Housebreaking - Please Help!
Hi there. I am so glad to have found this site, but I am sorry that my first post is a plea for help...
I have an 8 month old German Shepherd named Ellie. She is absolutely adorable and incredibly sweet. My issue is that we cannot get her housebroken! Everything I have read and researched tells me how easy it is to potty train these dogs, but we are no closer now than we were 4 months ago when we got her!
We have her crate trained and she does not make a mess in her crate. We walk her on regular schedules. We have tried praise/special treats/etc. when she goes potty outside. We have tried ringing bells on the door before we go out. We have tried a command phrase ("go potty").
I am out of ideas.
As long as we take her out regularly and crate her whenever we are not actively playing with her, we are fine. If we leave her out of her crate and are not with her, she will go to the bathroom inside wherever she is when she needs to go. No signs - no going to the door - no whimpering - nothing.
When she goes inside, we tell her no (calmly), take her outside immediately and clean the area with special enzyme treatments so she can't smell the spot and go there again. No yelling or chastizing. She does not go to a particilar area - just wherever she is. We have had her checked out medically - no issues. She seems happy and well adjusted and my whole family adores her.
Please help me - How do I get her to tell us she needs to go out? How do I teach her that going in the house is wrong?
It is too bad that you didn't get her at eight weeks instead of 16 weeks. There is no telling what they let her do once she was out of the whelping box.
You will have to start over as if she was eight weeks. You can tether her to you, close off rooms, etc. But you will have to start over with this girl because she was never taught the correct way to begin with.
I assume every place she has taken care of her business inside you have done your best to completely remove the scent...and perhaps use something which might replace her odor with an unpleasant odor for the dog....perhaps something which has lemon juice...vinegar works as well. Any leftover scent of the dog's urine in the house will only create an association with that area as the dog's "bathroom".
For all of my dog's over the years, from the first day I owned them...I would sit outside in the area where they were to take care of their needs..and wait...and wait...and finally when they peed or pooped...it was a party of positives and treats. I probably only had to do this a few times and it worked well, plus the scent that they left only made it easier for the dog to understand that THIS is the place to do it.
Hang in there and be patient and consistent....I believe MichaelE's comment " But you will have to start over with this girl because she was never taught the correct way to begin with. " makes good sense.
I would be very patient. I would take her out every hour (or sooner if you think that's not enough). Then, slowly add time between. Like 5 minutes each day. This is basically how I potty train a new puppy. When they're awake and 8 weeks old, they need to go a LOT so I'm letting them out every 20 minutes or so (sleeping, not as much, I don't wake them up just to let them out). I slowly build on that time. Right now my pup is 17 weeks and I'm letting him out every 45 minutes while he's awake. He doesn't always go, but I at least offer. If I wait for him to "tell" me, I find I'm always half a second too late!
Hang in there,
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