Your Newfoundland puppy is only a tiny version of what he will become in the coming months. He is highly intelligent and learns most things by association in a relatively short period of time.
When it comes to potty training, one thing you should know about your Newfie is that you should not scold him for going potty in the house, unless you see him doing it. If you do, he will simply see you as the person who yells at him. He will not understand you are trying to correct his behavior. You will have far more success with potty training when you work with your pup using positive reinforcement methods.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to teach your Newfoundland puppy that at no time is it okay for him to go potty in the house. He must learn that the only place he can go potty is in his designated area of the yard or while out for a walk. One of the most important parts of this training is to choose a command or cue word. One that everyone in your house will use to tell your pup it's time for him to go outside and go to the bathroom. Keep it simple, perhaps "Let's go potty or let's go outside." You can use anything, just stay consistent.
Like most breeds, you can start potty training your Newfie at eight to 12 weeks of age. Which works out very well, as this is the period in which your pup's brain is developing at its fastest. This makes it a great time to teach him several commands beyond going potty outside. The idea is simple and the methods easy to follow, all you must do is remain consistent, work with your pup daily, and be patient. You also need:
The most important tool of all is patience, you should never punish your dog or scold him unless you happen to catch him in the act. Be patient, keep working on the training and he will soon figure out what you are trying to teach him.
Cinder’s most prominent behavioral problem since we adopted her a month ago is peeing inside despite pur potty training efforts (we use the crate method.) She doesn’t seem to pee for the sake of relieving herself when inside, she pees in small amounts, almost as if she’s marking her territory or something. Do you have any tips on stopping this behavior?
Hello Ellie, If she is having accidents even after pottying outside during the last hour, then she might be submissive peeing or have a medical issue. Many puppies pee to show that they recognize your authority anf want to make you happy. It often happens when you are too loud, rough, intimidating, or things get really exciting, like your arrival home at the end of the day. The goal with submissive peeing is to stay calmer and ignore your puppy when you first get home until they are calmer. As they get older if you prevent them from having too many submissive peeing accidents by keeping interactions calmer and gentler most puppies grow out of it. It could also be a medical problem like a urinary tract infection, called a UTI. A UTI could cause frequent small peeing accidents even when things are very calm. A UTI can be address by your veterinarian, typically with an antibiotic. There are other things that could cause similar symptoms that your vet could look into also. If you are not taking her potty every 1.5 hours when she is outside of the crate, she probably just needs to be taken outside more frequently while she is still learning to be potty trained, when not in the crate where she will hold it for 3 hours if needed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We got Willow 2 months ago when she was 10 months old. She was in a pen outside with her 3 sisters. I think we have been consistent enough that she is potty trained. However...at night she is in a crate on the main floor and we are upstairs. We have been minimizing stairs until her joints are fully developed. She wants to go out 2-3 times at night to go pee and/or poop or get a drink. I guess we shouldn’t let her drink on these trips. It is about 5 min between pee & poo. Then at day break she starts barking because it is time to get up. We would like to stop the midnight excursions and the get up barking. She likes her crate.
Hello Barbara, It's great that he likes his crate. Take away all food and water 2 hours before bed and don't give it again until the time when you want him to wake up in the morning. At this age if you do that he should be able to hold it at least 8 hours at night. Give him three nights to adjust to no food or water (including treats - only give treats for pottying outside during the day), after three nights of taking him potty if he asks to go, ignore any crying that happens before it has been 8 hours since he last went potty. In the early morning when you take him potty, take him on a leash, don't let him play, don't give food, don't give water, and keep the trip super boring and calm. After he pees put him back in the crate and ignore any crying until it is the time you want him to learn to sleep until; at which time you can free him while he is quiet for at least a few seconds, and feed after taking him outside then. Make sure you are offering water during the day so he will drink what he needs to then - he should adjust to drinking more during the day to make up for not drinking at night after a few days, if it's being offered a few times throughout the day. Once he adjusts he is less likely to be as thirsty at night. Many puppies also think it's fun to drink water so will ask to drink for entertainment. If he is getting enough during the day and doesn't have a medical condition, he may be drinking for fun at night. Once he starts sleeping through the night better he will probably be able to make it 10 hours instead of 8, but if he wakes up after 8 hours and asks to go potty you can take him then... Just return him to the crate after and don't feed yet so his internal clock won't get used to waking up for the day at that time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We take him out about every 2 hours or sooner and he knows to pee outside. Sometimes he goes on the pee pads if we get too busy and forget. Our problem is at night. I think we may be doing it wrong. We have a large area in a room that we have put a fence around so he has his bed and a good area to move around. Also some pee pads. We take him out at night before we go to bed and he does pee on the pads at night but he also tears them up and the area is a mess and smells of using because it's all over his area and his toys etc. We really don't want to take him out at 3am because he will get in the habit of that we think. What are we doing wrong. If he would just pee on the pads and leave them we would be ok I think.
