German Shepherds Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
I'm new here, and new to owning a GSD and training a puppy for living inside, so forgive any ignorance for the duration of this post.
I'm having some major issues house breaking and I need some help from experienced owners.
We kinda stumbled into getting our puppy, a female we named Arya, when my wife and I went into a local pet store on the 22nd of December. Conditions for puppies in pet stores break my heart, and against better judgement we brought home a 15 week old GSD puppy. Now, after nearly 3 weeks, she is still going in the house. She showed alot of progression in the first 2 weeks, with accidents becoming less and less, but now, we still have 2 or 3 accidents a day. There's no warning, no whining, and the only way we know is when its happening is when she squats. It usually happens in a specific spot, and we do our best to scrub the area to remove scent. Here is all the pertinent info about her day I can think of.
-We feed 3 times a day. 7am, 12pm, 6pm
-Water is available all day long due to our older dog who is used to having it. (Our other dog is a 5yr whippet/pit who is house broken and hasnt had an accident in years)
-We take her out at wake up, 20 mins after meals, right before bed, middle of the night, and periodically throughout the day.
-Just this week, I started taking her around the house on the leash on the recommendation of a trainer, but she doesn't always want to go while on leash.
-We have had poop accidents too, though not as many as pee accidents, but the lead up is just as quiet.
-Sometimes she digs in the water bowl.

After 3 weeks of trying, I honestly thought she would be letting us know to take her out, but here we are. Today I removed the water bowl after breakfast in fear that I'm letting her have too much water and that was causing the problem, but now she's looking for it and whining. I need help, and I appreciate anyone who can guide me in this endeavour.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,217 Posts
step one would be reviewing this chart...
the battle for you however is going to be substantially harder since acquiring her from a pet store where they essentially learn that it’s ok to relieve where they live and sleep due to the cramped quarters. not to mention these pups typically come from environments that are just as bad if not worse and those first lessons in hygiene come from the directly from dam herself.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Buckelke

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
step one would be reviewing this chart...
the battle for you however is going to be substantially harder since acquiring her from a pet store where they essentially learn that it’s ok to relieve where they live and sleep due to the cramped quarters. not to mention these pups typically come from environments that are just as bad if not worse and those first lessons in hygiene come from the directly from dam herself.
I appreciate the chart, and even without it, we have followed that pattern pretty closely. And I agree with your assessment regarding the bad conditions at the pet store. Honestly, that was part of the pity problem that found her at our house that night. But now I'm not sure what to do to keep her focus on going outside and alerting us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
We're still struggling with Duke so I hear you. There are a few things you can try. First would be putting her on a schedule. Get her up around the same time every day and take her out. Because that's usually a busy time, take her out an hour or so later when you have time to spend walking her. Eat your lunch, then take her out. She's still young and probably needs to go out frequently, probably every two hours. feed her at the same time every day. Scold her verbally when she goes in the house. immedicately take her out and praise her lavishly when she goes outside. At night she needs to be contained, either in a secure area or - as much as I hate them - a crate. It sounds like maybe you are making the most common mistake when you clean up her messes if she keeps going back to the same spot - DO NOT use products that contain ammonia. I'm using PineSol and a deterent spray. Ammonia just draws her back to the same spot - it smells like urine. There are products at the pet store to clean with that remove the smell. She does want to please you, she's just having a tough time learning what you want. And she is physically underdeveloped so perhaps she just can't hold it quite yet. Give her time and be persistant. Meanwhile, you have a puppy and cleaning up after them is part of the deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
yes, I liked the chart, too. But sometimes we don't speak 'dog' so we miss the signals. For example, Duke goes to the door and cries to go out. No problem. But he also goes to the door and cries because he's sure (the cat) (another dog) (a deer) (who knows?) is in the yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unfortunately she wont go to the door at all. Another issue is her drinking water constantly. Like she hasn't drank in days. Our other dog is twice her size and doesnt drink like that. It may be something to ask her vet about, but I wonder if anyone else has the same issue.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,217 Posts
yes, I liked the chart, too. But sometimes we don't speak 'dog' so we miss the signals. For example, Duke goes to the door and cries to go out. No problem. But he also goes to the door and cries because he's sure (the cat) (another dog) (a deer) (who knows?) is in the yard.
this is why i don’t teach or reward indicating... prefer to train the bladder, not the dog. dog at the door means diarrhea at my house.

anyway, one word of caution in regards to scolding dogs for relieving.... depending on the temperament of the dog, it could then make them anxious/reluctant/fearful to relieve in your presence which is problematic if you need them to go on leash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
anyway, one word of caution in regards to scolding dogs for relieving.... depending on the temperament of the dog, it could then make them anxious/reluctant/fearful to relieve in your presence which is problematic if you need them to go on leash.

