How to Train Your Rescue Dog to Pee Outside

Medium
1-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

If you’ve got a heart of gold and are looking to adopt a new dog, then you’ll be looking to get a rescue dog. Giving a dog in a rescue shelter a second chance is an extremely meaningful and rewarding experience, as you’ll be helping with the problem of overpopulation on the streets, and most importantly giving a dog a second chance that they may never have gotten without you. 

However, owning a rescue dog is certainly a challenge. Of course, every dog is an individual and some will be easier to train than others. But as rescue pups are generally not puppies and will likely have an unknown background, they may have been a street dog for a long time and as such will have likely picked up bad habits. As your four-legged friend won’t be used to toilet training, it will likely be necessary for you to teach them to pee outside.

Defining Tasks

Toilet training a rescue dog is very important for a range of reasons. Teaching him or her to pee outside is a form of obedience training and as such, if you successfully train them, they will respect you more and appreciate that they need to listen to your commands. Cleaning up pee is an unpleasant experience and if you train them to go outside you’ll save a lot of time and expense in not having to clear up after them or buy new items of furniture or clean the carpets. Urine contains a lot of harmful substances such as ammonia and it isn’t very hygienic for you or your family to be inhaling those fumes. Exposure can be detrimental to health if urine is not thoroughly cleaned and disinfected--another reason to get your pet to go outside. Also, cleaning up urine is an unpleasant experience and may result in you becoming frustrated with your pooch, without them knowing what they’ve done wrong. Therefore, training them to go outside can strengthen your bond.

This command can be quite difficult as your rescue dog is likely set in their ways, and although will hopefully only take a few days, it could take a couple weeks for them to learn.

Getting Started

To get going, you’ll definitely need a patient but determined attitude, as rescue dogs can be that bit trickier to train than a new puppy with no prior experience of the way the world works. Delicious treats as a reward for going in the correct place are important. Sort out what your pooch's favorites are, however, high-value treats such as chicken, sausage or cheese can be good, as they’re extra tasty to puppers. A crate is also a valuable tool for toilet training your pup, make sure the crate is the right size for your breed and weight of pooch. Finally, make sure you also get a hefty supply of potty training pads for your pooch, they should be readily available at your local pet store, they will ensure that the clear up is much easier for you and will help save your carpets from urine staining.

The Healthy & Happy Pup Method

Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Vet visit
First things first, be sure to take your pooch to the vet, to rule out any problems he or she may have. For example if your pupper has a urinary tract infection or kidney disease (more likely in older dogs), they’ll be much more likely to pee inside as it hurts and they can’t hold it.
Step
2
Make him at home
Going to a new home is an exciting and frightening experience for new dogs, making them more likely to have accidents initially. Make your dog at home by giving him safe spaces. Also, you could buy a pheromone diffuser, which will remind them of when they were a pup and with their mom, which is likely to calm him down a bit.
Step
3
Use a crate
A crate can be a safe space for your pup and you can put toilet pads in the crate until he stops having accidents. Pooches don’t like to eliminate in the spaces they eat and rest in so they’re less likely to go in there.
Step
4
Let him out regularly
However, he will go in his crate if he can’t hold it, so make sure you let him out regularly. How often your dog will need to pee will depend on his breed and size, also on his health status, as if he has an issue with his kidneys he'll need to go more. Make sure the amount you take your pup out meets his needs.
Step
5
Reward him when he gets it right
Make sure you give him a tasty treat and lots of praise when your pooch gets it right.
Recommend training method?

The Routine Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Be with your pooch
Take some time off from work if possible, or get a relative or a friend to be with your pooch in the first week at their new home, as you’ll want to establish a routine.
Step
2
Eight bathroom breaks per day
Taking him out more than he needs initially will ensure that your pooch's bladder is never so full that he needs to go inside.
Step
3
Time the breaks
Time the breaks so that they’re all roughly at the same time throughout the day, for example one before breakfast, after lunch, after dinner etc.
Step
4
Treats and praise
Give your pooch lots of treats and praise when he gets it right to let him know he’s been a really good boy. If you’re clicker training him, give him a click and a treat at the exact time he gets it right.
Step
5
Don't punish if you didn't see it
Don’t punish your pooch if he’s had an accident and you weren’t there to witness it. If you catch your dog in the act, give him a clap to get his attention and stop him, then take him outside so he knows this is where he’s supposed to go.
Recommend training method?

