have him outside before he can't help himself. When he toilets on the balcony make a huge fuss (never mind the neighbours, act like outdoor toileting is the best thing you have ever seen) and reward him with a high value treat. Do that immediately, don't let him run to the cupboard for the treat, so he is clear that it's for toileting and not for anything else. The idea is that he wants to earn the treat enough to hold the toilet until he is outside. You might need to find something even more special that is only used for outdoor toileting. Several tiny pieces of frankfurter sausage or roast chicken work well.

As he is actually performing the toilet you can introduce words he can associate with it (like 'do weewee' and 'busy busy') that later when he is reliably trained you can use these to tell him when you want him to toilet.

If you take him out and he doesn't toilet after five minutes, bring him in but don't take your eyes off him. Any hint of a toilet inside, scoop him up and get him out fast. If he doesn't try to toilet indoors (great!) take him out a second time and repeat until you do get outside toilets. You need the outside toilet to happen SO that you can reward SO that he learns.

If he has an accident inside don't react at all. If you get annoyed he may learn to fear your reaction and avoid you if he needs to toilet (by going off and toileting out of sight) - the opposite of what you want. Dogs cant make the distinction between you being annoyed at him TOILETING, as opposed to toileting INDOORS. Take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not having taken him outside in time. Not when he is there though in case you scare him. Then clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace of smell that might attract him back to the spot.

Indoors if you see him circling or scratching the floor, that can sometimes precede toileting so get him out fast.
 

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Time to get real!

title of this thread should be.....OWNER is at fault.
And u know that's true! You are confusing your puppy and he doesn't have a clue as to what you want!


The time between a puppy realising they need to toilet, and being unable to hold that toilet, is zero.
Then, toilet training happens when two things come together - the ABILITY to hold the toilet, along with the DESIRE to hold it in order to earn the reward for doing so.
This advice, while good, is only applicable to very young 8 or 9 week old puppies! I've house trained lots of puppies, and never thrown any kind of party with praise and treats for them going outside! It's just matter of factly the way it's done! Show them clearly, which doesn't ever include pee pads and fake grass being moved from place to place with no follow up training as to what to do now.

Your puppy at 5 months should easily be able to sleep through the night plus an hour or three before going out. It's way beyond the take him out hourly stage! But, with all this confusion -use a pad, now use artificial turf, inside now outside, and maybe go outside (hopefully!) sometimes?

Look, I get you're young. But if you want the dog to understand what you want you have to be clear and consistent. That might mean keeping the dog on a leash for a bit and showing him clearly that either outside on the patio or outside on the grass are the only options! And that will require diligence on your part for a week or 2. Do that, you'll be done!
 

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I've house trained lots of puppies, and never thrown any kind of party with praise and treats for them going outside!
I realise that works for some dogs, but equally the ”outside = sausage; inside = zero” is highly successful.

And this is an older pup, yes; but one who never learned any bladder control - just weeing when he feels the need.
 

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I agree with Joanne on this. It seems as though it "should" be unnecessary to take a five month old puppy out so often. But the thing is, if a dog at any age doesn't fully understand the housebreaking rules, the most effective method to use is to go back to the beginning, training the dog as you would a young puppy. the only difference is that the older dog will learn faster because he or she can hold it longer.

I have had adult foster dogs who were never properly housetrained. I treated them as if they were babies, and in only a few days they were solidly house trained.

jdo409
, the most important thing here is not for you to feel bad about what you have done or not done, but to change what you are doing and the way you are thinking about this.

This is not a case of your dog deliberately not doing what you want, but a case of a confused dog. Fortunately, this is easily remedied because all you have to do is approach things the right way. Sorry it is going to be a hassle to take him outside so often, but this is the reality of having a dog, and it is the only way that you will end up with a properly trained dog. Trust us, it is worth it in the end!

If you train him to use the pads on the balcony all of the time, he will not understand going potty outside on grass or at the curb. This will be a problem any time you are with your dog and not in your apartment. If you go visiting someone else, for instance, this could be a real problem. Maybe they don't want the dog peeing and pooping on their balcony, or don't even have one. Training the dog to go outside is really the best thing to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree with Joanne on this. It seems as though it "should" be unnecessary to take a five month old puppy out so often. But the thing is, if a dog at any age doesn't fully understand the housebreaking rules, the most effective method to use is to go back to the beginning, training the dog as you would a young puppy. the only difference is that the older dog will learn faster because he or she can hold it longer.

