Toilet training - on the right track? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Toilet training - on the right track?

Hi all,

Just another post regarding my 10 week old pup.

She isn't 100% toilet trained yet. We take her out when she wakes up, after she eats, or if we notice her sniffing a lot.

She pees in her usual spot outside as soon as we take her out. The only time she doesn't if she definitely doesn't need to go.

My issue is overnight. We don't wake up every hour or two. We just leave her to sleep in the living room. She tends to poop twice overnight. She doesn't usually poo straight after eating.

Is this something that will improve as she gets older or do we have to make the effort and get up throughout the night?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 08:26 AM
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Make the effort and get up in the night. You can trade off poop duty. Time flies and as they get older they can hold it longer, but why let her soil herself or her crate, or your floors if she's not crated, when you don't have to?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 09:40 AM
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Does she sleep in a crate? If not, the right size crate should help eliminate the behavior. And if she already does sleep in a crate, is it small enough? Is she actually lying there in her own waste all night, or is the crate big enough for her to eliminate at one end and sleep at the other? If the latter, a smaller sleeping space might be all you need. If the crate is small enough, then you may need to take her out at least once in the middle of the night for another couple of weeks, maybe a month.

What time do you feed her at night? What time do you crate her for the night? Does she eliminate right before bedtime?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 09:42 AM
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It sounds like your pup is making progress, but I'd try to prevent the accidents at night as much as possible. It wasn't clear from your post, but if you aren't crating your pup overnight, I would. And, yes make the effort to get up once or twice a night if she needs to go out. The hard work and discomfort will be worth it in the long run! Be sure to clean up any mistakes with a special cleaner that will eliminate the odors. Also, make sure that the crate isn't too big. It should be just large enough for the pup to stand and turn around. Use a divider if the crate is large. You don't want to leave room for the pup to pee on one end and sleep on the other. When I have a pup, I usually put the crate by our bed so I can hear if he/or she wakes up and needs to go outside. All of my pups have been able to sleep through the night within a week or two, but every puppy is different.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately forgot to mention we don't use a crate (previous dog which was a companion breed didn't use one).
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau's Mom View Post
What time do you feed her at night? What time do you crate her for the night? Does she eliminate right before bedtime?
She eats around 630pm. I try to get her to poop before her final bedtime. We say goodnight to her around 1030pm (she knows to sleep around this time).
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 10:24 AM
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I highly recommend a crate. In my experience it makes the process much easier and clearer for the pup. I don't know any other way to prevent accidents while you are sleeping and she is still learning...maybe blocking off a small section of a bathroom?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 10:58 AM
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“...forgot to mention we don't use a crate...”

Oh, it is so worth the investment! Especially during the first 2 years. You can purchase an adult-sized crate with an internal divider, and use the divider to create a small sleeping space for your puppy. As another poster mentioned, be sure she has enough room to turn around and lie down, but no more. You move the divider as she grows, until you don’t need it anymore. Throw an old sheet or blanket over the top to make it den-like. At this age you can put a cozy mat or bed in there with her, though she may destroy it when she’s in her chewing phase. A favorite soft toy or a T-shirt that smells like you is nice, too.

During the first 2 years, GSDs can be pretty destructive when left alone, especially before 1 year. The crate can contain your pup when no one is around to watch her. I’d’ve had no rugs or soft furniture left if I’d left Beau uncrated on his own before he turned 2. Also, if you feed her in her crate and make it positive in other ways, she will come to know it is her safe space and like being in it as long as she’s not in it all the time.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 11:05 AM
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Crate training is highly recommended, not only for house-training, but to make the association of the crate with a safe "cave" that the dog can go to either as a retreat for him or a place to send him if he needs to be confined for a period (like if you're cleaning or need to prop the door open to move something in or out, etc.) It also confines him while you can't watch him (or just need a break) so things don't get chewed up. Don't want your shoes chewed on, or electrical cords either.

When we got our pup at 7 weeks, we crate trained. We took the pup out as recommended on the forum (see all the house-training threads), fed small meals at regular times, took up water in the evening around 9P, and the took turns getting up about every 3 hours to bring the dog out for potty.

This was kind of a pain for several months BUT IT WORKED. I can count on one hand the accidents our pup had and 80% of them were MY fault. Mostly, I forgot to take the little guy out about 30 mins after playing or right after he woke up, etc and he had to go. He had ONE poop incident. We were diligent otherwise and this made it so much easier on us AND him.

We slowly increased the time he and we could spend asleep at night. I'd say by 5 months, maybe a little before that, we were back to sleeping through the night. At 6 months we went to 2 feedings per day and leaving water out at all times. No issues. Potty breaks 1st thing in AM and last thing at night.

Maybe 2 months ago we did the experiment to see how things would go if we let Boon roam the house at night. Figured he'd let us know if he had to go out, but since we walk him before bed, he hasn't had to. He mostly comes into our bedroom to sleep, or the hallway just outside. In another few months, we'll start letting him stay outside the kennel (crate) for increased periods while we're away from the house. It's a process. Go through the process patiently and everybody has a better experience.
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 11:11 AM
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Dogs can LOVE the crate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau's Mom View Post
Also, if you feed her in her crate and make it positive in other ways, she will come to know it is her safe space and like being in it as long as she’s not in it all the time.
At night before bed, my dog usually gets a Greenie or other treat. As soon as he hears the cookie jar lid rattling, he knows it's treat time and HE RUNS TO THE KENNEL, opens the door and sits waiting. Kennel means treats! Yay, kennel! That association was built up on purpose with lots of treats and praise. Now, if someone comes to the door and I need him to get in there quick, I just have to say "Kennel!" and he zips on in. No stress, no drama, just how life should be.
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