If there is one thing French Bulldog owners can tell you about this popular breed, it is that these cute pups are highly intelligent, but can be a mixed bag when it comes to training them. The biggest problem most owners seem to have with potty training a Frenchie is that they don't seem to be in much of a hurry. You can expect to go the full 6 months or close to it before your pup can say he is fully potty trained and even then, you may still have a few accidents past the six-month point.
The task at hand is a simple as it gets, or at least it should be. Your job is to replace your pup's mom who would teach him to go potty outside the den and teach him to go potty in a specific area of the yard. While your Frenchie may be a bit on the stubborn side, as long as you are both patient and consistent when working together, he can figure this out. Repetition builds a routine that leads to the final result of your pup no longer leaving you those lovely little surprises.
You can begin training your pup as soon as you bring him home. Start by taking him from the car to the spot you have picked out for him in your yard. When he pees or poops, praise him and give him a treat. Beyond this, you need to be able to recognize your pup's signs that he is getting ready to pee or poop. These may include circling, sniffing around one spot, scratching at the floor or door, or whining. You will find a few supplies like these can come in handy.
With this, you need plenty of time working with your pup as often as you can. The more you work with him, the faster he will figure it out. Be patient with your pup and he will eventually get this down.
We purchased a French bulldog from a pet store one week ago. She had an illness and a kennel cough that caused the Petland Vet to keep her in the back away from selling her. She had to get cleared which was at about 3 months but they realized her cough hadn’t gone away. She was under medication and then cleared to be sold at about 5 months and 2 weeks of age. With her being at petland for 5 months, we feel she has gotten used to pottying in her kennel. Now we are trying to crate train her and she pees and poops in there. She gives us no signs of wanting to go outside.
When we do catch her, she doesn’t want to potty. Every little noise outside she focuses on. The air, car noise, dogs barking, wind chimes... anything! She will not focus on sniffing around at all. We took her outside after her being in her kennel for 2 hours and drinking lots of water. We waited 45 minutes and nothing. We put her back in her kennel and in 2 minutes she pees on her blanket! What do we do?? :(
Hello Cindy, This is a very common problem for Petstore puppies and some shelter dogs. To start, you will need to use the "Tethering" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, when you do need to leave the house, because you cannot crate her, you will need to set up an indoor toilet area. This can be done by setting up an exercise pen somewhere that she will not be allowed to go as an adult, like an unused basement bathroom, laundry room, heated garage, or a room with hardwoods that is normally closed off. Purchase a piece of grass sod or several disposable REAL grass pads and cover the ground of the exercise pen with the grass. You will want to put something waterproof like plastic storage bin lids underneath the pieces of grass. You can leave a small area uncovered with grass to give her one spot that's not toilet-ish if you wish, but knowing her history, she might choose that one spot to pee on - in which case you will need to cover it too. Whenever you cannot watch her, put her in the exercise pen with a food-stuffed chew toy to keep her busy. When you are home, keep her attached to yourself with the leash and follow the "Tethering" method from the article that I have linked above. Getting her used to the grass in the exercise pen should help her learn to pee on grass. Supervising her closely while she is on the leash should keep her from wandering off to pee and help you catch her when she starts sniffing or circling, and give you more opportunities to take her outside to go potty and reward her if she does go. If you don't see progress doing that, then you will have to do a modified version of crate training - using the grass exercise pen like a crate and follow the "Crate Training" method from the same article that I have linked above. Whenever the method says to put her into a crate, put her into the exercise pen instead. If she never gets used to peeing outside, but learns to only pee on the grass, then you can gradually move the exercise pen grass outside and take her to the grass outside to pee instead being inside. Real grass pad link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=psdc_3024225011_t3_B00761ZXQW Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Hi did you get your French house trained ?
