Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Potty training nightmare!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by TTB1, Jul 24, 2018.


  1. TTB1

    TTB1 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 1, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    35
    Potty training nightmare!

    I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. I’ve posted on here before about potty training my pup, (who is now 8 months old), and she’s still not going outside consistently! She will walk towards the back door and turn back around when she needs to go or when she’s bored, it’s always a guess on my end.

    Sometimes she’ll do it right away and other times I can be stood there for twenty minutes with her on leash asking her to go while she sniffs, wanders, barks, jumps, stares at the sky, chases flies and tries to get in the hedge. I understand that this is just puppy behaviour and I bring her inside. She doesn’t always do something right away when I bring her in but lately she’s been going back to not doing anything outside and doing it all when I bring her back in which I just don’t understand why.

    Nothing has changed. I do my best not to get frustrated around her and if I do I give myself a little time out or if someone else is in the house I ask them to take over. I’ve been trying to teach her to speak at the door when she needs to go and so far she is but only when I put her on leash and give her ‘the look’. I’m hoping she’ll get the hang of this eventually and ‘ask to go out’ all by herself but honestly I’m not expecting a miracle. It’s been nearly five months now and I’m stuck on what else to try.

    If anyone has any ideas, tips, tricks or even experience please let me know as I really don’t want a dog who’s still not got the hang of going outside once the cold weather hits!

    And for anyone wondering why I didn’t start earlier, I did try but we had really cold weather where we were and she did not like it at all! I also couldn’t let her out before she was fully vaccinated and it would’ve been cruel to keep such a small pup out in the cold while she’s crying and pulling to get back inside. (Believe me I tried everything to get her to go out when she was little) and still nothing worked.

    She’s a Weimaraner/Staffy if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance x
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    8,873
    Likes Received:
    18,881
    Two suggestions. First, if she is pottering about over 20 minutes and not toileting, it sounds like she isn't thinking "oh, I am out for a wee/poo". So I would take her out on lead, if she does nothing take her back in after a few minutes then out a second time 10 minutes later. In that indoor period, watch her like a hawk so she doesn't get the chance to toilet - if she gives the smallest hint (e.g. change of head position) get her right outside. Repeat until she successfully toilets.

    The second suggestion is to upgrade your praise and reward. However much you are praising, she isn't getting the message that outdoor toilets make you the happiest person ever and earn her the most amazing rewards. Toilet training clicks when she realises that the prize for holding is worth so much that she really, really wants to toilet outside in order to get it. Maybe have a special treat that only is used for outside toilets. Remember to praise and reward for toileting on walks too.

    At this stage she is apparently quite happy to toilet indoors so it will be a little while before you can rely on her asking to go out - for now you will have to keep on top of it by being proactive and taking her out yourself.
     
    tabelmabel likes this.
  3. TTB1

    TTB1 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 1, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    35

    Thank you for your reply. I always keep her on leash when we go to toilet anyway, praise her by calling her a very good girl and tell her to come and get a biscuit when she does which is her favourite treat. I do use the biscuits for recall on walks as well as it’s the only thing she’ll come back for. I’ll definitely make more of a fuss when she does do something! Hopefully this work :)
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    8,873
    Likes Received:
    18,881
    There might be a clue here though :)

    By telling her to come and get the biscuit, you might be confusing her a little - she may think the biscuit is for coming, not for toileting. So I suggest a huge upgrade to chicken or frankfurter sausage (tiny pieces are fine - to a dog getting several teeny bits is of higher value than one piece of the same weight) delivered at the moment she finishes her toilet, and overboard praise in your best happy voice.
     
    tabelmabel likes this.
  5. TTB1

    TTB1 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 1, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    35
    I never thought of that! Now that you’ve said it it really makes sense. I was starting to think she was broken I will definitely stock up on tasty meat treats for her and hopefully all will go well! Fingers crossed we can get this sorted Thank you so much for the help!
     
  6. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5,256
    Likes Received:
    9,493
    Yes, all good advice - i used to say 'weeweeweeeeeeee' the entire time my pup was peeing and then in there immediately with a big excited 'wee wees!' and tiny (sized) high value reward whilst she was peeing or just the instant she finished so the cue word is going on to match the timing of the wee.

    I did try to have a seperate word for poop. My clever friend with her 3 clever collies has trained them to wee or poo on command. Really handy as she has them all poo next to poo bins, picks up, bins it and then on with her walk.


    But poo doesn't lend itself to a continuous vocalisation in quite the same way as wee wee does so i ditched that idea quick and just used the wee wee word for poo as well.

    Good luck with it!
     
  7. Biscuit123

    Biscuit123 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,172
    Likes Received:
    282
    To get my trouble puppy to see I would do this, I would go out side with her. And teach her 'get busy' and as soon as she got 'busy' I would praise her give her a treat when she was done. That always worked. Now that she's an adult I don't have to use that command and I trust her to do her business outside when I put her outside.
     
  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    8,873
    Likes Received:
    18,881
    This is a good point too - a lot of people rush the verbal cue by trying to use it to encourage a puppy to toilet, but before the puppy has learned what it means. So do what @tabelmabel did and introduce the word while the puppy is actually in the act of toileting first so she understands what you want her to do. Otherwise you could be saying blablablabla - it means nothing. Incidentally, I did cue pooing by using the words "busy busy". If he doesn't need, it's not going to happen but if I need him to toilet at a 'due' time because, for example, we are going somewhere it is a useful cue to train.
     
  9. TTB1

    TTB1 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 1, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    35
    All very good ideas. I’ve drawn up a plan so I don’t forget a thing. I do tell her to do a ‘pee pee’ or a ‘poo poo’ when I think she needs either but I’m going to ditch that and start over when she’s in the act as was stated above. Do you think I should continue asking her to speak before I open the door? Would that be a useful thing to keep up for the future when she gets the hang of this?
     
  10. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    8,873
    Likes Received:
    18,881
    I'd say no, because you want to nail the toilet training properly first. Any distraction from that might be the difference between success and failure. With puppies and youngsters, try to break the training down into single components and get one firmly in place before you move on to the next - even if later you want to link them.

    Also pee-pee and poo-poo to me sound quite similar words and although to us they are both about toileting, to a dog she is performing two completely separate actions.
     
  11. TTB1

    TTB1 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 1, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    35
    Alright. I think I’ll keep ‘yes, pee’ and maybe ‘yes, empty’ for poops. She’s my first dog but my family have always had puppies and never had issues with potty training before so we’re all a little out of our league. I think it has something to do with the people I got her from as they already her on pads at 8 weeks old when I originally had no intentions of putting her on them and then with the heavy snow we had up to April it just made things more difficult. Hopefully I can get this sorted before the cold weather hits once again!
     
    JoanneF likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice