Starting Off on the Right Paw – 8 Week Old Puppy Potty Training

8 week old puppy potty training – Isn’t that too young to start? No, in fact the very first thing you should begin with when you bring your young puppy home is to start potty training him.

Now don’t stress, because in this article I’m going to share with you how avoiding three critical and common mistakes, and adopting a simple trick helped me to successfully begin potty training my 8 week old puppy.

In all actuality, what most people don’t know is that teaching your pup where to go to the bathroom is one of the easiest problems to fix with your new best friend. It’s true that potty training a puppy or adult dog for that matter requires patience, commitment and lots of consistency, but if you avoid these three potty training mistakes, teaching your puppy becomes a WHOLE lot easier…

But first you must realize the reason WHY so many people fail at potty training in the first place and to do that, let’s start with your pup’s anatomy…

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How Often Do Puppies Need to Potty?

Rottweiler Puppies are Potty Machines!

Puppies are potty machines!

What goes in is contingent to what comes out!

When I first got my puppy, I was feeding him about 5 times per day because he was so little and he was extremely possessive and food aggressive so the more he ate, the less angry he was.

But feeding a dog this often, or giving them access to food all of the time means they need to go out more often.

When Puppies Need to Pee

  • First thing in the morning when they wake up
  • In the middle of the night, depending on age every 2-4 hours
  • After naps
  • After exercise or playing
  • After drinking water
  • After eating
  • Last thing before bed

 

 

Does that sound like basically constantly?  Good!  Then I must have covered everything!

 

 

 

When Puppies Need to Poop

  • First thing in the morning
  • Last thing at night
  • Right after eating (this is why a specific schedule and not leaving food out helps).

 

Is that painting a clear enough picture on the level of commitment required?

Good, it should be!

Potty training is no easy matter, and honestly it is not about the puppy, it is about making sure you get your puppy outside often enough and control his environment.

Start Right Away!

Potty Training Mistake #1: Ruining the Den Instinct

Let me let you in on a little secret… the fastest way to potty train a puppy is to FIRST use its “Genetically Hard Wired Instincts” to not soil its den, to your own advantage.

And so we’re clear about what I mean by “Den”.

From the moment a puppy is born its mother is teaching it that the DEN is the place where it eats & sleeps.

And one of the first rules Mama Dog starts to teach her pups is NO peeing or pooping in the family den – That’s Disgusting!

So as long as you didn’t buy your puppy from a puppy mill or unreputable breeder, the puppy you bring home comes preprogrammed with this belief:

Potty Where I Eat & Sleep = Bad

Potty Anywhere Else = Good

Now this is really where the first misconception comes in.

Because you and your dog do NOT share the same definition of INSIDE & OUTSIDE.

Your Dog’s Definition of Inside “His Den” vs. Outside

Un-potty trained dogs often have a VERY small version of “Their Den” like maybe just a few spots in your home, like their bed, or a couch.  Each dog is a little different, and some dogs, like the larger working dog breeds, are generally among the easiest when potty training a pup, versus dogs with a little spunk like the Shih Tzu (think: dynamite comes in small packages). But the principal stays the same.

Your dog thinks of his Nesting place, where he does NOT pee, as a MUCH smaller space than you realize.

Because most of us humans think of OUTSIDE our “Den” like this…

Your Version of Inside “Your Den” vs. Outside

Starting to see why you and your dog aren’t coming to an agreement on where he should be eliminating?

Can you see how when your dog maybe soaks the carpet right next to his bed he LITERALLY thinks he’s going where he’s supposed to?

Because from his perspective… he DID leave his nest to go pee.

So your dog THINKS he’s just been good…

…And you’re contemplating your decision to bring home that little ball of fur!

So the question then becomes, how do you teach your dog the difference between what YOU think of as “Your Den” (your entire home) and what your dog thinks it is (that spot next to his bed)?

Luckily there’s a proven process for how to trick your dog into thinking certain rooms of your home are like NESTS… and when you do this right, it triggers your dogs instinct to not pee or poo in those rooms.

Click here for a FREE program on how to trigger this instinct in your dog.

What if you live in a big city or another area that doesn’t have easy access to the outdoors?
Do puppy pads work?
Check out this article to see out if using puppy pads to potty train your puppy is right for you:
Indoor Potty Training

Potty Training Mistake #2: Punishing His Accidents

You have two options when your pup has an accident:

  1. You Can Punish His Accidents

  2. Or you can use the 3rd tip I’ll cover in a minute

 

Sadly though, most people choose the punishment route, or worse take them to a shelter. If you catch your pup going potty in the house don’t freak out! Simply, and calmly say “no” or “ehh!” and scoop your puppy out and take him outside. If you throw a fit and scare your puppy he associates YOU with something bad, not having an accident or going potty in the house.

From your pup’s point of view… he has to go potty (right?) so he doesn’t understand why you get so upset at something that is so natural for him to do and something he needs to do. By yelling you are teaching him to avoid going potty “in front of you” you are not potty training him!

This is why so many dogs sneak out of the room to urinate or defecate, not because they are ashamed or they know it is wrong to potty inside… it is because they have been taught not to go potty in front of you (which makes this process so much harder!).

According to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, pet problems are the most common reason that owners rehome their pet, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs. Pet problems were defined as problematic behaviors the biggest complaint (80%) being housebreaking issues, aggressive behaviors, they grew larger than expected, or health problems the owner couldn’t handle. Almost ALL of these issues can easily be solved through proper training.

So if you’re tempted to punish your pup, let me tell you what will happen.

There your dog sits.

He’s just relieved himself all over your carpet.  But he didn’t do it on his bed so he feels like he’s been a good boy.

Then you walk in.

You see the puddle, heard somewhere on the internet that maybe said it’s a good idea to ‘rough him up’ a little bit or maybe scold him for peeing in the house.

“They can take it”, you’ve heard.

“That’s how dogs in the wild communicate.” they say.

Yet because your dog thinks he has left his “Nest” to pee, and doesn’t understand it was because he didn’t go OUTDOORS… punishment WON’T work.

 

In fact you’ll actually make the problem worse with that rolled up newspaper.

Because what your dog is going to do next time he has to go, is simply do a better job of HIDING his pee from you!

Which means you’ll now be finding soiled stinky carpet splotches in the far reaching corners of your home instead of just in your main living room.

In this article from the AKC it says, “Scolding a puppy for soiling your rug, especially after the fact, isn’t going to do anything except make her think you’re a nut. Likewise, some old methods of punishment, like rubbing a dog’s nose in her poop, is so bizarre that it’s hard to imagine how they came to be and if they ever really worked for anyone. On the other hand, praising a puppy for doing the right thing works best for everything you will do in your life together. Make her think that she is a little canine Einstein every time she performs this simple, natural act. Be effusive in your praise—cheer, clap, throw cookies. Let her know that no other accomplishment, ever—not going to the moon, not splitting the atom, not inventing coffee—has been as important as this pee.”

Positive Reinforcement

This opposing approach to punishment is to use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior and TEACH your dog what you want and what your expectations for house training are.

This approach avoids the “bad” or problem behavior all together because you are giving information to your puppy by teaching him what you want and rewarding good behavior and success. B.F. Skinner has shown that positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior or maintaining behavior. This is hands down the best way to begin training your new puppy!

There are many benefits to using positive reinforcement training in all aspects of puppy training, but it is especially useful when potty training because you are trying to avoid the problem of having potty accidents by teaching your puppy where to go potty.

Positive reinforcement also builds a strong bond of trust with your puppy. Even outgoing puppies can be scared and nervous when they first enter their new homes. Although this is an exciting time being away from their mom, former home and litter-mates can be terrifying. Now is the time to begin building a bond of love and trust with your new puppy.

Positive reinforcement training has also been shown to be a quicker form of learning, because it gives information on what an owner wants and expects!

So instead of punishing, here’s the trick that helped me discover how to potty train my puppies quickly.

It’s a trick almost everyone skips, yet makes all the difference…

Because it teaches your dog a way to warn you before he has to go, eliminating 90% of your dog’s accidents within a week of him learning this behavior….

Potty Training Mistake #3: Avoiding the Crate

Crates are soooooooooo important. Seriously, there aren’t enough “O’s” on the page to denote how critical I think crates are for the safety of dogs and their owners, and their owner’s things. Crates help puppies learn to hold their urine and feces.

If you have a small dog, get a small crate so that, again, he is learning that having an accident in close proximity is bothersome. If you have a large breed puppy, you can get a big crate and section it off so that he has a smaller space as a puppy; this will help you with potty training your pup. Nothing wants to sit in its own urine and feces, unless that is how it was raised (click here if you have a dirty puppy)

Crates keep your things safe!

