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Hey,guys.

About six weeks ago, my husband and I adopted a mutt puppy (mom is a lab/husky mix, and we're guessing dad was a Saint Bernard). Her name is Turin, and she's about 3.5 months old. She's a sweetie and lovely for our home in all aspects except for one big one: Pooping in the house.

Now, let me preface this with the fact that I have tried to convince my husband to let me train her to sleep in her crate at night, but it isn't going to happen. He's pretty set on it. So, I've started feeding her around 5pm every day instead of the evening like we had been.

Up until today, she had only pooped on our staircase. But this morning, we found poop on our sofa. We've punished her, ignored her after punishing her, used vet-recommended sprays on her messes to deter her from pooping again, and nothing works. I'm at a loss. She's even peed in our bed recently and has started peeing on the stairs, when before she wouldn't dare do either of those things.
 

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Please do not punish her, it doesn't work. They do not know what you are punishing them for. If you are not going to crate her than limit her to a small area. She is getting mixed messages. You will have a hard time house breaking her if you don't get this fixed. First keep an eye on her at all times, tether her to you if you must. Many people do that and it works. You need to break the habit now, when it's easier.
My method, which may not work for you exactly. First keep an eye on the puppy at all times. I'm disabled and have other people here so it's easier for us. At night my dane slept in bed and I took her out once or twice a night. She only had a few accidents and that was only when I waited too long or wasn't paying attention. With my other dogs I crate trained them. When I couldn't watch them they were in the crate. They love the crate, it is not a bad place.
Make sure to clean the spots she goes completely, with an enzyme cleaner.
 

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Try to look at it this way, it'll help with the frustration.

She's a baby, she's around the age of a 2 or 3 year old human, now you wouldn't let a child that age run around without a diaper or a pull up on right. Or if you did you'd keep a very, very, close eye on him or her in order to make sure that you got him to the potty before an accident happened, and you would not punish the child for having an accident. It's the same thing with a puppy only we rarely put a diaper, or a pull up, on them, what we do is manage them in such a way that accidents are limited and they form the habit of pottying where we want them to.

You've been given some great links, and I suggest following the advice in them. Stop punishing her for having accidents, all that you'll accomplish is having a dog that sneaks away to potty since nothing bad happens when they potty when you are not around, if that happens housetraining is 100% harder since the dog has accidents that you are not aware of and further practices the habit of pottying in the house.

You should really be feeding her 2 to 3 times a day. Tapering off to 2 as she gets older.
 

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Crate training works. Unless you can watch your dog while its sleeping so it can't sneak off...you're going to have a problem on your hands. Will scientific research convince your husband? Crate training isn't forever...but it's an easy way to housebreak.

The puppy is doing absolutely nothing wrong and I hate that it's being punished. You have given the puppy freedoms that it has not yet earned. I can assure you the puppy does not understand these punishments especially since you're not catching him in the act and you are discovering messes several hours later.
 

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Crate training works but isn't necessary exactly. Baby gates and the umbilical method work just as well! The key to making sure there's no accidents is making sure there's no CHANCE of an accident. Puppy goes outside whenever it wakes up, whenever it's done playing, whenever it eats, and every 2 hours or so between all these times! At night, puppy needs to be put in a single room, preferably with an easy to clean floor, if you can't get up at night to put pup out til it learns.

When it does its business outside, throw a party. Praise, treats, good times for all. When it does its business INSIDE, just clean it up, and use an enzyme cleaner when you do or the smell lingers, telling pup 'this is where I go!'. Without the smell as a lure, and good times to be had if business is done outside, pups learn fast to try to hold it in order to get that praise and treats.
 

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i agree with the above said. you need to confine her to a small area. we have recently adopted a dog. he is a bit older than yours, about 15 month old now, and he sleeps in his crate in the kitchen, the crate is open at night, so he dosnt feel to confined. and the floor is cleanable. i must say we have been lucky, and apart from the initial, trying to scent his new surroundings, he has never messed in the house. maybe try some puppy pads also, put them in the same spot every time. Maybe take her for a walk just before you go to bed.
 

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You need to help her succeed 100% of the time.

Crate or just tie her up to a post or door handle or what not, it accomplishes the same purpose.

With her movement restricted she will hold it as long as is doggly ;) possible, when you take her out to go to the bathroom, stay with her until she does so. If she doesn't after a while, back to the crate or tied up for a few more hours, then back outside.

When she does go outside, give her a treat.

If you're diligent you can have no accidents and very quickly build the custom.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey, everyone!

Thanks for all the advice. Turin is no longer pooping in our house. For the past week or so, we established a pretty regular sleep routine, which I think did the trick for her. She knew exactly how long she would have to hold it every night, and adjusted her body to that over the course of a couple days. No more messes! Yay!
 
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