House breaking - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Guys, I am new to having a puppy this young. The only other dog my family has had we got when she was 4 months old and house breaking was not difficult.

I just realized that our 8 week old GSD has been tricking us.....

We have been taking her out every hour and she squats to urinate every time she goes out. We would praise her and treat her each time she did it.

But then she would go back inside and have an accident. We could not really understand how she had accidents when she just went.

But then we realized she was squatting but not urinating everytime.

I guess we inadvertently trained her to squat everytime she goes outside but she did not make the connection to having to urinate.

In fact looking back at it, sometime she would squat twice during one time going out and I thought it was strange but did not put 2 and 2 together.

I guess this shows her intelligence to pull off this trick just to get treats.

We have since quit treating for using the bathroom. Or should I try to pay close attention and treat only when she urinates? That is hard because you have to inspect and I worry that by the time I determine she actually did urinate she wont make the connection to urinating and the treat.

Any advice? Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 11:52 AM
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I personally have never over praised or given a treat to a puppy for doing their business outside. And I do tell them "no" when they do it inside. Not a loud NO, just a soft-spoken lower-case no, so they understand it's not okay. Then calmly pick them up and take them out. Just be calm and consistent and they catch on pretty quickly, if not you're giving the puppy too much freedom in the house. If that's the case, just keep them tethered to you for a couple days, so you can mark when they start to go with a no, and calmly take them outside.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 01:17 PM
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I've always "treated" and praised mine when he goes outside. But I watch him like a hawk, not because he was "faking" it, but because he was constantly picking stuff off the ground and eating them. At night I would carry a flashlight. Still do. I live in the suburbs so I have to pick up after him. I can't just leave it lying around like some of my neighbors do. He stopped pooping in the house after 3 or 4 days after I got him at 8 weeks old. Peeing is a different story. It took him a couple of months to get that one. Now at 13 months he can pee on command. I say "tinkle" and he pees right away or at least starts looking for a spot. I'm working on his pooping on command, right now. Peeing on command is helpful if you don't have much time and you're in a hurry to do something or go somewhere and you don't want her sniffing around taking her time. Long ago, I talked to a handler of a drug/contrband sniffing dog at the airport while I was waiting for my luggage. She was telling me that their dogs all do their business on command. It's part of their training because they spend most of the time in the airport and when they have to give their dogs a break, they don't want their dogs to take their time sniffing around outside. They've got to get back to work in a hurry. So that's what gave me the idea.

I think the mistake you made was not making sure she went until you came back in the house. So if I were you, I would watch her and ONLY come back in when she's gone...plus praise and treat her right after she does her business. And if you want her to do it on command later on, start using words to associate the act and say..."good potty" or "good tinkle" or "good pee" or whatever the word you want to use. Trust me, the doing-it-on-command thing...I've found it really helpful. Good luck.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 09:29 AM
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I just went through something similar with my puppy. What helped was to actually walk around with her outside, but she never did the squat and no pee. There were times however when she would instantly go potty so it was alway 5-10 min of walking around until it happened. Once she kind of developed her spot outside it got easy.
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