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I have searched and read quite a few topics on this board on house training, and would like to see what kind of advice I could get with my own slight differences.


My BC, Brodie will go to the front door and sit there, and we let her out. She's good like that, and knows thats what she has to do to go out. However, she doesnt always pee outside, sometimes she just wants to run around, then come back inside. She seems to sit at the door every 15 minutes of the day. It always seems like when I dont let her out, cuz I think she just wants to play, that she runs off into the basement to pee. How can I get her to maybe bark at the door, when she has to pee?


The other issue Im having is overnight. We dont crate her, we let her sleep in the master bedroom with us, with the door closed. We do have her crate in there, and sometimes she'll wander into it, and sometimes she sleep on the bed. Every morning at roughly 7:30, I hear her pounce off the bed, and wake up to see her sitting at the door. The problem is, if I take more than 2 minutes to let her out, she'll go pee right there on the floor. How can I stop that? And when will she be able to hold it? Once in a while, she'll wake up at 3:30 am to pee, or 5:30.. all different hours.

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You may want to take Brodie out on a leash to help her understand she first needs to potty before she can play. If she doesn't potty, bring her in and either keep her with you or crated for a brief period and take her out again. Before she can be taught to bark to go out, she needs to understand that outside is for peeing not the basement. You may want to restrict her freedom around the house (tether her to you, baby gates, crate) until she is reliable with her house training. Otherwise she is developing habits that will be harder and harder to change.


I don't know how old Brodie is but it takes a while for puppies to develop good bladder control. Often there isn't much more than a minute between the dog recognizing and communicating that she needs to go out and no longer being able to hold her urine. If you can't leap out of bed right away and take her out as soon as she's up, then I'd crate her (but take her out promptly when she wakes up) or else set the alarm before 7:30 and take her out before it becomes an emergency


I don't let my 6 month old pup drink a lot of water right before we go to bed to avoid needing to get up during the night. I do let him drink and usually he just wants a few laps but I try very hard not to let him suck up a lot of water then hit the hay with him. So I don't have him running around a lot before bedtime which would make him more likely to be thirsty. Things are pretty quiet and low key in my house before bed time.


A good deal of house training is management so the dog is more likely to succeed and learn good habits instead of behaviors we don't want. While I'm housetraining my dogs, I don't leave them loose if I can't keep an eye on them so they're not in the next room if they don't fully get that pottying is only outside. I also take them out in anticipation of their needs, even once they seem to understand the basics of housetraining. In other words, I take them out a lot. My pup is pretty reliable in the house, but that also involves taking him out if he's playing or active or has eaten/drunk water recently and not just when he whines to go out.

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Dazzle sits at the door too. However, sometimes we can't see her there, so she now jumps on the door. You would think that the house is coming down. :rolleyes:


I use either a "pet chime" (when the dog hits a button a bell sounds), a string of christmas bells on the door (licking them would make noise) or teach her "speak" and then make her "speak" before you let her out. Being Border Collies, they catch on pretty quick.


As Shetlander already said, limiting water right before bed is good. Taking her out on a leash REALLY helps and the rest is mostly time. Most dogs don't get 100% housetrained overnight! :D

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They have given very good advice.


If you ever think Brodie is taking advantage of you by constantly going to the door to "go potty" and only playing instead, then use the leash.


Each time, for a week if you have to, put the leash on her, take her not far from the door, stand in one spot, give her the command to go potty, and if she doesn't, bring her right back in.


Of course she should also go outside to run around and play, but when you let her out, be sure it's when YOU decide, and not when she's asking to go out.


After while she'll quit asking to go outside because it will always lead to the boring potty and not the fun play.


(When I first wake up I also have about 2 minutes to go potty or there will be trouble!) (Of course I tend to drink coffee before I go to bed too. :rolleyes: )

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Now, will this take away from training off a leash? Right now when she's not on a leash, she's pretty good, and doesnt really run. I dont wanna lose that.


Last night we put away her food about an hour before bedtime. We also didnt let her drink much. This morning she slept in later than I did, and I had to go to the front door and call her. While I was calling her, I heard her running, then I heard her stop. I went and looked, and she made a pee stop in our spare bedroom.


Brodie is 17 weeks old. Someone at the office told me that puppies can hold their bladder for 90 minutes for every month in their age. So my pup is 4 months, so averaging 6 hours. How true is that?


Thanks for the advice, I will be starting to use the leash tonight, along with a treat and hugs if all goes well. Ill see how she does in a few weeks from now.

