How do I potty train my dog, again?

He was house-trained but about a two months he had to have surgery on his bladder to have some stones removed. Because of the surgery, his bladder became very sensitive and uncontrolled so he couldn’t hold much in for long. I brought out the puppy pee pads so that it wouldn’t be as much of an issue that he needed to pee every twenty minutes.

This was a mistake. I started removing the pee pads because the vet said he should be all healed up by now. Unfortunately, he has gotten used to peeing whenever he wants and has started peeing all over the house.

I let him out as soon as he asks, but he has stopped asking out. I am not sure how to house train either, as he was adopted and trained when I got him. I realize this is totally my fault for having let it go for so long and am willing to try anything.

If it helps, someone is almost always home at my house, and strangely, my roommates are as motivated as I am to fix this problem.

Things I have tried:

  1. Letting him out every hour or so. (He just comes in and pees in the house anyways)
  2. Scolding him when I find him mid-pee or when I step in a puddle. (He seems to get that it is wrong and goes outside/lowers his head and skulks, but then does it again an hour later)
  3. Moving the puppy pee pad closer and closer to the door until it was outside. (Once it was outside, he just peed inside of the puppy pad)

Any help would be very very much appreciated!

When I was younger my family had a dog and when the animal was a puppy they’d drag her to the spot where she defecated or urinated and rub her nose near it while scolding her. I’m not sure if there was more to it than that but consistency is super important. I don’t remember how long exactly it took to train her but it wasn’t very long. She’d come over and nose at your leg or whatever when she wanted to go outside and never had any accidents.

The only problem that I can remember was she’d ask to go outside even when she didn’t have to go to the bathroom. So we’d let her outside and a few minutes later she’d be scratching to get back in. :stuck_out_tongue:

Kkrose, you’re on the right track moving the puppy pad close to the door. Dogs are strongly motivated by odor. If the floors and rugs have a strong urine or feces smell, you should thoroughly clean any areas where the dog has eliminated. Pay extra attention to the rugs, as urine will seep through to the padding. Any odor of urine/feces says to the dog, “Here’s the bathroom.”

Now, place a pad right next to the door. Observe the dog, and when he starts to use the pee pad, pick it up and accompany the dog outside. Put the pee pad on the ground in the spot you want your dog to go and let him sniff around and finish his business. Praise the dog then dispose of the pad and put a fresh one down inside for next time. Every time the dog starts to eliminate on the pad, pick it up, take it and the dog to the same spot outside, and let the dog finish his business there. He’ll remember from the smell that that’s where you want him to go. Eventually, he’ll get the idea and want out on his own, then you can discontinue using the puppy pads.

But remember, if he has an accident inside, do not rub his nose in it. That is completely counter-productive. He’ll associate the act of rubbing his face in it with thinking that’s an appropriate place to go to the bathroom. And he’ll keep going there. He’ll only learn if you show him that you want him to go outside every time, and taking the puppy pad outside with a little of his urine on it will help him make the association.

I am hardly a dog training expert but from what I know you should concentrate on rewarding the desried behavior instead of punishing the undesired. If you catch him mid-pee, immediately pick him up or otherwise move him outside. Scolding him will just teach him to pee when you aren’t looking.

Take him outside and teach him to pee on command. Keep repeating a word or phrase until he pees and then immediately reward him with a treat and heaps of praise.

If you have a crate for him, you may want to keep him crated when you aren’t there to monitor him. When you take him out of the crate immediately take him ouside to pee.

In your shoes, I would start from scratch and crate train all over. Keep him crated anytime he is not under direct observation. Take him out anytime he is let out of the crate. Make “accidents” impossible. Reward good behavior.

More on crate training.

Generally good responses so far except this one. Sorry, Melon, but this is exactly what you should NOT do. All this does is teach the dog that you don’t like the presence of urine or poop for some reason. It does not teach the dog that you want it to go outside. If anything, it teaches the dog to hold it as long as possible before going inside.

What you want to do is to reward good behavior and ignore undesired behavior. It’s best to catch them in the act of peeing and pooping, and immediately make a big production and take them outside.

I also second the recommendation for a crate. You want a crate only large enough for the dog to stand up in and turn around. You don’t want it large enough that the dog can have a section to poop and pee in. Generally, dogs will not go in their crate (i.e. their den). When they are out of the crate, you need to watch them constantly. Take them out frequently. If they start to go inside, interrupt them in the act and take them outside. Reward them when they go outside.

Seems my family raised the dog improperly.

Ah well, the dog wound up trained anyway. I’ll just keep it in mind in case I own dogs in the future.

Don’t feel bad–that’s what everyone did years ago. It just took a while for people to realize that it’s counterproductive. Dogs got trained in spite of this behavior. Unfortunately, a lot of dogs also ended up confused and traumatized, and sometimes acted out aggressively.

I forgot to mention I tried crate training. He peed in the crate. He is only six pounds so he was in the smallest crate I could find. I think part of the problem is that he is small and so his bladder is smaller and he has to go more. I usually have to get up at least once during that night to let him out. Well, I did before, now he just pees on my bedroom floor instead of asking out. Grrr.

