Housetraining blues? Reality check needed - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Housetraining blues? Reality check needed

Okay, I'm needing a reality check with housetraining. This is my fourth dog, housetrained them all - but I haven't had a puppy in a decade or so. Never had a problem housebreaking. Brought him home at 10 weeks, have had him 2 weeks tomorrow. He was obviously not trained at all before. Since he's been home he learned the command go potty in about 3 days and will potty on command outside. Hasn't learned pooper yet.

He's been doing really good, I think, with housetraining, sometimes going a week without an accident. I take him out about every hour or so. I have a crate but don't use it except for when I'm doing things where I can't watch him, like doing laundry or taking a shower. Overnight, I take him out at midnight, once during the night around 3 or so, and then by 8 am. He's dry at night. So far.

In the house, he had an accident the first day, then went over a week without one, but peed right by the door, which I thought was a good try. But then he had one again tonight. It's been pouring, and he apparently didn't want to potty outside. I've been taking him out in the rain regardless, but now he just came in and potty'd in the house.

So, three potty accidents in two weeks with a 12 week puppy. Is that good or what? I'm a bit discouraged tonight thinking I'm letting him slip up. I hate to restrict water and so lately I haven't been taking water up in the late evening as has been recommended, considering he was doing so well, but now I wonder if I should considering these last two accidents. Am I being a bad "trainer" or is 3 accidents not bad? Hence needing a reality check.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 01:36 AM
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For the first time in a long time I'm not doing any potty training, but I remember those days. 3 accidents isn't bad, but keep in mind that every accident sets you back. I remember sitting out in the rain getting soaking wet waiting for a pup to pee. If they don't pee, then they should come in and go in the crate, try again in a few minutes, repeat until they go outside and make sure you praise and reward heavily. If you aren't spending or feel like your spending most of your time outside while potty training then you probably aren't all the way there yet. They get up, pee, eat, pee/poop, they play, they pee, and repeat that 20 times a day.

You have a crate, use it as a tool to help with the potty training. The faster he gets trained the more free time he gets.

You can do this

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 01:39 AM
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I don't think 3 accidents in two weeks is anything to be concerned about. Very few of us are perfect potty-trainers... accidents are bound to happen occasionally. To me, it sounds like you are very well on track to having a housetrained puppy. Just keep sticking to your system, and notice when and why he has any accidents, so that you can avoid that situation in the future.

As far as not wanting to potty in the rain, that's totally normal. However, I would try to curb that behavior now, while he is still young and impressionable. I like to take my puppies outside and play in the rain to get them associating it with good things. Furthermore, if I took a pup out to potty (when I know it should have to go) and it does not, I would crate and try again in another 15 minutes. If you know he probably needs to pee, don't let him get away with refusing to do it outside and then having the opportunity to come do it inside. Rain is no excuse.

I personally do like to restrict water at night, but from your observations it doesn't sound like your pup's accidents are related to leaving the water out, so I don't think that is the source of his slip-ups.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 10:59 AM
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I think you are doing fine. My 10.5 week old has maybe 1 every few days and that is mainly while he is playing! Even if he had just gone outside and peed - he gets so excited. I do restrict water at night and it seemed to really help. He lays down about 9pm in kennel - husband gets off shift about 10:30pm and takes him out again. Then, thankfully, Zulu sleeps the rest of the night with no whining or anything until I get up for work at 5:45 am and then we go outside immediately. In the mornings, he pees a lot - goes back in, plays, then goes back out to pee again. We do this 4-5 times in the mornings

Honestly we are outside more than we are inside - thank goodness the weather is good here!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 11:41 AM
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Males. My females were housebroken instantly. At his age, a few accidents in the house are no big deal. Just keep the spots very clean so the smell is completely gone and be persistent in getting him out.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 11:44 AM
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Some puppies like children take longer to potty train than others. There is variation so with respect to reality... the check is that there are differences. Potty training is not just behavior it is also physical and mental maturity. Roll with it, be consistent, and it will come. My dutch was not consistent until closer to 15 weeks. But after that point, he was rock solid. Be patient with the little guy.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the feedback. I was surprised, I guess, about the last couple of mistakes, because the puppy had been out within an hour or so of each puddle, and he had been good for over a week, and I was thinking to myself both that he had caught the idea, and that he wasn't needing to go when he did those accidents, because he had been out within an hour or so. Last night it was pouring buckets, and he was so fascinated by the rain, I suppose he was distracted, and in the dark, with so much water falling, I must have thought he had. And I hadn't taken water up. I'll go back to doing that at 9 pm.

I would like to spend more time outside, frankly, but it has been brutally hot, heat index in the 100 degree plus and high humidity (we're in the midatlantic). After he's done his business, we play some games and he lies down for a break and a chew on a stick, I look at a book or something for a minute, then raise my head and he has run back to the back door and goes up the steps to go in, even when I would be happy outside for longer. Or he runs back even before that. Even though the yard has lots of shade, I understand why he'd rather be inside. We usually spend a couple of hours outside from 8 to 10 or so, then out every hour or so all day. Each time we go out, we take a walk around the yard, which is over an acre, so that's a biggish walk for a puppy.

My situation is not ideal for housetraining - I am home all day, but I have 4-5 steps going in and out. Puppy can't negotiate the down steps, so I am carrying him down. I worry about hurting him as he is getting bigger and heavier and that's unnatural pressure on his ribs/arms, each time I pick him up given I am doing it so many times during the day. He *has* gone down the steps, but it is a clumsy rush, and I think he'll need another week or two before I trust him not to tumble.

One outside my yard is brushy in places, that he can disappear in an instant. He loves high "grass". I have a stream that crosses my yard, and alongside it is 300 feet of jewelweed that I let grow wild for the hummingbirds. When the jewelweed blooms (its late this year), and the hummers are gone, I'll cut all that back, but in the meantime puppy loves every area that is brushy, filled with jewelweed, roses or raspberry canes. He throws himself into high foliage like kids diving into piles of leaves. I worry when I can't see him. And of course, I have to see him to know that he's pottied. So it's not quite as idea as if there were no steps and I could just open the door and he could go out on his own. That will come I hope when this heat wave breaks and he can go down steps and perhaps even negotiate the dog door on the porch.

What I am guilty of, is thinking because I had over a week where the puppy had not had any accidents in the house, that he was housetrained to hold it for an hour or two, when really, I had just managed him to look like he was housetrained. And I guess it is hard to know when he's crossed that line without risking an accident or two.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
Males. My females were housebroken instantly. At his age, a few accidents in the house are no big deal. Just keep the spots very clean so the smell is completely gone and be persistent in getting him out.

hmm, maybe that is part of it. My first GSD was a male, my last two were females.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 12:51 PM
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It's just my limited experience but the female mature sooner overall. Bladder control is part of maturity.
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