The Smell Association Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Clean up accidents ASAP
Make sure that if your pooch has an accident, you clean it up straight away with an antimicrobial disinfectant that gets rid of any remnants of the smell of urine. If any trace is left, your pooch will recognize the scent of his pee and want to go there again. Tip: stay away from ammonia-based disinfectants as these smell a bit like pee.
Step
2
Same urination station
Always take your pooch to the same spot outside, so that he knows that it becomes routine and he remembers this is where he likes to go.
Step
3
Leave soiled pads at the station
The scent of his old pee will encourage him to go in the same spot again, dogs are creatures of habit after all.
Step
4
Meet his needs
You’ll need to make sure you’re taking him out enough for his breed and size; you can’t blame him for having accidents if he’s not going out enough. Look up how much your type of pooch needs to go out and take him out double the amount to begin with to be on the safe side.
Step
5
Treat and praise away
Give your pooch lots of treats and tell him what a good boy he’s been when he gets it right. If he goes in the wrong place, try not to scare him by telling him off angrily, but disrupt his flow by making a loud noise and taking him outside to the correct place.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Phoebe
Pit bull
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Phoebe
Pit bull
5 Months

Phoebe is a rescue. We take her out very frequently limit her water intake and she still pees and poops all over the house. She also eliminates in her bed and our other dogs bed. We have tried treats, we have a crate, we take her out on a schedule and she also eats on a schedule. Running out of options! Help!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
124 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on potty training, as well as crate training just in case you decide to use a crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Question
Ives
Yorkshire Terrier
9 Years
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Question
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Ives
Yorkshire Terrier
9 Years

Hi there

I recently adopted a little girl doggie yorkie . The first three weeks we had so had one accident inside but on the last 2 weeks she is wearing everywhere I the house and tonight on our bed . I took her out just before I went bed . I take her out at regular intervals but she she comes back in the house and it’s getting a bit out of hand . Any suggestions

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
704 Dog owners recommended

Hello Justine, First, I would speak with your vet since she was doing fine before and is older, to make sure there isn't something causing incontinence. I am not a vet. I suggest going back to the basics with her for a couple of months and act as if she isn't potty trained at all to stop all accidents from happening so that she will develop a habit of holding it consistently while in the house and wanting to keep your home clean. After a couple of months if she has been completely accident free, very gradually give her more freedom - but when you start, still go outside with her at first to ensure she is going potty and not getting distracted. If you want her to go potty outside, I recommend crate training and tethering with a hands free leash to manage potty training. Crate training for at least two months to get her back on track more strictly at first. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com or k9ballistics.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take her potty less frequently. I suggest taking her potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while her bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. When you have to go off she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 5-8 hours - less at first while she is getting used to it and longer once she is accustomed to the crate. Only have her wait that long when you are not home though, take her out about every 3 hours while home. You want her to get into the habit of holder her bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever she feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you want her to use a potty inside, like pee pads, a doggie litter box or disposable real grass pads, I recommend following the Exercise Pen method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ivy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ivy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

We just adopted a 1 year old Lab Mix. She has extreme fear of everything. She will not eat or drink and will hold her pee and as soon as I lift her to take her outside, she starts to pee all over herself, the floor and me. She won't walk so I have to carry her outside and she has no interest in food, treats or toys she is just terrified of everything. I'm taking her in my back yard to try to get her to relax but mostly she is just looking for an escape or a place to hide. It's truly heartbreaking and I have no clue how to train a dog that you can't even reward for good behavior because she just isn't interested in anything but hiding - so sad!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
704 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, know that time and patience will make the biggest difference here. Try to keep interactions calm and I would keep a drag leash on her when you are home, to get her used to the leash and to make directing her less confrontational. Check out the leash article linked below and the pressure method. Wait until she is less afraid to be in the same room with you, then begin the drag method, followed by the pressure method once she is not fearful with the drag method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash You will need to give her enough time to feel comfortable enough with taking food from you - tossed gently toward her first and working up to out of your hand. That will take time. Once you get to that point, check out the article linked below and the section especially on shy dogs and humans. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-socialize-a-shy-dog/ I would work with a trainer who specializes in behavior issues like fear and anxiety, and knows a variety of methods to try, instead of only food - such as toys, obedience, training games that utilize a dog's natural instincts for rewards, and things like agility obstacles for building confidence. Right now this will take time, so I would work with a trainer over a longer period of time less often, giving pup time in between sessions to improve gradually, but having that person as a point person to know what to practice next as pup makes gradual progress. This person will likely need to be a private trainer opposed to a class instructor. Be sure to check into their reviews and references for experience with behavior issues. Many trainers are focused on obedience and you need behavior experience also for this. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ellie
Pit bull
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ellie
Pit bull
2 Years

We rescued her from a shelter, and before they got her she was chained to a tree. She’s having accidents in the house and everytime we take her out she refuses to go

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
124 Dog owners recommended

Hello! What a sweet face she has! When adult dogs have potty training issues, I always suggest starting completely over as if your dog was a puppy. I have some great potty training information I am sending you. It is geared towards puppies, but the process is exactly the same. You will want to spend a few weeks practicing the advice, and you should see a quick turnaround. Here is information on potty training, as well as crate training if you decide to use a crate to aid in the potty training process. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Duke
terrier
4 Months
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Duke
terrier
4 Months

