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Help! Please. I have an intact male GSD 4.5 mos. old. I am crate training him as I have all my other dogs. But, as soon as we go out to "potty" with plenty of praise and ear scratches, he comes in the house and just takes a whiz right in front of me. Is this a dominance thing or immaturity at work? He is not my first GSD, but they have all been rescued, so were older when they arrived. I have tried a hands-free leash so that he is always near me and I can watch him, but that is not working. So, I removed the carpet from the LR and now it is just hard wood floors. He is still doing it. When I catch him in the act, out we go. No punishment, just praise for when he finishes outside. DH is getting so frustrated, but I keep telling him that he is so young and eager to please, that he will get it soon. Right? Also, when my oldest son or DH go near him to play, praise, feed, etc., he pees on their foot. Is this normal? He doesn't do that to me. And, he is very submissive to all of us, rolling over on his belly when we are near. I do have two older dogs. Any ideas? We go out at 11 pm, 5 am, 7am, 9am and then in and out from 3pm to 11 pm after play, eating, sleeping, etc.

Any advice?
 

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Hmm this is a toughy. i could see that it could be dominance pushing through and he wants to see how far he could get without punishment. Does he do the little sniff sniff thing and lift his leg on their foot to pee, or does he just kinda go while standing?

I would definatley intervene when he is going in the house. Make a loud noise and tell him "potty outside" and then take him outside.

Our intact boy now 10 months, had some issues going in the house randomly. We were told to always make sure when you take them outside that you give a command of sorts to let them know this is why we're outside, then bring them in ONLY after he has gone potty. if you go out and wait 10 minutes and he doesnt go, then he hasnt learned..... This may take some patience on your part...
 

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First has he been Vet checked for bladder infection?

If that is cleared I'd say put him right back into the crate upon entering the house.
Also is he going in the same spot all the time?
And are you interupting him when he goes in the house or are you letting him finish? Same question for outside.
 

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I am sure you will get plenty of advice here, but here is what I did with mine.

I hung a bell from the back door, everytime we went out the door I would ring the bell, and say time to potty. I always had tons of treats with me, and once they went they got a treat, along with a very exciting potty party. We then stayed out for a bit longer to be sure all business was taken care of. Not sure that this well work for you, but it did for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. He pees on their foot while standing. He will run up to them or if they stop to say hello to him, he just pees. He doesn't lift his leg, even outside.

I removed the LR area rug b/c I couldn't get the smell out. I thought that might help some. It didn't. I found one spot in the LR this morning on the wood floor. I don't know how he did it, b/c I was right there with him the entire time. I have also gated off the downstairs so he cannot run down the stairs when we come in.

No bladder infection. Already ruled that out. I learned that with our Boston terrier when he was a pup. Thanks, though. He went for 10 months and I felt horrible when I took him to the vet and he did have an infection. I learned that from our groomer friend.

I do interrupt him and take him outside immediately to finish. I use the words- go potty. When he finishes outside and when he poops, he always gets a tiny treat immediately with a lot of praise and I make a big deal- the other dogs look at me as if I am crazy!

Someone told me that GSDs are easier to potty train than smaller dogs. I think that is bull. I have spent the last three months constantly and consistently training. I am not giving up, but DH is not as patient as I am, so it is beginning to cause problems.

I think I am doing something wrong, because, you know, the human is usually messing up when it comes to training, not the dog.

I know this is long, but I am desperate. I literally have him tied to me most of the time. When I cannot be right there, I crate him. I also use the crate at bedtime, so I feel guilty that he is spending too much time there.

One other thing that is very interesting- I went home a few minutes ago to let the dogs out and have a walk/play/run time. As soon as he gets let out of the kennel, he flops all over the floor getting to the door, legs flying, but holding his pee. Then, he gets out the door on the patio and pees right there. Now, I am glad he held it (he had only been up for about 2 hours) but he acts like he can't wait to make it into the grass and pees right there where we walk. This always happens. No matter how fast I get him out.

More ideas? I am going to do the bell starting today and I will let you know how that goes. Thanks to all who might be able to help!
 

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I would control his water intake for a bit.

By the sounds of it, it's a bladder problem of some sort. When you let him out see if you can get his attention with a treat or a ball and see if you can get him to hold it until he gets to the grass. If he simply can't I would speak to the vet.

