Puppy Training... Help!

Okay, so we read a book on puppy training and on its advice, started “kennel Training”. We also started teaching the puppy to ring a cow-bell next to the door before we take her out. She seems to get it. She occasionally goes to the door, rings the bell, and upon going outside she relieves herself. But she still occasionally does it inside.

She’s also started doing something new. She’s caught on to the fact that if she squats to urinate inside the house, she gets stopped in mid-pee, scolded and taken outside. So now… SHE DOESN’T SQUAT! She pees while walking. She only does this in when she is in the same room as us. If she can sneak off to another room, she still leaves a puddle rather than a trail.

So she knows that we don’t want her going in the house (she tries to hide/sneak her urinating. She’s knows that if she rings the bell, she goes outside (Where she does most of her “business”). So, how do we stop her from trailing pee all over the house? When she was squatting, we could catch her. How do we stop the new behavior?

Thanks in advance,

How much time is she spending in her crate, and how often does she get taken out? (Note: I don’t mean asking to go out, I mean “I know you’re about to bust, so out you go.”) Sometimes, especially when it’s really cold out or raining, I have to literally shove Dolly out the door, even though she hasn’t been out in 8 hours or more. She’s also less likely to go out for Dr.J, because he’s more likely to leave her outside.

Try taking her out on a regular schedule, whether she acts like she needs to pee or not. She can’t pee on your floor with an empty bladder. Also, when you catch her, don’t scold her. Just take her out, then praise lavishly when she finishes peeing outside. Just as an offhand guess, I’d say it’s the punishment factor that’s making her sneaky. Accidents are normal, and punishment (even just a scolding) is counterproductive.

With patience and positive reinforcement, she’ll grow out of it.

I wonder if sha could possibly have a bladder infection, leading her to dribble on the floor while walking. You might want to see your vet about this possibility.

If she is peeing right in front of you in an obvious manner, it could be something called “submissive urination.” You can do a search on Yahoo! and find a lot of information on what you’d need to do to solve this problem. The upshot is that a submissive urinator needs especially gentle discipline and tremendous praise. (Correcting a dog while she is urinating in submission will only make the problem worse.) You might want to do a search to see if she fits the profile.

You didn’t say how old the puppy is, but the younger the dog, the more often you should take her out. Take her out immediately after eating or drinking. Follow ** CrazyCatLady’s ** advice about a schedule-- it really will help!

When I had a problem with a sneaky puppy, I put a bell on her collar. Whenever I heard the bell stop jingling, I knew she was up to no good.

Install a “doggie door”

Do not punish the dog for peeing in the house (or pooping - I can’t believe I used that term)

If it is a puppie - devote 2-3 days to monitoring the dog (you watch a dog for enough hours and you can tell when it needs to relieve itself without waiting for a puddle) go, take it outside several times a day - a puppy can’t control it’s bladder as long as a full grown dog.

Praise for going outside.

Main cause for problems with dogs are owners - not putting in time and punishing for somelthing the dog can’t help.

About the only time to punish a dog is if it shows aggression.

The only reason a dog would want to relieve itself in the house is if the owners conduct has made dog neurotic.

Dogs (Like most people) don’t want to relieve themselves where they have to sit, eat and sleep.

Just want to agree with other responses. I have three dogs. Raised them all. They trained me. Get yourself on a schedule. Spend lots of time walking with your puppy. I think it is easier to train a dog by walking them on a leash rather than just letting them go out alone in the yard. Some dogs are going to want to come back inside to be with you instead of taking care of their business.
The schedule I followed with my pups went something like this:
5:00 am - 40 -50 minute walk
7:00 am - “the quickie” out to urinate and right back in
12:00pm - 10 minutes to walk sniff and usually, urinate only
5:30 pm - out for 50 minute walk, play with ball, frisbee, sit, stay, come, roll over, speak, shake, etc
9:00 pm - “the quickie”

Fortunately I now have a yard and a doggie door. I still walk my dogs at least once a day. I look forward to it. None of them have ever had problems going in the house. On occassion, before I bought the house, I would come home from work and discover that one of them had an upset stomach and had let go inside. Ugh. Lots of clean up but no punishment because it wasn’t their fault. I guess this is just part of the price we pay for our lovely hounds.
Good luck.

I’d also be sure wherever she’s gone is sanitized, because I understand once they’ve gone somewhere, they go back to the same spot, and they can smell like 1 part per trillion or something. There is some sort of neutralizer product you can get.

Just want to chime in and agree with the other posters. Puppies love schedules.
How old is she? What’s your crate schedule like? How much time do you spend with her vs her being in the house alone? Do you (and the rest of your household) work full time, or is someone at home with the pup during the day? How often do you take her outside, aside from seeing her squat and rushing her out? What training book did you read? Did you get her from a hobby/show/working breeder, out of the newspaper, from a shelter, or a pet store? What breed is she?

Crate training is a very, very great tool in housetraining puppies if used correctly. This does not mean you should leave her in the crate for eight hours at a time as a ten week old puppy. If she’s still a little bitty guy, then take her out (of the house) at least every two hours, unless she’s really tiny, she can probably sleep most of the night but unless she’s several months old and can easily go the night without a potty break, it’s still a good idea to get up half-way through and take her out for a potty session. With crate training, I’d suggest you only crate her when you can’t immediately supervise her, which you should be doing during most waking hours. That is to say, crate her at night or when you go out to run errands, and possibly while you’re eating meals. The rest of the time you should have her in your immediate line of sight, or at least develop good peripheral vision. Always keep her in the same room as you. You may even want to go to the “umbilical method” of getting a ten foot lead, tying it to your belt, and having her connected to you at all times. You’ll soon develop a good instinct for when she’s thinking about going.

Keep taking her out for a potty break every two hours or so, regardless of whether or not she shows signs of needing to potty. Praise like crazy when she does go. Always take her to the same spot in the yard (park, whatever) for potty. Praise like crazy. Teach her potty words with the praise (“Good potty, Fluffy!” or actually, “Gotta go pee? Let’s go pee! Good pee-pee, Fluffy, Good!” works well, dogs like repetetive, strong vowel sounds). Many dogs will actually learn to pee on command, show dogs often are taught this.

I guess the point is, puppies need constant supervision, just like toddlers. If you can’t be watching her every moment, crate her when you can’t. Never leave her in the crate long enough to where she has to urinate or defecate in it, you have no idea how hard it is to break a habit like a loss of toilet inhibition.

And finally, to repeat what Regina said, it is very common for a pet to return to the same spot in the house to relieve themselves; if they can smell it in the house it reinforces the idea that maybe it’s okay to go there, even if they don’t exactly pee in the same spot. Nature’s Miracle is the best I’ve seen, it has a pleasant citrus smell and carries a full, money-back guarantee. Blot up the mess as best you can, soak the carpet enough to get down to the pad, blot, soak again, and let it dry. A blacklight will help find spots you can’t smell, but she sure can.

Good luck, and let us know how she does!


Oh, I forgot–always take her out for a potty break within about fifteen minutes of a meal. Don’t free feed her at this stage. Don’t leave food or water in the crate. She shouldn’t ever be in there long enough to need it.