I have a 3 year old Frenchie that does the same thing. I have tried various methods and nothing has worked.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Hi I was just wondering if you know anything I can do to help Bella do the toilet outside she only poo out side one time and she pee a couple of time but now she will not do the toilet out side out Shen will actually run home then do it I. The house not even on her pads just on my floor
Hello Stephanie, Check out the "Crate Training" method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside She needs to be in the crate unless you has gone potty outside recently, so that her only option is to go potty outside. When she does go potty outside, give her five small treats, like freeze dried liver, one treat at a time, every time she goes potty outside to help her learn to want to go potty outside every time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello. Our 5 months french bulldog denies to do toilet outside the house. We tried do to the Crate Training but he was preferring dirty the crate than do anything outside. Most times in the house he uses the diaper. How can we convince him to do his toilet outside the house? The difficult is that we are living in an apartment. Thanks!
Hello Andria, Does he seem nervous outside? Distracted? If he is afraid, then he is likely holding it while out there because going potty puts him in a vulnerable position. If that's the case, I suggest spending time outside with him simply hanging out and helping him overcome fears. Spend regular time outside rewarding him for doing tricks and obedience commands he knows, playing games he likes, hanging out with people or other dogs he likes, and simply relaxing outside. Bring a book and expect to stay outside for a long time when you do this. Practice this often. He needs time to get familiar with the outside world and do it gradually. The goal is to make outside pleasant and peaceful for him so that the strange novelty of it wears off and he becomes familiar enough with it to be comfortable enough to go potty. If he is too distracted and excited to go potty, then work on calming obedience commands outside. Work on commands like "Watch Me", Sit, Down, Stay, and Heel. Be patient since he is young. You are trying to build his focus and self-control but that will be a process. Finally, having addressed his fear or over-excitement also take an entire day to stay outside if weather allows it. The goal here is to stay outside long enough that he has to go potty so bad that he has no choice but to go potty there. Whenever he goes potty outside, give him ten small treats, one treat at a time, and praise him, to help him connect going potty outside with good things. Stay outside as long as you can that day (bring food and water, shade, and stuff to do like books). You want to have the chance to reward him as many times as you can. If you have two days off in a row, then do this two days back to back. Crate him at night without anything absorbent in the crate - including a bed or towel. If you need to give him a bed, check out www.primopads.com Also, make sure his crate is only big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down, and not big enough that he can go potty in one end and stand in the other end away from the accident - a crate that is too big won't encourage him to hold it. Once he has gone potty successfully outside, use the Tethering method from the article linked below for potty training. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I can’t potty train this dog to SAVE MY LIFE. I’ve tried the treat method I’ve tried crating him (he just pees in his crate no matter how small I make it) I’ve tried the bell method I’ve tried puppy pads (now he just relieves himself on anything that slightly resembles a pee pad) he has an accident in the house DAILY It seems like he won’t hold his pee in the house and he runs away to poop so I don’t know when he’s doing it. I fear that the problem lies with the construction of our our downstairs. The whole place is in shambles and he can’t or won’t go down stairs to be by the door that would lead him outside. I don’t know what to do.
Hello Nicole, The first step is stopping the accidents - which I know you are trying so hard to do. I suggest using the Tethering method from the article linked below for this. It will keep him from sneaking away from you. Take him out frequently (give treats if he goes potty outside), and also watch carefully for signs that he needs to go potty. Take him before he has a chance to go, but if he starts to squat before you realize he needed to go, then clap loudly a couple of times to interrupt him (don't sound angry or punish him - but simply surprise him enough to interrupt him), then rush him outside (he will already be on the leash). Tethering method (leash): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes to clean where he has had accidents - you may even want to rent a carpet cleaner and use an enzymatic based cleaner to clean carpet if he soiled all over it. You need to remove as much of the pee and poop smell in your house as possible because the remaining smell will simply encourage him to go potty in those spots again - dog's noses are more sensitive than ours. Enzymes break down pee and poop to the point where a dog cannot still smell it. Other cleaners leave scent behind that many dogs can still smell. When you have to leave, confine him in a room he normally cannot access in an exercise pen covered with real grass pads (you want real grass so he doesn't confuse it with carpet even more) - he will learn to pee in this room by doing this so make sure it is an area where he will not be allowed later when you no longer need the pads. Real grass pads: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI/ref=asc_df_B005G7S6UI/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309763115430&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4628430177348674255&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-568582223506&psc=1 Real grass pads: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K3WS97D/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?psc=1 You can try having him wear a male belly band (like a dog diaper) in addition to doing the tethering. The feeling of it will encourage some dogs to hold their pee as long as they are not forced to go potty in it because they are not taken outside frequently enough - if they do pee in it they get used to going in it and that doesn't work anymore. Based on what you have told me he may have no issues peeing it in, but it may be worth a try to speed up the process if it does help. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello! Rosie has all the potential in the world to be a great dog in the house. My problem is not that she won't go potty outside, is that she still also wants to potty inside instead of telling me she needs to potty so I can take her out. For instance, in the morning we'll wake up and go straight outside. She'll pee and poop (have to be careful here because the poo is usually in thirds) and then we'll go inside and have breakfast. Without fail 80% of the time she will poo AGAIN 15-30 minutes after breakfast inside on one of the potty pads. She won't do it if I confine her to the bed, but I think that's unfair to her, since she should get a chance to play before I have to leave her when I go to work.
