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My 16 week old puppy has been struggling with potty training. I'm home all day so i have no reason why this isn't going as well as i hoped. He frequently defecates in the house. It's getting pretty frustrating. I've yelled at him a couple of times and told him BAD BOY, YOU POOP OUTSIDE!! He just stares at me. I've gotten him to poop outside a couple of times, but thats about it. It was never this difficult with other dogs I've had in the past. I pretty much had them trained within the first week of getting them.

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Potty training isn't so much about training the puppy as it is training the owner.... You have to watch the dog and learn to read the signs of when they have to go -- Then snatch up the puppy and go outside, praising them when they do their business in the appropriate space.

 

Typically, we don't punish puppies for making messes inside -- Because it was OUR FAULT for missing the signals.

 

One note about comparing this puppy to your previous dogs -- I can attest that I, personally, have gotten lazier with each passing puppy. Luke, being my first dog, never had ONE SINGLE ACCIDENT in the house. Ever. Because I devoted 100% of my attention to him. Kaiser took much longer because I was lazy with him. Secret was potty trained quickly at my office because I watched her like a hawk, but had several accidents at home because I didn't bother to watch her. My fault, not hers.

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My 16 week old puppy has been struggling with potty training. I'm home all day so i have no reason why this isn't going as well as i hoped.

Sometimes it's harder when a person is home all day, b/c it can make it trickier to keep a rigorous schedule of potty breaks plus confinement/supervision. The beauty is you asked for help before it got to be too bad a habit! So you should be able to turn it around quickly. Here are some solid potty training instructions you may find useful.

 

Good luck!

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One note about comparing this puppy to your previous dogs -- I can attest that I, personally, have gotten lazier with each passing puppy. Luke, being my first dog, never had ONE SINGLE ACCIDENT in the house. Ever. Because I devoted 100% of my attention to him. Kaiser took much longer because I was lazy with him. Secret was potty trained quickly at my office because I watched her like a hawk, but had several accidents at home because I didn't bother to watch her. My fault, not hers.

 

I had the exact same experience with my little office buddy, Meg!

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Sometimes it's harder when a person is home all day, b/c it can make it trickier to keep a rigorous schedule of potty breaks plus confinement/supervision. The beauty is you asked for help before it got to be too bad a habit! So you should be able to turn it around quickly. Here are some solid potty training instructions you may find useful.

 

Good luck!

 

I agree with this! Routine is so very important, IMO, when potty training. You still have to watch for cues but if you can get on a schedule of letting him out, I think that you will find that he will figure out when it is appropriate to go.

 

I also do not correct for an accident *unless* you can catch them in the act. If you catch them in the act I would just say "NO" pick the pup up and take them outside.

 

Be sure to make going potty outside a good thing. So lots of praise, maybe a treat.

 

And I also have a "cue" for going - I use "potty". I still tell my dogs "go potty" when we are outside for that particular reason and I still say "good job" when they are done. I guess old habits die hard! :lol:

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In addition to the link, try doing a search on housebreaking, house training. There have been lots of threads on this topic that you may find helpful.

 

But in the meantime, you have some very valuable information already:

 

1. This puppy isn't going to housebreak as easily as your other dogs or puppies. Some puppies make us work harder on certain behaviors. I think this is why we tend to become better owners and trainers with each dog.

 

2. If he is having multiple accidents, he is being given way too much unsupervised freedom. Management and supervision are really key to housetraining. That means taking him out as soon as he wakes up, after eating, after playing, pretty much hourly or every couple of hours at first. When you can't keep an eye on him inside, crate him or contain him in a small, puppy proof area. The idea is for him to have zero opportunity for accidents.

 

3. Yelling at him is not working. I consider all accidents in the house to be MY fault when housetraining a dog because my management failed. Interrupt him calmly if you catch him in the act and take him right outside where you can then praise him for eliminating where you want him to. Punishment can sometimes make housebreaking problems worse, especially for a young and possibly confused pup. Praise the behaviors you want. If you don't catch him in the act, clean the soiled area thoroughly with enzymatic cleansers, say nothing to him and understand that you need to supervise or contain him more effectively.

