Potty Training Help Please! - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Potty Training Help Please!

Hi all!

For a bit of background: We have a 2 y.o. female dog that we got when she was about 3-4 months old. I crate trained her from the first day home and she learned about potty training very quickly. That said, she had some issues with the crate at first, as the foster family didn't crate her and when they tried and she cried, they brought her in the bed with them. As much as I appreciate the good work they did overall, obviously this was not the easiest situation to remedy. Anyway, when she began her crate training here, I completely ignored her crying and fussing since I didn't want to encourage this behavior...but now she does not whine or fuss when she REALLY has to go outside either. Luckily it is a bit easier since she is fed meals and so I can predict when she needs to go out. Buuut...when she has an upset tummy, she will sometimes still go on the floor. Totally understandable - it happens very rarely and it is very obvious that her tummy was upset when it happens.

Fast forward to our new little dude: 10-12? weeks, male, GSD mix (of some sort). He has been much easier to crate train, but he also has different patterns to which we are still adapting. The question I am dealing with is whether or not we should let him out when he whines in his crate? I don't want to "reward" the fussing and noise, but I would REEEEALLY appreciate a dog that wakes me up to go outside rather than going in his kennel or on the floor (in the future). So I am torn! Do I respond to the cries and potentially encourage it even when he doesn't really require attention...or do I ignore him and deal with the messy consequences???

Thanks for any help you can offer!
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Grimm - male GSD? mix rescue puppy and my first little boy!

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Old 01-23-2013, 12:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Definitely in the moment that he's crying, you should not fuss with him. Perhaps wait when he's quiet, and then let him out of the crate, otherwise you'll have a dog that always cries even when he doesn't need to go out because crying = attention.

There are also other ways to teach a dog to let you know when they need to go out. Perhaps when he cries, if you take him out, take him immediately to the potty spot. Don't play outside or give him any other attention except potty spot. When he's older and can stay out of his crate, try a bell by the door. Every time you take him out, ding the bell, and most dogs will connect bell with out.

Going in a crate is pretty rare, unless in the puppy phase they're allowed to mess their crate too often (just because baby bladders can't hold it!) so the bell method should be just the thing to get a dog that signals.

Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is ok, I know every dogs bark and what it means. Live and learn, so does he have to go potty or throwing a fit?
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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when the pup is crated take him out often for potty
breaks. i use to crate my pup for short intervals (many times)
throughout the day. over night i took him out every 2 hours.
that doesn't mean your pup has to go out every 2 hours.
whenever i crated my pup i use to say "go to your crate" as
part of his future training of going to the crate on command.
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