She is taken out twice a day while I'm at the office, and to my knowledge will just go when she needs to go versus waiting to be taken outside. I know she can hold it, because she does it whenever she's sleeping and will sleep through the night without any issues. Any advice?
Hello Lindsey, The issue is your potty training method not her I believe. Most puppies will need to poop within 15-30 minutes of eating even if they just went potty before being fed. This is normal and you need to plan to always take her potty 15-30 minutes after feeding her even if that means waking up a bit earlier and starting your routine earlier, so that you can take her potty a second time. My own dog did this as well as a puppy. If she doesn't go potty when you take her after eating, then you need to crate her for 15 minutes, then try again - even if that means no play time. The accidents need to be prevented. As far as going potty while you are gone, it sounds like she hasn't really been fully potty trained yet. Taking her potty outside is only half the battle, a puppy also has to learn to want to keep inside clean. That happens by preventing accidents inside from happening - after keeping inside clean for a certain amount of time (months), a puppy begins to associate that area with their natural desire to keep a confined space clean and they stop pottying inside because of that cleanliness desire, and they potty outside instead because they are rewarded for going potty there. Since you are gone during the day and cannot prevent all accidents while away if she is free, she needs to be crate trained and crated between dog walker visits. A crate utilizes a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean so most dogs will naturally hold their bladder in a confined space such as a crate. This allows you to prevent accidents, and after several months of very few accidents she should start to associate the rest of the house with cleanliness too, but this will only happen if the accidents stop. I suggest removing pee pads for this reason. I don't recommend using pee pads for dogs that are learning to go potty outside. A pee pad resembles carpets and rugs so many dogs confuse them with other fabric and once the pee pads are removed, the dogs go potty on carpet instead. For the same reason, do not put anything absorbent in the crate with her. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for the crate. The crate should also be the right size - big enough for her to turn around, lie down, and stand up, but not so big that she can pee on one end and stand in the other end to avoid it. If you buy a larger crate, many wire crates come with a divider that you can use to temporarily make the crate small enough until she grows into it or is potty trained. Check out the article linked below and follow the Crate Training method and have dog walkers follow it too. Since she is older she should be able to hold her bladder for up to 5 hours in the crate and will probably have a bit less free time after pottying than the method mentions before being put back in the crate since you are not home with her - which is fine. When you are home, you can take her out more often though. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My boss' dog is having trouble with holding it overnight. My boss now wants to keep him outside in a dog house. I read this is bad for the breed can you explain why so I can share the knowledge with him?
