Trouble with potty training
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Thread: Trouble with potty training

  1. #1
    SisterPups is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultTrouble with potty training

    I have two yellow labs. They are sisters from the same litter and just reached one year old. We brought them home at 8 weeks old.

    In the past I have kennel trained my dogs until they can be trusted alone in the house because I work full time. I previously had two Golden Retrievers so I felt confident I could handle training the yellow pups too. However, the whole situation has been a complete disaster.

    They continue to pee and poop in the kennel during the day while I'm at work, even at one year old. When I come home and feed/water them, I give them ample play time to encourage going potty in the designated location in my backyard. I can patiently urge them to go potty and offer rewards for an hour but they refuse to go. Inevitably, we'll go inside and they'll almost immediately pee and/or poop on the carpet.

    I have been incredibly consistent with our schedule, treating, frequent visits outside with or without signals from the pups, indoor supervision, the designated "potty" location in the yard, etc... They simply will not give in. They'll have one or two good days and then have a week of bad days.

    What gives? Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Meadow is offline Senior Member
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    Oy, that would be a gigantic hassle and a half, that is not a fun situation

    Few questions....

    Do they give you any indication they have to go while in their crates and you are around? While around the house? Do they disappear to potty in the house or do they just do it in front of you?

    How long are they in their crates for during the day?

    Do they potty in the crates during the night or when you are home?

    Do they show any signs of anxiety while you are gone?

    ___

    My initial thoughts are you need to change everything up and back up to exactly what you would do with a young puppy. After a year they are fully associating crate & carpet = potty. To re-wire that you need tons of repetition and high reward for new locations, and if at ALL possible avoid all chance for accidents.

    I have dealt with some older fosters that needed house training, and seriously they were attached to my hip and we were out every 15 minutes if need be. When they went potty outside, I set a timer and out we went again in an hour or so depending on meals/etc.

    Couple ideas...Maybe walks on leashes around the neighborhood rather then the 'fun play yard' for potty in the AM (if needed walking them separate so you can focus rewarding exactly the moment one starts to go potty). Maybe use a dog walker mid day until you can get their bladder/bowel control better. Start a full force effort on it when you have a few days off work or can take half days.

    Just some thoughts

  4. #3
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    I would treat them like they are 8 weeks old. No free reign in the house at all if you can't watch them. When you can watch them interrupt hem a soon as the start to go and take them outside. The advantage is you don't have to take them out every 15 minutes because they are older, the disadvantage is they have learned your house is the bathroom and it will take a long time to break them of that habit.
    Deep Run Traveling "Takoda" (12/05/12)

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  6. #4
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Don't forget all previous indoor potty areas need to be thoroughly cleaned with Natures Miracle or a similar enzyme cleaner. You mentioned they have done this on carpet, you will most likely need to replace the carpet and padding and treat the flooring underneath. After a year of constant inside accidents I am not sure you would ever be able to remove the smell from the carpeted areas.
    Tammy
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    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  7. #5
    SisterPups is offline Junior Member
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    Currently they are in their kennel from 6:30am to about 2pm. They show no anxiety and go straight in their kennel when directed to.

    Notifying us they need to go out is tricky. The oldest pup usually goes to the door and barks. The younger pup is pick of the litter and definitely alpha. She refuses to bark unless she thinks there trouble (new noises, strange people, etc...).

    Usually when the indoor accidents happen they are right in front of us, despite watching them for signs and such. It's almost coming across like they are being defiant or stubborn on purpose! Lol!

    Overnight they sleep on the floor in our room. They have no problem making it through the night and haven't chewed a thing. We let them out twice before we leave the house for the day as we've noticed it usually takes two trips to completely finish their business.

    We usually restrict their water during the day. I wonder if that has had the reverse affect in that their bladders are not as strong as they should be?

    I also find it confusing that if they've both peed and pooped before we leave for the day, and we're only feeding them one meal a day in the evening, why are they still looping in the kennel during the day?

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I would not restrict water for dogs of that age. What are you feeding and how much? Do you leash walk or allow them free running time at all?
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  9. #7
    SisterPups is offline Junior Member
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    We do both leash walking as well as lots of free run play. I'm afraid that giving them water during the day will make the problem worse! Plus, it goes against kennel training 101.

  10. #8
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SisterPups View Post
    Notifying us they need to go out is tricky. The oldest pup usually goes to the door and barks. The younger pup is pick of the litter and definitely alpha. She refuses to bark unless she thinks there trouble (new noises, strange people, etc...)

    Not barking/signaling you in the way you want has NOTHING to do with beign alpha. not sure how not asking to go out has any relation/corrolation to being alpha. She just isn't a barker, many dogs are not. My own dog doesn't bark but he is far from alpha. If he wants something he sits and stares.

    The issue now is that you have a habit that has developped. So it probably has nothing to do with having to go, but that it's just how the routien goes - poop in crate. As others have mentionned you are going to have to go back to the beginning. Small crates that is just big enough for them to stand up and turn around and possibly even mid-day breaks to potty. You will have to go hard core for awhile to BREAK the habit.

    You may want to consider changing feeding times. Earlier or later. Maybe two meals. A chage in feeding time will help force them to change their routine (as they will have to poop at a different time). You need to create an entirely new routine. Give them lots of chance to run and play outside - movement encourages potty breaks.

    Work on training a command to pee and poop.

    take them out often. Be more vigilant at watching them in the house, you are likely missing some kind of signal. a sniff here, a way of walking. there is usually something there if one if watching. Reward when they go outside (which ties into training a word for potty as well).

    Clean accidents with odour neutralizing product.

    To help with supevision, use tethers to keep them tied to you (thus within visual range) or/and baby gates/closed doors to limit where they go.
    Last edited by Tanya; 05-01-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I completely understand monitoring water for a puppy you are house training. Most dogs the age of yours are housebroken, so restricting water is not your issue. I would do as suggested above, tethering the dogs to you or supervising at all times. Make sure all areas are completely cleaned as well. I would also start feeding twice per day, half in AM and half in PM, with a nice leisurely walk approximately one hour after eating. If there is any way to have someone come in half way through the time you are gone to let them out until you get this under control I would also try that. Perhaps others will have some other suggestions, try posting in the "odds and ends" area of the forum where there is more activity. Good luck!
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  12. #10
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    Beerfish is offline Senior Member
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    Just a quick question to be totally clear. When you say kennel training what do you mean? Are they crated separately? Do they have a fenced off in door kennel with lots of room to roam around in? What exactly is your set up? Also though it may be late in the process you should try and have them sleep in their kennel. Dogs do not like to soil their own space so if they are they are not worried about it because they have too much room to roam or they don't identify it as a space important to them (as in a place they sleep) they may feel that it's okay to go potty where they shouldn't.

    Also do you give physical and vocal cues each time they go potty out doors? with both of my dogs early on each time they went I would say go pee! or go poo! and point with a finger each time they were going to the bathroom. After a while it's a cue that you can use to get them to go when they are let outside. They go out and you give the word and hand motion and often they will actually go to the bathroom instead of smelling the grass or playing 1st of all.

    Just my two cents.
    Last edited by Beerfish; 05-01-2013 at 01:26 PM.

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