I will try moving him and the pee pad outside though. That is something I have not tried yet. Any more ideas would be great too!

Seems like he has no idea that the act of going outside is for peeing. He just wants to go outside to sniff around, not do his business.

You gotta go with him and wait for him to pee, like the others said. Tell him to pee. Praise him when he pees.

My dog is 8, and my bro’s dog is 5 and we still do this. Not every time, mind you, but if we need the dog to pee (if we’re leaving for a bit) we tell them to pee and wait until they do. If we happen to be outside with the dogs and one of them goes, we praise them - still after all these years.

You should also go right back inside after he pees (or if you get really good, say “poopy too?” and wait for him to poop too). That way he knows “we go out, we pee, we come back in” and not “I go out, I hang around, and when I have to pee I come back in.”

We used something similar to these on our rescue dog that was in the habit of marking everything inside.

They worked great. He tolerated it well, even wore it for 10 hours at a time with no problems.

IMO, one of the greatest things ever made.

Unless I missed it, you didn’t mention how old your dog is. Usually, it’s older dogs that develop stones.

Even though the vet said your dog is healed, it’s only been two months. Also he’s a very tiny dog so keep in mind it may take a little longer for the sensitivity to fully disappear. His bladder is tiny and maybe even smaller due to scar tissue from the surgery. I agree with the others about not punishing the little fellow.

I would definitely go with putting him in the crate when no one can supervise him . AND pick up his water after around 8 PM or even a little earlier. You’re very lucky to have someone there all the time. All of you must follow the same steps. Routine is very important. Be sure he’s taken to the exact same spot every time you take him out to potty. Praise him profusely the instant he goes. YAY!!! Good boy and all that. If you catch him in the act inside the house, say NO!, pick him up and take him to his “spot” outside.

And definitely have the carpet cleaned to remove the lingering odors of past mistakes. There are products out there to neutralize the smells.

My schnauzer had SIX kidney stones removed last summer. I took her out very frequently and limited her water intake at night. It took her several months to get back to “normal” and your little fellow will, too. Just give him time to heal. Good luck!

I should also mention you should feed your dog a couple of small meals each day. (If you’re not already doing this.) If you leave food in the bowl all day long for the dog, he will drink water each time he goes by to eat. If you feed a couple of smaller meals, the dog will go to his water bowl less frequently to drink. And do pick his water up early, around 8PM, as IaMoDiNaRy suggested.

I had a chihuahua who hated going outside when it was raining and would go into a closet to dump or pee–until I put a diaper on her. She was really aggravated when the shit stayed plastered next to her butt and she had to walk around all hunched up trying to avoid it. Cured her right quick.

Well said.

A useful trick is to have a code phrase when he pees in a desirable place (outside). Whenever Simone urinates (in an approved place, of course), I say “Go potty!” while she’s in the act…every time. And praise.

Now, if it’s the middle of the night and she’s waked me up, or if I need her to go in a hurry because we have to leave the house, I can say “Go potty!”. It’s not a command – there’s no penalty for failing to pee. But the phrase has become associated with the feeling of urinating in her mind – it may be more like talking about waterfalls to someone who has to pee than issuing a direct command, but it works pretty well. :slight_smile:

These look interesting, but how do you train your dog with them? I would definitely use them if I didn’t think it was going to be a forever thing.

We do have a code word already for him “get busy.” Sometimes it works wonderfully, sometimes he just stares at me as if to say “I SO don’t have to go right now.” Then he wanders of to sniff. Mostly I use it for when I am headed out, or want him to go in a specific place while we are out. But it hasn’t seemed to help the housetraining any at this point. Any idea how I could use this towards my advantage?

Jordie is almost five. His were bladder stones though, not kidney stones. It does give me hope to hear that he may just still be healing though.

Thank you guys so much for all of your advice. I really want to nip this in the bud. And just so you know, there is not screaming going on. The most punishment he has been getting so far is a “NO!” and being quickly wisked outside when caught in the act.

I knew it didn’t help, but I didn’t know it was counterproductive. I may actually have to step in the next time my family gets a dog and need to train him

Ours came already trained because the rescue group uses them. But, it shouldn’t be hard to train, it just wraps around the belly (and other part) and secures with velco at the top. He may not like it at first, but if you gradually try it out on him, he will get used to it. It is not painful or anything. BTW, just use a sanitary pad as an absorbant, the ones sticky on one side.

It is not a forever thing. Ours used it for around a month, YMMV, but he now has free run of the house all day and we are not worried.

Like I said, this has got to be one of the greatest things ever conceived for male dog training. After peeing on themselves a few times (that is what the pad is for) they get the idea.

For the cost it is well worth trying. Get at least 2 so you can wash one while using the other.

I seem to recall an anecdote from someone on this very board who tried that method with a dog, with the end result that the dog would defacate indoors, then promptly stick her own nose in it.