NOTHING bothers Duke. He's a big, silly, happy, tail wagging disaster area. He takes getting yelled at as attention. It think that's why its been so hard to convince him to go out. He just doesn't care, its all good. He's a real, "I pooped on the floor, lets's get a snack" kind of dog. And he certainly has no problem lifting his leg right in front of me. Then he gives me that, 'what? the chair needed marking' look and wags his tail. I'm afraid Duke is a VERY charming screw up.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,217 Posts
@Buckelke
general word of caution and food for thought for anyone else reading. i’ve seen it happen otherwise i wouldn’t have mentioned it. glad you’ve got an unflappable guy that you enjoy :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Buckelke

·
Registered
Joined
·
621 Posts
I had a really hard time training Juno. I got her at 11 weeks and she peed and pooped inside the house. I can't even describe it. It was crazy and I felt wholly inadequate: I mean how hard is it to housetrain a GSD? Right?

it took about 2 months, so I hear your pain.

I eventually resorted to writing her pees and poops down, and I would take her out every hour, in addition to after every nap, feed, play session. So that means she would be outside for pee breaks about 16 - 18x a day!

I think it's because she was the runt, she was a bit delayed. She came from a reputable breeder. I suspect that she did not fully empty her bladder. She just went enough to take the pressure off.

So I put her on a schedule, which was pee, play, crate 45 minutes, outside for a pee. It helped. Things improved in about 3 weeks. First she was peeing everywhere, then she would move toward the door and not make it. We went from 7 accidents a day to three a day, only pee ones. Then I just kept at it with the schedule. She woke up one morning and decided she was housetrained. She's kinda like that, one morning, she wakes up and decides: ok, from now on, I know how to sit or crawl or whatever.

Juno also drank a lot of water, way more than my ACD/hound rescue. She is now 13 months and still drinks a lot. I think she drinks 5x as much he does. That may be normal, she is way more active than he is, seems to run hotter (pants more than he does), and eats at least 2x as much he does. My rule was no water after 8 pm when she was a puppy. About 2 weeks after I got her, she learned to sleep though the night in her crate. I kept her on a leash and trained her with go pee-pee and go potty. But she spent a lot of time sniffing around in the snow in freezing temperatures in the middle of the night. It was so annoying and sometimes, I said enough and went back inside and she would pee right inside the front door.

I don't think what you're experiencing is that unusual. Some pups take longer than others. I was discouraged with all those stories of folks who had housetrained their puppy in a day. Some folks recommend leaving a bit of old poop lying around in the yard, so the dog knows it can go.

It may help to tether her to you and to feed her in different parts of the house, so Arya learns that all of the house is part of her den. You could also try a crate, so pee, followed by play, sometime outside the crate, then the crate and then outside to pee. I often made the mistake of looking at Juno, trying to figure out if she needed to go, and while I was thinking, she would go (!) When in doubt, take her out.

PS Juno also dug her water bowl (and my house plants) which was adorable. She doesn't do that anymore.
 

·
Registered
Xyla
Joined
·
1 Posts
I had a really hard time training Juno. I got her at 11 weeks and she peed and pooped inside the house. I can't even describe it. It was crazy and I felt wholly inadequate: I mean how hard is it to housetrain a GSD? Right?

it took about 2 months, so I hear your pain.

I eventually resorted to writing her pees and poops down, and I would take her out every hour, in addition to after every nap, feed, play session. So that means she would be outside for pee breaks about 16 - 18x a day!

I think it's because she was the runt, she was a bit delayed. She came from a reputable breeder. I suspect that she did not fully empty her bladder. She just went enough to take the pressure off.

So I put her on a schedule, which was pee, play, crate 45 minutes, outside for a pee. It helped. Things improved in about 3 weeks. First she was peeing everywhere, then she would move toward the door and not make it. We went from 7 accidents a day to three a day, only pee ones. Then I just kept at it with the schedule. She woke up one morning and decided she was housetrained. She's kinda like that, one morning, she wakes up and decides: ok, from now on, I know how to sit or crawl or whatever.

Juno also drank a lot of water, way more than my ACD/hound rescue. She is now 13 months and still drinks a lot. I think she drinks 5x as much he does. That may be normal, she is way more active than he is, seems to run hotter (pants more than he does), and eats at least 2x as much he does. My rule was no water after 8 pm when she was a puppy. About 2 weeks after I got her, she learned to sleep though the night in her crate. I kept her on a leash and trained her with go pee-pee and go potty. But she spent a lot of time sniffing around in the snow in freezing temperatures in the middle of the night. It was so annoying and sometimes, I said enough and went back inside and she would pee right inside the front door.

I don't think what you're experiencing is that unusual. Some pups take longer than others. I was discouraged with all those stories of folks who had housetrained their puppy in a day. Some folks recommend leaving a bit of old poop lying around in the yard, so the dog knows it can go.