I have had adult foster dogs who were never properly housetrained. I treated them as if they were babies, and in only a few days they were solidly house trained.

jdo409, the most important thing here is not for you to feel bad about what you have done or not done, but to change what you are doing and the way you are thinking about this.

This is not a case of your dog deliberately not doing what you want, but a case of a confused dog. Fortunately, this is easily remedied because all you have to do is approach things the right way. Sorry it is going to be a hassle to take him outside so often, but this is the reality of having a dog, and it is the only way that you will end up with a properly trained dog. Trust us, it is worth it in the end!

If you train him to use the pads on the balcony all of the time, he will not understand going potty outside on grass or at the curb. This will be a problem any time you are with your dog and not in your apartment. If you go visiting someone else, for instance, this could be a real problem. Maybe they don't want the dog peeing and pooping on their balcony, or don't even have one. Training the dog to go outside is really the best thing to do.
I really appreciate your reply! I've been in some other dog forums and when I mentioned that I would sit outside with my dog for hours with him not using the bathroom, it was suggested to me that maybe an indoor toilet would work better. I appreciate you telling me not to feel bad as some of the other replies have definitely made me feel bad. I realize that my dog isn't actually doing what he does to spite me, I honestly meant it jokingly in order to get people to respond and take notice of my post. I was just trying to get the point across that it seems to me that he's got the association part down, but for some reason is still not wanting to go there or maybe doesn't realize that the treat means I want him to go there. I know that my switching things up has most likely confused him, but I've also been confused myself on what I should be doing to help him understand. I think I'll take your advice and get rid of the toilet and start back on taking him outside often, and hopefully with patience he'll understand eventually!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I personally hate puppy pads for housetraining, they just give mixed messages about whether indoor toileting is allowed or not.

Well done on recognising that rubbing his nose in his toilet is wrong. I do think you using different things and different places has confused him though.

First, you need a routine - if that means using a grass pad on the balcony, do that. Pick that as the one place he toilets. It would be a lot better if you actually took him out, because using the balcony will make it harder to train him to toilet outside, he will likely wait until he is home and can use the balcony, so you are just delaying another problem. But, if the priority is to have him not toilet in the house and you think the balcony will be easier for you, then do it.

Then, toilet training happens when two things come together - the ABILITY to hold the toilet, along with the DESIRE to hold it in order to earn the reward for doing so.

Ideally you want him to not be in a position where he needs to toilet before you have him out or on the balcony, so that every toilet is outside. So set him up to succeed by taking him out even more than he needs; for example every hour and always after sleeping, eating, playing. The time between a puppy realising they need to toilet, and being unable to hold that toilet, is zero. So your aim is to have him outside before he can't help himself. When he toilets on the balcony make a huge fuss (never mind the neighbours, act like outdoor toileting is the best thing you have ever seen) and reward him with a high value treat. Do that immediately, don't let him run to the cupboard for the treat, so he is clear that it's for toileting and not for anything else. The idea is that he wants to earn the treat enough to hold the toilet until he is outside. You might need to find something even more special that is only used for outdoor toileting. Several tiny pieces of frankfurter sausage or roast chicken work well.

As he is actually performing the toilet you can introduce words he can associate with it (like 'do weewee' and 'busy busy') that later when he is reliably trained you can use these to tell him when you want him to toilet.

If you take him out and he doesn't toilet after five minutes, bring him in but don't take your eyes off him. Any hint of a toilet inside, scoop him up and get him out fast. If he doesn't try to toilet indoors (great!) take him out a second time and repeat until you do get outside toilets. You need the outside toilet to happen SO that you can reward SO that he learns.

If he has an accident inside don't react at all. If you get annoyed he may learn to fear your reaction and avoid you if he needs to toilet (by going off and toileting out of sight) - the opposite of what you want. Dogs cant make the distinction between you being annoyed at him TOILETING, as opposed to toileting INDOORS. Take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not having taken him outside in time. Not when he is there though in case you scare him. Then clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace of smell that might attract him back to the spot.

Indoors if you see him circling or scratching the floor, that can sometimes precede toileting so get him out fast.
Thank you for the reply! I appreciate you not trying to make me feel bad like some other replies!! I realize that my dog isn't actually doing it on purpose and is most likely confused, it's my fault for wording it poorly. I really was just trying to get across that he seems get the association of the pad and the treat, but something is still going wrong. I started trying with the pad because it was suggested to me when I was waiting with my pup outside for house with him not going. I think I'll take your advice and start trying to take him out again, hopefully it's not too late and isn't just permanently confused. Any suggestion on how often I should take him out? Should I crate him when we come back inside if he doesn't go?
 