 

Be patient and hang in there. Like all training, housebreaking is a journey as well as a destination. Some dogs take very long to get there. Sometimes you think your pup is housebroken, but he really isn't and there can be apparent backsliding. 16 weeks is still a kid. Give him time, lots of praise for the right thing and no chance for accidents. In other words, set him (and yourself) up for success. Good luck.

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The thing is, is that he refuses to poop outside. He never pees inside. I will stand outside with him for 30+ minutes waiting on him to go poop but he will just walk around. As soon as i bring him inside he poops near his crate.. I've been working really hard with him to break this habit. I guess i'll just have to stay outside even longer..

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You may want to take a pile of his poo and place it outside in the designated potty area. This might help to show him where he is supposed to go. This is hard for people like me who like to keep their yards clean at all times (can't help it, I also do agility there!), but it does help.

 

And yes, you might just have to stay outside longer. Or better yet, if he doesn't go, put him immediately into a crate. Wait five minutes and go outside to try again. No poo = No freedom.

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Yes to what SecretBC said! And again, make sure you really cleaning the area with enzymatic cleaner to get the odor out. If you can move his crate and block off access to the old area for now, that may be helpful. I wouldn't stand around for 30 minutes or longer. Maybe 10 -15 minutes outside, then into his crate for 15 minutes before going right back outside to try again. A walk or some play often helps matters. Sounds like he thinks he is supposed to poop indoors so you need to really help him understand that outside is where he needs to go. Lots and lots of praise when he goes. Treats even. Tell him he is the most brilliant puppy each and every time he eliminates outside. I'm sure frustrating you is the last thing he wants. My guess is he is a very confused little guy right now, at least on the subject of housebreaking.

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The thing is, is that he refuses to poop outside. He never pees inside. I will stand outside with him for 30+ minutes waiting on him to go poop but he will just walk around. As soon as i bring him inside he poops near his crate.. I've been working really hard with him to break this habit. I guess i'll just have to stay outside even longer..

 

Have you corrected him for pooping? He might have associated that correction with pooping in front of you, as opposed to pooping indoors. In addition, if you are feeling frustrated especially if you are standing around waiting for him to go, he's going to sense that frustration/anger and be even less likely to go in front of you.

 

I would do this: Take him outside but don't hover, be relaxed....take a magazine and glance through it ignoring him. Reduce the pressure.

 

Wait him out for a while...if he doesn't poop, after say, 10 minutes, bring him in and pop him in his crate. Set a timer and take him out 20 minutes later. Eventually he will have to go.

 

Once he goes, stay calm. Quietly praise him, Offer a high value tidbit. Release him to be loose.

 

In addition, move his crate temporarily and really clean that spot good with enzymatic cleaner. Try to cut him off from that area if you can.

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One rule I have for house-breaking both dogs and puppies, is never yell at them or use physical corrections about peeing or pooping in the house.

They may get right away that you are on about the peeing or pooping - but they don't necessarily get that you're on about them going in the house.

 

The result can be a dog that is afraid to pee or poop in your presence. They will hold it while you are out with them and then go where you can't see them in the house when you come back in.

 

I once had a rescue Collie bitch that had been so traumatized by her housebreaking experiences that she would not poop if anyone could see her. She would literally hold it for days, and then if she didn't happen to be alone when she couldn't hold it any longer she would have a huge explosion of diarrhea.

 

I finally solved her problem by waiting until I was fairly certain she needed to go and then taking her outdoors and inserting a moistened kitchen match in her rectum. (It goes about halfway in, and the feeling of something in the rectum makes the dog want to push it out - the poop just comes along for the ride.) This would cause her to assume the position immediately. She would be stressed about going in front of me, but with effusive petting, praise, and treats, she came around. But it took her over a year to go voluntarily, and two years for her to relax completely. Who knows how long she would have suffered if I hadn't "matched" her daily to relieve herself. And she avoided any negative experiences associated with going indoors. She just got lots of praise and treats every time she pooped. I don't know what was done to that poor dog to make her so fearful of pooping but I would like to get my hands on the one who did it.

