Potty Training Help
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Thread: Potty Training Help

  1. #1
    chewwy13 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Valley Strean, NY

    DefaultPotty Training Help

    We r trying to potty train our 4 month old chocolate lab roscoe to go outside for the last week and it has been going ok except for the last 2 days. i take him out and he does all the sniffing and doesn't go. as soon as we get back in the house he runs right to the wee wee pad and does his business. I don't know if something startled him but it has been 2 days now and he only will go in the house. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    has he going outside before?

    Personally, I would not have any more pee pads inside. I mayd take a pad outside with meand put them in the area I want him to pee, and reward big time. I may do this a few times, see if pup gets the idea, then stop with pee pads all together. At this point, I would stay outside abit longer to get them to pee (move them around too, exercise encourages them to relieve themselves). If no luck, I would put them directly in their crate and try again in a short while.

    when he does go outside, reward with LOTS of praise (make a fool of yourself) and treat (if you are into treating, I know some people are not).
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  4. #3
    cherbear14 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010


    Daisy our yellow lab puppy is five months old. What is bugging me at the moment when she was 99.9% housetrained she has started doing it in the house again. She is relegated to the kitchen when we are not around and has started leaving messes over night. How can I get her out of this? I feed her evening meal about 4.30pm and monitor her water and she always goes out several times in the evening and last thing before we go to bed. It has only been three nights this week when she was previously dry at night but it is setting her back and not doing my husband's temper any good. We live in the UK, South Wales. Hope somebody can advise me. Thanks.

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009
    Lawrence (ex-Topeka), KS


    For chewwy13 and cherbear14 it'll help alot when they pee or poop where you don't want them to that, after you clean up the spot, that you go over it with Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) to kill any lingering scent boadcasting to a dog's hyper/super/ultra keen sense of smell that "this is a good spot to pee or poop at"

    I found marking down times my Puff peed or pooped helped me anticipate when it was likely to happen again.

    For chewwy13 -- have you tried taking an already used pee pad outside as a way of transitioning? (See the section about "Rheinie's" transition in the post I've copied and am appending below.)

    The following is a copy of a post I've often made; maybe there'll be an idea or two in it you can use:

    If it was me, I'd train my puppy to use an indoor potty tray. (Whenever I've posted this before, there's always a chorus of JL members who scream "No!" that grass is the only place to teach a pup to potty.)

    I disagree.

    What about the millions of city dwelling dog owners who live in high rises 5-10 minutes away from sidewalks and where it's illegal to use grass? Should they give up their dogs?

    I faced this problem when Puff (@ 9 weeks old) came home. I puppygated her mainly to the kitchen since it had an easily cleaned tile floor. While there was a sliding door to the back yard, it had some problems that needed fixing and was unusable. The other door was across carpeted halls and living room, out the front door. Much too long a distance to take a pooping or peeing pup.

    I bought the largest size of Purina's Second Nature Dog Litter 22"W X 28"L X 9"D and kept it in the kitchen within just a few seconds distance from Puff. I lined the bottom with layers of newspapers.

    Whenever I noticed Puff beginning to assume her peeing posture (hind quarters squatting, tail lifted) I'd whisk her to the tray (only a few feet away) and always praise her and treat her for making her deposit IN the tray.

    Likewise for her Poop posture (arched back, rear paws placed farther forward than her front paws).

    I was careful to clean up any dribbles, using Nature's Miracle or OTC 3% Hydrogren Peroxide to nullify any odors being broadcast to a dog's nose, "here's a great spot to pee or potty."

    Puff learned quickly.

    It helped that I noted on the side of the fridge the time of day she peed or pottied. I found that she'd be fairly consistent in when she went -- UNTIL she changed her old rut for a new one.

    IIRC, within 2 weeks we had a 90-95% success rate. Within 3 or 4 weeks, it was essentially complete.

    And she had not the slightest difficulty making the transition to peeing or pottying on grass.

    This may have been helped by reciting a mantra to her in her training of either "Puff, Pee-pee!" or "Puff, Potty!" whichever one she was doing. That probably also helped make the transition to outside.

