Housetraining Nightmare - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Housetraining Nightmare

So I realize I may have been spoiled with my husband's dog. He got his puppy at 8 weeks already crate trained and slept through the night from the beginning. He was super motivated to not mess in his crate and have obvious signs whenever he was about to go so you could run him outside. My puppy is nothing like that.

The first night I only scheduled one potty break (what can I say? the first dog didn't need any), and I ended up cleaning up one puddle from the first interval and a poo from the second. The next night I put her crate in our bedroom and took her out every time she made a noise (I didn't really sleep that night). She made it without any accidents, but half the time we went out I could tell she didn't really need to go. So the third night I left her in our room, but only took her out on two scheduled breaks. There were no messes everyone got to sleep and I thought we were well on our way to success.

Until the fourth night, when she screamed the entire night. I took her out more than the scheduled times, but she didn't really have to go, just wouldn't shut up. Well my husband figured out in the morning that she was crying because she was thirsty. I never let her drink during the night because I'm trying to prevent accidents. So last night I let her drink later than normal and moved up the first potty break. She started crying a little before I had planned to take her out the second time, so I took her out early and she wanted another drink. Just like the kid in Gremlins, I fell for it and let her have some water. I went back to bed expecting her to wake me up in a bit when she had to pee (since I figured she wouldn't last all the way to 6 like I had originally planned). But 6 am rolled around and not a peep. Awesome! She made it!

Nope. Not only had she peed her crate, she had fallen asleep in the puddle and spread a small amount of poo everywhere. I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the poo. Maybe she ate it? Anyway, it looks like I have a puppy that will scream like a banshee if she hasn't had a drink in the last hour, but silently plays in her own excrement
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 04:37 PM
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Well, I'd definitely leave her water at night

You need to stop thinking the puppy is going to tell you when she needs to go. Some do, and they are awesome. Lots don't and it's not their fault they don't know to cry/do an exaggerated potty dance for our benefit. Figure out a schedule where you're taking her out before she has to go (because if you delay even slightly there'll be an accident) and follow that. Slowly increase the time between potty breaks as long as she's accident free. Decrease if not. Make sure her crate is just big enough for her to stand and turn around - should help convince her to hold it. In a way, eating her own poop is a good sign. She wants to keep her bed clean and is doing it just like mom did. Try not to let that happen again or you may encourage a poop-eating habit.

Settle in for a nice long potty breaking period. It's not terribly unusual for a puppy to take 6mos. or more to really connect that 1) they should potty outside, 2) they should not potty indoors, and 3) if they have to go, they should get someone to let them out and hold it until they do. Most of the 'my puppy was potty trained at 8wks' stories really mean that their puppy was good at signalling and the owner was good at taking them out as soon as they signaled.

My dog, who was also terrible at signalling, was 'technically' potty trained by 4mos. (i.e. accident-free) but he could not be trusted without someone watching him like a hawk and being on a strict schedule. It would have been sooner, but he couldn't hold it from lunch until I got home from work for a long time. By 5 mos. he'd clued in on the don't potty indoors bit to the point he wouldn't even go at the indoor puppy class with all the rest of the dogs pottying all around him, and around 6-7mos. he'd finally learned to come get me, bark if he needed to be let out, and keep harassing me until I did.

Try not to get frustrated with her if she's not as quick as your other puppy. She'll get it
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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In a way, eating her own poop is a good sign. She wants to keep her bed clean and is doing it just like mom did. Try not to let that happen again or you may encourage a poop-eating habit.
Hmm I didn't think of that. I was thinking that her laying in a puddle of her own pee and spreading the poo everywhere was a sign that she really didn't care if her bed was clean. She has room to go on one end on sleep on the other (I know that's wrong, but I haven't been able to find a divider yet), so I figured that's what a "clean" puppy would do.

In any case, we're doing great during the day. I just keep hoping to repeat that one great night where I only had to take her twice and there were no accidents *sigh* Frankly nighttime would be a lot less stressful if it were during the day (if that makes any sense at all?). The nighttime, sleep deprived me isn't nearly as patient and understanding as the fully awake me lol.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 05:33 PM
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Make sure his crate is only a little bit bigger than her actual size. Just enough to turnaround.

This is what I did with my little monster

Night 1: he wakes us up all night. He wouldn't "go" in the crate because we make it just enough for him to turnaround only. We take turns take him out about 6 times throughout the night. No drink after 1.5 hours before bedtime.