 

The kitchen match trick I learned from a conformation exhibitor. She always "matched her dogs" if they hadn't gone recently before going into the breed ring. She said they gaited better empty.

 

It doesn't have to be a match - an oil-soaked Q-tip will usually work, but I just kept a couple of big kitchen matches in my pockets and just stuck 'em in my mouth to moisten them. I have never known this trick to fail, and I have never "lost" a match inside the dog. It's a great trick for a dog that feels insecure about going in new surroundings or is too distracted to get down to business, like when you are traveling. It's very handy if you need a stool sample for the vet and have a dog who likes his privacy, or if you have several and are not sure which pile is which.

 

If you have to take your dog out on the street, be prepared to have people think you are an animal-abusing pervert. It can't be helped. For the average non-dog-owning person explanations will only make it worse... Even many dog-owners will be scandalized. Oh well...

 

I'm not saying your pup needs this treatment now. But if you find her hiding to go poop it might be the option for you. Don't forget to praise her/him to the skies when she/he starts to poop in the "designated area."

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I will stand outside with him for 30+ minutes waiting on him to go poop but he will just walk around. As soon as i bring him inside he poops near his crate.. I've been working really hard with him to break this habit. I guess i'll just have to stay outside even longer..

 

This is the kind of thing that can make a person want to tear their hair out. But not to worry, you will be able to change this pretty quickly. After you read through that link above, be sure you focus on:

 

a) feeding him on a strict schedule (no free feeding) so you'll be able to predict when he needs to poop,

b keeping a written log for 2-3 days so you will know when he needs to poop,

c) putting him on leash & going to a designated area for potty opportunities (so he can't wander around, getting distracted, only to come indoors and poop)

d) avoiding further reprimands so he'll learn to poop in your presence (outdoors)

 

Make sure the yard is clean---if it is scattered with feces he'll likely not poop there (one or two poops to give him the hint, as someone suggested, works fine).

 

The advice to give him a few minutes of pacing back and forth for 10 minutes, then crating him & trying again after 20 minutes, is good. The longer you stay out there with him, the longer it will continue to take. (At this point he may actually think he is supposed to wander for 30 minutes, then come inside to poop.)

 

It will be labor-intensive at first, but stick to your new plan & this will be behind you in a couple of weeks. Don't sweat it, just start fresh.

 

B.

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The thing is, is that he refuses to poop outside. He never pees inside. I will stand outside with him for 30+ minutes waiting on him to go poop but he will just walk around. As soon as i bring him inside he poops near his crate.. I've been working really hard with him to break this habit. I guess i'll just have to stay outside even longer..

 

In my house puppies are never unsupervised unless they have pooped & peed within the last hour. Walk him outside ON LEASH on your schedule (every hour in the beginning) and encourage him to go. Praise gently if he is sniffing & interested in pottying vs looking at the sky or the other dogs. Once he goes, praise & offer a treat/head pat- whatever he appreciates. Come back inside & give free time then into the crate if he can't be supervised 100%. Pups go out immediately upon waking up, after eating and after playing with other dogs for 15-30 minutes or so.

 

If your dog is pooping int he house it is because you aren't watching him closely enough. Do not stand outside for 30 minutes. Take him out & keep him moving a little. Walk him where your other dogs have gone- the smell will stimulate him. If after 10 minutes or so he is not showing any signs of going put him up (in a crate) for 15 min or so & try again. Do not bring him in and turn him loose if he hasn't emptied.

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I'll tell you now -- My potty training successes would always trend in three-day streaks. Because after two days of success, you start getting lax about watching the puppy because you think they are "trained." ;) So, keep an eye on that puppy and best wishes for continued success!

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