    ("Puff, pee-pee!" results in almost immediate compliance. "Puff, potty" always has to be given several times with some excercise in between recitations to be effective. My supposition is that my first few recitations of "potty" are needed in order to get the peristalsic movement going to move the deposit through her intestinal tract until it's at last in firing and depositing position.

    I was motivated to teach Puff to use the tray not only because of our back door problem but also because I needed her to have a good way of getting elimination relief when she was sailing with me, say overnight, and grass was out of reach.

    Previously I helped a friend, Miriam, who lived in an apartment above the Episcopal student center at the U of Fla. solve a similar problem. She had a dachshund puppy, "Reinhie" (after Reinhold Niebuhr) that she'd trained to use paper. It was at least a 5 minute trip from her apartment to grass, over to and out her door, down the stairs, across the great hall, out the door, across the porch, down to the brick courtyard between the SC and the chapel, and then across the courtyard to either front or back grass.

    Reinhie became so used to going on paper that he wouldn't pee or poop outside. So I suggested Miriam take newspapers with her and gradually provide smaller and smaller areas. Within 7-10 days, Reinhie was peeing and pottying outside. IF I'd suggested that she use a mantra (such as "Reinhie, pee-pee" or "Reinhie, potty") it would probably have made for an even quicker and smoother transition.

    BTW, once Puff finished using her 2nd Nature potty tray, after thoroughly cleaning it and putting a bed pillow in the bottom, it serves as her often preferred bed.

    We've not yet had any long sails where a tray was needed to serve as her auxillary "head".

    I'm sorry Purina stopped making this largest size tray but there are many inexpensive large plastic trays at hardware & home improvement stores, and Wal-Marts that could be easily modified to serve the same purpose.

    I never did use Purina's 2nd Nature litter -- we found newspapers quite satisfactory and free.

    The first link below is for Purina's Second Nature system:


    The following review was written when Purina still made the larger tray which was used by the owner of a 50 lb. Lab mix:

    OOPS! Link no long works!!

    I thought the following lengthy review by a person living on the 23rd floor of a condo was very useful:

    Review of the Purina Second Nature Dog Litter Box System

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 05-19-2010 at 12:02 PM. Reason: add link

  7. #5
    Mynie_G is offline Junior Member
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    Jun 2010
    South Africa


    Hi everyone, I am at wits end here. My lab pups are 7 weeks old now, they seem to poo and pee CONSTANTLY!! The only time they dont is when they sleep!! IS IT NORMAL?? Sorry, I have now tried EVERYTHING!! They just do not to their business outside, they will play for up to 20 minutes outside without anything, the minute they get back indoors I start running after them again with my paper towels. Surely this can not be normal??

    By the way, sorry, I am new to this forum as I only bough my two puppies last week. I am also a first time dog owner. My male's name is Ozzy (ozzy osbourne) He is a yellow lab and my female's name is Lica (Metallica) she is a brown labby.

  8. #6
    ThreeTs's Avatar
    ThreeTs is offline Senior Member
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    Apr 2009


    Yes, that is normal. At 7 weeks you probably need to take them out every hour while they are awake. If they are playing a lot you will have to take them out more often. If they drink a a lot of water they will also need to go out shortly thereafter. I have a 14 week old puppy that still goes out every 15 minutes if he is loose playing in the house.

    In order to get some control over the situation, I would suggest that you get a crate for each of them. I have always used a 36 inch long by 26 inch crate, never had a little puppy have an accident in that size and it will probably fit them until they are at least 6 months old, you could get even bigger ones that will still fit when the pups are adults. The crates I use are the plastic kind used to ship dogs by airplane.

