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I've Reached My Limit But My Heart Is Breaking

Discussion in 'Sheltie Chat' started by maddiesmom, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. maddiesmom

    maddiesmom Forums Enthusiast

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    Am I a bad Mom? Lily is 11 months old and is not fully potty trained. Today I let her out three times and each time, nothing. All she did was play with the other dogs. Then she came in and peed in her favorite spot, the doorway into the bedroom. Now she is in the kennel and I feel terrible. I know we should have been using the kennel all along but both my husband and I feel bad to have her in the kennel and the other two are running free.
    Based on her age, how long should I leave her in the kennel before letting her outside again? I was thinking 30 min but that is that long enough?
    Any input would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. trini

    trini Premium Member

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    No, you are not a bad Mom...just need to make some adjustment on handling Lily's housebreaking.

    1. take her out alone so she doesn't have the others to play with...she is not going to concentrate on doing her business if there is something more interesting to do. Once she has done her business, then you can let the others out to play with her.

    2. until she is fully housebroken, always go outside with her and stay with her until she has done her business so you know she is OK to come inside.

    3. if she has had plenty of time outside with you, at least 10-15 minutes, and has not done anything then she gets crated when you come back in (30 minutes is fine)...let a little time go by and try again. Back into crate if she doesn't do her business.

    4. basically you need to treat her the same way you would a tiny pup and work housetraining 101 from the beginning.

    5. put up a baby gate so you can keep her totally away from the bedroom door which she has chosen as her favorite pee area. Until she is fully housebroken she really should not have free run of the entire house.

    Trini
     
  3. tofu pup

    tofu pup Moderator

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    You're not a bad Mom, and Lily isn't a bad pup.

    You just have to take it "down" a step. Right now, "take care of business while the other dogs are outside with you" is too much of a challenge for her. Make it one step easier: take her outside without the distraction of the other dogs.

    Here's the approach that I would take:

    1. Use the crate, consistently. It's a tool, not a punishment. Crate her when you're out of the house, crate her overnight, and crate her when you can't keep an eagle eye on her. Yes, yes, you will feel like a mean-bad owner, but right now she can't be trusted. She has to earn her freedom (and she will, with time and guidance!).

    2. New house rule: the dog goes outside anytime she comes out of a crate. First thing in the morning? Outside onto the grass. After you come home from work? Outside onto the grass. Bonus if you feed her meals before she comes out of her crate - then you will also be able to get her bowels into a consistent schedule along with her bladder.

    1 and 2 together mean that she will be holding her bladder while she is in the crate, and she will be anticipating an opportunity to relieve herself once she leaves the crate. Out of the crate = time to pee. This creates a predictable pattern - she knows when she will get to pee, and you will know when she needs to pee.

    3. Teach a "time to go" command. This is my favorite thing to teach a dog! It is so useful and you will be happy that you did. Just follow her a bit when you KNOW she has to pee (that is, when she's fresh out of the crate), and when she squats, give her a "go" command and lots of happy praise. (I use "hurry up!".) For me, it never turns into a one-command-and-squat thing, but it seems to inspire them to get down to business! And it tells the dog that now is not time to play, it's time to go. Again, don't have the other dogs out running around while you're trying to get her to pee! This is focus-time for her; let her focus.

    4. Get really good at reading her signals. Use these skills, along with what you know about her schedule, and you'll know when she needs to go. My husband thinks I'm psychic because I can tell when our dog is thinking she needs to go outside. :wink2: But really, it's just that I know her schedule, and I know that she gets a little distracted-looking when it's about time to go out - then out she goes! You will get savvy to your dog's signals, too.

    5. Pay attention to when she last emptied her bladder, and when she last had a drink. Take her out every hour if you need to, at first. Don't give her the opportunity to pee inside - once she's "on empty" she can play and hang out, but if there's a chance she may need to go out, then go out and use your "time to go" command until she voids. Again, she can have more freedom when she earns it.

    Again, don't feel bad. This is just a thing you and your pup will work through. Just make it easier for her to get it right - make sure her bladder is empty before you give her free run of the house, and don't give her the opportunity to pee inside.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  4. tofu pup

    tofu pup Moderator

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    Trini, I love that we were both typing up five-point housebreaking plans at the same time! :lol: Great minds think alike.
     
  5. Lilybean

    Lilybean Forums Novice

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    Excellent advice- I would also add- take her out on a leash. This gives you more control and will allow you to help her focus on the job at hand- going potty!
     
  6. trini

    trini Premium Member

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    LOL We need to get coordinated!
     
  7. maddiesmom

    maddiesmom Forums Enthusiast

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    Update

    Well into the crate she went. Cried alittle but not too bad. After 30 min. she went outside, nothing, so back in she went. 30 min later out again and this time she peed. Lots of praises,pats, and a treat. Then she got some play time with brother and sister. When she came inside she curled up right by my chair. This is something she never does; normally she is off looking for some mischief to get into! After an hour out she went again, went potty right away.

    I am not feeling quite so bad. Hope today goes well, will be using the crate when I can't keep an eagle eye on her or if she doesn't go when I let her out.

    Thanks for the training hints, I really appreciate it.
     
  8. trini

    trini Premium Member

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    Sounds like progress!!!! Don't worry if you get a few setbacks, just keep to the schedule and she will "get it".

    Good work! :smile2:

    Trini
     
  9. Silaria

    Silaria Premium Member

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    Sounds like you've made some progress already and that's great.

    The advise you received is sound and what I'd suggest as well. Two other things I'd add...

    1 - Take her out on a leash so she can't run off and play when she's out to do her business. It helps keep you in control of the situation.

    2 - The spot by the bedroom door where she pees a lot, make sure you clean that ENTIRE area with a cleaner that will kill the enzyme odor that dogs can smell and we cannot. Just cleaning with standard carpet cleaner will not do the job. As long as that scent remains there's a risk she'll pee there again. Pet stores will carry a variety of cleaners to remove the enzymes. We use OdorBan or Natures Miracle.
     
  10. MissyGallant

    MissyGallant Premium Member

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    All of the good and great tips have already been given. What I can add is encouragement and a personal story. It took Annabelle a full year to get it concerning potty training. She was paper trained by the breeder and thought she was supposed to go on our floor. She would go outside and come in and squat looking us in the eye. But then one day something clicked in her little mind. And we haven't had an Annabelle accident in three years. So it can work, and sometimes it does take a lot make that A LOT of patience, but hang in there, you can both do this thing.
     

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