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What precisely do you mean when you say you "don't want to lose that"? What type of training are you doing with her off leash? Can't answer you til I know.


It sounds like you have a potty training issue. She must not 100% comprehend that she should only go potty outside. She's not going in the house with an alterior motive in mind, and it seems from your description that you are not asking her to hold it for an unreasonable length of time, so that only leaves one option (ruling out any medical cause of course).


There is a recent thread about retraining the whole potty thing. Look for that and see if any of it rings true for your situation.


I've heard one hour for every month, but that's a generalization. Some dogs do better, some simply don't have the muscle control yet.


Does she only have accidents in the house first thing in the morning? Or is it at other times now and then too?


Have you been using an enzyme cleaner to completely remove the smell?


Sorry, can't help but ask, but are you free feeding her? By that I mean do you leave food in her dish throughout the day? Or do you have a structured feeding time?

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I mean "dont want to lose that", I am referring to having her not runaway while off the leash. Although, I think I jinxed myself, cuz she ran away today.


Ive looked at 3 or 4 old posts regarding this situation, and alot of it was similar, but also different. Which is why I wanted to start my own thread in my own words. So far all of your advice seems great, and I have already started training with your suggestions.


She has accidents all over the house, in a different spot, even room every time. And yes, we free feed her, but I would like to change this.


I would like to get her into a regular routine.. such as potty break at 7:15am, breakfast afterwards. Same goes for the rest of the day, right up to bedtime at 11pm.


I have taken her outside 4 or 5 times this afternoon, and evening, and on a leash, only to go potty. So far its going well. I'll repeat "go pee" over and over, until she does.. then reward her with praises, and a cookie. Hopefully after a week or so of this, she catches on.



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Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you! That's to be expected with a pup though.


I'd focus on the whole potty thing because the longer she practices the bad habit of going in the house, the harder it will be to change it.


I'd also rethink her off leash training.


Do you do NILIF with her? If so, to what extent?


My Fynne grew up pretty much doing what she wanted, when she wanted. She had few boundaries or rules. That eventually caught up with her and she was given away. Now I'm trying to rehabilitate her.


Let us know if you need help locating threads detailing the issues I just mentioned. You also might want to look into why free feeding isn't such a good idea.


I see from your pictures that you are young. Do you have kids? If not, then know that pups/dogs are an excellent indicator of what you have to look forward to, and what kind of parent you might be.


That's why I never had kids! :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by mudthirsty:

[QB]I mean "dont want to lose that", I am referring to having her not runaway while off the leash. Although, I think I jinxed myself, cuz she ran away today. /QB]

One thing I've found with my pups is I can let them off leash when they're very young (8 -10 or 12 weeks) but then they get to a stage where they have a "look in their eye" and I wouldn't dream of letting them off leash unless we were in a secure area like a totally fenced in yard. The cooperative, dependent puppy becomes bolder and less inclined to come running when called. At least my pups are that way.


I try really hard not to call my pups unless I know I can either get them to come or at the very least I can easily grab hold of them without it turning into a chase game. Quinn was briefly on a drag line, even in the fenced in backyard because he started ignoring my calls and I didn't want that to become a habit. He's pretty good but I wouldn't trust him off leash in an open area for one second. His recall is good but not anything I'd want to stake his life on and that's what a loose dog can come down to.


I agree with your idea to stop free feeding and get Brodie on a schedule. It makes housetraining much easier because they become more predictable. Sounds like things are going much better for you but just a caution that it may take much longer than a week before your puppy will truly "get it" as far as housebreaking and longer still before she is reliable. Hosetraining, like all training, is a journey as well as a destination.


With some puppies, I've carried them out in the morning (usually at younger ages than Brodie though)because they simply could not make it to the door without needing to pee. Not sure how big your pup is. At the very least, you might want to have a leash where you can get it as soon as you get up (but out of reach of chewing puppy teeth) so you can put her on lead and take her directly outside. I agree that the peeing in the other room could be due to her not understanding what you want. Another factor could be that she slept in longer than usual which made her need to pee more urgent. You might want to set your alarm even though I know what bliss it is to sleep in when you have a young puppy


As far as how long can she hold it, I've gone by 1 hour for each month plus 1 hour more. So a 4 month old dog could be expected to hold it 5 hours. But I've had dogs who had great bladder control at a very young age. However, my Lhasa at age 3 can not go all day without a break unlike every other adult dog (and some older puppies) I've had. So it varies. Dogs can usually hold it longer at night than during the day. And how recently and how much they've eaten and drunk enters into it as well.

