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Need advice on housebreaking puppy w/ back yard


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I had a few times where I was watching my puppy and he urinated right in front of me. Once was immediately after a hyper playing session where he was having so much fun and then suddenly started to go! Even though I'd just taken him out, all of that activity caused him to need to go much sooner. Another time he went on the rug in front of the door ... just walked over to it and went. After that I removed the rug and got mad at myself for not being more aware of his signs.

 

Sometimes it happens. Just try harder to pay attention to what the puppy is doing, and crate him when you cannot pay attention. Even if you make a few mistakes, your puppy will learn. It seemed like it didn't take too much time for Solo to learn. He never did poop in the house, and ever since the snow melted and he saw the difference between our yard and the field with weeds, he poops in the field and I never have to clean it up! :) I planned on teaching him that, but he did it on his own.

 

Edited to add: I would praise ALL outside elimination!

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Thanks for the tips. Can you provide some more information on the vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide procedure, please?

 

I WAS watching the puppy when he peed on the rug and he had relieved himself outside about an hour earlier. Actually, he bolted from where we were to the rug (another room) and started peeing. By the time I "distracted" him, it was too late.

 

Another question, please...

 

If I want to teach him to go outside and I am crating him and taking him out on a leash when he should go, and he is in the yard playing without a leash and stops to pee, should I praise him or not? Although I am reinforcing peeing outside, I am also reinforcing peeing while not on a leash.

 

So far he has never pooed inside but has never pooed while on a leash either. He holds it in until he is leash-free and then poos in the yard.

 

Thanks

 

 

When potty training my pups, I praise them when they potty in a good place, no matter if they're on or off leash. One point to remember: you're dealing with a very, very small puppy. At his age he has limited self-awareness and probably even less impulse control. When they feel an urge, they act on it. And it will stay that way for a long while. So, praise him ANY time he potties outside.

 

As for pooping, here's a tip: physical movement helps a dog eliminate. In my experience, unless they really desperately need to go, most dogs will hold it until they've had time to run, sniff and move around before they go. Play = poop is a good rule.

 

As for peeing an hour after he peed, again, he's just a little dude, so that's entirely to be expected. It's amazing how often they can pee! Puppies are subject to peeing pretty much at any time they are awake, but a rule of thumb I go by is that puppies will pee: A. upon waking up from sleep or a nap, B. after eating, and C. during and after any form of play. In short, if they've been still for any length of time, odds are good they'll have to pee as soon as they start moving again. :rolleyes:

 

So, whatever you do, don't try to limit or control when he has to go potty. That could lead to behavioral issues. When he has to go, he has to go. Your job is simply to guide him on where to go.

 

If you want to give him some liberty around the house, I'd say just pick up any rugs you don't want pottied on and govern where he can go. He doesn't mean to do it, it's just natural for puppies to eliminate on a softer surface that won't splatter like a hard surface. Just remember you can't really trust him alone, so closely monitor his freedom. Also, do consider getting an ex-pen or two, so that he can have more freedom than a crate but not so much freedom he can scamper off and eat an electrical cord or carry off shoes. You can also get baby gates to limit his access to other rooms.

 

BTW, as Amy said earlier, puppy photos are welcome! :D

 

~ Gloria

 

 

 

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You can google the vinegar procedure, but as I recall, soak up the excess pee with a paper towel if the spot is wet, pour white vinegar on the pee spot, soak up the excess, sprinkle baking soda on top of that and then spray a concoction of hydrogen peroxide, water, and a few drops of dish soap on top of the baking soda, and then use a stiff brush to rub the whole mess--its a paste-- into the carpet. Let it sit until it is dry and vacuum. If it is a very expensive rug, I would do a test in a small area to make sure that it won't damage the rug. In a fit of desperation, I did pretty much an entire small room and was amazed at how well it worked. But, it was old carpet and it was either try the procedure or rip up the carpet....because the room reeked after 2 kinds of enzymes followed by several passes of a rented carpet cleaner.

 

I would not even give the puppy the opportunity to run into another room and pee. Use a baby gate to confine the puppy to the room that you are in or tie the puppy to furniture.

 

The puppy needs to know that it can pee and poo on a leash. Feed the puppy in its crate and immediately walk it outside on a leash. If it pees and poos on the leash, it has earned freedom in the house or yard. If it does not pee or poo, it goes back into the crate. Wait for 20 minutes and try again. Repeat as needed. After the puppy has earned its temporary freedom and it is in the house, I would take it outside on a leash every 45-60 minutes to give it an opportunity to go. When the puppy gets older, you can stretch out the time frame.