Don’t want your puppy stealing dangerous food, getting in the trash or toilet when you are away?

Crate train him!

Don’t want your puppy to eat your Michael Kors purse or your computer?

Crate train him!

Eating drywall, sofas, and expensive items are another big reason that dogs end up in shelters. Shredding your things is fun for your dog, he is a different species and he entertains himself in inconvenient ways. Crates keep everything safe and everyone SANE!

It also ironically takes some stress away from your dog. Guarding the house and worrying about every single noise can create fearful and phobic dogs, especially puppies! I used to pet sit in a mansion and I was always a little terrified. The smaller the space, the more confident I am, and the same goes for your dog.

Won’t your puppy whine or cry? OF COURSE he will! But just because a baby cries in his crib, doesn’t mean we spend every waking moment with him. Is it difficult to hear them cry?

Sure!

But they work through it IF YOU LET THEM.

If you take them out every time they cry or throw a fit, you will be teaching your puppy to throw bigger, hairier fits the next time. Instead, if you train a puppy that he gets out when he is quiet and he will learn that if he’s quiet, being let out of his crate is the reward. I only let my puppies out of their crate when they are quiet, even if it is only a fraction of a second that he is quiet.

I like to make sure that my puppy is exhausted when I scoop his sleepy body up and slide him into his crate. I want my puppy to be too exhausted to care where he is sleeping. Also, and this is a BIG one, I crate them while I am home. If every time you crate your dog is either at bed time or when you leave he begins to associate the crate with long periods of time and you’re leaving.

Why not get him used to being in his crate for 10 minutes so there is no panic.

Potty Training Mistake #4: Not Training The ‘I-Gotta-Go’ Bell

If you’ve ever raised children, you know that there comes this glorious day in a parent’s life.

You go from having your child wet themselves for the first year or two of their life, to the stage where they finally start giving you some warning while out in public.

Where there you are at the shopping mall or something, when they say, “Mommy I gotta go potty”.

And what do you instantly know when you hear those words?

That you have just entered the FINAL COUNTDOWN right?

And that you only have a short window of time left to make it to the bathroom or there’s going to be an inconvenient, if not embarrassing mess.

Well wouldn’t it be cool if you could train your dog the ‘I Gotta Go’ command?  So he could give you a little heads up before he lets ‘er rip?

Of course it would.

Because remember, dogs are just like children when it comes to the amount of time you have before they ask to go outside and when the dam breaks.

So if you don’t train your dog HOW to let you know he’s got to go, you are ONLY making your potty training efforts harder on yourself than you have to.

Always remember to hustle when your puppy needs to use the bathroom! Grab the leash and take it right outside to its bathroom area. Heck, you could even let your puppy go without the leash if you are in an enclosed backyard and don’t have enough time. The leash is certainly ideal, though, for when your puppy needs to use the bathroom.

And the “I Gotta Go Bell” is REALLY simple to train.

The way I taught this to my 8 week old puppy was to simply hang a little Christmas jingle bell on the door handle that lead outside.  And then what I did is I trained him to ring it ONLY when he had the urge to go potty.

Here’s why this bell is MAGIC:

  • I no longer had to “Catch My Dog in the Act” to train him to go outside.  Now he tells me!
  • Now my dog had a way to communicate his need to go outside. And he could call me from the other side of the house WITHOUT barking. 
  • When my little dog’s bladder was 15 seconds away from bursting, he didn’t have to run all over the house trying to find me to tell me he had to go and have an accident on the stairs or something. This is because he knew that if he rang it, I’d come a runnin’ to help him do his business properly.

 

My NOT So Secret, Secrets for Potty Training Success

Get the house ready for housebreaking. When it comes to housebreaking, “being prepared” doesn’t mean covering your floors in newspaper and rolling up rugs. Instead, it’s important to focus on making sure your pup feels comfortable in her new home. An unfamiliar place can be frightening and overwhelming, so making a protected, safe environment for your dog with a crate, playpen and/or baby gate is vital. An enclosed area creates a safe place for the puppy to hang out and feel comfortable, but also an area where you can trust them to be when you can’t keep watch.

What’s the secret trick that makes potty training a puppy easy? Consistency! I cannot say it enough. Consistency is everything when it comes to training your dog. It really helps to have a schedule and keep track of everything — not in your head, but on paper, computer or even your phone.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to teaching your pup this new behavior, and organization will be key in the process. You should record frequency, duration of the walk and even the accidents, as it will help identify a pattern. And yes, there is even an app for that!

Keeping a routine is your new best friend. Feeding your pup at the same time each day will help cement their walk schedule. (Keep in mind, they may need to eat two to three times a day.) I suggest walks within a short time of waking up from a nap, and 10-30 minutes after food, water or any major activity. Be very hawkeyed! Monitor food and water consumption, as what goes in, must come out.

Anyone who is familiar with my training philosophy and my writing, knows how I feel about pee pads.

NO, no, no, no, don’t do it, and NO!

I know this is a controversial topic and have heard from several of you who have never had a problem with pee pads and transitioning your pup to the outside. This method of “house training” we used to call “paper training” because people used newspapers to give the pup an appropriate place to potty.

And, before the invention of pee pads, this kind of training was actually more effective! Why? Because most people don’t leave newspapers scattered on the floor all over their house. Think about it; unless you are a hoarder, you probably don’t have a bunch of newspaper on your walls or on your floor. So, once the newspapers disappear the puppy is more likely to acclimate to going outside.

Pee pads aren’t like newspaper.

Pee pads are soft and plush. Pee pads feel like your carpet, your clothes, and your towels. So when the pee pads disappear the pup begins to use soft things he finds on the floor or walls of your house. And, let’s face it… there are a lot of soft things in the floor of our homes!

This is how I’ve potty trained my own 8 week old puppies. They were potty trained because I was extremely watchful of them and their behavior. They were either in their crates for short periods of time, or they were on a leash with me. They DID NOT have access to my house and for the brief moments that they had gotten that privilege they usually snuck off to have an “accident”.

By keeping your puppy in a small area it will become uncomfortable to “potty” in his space, so he will start to whine and pull toward the door when he has to go potty. You must also monitor his actions, if he has a lot to drink, chances are he is going to need to go potty right afterward.

If he runs around like a maniac chasing and flinging his toys he is probably going to have to go potty!

AND, I ALWAYS go outside with him to make sure he is going potty.  It doesn’t matter if we are having torrential rain or if it is 50 below zero, I have to go out with him!  And, don’t give up and let him potty inside or you will be back to square one with your potty training!

Too many owners put their puppies outside and “expect” them to go potty, but instead the puppy sees a butterfly or a leaf and chases and plays and then comes back into the house and needs to go potty!

Or, he starts to go potty but gets distracted by a noise or something that visually floats past and so he stops mid flow to explore.  As an owner you must be present in order to recognize that he probably wasn’t finished with what he was doing and so he might need more coaxing to finish.

If I put my puppy outside alone and didn’t follow him around, and then if I allowed him access to my house would he have accidents?  Sure he would!  The reason he is doing well is because I am diligent in my mommy duties and I hate cleaning up puppy pee and poop.

Is my puppy running over and ringing the bell with his nose yet? No! That is the next step!

Never Yell, Yelling will Set Your Puppy Back and Scare Him!

You wouldn’t bring a baby home from the hospital and expect not to have any accidents.  And, parents with toddlers know that kids also have good days and bad days, how then do we expect our animals to be perfect?

Puppies are like babies, they gain bladder control at different times and some are easier to potty train than others.

You have to go from one step, cleaning up the occasional accident and getting your puppy outside (i.e. cleaning diapers every few hours) to teaching your pup the next step.

It is now time to hook the bells up to my door knob and start the bell ringing behavior so he can let me know when he needs to go outside.

But he is still little, so chances are he will be on a leash and a tie down here in the house with me for many more weeks!  And, there is nothing wrong with that!

Eventually when he is no longer having accidents, wanting to chase my cats, biting the other dogs in the face, and chewing on everything I will give him the privilege of having access to the house.

But at my house, access and freedom is a privilege that needs to be earned and obedience and compliance is the key.

I don’t let my puppies develop terrible naughty behaviors because I know that fixing bad behavior is harder than simply avoiding them!  More potty training tips, click here.

The Bottom Line:

 

So there you have it…

By focusing on:

  1. Potty Training One Room At A Time
  2. Tricking my dog’s instincts into treating those rooms like its DEN
  3. Not punishing his accidents
  4. And giving my dog an ‘I Gotta Go Bell’ to give me some warning

 

… I was able to begin successfully potty training my 8 week old puppy to not pee in his first room within days…

Where he would hold it for a couple hours if left home alone. (his bladder wasn’t quite mature enough to hold it for more than that at just 8 weeks old).

