How to Potty Train a Stubborn Basset Hound

Medium
3-6 Months
General

Introduction

Basset Hounds make a great family dog. They are excellent with kids and other animals, but when it comes to potty training, they can be pretty darn stubborn. One thing is certain, you will never get anywhere with your pup if you try to use any form of negative reinforcement or punishment training method. Bassett Hounds do not respond well to it and are more likely to dig in their heels and refuse to do what is being asked of them. Another issue you have to deal with during training is that their acute sense of smell tends to distract them quite easily. 

Defining Tasks

Your mission, should you accept it, is to teach your stubborn Basset Hound that not only are you the more stubborn one, but that yes, he can learn to do his business outside. This is the important part, you need to let your pup know in no uncertain terms that you are the "Alpha" of the pack. Once you establish this relationship, training him will be a lot easier. The hardest parts of potty training your pup are cleaning up the messes from his little "accidents", and the number of times you will be taking him out every day for a long time. 

Getting Started

Since your pup is being stubborn, you should already be familiar with his signs that he needs to go potty. If not, you need to start paying more attention to your dog when he is in the house. These signs include sniffing at the floor or door, scratching at the door or maybe even your leg, or possibly squatting or lifting his leg. Beyond this, you need a few things:

  • A Leash – To take him outside to go potty
  • A Crate – For when you can't be there to watch him
  • Treats – You will need an ample supply of these

Along with all of these, you will need plenty of time and patience and a healthy supply of cleaning supplies for those accidents. Be sure you clean the floor thoroughly using an enzymatic cleaner to completely remove any odor. Traces of his scent are likely to draw your pooch back to the same spot to relieve himself.

The I Said No Method

ribbon-method-1
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Step
1
Start with a pocket full of treats
Start out filling a pocket with plenty of your pup's favorite treats. You will be using them to reward your pup for going potty outside.
Step
2
Keep a close eye on your pup
Whenever your pup is not in his crate, you should be keeping a very close eye on him.
Step
3
I said 'no'
The moment you see your pup act like he is getting ready to go potty, say "NO!" in a firm, but not angry, voice. Say "Let's go outside" and take him outside to the spot in the yard where he can go potty.
Step
4
He may not go
He may not go right away since you interrupted him. That's okay. Give him a little time to get over the interruption and when he does finally go potty, give him a treat and praise him.
Step
5
Work, work, work
Keep working with your pup on this training, adding more time between trips until your pup finally gives up and starts holding on and letting you know when he needs to go potty.
Recommend training method?

The 20-Minute Run Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Create your schedule
Sit down with a piece of paper or a white board and create a potty schedule for your pup that starts by taking him out every 20 minutes. On the schedule have one column for time, one for pee, and one for poop. This will help you track his eliminations to make sure all is well.
Step
2
Start your pup off right
Take your pup outside at the designated time. If he goes potty, praise him and give him a treat. If not, take him back inside and reset the timer. Also mark what he did if he went potty.
Step
3
Off-schedule times
There are a few times when you need to take your pup outside, no matter where you are on the schedule. These include first thing in the morning, last thing at night, after meals, after a large drink, and after playtime.
Step
4
Introduce your cue
Choose a cue phrase like "Let's go potty!" and then make sure you use the same phrase each time you go to take your pup outside. Before long you should be able to say to your pup "Let's go outside" and he will head to the door.
Step
5
Add to the time
Start extending the time between outings until he can hold himself for as long as needed and he starts coming to you and lets you know he needs to go potty. Reaching this point is going to take some time and effort, but stick to your guns and he will eventually figure it all out.
Recommend training method?

The Early Start Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Pick a spot
Choose a spot in your backyard for your pup to use as his potty. Try to choose one that your pup can easily reach and that will be easy to clean up.
Step
2
An early start
You can start training your stubborn Basset hound as soon as you bring him home. Do so by taking him to the spot to go potty before you take him in the house for the first time. Keep him on a leash the whole time.
Step
3
Body language
Bassett hounds tend to display very specific behaviors that indicate they need to go potty. Among these are; walking around in circles, scratching at the floor, and sniffing around. The moment you see any of these behaviors take him out to his "spot" to go potty.
Step
4
The cue
Create you cue, such as "go potty" and start using it every time you have to take him out. The idea is to teach your pup to associate the phrase with the action.
Step
5
By the hour
If your Basset is a puppy, he will need to go out at least once every hour at first. Set a timer to remind you to take him out. Follow your schedule religiously and when he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat. Slowly add more time between outings until your pup can hold it for longer times or starts to let you know when he needs to go.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Minnie
Basset Hound
1 Year
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Question
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Minnie
Basset Hound
1 Year

Constantly pees when she's excited or scared what should I do because she doesn't seem to understand that she cannot be potting in the house

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Terrilynn, First, is pup potty trained in general? If not, check out the article I have linked below and the crate training or tethering method. Since pup is an adult, you can add 2 hours to the times listed there. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside For the submissive peeing, check out this article: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-submissive-peeing Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Olivia
Basset Hound
7 Months
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Question
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Olivia
Basset Hound
7 Months