 

Puppies are A LOT of work.

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Blackdawgs, you mean do this every time a puppy needs to poop or pee? Gadz, I travel a lot so my dogs need to do their business on leash, but I'm not that interested in controlling their every (bowel) movement. Plus, running around free encourages elimination. I figure they can learn to potty on leash when they get a little older. So far that's worked for me...

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I live in the burbs. Although I have a well-fenced yard, it is relatively small, surrounded by neighbors, and has urban wild life (snakes, possums, raccoons, armadillos, rodents) and rabies is endemic here. In the summer and early fall, mushrooms can sprout in literally hours, so I supervise my dogs closely in the yard. We compete in agility, so my dogs have to be comfortable going on the leash anyway

 

Nonetheless, this has worked for me and I think provides very black and white criteria to a young pup. Since housebreaking issuers have occurred in the past with the OP, I think that black and white criteria are important for success. Once the dog understands that the bathroom is outside, I relax things considerably.

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I also used a crate when my dog was little, and I was allowing him outside supervised, with leash attached, to do his business.

using the crate as described by Blackdawgs, back and forth for a while, he was trained in about 2 weeks.

it can be useful to teach to use a bell attached to the door. this worked for a while but then backfired on me when he started to ring the bell every time he wanted to go out just to play ;-)

I do not prefer to have him do his business in the yard, so as soon as I was be able to take him for walks, I just started with a routine of feeding and taking him for a walk after about half hour. this worked for me and he is now pretty regular morning and evening.

of course he goes out for a pee when needed in the yard. teaching your dog to do his business in the same spot, I think it can be trained but it will need a lot of consistency on your side.

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it can be useful to teach to use a bell attached to the door. this worked for a while but then backfired on me when he started to ring the bell every time he wanted to go out just to play ;-)

 

This is pretty normal no matter what method the dog uses to tell you s/he wants to go out. At first you have to respond by letting the dog out so that the behavior becomes firmly established, but when the pup is old enough that you know s/he doesn't really have to go you start not responding as quickly and eventually tell them it's not time. I use a "not now" cue.

 

If they're truly old enough they'll eventually get it and still use their cue to let you know when they really do have to go out. The trick is knowing a) when they're old enough to be able to control their elimination (do it too soon and they'll start having accidents in the house that are your fault and not theirs, which is why I indulge the behavior for a while) and B) watching them carefully so you catch any indications that they really do have to go so you can let them out pronto to avoid the backsliding.

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This is pretty normal no matter what method the dog uses to tell you s/he wants to go out. At first you have to respond by letting the dog out so that the behavior becomes firmly established, but when the pup is old enough that you know s/he doesn't really have to go you start not responding as quickly and eventually tell them it's not time. I use a "not now" cue.

 

If they're truly old enough they'll eventually get it and still use their cue to let you know when they really do have to go out. The trick is knowing a) when they're old enough to be able to control their elimination (do it too soon and they'll start having accidents in the house that are your fault and not theirs, which is why I indulge the behavior for a while) and B) watching them carefully so you catch any indications that they really do have to go so you can let them out pronto to avoid the backsliding.

yes, I was at one point no longer responding by opening the door immediately or just say no, if he was out few minutes before...but with time he became not interested in the bell. so it was just a transition using the bell, then he was just sitting in front of the door and wait for me to let him out, vocalizing if he really needed to go out. I have to say that with strict control he barely had an incident in the house, might be a couple of times. but the bell was fun for a while, till I realized he trained me with it :)

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This is pretty normal no matter what method the dog uses to tell you s/he wants to go out. At first you have to respond by letting the dog out so that the behavior becomes firmly established, but when the pup is old enough that you know s/he doesn't really have to go you start not responding as quickly and eventually tell them it's not time. I use a "not now" cue.

 

If they're truly old enough they'll eventually get it and still use their cue to let you know when they really do have to go out. The trick is knowing a) when they're old enough to be able to control their elimination (do it too soon and they'll start having accidents in the house that are your fault and not theirs, which is why I indulge the behavior for a while) and B) watching them carefully so you catch any indications that they really do have to go so you can let them out pronto to avoid the backsliding.

This! I use bells and for a while they thought it was a magic bell that made the human open the door for them, but now I can tell if they need to go or are just trying to train me to open the door. I use 'knock it off' if I know they don't actually need to potty.