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I do not use NILIF with her. Should I be? It seems like it works. She doesnt seem to listen to any command, except for sit.


One question that I would really like to know, is the importance of crate training? Is it really neccessary, or can she sleep in the master bedroom, with the doors closed? We have her crate in the master bedroom, and the door is always open. Most times halfway thru the night she will go in, and sleep in there for an hour or two. But we never force her, or lock it.


I just wrote out a daily scheduale that I will be following. Im going to walk her 4 times a day. Feed her at certain hours.. and do the leash trick when taking her out too pee. Im hoping that this all comes together, and I know it will take a lot of time, and focus. But Im up for the challenge.


And no, I dont have kids.. but it she does feel like it now! lol.


Thanks again everyone!

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YES, you should be doing NILIF. Let me stress that!


It sounds like you are making alot of common mistakes that, if not addressed very soon, could make you regret having your BC. We are not born knowing how to raise and train these dogs and I think we all have had to learn (including me).


It sounds like Brodie is being given way too much freedom for her age. Too much freedom gives the dog too many opportunities to make the wrong choices and allows bad habits to form. Same goes for kids. Brodie is equal to a very little kid right now. A little kid should not be allowed too much freedom or they will get into the fridge, cut up your curtains, turn on the stove, walk out the door, etc.


Scheduled feeding times are also a better alternative to free feeding. Food is a major issue with dogs. You want to be the one who Brodie looks to for such a major resource. This develops respect for you, self control for her, etc. It also makes it possible for you to easily notice if she's not feeling well, and to control her weight better.


Nearly all dogs, BC or not, should have some form of NILIF implemented. This gives them rules and boundaries and expectations. This teaches them so many important things and keeps you in control (as opposed to the dog being in control).


At Brodie's age you should not still be having accidents in the house, except maybe very rarely. You'll want to go back and retrain her. The longer she's allowed to practice her bad habit of going in the house, the harder it's going to be for you to break her of it.


You and others may not see why the above is so important but as time goes by, most BC's will inevitably become less than a joy to have around. That's why so many end up in shelters and rescues, or given away.


I and others will be happy to help you along in any way we can if you are interested. That's part of what this board is all about! It takes a little effort but the results are well worth it. And Brodie will do more than sit for you. :rolleyes:


Let me know what threads you have found on the above items and ask if anything isn't clear. Better to have a complete understanding than to try something and not have it work.


I think it's great that you're up for the challenge. I wish more people were.

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Oh, about crate training. I don't think it's imperative, but it can certainly be helpful, more so than not with some dogs.


If she can spend the night in your bedroom without practicing any bad habits (peeing, chewing, keeping you awake, sneaking onto the couch when she's not supposed to, counter surfing, getting into the trash...) then that's fine. If not, then a crate might be helpful.


Crates can be helpful in many other ways also. My Fynne appreciated her crate and would go to it for safety and comfort when she was stressed out.


The crate was helpful for me during feeding time (keeping one away from the other).


Stuff like that. It's really helpful in teaching a puppy about potty training too. Lots of things, but many dogs are trained just fine without one also.

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At 4 months old with Marzipan, we never slept the night! Crate training teaches them to ask to go out. And wait until they are there.


Make sure you use a key word for potty.

Take her to the same general area for potty.

Make potty training and obedience training in a different area.

If she asks and can't hold it - get her checked for a UTI. My girl had problems and it made potty training an issue for many months.

Crate train - this is the best and fastest way to potty train if she doesn't pee in the crate.



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Thanks again for taking the time to help me out. I came home today, and my girlfriend had taught Brodie how to laydown, and speak. I was pretty impressed at how quickly she caught onto those more simple commands.


We havent had an accident in 2 days now, and Im quite happy. I wrote a scheduale down the other day, and havent broken it yet. 4 walks a day, three meals at the same times of the day. And when she goes to the door, I take her out on a leash for a five minute break. If she doesnt go, we come back inside. I think my dog was a little stressed out, and ended up going potty all over the house, as she was looking for any kind of attention. Last night was the best sleep yet. She slept most the night on the floor beside us, and when I woke up, I pretty much had to wake her up, and take her outside for her walk, and pee break. She went pee almost right away. I brought her back inside afterwards, and she went back to bed. lol.