I am fostering a 4 month old Terrier Mix. He is about 10-12lbs and very cute. I got him as he arrived in a van traveling from TN to NY. He has had a long couple of days. Day 1, yesterday he was not eating until I switched to wet food. He will not walk on a leash. I have to pick him up and bring him where we need to go. He has tried to run on the leash to go into small spaces/run away to them. I left him in the basement (finished 2 rooms) to have his own space and run around for a bit. He peed twice and pooped twice. Half on the pee pad half on the floor, poop was on the floor. He is warming up to the family by day 2. I brought him outside for about a half hour at 5am to see if he had to go. He shakes when I put him down. I held him for a bit and let him stand on his own. He never went. Throughout the day I brought him outside and he did not go. He has also not gone in the house. Its 6pm and I'm getting a little worried.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
124 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! It sounds like your hands are a little full. I will give you advice on potty training and leash walking. So this answer will be long, but full of good information. First, potty training. When potty training a puppy, it is important to understand both what you can do to help train them, as well as what they are able to do. Just as you cannot expect a 3-month-old baby to walk or use the toilet, you also cannot expect a young puppy to be housebroken. One thing to keep in mind is that dogs can typically hold their bladders for as many hours, as they are months old. So he should be able to hold his bladder 3-4 hours after his last drink of water. Also, dogs typically have to go #2 within about 20 minutes after eating food. This includes treats! Here are 5 tips on how to properly potty train your puppy: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Now onto leash walking... Leash training is essential for both dogs and their owners. Not only is it a part of good dog etiquette, but a leash-trained dog will be safer and more comfortable out for walks. Not all dogs adjust easily to leashes, however, and when a dog refuses to walk or pulls on the leash, there are several tricks that can help correct that behavior. Choose the Right Leash and Collar Before leash training can begin, it is important to have the right collar and leash. The collar should fit snugly but not tightly around the dog's neck, without chafing or pinching. Harnesses are not recommended when leash training, since a dog's pulling power is in its chest, and it will be harder to correct inappropriate behavior with a harness. The leash should be long enough to allow some slack, but not so long that the dog has free movement over a large range. Longer leashes can be introduced after training, but until the dog has learned proper leash manners, a length of 4-6 feet is best. Both the collar and leash should be in good condition without any fraying or damage that could break under unexpected pressure. The clip connecting the collar and leash should be firm and secure, and the collar and leash should be wiped clean as often as necessary so no dirt can build up that could cause irritation to the dog. Correcting Walking Problems There are many reasons why dogs may pull on a leash or resist walking. If the dog has not been leash trained before, the sight, smell and feel of the leash and collar could be frightening or make the dog nervous, which can lead to resistance or balking. A dog that has been cooped up may be overly excited to go out on the leash, which can lead to more pulling or ignoring commands. Similarly, if dogs are interested in nearby items, they may be more likely to pull, or if there is something in their sight that scares them, they may resist walking. Once you understand why a dog may have problems walking on the leash, there are several techniques that can encourage proper behavior… Familiarize the Dog If the dog is not used to the collar or leash, allow them to see and smell the gear first. Rub the leash through your fingers to transfer some of your scent along its length to help your dog adjust, and allow them to wear the collar without the leash long before going for a walk. Adjust Collar Position The upper part of a dog's neck is the most sensitive area. The collar should fit in this area, which will allow for more gentle corrections because the dog will feel the effects more quickly. If the collar is too loose or low, corrections will not be as effective. Shorten the Leash A shorter leash allows firmer control without the dog getting so far away that they are tempted by more distractions. The touch of the leash and collar is an important part of dog-owner communication, and a shorter leash keeps the owner in better control of their pet. Check the Feet If a normally well-behaved walker starts to have problems, check the dog's legs and feet for thorns, bruises, cuts or any swelling or tenderness that can indicate an injury. Visit a veterinarian to help with serious issues, or allow the dog to heal before resuming leash training. Use Verbal Commands Dogs have excellent hearing, and verbal commands can be an important part of leash training. Use an excited voice to say "Let's go!" to encourage forward movement, and use harsher, firm tones with "No!" to discourage improper behavior. Stay Still If a dog pulls, stand still and do not allow them to advance toward whatever has caught their interest. When the dog stops to look around at you, reward that pause with a friendly word or small treat. If they resume pulling, stay still until they stop again, then move in the proper direction to lead them correctly. Pick Up the Pace If a dog is easily distracted on a walk, a quicker pace can reduce unwanted behavior by giving them less time to notice new things that could lead to pulling. Dogs will also enjoy the excitement in their owners' pace, and a brisk walk is better exercise than a slow stroll. Walk More Frequently Any training is more effective if it is repeated and refreshed. More frequent walks will not only remind a dog about proper leash manners, but will be more exercise and more bonding between dog and owner. Try Treats Small treats can reward good walking behavior, though it is important to use them as a tool only, and reinforce the dog's successes verbally or with a happy pat as well. Eventually, the dog should have mastered easy, comfortable walking without a treat. For the best training, combine several techniques to continually reinforce your dog's behavior. Always be patient with your pet, and in time you both will enjoy hassle-free walks. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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