It may help to tether her to you and to feed her in different parts of the house, so Arya learns that all of the house is part of her den. You could also try a crate, so pee, followed by play, sometime outside the crate, then the crate and then outside to pee. I often made the mistake of looking at Juno, trying to figure out if she needed to go, and while I was thinking, she would go (!) When in doubt, take her out.

PS Juno also dug her water bowl (and my house plants) which was adorable. She doesn't do that anymore.
We have a female named Xyla who is almost 15 weeks. She seemed to learn potty training pretty quick.....maybe a couple lil pees in the bedroom (just out of excitement). One thing I noticed on your post (which I also practice faithfully) and find extremely helpful is writing down all pees and poos made throughout the day. This is beneficial and a helpful tool to learn the potty visits of your pup. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,255 Posts
So that means she would be outside for pee breaks about 16 - 18x a day!
This is what should be happening. Eyes on or in a crate at all times. Outside if there is any question.
The problem with house training is that people let accidents happen and then it becomes a habit that you need to un teach.
Puppies in my house have ample play and cuddle time but freedom is earned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
They're all a little different, I housetrained a Corso puppy in a few days... he rang the bell on the door faithfully when he needed out until the day he died. He was always the dog who would sneak though, as a grown up with freedoms in the house if I was too far from the bell to hear it then I'd be cleaning up a mess. Follow up puppy, GSD.. that little **** raiser was not getting it, seemed like a battle I wasn't going to win ever. I tried the bell like with the Corso - GSD puppy thought it was a great play toy to try pulling a door off the hinges but never would ring it to get out. I simply kept at it, and considered buying shares in paper towel companies ... Then one day, seemingly out of nowhere, he knew the drill. Finn will try to physically pull me out of bed or off of a couch if he needs out now and I'm not moving as quickly as his bladder - never would ring a bell but will not make a mess in the house. I was simply consistent - always presumed if there was a mess in the house it was my fault so he wasn't ever punished but if I caught him I'd interrupt him and carry him to where he could finish and then we'd throw a party for him. We were in and out what seemed like a million times somedays. I'm also reasonably certain my neighbours think I'm crazy for all the dance parties in the yard when he got it right. He is a rockstar at house training now, we still have a small celebration anytime he asks to go out without my prompting - my neighbours now all know I have a "GOOOOOOOOOD BOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIII"...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,997 Posts
OP you have an 18 week old puppy (could/should be house trained weeks ago) that spent the first 15 weeks of his life learning to go pee inside in a pet store cage....

As someone said, the pup needs to be in a crate for every hour you aren't directly playing/engaging with her. But play/engage with her a lot. Tether her to you when she's out.

A dog that age can hold her bladder for 6 hours easy but now you need to take her out every hour, hour and a half at least. Make her go outside by default since your always out there lol. Set her up for success, celebrate her successes like she just cured cancer and understand that any accidents from this point on is your fault....

I'm one of those idiots that has a dog house trained in a few days/week tops and my latest only had three accidents in the house total (all my fault) and one was within 2 minutes of bringing him home.

It's seldom more than being very persistent and attentive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,186 Posts
Here are tips from someone who had it all figured out, down pat, what a breeze, what are people complaining about and then along came dog #10, puppy #5. One year. It took one #45 year... yup it did.

So, if kiddo is drinking constantly that must mean kiddo has house freedom all the time. Stop it.
If kiddo doesn't go outside on leash, she comes in and gets put in a crate. If human persists in letting dog be free on toilet break, human needs to stay out until dog uses the toilet break for which it was intended. (yeah, if you're in the northern hemisphere that's just the news you want right now...)
In house, out of crate time needs to be limited and monitored.

And if you've been doing all that, see the first paragraph to this advise.... ;)

[right now I am so happy to have something like this to talk about... yup. we all need dog issues right now.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
When Kias was young I would take him out every 45 minutes to use the bathroom. Otherwise he was in his crate or right beside me. There was no room for accidents. The only two times he went inside I made a huge deal over it, ran him outside, and let him finish out there. Then I really praised him. He was house trained in a couple weeks with only two accidents in between. For the times he went inside, I used Rocco and Roxie stain remover, which completely removes every bit of the odor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,997 Posts
If you haven't stood outside half dressed in the dark, freezing cold in the middle of the night waiting for what seems like an eternity for your puppy to finally pee instead of wander off sniffing absolutely anything and everything, while avoiding the only thing you want him to do.....you're not doing house breaking properly :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Okay, puppies need water. They do not need unlimited access to water.
They will need to pee within 10 minutes of drinking.
I never allow water after 8:00pm.
When my pups are learning house breaking, they get water with their meals. They get water after playing or when hot.
The minute they do drink, I know that the pee clock has started.
They also do not need to empty the water bowl. Some puppies just love drinking and haven't learned when they have had enough.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top