Its been 14 years since I had my last puppy, and I was only about 10 years old when I had her, so I didnt know much on puppy training, but I had her, and loved her for all 14 years I had her. And am willing to put just as much effort, if not more, into Brodie.

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Well, you seem pretty experienced now. I do have a few questions in regards to NILIF tho.


What is the proper action for the following..


When she chews the walls, railings, etc?

When she jumps up onto the table?

And when she tries to heard the cat?


Im trying not to be negative, and show any type of attention. But I feel I have to atleast give a stern 'no'. Is that pretty much all I can do when she does wrong?

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One thing that's most important on all those behaviors, is to catch her the second she's THINKING of doing them. Then a little, Ah-ah is usually plenty. I usually follow that with a cheerful "That's enough!" That way you can eventually use "that's enough!" for things that they don't know are wrong yet, or for things that are sometimes OK but sometimes not (like alert barking). If she ignores your warning, quietly walk her to her crate for as many minutes of quiet time as she is months old. This isn't punishment, it's just "resetting" her brain - most of the time puppies are disobedient because they are overstimulated. Then make sure when you let her out, that she has access to the same situation.


If you are in a situation where you are distracted a lot, attach her to you with a leash. You won't have to do this long, just long enough for her to find out all the limits in your home.


Just remeber to be consistent - don't say "ah-ah" one time and NO another time and use a scruff shake another time and crate her another time. I like the ah-ah noise because it's too easy to screech NO and make it too emotional. I have a friend who says, "No, ma'am!" I like that one, too - he uses it training on sheep and it's very quiet but effective. Not to mention exquisitely polite. (c;

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Those three things you listed are really not part of NILIF. Do a search on this site and google it to get an understanding of what NILIF is and why it's recommended for nearly all dogs.


Can't help you til I have more info. Why does she chew the walls/rails? How often? How long has she been doing it?


When you say she jumps on the table are you talking about front paws on the table/counter to get into food?


If she has previously been rewarded with a yummy bite then it will be harder to stop. Start by not leaving anything on the counter or table or anywhere else that she could get into and sneak food. If she jumps up there over and over, and over and over there is nothing up there that she wants, then she will eventually give up. Not completely if she's found food up there before, but she'll try it less often.


Along with that you'll want to catch her the second she *attempts* to counter surf. That means as soon as her little nose points up in that direction, or focuses up there, or she tenses her muscles up to jump. At that moment you'll want to startle her, either with eh (ahn, or ah-ah), or a sharp clap of your hands. Then send her away from the counter/table. If sending her away doesn't seem to be working then increase the consequence to crating, or being away from your sight, or whatever works best for her. Do a google search on dogs counter surfing for possible better ideas than what I just gave you.


Cat herding can only be managed really. (I'm trying to teach Fynne to "get the kitty" because my one cat has recently decided to counter surf.)


For the cat thing, you'll have to teach Brodie self control, and to respect your commands. This is one of those things where actions in other areas will spill over to the cat herding problem.


You'll want to teach Brodie several commands (like basic obedience stuff) and follow through with it so she obeys them all consistently. It shouldn't take more than a week for her to learn sit, down, and stay. It will take longer to perfect it, but you can teach her that in a week. Then use those to teach her compliance and self control (stay). Impliment NILIF, and that will help in so many ways also.


Then that stuff will spill over to the cat problem. When you say "ahn" or whatever as soon as she attempts to herd the cat, then she will stop. If she doesn't, then physically stop her by keeping her on a leash during some no-cat-herding lessons, or reaching over quick enough to stop her, or stepping between her and the cat, etc. Reward and praise her when she does what is right.


Try to make things as black and white as you can for her so that there's no confusion or second guessing of what it is you are asking her to do. If she's done something good or right, make that crystal clear to her. If she's done something wrong, then do the same. Don't let it slide one time and get on to her the next. Be consistent. Very key!


Also, provide some place where your cat can get away from the dog. My cats know they can go into the laundry room if they want to get away. The door is propped open enough for them, but the dogs can't get in there.


Let me know about the chewing thing.

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I have done quite a few searches on NILIF, but seem to only find 3-4 of the same write ups, just written out on different sites.


Im not quite sure why she chews, I thought it was because she was a puppy, and all puppies chew.


She jumps up with her two front paws.. trying to get at the cat food. Today she jumped up to the counter trying to get.. our food? She's never had ppl food.


