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Best potty training technique

Discussion in 'Puppies 101' started by expoz3d, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. expoz3d

    expoz3d Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 8, 2009
    Troy, AL
    Is there any "right" way to train a sheltie to potty outside? The problem I am having, is our breeder used puppy pads (as well as random time outside) for pottying. My fiance has trained her puppy with puppy pads (Im not a big fan of this because of the smell and it just doesnt seem right for a dog to potty inside). Either my Kiko (our sheltie) doesnt seem to want to potty on her puppy pad, unless she is in her crate. She gives to signs that she knows its there when she is running around, even though she used the puppy pad while we were picking her up and she watched our older puppy use it. Of course I take her out 30 minutes after she eats for 10 minutes (she wont potty) so I take her out an hour after she eats for another 10 minutes (still no potty). Then we will come in the house and like 10 minutes later she will have an accident. I tell her bad girl and set her on the puppy pad but she just hops right off as happy as could be?
  2. RonandJan

    RonandJan Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 27, 2009
    Windward, FL
    Of course this is our opinion, but I think you are sending mixed signals: outside or inside? And most puppies, if the crate is just large enough for them to lay down, stand up and turn around and then lay down again, will not potty inside that space. Dogs by their nature do not want to sleep in their own waste.

    So, what I have done in the past, is give them a crate "just small enough" to keep them from pottying in the crate. As soon as you open the door to the crate, you must take her outside immediately, because she will go for you if she has been crated and not gone inside the crate. When she does go outside, you have to be a bit silly, and make a BIG DEAL about it. "YEAH!!!GOOD HURRY UP, GOOD GIRL, YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD GIRL" Clap your hands etc... She may be a little confused at the moment, so it could take you a little longer.

    Then while you are at home with her and she is out of the crate, I would take her out every 30 minutes. Go to the same place in the yard every time, use the exact same command every time, whatever you decide, we use the command "hurry up" because it will make you feel better when it is pouring down rain and the pupper doesn't get offended because the words are just sounds to her that mean.........pee!!:winkgrin:

    Also, when you are outside to do her business, I do not do anything else with the pup. I keep my posture casual and loose. I do not allow playing with me and when they start to play with something in the yard, I repeat, "hurry up."

    Puppies are easily distracted and easily confused. Just keep picturing yourself in a foreign country where you don't know the language and trying to learn a new job and you soooooo badly want to please your boss.

    Also two other things:
    1) Puppies usually aren't fully potty trained until about 6 months
    2) Overnight digestion slows down, so an 8 hour stretch is not as hard as it seems.

    Good Luck! The forum will have a ton of great ideas for you. I always say with time, patience and consistancy, you can train any dog to do anything, and shelties are very intelligent so she will catch on. I promise.
  3. JessicaR

    JessicaR Forums Enthusiast

    Sep 8, 2008
    Tiffin Ohio
    I like Dr. Ian Dunbars method of house training you can check him out at http://www.dogstardaily.com/ He gives very good tips on training puppies!
  4. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    ronjantetrault said everything perfectly.

    The only other thing that I did was I hung a bell from my door. I trained my puppy to ring the bell when she wants to go potty. I made her nose touch it before I took her out, gave her a treat and then said "you have to go out?" Sometimes I even put a treat on the bell to get her to ring it on her own. After a few days she figured it out and started ranging the bell without my help. Of course at first she would ring it just to play with it, but I took her outside anyway. I wanted her to associate ringing the bell with going outside. It got a little frustrated, but it was worth it IMO.

    You definitely need to have a small crate. She shouldn't be able to pee/poo in one corner and sleep in the other. If she can do that then the crate is too big. I made this mistake and learned my lesson.

    If she does have an accident in the house, say "no" or whatever word she knows is bad. Then immediately take her outside and say "go potty, bathroom or whatever word you chose". Of course only do this if you catch her in the act of peeing or pooing. If you find it 10 minutes later, there's nothing you can do.

    I hope this helps.
  5. mbfrench

    mbfrench Forums Celebrity

    Aug 2, 2009
    Yes the advice is definately very good,and I to pretty much do the same. The jingle bell is a great idea,which I have used in the past,and works great,even though they really like the jingle sound,sometimes the jingle just to hear it,but I always took them out regardless.Even if it was 10 minutes earliar.

    I do think that you are sending mixed signals also.I use one word "potty",and as Ron & Jan said,making a really big deal out of the going potty outside is what its all about. If they potty in the house,and you do not catch them in the act,and its minutes later,scolding them will only confuse them,as it has already happened..and they don't know what they are being scolded for.