“Generally speaking, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. So if your puppy is two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Don’t go longer than this between bathroom breaks or they’re guaranteed to have an accident.” (Read more about that here)

Yet if you will avoid the above three pitfalls, and teach your dog how to warn you with a bell before he has to go, you can potty train any dog, whether it’s an 8 week old puppy like mine or an older dog who was never potty trained, much faster than you ever thought possible and your dog will love you and trust you forever. Dog ownership is both exciting and rewarding and it doesn’t have to put your sanity to the test.

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Comments

  1. Margaret O'Brien says:

    How do you train your puppy to ring a bell? My puppy is now almost five months old — we got her at 8 weeks — for the most part she is “potty trained” but that is only because I DO take her out at all the appropriate times……….she does NOT ASK to go outside — I tied a bell to the door and would ring it every time we went outside but she hasn’t caught on to ring it by herself to go out — Please advise.

    She DOES catch on to other things quickly — she sits, downs, stays on a place bed, heels, “waits”, comes, etc…but she does NOT ASK to go outside yet.

    [Reply]

    Jean Reply:

    I put bells on the “out” door right away amd every time I took my pup out, I jingled the bells as I opened the door. That way she associated the bells with going out to potty and caught on very quickly. Of course now she often rings the bells just to go out and play, lol! Life is full of little trade-offs . 🙂

    [Reply]

    Kacee Reply:

    i got my puppy at 5 weeks. im 16 and i had him potty trained in just over a week. if you give them a treat wen they go outside, and catch them wen they start going inside and rush them out, it seems to do the trick. my puppy, Brodee, now sits by the door when he needs to use the restroom. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ireland Reply:

    This is ridiculous! Why are people getting puppies at such a young age? At 5 weeks — or 6 weeks, as the author mentioned — they should still be with their mothers. To deprive them of this time with their mamas is inhumane.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He was already weaned and had no mother in his “whelping box” it was just him and his litter mates… I took him because I figured he was better off with me than living outside in a kennel with no one watching him and with no adult dog! I was not the one that separated him!

    marsha Reply:

    first off puppys are weaned off from there mothers starting at 5 weeks and they start eating and drinking food n water at 5 weeks on there own and at 6 weeks you give them away its 6 weeks old that the pups are completely weaned off my dog stops feeding her pups completely at 5 weeks most of times 4 and a half when there teeth come in idk who told u its after 6 weeks there wrong its 6 weeks and later so its not inhumaine sorry and i have had alot and i mean alot of different female bread dogs from a child till now that had babies and they all stop feeding at 6 weeks

    William Reply:

    Hi. There’s alot of people who think they know everything. My pup is now 7 weeks old and I’ve had him for 3 days now. Getting a puppy at 6 weeks is quite acceptable. My pup,my vet thinks, has been crossed with a husky, mother is a black lab. Milo came from a litter of 15. On his six week check up he was over 3kgs in weight and again, the vet said he was the size of a 10 week pup. He’s settled into the house very well and we love him as much as he loves us. Thelitter were becoming very fiesty and the larger pups,male and female, were starting to bully the smaller ones. The mother also had lost alot of weight raising such a big litter. Milo’s mum lives about 200 meters away and one of his sisters lives straight across the road. We see his mum being walked everyday and can see her starting to come back to her old self. Now what is inhumane about that. He’s a big boy, the litter haven’t injured eachother and mum is getting rested???

    charlene Reply:

    My pup was a stray that someone had evidently put out barely 6 weeeks according to the vet, covered in fleas, wormy, bacteria infection on her tummy. Thank goodness we gave her a loving home. Do not assume people are adopting puppies at 6 weeks. Some inhumane humans put little puppies out to fend for themselves. Loving pet owners like us take these little guys in and give them a loving home.

    Matt Reply:

    Using examples like above does not outline the reason why pups should not leave their mother before 8 weeks, but on the flip side it isn’t necessarily inhumane to do so. The reason most reputable, experienced breeders and Kennel Clubs encourage people not to rehome puppies before 8 weeks is that by 8 weeks old the time playing and interacting with the mother and litter mates will have helped to minimise the chance of many behavioural issues that inexperienced owners may struggle with… a good breeder will not have left puppies outside without this interraction with their mother. Where time and effort are spent on a pup younger than 8 weeks by experienced owners who recognise behavioural issues this isn’t inhumane, just irresponsible that they are on here suggesting that it is OK except in exceptional circumstances. People aren’t suggesting they know everything just that they follow advice from experts!

    Stefan Reply:

    Just to reiterate what Matt has said – it’s not just the weaning that is the problem, but the socialisation. Between 6-8 weeks is when puppies learn bite inhibition by playing with their mother and siblings, as well as other ‘dog manners’. If you recognise that when getting a puppy that young and have the resources to remedy that lack of education then great (bearing in mind that you shouldn’t allow your puppy to socialise with unknown dogs until after they’ve had all their jabs at 12 weeks, which is too late to begin the socialisation as they’ve moved into a different developmental phase.) I see so many messages about puppies mouthing and biting their (inexperienced) owners and generally acting in an unacceptable fashion, and it’s usually those puppies that have been taken away from their littermates at 5 and 6 weeks and then not been socialised properly.

    olivia Reply:

    thank you so much we just got a puppy and was worried about how offend she was going potty. even when we put her in her crate she peed in there.

    [Reply]

  2. Michael says:

    How do you get your puppy to respond to his/her name? And should water be available all through the night?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I pair my puppy’s name with a treat in the beginning. Every time I say my puppy’s name I give him a treat so in the beginning his name = treat which brings him running and conditions him in a positive way.

    I don’t allow my puppy to have water through the night. I pick the water up about an hour prior to going to bed and if he needs to get up in the middle of the night, I let him wet his whistle after going outside…but I don’t give him free range until he is up for the day.

    [Reply]

  3. Elaine McElroy says:

    Followed your articles with my 15 week old Westie and had success with housebreaking him. Took a little longer than 7 days but after 2 weeks we were going outside and ringing the bell on the door. I am having problems with coming back when called. He is so into his terrier thing (nose to the ground,etc) that he pays no attention to clicks,calling, whistling. Any recommendations?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You have to be more rewarding.

    Find something that is more exciting or keep him on a leash.

    By letting him wander and ignore you he is forming a behavior pattern of ignoring you.

    With a terrier I would find a special squeak toy or some interactive play when you call him 😉

    [Reply]

  4. Vera says:

    Hi my concen is that my 12 week old puppy bites a lot…please help, what should we do? Give her a toy if she continues to bite the walk away for a time out? When we walk away she barks for our attention we wait then go back but she bites again…ugh!,,

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Give her something else to bite, so grab a toy and let her play.

    She is testing her boundaries.

    I also remove myself from the situation by either walking away or putting my puppy outside or in another room. Then I wait a period of time (definitely don’t go back while she is barking) and then I return.

    I also taught my puppy obedience very early so now when he bites I can ask him to sit or lay down while I reach for a toy and then reward him for good behavior. This then refocuses the bad behavior into something good.

    [Reply]

  5. Joseph says:

    Excellent advice!!

    [Reply]

  6. LaraToronto says:

    My puppy is five months old and will hold it through the night and when I let him out in the morning he goes right away but during the day he will go any time any where. I will take him out and then when we come in he will run and pee on the floor! He will also poop with the opportunity! I keep him in a crate at night and confined in the dining room or on the deck during the day! Any suggestions to help him? He dosn’t know to tell me he has to go out and I am not sure if he understands to not go in the house either!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You have to keep him with you or keep an eye on him. Limit his access to the house (like crate training) and this will help him to catch on.

    At first you will need to get him outside every few hours and once he hasn’t had accident in the house for many weeks, then it is time to teach him to ring a bell to tell you he needs to go potty!

