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I have a 12 week old female GSD named Anke. Very sweet, follows me around like a shadow, already great with walking off leash. But, we are having some potty training issues and I'm out of ideas.

ISSUE: She excited/submissive pees and will pee in the house sometimes. She only excited/submissve pees with my boyfriend or strangers, never me. We've tried bending to her level when petting her, no luck. There are days when we take her out to potty over 15 times, and she goes every time. Sometimes she will sit by the door when she needs to go, but this is not consistent.

Boyfriend has never had a dog before, so his patience is limited here. He loves her and wants to keep her, but he's tired of cleaning up pee and wants a dog that doesn't pee every time he pets her. We are moving in 2 months and I promised that if she hadn't imporved drastically by then, I would find her a new home. Clock is ticking, help!!!

WHAT I'VE TRIED SO FAR:

- She is crated at night and when we leave. Has had some accidents in her crate. She's very comfortable with her crate, and will lay down in it of her own volition.

- Puppy pads, which she uses sometimes but not really

- We DO NOT discipline her when she excited/submissive pees as we read that this can make the behavior worse. We just ignore it and clean it up quietly

- Discipline when she has accidents in the house: we stick her nose in it, smack her butt firmly but not hard, say "NO" and take her outside. Praise and treats when she goes outside. She has now gotten to the point where as soon as we come in, she sits down and expectantly waits for her treat.

- We take her out often, including 15 minutes after meals, when she wakes up from naps or in the morning, and whenever she sniffs around like she needs to go.


She has a vet appointment on Friday, and I am trying to get her into obedience school asap. I've owned dogs all my life and haven't had to deal with the excited/submissive peeing. Not sure what to do!
 

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You do have a good plan, except for the smacking on the butt and rubbing her nose in it. That is way too severe and is making her submissive peeing worse. When she has an accident, say a firm no - take her immediately outside, and say calmly "go here" or whatever word you use. For the greetings, I would have her greet people outside that way if she pees, it doesn't matter.
 

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My puppy also had excited urination issues when she was young. She was just too excited by the world. :)

To be honest, we just had to wait it out. She just turned 6 months and now she very, very, rarely has an excitement urination accident.

Of course, you still should crate train her, let her out frequently and avoid situations you know will trigger an accident. When strangers came over we just made sure she was outside. We introduced her to strangers outside and prevented any behavior that we knew would get her overly excited and cause an excitement urination issue.

As long as you don't give her reasons to be afraid of you and there isn't a medical condition, then with time it will most likely corrects itself.
 

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- Discipline when she has accidents in the house: we stick her nose in it, smack her butt firmly but not hard, say "NO" and take her outside.
Seriously? Not a good idea at all. What exactly do you think sticking her nose in her pee is going to teach her? And smacking her for peeing - how would she know that the problem is with where she's peeing not the act itself?
 

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Taking another look at your post, it seems to me that your pup doesn't know what is expected of her. Partly, I think because you are taking her out so often so she isn't learning to hold it, so then when she is in her crate for the night, she pees. The idea of the crate training is to teach the pup how to hold it by starting out for short periods during the day - say 1/2 hour and gradually increasing. Also she needs to be outside long enough so she empties out. Take her to pee but then walk her - say for 10 minutes - she will have more time to pee again. She probably right now is only peeing a bit, then when she comes back inside - she has to go again, so she has an accident. So, I suggest after you bring her back inside after her walk and potty time, play with her or have her follow you by attaching the leash to your belt - then, say after 15 minutes, let her have some water - put her in her crate for 1/2 hour with a toy. Let her take a nap. After that time, take her immediately outside to potty.
 

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Why would you punish a dog that is already showing signs of submission? You should be building her confidence.

And peeing while submitting is not cowardice or anything to be repulsed about. It is how puppies act when they are little and the adults groom them. It just stays with some puppies for a while longer.
 

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I would suggest just ignore if she goes in the house unless you catch her in the act. Then you say 'NO' or "EH' and scoop her up and take her outside. DO it calmly but firmly. Treat her outside right after she does it. 3 seconds later the treats wont mean anything. All correction or reinforcement has to happen within 3 seconds of the behavior.

And even when you think she is consistent, there will be accidents now and then. But it looks like she is getting to the point of being fully house trained.
 

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potty training help

Our pup is 16 weeks now and we have seen HUGE improvement just in her natural bladder control from 9 weeks to now. She was initially having some accidents in the crate, and some submissive peeing, but in the last 2 weeks or so she's had no crate peeing at all, and only pees in the house if we don't take her out right away. Our trainer said she might just be developing a little late in terms of her physical ability to hold it, and sure enough she got better!

Also our trainer suggested restricting water in the crate especially 90 minutes before bedtime. We started feeding her larger meals a little earlier in the day as well, tapering off more in the early evening so that she'd be nearly empty before bed. She was at about 6 hours able to hold it at around week 12-13.

Last thing - we live in a condo that's kind of hard to exit all the way to the outside for a puppy. So we used a large underbed box full of yesterday's news litter, put it in our second bathroom (tile floors) and showed her "go potty" in the box for the midnight / 6am potty. She picked it up perfectly and has recently started transitioning herself, so that when I take her in the bathroom she just drinks water and lays down, then I put her back in her crate where she has breakfast and goes back to sleep for about an hour before I take her out for the AM potty walk outside.

Our trainer gave us a really nice schedule for feeding/watering/crating that was helpful, I can post here if there's interest. She's developed to the point that we don't have to do the out-feed-out and can now just do feed-out, but that schedule did help a lot up until week 14.
 

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excited / submissive pee

One more thing - my vet said the submissive pee thing is common in puppies and they will usually outgrow it.
 

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Lots of good points. Don't use puppy pads. The underlying message is that it's OK to go in the house. You're confusing her.
The rubbing nose/smacking is both ineffective and inhumane. Don't do that again.
When she goes in the house it's your fault 100% of the time. You need to pay closer attention to when she needs to go out. This is a very young pup. If you can't watch her she should be in her crate (after she's had a chance to eliminate outside).
If she's out of the crate your eyes should be on her.
When she goes outside you should praise praise praise.
Please don't ruin this pup with impatience.
 
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