Night 2: I set alarm every 2 hours to take him out. He wakes us up once. So we took him out 5 times total

Night 3: Same, set alarm for 2 hours, he didn't wake me up. I wake him up to go outside. But we stick with this schedule

Night 4: Set alarm for 3 hours, I wake him up to go outside. He actually hesitate to get out of the crate.

Night 5: I turn off the alarm, let him be the one wake me up if he wants to go outside.. and bam! I woke up at 6 am. Took him out first thing in the morning. No accident in the crate at all

Night 6: Hold it through the night, no accident.

He is 13 weeks old now. We have some night he wakes me up or get up too early.

Be consistent. I had time when I wanna just wanna give him away but if you find what works for him, it will be so much easier. GSD is easy to train. If we know how to train them. Thats what I get out of my relationship with my boy

Lincoln - 12/30/12
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 08:50 PM
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I'm with linck - set an alarm and be the one to wake the pup up. We did 3 hours with Willa, and she has NEVER messed her crate, and she is now 4 mos. (I was shocked!!) we also restricted her space, and it helped. Use what you have - pile blankets in half or use cardboard for now.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Last night was a success! We made it the whole night with no messes to clean up and no screaming! I actually did the same potty schedule (midnight, 3, and 6) but she got her food earlier in the day (I think the food makes her thirsty) and water an hour before bed so she didn't ask for water all night! I also wore her little butt out with training, socialization, and playtime

Of course I'm still exhausted, but maybe if we do this again tomorrow and she's good, I'll try 1, 4, and 6 (we go to bed at 10 so the intervals would be the same) and then depending on how that goes maybe 1:30, 5, and 6 and then just 2? I would love for her to sleep through the night soonish cause I'm not sure it's possible to get fully rested in 3 hour intervals (especially when you spend those 3 hours having nightmares about puppy poo lol!).
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 11:17 AM
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My puppy at 14 weeks is now 96% house trained and lets me know when she needs to go out. This is our schedule for night time:
-No water after 7pm, no food after 5pm
-Last potty before bed at 10:30 and go straight into crate
-Potty between 3/4am (we did this until about 12 weeks), and straight back into crate
-Potty bwteen 5/6am

At that point, I can try putting her back in the crate so I can get more sleep, but she'll wake me up every hour or so to go out because she knows its daytime and wants to get up. Which I'm fine with. But this has kept us with no mess to clean up in the crate ever. Once you get a better feel for a routine, I think it becomes a lot easier.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 11:22 AM
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Exercise him before bed. Flirting pole, fetch session, walk.... Anything.. Wear that puppy out!! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bequavious View Post
Last night was a success! We made it the whole night with no messes to clean up and no screaming! I actually did the same potty schedule (midnight, 3, and 6) but she got her food earlier in the day (I think the food makes her thirsty) and water an hour before bed so she didn't ask for water all night! I also wore her little butt out with training, socialization, and playtime

Of course I'm still exhausted, but maybe if we do this again tomorrow and she's good, I'll try 1, 4, and 6 (we go to bed at 10 so the intervals would be the same) and then depending on how that goes maybe 1:30, 5, and 6 and then just 2? I would love for her to sleep through the night soonish cause I'm not sure it's possible to get fully rested in 3 hour intervals (especially when you spend those 3 hours having nightmares about puppy poo lol!).

Lincoln - 12/30/12
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 12:20 PM
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The wearing out before bed was our personal success to nighttime potty training. The other thing we watched out for were puppy naps; Finn would crash for a 2 hour nap around seven thirty-ish and wake up around nine, nine-thirty. We would play from when he woke up for about thirty to fourty-five minutes, then it was potty and bed. He would be ready to get up for the day by six a.m.

The minute we killed the late night nap, sleeping through the night happened almost immediately.

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaolin View Post
The wearing out before bed was our personal success to nighttime potty training. The other thing we watched out for were puppy naps; Finn would crash for a 2 hour nap around seven thirty-ish and wake up around nine, nine-thirty. We would play from when he woke up for about thirty to fourty-five minutes, then it was potty and bed. He would be ready to get up for the day by six a.m.

The minute we killed the late night nap, sleeping through the night happened almost immediately.
Yeah except I need that late nap so I actually get to spend some time with my husband lol! Plus it's really hard to play with her for more than an hour and that's the only way to keep her awake. She actually kept laying down during our last play session last night cause she was so worn out

How old was Finn when he slept through the night?
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