    Here is the bell ringing article http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/teaching-dog-puppy-ring-bell-successful-potty-training/

    [Reply]

  7. tannim says:

    hello….I have to agree NEVER get puppy’s at 6 weeks old. Man they are eating ,pooping , peeing, machine’/s. I have to 4x bred mix puppy’s (mother is pit bull + nakeyta i think) father is Rottweiler + boxer. and man the tear the place apart. the reason i still have them in house is they have not had there shots yet nor micro chipped yet. ant to keep the puppy’s healthy. oh and the myths about cats and dogs not getting along is B.S lol i have two(2) Older cats 1 is 6-7 years old a real bitch sometimes ha ha (sorry sniper ). but anyways my cats sleep with the puppy’s every night with me. funny i think. the first night i had puppy home he would not sop crying when i went to bed?. the moment i picked him up and put him on my bed with me he went and lied down with me and went to sleep and not make a sound till morning and i took him to his potty spot. then i got a nother puppy from same litter. never again having one was bad.. man now i know what it feals like HAVING kids for real lol…having two(2) from 6-8 weeks old puppy’s i think would be like having 3 kids at 3-5 years old. loves to tear things apart/ chase each other around / chase cats for funs 9cats get them back you should watch some time). anyways i agree with what you say %100+%1000 more 😀

    [Reply]

  8. Kathi Rogers says:

    My puppy was 6 1/2 weeks old when I adopted her from the animal shelter. Every time she would go inside, I would tell her “no” and put her through the doggie door. I caught her just getting ready to tinkle and told her “no”, picked her up and put her out the doggie door. from then on, she has been going out by herself. She was only 7 weeks old. I also taught her to sit at 7 weeks. She is very smart.

    [Reply]

  9. Julee says:

    I obtained my Pitbull Mix at 3 1/2 weeks. I know this was not ideal, but his mother was not caring for him. I was able to spend almost every minute of the day watching over him. I am proud to say that at 6 weeks had him pretty much potty trained. I still have to watch for his cues as he will occasionally have an accident, usually because I wasn’t paying attention. We haven’t tried the bell system yet, but considering starting it soon. I’m amazed at how smart he is and what he’s accomplished in a short period of time.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    They are amazing! Good for you!

    [Reply]

  10. Lois says:

    I have a 4 year old Shih Tzu, who was potty trained by 4 months and never had an accident in the house, was excellent about telling me when she needed to go out, UNTIL, about 6 months ago. Now she won’t tell me when she needs out, just sneaks off and goes on my white carpet!!!!!!!!!! I have confined her, keeping her off the carpet and she does fine, still won’t tell me, but as long as I take her out about every 6 hours she is fine. She use to go 12 hours without wanting out. I have had her checked for UTI,so that isn’t the problem. Any suggestions??

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Limit her access to the house again and treat her like a puppy until you can leave her longer.

    Waiting an excessively long time can cause UTIs and pain and even if she didn’t have one when you took her to the vet she might have had on at one time…which was probably painful and may have caused a behavior problem or a desire to go more often to develop.

    [Reply]

    Savannah Stovall Reply:

    I have a 9 month old puppy and instead of walking him I just put him in his outside cage he is a small dog (chihuahua) and my dad says that it doesn’t help it just makes the dog think that he is left outside for no reason. Does this help or make the training take longer or not.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would agree with your dad, unless you wait until he has gone potty and then bring him inside.

    Otherwise you are reaffirming that he can go potty in any of his spaces.

  11. Jill says:

    My 5 month old poodle does not bark. When she needs to go out she will sit next to me and stare. I got a bell chime that is on the”out” door knob. She bumped into it, got a treat, and I took her out. Within 2 days, she “rang” the bell with her nose each time she needed to go out. It became her way of communicating with me. It did not become a game. I think 2 months is a little young. Give it some time. She WILL get it…

    [Reply]

    julie roberts Reply:

    I think the idea of teaching the pup to ring the bell, is a great idea. However, it don’t think it is appropriate to suggest the your pup is “potty trained”, when you have to keep him confined, or on a leash. They are not really potty trained until they learn NOT to potty in the house. You have a long way to go.

    Also, I agree, as a dog breeder, I never sold my puppies until they were 8 weeks old. The mother contributes a lot in training.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He hasn’t had an accident since he was 8 weeks old and he is 12 weeks old now. That is potty trained to me!

    He will be “confined” for many reason for many, many months until he earns being loose in the house!

    So I could wait until he is 6 or 9 months to say he is potty trained, if you prefer. But I prefer to give him and me the credit we deserve 😉

    [Reply]

  12. My 6 mo old shih tzu puppy eats his own poop. I try to pick it up immediately after he goes, but don’t always catch it. What can I do? I bought something called Defecation deterrent that is pills, but he is still doing this behavior.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Talk to your vet about a product called “forbid” it can sometimes help but this is a hard problem to solve, unless you can pick it up immediately for a long period of time!

    [Reply]

  13. Kathy says:

    I totally agree with Minette, it is easier to prevent problems than solve them. I have potty trained several puppies and two older “ressure” dogs. I actually found the puppies caught on easier. I always tether, or leash my dogs durring this time. I’ve used a crate with one dog, and I have a 4’X4′ pen that I sometimes use. I also find that other dogs that are potty trained really help. I don’t use a bell, I have a pet door. But when I have a new dog, the door is closed until I feel they can handle being free in the house and know the place to potty is outside. Mu dogs have all just layed by the door when they need out and the pet door is closed. I’ve never had a problem in over 25 years. My other dogs have always trained the new ones to go through the door and outside. The most amazing time was when I had a 13 year old collie. I wasn’t sure if she would handle a young dog, but my kids fell in love with a litter of Golden – Rotti mix. The owner was desperate for homes as well. We brought home this puppy, and I swear we never had an accident after three days! My collie just took care of him. I didn’t have to tether him after a week, she wouldn’t let him chew on stuff he shouldn’t or get on the furniture. We did have pleanty of play toys for him. She would play and play with him, he was like her shadow and she loved it. I realized that she missed our other collie (deceased for about 2 years) very much. I’ve since followed that system and found the other dogs to always be helpful, though most do not just take over as my collie did, nor are older dogs quite so willing to “follow” the other dog. Best of luck to all.

    [Reply]

  14. Bunny Travis says:

    Thank you ever so much I have a 6 mo Cavapoo I am having a hard time potty training , how much food a day should she have she weigh’s 14 lbs right now I feed her a cup of dry food in morning and a cup of dry food at night ?? 2 bone treats a day am I doing right ??
    THANK YOU
    BUNNY

    [Reply]

  15. Mary says:

    I got my yorkie-poo when he was 4 mos old. He waa not porry rained, he was farm trained. We started with the bell, e was scared of that. After a very structured
    schedule, for me anyway, he was doing ok. Exception when it rained. He didn’t wan to get his footsy wet. Then one day he sat at my feet and just stared at me. What is is, I asked him, still no comment.All my other dogs either made circles after I asked that question or barked, or did something to show sum enthusiasim. He did nothing, Took him out and he did his business. From that day forward he still stares.
    No mistakes, and by the way, he has the run of the house, can hold all night, he did that the first nght we got him, hates to ride in the car, we take him anyway, shakes the whole time. We just loved that little raskle to death!

    [Reply]

  16. Holly says:

    how do you bell train your dog? My princess is 2 years old but I have only had her for 3 weeks. I do take her out but would like to teach her bell ringing to I know when she has to go.

    [Reply]

  17. Rita Taylor says:

    I have a five yr. old yorkie he spots all over the house I need some imfo on this. Thank you .

    [Reply]

  18. Sue Gear says:

    We have a 7 month old English Cocker Spaniel and a two and a half yr old American Cocker Spaniel. The puppy was bought purely as company for the older dog, but realise now that it probably was not the best thing to do. Anyway, they get along ok, have their moments in play fighting. My reason for advice is the puppy seems to be suffering very badly with separation anxiety, if we leave him home he howls upon us leaving and just waits at the gate until we return, he then promptly tries to bash the gate down and howls and barks until the door is opened and we can greet him (both). The other problem we are experiencing with him is waking 2-3 times in the night, both dogs sleep with us in our bedroom the little one wakes and then the older wakes and we just seem to be up and down all night trying to settle them. Does having them in our bedroom create the problem, is it too late to change sleeping arrangements.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It is never too late for change!

    I make all my puppies sleep in crates in my bedroom until they can safely and quietly be loose which can sometimes take months!

    Puppies would much rather play during the night than sleep! So I would separate them into their own crates to encourage sleeping.

    I would also recommend a crate for when you leave. Even if he throws a fit at first, he will learn to figure it out and he will be much safer. Right now he could chew in the room you leave him in and/or that play fighting could escalate to real fighting.

    At 7 months he is beginning to enter mature adulthood and is less of a “puppy” and fights can happen when they are left unattended.

    Again, I crate all my puppies until they are old enough and can all get along without my worrying about fighting. It keeps my puppies safe, and my house safe!

    [Reply]

  19. Cassandra says:

    Our Beagle will be 2 years old in September and she is only half potty trained. She knows not to potty or poop in the house but can not seem to tell us. We can tell by her behavior if she has to go out. We do take her outside on a schedule but it would be nice if she could tell us. Please advise.