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One of the basic methods I use when training, especially with young dogs, is to make it harder, if not impossible, for the dog to do what I do not want the dog to do. If I had a puppy who was using rugs as toilets I would remove all rugs, or barricade the rooms that had them, until the puppy was fully house trained.

 

I also *never* allow a puppy out of my sight and control at any time, indoors or out, unless she or he is crated or in an X-pen. Never, ever, not even for 15 seconds. That pup is leashed to me or else actively interacting with me or sleeping where I can see him or her at all times. That way the pup doesn't get the chance to do something wrong. If an accident occurs, like suddenly peeing even though the pup was taken out recently, I would simply pick him up and take him outside, telling him in a calm voice that this is where to go.

 

If you take up all the rugs until the dog is fully reliably house trained, you will break the habit of using a rug and can safely put them down again.

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I hope the OP is still reading, because one thing I want to add to this conversation has nothing to do with initial house training, and that's that most people don't consider a dog fully house trained at a few months old, even if they've stopped having accidents in the house.

 

Just like human toddlers, preschoolers and even early grade school children, who'll often have unexpected accidents well beyond the potty training age, puppies don't have full control, especially of their bladders, until they're more mature. Even months after you think a puppy is reliably house trained there may be an accident or two, or even a brief series of accidents that should be taken in stride and not as an indication that the pup isn't or can't be house trained. If it happens, just take a deep breath, start over with watching closely and taking the pup out more often than you had been. Unless there's a medical reason, things should go back to normal very quickly.

 

I just wanted to point this out so that the OP knows to expect this and won't relegate the puppy to loving in the yard if there's a short period of backsliding.

 

Other than that, kudos for being willing to give the pup a chance to prove himself capable of being trained and living in the house. :)

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Hello everyone:

 

Not lost, just busy! I have been reading all the posts and thank you very much for all the comments and suggestions.

 

So far, we have been getting along great with our puppy. He's had a handful of accidents (the most recent a few minutes ago) but nothing too worrying.

 

We have peeing down to a science. Every two or three hours, I take him to the backyard, tel him to "go potty" and he goes. Excellent. Hardly ever fails or has accidents.

 

Poo is proving more difficult. He never goes while on a leash. I don't know if he is extraordinarily sensitive and picks up that I don't like his poo, if he is shy or what. The fact is I can wait hours with him, go back every half an hour, or whatever. He will hold it in until he has a few seconds alone. He does get say 20 minutes or so in the backyard (supervised) two or three times a day and this is when he will find a time to go. I have not stopped him to MAKE him go on a leash. He is, after all, going outside. But, it is clear that he is learning to go while not on a leash.

 

For a couple of days I tried to force him to go while on a leash by denying him time without a leash. He ended up going in a small terrace we keep him at times when I can't watch him. I guess I could still go further and make sure he is always in a crate or on a leash but it seems overkill. As I said, he is going outside, after all.

 

So, my question is, should I be this strict? Is it bad if he gets used to going while not on a leash? I know it would be great if he could poo on command and on a leash but I am reluctant to get so strict.

 

Also, he does seem to love to eat dirt (and anything else he can put in his mouth). I can take away leaves, twigs, barks, rocks, etc. But dirt is tough. He is desperate for it. Dives to the ground to get it. I have read on other posts that this is relatively normal. But how much is safe?

 

And, when is a good age to start basic training? Sit, heel, come here, etc.

 

Finally, is bathing ok? How frequent?

 

I know I am getting off topic but I appreciate your feedback. Attached is a pic for all who kindly asked (at 8wks, on the day he arrived)

 

post-17119-0-57845500-1481514347_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks again.

 

 

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With my puppies my first priority with housebreaking is getting them trained to go outside and not in the house. Once I accomplish that I worry about teaching them to go while on a leash and in a certain area of the yard.

 

Training can start now just keep it to short sessions (if he starts ignoring you he could be overstimulated or tired) and always positive. Puppy classes are a great way to teach skills in a distracting environment and your puppy will get to interact with lots of other puppies and people.

 

I almost never bathe my collies. I don't bother bathing unless they get stinky. On the rare occasion they get muddy (I live in the desert), I just rinse them off.

 

Your pup is adorable. What a charming, little guy!

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Basic training like sit, down, stay can start at any time. Just make sure you are consistent with your verbal commands and/or hand gesture/signal, or he may get confused. BCs (in my admittedly limited experience) learn those sort of basic commands very quickly, especially with a good treat etc. Short sessions, as RemsMum says, positive reinforcement and then watch that marvellous BC brain work as he tries to figure out what will get him the reward!