Hello Natalie, French Bulldogs have a hard time regulating temperature because of how short their noses are. If you live in a hot or a cold climate currently, then he will be more prone to overheating or being cold. When a dog's nose is long, the air passes through it like a climate controlled passageway and the air is cooled or warmed by the dog's body to the appropriate temperature before it reaches his lungs. Short nosed breeds have a harder time doing this. If your boss lives somewhere that is in the 60s and 70s at night, then his dog should be fine sleeping outside at night. Also, many breeds need close human interaction, so being kept outside, away from humans during the day deprives them of human interaction. Being outside just during sleeping times should not be an issue though, as long as he is receives human interaction during the day. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
My Frenchie is now a year old, so far she has been untrainable for going outside to do her business. She doesn’t hold it overnight, she is distracted when she goes out, and it’s a hit or miss if she is going to go, or just get distracted and do nothing which is usually the case. She is using her crate as her bathroom! Very frustrated, and feel defeated.
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Help Please !
My french bulldog puppy is struggling with potty training, she wont poo outside, only sometimes on our balcony which i reward her for but she keeps pooing on the rugs. i spend hour at a time outside with her, play, toys etc. she may on also wee outside after 30-45mins of walking around and sniffing. mostly she will hold it until we are home. she will also wee or poo when i leave even to have a shower. at night she will sleep in her crate and cry if she needs to go out but most of the time holds it all night! we have tried potty pads, i reward her with praise and food when she goes outside. ive tried the bell also. any advise would be appreciated
what am i doing wrong?
Hello Turner, First, remove any pee pads - they teach her to go potty inside in general which it sounds like you don't really want. Second, use the crate training method from the article linked below - using this method she is only free while her bladder is empty so she won't have opportunities to potty places other than outside. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Don't put anything abosorbent in the crate and make sure it is the right size, just big enough to lie down, turn around, and stand up and not so big she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid the accident - too big or absorbent and may not work. www.primopads.com has good non-absorbent pads for bedding in the crate if she needs something more comfortable than the ground. Third, teach a "Go Potty" command from the article linked above and reward with treats every time she potties outside so that the pottying outside becomes more frequent - which should start happening when you crate train during the day too. Fourth, use a potty encouraging spray, like "Go Here" or "Hurry!" on areas where you take her potty right before you take her so that the smell will encourage her to go potty there. Fifth, when you take her potty, take her on a leash and walk her around slowly - the leash will help her stay focused on pottying and the movement will help get things going. Finally, spend time simply hanging outside doing fun or relaxing things with her, reward her with a treat when she comes across something new and reacts without fear or aggression, or when she comes across something new and hasn't decided how to react yet - respond with confidence, happiness, and enthusiasm to help her see that the new thing isn't scary - refusing to potty outside may be due to distractions or nervousness, or simply a preference for going potty inside. Doing all of the above mentioned things and especially the crate training method should help with all three of those things. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I’m having an extremely hard time trying to potty train my dog, he goes poop outside just fine but when it comes to going pee, it can be a hassle. He will go bathroom outside but once we bring him inside he always, and I mean ALWAYS, goes bathroom inside the house about three to four times a day. I do live with my parents and we also have another dog as well, he’s a Boston terrier and he was so much easier to potty train than Petey. I just don’t know what to do at this point, we have tried the crate method but he just pees in there anyway, and he does try to let us know he needs to go bathroom and we do let him out and praise him when he goes bathroom outside. However, he still pees frequently inside our house. I am in desperate need of help because my dad is on the verge of giving him away. I love this dog to death, is there anything I can do?
Hello Jazmin, Check out the Tethering method from the article linked below. Also, when you tried the Crate training method did you put anything absorbent in the crate? What size was the crate. For crate training to work the crate needs to be only big enough for pup to stand up, turn around and lie down - if pup can potty on one end and stand in the other end to avoid it, it won't encourage pup to hold it while in there. Also, there cannot be anything absorbent in the crate, like a bed or towel or pup will just pee on that also. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Pup will need to be taken outside to go potty every 1-2 hours using the tethering method during the day. If puppy is peeing more than every 1.5 hours I would have your vet check him for a urinary tract infection or other possible medical cause that would effect his ability to hold it. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean up any accidents because only enzymes will fully remove the smell and any remaining smell will encourage him to just go potty inside in that spot again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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hi, i got my puppy used to pooping and peeing in the balcony cuz it is really hot in the morning and afternoon in delhi. so i only take him out in the evening after his food. he will just keep sniffing for what seems like hours but will not poop or pee AT ALL. also there’s no fixed time of when will he actually do it. i’m getting a little frustrated cuz i’ve literally tried everything from google. i’ve tried keeping his poop out where i expect him to go. but he’ll sniff once and won’t even go near it again. please help!!