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If you can work out how long he has an accident after his previous toilet, take him out that length of time later minus 10 or 15 minutes.

If you take him out and he doesn't toilet, don't wait outside for hours. Bring him in after about 5 or 10 minutes, and rather than put him in a crate, keep a very close eye on him, even keep him on leash and don't give him any opportunity to toilet inside. Take him back out 5 or 10 minutes later and try again. Keep yo-yo-ing in and out until he does toilet outside. And when he does, reward immediately and generously. It has to be immediate to be clear that it's for toileting and not for anything else and it has to be generous to make it worth his while to hold his toilet until he is outside.

If you can be really, really consistent for a couple of weeks I'm sure you will have a very different dog.
 

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Dear poster I don't think anyone set out to make you feel 'bad' but you asked for opinions and thats what you got. You admitted you were at fault and others agreed with you and gave you advice to help get your dog back on track.

Dont get sulky about it... The fact is you know that the way youve been doing things is wrong take it on the chin like a grown up, Follow all the good advice youve had FOR FREE .. Or go see a dog trainer who will charge you $$$$$ and give you the same advice although it may be a little more sugar coated.

I hope you suceed for your dogs sake.
 

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Dear poster I don't think anyone set out to make you feel 'bad' but you asked for opinions and thats what you got. You admitted you were at fault and others agreed with you and gave you advice to help get your dog back on track.

Dont get sulky about it... The fact is you know that the way youve been doing things is wrong take it on the chin like a grown up, Follow all the good advice youve had FOR FREE .. Or go see a dog trainer who will charge you $$$$$ and give you the same advice although it may be a little more sugar coated.

I hope you suceed for your dogs sake.
TBF, whilst I don't think the OP did title this thread in jest (as they claim to have done), and instead, that it is a sign of deep frustration, they do admit that they were confused about which was the best training method to use, which they accept has, in turn, confused their dog, and they do seem to have taken the advice on board, so this seems a little abrupt to me.
 
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TBF, whilst I don't think the OP did title this thread in jest (as they claim to have done), and instead, that it is a sign of deep frustration, they do admit that they were confused about which was the best training method to use, which they accept has, in turn, confused their dog, and they do seem to have taken the advice on board, so this seems a little abrupt to me.
Maybe it's just me being a grumpy old woman then. But to be honest I'm getting to see so many of these posts asking for free advice and then when the advice isn't what they want to hear or it shows up that they are in fault they get all sulky and throw their toys out the pram or maybe this was just a straw that broke the camels back.

This morning I've seen a post about beagle with a serious lump that the owner is trying to treat with home remedies because they say there isn't a vet in their area.
Ive read two posts about dogs who died of heat stroke because the owners had failed to listen to simple things like a weather report. And I read a post about dominance theory where the suggestion was made to bite the puppies ear...
To then hear someone whine about sound advice saying people have upset me just makes me furious.
 

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Maybe it's just me being a grumpy old woman then. But to be honest I'm getting to see so many of these posts asking for free advice and then when the advice isn't what they want to hear or it shows up that they are in fault they get all sulky and throw their toys out the pram or maybe this was just a straw that broke the camels back.

This morning I've seen a post about beagle with a serious lump that the owner is trying to treat with home remedies because they say there isn't a vet in their area.
Ive read two posts about dogs who died of heat stroke because the owners had failed to listen to simple things like a weather report. And I read a post about dominance theory where the suggestion was made to bite the puppies ear...
To then hear someone whine about sound advice saying people have upset me just makes me furious.
Probably a bit of both.

I get it, I really do. We've all seen similar threads on this and other forums, and it's easy to carry that frustration from thread to thread, letting it build, and it sounds like that's what happened here. God knows I've been guilty of doing the same thing, but now I've learned to walk away, grab a coffee, take a deep breath and come back when I feel calmer.
 
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Good idea..... I wish we had a decent form here I wish it had a community instead of which what we got is a constant stream of one-hit wonders they come in get the free advice they want and then disappear never to be heard of again it's like banging your head against a brick wall ... I guess I'm a bit sick and tired of it really especially when you put in the effort and then get slated for it.

I don't think I can be bothered with freeloaders and the ungrateful anymore.
 