The dog poos in the house around 5 am in the morning. We wake up at 6 or 7 and want to train her to wait until we are up so we can take her outside to poo…. Thanks !!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cabrini, First, I would remove all food and water two hours before bed. I would also go outside with pup whenever you take them outside if you aren't already and ensure pup is pooping at least two times throughout the day and not just getting distracted. If you find that's the issue, then start going with pup every potty trip for a while, telling pup to Go Potty, and giving a treat after going potty, especially after pooping. Once pup's body gets back on a good schedule and pup is pooping more easily during the day, that may help pup not have to poop so urgently in the early morning. If pup is waking and pooping before you are awake, I highly recommend crate training pup and having pup sleep in the crate at night for at least a few months to remove the extra unsupervised freedom facilitating accidents. If pup wakes and ask to go potty while in the crate, take pup outside to go potty, but don't give a treat at that time, don't play or give a lot of attention, and don't feed after yet. Instead, keep the potty trip super boring, then return pup to the crate until its the time you want pup to learn to sleep until, even if pup barks. You want pup to learn to just go back to sleep at that early morning wake up time and sleep until the time when the rest of the house wakes up, without the extra freedom or motivation to be up earlier. If pup isn't already used to a crate, you can work on the following to crate train, starting with daytime first. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice for a few days until she is doing well during the day. You can either continue what you are currently doing at night during this process or go ahead and jump into what I explain below for night time training - waiting until the day is good before starting the night or starting the night and day both at the same time. When she cries at night (in the crate - where she needs to be sleeping for now) before it has been 7 hours (so you know it shouldn't be a potty issue if healthy), tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. If pup has an accident in the crate before 7 hours, I would visit your vet to see if there is something medical going on. When you set up the crate, make sure it doesn't have anything absorbent in it, even a soft bed. Use something non-absorbent like www.primopads.com or k9ballistics crate mats. Also, make sure the crate is only big enough for pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down while dealing with potty training issues. Too big and pup won't be motivated to hold it in the crate. You don't want pup to be able to go potty in one end then stand in the opposite end to avoid the accident because the crate is so big. You want to utilize pup's natural desire to keep a confined space clean. Depending on how early pup is being put to bed, pup might need an early morning potty trip still for a couple weeks until just a little older, if pup is going longer than 8 hours without a potty trip at night currently. I would still put pup back to sleep after so pup learns to settle and not wake up too soon for any reason other than the potty need, which will also help pup start sleeping through the night in the next month generally, with just a couple more weeks of physical growth. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dozer
Basset Hound
5 Months
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Question
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Dozer
Basset Hound
5 Months

His brother has responded very well to house training. However Dozer just isn’t catching on, he goes potty when I take him out but also goes inside frequently even if he just went outside. I’ve scrubbed and deep cleaned to make sure there is no urine smell inside the house. But this doesn’t seem to be helping.

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

Hello! Here is detailed information on potty training, as well as crate training if 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
Duke
Basset Hound x lab
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Duke
Basset Hound x lab
3 Years

We are having extreme trouble getting him potty trained and it's most definitely causing some stress in the home. Please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Camerina, 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 if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he 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 small 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 him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if he has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. You want him to get into the habit of holder his bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever he 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 he is not already used to a crate, expect crying at first. When he cries and you know he doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give him a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If he continues protesting for long periods of time past 3-5 days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If he disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at his side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If he stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bessie
Basset Hound
15 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Bessie
Basset Hound
15 Months

Hi. Im dog sitting a friend of mine's basset hound Bessie. I didnt know she is not potty trained - she just pees and poops inside. She is a year and a half 'puppy'. In 2 days i managed to get her pee outside - as apparently he told me that she doesnt pee or poop outside during walks! Today, i've been up since 5:30am taking her out on short walks in the same street so she does her business - and been doing so all the time she goes near the door to be let out - as she lives in a penthouse and therefore just does it there. After taking her on her maybe 20th short walk (and its still noon), as soon as we came inside she pooped inside, still with the lead on! PLEASE HELP! i really dont know what to do.. what should i do when that happens? I took a piece of poop out with me on the pavement yesterday, made her smell it to maybe show her that that is the place it should be - but yeah, i dont think it worked.. well clearly it didnt.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Andrea, Is she crate trained? If not, is her owner willing for you to crate train her? In this situation you would usually crate pup as soon as you bring her back inside if she didn't go potty, then take her back outside in an hour, and repeat that until pup finally goes potty outside. Basically pup earns freedom by eliminating outside, and the crate is used to motivate pup to hold it while inside. 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 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 small 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 their 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) or 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 5-7 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 she is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. I would share all of this information with the dog's owner, to make sure they are okay with you doing the above training. I hope they are. You would be helping them out a lot and this would be something they could continue when they return to help her become fully potty trained for them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thanks so much. Fortunately she is crate trained so i guess thats a plus. I need to set a time then instead of going out everytime she goes near the door.. as ive realised shes enjoying the short walks and still not peeing! Thanks somuch! I will be trying this for sur e!

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