Hello Pratriki, First, check out the crate training method from the article linked below. Work on teaching the Go Potty command from that method - rewarding with treats when pup goes. Pay attention to the tips on keeping pup moving around slowly, and what to do when pup doesn't go potty - return to the crate and try again later (at this age I would try again after 45-60 minutes of crating. Crate training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If pup does fine pottying outside but just struggles on the balcony, the issue might be size of the enclosure. If the space is too confined, pup will likely want to hold it because of the instinct to keep a confined space clean. This mostly just applies if the pad or pen is small - the entire size of the balcony itself is likely large enough. If it is not at least five times as big as pup, I suggest increasing the size by adding another pad or expanding the pen on the balcony. If you are using a pee pad on the balcony but pup is going potty on something like grass in the yard, try switching to a disposable real grass pad on the balcony too. real grass pad brands - on amazon often too: www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I know that puppies shouldn't go outslide until after their last set of shots (16 weeks), however how does this pertain to potty training? I live in NYC and am wondering if it is okay to take him outside to go to the bathroom or if i should be waiting until after the 16 week mark?
Thank you for the question. Your vet can answer this question best. I would call the vet who has been taking care of Napoleon so far and ask them what to do. The answer will be based on what vaccines have been done thus far. If you are worried about the transition, you can train your pup with a little box that is made with real grass. Then, when it is time to go outside, the sensation of peeing on grass will already be there. I do think that a puppy needs fresh air and going out for potty breaks would be beneficial but it's best to check with the vet. All the best to you and Napoleon!
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We have a 6months old frenchie girl that stays in the bathroom while we are out for work. She has a bed in one corner and her water, and has a potty pad in another corner.if we are at home she is free in the house and knows where to potty-goes to bathroom to her pad.
As she is 6 months old now we started to fed her twice a day and want to train her to potty outside.(We live in an apartment at 12th floor) But we dont know how to do this during the day time. In the mornings and evenings after meals it is easy and understandable but what about the times that she stays in the bathroom and wait for us to come home as she always can reach water and get used to potty in her pad?or how about the other times as she is free in the house.if we throw away her pad i am sure she will pee to the ground where there was pad before. I am realy confused about what to do?
I thought her carrying bag for using as a kennel/crate but i dont think she will stay in it with the door closed for long hours(not more than 4 hours) as she always starts whining in it if we are out if her sight. I need your suggestions, thanks
Hello, you are right - this may be tricky. I think the best thing to do is crate train Sutlac. She should adapt, as she is used to being in a confined space. Take the Crate Training Method from here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. It gives excellent advice. To get Sutlac to like the crate before you start the potty training, follow these tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. All methods are good but the Surprise Method may work the best for your dog. Be patient, be consistent and remember, she'll get it eventually! All the best.
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I will be getting Bomba at 9 weeks old, the last week of August. She was the only pup to survive litter as the mother attacked them at 2 days:( she has been human fed but has been around another litter from the breeder. I did dog obedience training when I was so young and want to start her out right to learn to potty train, leash train, address any nipping or growling, and ensure that with me being home she doesn’t become too clingy and can adapt when I do need to go out for short periods of time.