If he can, I would work on getting him to hold it just a little longer. Keep his attention until you feel ready and give him permission to go pee, increasing to time amount gradually. My Cyrus was not house broken when I got him, as soon as he understood the go potty command outside it was easy to stop him from going in the house.

My other thought was marking. But what you are describing does not sound like it.
 

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Thanks, I will do that. Do you know how much water I should give him? He does drink a lot. Should I measure it out for him? Do you think that maybe his bladder has not grown properly or maybe his urge to hold it has not kicked in fully yet? I hate to spend the money on an ultrasound, but I will if needed. Thanks everybody for your help! Wish us luck over Christmas. Maybe we can get some serious work done while I am home.
 

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I would limit his intake to a cup at a time. I am only suggesting this because you need to figure out if there is an underlying problem here.

When you give him a drink take him out on the grass in about 10 minutes. Tell him to pee or what ever command you use. See if he can actually wait the 10 minutes. If he can start bumping it up 5 minute intervals.

See if you can figure out how long he can hold it before he has to go. Make sure if you are limiting his water he still gets lots.

This is going to be a huge PITA, but you have been working so long with him with no results, and ultra sounds are expensive.

If he is having real trouble with the 10 minutes I would def. do the ultra sound. At his age he should definitely be able to hold it for a few hours.

Please let us know!!
 

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One of the things I noticed with Dante is he almost always had to pee twice. So he'd go we'd do the praise/treat thing then we'd play for 5 minutes and there he'd go again.

He still does that at 3.5 years old if he's been in for longer than normal during the day
 

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Re: I am having a hard time potty training 4.5 mo

I don't think anyone mentioned this but the peeing on the foot thing is submissive peeing. That has nothing to do with housebreaking. That will go away with time if everyone uses positive training with him and you work to build his confidence all around.

Also, I went through this exact same thing with Kai. I kept taking him in to have him tested for UTIs but he was fine. At best guess it was that his bladder did take longer to develop. I actually worked on slowly stretching out the time between when we went out so that his bladder would strengthen. I also gave him some bladder strengthening herbs. It took about 2 months but it worked.
 

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Re: I am having a hard time potty training 4.5 mo

Emma just turned 5 months on Dec. 11th, grant it she is female, but she was completely house broke within 2 weeks of her living her, but on occassion she dribbles a bit if she's been sleeping a long time or she gets too excited.

I really don't know what to tell you, he's too young to be marking his territory, I would think, so maybe you should call the vet or something? Or put him on a strict 2 hour break, meaning TRY to take him out every 2 hours until her gets it down. Goodluck!
 

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Re: I am having a hard time potty training 4.5 mo

My female dog took 3 months. Limited water took her out every hour to two hours, crated her -she would potty in her kennel all the time. She was wormy and it took 3 months to get rid of the hookworms then she was all of a sudden house broken. I did everything I had read to do- the command word and everything. She was a difficult one. People were in and out all day so she wasn't crated too long either. I got her at 12 weeks. This prob. does not help you- but wanted you to know you are not alone and it is prob. not anything you are doing wrong.
 

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Re: I am having a hard time potty training 4.5 mo

Okay, well he is still peeing everywhere in the house! I am at my wit's end! He went out yesterday, did his potty, got lots of praise, went for a short walk, peed again, more praise, went inside and downstairs with me. He peed in three places in five minutes! I can't imagine he is marking. Our other male is 1.5 years and neutered, not a marker.
What is going on? He is five months old. I am going crazy. I DO NOT use physical punishment, but the last spot, I caught him in the act, told him potty outside, and took him out quickly, where he finished and got more praise for pottying outside.

He is so smart- learning commands and even leave it, off, etc. He is already heeling well on leash and I have started working with him on off leash commands. He comes and is so Awesome! We do short trainings followed with lots of play.

I am getting ready to take him for his 6 month check-up to do a thorough examination- again.
 

