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I take Ki to work with me. She is now 2 and housetrained. She will let me know when she has to go out. We go out and she may go and may not. Depending on how distracted she gets ( people dogs barking strange noise). I can usually tell her to go potty or poo and she will but there are a lot of occasions when she won't. I treat her when we come back in. Right now the weather is in the teens and we go about a 1/2 block from the office. Sometime even if she does go in about 10 to 15 mins she is telling me she wants to go out again. Again she may or may not go. If we don't go no treat. I hate to ignore her but I can't keep going out every 10 to 15 min. either. This is not an everyday thing. Any suggestions? Just don't want her to get to the point of not telling me. If we have just came back in and she tells me again, sometimes I will tell her to go lay down, she will for about 10 min then tells me again. At home this is not a problem because I just let her out.



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She's got you well trained. ;) She lets you know when she wants to go out, not when she has to go out. Important distinction.


Tansy, now 2, used to do this to me. I just told her to knock it off.


There's a time during puppyhood when a pup needs to be let out every time it asks, but at 2 years old, your dog shouldn't have do go out to eliminate more than every few hours. An adult dog (and 2 y.o. is adult) should do OK going out 3-4 times a day, total. It's not something I routinely do, but but my dogs can all live with that schedule if need be.


When Tansy was asking at the door to go out all the time and she was old enough that I knew that she shouldn't have to go, I just stopped responding to the demands. That's all they were, and she wanted to go out because it wasn't "in", not because she had to go.


When you decide that Ki's going to live by your rules and not the other way around, there's a very good chance you'll see an "extinction burst" of the asking behavior. What had worked previously isn't working any more, so she'll step it up, because in her mind it should work. (Think of repeatedly hitting the elevator button to try to get it to arrive faster. Hitting it once will bring it to your floor, and when it doesn't come as fast as you want it to, you'll try again, and often again.) Ki may ask more frantically to go out, and more often. You just have to steel yourself to refuse to give in. Tansy scratches at the door when she wants to go out. She tried scratching harder. She then tried scratching at the door while repeatedly throwing a deer antler at it. (Her stupid Mom must've been going deaf and couldn't hear her more civil requests!) She escalated to scratching the door, throwing the antler and knocking over the broom that lives by the back door! It was all I could do for a while not to scream bloody murder at her when she was doing it, but I gritted my teeth and waited her out. When she did go out, it was at times I chose and not in response to her demands. She eventually stopped trying (just as you usually stop hitting the elevator button of an especially slow car and just wait), and now if she scratches at the door, I know she really has to go potty . . . and she does.


On another note, if you're giving Ki a treat when you come back in the house, you're rewarding her for coming in the house, not for going potty outside. The timing's off for that. The reward must come within a second or 2 of the act or it's lost on the dog what it's for. So giving her a treat when you come in isn't helping with the situation you're dealing with.

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It sounds like she has a potty “command” (I use “hurry” with my dogs). I suggest you be very firm when using the command, not going for much in the way of walks and making it clear you are done with this particular game. You don’t need to be harsh. I think sometimes there must be a look on my face and a tone to my voice that the dogs think, “oh, jeez, better just do what she wants.”


If you take her out briefly and she refuses to potty, I would bring her in and have her lie down, chewing on a toy is fine (what you want is quiet, non distracting behavior) and wait at least 30-60 minutes before taking her out again for a brief, here is your opportunity to potty, we are not going for a walk, break. When I am doing a simple potty break, it is hitting a small area of grass and telling the dogs to hurry. Sometimes I walk a little bit but not even half a block. Maybe a quarter of a block round trip.


Also, be sure you are offering her enough exercise and/or mental games at other, non work times to help an active young dog cool her heels while you are in the office. When Quinn was a puppy and young dog, lunch time included a play or training session so he could move around and have a bit of fun before going back to hanging out while I worked. Now that he is firmly in middle age, he is fine with an entire day of inactivity before we play after work.. We also usually go for a nice walk before work. But at the office? It is called work and not play for a reason. :) I am chained to the computer. He is usually sleeping on the loveseat, chewing on a toy or schmoozing with the customers

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Well glad to know mine isn't the only one to do this. My bad on the treats. Yes I know I should give them when she goes and I did as a little puppy. I do tell her good potty so she does get praised at that time. But being a BC she has figured out that no potty means no treat when we come it. If we go when we come back in I go to the cabinet and get one. If I can't or forget she stands there an waits with this look on her face like I did my part why aren't you doing yours, an getting my treat. If she doesn't go she just comes in an lays down for a little while. She does have access to food and water here at all times. I know how I am after I drink coffee. I just didn't want to discourage her from telling me. Gotta love how easy they are to train but also how easy they can get you trained

She used to go right behind the office but now her choice of spot is farther down the block. I think this is where the neighborhood dogs go also. She has her tug rope and an antler to chew on an we play or do tricks ( catch shake find it ). Usually I'm the only one in here so we can kinda do whatever. But will start making her wait.

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She eventually stopped trying (just as you usually stop hitting the elevator button of an especially slow car and just wait), and now if she scratches at the door, I know she really has to go potty . . . and she does.



THIS!! ^^

The same thing happened when I stopped entertaining my pup's constant "door lean" (quite possibly the worst, most quietly subtle signal ever during house-training, btw). He was old enough and got enough potty breaks that I knew he didn't have to go. He just wanted to go outside and do a few zoomies around the yard. I broke the nagging habit by ignoring the behavior and taking him out to potty on my own schedule. Now, when I do see him leaning against the door I know he really DOES need to go potty (and he does).


I just didn't want to discourage her from telling me.


She's got you pretty well trained ;) so you'll probably see the "extinction burst" that GentleLake suggested. However, after that passes I think she WILL still let you know when she really does need to go out instead of giving you dozens of "false alarms" throughout the day.


I will say, I'm a bit militant about "go potty". I require that my dog go before getting in the car, setting off for a walk and sometimes even before playing outside. When I say "go potty" he knows we're not doing anything remotely fun or interesting until he takes care of business. When he was 7 months old we had a 45 minute stand off in the front yard (not exaggerating) because he would not "go potty" before getting in the car. When he finally went I instantly praised him, loaded him up in the car and we went for a wonderful off-leash hike. Needless so say, since that day we've had a pretty reliable "potty" command. ;)


I'm not at all suggesting you be as crazy about "go potty" as I am, but Ki is clearly seeing bathroom breaks as a chance to also have some outside fun-time. Making a clear distinction between those two things might go a long way.

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