Hello! I am going to provide you with information regarding all of your concerns. So this is going to be a long response. POTTY TRAINING House-training your dog or puppy requires patience, commitment and lots of consistency. Accidents are part of the process, but if you follow these basic house-training guidelines, you can get the newest member of your family on the right track in a few weeks’ time. Establish a routine Like babies, puppies do best on a regular schedule. The schedule teaches them that there are times to eat, times to play and times to do their business. Generally speaking, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. So if your puppy is two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Don't go longer than this between bathroom breaks or they’re guaranteed to have an accident. Take your puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—and immediately after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking. Pick a bathroom spot outside, and always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot. While your puppy is relieving themselves, use a specific word or phrase that you can eventually use before they go to remind them what to do. Take them out for a longer walk or some playtime only after they have eliminated. As your puppy gets better at going outside, the same method can be applied to the potty pads. Reward your puppy every time they eliminate outdoors. Praise or give treats—but remember to do so immediately after they’ve finished, not after they come back inside. This step is vital, because rewarding your dog for going outdoors is the only way to teach what's expected of them. Before rewarding, be sure they’re finished. Puppies are easily distracted and if you praise too soon, they may forget to finish until they’re back in the house. Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule. What goes into a puppy on a schedule comes out of a puppy on a schedule. Depending on their age, puppies usually need to be fed three or four times a day. Feeding your puppy at the same times each day will make it more likely that they'll eliminate at consistent times as well, making housetraining easier for both of you. Pick up your puppy's water dish about two and a half hours before bedtime to reduce the likelihood that they'll need to relieve themselves during the night. Most puppies can sleep for approximately seven hours without needing a bathroom break. If your puppy does wake you up in the night, don't make a big deal of it; otherwise they will think it is time to play and won't want to go back to sleep. Turn on as few lights as possible, don't talk to or play with your puppy, take them out and then return them to bed. Supervise your puppy Don't give your puppy an opportunity to soil in the house; keep an eye on them whenever they’re indoors. Tether your puppy to you or a nearby piece of furniture with a six-foot leash if you are not actively training or playing. Watch for signs that your puppy needs to go out. Some signs are obvious, such as barking or scratching at the door, squatting, restlessness, sniffing around or circling. When you see these signs, immediately grab the leash and take them outside to their bathroom spot. If they eliminate, praise them and reward with a treat. Keep your puppy on leash in the yard. During the housetraining process, your yard should be treated like any other room in your house. Give your puppy some freedom in the house and yard only after they become reliably housetrained. When you can't supervise, confine When you're unable to watch your puppy at all times, restrict them to an area small enough that they won't want to eliminate there. The space should be just big enough to comfortably stand, lie down and turn around. You can use a portion of a bathroom or laundry room blocked off with baby gates. Or you may want to crate train your puppy. (Be sure to learn how to use a crate humanely as a method of confinement.) If your puppy has spent several hours in confinement, you'll need to take them directly to their bathroom spot as soon as you return. Mistakes happen Expect your puppy to have a few accidents in the house—it's a normal part of housetraining. Here's what to do when that happens: Interrupt your puppy when you catch them in the act. Make a startling noise (be careful not to scare them) or say "OUTSIDE!" and immediately take them to their bathroom spot. Praise your pup and give a treat if they finish there. Don't punish your puppy for eliminating in the house. If you find a soiled area, it's too late to administer a correction. Just clean it up. Rubbing your puppy's nose in it, taking them to the spot and scolding them or any other punishment will only make them afraid of you or afraid to eliminate in your presence. Punishment will often do more harm than good. Clean the soiled area thoroughly. Puppies are highly motivated to continue soiling in areas that smell like urine or feces. It's extremely important that you use these supervision and confinement procedures to minimize the number of accidents. If you allow your puppy to eliminate frequently in the house, they'll get confused about where they’re supposed to go, which will prolong the housetraining process. NIPPING Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. LEASH TRAINING Get him used to a collar and leash: Let your pup get used to a collar and leash before attempting to walk him. Let him drag the leash around the house attached to his collar. You want him to be comfortable with the leash, not afraid of it. Have short training sessions in familiar places: Your puppy has a short attention span, so don't expect to keep his interest in training for long. Start with just a walk around the house or the backyard— a place where he is already familiar with the smells. That way he won't be as inclined to break off in a dozen directions to smell exciting new odors. Praise good behavior: When your dog is walking alongside you on a loose leash — also called "heeling" — heap on the praise and reward him with the occasional treat. Never pull your dog along. If he resists leaving a spot, pulling on the lead can potentially injure him (or you if you're walking a bigger dog). Instead, focus on rewarding