    [Reply]

  20. Jose says:

    Hi thanks for the info i have a pitbull 5 months old and i started the crate training because first im making his kennel and it is still not ready so i have to leave him in his crate when im not watching because

    he can destroy everything if he is alone and he actually loves the crate because i give him alot of snacks as reward and all that so i guess thats the first step in potty training right? So he is there all night so he doesnt pee then i take him out regularly like at 7am that i leave the house

    Then im back at 10am he goes out and again like at 2pm and finally at 8pm when im back from work so i dont have a big issue with poop and not that much with pee but when he is playing with me free in the room he sometimes pees inside he only have acces to one room the one he sleeps in because i dont trust him yet lol he would pee everywhere

    But those times when he pees inside even if im watching i cant take him out because he doesnt make any signs he just suddenly stops and boom pee everywhere so i dont know how to stop that pee i think i take him out enough but he still pee sometimes in the room and since i take him out and he doesnt ask im not sure how to train him to ring the bell should i encourage him to ring it just before my programed outs? Then take him out as always or should i try to catch him when he wants to go and make him ring the bell?

    The second option would take me to square one isnt it? Thanks alot.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would exercise him outside.

    Exercise moves the bowels and giggles the bladder.

    Imagine you have to pee, but then start a race…you will be even more uncomfortable.

    So exercise him outside so he can be successful and remember that exercise can cause them to need to go 🙂

    [Reply]

  21. Anthony says:

    I have an English Mastiff who is 9 weeks old. He seems to defy me at every step. he is going to the door however he doesn’t do much else. Won’t come won’t sit, won’t walk on leash. makes me have to carry him to do anything. Help

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Stop carrying him and find his motivator so that he can learn to walk on a leash.

    English Mastiffs are giant breeds and as such they mature slower than the smaller guys so be patient. Use treats and continue to work with him every day and you will see improvement.

    [Reply]

  22. My multi-ethnic dog was rescued at the age of apx 6 weeks and he is now apx 11 months. He became house-broken within two weeks with almost no effort on my part. He uses the doggie door regularly and he doesn’t seem to have any “accidents.” The problem is that sometimes he walks into a room and lifts his leg to mark a chair or a corner. I have never been able to catch him doing it, however, I clean up the mess and spray the area with an odor diffuser. That seems to work for maybe two weeks and then all of a sudden, there’s a new spot. How can I train him not to do this, especially when I can’t catch him doing it?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would neuter him asap!

    If he is neutered then you must keep him out of those rooms or with you so that you can stop the problem.

    [Reply]

  23. Rosemary says:

    We have an 18month old maltese x shihtzu who is toilet trained but needs to go through the night. Not just once, but a couple of times! He let’s us know and we take him out and watch him and then he comes straight back to bed. He can hold on during the day for long periods of time, but it has become a habit to go through the night.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Restrict his water for a few hours before bed and then wait him out.

    Some dogs like going out during the night because it is habit and it is fun.

    Lots of exercise before bed will also help him be more tired and sleep through the night.

    [Reply]

  24. Debbie says:

    Help! My pug is 6 months old and still NOT potty trained. He seems to have indoors and outdoors mixed up. What to do?? Thank you.

    [Reply]

  25. Tanya says:

    I have now trained my collie to open and shut the door obviously he cant open it to go out but he runs backward and forward from the bank door in the front rm to get our attention we then let him out and to save on the heating we shut the door when he s finished doing his business he then opens the back door and shuts it on his way in sometimes need the command to shut the door but he still does it. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can now get him to poo in the same place in the garden because this is so annoying I have to go every where to pick it up

    [Reply]

  26. Swann says:

    We have a 2 year old longhair mini. Daushand and he is the perfect dog except for one thing. He is very smart but we have tried almost everthing and when he gets excited (for instand when we come home or he sees someone new) he wets the floor. Otherwise he never wets the floor. Any advice or things to try next would be great. THANKS IN ADVANCE!

    [Reply]

  27. kylie says:

    We have a 9-10 week old Huskie mix and just when I say to someone she is potty trained wham! she has an accident! She says please at the door to let us know she needs out and most the time she sends the clues that she needs to “go” but when she does have an accident it seems as if she holds it too long and then just goes right where she’s at! Is this possible? Our should I look into maybe a health issue? Like I said the good majority of time she goes to the door to let us know. She has never pooped in the house, thank goodness! Am I right in assuming it’s just like a child she just gets busy and “forgets” to take the time to go to the “bathroom”? lol Just curious for opinions- we also got her at barely 6 wks and 2 hrs a shot of sleep is wearing on me.. maybe I’m just growing impatient for the magic fix! lol Thanks!

    [Reply]

  28. Nicole says:

    I have a 11 week old Bulldog. I have had him for two weeks now and we are working on housetraining. I have myself trained to take him out after he plays, eats etc but I have to take him out side or he will void on my floors. How do I train him to “Ask” to go outside?

    [Reply]

  29. Jack says:

    My 9 week old puppy won’t stop crying through the night so I decided to sleep downstairs with him but when his on his own he carries on crying. What should we do sleep with him or let him cry all night when we’re not here? Also is it alright to have loads of puppy pads around the house?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I let my puppy cry a little.

    Its like having a baby, you have to let them learn to be alone and cry sometimes.

    And, no I don’t use potty pads unless I want my dog to go indoors only! It is too confusing. If you want your dog to go outside you have to keep an eye on him and take him outside!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  30. Danielle says:

    My puppy is very smart he’s nearly eleven weeks and we have had him since he was nine weeks, I’ve taught I’m how to sit, lay, give me his paw and he’s learning to roll over, but when it comes to going to the toilet he does it any time and anywhere, he sometimes does it on a puppy pad or outside when we were on a walk and we reward him when he does it correctly, but sometimes he just doesn’t care about having a treat, what should I do?

    [Reply]

  31. Jesse says:

    I’m planning on buying a lab puppy in the spring which will be 8 weeks old when I bring him home. I work 7-8 hours per day and no one will be home to let him out during the day. I suppose while he is still young, I will crate train him, and probably hire a dog walker for while I am working. However, I would like to build a dog run in the heavily shaded backyard complete with a dog house and maybe a kiddy pool, so that he can be outside for the day. My question is, what age do you think I can start leaving him outside in the dog run?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I don’t recommend kenneling actually. I think it causes several negative behaviors that are very hard to fix. Like nonstop barking, digging, and some dogs go kennel crazy. I would never do this to a dog under 9 months of age.

    I would also recommend that you consider an older puppy. Young puppies need interaction and toys and play and training and so sitting in a crate for 7-8 hours is going to be difficult on your puppy’s mental health.

    A pup that is 9 months to a year old is still young but needs less in the line of potty training and constant attention. And, puppies of all ages are easily found through rescue.

    Then it is important after work that you fulfill your requirements as a good owner and work on obedience and give exercise etc.

    Read this article. http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/working-mans-womans-conundrum-todays-dog-ownership/

    [Reply]

  32. candi says:

    I have a Shi Tzu puppy. When I go with him outside I have a terrible time
    getting him to come to me to go back inside. I have used treats to get him to come to me but he won’t he will just run around in the yard like we are playing a game of chase. What can I do? Please help!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Obviously he needs more stimulation and exercise and perhaps he needs a leash for a while.

    [Reply]

  33. Ana says:

    Hi, I have a chihuahua puppy, she is now 7 weeks old, I’m trying to house train her in a pad.. Is this good? Or is better to train her outside? There are night were she sleeps straight to the morning, there are others were she wakes up in the middle of the night…. She doesn’t eat a lot she doesn’t pee a lot either… So I do t know if this is normal she is my first puppy… Another thing is that I work 8 hours and she will stay by herself should I keek pads in different spots?

    Thank you for your help

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Pick outside or inside and concentrate on that. It is confusing for dogs to have potty pads inside and then sometimes you don’t want them to go inside.

    I like my dogs to potty outside, so I take them out and never use potty pads.

    Puppies are like babies they gain bladder control at different times, it is up to you to keep an eye on her and get her out about every two hours.

    [Reply]

  34. Francesca says:

    I have been potty training my now 5 month old puppy for the last 3 months. She is a pit mix with possibly lab?? Adorable and a pain. I can not for the life of me get her potty trained. I am a new dog owner, tho I seem to be following the things I read. “praise when she goes outside”, take her out often. Her pattern seems to be poop in the AM, come in eat breakfast and not poop for 4,5,6+ hours) But in the house, she’ll go freely. I ca have her sleep on my bed at night with no accidents. I don’t get her. Why isn’t she understanding where to go? There are days I keep her in the kennel and have her out only to go potty and then an occasional “free time” after she poops. For a week I did the crate/outside to potty and back in thinking she would get the hang of it, but no. She acts like she has no idea. I need some serious help here. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It sounds like you are inconsistent, and dogs need consistency!