Any time I see her doing something wrong, I give a stern "nooo". And pull her away, or swat her away.


She has her good days and bad days with the cat. Sometimes they lie together on the floor inches apart.


Yesterday, Brodie was hearding me in the backyard. She would run circles around me, stopping and going down. Then she'd charge at me, and pull on my ankles with her mouth. I tried to ignore it, or walk away.. not sure what to do in this case. I couldnt get her inside either, as it was the first time I let her off the leash that day, cuz I thought I'd let her play for 20 minutes. I played the chase game.. and she played the heard me game. Wasnt pleasant.


Her command skills are improving. Every time she wants out, she sits at the door. I grab the leash, and she walks up to me and sits. Sometimes she lets out a soft bark, if we dont notice her. (We've been having her bark everytime before we let her out to pee).


I read on one of the NILIF sites, that crate training is best. To put her in the crate for 2 hour periods a couple times a day. This will let her know who's boss. I've wanted to do this.. however, the first time we ever had her in the crate, at 14 weeks, she poo'd in it, and rolled around in it. But that was for a 5 hours. Dare I attempt it again?

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Oh. I thought maybe she chewed due to seperation anxiety or something. Boyden chewed the doorframe the first day we got him because of that.


Puppy chewing... Be sure to provide her with things she *can* chew. When she starts to chew on something she shouldn't, make the ahn noise (or whatever) then give her something she can chew (and praise her for it). This is also where crating (or gating off) can come in real handy. Think of it as a playpen like toddlers have (to keep them out of trouble).


The best thing you can do is prevent her from chewing things she shouldn't so that it doesn't become a habit for her. Once she's allowed to practice any behavior it will become harder to break her of it, so prevention is key.


Any time I see her doing something wrong, I give a stern "nooo". And pull her away, or swat her away.
That's the black part of making things black and white for her. Do you also then provide her with an alternative? The "white" part?


Do you have any books? If not, there's a list we compiled a while back that you might want to look into.


NILIF is Nothing in Life is Free. That's where the dog doesn't get anything unless it works for it. (In case a lurker is reading.) Time for dinner? Dog has to sit, or wait. Go outside? Dog has to sit, or down, or wait before going out the door. Wants to be pet? Must do something for it first. That's what NILIF is all about. Nothing free. You control all the resources, not the dog, and this brings about respect, self control, etc.


I'm hoping someone else will help with the herding you/nipping at your ankles thing. I could tell you what I've read and what makes sense, but I always stopped any attempt at such things before the dog actually herded me. Boy gripped my calf while playing a long time ago and I immediately ended the game, said something simple in a disapproving tone, and walked away from him. Poor guy didn't mean anything by it and I hurt his feelings, but he never did it again.


I just made some apple bread pudding and I'm going to eat it now. Take care!

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Glad to hear things are going better with the housetraining. Allie had a few "oopses" in the house. Our old dog would whine and stick his cold nose in your ear if he needed to go out, but Allie doesn't do that either. She is also not crated at night and sometimes sleeps on our bed.


3 mos. later (at almost 9 mos.) she does not have accidents anymore. When she needs to potty now, she "levitates" at the door (an amazing bouncing up and down without seeming to spring up -- there is no doubt of her need. I do wish she would be a little more vocal about it, however. Somewhere I read about someone who trained their dog to ring a little bell around the door when they needed to go out and I am exploring that idea.


You've gotten some great advice and sounds like it is working. A schedule and routine seems to work best for these pups. Hang in there.


If you need a good stain and odor remover, I found "Simple Solution". It works great and is very inexpensive. It definitely neutralizes the urine smell so the "mistake" is not repeated.

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I don't let my puppies or adult dogs "tell" me when its time to go out. We have a schedule and we stick to it. That makes for a lot fewer messes with a puppy and it helps prevent that relapse that happens when you *think* the puppy is housetrained so you get a little lax but really she was just doing well with a managed schedule.


As the dogs become habituated to going outside, they will fuss if they have to go at an unusual time (upset tummy or whatever) so I know to take them out. I don't like my dogs learning to tell me when its time to go out because dogs will ask to go out when they just want to play or sniff or whatever.


Just make sure that you control when things happen rather than waiting for or letting her tell you.



Nellie, Ben and Pip Squeak

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Its been a while since her last accident, and things seem to be going quite well. I just wanted to thank everyone for the input and advice.. I couldnt have done it with out you. Now, lets see how she does over the next little while.

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