 

As far as baths go, I say BCs have a teflon coat, even as a puppy. They will get muddy, but leave them to dry and they will be clean again like magic - the dirt just slides off! ;)

 

A good brush should keep them pretty clean. I only wash when the white turns grey when dry, or if there is something really mucky and stinky on their fur, and even then a spot wash is often enough. It does depend a bit on their fur too; one of my boys has quite a wiry outer coat, which somehow requires more washing than the other two boys' soft silky coats.

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I agree with Mr. McCaig, above. Don't be too particular with him too soon or you might mess up his understanding of his potty training, which sounds to me as if it is going fine.

 

As for other training, there is no such thing as too early to start training. Some trainers who do Guide Dogs for the blind start with a puppy before the eyes are even open!

I have started training with a puppy before it was old enough to leave its mother. Of course.....easy goes it, simple things gently taught, and lots of positive reinforcement, making it a game that the puppy always wins. An 8, or even 6 week old puppy is old enough to start learning to walk on a loose leash, sit, lie down, come and sit, and sit and wait for a release to start eating. Little things like that. As the puppy gets older, you start adding one or two new things each week to keep things interesting. Most border collies love like crazy to learn new things. It's as if they are saying "please teach me something and then tell me to do it!"

 

As for bathing, most border collies don't need it. They have Teflon coats. I have rarely bathed mine, although in the summer time I have hosed them off with cool water to get the dust off and cool them down. If you have access to a pool or nice body of water that will do the job as well.

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Dear OP,

 

Your puppy is deciding your shared house is his DEN and instinctIvely he won't foul his DEN. It is not a good idea to confuse him with less important matters (leash, special potty place) before the basic idea is firmly fixed in his mind.

 

Donald McCaig

 

 

What Donald said. :) You don't want to make your puppy stress out over going potty! To a dog, especially a baby puppy, it's just something you do when the urge strikes. The where and when of it only gradually start to sift into his awareness.

 

Yes, I think you are being too strict. You're asking too much too soon. First he needs to learn to potty outside. Once he has that down, then you can work on the where. You cannot micromanage a puppy into perfection, and a border collie pup is apt to be particularly sensitive to your disapproval.

 

Nobody likes dog poop. but if you own a dog, it's a fact of life. No matter how diligent we are, at various points in a dog's life, poop happens, It's going to end up stuck on our shoes, in his tail, stuck to his butt - and sometimes he's going to have an upset tummy and he may have an explosion (out of either or both ends) that requires lots of paper towels and dish soap. Brace for that, too.

 

Having dogs is sometimes messy. It's untidy. It's sometimes even inconvenient. We do the best we can with them, but we can't raise them from the first day to never make a mistake and to do everything just right. Allow the mistakes, forgive and ignore them. Just try to set him up for success, rather than penalizing him for doing it wrong. He's still a baby dog.

 

After all, you don't accidentally want to train him to think that he's not supposed to potty in front of you at all. That would just be setting up other behavioral or emotional problems.

 

As for bathing, dogs don't sweat and accumulate grease in their hair. If you bathe them too often, you can actually strip oils from their coat and they can end up with dry fur and flaky skin. Border collies generally only need bathed when they are actually dirty or if they are heavily shedding. Mine get a bath in the spring and one later in the year and that's about it. If they get into something gunky, I'll bathe them as needed. But they really don't need it often.

 

As for basic training - start now! BUT ... keep it super, super short. 60 seconds at most and do not drill. Call him to you, give him a treat, let him go. Call him to you, ask him to sit, give him a treat, let him go. And be sure to call him for no reason at all, not just because you want to catch him. Border collies are super clever about that. ;)

 

As for eating and chewing random stuff - do you have chew toys for him? Remember that he is teething and will be until @ 6 months old. For my own pups, I always have lots of good chew toys for them and any time they get into something undesirable, I remove it or them and stuff a proper toy in their mouths. Nylabones, rope toys, rubber toys, big chew biscuits are all good. Just avoid rawhide because they can't digest that properly and it can create problems if swallowed.

 

He's an ADORABLE boy! :)

 

~ Gloria

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P.S. As I mentioned previously, if you really want him to potty in a certain part of the yard, the easiest thing to do is just get a couple x--pens and fence off an area and let him do his thing in there. One thing to bear in mind is that movement - running, playing, romping - stimulates a dog to eliminate. So at his age, your boy may just find pooping on leash too hard to do, because he can't run around and get his system going.

~ Gloria

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