One of the many good things about training your American Eskimo is that he is a very intelligent dog who learns very quickly. Potty training him is less about struggle than it is about time. You may need to wait until he is at least 10 to 12 weeks of age or you will be wasting your time. Prior to this, you may need to lay papers down and be vigilant about cleaning up any accidents he has. This may be the most important part of the training process as leaving a "smelly" spot on your floors will lead him to believe it’s a perfectly good place to go potty.
The most important thing to remember is that your pup only knows one thing, he needs to find a spot to go potty and when he finds it, he is going to go. In the wild, dogs have no concept of not being able to go potty anywhere they want. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to train your pup that the only place he can go potty is outside.
Eskies do not respond well to being chastised or punished. The fastest way to successful potty training is not through punishing your pup for his indiscretions, it is through positive reinforcement and rewards. Your pup will not only respond better to this type of training, but will learn much faster. You will need a few things to help you along the way.
While these supplies are necessary, you also need to make sure you have plenty of time to work with your pup and the patience to see the training to a successful end.
Hi! Axle was potty trained for a few months and then we moved, I figured he would have a few accidents in the house and it would be normal, he eventually was doing really well not having any incidents in the house. Recently he has been peeing again in the house and last night he pooped. I don’t know what has changed, he goes outside and is out side for about fifteen minutes when let out and goes for about half hour walks every week. If you can help me figure out a cause or maybe some tips to help retrain him it would be very helpful!
Hello Kaitlyn, First, when you let him outside, he likely needs you to go out with him and keep him focused. There is a good chance that he is simply playing when you let him out and is distracted by something in your yard like a mole, neighbor's dog, or digging. Take him outside to go potty on a leash, walk him over to where you would like him to go or he tends to go, tell him to "Go Potty", and then give him one or more treats when he goes. If he gets distracted, keep him slowly moving around so that he will sniff and find a spot. Do this for about a month, then if he is going quickly when you take him potty and tell him to "Go Potty", start sending him off-leash into the yard from somewhere that you can see him from and he can hear you, like your porch. Tell him to "Go Potty" when you let him out and watch him to make sure that he does so. As soon as he goes, praise him loudly enough for him to hear you from where he is, and when he comes back over to you, give him a treat for going potty. If he never comes back over, then go to him to give him the treat. He should start coming over to you if he realizes that you always have one typically. Doing all of this should motivate him to go potty when you tell him to, even when you are not present. After he gets his treat, you can either let him back inside or let him stay outside to play in the fenced-in yard for a bit, whichever he wants and is convenient. You want him to get into the habit of peeing before he plays or goes for a walk though. If you think he needs to poop also and he has not yet, then remind him to "Go Potty" again and wait for him to do that also, then give him a second treat when he does. Most dogs need extra encouragement to remember to poop when they are outside. I suspect distraction is the main issue, but there also might be pet smells inside that are causing confusion. Make sure that you clean up all of his accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes, to break down the poop and pee at a molecular level, which will fully remove the smell for even his sensitive nose. Other sprays do not remove the smell well enough for a dog not to smell it still. Also, avoid cleaners that contain ammonia, because Ammonia smells like urine to a dog. If the house smells like pee or poop from his own or other animals' accidents, then that can lead to potty accidents. If you know that the previous owners had pets, then I suggest renting a carpet cleaner and cleaning the carpet with a carpet safe cleaner that contains enzymes, like Nature's Miracle and similar brands. Look on the cleaner bottle for the word enzyme. Clean any rugs or carpets that may have had pee or poop on them before. If you have hardwoods or tile, then mop the floor with an enzymatic odor removing cleaner also. Third, if Axle is peeing more often than every four hours, take him to your vet to check for a urinary tract infection or similar issue. Finally, go back to the basics for a while. Crate him at night and whenever you cannot watch him, and when you are home, clip him to yourself with a six or eight-foot leash, so that he cannot sneak off to pee. Take him out every three to four hours if he is not in the crate. Since you will already be going outside with him to take him potty on leash, teaching him the "Go Potty" command, and rewarding him with treats when he pees or poops, then the extra supervision to prevent accidents should help to ensure that he has lots of opportunities to be rewarding for peeing in the right spot while he gets used to the new location, and does not create a long-term bad habit of soiling the new home. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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