    Stick with the crate and keep her off of the bed at night.

    Go outside with her and don’t let her wander the house.

    [Reply]

  35. Shavonne says:

    My Almost 6 months old Pembroke Corgi who I adopted 3 weeks ago was fully potty trained and always warned us when she had to go out that is until a few days ago she stopped warning us when she has to go out to poop but she has stuck to her routine when she has to go out to pee, and my fiancee and I are baffled at why she stopped warning us when she has to poop and we know she knows its wrong because after my fiancee usually discovers her newest mess she comes running to me looking for “protection” from “daddy’s” annoyance. Any advice on what we could do to try and get her back on track of warning us that she has to go poop?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    First, you can only stop her if you catch her… getting mad at her after the fact (your fiancee) is only hindering her progress!!!

    She continues to do it because it “works” she get away with it and she is probably beginning to associate her “poop” with making you and your fiancee mad… so she is sneaking away to do her business.

    She is a dog and so she doesn’t associate going “inside the house” with getting in trouble, she associates “pooping” with getting in trouble.

    So stop yelling and instead keep an eye on her and don’t let her get into another room!!! Once she realizes she isn’t in trouble for pooping and she can be in the same room with you she will again go back to warning you.

    [Reply]

  36. Hannah says:

    HEY,
    I AM GETTING A 10 week old pup soon and was wanting to know what to expect…… Can anyone help

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Get our puppy programming http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/PuppyProgramming

    It goes over everything you need for your puppy before and after he/she comes home. Over 60 videos on how to train, potty train, puppy proof etc.

    [Reply]

  37. Jill M. says:

    My puppy is 8 months old and is still having issues with potty training? He is good to go out and potty or will use a potty pad. Twice now he has pooped in his kennel at night. I have always thought they wouldn’t potty where they sleep. It has just happened the last couple of nights. I am onfused. Please help with this urgent problem.
    Thank You so very much,
    Jill Murdock

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I hate potty pads it teaches them that going inside is acceptable! And, they are confusing!!!

    I would stop the potty pads and exercise him at night and feed him earlier this will get his bowels moving.

    Also his crate is either too big, or he was use to being dirty from whomever you got him from.

    Most dogs want to be clean, but some don’t and usually those are the puppies that come from dirty breeders, shelters, or pet stores… they just get use to living in filth and it doesn’t bother them.

    [Reply]

  38. Maree Hewitt says:

    need a bit of history first. Ruby is a brision cross poodle. 3 years old. we brought her from a pet shop. she was in a clean glass 3X5 box with soft bed, water and food. She was 6 months ld when we got her. the pet shop took them for a walk daily, which was on cement. So in short the dog/ puppy eat, slept, pooed etc, in the same place.
    problem. if i do not have all the doors shut she will go t o the bed rooms and pee on the beds. i could have had her out side for hours and she will come in and pee on the bed. i can even wait a see her pee out side but if that door is not shut and i am not watching later i will find a pee puddle on the bed. mostly my daughter bed, and it is actually her dog. must point out as well. My daughter has a disability intellectual plus lots of other bits.

    have read and brought most books and computer books but it is still a problem. any advise other than putting an automatic shut dor thing on would be good.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I am wondering if your dog is actually marking.

    Most dogs that pee on the bed specifically are marking that area.

    Females mark just as much as males and some even lift their legs 😉

    But I would think that this is what she is doing and the bed probably smells like pee.

    You can keep her on a leash when she is inside the house to keep her out of that room and from peeing.

    You can gate her out of that room or with you in another room

    Or you can close the door.

    And, I have never seen a “clean” pet shop. Although they get cleaned in the morning when employees get there, they are not clean at night and most pet shops close at 6 or 9 and the pups are left till 10 or so the next day… so they are sitting in their own filth. Plus like you said she ate, pooped and slept in the same place… she doesn’t see this as a problem!!

    [Reply]

  39. nirosha says:

    Hello
    I got a 10 week old maltese poodle who is now 11 weeks old. For a week I’ve been taking him out after naps, after eating & after playing to potty and keeping an eye on him but now I see that when we go out to potty he just wants to sit down next to me or sleep next to me and doesn’t potty immediately, sometimes I’m out with him for hours.
    he also doesn’t let me know when he needs to go so sometimes he just goes when he’s inside the house.
    I’m also getting him use to leash now but he still has a lot to learn.
    Is it too late to start crate training him?
    I am also going to try and bell train him he is rather stubborn too.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Its never too late to crate train!!!

    [Reply]

  40. Merilee says:

    We purchased 2 (I couldn’t make up my mind) Australian Shepherd puppies @ 7 wks. They were weaned and were playing with people, kids, and litter mates. I think I have bought more stuff for these puppies than Christmas presents, but I got a large crate, put them in there together. They are 9 wks old now and have never cried once to go outside. I put the bells on the door and they will go to the door, but I watch them constantly because this is the 1st time since I was born that a dog has been in my house. They are doing great because I give them a treat to go in the crate, a treat after I close the crate door, a treat for going to the door, a treat for going potty (whew) and now I give them a treat when I call their names. This treat business is wonderful. They come to me when playing outside (supervised) if I say “TREAT”. I love treats – it takes care of everything except the pocketbook! Good Luck to all with little puppies – aren’t they precious though.

    [Reply]

  41. Teresa Arce says:

    Hi, I have a male dog, lasah apso and we love him very much because he is very friendly and loving, but, he is almost two years old and he still has accident inside my home, though I wouldn’t called accidents because he pees and poops over my couch and/or my dressing room and I do not know what to do. He does it even after an hour walk. I think that it is something emotional or something like that, please help me!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I’m wondering if he is marking your things. Is he neutered? If not, I would neuter him.

    And, I would do what the article suggests; keep him on a leash when you are in the house and with him and put him in a crate when you can’t watch him.

    [Reply]

  42. Kris says:

    Hi, I have a 9 week American Eskimo. We have had him for about a week and a half. He is really good at going potty outside on command except sometimes he goes in the house about 10-20 mins after he has already been outside. He usually pees in the house 1-2 times per day and its in his bed, by his food or at the door. I am with him at home all day and watch him like a hawk. While I am busy he is either in his kennel or my husband is watching him. We live on the 3rd floor and take him out about every hour. He has not gone #2 in the house but it seems impossible to have one whole day where we are not cleaning up a pee mess. Thinking about using potty pads to avoid accidents inside but would this confuse him? Sometimes he doesn’t show any sign of having to pee. He has even gone pee in his bed while chewing on a bone. Also we use his paw to ring a bell at the door before we go outside.

    How can we work to avoid accidents?
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  43. Dwight Stroud says:

    our 12 week old toy poodle will sleep all night, as much as 10 hours without using the bathroom. we play her hard and she uses the bathroom just before bedtime.Will holding he pee so long cause any problems? She never cries to get out of her kennel. we actually wake her ourselfs and then she is wide open until her next nap time.She shows no sign of any problem, but we don’t want to cause one either.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Puppies can typically hold their bladder for long times while they sleep.

    This would not be normal during the day. It is important for dogs and puppies to relieve themselves during the day and yes, holding it can cause bladder infections and other problems.

    [Reply]

  44. laurel says:

    this is about potty training. my puppy is 9 weeks. he pees outside but also inside and i don’t know what to do. i give him treats when he goes outside and i have pee pads inside but he doesn’t ever use them. he just goes wherever he wants. what do you mean a ‘small space’? one room? i have him in one room right now, on a leash and he just peed. and just because he goes outside, doesn’t mean he knows to not go inside. he’s just a baby min pin, but i’m desperate to do whats right. i feel like i’m doing everything right and he’s just not getting it. when he pees inside, yes i immediately say no and run him over to the pee pad but by then he’s done and won’t go any more. what am i doing wrong?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Each dog learns at a different pace.

    I recommend no potty pads, they can be confusing

    Small space for a min pin is like a 9 to 10 foot area or a crate when you are away.

    [Reply]

  45. Haley.C says:

    So I have recently bought a mastiff puppy. I thought I could handle her considering I’ve had a boy mastiff before at one time. I got her at 6 weeks, she is now 9 weeks and she will go potty outside but she pees and poops constantly in the house. This is a big breed so that means a lot of pee and poop. I take her outside all the time, I do give her all day access to her water because I’m afraid she will get dehydrated, she gets four cups of blue buffalo a day. She constantly chews on furniture, whines constantly throughout the night until I put her in the bed with me but then she pees in the bed, then I’m up all night cleaning a matress. You cannot pet her longer than a few seconds because then she wants to chew on your hands. She will bark and whine everytime me or anyone in the house is eating food. So you can’t eat around her. She plays very ruff and bites the kids and me while she’s playing. She hates going outside, you have to pick her up and take her out. The list goes on. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong because when I had a male mastiff, he never acted like this. Please help..