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Good idea..... I wish we had a decent form here I wish it had a community instead of which what we got is a constant stream of one-hit wonders they come in get the free advice they want and then disappear never to be heard of again it's like banging your head against a brick wall ... I guess I'm a bit sick and tired of it really especially when you put in the effort and then get slated for it.

I don't think I can be bothered with freeloaders and the ungrateful anymore.
Mad Murphy, I so do understand your frustration with this. I have felt it myself!. I think most of us who have been doing this kind of thing for a while can relate to what you are saying.

I just want to give my feedback on this, which is if you are frustrated with new comers who don't know what to do because no one ever told them, maybe you could consider just not replying to the posts made by these people.
None of us knew any of the things we knew until we learned them, either through experience or because someone told us!!
I don't think anyone intends to be a freeloader or ungrateful, it's just that some people will go to a forum to get advice and once they get it they don't have time or inclination to stick around. I have done that myself, on forums dedicated to computer technology. I have nothing to offer those forums, I just need help one time......

Me....I am here to try to help dogs. Sometimes that is frustrating and sometimes things people say they have done make my stomach hurt. But I learned a long time ago that I can't help dogs without helping their people, because that's how it works.

I have helped people train their dogs for decades and I maybe have not seen it all but I have seen a lot! I have gently, carefully, talked puppy mill owners into surrendering the dogs who were in terrible condition. I had to learn how to be careful and tactful with what I say to people, because if I make them feel bad they won't listen to me at all, and the dog(s) will suffer.

I have also had a career in something that meant I was giving advice and helping people who were often ashamed or defensive to begin with, and if I said things to them that made them feel bad they'd shut down completely. I had to learn how to be tactful and easy-going enough on them that they would listen to and take my advice.

Learning how to do this hasn't been easy and it's not for everyone!
Anyone on a forum is not getting paid for their time and energy and thought. If anyone feels frustrated with this, it is completely fair and understandable for that person just not to try to help at all on that occasion. Just to sit that one out. Sometimes I do that, when I am just not in the mood to help that individual or on that day. For me, that is a better choice than to vent my feelings on someone who is brand new and unsuspecting of what I see and face all the time.

I always remind myself of something I learned as a kid: Ignorance is not a character flaw. You can't know what you don't know because you have not yet learned it. And ignorance is always curable with knowledge if the individual is open to learning. In my experience 100% of the time an individual is more open when approached with understanding and kindness. And if they show they are not willing to learn....well, I'm off down the road to the next one.

Mad Murphy, you give good advice and as you know I often "like" your posts, as do many others. You are a valuable member in my opinion. If you don't always feel like repeating things you have said before 100 times, no one here would fault you for just not commenting. We can all take turns responding to people, I think, and each of us only do so when we want to. there are enough of us here to cover all the inquiries. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dear poster I don't think anyone set out to make you feel 'bad' but you asked for opinions and thats what you got. You admitted you were at fault and others agreed with you and gave you advice to help get your dog back on track.

Dont get sulky about it... The fact is you know that the way youve been doing things is wrong take it on the chin like a grown up, Follow all the good advice youve had FOR FREE .. Or go see a dog trainer who will charge you $$$$$ and give you the same advice although it may be a little more sugar coated.

I hope you suceed for your dogs sake.
I just wanna say that I wasn't being sulky; merely acknowledging the kindness that Joanne and Madra showed me that wasn't showed by everyone. I also acknowleged that I was doing things wrong both in my original post and in my replies, and let those who gave good advice know that I would be following their advice. I never was upset with the advice that I got. Aside from Joanne and Madra, I wasn't given any other advice, just people telling me what I was doing was wrong- which I already knew. I also don't think your frustration mentioned in other replies with people on this forum is justly pointed towards me. You mentioned posts where people mistreat their dogs and then refuse to take responsibility. While I mentioned that my family would do the "rub their nose in it and pop them", I also mentioned that I thought that was cruel and I definitely have never participated in that kind of behavior. My dog is not mistreated and is even a bit spoiled. I don't think that confusing my dog is the same as mistreating him. I also don't think it's fair for you to call me a freeloader. I plan to stay on this forum because, while I don't know much about training dogs, I do know a lot about dog nutrition and such things that might be useful on this site. Sorry for the long reply, just wanted to let you know that I thought you were confused on some things about my situation. Have a good day! :)
 

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I also don't think your frustration mentioned in other replies with people on this forum is justly pointed towards me.
To be fair, I interpreted Mad Murphy's frustration as a wider issue, it just came through on this thread.

I'm glad to hear you are sticking around, it would be nice to see some pictures of your dog.
 
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