    A puppy doesn't want to soil a small area that it has to live in. First feed the puppy in its crate and play games with treats, puppy approaches crate gets a treat, then progressing to puppy goes in crate puppy gets a treat, this might only take a day. The puppy probably will not want to be confined in the crate, but as long as it is not terrified of the crate it is okay to start crating the pup, they will be noisy, ignore the noise unless you think the pup has to relieve itself, if you think that then take it out let it relieve itself, then back in the crate until it is quiet, you don't want the pup to learn that whining and barking will get it what it wants. Once they are somewhat familiar with the crate you can use it to contain them when you can't watch them like a hawk or just need a break. It is also good to place one or two indestructible toys in the crate to entertain the pup, like a kong or bone with a dab of peanut butter in it. You can also keep them busy by stuffing their kong toy with part of their dog food meal.

    A pup that young probably should stay in a crate for no more than 90 minutes at a time except at night, you do not want them ever to relieve themselves in the crate, so take them out more often if needed for them to stay clean. You are damaging their instinct to keep clean if you leave them in the crate so long that they are forced to do their business in it. As soon as pup comes out of the crate, carry it out side to relieve itself, if it doesn't it goes back in the crate for another half hour and try again, once the pup goes praise and play. If I were you I would take each pup outside separately so they focus on relieving themselves instead of distracting each other with play. After both have gone then they may play outside. In the house play also only allowed after each has gone outside successfully and every 10 minutes during the play session, if they don't at least pee outside every 10 minutes then the indoor play session is over until they do. When they get older they will go longer than 10 minutes. After an outdoor play session, don't let them loose in the house, crate them and they can sleep for a while and then go back out to relieve themselves.

    The point is not to keep the puppy in a crate all the time, use it thoughtfully to help housebreak the pup by prevent it from learning that your house is as a good a place as any to relieve itself. If you don't like crates then you could confine them to a small room, but they will probably still make messes, a room is just too big, if you use a room you should still separate the pups. If they are together all of the time they may become more oriented to other dogs than to you their owner. Each pup should spend some time alone with you playing, walking,and training.

    Exercise pens (also called xpens) set up in your house would also be a good idea because you can keep the puppies where you can see them while allowing them to be out of the crate, but they are usually too big to prevent a puppy from relieving itself in the house. My latest puppy spends a lot of time in an pen to prevent total destruction of the house.

    This is off topic, but since you are new to dogs, your pups should be on puppy food or a higher protein, higher fat adult diet. Whether it is adult or puppy food it should have a controlled level of calcium, I try to stay at or under 1.5%. Info on that can sometimes be found on manufacturer's websites even if it is not on the food bag. Large breeds can get joint problems like hip dysplasia very easily, excess calcium has been implicated as a contributing factor, along with overexercise and genetics. I don't know what brands you have there, but some companies make large breed puppy food. Regular puppy food may have more calcium in it than is good for large breeds, you need to find the actual percentage of calcium to check.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by ThreeTs; 06-04-2010 at 11:06 AM.

  9. #7
    banoel's Avatar
    banoel is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2010


    Unfortunately, that is normal for that age. My four-month-old pup is well on his way to being housetrained but still has an occasional accident. When he was your pups' age, I remember having to let him out every 15 minutes or so to 'do his business'. That's all part of it. I can't imagine what housetraining two pups would be like. (I'd never get to sit down.) Are you crate training them? They tend not to mess in their crate - but at that young age, they will still have accidents in their crate. Good luck.
    - Never trust a dog to guard your food -

    Beck's Frequent Flyer (Miles) 1/26/10
    Beck's Keepin' It Simple, JH (Simon) 4/25/07
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  10. #8
    all_about_kimber is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Jacksonville Florida


    I know how hard it is to potty train a new puppy I agree with the first post take the pee pads outside if its been peed on also if he poos on them pick up the pile and put it outside also where you want him to potty at. Also use a special word like I use potty and my choc lab knows what that word means she is now 2 yrs and and I have not had any problems with her since she was about 9 months old. I also made a real big deal when she did go outside I can just imagine what my neighbors thought when they heard me or saw me. I never used pee pads cause I think it confuses them I just kenneled trained her I made sure she only had enough room to turn around in her kennel so she would not want to use potty where she laid at. so good luck and keep at it and they wil get it.

    Amy & Kimber (choc Lab)

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