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Honestly you are doing EVERYTHING wrong.

    She should not be allowed access to your home until she is fully potty trained. Just as an example my dog poops 4 times per day, once in the morning when we wake up, once around 2 pm, then after she eats at night and also at about 430 in the morning. If she doesn’t then I know something is wrong. You have to get used to your dogs habits.

    Tethering them to you is the best way. She also needs to go out every two hours to pee and if she drinks inbetween then she needs to go out more.

    By giving her what you want you are letting her train you. You teach her to whine if she is hungry and wants what you are eating and you teach to to whine to get in bed with you.

    Be a parent.

    Make her sleep in a crate, if it needs to be next to the bed put it there; if it needs to be across the house so you don’t hear her cry put it there.

    Stop creating a monster and giving her everything she wants when she whines… or you will be catering to her and creating a monster for life and when she get frustrated that you aren’t worshiping her she is more likely to get aggressive.

    [Reply]

  46. Jen lukashunas says:

    I have an 8 we old cock a poo. He keeps going in the house if I crate her she will just bark and whine and poop and then jump all in it. Same thing with at night she will do her business in it and then need a bath. I take her out right before bed and makes sure she goes. I’m so frustrated . Please help. If I put her crate in my room will that help that she won’t whine

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Probably, I would certainly try it

    [Reply]

  47. Chelsea says:

    I know it’s been awhile since people have been using this thread, but I was hoping to give it a try since Minette has been offering such great advice to everyone else.

    I have a 4 year old German Shepherd that I rescued about a year ago and have been working with to train and get back in good health. He is an amazing dog, but has some serious potty training issues.

    We’ve crate trained him, but still has issues following a poop schedule. He eats on schedule for the most part (sometimes he’ll skip a meal) and is let out 2-3 times a day. He will not poop or pee on command despite praise parties or enticing treats. Instead, he will hold his pee/poo for hours and days or until absolutely desperate. What’s also concerning is that even when he is desperate, he will go in circles and try and pull to another spot trying to find the ideal place to go. He seems to only want to go on his terms. In the past, he was allowed to go into a large yard and “free poop.” He would go many times a day. So there is some adjustment issue here.

    We have stood outside with him all night, walked around the spot we want him to pee constantly, used pee command when he does pee/poop and tried giving him super tasty treats upon relief, but for the most part, he just refuses to go. We have to crate him for what we feel is too long because when we don’t, he just poops on the patio happily…unfortunately, the patio doesn’t have access to a hose for easy cleaning either. We have been very consistent with this dog, but he just doesn’t seem to get that when we go outside, we want some poops…not just some standing and meandering around for 3 hours. Please help.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You’re dealing with two problems; a dog that has been outside often with free access (so he doesn’t mind just wandering along outside with you)

    AND, one that has developed bad habits and is continuing the bad habits.

    The truth is you have to STICK to your program and add a few things.

    Exercise, extreme exercise like running, moves the bowels. If you know he has to poop; take him running for a while. When I was training Service Dogs we knew hooking them up to a wheelchair and having them pull would likely make them have to poop. If we weren’t careful about monitoring poop… we would have a dog that wanted to poop in the mall etc. So often we would run them or have them pull for a while and then take them out for pooping.

    The other thing I would say is that anything is possible if you devote the time.

    When I was fairly new in my career (a loooong time ago) I knew a guy who had trained his Akita to poop in a BUCKET. He took the bucket with him and put it down and I swear that dog pooped inside every time. This made his clean up almost nonexistent.

    He achieved this little miracle by not letting the dog poop anywhere else. Each time he took the dog out he would put the bucket under his rump and eventually despite being turned off the dog HAD to poop… so he learned to poop in the bucket.

    The owner kept the dog either on a leash with him (so he could recognize the signs) or in a crate…. otherwise it was outside to the bucket. We also used to teach dogs to poop in the shower because they were service dogs and their owners were taking a boat cruise.

    Although those are extreme, it is all about consistency and being in it for the long haul. Your dog has some bad habits so it is going to take TIME. maybe a looong time!

    [Reply]

  48. karen says:

    Why is my 15 week old puppy peeing in its own bed. Also started peeing in house?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This can be simply due to age or your puppy may have a bladder infection and need a trip to the vet

    [Reply]

  49. Jenny says:

    Hi, I have a 9 week old pitbull mix who is scared of the outdoors. I pick her up to take her out to potty, and she has the pee part down pat, the pooping not so much. I keep her on a leash, but she refuses to walk out the door herself. She will walk back into the house herself. I don’t know how to train her to walk outside herself without being carried.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Don’t carry her. You are going to have trouble doing that with a 60+ pound dog.

    Feed her outside, when she is hungry she will go through the door.

    [Reply]

  50. Tammy says:

    I have a 10 week old Shih Tzu she will go outside and poo and than come in the house and pee. We are taking her outside often but she continues to go in the house.

    [Reply]

  51. J.A says:

    I am an 66 year old disabled woman and have used pads because of this. I have a Terrier mix that is almost 5 years old, and she’s too active for me. I didn’t know what I was getting when I got her, I was told she was a chihuahua/yorkie mix and the Vet said no way, because of her weight. She weights 20 lbs. now. I got her at 9 weeks. I trained her to pads and she just uses them when she wants to, other times she pees on the bathroom floor where her pads are. I can say she is trained to the bathroom, completely. I know she knows better because she pees on the pad every day, several times, then the floor and some days she doesn’t pee on the floor at all. She never, never poops on the floor, only on her pads. She is stubborn, but very smart. I even taught her to crawl on the floor and pull my socks off for goodness sakes. She not only fetches the ball, she throws it. She uses eye contact, she’s learned to wait, and if asked to “leave it”, she won’t eat what is put down for her until she’s told to. She even looks at me for permission a lot of times, if I don’t tell her to wait. Very smart dog! I have had 100% sucess in puppy pad training puppies that were 8 weeks old when I got them. I know how to do it but this dog just pees on the pad when she wants to. I’m only lucky she can be trusted in all other rooms of the apartment. I don’t think there is any hope because she acts like she wants to do this for some reason. I know that sounds weird but I also think she does this to get back at me for not feeding her what I eat every time. When I finish eating she looks at me like, don’t I get anything? If I feed her people food she refuses to eat her food and if I don’t have anything to feed her, she waits but will usually eat later. I know I’m too old to have her, she needs a family that can play with her a lot.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Dogs don’t do things to “get back at us”, they are simple and kind beings.

    I don’t recommend potty pads for many of these reasons.

    [Reply]

    Joyce Reply:

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, they are precious to us and I love dogs. I love your site and your tips on training. You make many things clear and easy to understand. Sometimes people are unable to take thier dogs out so we have no choice, if we want to have a dog. I am alone and she is my baby girl, she needs more than a disabled person because I can’t do many things with her and she is very active. The good things she gets is love, home indoors, food to eat and all the care I can give. I’ve always kept my dogs all thier lives. I hate it when people get them and decide they don’t want them anymore and give them away when they don’t know how well they are going to be cared for, taken to a shelter or even cruelly dropped off some where! We have a responsibility to these beautiful animals.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I’ve spent my career or a good portion of it working and training service dogs for people with disabilities and we still expected them to get out and get them exercise every day, many of which were in tow with a wheelchair.

    As far as potty training I would just use the indoor doggy grass, which is much less confusing than potty pads.

  52. Kerikissane says:

    I have a dog Is almost 1 years old need help training her trying to teach you to let me know but it’s not working and I got a crate I go out but she hates it and go to bed ideas on how to help me

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/potty-train-truth-potty-training/

    [Reply]

  53. Mary says:

    Hi,

    I’ve got a 3 month old Italian Greyhound. I’d read that they are notoriously hard to potty train but our pup was going consistently in his box (lined with puppy pads) after a week. He’ll even bring it to our attention if we haven’t changed out the pad after 3-4 pees so he can pee on a “clean” pad. We praise him and give him treats every time he poops and pees when we catch it to continue reinforcing this positive behavior. However, he had gotten into the habit of grabbing his poop out of the box, eating it and basically making a mess by leaving “crumbs” everywhere, especially in his bed. We don’t know what to do about this!
    A common occurrence is I get up to get ready for work, he pees, I go shower, he poops, and when I come out I clean up his poop. Then I put out some food and we play until I leave (at which point I give him a few treats and leave while he’s distracted). My boyfriend will wake up a few hours later, and when he comes out of the shower, the pup will have pooped again and left pieces of it everywhere.
    We have bitter green apple spray that we’ve been using to get him to only chew on toys which has worked super well (we don’t even have to use it, only show the bottle to get him to stop), and I’ve considered spraying his poop but I don’t want to leave his poop out like an offering to eat it. Also, this poop chewing/spreading happens sometimes when we both leave the house. Our apartment is small and he only has access to the large living area (and an enclosed backyard deck) so we don’t crate him. (At night we move his bed to our bedroom and he sleeps fine with us; when it’s time to be “up” we move his bed to the living area. He’ll even get out of bed to go potty and then go right back to sleep!)

