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Thread: Advice on toilet training a new dog

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    Elite Member Wiseguy's Avatar
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    Default Advice on toilet training a new dog

    My husband and I at a bit of a Mexican standoff. I am very, very keen on getting two dogs, preferably from a shelter. We both love animals and have a nice home we can give them. The problem is this: we have saved all our lives to finally purchase our first home. Now that we have it, my husband is worried that a new dog will play havoc.

    He has a friend whose dog (which had been toilet trained) peed all over the curtains when a new pet arrived. He is worried our curtains, carpet, rugs etc will be a peeing playground for any dogs we get. Has anybody got some good advice on how to toilet train a new pet so that we won't be faced with accidents all the time? We both want dogs we can keep inside and who can be members of the family.


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    Elite Member Lalique's Avatar
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    I am going thru the process now with our puppy. The vet recommended keeping her in her crate ALL the time and then taking her outside ever 2 hours or so. Make sure to say something like, "Go potty!" when you take them out, take them to the same area each time, praise lavishly when they go outside. Don't punish them for having accidents inside.

    It's been tough for us as my husband and I both work outside the home full-time and both kids are in school all day. Plus it's winter here and that sucks! I think you have to be consistent (always take them out first thing in the morning, after eating, etc). If you don't restrict their space in the beginning by crating them, it will be much harder to house break them. Good Luck!

    BTW, I think it is so cool that you want to get 2 shelter dogs! We got one and are so happy with our new family member!
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    Elite Member Wiseguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. When you say to initially crate them all the time, should I do this even when I'm at home with them? I would find that hard to do.


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    Elite Member Lalique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseguy View Post
    Thanks for the advice. When you say to initially crate them all the time, should I do this even when I'm at home with them? I would find that hard to do.
    Well, the key is to always know where they are. Sometimes around the house I will put her on her leash and attach it to my belt. But if someone can't keep their eyes on her, she goes in the crate.

    I make sure to never use her crate as a punishment. She has come to view it as her "personal" space and does not mind being in it. Just remember to never take a puppy out of it's crate because it is yelping or screaming! This will only encourage the behavior. Wait until they are quiet for at least 30 seconds. They really do learn very quickly that the crate is a good home base!
    What I really want to know is whether it makes your poop glow in the dark after eating it! ~ Kittylady

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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    I can't even remember how we trained our dog, it was so long ago! We didn't crate him though. I do remember he did a few wees on the lounge carpet before he got the hang of going outside! I think a few accidents are expected.
    In others words I have no advice for you lol, but good luck!

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lalique View Post
    Well, the key is to always know where they are. Sometimes around the house I will put her on her leash and attach it to my belt. But if someone can't keep their eyes on her, she goes in the crate.

    I make sure to never use her crate as a punishment. She has come to view it as her "personal" space and does not mind being in it. Just remember to never take a puppy out of it's crate because it is yelping or screaming! This will only encourage the behavior. Wait until they are quiet for at least 30 seconds. They really do learn very quickly that the crate is a good home base!
    I plan to try this also. I read where you should do that with a new dog several days. My dog was easy to crate train. I put him on a leash & said "Go get in your house", took him to his crate. Put him in for like 2 minutes. Back ouit & repeat. Took exactly 5 times in a row. That was when he was 5 months. Still works and he is 6.
    Oh! Sounds like your friends dog was an unneutered male. My dog couldn't pee on curtains. Most shelter dogs here HAVE to be neutered. No,actually-all. Not even most.
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    Great advice on the crate and tie to the belt. It's how I've trained our Labradors every time. And dont worry about the crate. They love it! It's their own den that they go lie in voluntarily with the door open. The real trick is that when they are not being personally supervised by you or DH, put them in the crate and they wont get into trouble. Good luck! BTW, the best time of yuear to get a purebred from a shelter is during the months of February, March and April, when all those christmas present puppies find themselves in the shelter.

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    Silver Member Abbey Normal's Avatar
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    If you don't want to crate them when you are home, just get some baby gates so you can contain them to room(s) that they won't damage. A new dog really doesn't need full access to the entire house. Also, go to the pet store and buy some of that enzyme spray that neutralized the odor if they have an accident. You can clean up the spot, but if it's on a soft surface (carpet), the scent lingers and will attract the dog back to pee in the same area. So, best to keep them on a hard surface floor until they are fully trained if possible. Tired dogs = good dogs...exercise them a bunch!
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    Gold Member Elphie's Avatar
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    baby gates work great when you are home and want to constrict them to a smaller area and aren't crating them.
    the leash is a great idea too b/c you can also catch them and give a quick correction/redirection if they are misbehaving.

    Brian Kilcommons has a few great training books to check out. Also Ian Dunbar. good luck and wtg for rescuing shelter dogs!

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    Elite Member Lalique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbey Normal View Post
    If you don't want to crate them when you are home, just get some baby gates so you can contain them to room(s) that they won't damage. A new dog really doesn't need full access to the entire house. Also, go to the pet store and buy some of that enzyme spray that neutralized the odor if they have an accident. You can clean up the spot, but if it's on a soft surface (carpet), the scent lingers and will attract the dog back to pee in the same area. So, best to keep them on a hard surface floor until they are fully trained if possible. Tired dogs = good dogs...exercise them a bunch!
    Very true!
    What I really want to know is whether it makes your poop glow in the dark after eating it! ~ Kittylady

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    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    Crates are a godsend. My five month old loves her crate. Whenever I can't keep my eyes on her, she goes in the crate. She is almost totally potty trained. We've had fewer and fewer accidents as time has gone on. No poops at all, just a pee sometimes. She'll even go in her crate on her own. The crate gives them a sense of denning/security.

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    All good advice. Basically you have to watch them like a hawk and you quickly realise when they are about to pee/poo. Like human babies, Puppies have very like bladder control so I used to take them outside every few minutes, especially after eating, and if they peed/pood where they were supposed to I'd give them lots of praise and a small reward. Never punish them if they have accidents indoors - it WILL happen no matter how careful you are but if you really keep and eye on them they will very quickly learn where you want them to go. Can they get outside without you opening a door? We put in a large doggy flap so they can get in/out themselves. This is a godsend during the night.

    I've never used a crate and it's too late now but if you start out with one they are really useful and the dogs love it.
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    Elite Member Icepik's Avatar
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    I tried a crate on my Doxie and he HATED it. I couldn't leave him in there for half an hour without him crying and completely destroying everything in the crate. It was always completely drenched because he would become so upset, he drooled the entire time he was crated. HUGE separation anxiety!!

    One day I decided to just section off a part of the house with a couple baby gates, and threw a pee pad in a corner and he was so much happier and used it without accident.

    He's 10 months old now, fully trained and I have since taken down the baby gates without a single incident/accident.

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    Elite Member Wiseguy's Avatar
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    Great advice everyone. I'm showing this to my husband in the hope that the Mexican standoff will come to an end.

    Has anyone used clickers? I have heard they are great for training.


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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Wise-mine is home and was already potty trained! Talk to the people at the shelter, they are good at picking up clues. They noticed mine held it until he was outside. Since I have him home, he has "asked" to go out twice. Yea!!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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