Potty Training Help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Potty Training Help!

I have an almost 11 week old female gsd puppy. We've been working on potty training for the past couple of weeks and although she has made improvements we still are having accidents and issues. Up until this point I have been taking her out "letting her follow me to door and we go outside to yard together without leash" usually in morning, after meals, after sleeping, and after play time. I guess the main problem is that she isn't alerting me as to when she needs to go out and does not go to the door on her own. Should I be leashing her and taking her out everytime? How will she learn to let me know when she needs to go out? Kind of lost on what to do next! Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

Also I got her at 8 weeks... Up until this point the breeder had the puppies in the kennel were they had become accustomed to using the bathroom in the kennel.

I keep her in the kennel at night and when I am away from home but she still continues to urinate in the kennel
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelbwjax View Post
I have an almost 11 week old female gsd puppy. We've been working on potty training for the past couple of weeks and although she has made improvements we still are having accidents and issues. Up until this point I have been taking her out "letting her follow me to door and we go outside to yard together without leash" usually in morning, after meals, after sleeping, and after play time. I guess the main problem is that she isn't alerting me as to when she needs to go out and does not go to the door on her own. Should I be leashing her and taking her out everytime?
I would. Although I know it seems like a long time, 3 weeks really isn't that long. At 11 weeks old, she's still very much a baby, and as such, has little bowel or bladder control. Like a human baby still in diapers, she probably doesn't recognize that she needs to go until right when she does, so there's little advance warning. And she's also still learning that there's only one appropriate place to eliminate - outdoors.

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How will she learn to let me know when she needs to go out?
First, she needs to know that she HAS to go outside to do her business. Until then, you can't expect her to alert you to take her out.

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Up until this point the breeder had the puppies in the kennel were they had become accustomed to using the bathroom in the kennel.

I keep her in the kennel at night and when I am away from home but she still continues to urinate in the kennel
This could certainly be part of the problem, and can set back your housebreaking efforts a bit. But puppies will naturally vary in how long it takes them to learn. The more diligent you can be about not allowing accidents in the house and the more you can succeed in getting her outside to potty (and to reinforce that with happy praise and a little treat), the faster it will go.

We got Dena at 9 weeks old, and her last accident in the house was about a month later. It would have been earlier than that, except that we made a couple of mistakes, like forgetting to make sure she pottied before letting her in the house when we got home. We have a secure outdoor run where our dogs go when we leave, and she was so excited to see us that she came in and then peed on the floor. Oops! Totally our fault.

If I remember correctly, Keefer took about twice as long. He was a very thirsty puppy, and would drink a lot of water and pee frequently. We got Halo at 10 weeks old, but she was a little thing. It took around 3 months for her to figure it out. Be patient, be diligent, and supervise her very closely. Keeping a lightweight leash on her in the house, and even tethering her to you are good ways to make sure she can't wander out of sight for a moment to squat and pee.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 01:06 PM
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How large is her kennel (where she sleeps)?

If it's large enough for her to have a "bathroom" corner and move away from it and lie down, you might find it helpful to reduce the size of her kennel. She only needs space to lie down and sleep.

Depending on what type of kennel you have, you may be able to safely reduce the size by adding a wire crate panel (to a wire crate), or by putting an upside-down milk crate into the kennel (in a hard-sided kennel).
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 01:30 PM
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If your goal is for her to alert you, you can build that alert into the (leashed) potty training exercise. One easy method is to purchase a strip of bells to hang on the door knob ($5 or so in the pet aisle of WM). There's tons of info on bell training online that you can find -- it works pretty well, but it will take longer because he's a baby.

The only downside is some dogs learn to use this as a way of summoning the human for door service so they can go chase squirrels and romp outside. YMMV.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 01:36 PM
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Eleven weeks may be too early for 100%? Most recommendations are for constant monitoring. Small enough kennel they don't want to soil their sleeping space. Frequent outside walks, leashed. Keep the dog leashed in the house and under your observation at all times. They do tend to CIRCLE before they piddle. If she is just going without warning, I think it indicates she is not quite able to hold it? When I take ours out, no matter the age, I say, "Go Now." It becomes conditioning. Many dogs learn to go immediately when they are told, Hurry, etc. Does she have free access to food or a set time and length to eat? Meals seem to stimulate their need to go and you can take advantage of that by leashing her and taking her then to a set place in your yard. Some people do not allow access to water just prior to night time. When our latest dog showed up, 8 hours crated was too long for her to go. Yes, she went in the crate a few times when I was delayed and didn't get home for 7 hours or more. I set an alarm and woke every 2 hours to toilet her when she was about 12 weeks? It didn't take long to stretch that out. At close to 6 months, she is fine from about 11 pm until 5-6am. Make sure you are using an enzyme product that cleans the urine and feces smell. I have good luck with Oxyclean and baking soda mixed to deoxidize the smell.

It is frustrating to have them not 100%. Do your best not to let them get that emotional reaction. I'd shoot for more like 6 months as an expectation of reliability. Still, there are many circumstances that can cause them to have accidents. Dont feel bad, I adopted a 1 year old Golden who took months to house train. Months. Ugh. IT Happens!

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