    He just finished his shots yesterday so we’ve gotten the okay to take him out, I suspect that maybe he just needs more exercise? He has a million toys which might also explain why he only sometimes eats poop when we’re both gone (boredom?). This is pretty much the only unwanted behavior he’s exhibited but boy is it a doozy. Let’s just say, I walk around the house barefoot. -_- Any advice?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Yes, teach him to poop outside and then clean it up right away.

    [Reply]

  54. Kacie says:

    My 8 year old has some mental disabilities and isnt completely potty trained he goes in the same place everytime so we started putting pads down so its easier to clean up is there anything else i can do to help him he goes outside also…. i have a 9 week old puppy who lets me know she has to go but today she went in the same place my older dog goes and i know thats because of the scent… also do you have any idea how i get my older dog to like the puppy more

    [Reply]

  55. Sara says:

    It’s illegal to have a puppy at 6 weeks it has to be at least 8 weeks like my new puppy

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Not in all states, only some

    [Reply]

  56. Abby says:

    Do I carry or walk my puppy outside to potty?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Walk! Puppies need to learn to walk on their own!

    [Reply]

  57. Bella says:

    Me and my husband got our husky wolf pup at 5 weeks. Obviously at first she had a couple house accidents because it was just me watching her, my husband is in the military, and then me and puppy moved to Oklahoma now she is peeing EVERYWHERE. We thought she was very well potty trained. But we are now renting and we have all carpet so this is not good as you would know. She is 14 weeks and we are having a tough tough time potty training her we really need some help and advice so if anyone can give us like a detailed way to help us solve this problem that would be wonderful. She also has been peeing in her kneel at night and then drinking it all up. I know this can’t be healthy for dog and we’ve tried to put a pottt pad in the kennel when she goes to sleep but she chews everything up to shreds. So if anyone has some advise that would be great!

    [Reply]

  58. Camille says:

    My border collie/lab is 11 weeks. She hasn’t had an accident inside for a week! But we do have some issues. When we take her out she will start to poop and stop halfway and run back to us. We have to tell her to poop probably three more times until she actually has gotten it all out. We are dumbfounded because she has not done this before. We thought it was just in the morning because we feed her breakfast after she goes but we switched it around and she still continued to stop mid poop. Help! I need advise.

    [Reply]

  59. Susan says:

    I got my toy poodle puppy just shy of 5 months. His breeder said he was pee pad trained. (I live in Manhattan and plan to ONLY use pee pads, not out of doors.) The first week he had several accidents but after 10 days ONLy pees on the pad. However, he only poops on the pad one out of 10 times, otherwise on the wood floor or rug. I keep his pads clean so as not to discourage him. I reward him when he poops on the pad. Any further advice?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/indoor-potty-training/

    [Reply]

  60. Joanne Gardner says:

    I have a 12 week old beagle and she is wonderful. A puppy, yes, and needs
    direction on many issues. I do crate her and let her run in her playpen for a bit. Pllus a little in the house under my supervision.
    I have been monitoring her pee and poop habits which she does in the crate on
    an old towel. That being said I now am starting to potty train her as she just
    finished her shots. I couldn’t before because I have many of nature’s critters
    roam outside. I take her out on her leash She eats grass, dirt whatever is in
    the enclosed outside pen. I use all the cues and don’t holler but still doesn’t
    work. Bring her inside and put her in her crate and she goes. I am spinning my wheels. I have had dogs before but this little one has got me beat. I know
    it takes time. I thought well I would withhold treats until she went .In that way,
    she would be more apt to go outside.I know it is going to take time but I am
    wondering if I could try something else that would be more effective. Thanks
    for any suggestions.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    If you weren’t taking her outside until now you taught her to go potty inside and in the crate… this will now be a bad habit you must break. Habits take a lot of time to break.

    [Reply]

  61. leanne redman says:

    we got a 8 weeks old pug puppy the breeder said he goes to toilet on newspaper. but he just pees and poohs everywhere in ours. we crate him at night and when we are out otherwise he only has access to the dining room. we started trying to take him in our back garden after he eats to pooh out there and praise him when he does and get up in the night to let him out to pee on the paper, but he still waits till we put him back in crate then does it in there i am so tired. I have read loads of stuff online but am confused on the best way to toilet train him. we started giving treats now he keeps peeing a little just to get them. we have never had dogs before only cats.

    [Reply]

  62. Mandy Kaucher says:

    I realize this is an old post, but I’m seeking some advice! I have an adorable 9 week old rescue dachshund/cattle dog mix. She is SMART (she can already fetch, sit, and we’ve been working on crate training so she already will run and sit in her kennel when commanded, except when there’s something shiny or fun nearby.) Unfortunately, house training has been a bit of a long process. The first week we had her it was in the middle of a blizzard, and we live in a third floor apartment in a busy city. She was petrified of the outdoors, and we started training her on puppy pads. Now that the weather is nice and the internet has made me wiser, my husband and I decided to do away with the pads and start going outside. She’s done an awesome job; she pees every two hours on the dot and will do so outside, and today she only had one accident after a long walk (a lot longer than usual because it was so nice out) when I popped her in her crate with her freshly washed doggy bed, and she promptly peed on it.

    I think she has found it to be okay to go in her crate because at night, my husband and I don’t take her out. We set up her crate in our room with a pen right outside of it with potty pads, because our neighborhood can be a bit sketchy at night. Last night, she went on the pads and on her bed. With our schedules, we also have to set up a playpen with pads for her during the day on mondays, thursdays, and Friday’s because she has to go 4.5 hours on her own, which her tiny bladder can’t handle.

    Lastly, she has NO poop schedule. She gets fed promptly at 7:30 am (dry and wet food), dry food between 11 and 12, then dry and wet food between 4:30 and 5 pm. She poops right around 7am, then any time in the afternoon, then at some point before bed.

    I just want to know if there’s anything I’m doing wrong! I’m thinking the lack of consistent poop schedule is because of our switch from pads to outside, but then not taking her out at night. I just want to do what’s best/consistent/supportive for her, so any advice anyone has is very welcomed!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Puppies, like babies mature at different rates.

    I would not use any materials in the crate. I would also crate in on the floor next to your bed without the playpen and potty pads. I hate potty pads. If you hear her up in the middle of the night get up and take her out so it is consistent.

    [Reply]

  63. Kate says:

    I had a genius idea with my first puppy and hope it works for our new one coming next week! I took a handful of grass and rubbed it onto the pee pad to get the scent of grass on it and placed it at the back door…slowly I moved the pad closer until I put it outside one morning and then after that she went outside only and no more accidents. The scent of the grass helped transition her from indoor to outdoor. Works if you have a house and yard, not so good for other situations but wanted to share 🙂

    [Reply]

  64. Jess says:

    Hi there.
    We have a 9 week old mini goldendoodle. She is very active and the “biting other dogs faces” resounded with me as she spends a lot of time biting at my other dog. She is full of it.

    We do all of your instructions and she still has so many accidents. She is tethered to us when we’re inside but she is very mad to be chained to us, she wants to play! She is getting kennel trained, lets us know when she has to go and only had one accident in the kennel so far (my fault for not hearing her cries). She sleeps in our room at night in her kennel. She’s very smart and will “sit” “lay down” and “come”.

    The issue is that when she pees it is about only a tablespoon. Is this normal? She goes all the time. We take her out and 10 minutes later she has to go again! The strange thing is I know she can hold it because she sleeps all night. Don’t know how we got this lucky but as long as she can see us she sleeps and only goes potty in the mornings after we take her out.

    So, that’s my question I guess. Does it get better with time or does she have an issue? And when are puppies full potty trained?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Pretty normal, but I don’t allow behaviors that I don’t like, to continue.

    [Reply]

  65. Jean M Martin says:

    I have a 10 week old shihtzu pup. I just brought home a few days ago. I have an 8 yr old one also. The 10 week old is teething so bad . She goes after the 8 yr old and wants to play out she bites her. Like teething . How do I get them to be together ?.and I am trying to pee pad train her , the 8 yr old has been p pad trained since we got her. But she does go outside when I take her for walk or to play.

    [Reply]

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