Hello Rebecca, Set up an audio baby monitor next to a crate and crate him at night. He will probably wake up to go potty once during the night. When he does, take him outside on a leash - keep it super boring, don't talk to him, let him play after, give food, or do anything else fun...Think sleepy, quiet bathroom break. After he goes potty, put him straight back in the crate and go back to bed. For the first week you will probably have a lot of crying, and I know you will be tired taking him potty at night, BUT in the long run this approach tends to be WAY easier and safer. Because of his eventual size and age you absolutely need to stop using pee pads. Dogs that will be trained to potty outside shouldn't be using paper or pee pads past 7 weeks of age of it can lead to accidents on carpets and rugs and that can be hard to unlearn for a dog - and his accidents will be huge. Check out the crate training article linked below and follow the crate training method and the tethering methods. Crating at night is a lot safer. As he gets older he will likely go through two destructive chewing phases, the next one his jaws will be stronger and he will be able to chew through things and swallow pieces - this happens between 6-9 months usually and you want a dog to be really well crate trained already by this time, and the longer you wait to do that the harder it will be. Potty training with crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below for tips on how to introduce the crate - don't let him out while he is crying or it will take much longer to teach. He needs to opportunity to learn to self-sooth in the crate unless you know he needs to go potty. Wait until he is quiet for a second before you let him out. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If you keep trips outside super boring at night and straight back to bed after, use a monitor to listen for when he wakes instead of setting an alarm and waking him up, and ignore any crying that's not a need to go potty, then most pups will outgrow nightly wake-ups in about a month as their bladders get bigger - because it doesn't become behavioral. Loss of sleep is unfortunately just part of raising a puppy and shortcuts tend to cause a lot more work later on undoing bad habits. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Got him last Wednesday had a few accidents in the house that day. Started taking him out about every 2 hours. He was in a shelter. Sunday he started peeing and Pooping in the house. Don’t know why. Any help greatly appreciated
Hello Connie, It is very likely that he has never been potty trained before and simply needs to be taught from scratch. Check out the article linked below and follow the Crate training method found there. You can also use the Tethering method when you are home to keep him from wandering away and finding a spot to go, but the crate training method normally helps teach a pup how to hold it instead of going as soon as they first feel the urge. Keep potty trips outside frequent also - like the method from the article below describes. Crate Training and Tethering methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If pup continues having accidents despite following the crate training method very closely and taking pup out frequently, then I also suggest a visit to your vet to rule or something medical like a urinary tract infection (which can be related to frequent peeing) or a gi issue such as parasites (which can lead to frequent bowel movements among other things). I am not a vet though so consult with your vet for any potential medical concerns or questions. Finally, pay attention to when the accidents happen. Are they only happening when puppy is excited, someone touches them, gets loud, or first gets home. If so, the issue may actually be excited or submissive peeing and not a traditional potty training issue - which is addressed a bit differently and also common in young puppies. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I rescued Duncan last Monday (it’s Monday now) and potty training started off great...he was kept in a situation where he had never been outside, seen light, or anything (including grass), but I think the adjustments been great. My problem is I work 12 hour night shifts with no break in an area I’m completely new to, so I’m unable to take him out while I’m at work, so I have a potty pad in his play pen that I leave him in, that has a grass pad overtop of it, that I planned to remove once he was about 6 months and old enough to hold his bladder for 12.5 hours. He does great using the grass pad inside his pen and has 0 accidents in there, but when I let him out, I take him to the bathroom every 15 minutes, almost religiously, and he still is having a few accidents a day...and they’re big bladder fulls of water...I haven’t been limiting his water much during the day because I know Newfoundland’s drink a lot, but maybe I should? He doesn’t drink or eat anything 2 about an hour or two before bed. But I’m confused why he’s having accidents during the day in the house...please help? Do I need to remove the puppy pad in his pen? Is that the problem? What can I do? SOS
Hello Bailey, I suggest following the Crate Training method from the article linked below during the day. Continue using a grass pad at night. If pup can see the pee pad, I would switch it out for something like what I have linked below instead so it's not fabric but grass he is getting used to pottying on. Crate training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Disposable real grass pad - also on amazon: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com Some puppies will drink for fun, offer pup a little water each time you let them out of the crate but don't give any in the crate to avoid drinking for fun but still ensuring hydration. Without knowing how much water pup is getting I can't say for sure if that's the issue but it may be. If pup is having accidents in the crate after doing the above with water intake and setting up the crate the way the article describes, without fabric in it or too large a size and frequent potty breaks, then the issue could be something medical like incontinence or a urinary tract infection that might lead to frequent pottying - if that's the case I highly suggest a trip to your vet. I am not a vet. Excessive thirst can also be due to a medical issue, so check with your vet about that as well before limiting water intake if it doesn't seem to be pup just having fun drinking a lot. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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