    It is a process,as we are also going thru the same here with Trapp. But in the last few days,he has been having a ball in the yard with Earnhardt. (weather is much cooler),and he is going potty outside on his own.So when he is in the house,(like now he's sleeping in his crate)he seems to know that outside is the place to be to potty.We have not had an accident in 5 days,and he is exhausted from hard running & playing,and has slept all night.

    Be consistant & patient,they eventually get it after a bit.
  6. BarbV

    BarbV Premium Member

    Yes, the advice here is sound.

    I would get rid of the puppy pads as soon as possible. I believe some people phased them out by putting puppy pads outside initially so that they get the connection with outside, but I'm not sure about that.

    - Smaller crate (you can close off the other end with some kind of barrier, making the barrier smaller as pup gets bigger)
    - Regular outside visits: immediately upon being let out of crate; 10 minutes after eating, and every 10 minutes or so until she goes; after play
    - Verbal cues - I used "Be Quick"
    - No playing till she goes outside
    - Watch like a hawk in between. If you can't watch her, crate her If she shows signs of getting ready to squat inside, scoop her up immediately and let her finish outside
    - Major treats and excitement when she does it right, even if she is only finishing what she started inside.

    Good luck!
  7. OntarioSheltie

    OntarioSheltie Forums Celebrity

    Apr 29, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    While we're on the topic, I was just wondering, when and how do you eventually start spacing out the number of potty breaks?

    Sadie was a nightmare to potty train. She insisted that she HAD to be let out every 1-2 hours till she was over a year old, even though she was fine health wise and would hold it for much longer when she wanted to. I'm not sure if we did something wrong, or if the problem was just her being difficult, as she had a number of potty related behavioral issues when she hit her rebellious teenage stage.
  8. BarbV

    BarbV Premium Member

    Maybe I was just lucky with Bacca.

    He slept through the night in his crate the same night I brought him home, with one accident, which he never told me about until I discovered it in the morning.

    When I wasn't home, Bacca was crated. Which meant early on he had to 3-4 hour stretches while I was at work. He only ever had a couple of accidents in his crate.

    When I was home, I watched him like a hawk and brought him outside either on a schedule or whenever he started to circle and squat. He learned to hold his pee early, but we had poo accidents until about 16 weeks and always in the morning while I was blow drying my hair and distracted. Once I figured out that he always needed to poo about 1/2 hour after getting up, I would bring him out on that schedule. To this day, he still poos about 1/2 hour after getting up.

    When he got older, I just let him out whenever he wanted to when I was home. Mostly he just wanted to play, but would take the opportunity to pee while he was there. But it was also clear that he could easily go 8 hours if necessary.

    To sum it up, I think I just got in sync with his schedule and he got in sync with mine.

    No need to teach bell ringing or anything.

    When Indy arrived, he was already trained, so he just adapted into the same schedule.

    Maybe I'm incredibly fortunate, but sometimes I'll go to bed and forget to put the boys outside....and I never have accidents and neither are they beating on me to let them out.

    There really was no magic in what I did, I just followed all the "puppy training" rules.

    p.s. Am reading this back, and I don't think this is helping you much except to reinforce the need to stick to the basics.
  9. OntarioSheltie

    OntarioSheltie Forums Celebrity

    Apr 29, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I've heard that females are harder to train than males, maybe thats it. I did all of the same things with Sadie that you mentioned but she was a big problem to potty train. She understood completely what was expected of her, she just had her own ideas. She was pretty good when she was a young puppy but at some point stopped moving forward with her training and took leaps and bounds backwards when she was approx. 5 months old.

    Milo, my parent's sheltie was very easy to potty train. One day he just got it and never had another accident in the house.
  10. Sumac3890

    Sumac3890 Forums Sage

    Sep 12, 2008
    Fort Myers, Fl
    All of my shelties have been great at learning potty training. Our Maggie I thiink was trained in a couple of weeks. Katie came to us trained at 12 weeks and only pee'd in the house 3 times. My golden rule is take them out after sleeping, playing and eating. I tell them "go potty" and they all pretty much do it on cue. Maggie does at times fake me out because she knows she will get a treat!!!
    I think the bell is a good idea but we have friends that have done that with their Goldens and they would ring the bell all the time and not because they had to go out side to do anything they just did it to go out side!!!

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