him for coming when you call him to keep walking along. If he is particularly persistent, you might have to intervene and redirect his attention back to the walk and away from the thing with all the smells. Keep a short leash: While this is often seen as a negative to humans, keeping your dog on a short leash is integral to leash training success. The less room your dog has to stray away from your side, the easier it is for him to learn to walk next to you. As he starts to get the hang of things you can let out the lead a little bit, either with a retractable leash or by giving some slack from your hands. Keep him at your side: Similar to a short leash, walking with your dog at your side instead of in front of you allows you to control his direction. When dogs are allowed to walk out in front or behind, they tend to wander off and smell everything. This will also help prevent the leash from becoming tangled underneath him. Again, you can start to be more lenient with him as he becomes more trained, but it's best to keep him close while still a puppy. Remember dogs are pack animals. If he sees you as the pack leader, he will eventually fall in line and become the perfect walking partner. Give him time to do his business: For many dogs, a nice long walk is a chance for him to relieve himself. However, dogs naturally like to mark their territory, so they may want to sniff around to find the perfect spot. If you notice that your dog needs to relieve himself, you can stop walking and give him more leash to explore and do his business. Once he is done, be sure to reward him with praise or treats (after all, you're likely going through potty training at this time too). One thing to keep in mind is that dogs do not always evacuate their bladder at once, so some dogs may look for multiple spots to urinate. It is vital that you reward him only the first time, otherwise he will start to understand positive associations with marking multiple times. This makes for a much more difficult walk. When he understands he only gets the one opportunity to relieve himself, he will start to walk better. Find a pace: Dogs are naturally curious so dogs tend to want to rush to certain spots on your walk, or linger in their favorite spots. It's important to pick a pace that is comfortable for both of you. You never want him to pull or lag behind as this is where injuries can occur. If you notice your dog struggling to keep a certain pace, stop and wait for him to come back to you and then reestablish the comfortable pace. As far as instilling independence in your dog, the best way to do that is establishing a routine. That will help with overall training, but it will also provide your dog with security. This routine should include meal times, training times, exercise time, and games. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!
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We live in an apartment with our 6 month old frenchie. We bought one of those grass potty trays and she learned quite quickly to potty there. But once every 2 or 3 days, we find poop somewhere in the house. Generally in the living room rug (not in the same place though). We always clean with enzymatic cleaner but it's still a mistery why, every now and then, she decides to not use her grass potty tray. We keep an eye on her for a couple of days to avoid accidents and all is OK. But as soon as we let our guard down, we find another surprise in the living room. What can we do?
Hello Guadalupe, I suggest two months of potty training reset. This may be annoying, but to really get potty training down and not create a long-term cycle of occasional accidents you want to stop the accidents completely for long enough for pup to develop a long-term habit of keeping things clean. To do this, pup needs some strict management for a few weeks to reset everything. To reset things, I suggest starting the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below for two months. The article mentions a litter box but you can use the grass tray for this method too. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Also, be sure that you are keeping the potty in the same location. Indoor potty training is about the location of the potty, not just the potty surface. Another option is to switch pup to outside potty training and remove all indoor potties - this tends to be the most effective method if you are able schedule-wise to do so and interested in that as a long-term option. Since pup is used to going potty inside already, to avoid accidents when the potty is removed, you will need to use the crate training method from the article linked below, to ensure pup isn't free when their bladder is at all full. Since pup is a little older, you can add thirty minutes to each of the times given in the article, like taking pup potty every hour and a half to two hours, instead of one hour. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We trained Berklee originally using pee pads and eventually placing pads outside to transition her. We have a 6 year old male boxer who has been trained since he was very young. We have always had a doggie door so both dogs can access outside easily and Berklee uses it through the day to go in and out. Early on, Berklee would pee on any carpet/rug (I’m guessing she related it to a pee pad) so we removed all rugs (our home is all hardwood). Currently we can go 2-3 weeks without an accident. Then out of the blue, she will pee and/or poop in one of 2 spots that she has designated...we revert back to kenneling at night but that doesn’t seem to make a difference. It’s usually when we are gone, however; I work at home so there have been occasions she has gone while home just not watching her. I hate to crate her whenever we leave because she and our boxer are best buds and play all of the time- if he is out and she is locked up, seems cruel. We do have 1/2 our house closed off otherwise she tends to find the bathroom rugs. Unfortunately, we have a large area for dogs to run and play but, no grass. Could this be part of issue? They do get walks consistently, however; due to COVID and CA fires have been restricted...HELP! We are moving to a new home soon and we want her trained completely!
