Signs to go Potty - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Signs to go Potty

DOES ANYONE HAVE SUGGESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO TEACH MY DOG TO ALERT ME WHEN HE NEEDS TO GO OUT? HE'S HOUSE BROKEN BUT HE RATHER JUST HOLD IT OR HE STARTS GOING CRAZY AND BITES WHEN HE NEEDS TO GO OUT. HE'S A 10MTH OLD 70 LBS SHEPARD, I CAN'T HAVE HIM GET THAT EXCITED EVERYTIME HE NEEDS TO GO OUT.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 03:17 PM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

A few people hang bells on their door. That way the dog can ring the bells when he wants to go out.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 04:56 PM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

I've used the jingle bells on the doorknob with a few fosters and had really good success. Some of them catch on too well and "ring" just to go outside, but after a few days the novelty wears off.

If you are taking him out when he bites at you now, you'll have to work on breaking that habit while also teaching him something new. Actually, having something new may help with getting rid of the old! Have you noticed if he is already on an internal schedule for peeing and pooping? Try to figure out his schedule and whenever you can, beat him to the punch (or bite in this case) and take him out before he gets too wound up.

Good luck - I'm sure it's no fun to have a 70 pound spinning top full of pee trying to get out the door.

Jill
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 06:59 PM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

mychance is right, if you want him to stop biting you when he wants to go out, don't take him out when he bites you, that way he won't keep doing it. These dogs are smart, if biting you makes you take him out, he's going to keep doing it.

What you could is what I do:

Everytime they eat or drink, 20-30 minutes they go potty( or they hold it, or they let me know when) When they wake up from being asleep, they go potty. Excessive sniffing is a great indicator of needing to go.

Once the dog is out there, say "Go ---" (whatever word you use, potty, busy, whatever) That way, when they are inside, they associate that word with that action. As this progresses, you can ask the dog "You need to go ---" and the dog should tilt is head, which for mine means they have to go.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 04:53 PM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

a follow up question: how do you teach your dog to ring the bell to go out & potty?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-03-2008, 05:17 PM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

I found a post here with tips. I honestly can't remember which section - maybe with the puppy stuff?

We don't have a fenced yard so I had to keep a short lead on Duke all the time until he caught on. My problem was that he would just stare at the door when he needed to go out. He had an intense stare, but I still couldn't hear it from the other room.

I used special treats (stuff I wouldn't normally give them - hot dog, bits of roast, etc) and I held the treat as close to the bell as I could without me accidentally ringing the bell. He'd come for the treat, bump the bell, and I'd open the door. He caught on to that really fast. Then I just held the treat while standing near the door and waited for him to bump into the bell. Eventually the treats were every other time, every few times, etc. but we went out every time the bell rang.

He LOVED to be outside so I had to train myself not to let him play or wander if we went out because he rang the bell. He hammed it up for a few days and I felt like I was up & down every 2 minutes, but once I figured out that I needed to just walk to his pee-spot and stand it got boring for him and then he did just ring to go out,

Jill
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 11:51 AM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

Sorry, Jill, I am not clear how this training was to ring the bell to go potty instead of ring the bell when Ward wanted to have a treat and go out?

How did you help him associate bell ringing with going potty?

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 02:14 PM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

I never allow Taedyn to go out a door without sitting and staying first. She sits, I open the door, and she stays until I tell her she can go. Over time you expect more and more calmness before releasing them outside. It took me a few weeks of persistently enforcing this policy, but now she follows it all the time without trouble.

This eliminated her hyper excitedness, door rushing, barking, whining, etc, when she realized she would be going out. It is also an extra protection against her running outside. If a door is open, she will run out but it's too "weird" for her, so she runs back in and sits and waits for me.

So.... to her "sitting pretty" at the door means she wants to go out. She will now sit at the door and whine to signal she needs to go out. I also take her out at regular times, so she only begs to go out when she's not feeling well, or I forget.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 02:44 PM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

It actually took a few days of Duke (he was a foster that I tried this with for the first time) ringing the bell just to get a treat and go outside before I caught on to the game. He was much more trainable than me!

We kept the bell, but I would just walk him to the area in the yard the dogs use for pottying and stand there not interacting with him. After a few minutes we'd head back inside. That ended the game pretty fast.

Duke was here for almost 8 months and eventually we took down the bells because he would come and get someone if he really needed to go out. For the first few weeks though I cleaned up a lot of accidents because he just stared at the door. I found the bell suggestions and the training tips on this forum. I'm not sure I got all the details right, but it ended up working well for us.

Jill
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 06:25 PM
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Re: Signs to go Potty

Jill, greatly appreciate the expanded clarification!

They are so very smart, arent' they?

As I posted, I re-read your posting again, and found this extra step of you controlling what he will do once he is outside -- sorry for missing it the first time around! That now makes it very clear to me!

Bless you and your dogs for all your fosters!

Tanya

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