Hello! She is beautiful!! So it sounds like she is mostly potty trained. I don't feel kenneling is necessary. BUT! Sometimes dogs do regress in new locations. So you may have to refresh her potty training skills once you move. The best thing you can do is spend the next week rewarding her for going potty outside. So when you are home, take her out a few times a day and give her lots of treats and praise for going potty. This seems remedial, but some dogs just need a refresher as they get older. Dogs don't retain information like we do. Nor do they transfer it very well. So expect to do this also when you move.
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He won't poo or pee when he goes for a walk. He holds and wants until he gets home
Hello Christ, I recommend crate training pup. When you take pup potty, take them on a leash to a calm area. Tell pup to "Go Potty" and walk them around slowly for 15 minutes, encouraging them to sniff and keeping them slowly moving until they find a spot to go in. If pup goes, praise and give five small treats or pieces of kibble, one piece at a time. If pup doesn't go, return home and crate pup for 1 hour. The crate should only be big enough for pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down - too big and pup won't be encouraged to hold it in there if they can go potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Don't put anything absorbent or soft in there with them. You can use something like www.primopads.com or k9ballistics non-absorbent beds/crate pads if you want to. After 1 hour or crating, take pup straight outside to potty again. Walk around for 15 minutes, then return to the crate for another hour if they don't go. Repeat this process each hour until pup finally goes potty and gets the treats. Once pup has done that, you can give one hour of supervised freedom out of the crate before taking potty again. If pup doesn't go potty when you take them, repeat the crating when they come back inside until they finally go. This method limits pup's freedom to only times when they empty, helps motivate pottying outside, and stops the habit of accidents - which is important in order for pup to make progress. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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when I take my pup outside for a po, he is just coming back between my legs,and wants me to take him into my arms. I've tried with his favorite threat, but notting. And 5 minutes after, he goes to toilete and take a po. 🙃😂.. He is good learner, we have him 1 week, and I am so proud on him.
Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want 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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The challenge I have with my puppy is that she will not walk on the leash if it’s cold or raining outside and if I carry her out to the grass area she will not and I mean will NOT use the potty let alone walk what can I do ?
Hello Lily, First, how cold is it where you live? If the temperatures are below freezing, pup may need a dog jacket that allows for movement. Check out Ruffwear.com for examples of insulated dog jackets that allow for running. Second, when you take pup potty and they do not go, I recommend bringing pup back inside and crating pup for 30-60 minutes, then taking pup back out again to try again, so that pup won't have an accident inside and will be more motivated to go potty outside the next time. With pup warm enough if a jacket is needed, when you do take pup potty outside, tell pup to "Go Potty" and give pup five small treats or pieces of kibble, one piece at a time, after they go, to motivate them to go next time and to teach Go Potty. Check out the Pressure method from the article linked below. Work on that method somewhere warm, like inside or a garage first, to teach pup to come toward you when they feel the leash pressure. Once pup has learned what the leash tug means - come toward you, then you can give gentle tugs while outside with pup when they stop walking. Do not pull continuously, give a gentle, brief tug then give slack in the leash, repeat a couple times in a row until pup begins to take a couple steps - reward with a treat when they step. Once pup is responding well while outside, then wait to give treats until after they go potty, walking them around slowly on leash while telling them to Go Potty, until they go. If they don't go within 15-20 minutes, return inside, crate for 30-45 minutes, then try again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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