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Re: I am having a hard time potty training 4.5 mo

Put him in his crate immediately after bringing him in from going potty. Let him outside again after 10 minutes. Don't let him go in the house loose after going potty outside, keep putting him in the crate for 10 minutes and letting him outside after 10 minutes. If he doesn't go again after being outside the keep him on a leash and walk him around the house for 5-10 minutes. Stop him if he start to pee or indicate that he is going to, and take him outside on the leash to finish or go. Again, put him in the crate for another 10. Repeat. Yes a PITA, but may help by not giving him the opportunity to go in the house.
My 6 month old has not had any problems, and barks to go outside. After telling him to go potty he goes right away. I think what others have said about his bladder being weak may definitely apply. Good Luck and let us know how it goes!
Just a recommendation, good luck!
 

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Re: I am having a hard time potty training 4.5 mo

I would start from scratch, as though he's an 8 week old puppy. Put him on a schedule that's in sync with his system (not one set by the clock). Crate him, take him outside, no free walking-around the house until you're positive that he's emptied his bladder.

Puppies should be taken outside IMMEDIATELY after they
--sleep
--eat
--drink more than a couple laps of water
--play

Are you taking him outside on a leash? Are you taking him to an area where he has to "potty" first before he can play? Is the area separate from other distractions (as much as possible)? You should be doing that. Puppies get sidetracked easily and playing is way more fun than pottying, especially if the human makes us go inside as soon as we've pottied.

Keep the leash short enough that the pup doesn't have much of an area to sniff around. (No flexi's). Don't walk around. Just stand there.

Whenever your dog is outside, as soon as he begins to pee or poop, repeat your phrase "Potty now," or whatever. Repeat over and over. Every time. This will help the dog learn a "trigger" for emptying his bowels and bladder (kind of like humans always have to pee when they hear running water). He doesn't get off the leash or play. He potties.

My puppy (like Barb's Dante) was a double-dribbler. He'd go, but he didn't empty his bladder completely, so he'd be back at the door whining to go again. So I learned to take him out, encourage him to "go." Then once he did, I'd encourage him to go again. Sometimes, he had to think about it for quite a while (he was often sure he did not need to, mostly because he wanted to play), but after thinking about it and being repeatedly urged to with the Trigger phrase, sure enough, he still had to go. (Yes, this was often done in the pouring rain or the middle of the night.)

I tell this story because a lot of times puppies think they know what's going on in their little bodies. But they're little, and they need time and encouragement to concentrate and see if perhaps they're not quite right.

Finally, my guy never remembered to "go" when he was on a walk or playing outside. He's over a year old and 100% housebroken. But he still often doesn't remember to "go" when he's having fun. After playing outside, he runs in the house, hangs out for about a minute or two. Then he gets this look like "uh-oh! I forgot something!" Then he either rings the potty bells or whines at the front door to be let out again.

So when he was being housebroken, if he Pottied then played for a while, I took him back out on a leash to "go" again. It was a merry-go-round of potty/play/potty nearly every time we went outside. But he figured it out pretty quickly.

I think the thing is, we expect dogs to know that when they're outside, they need to "go." It takes puppies a long time to learn that. Heck, when we let the dogs out before bedtime, my 14 year old beagle will get so involved in sniffing the yard at night (when the squirrels, raccoons, etc are out), that I have to remind her that she needs to go. Then she pees about 5 gallons and poops. If Dh lets the dogs out and forgets to remind her, the beagle will come back in without going. Then he has to take her back out, and she'll go. I guess she was planning to go 8 hours without relieving herself.

One more thing is the emotional side of housebreaking. Someone here once said that you should act like your dog just won the Nobel Prize when they go outside. But if they have an accident, you really need to be careful not to act angry or frustrated (or not let your dog see that you are). Your frustration (if your dog can sense that, which he almost certainly can) is just as much of a punishment as your reprimanding him. Even if you're the picture of zen, the fact that your Dh and children are involved, and it's harder for children to remain calm when their feet are being urinated on, may be part of the problem. Somehow, maybe, you can remove the kids from the equation for a while?

Housebreaking that becomes emotional can become an intractable nightmare. You want a puppy who really wants to win the Nobel Prize for you. If he becomes afraid of your reaction to his accidents, you may be making them worse. And this will seriously impede your housebreaking.
 

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Re: I am having a hard time potty training 4.5 mo

heres what i did, i got up, at a set time each morning, put her lead on, took her outside, and said, "outside for a wee", stood there saying " have a wee, have a wee" constantly encouraging her, then when she did, fuss, fuss, fuss. then back in her crate, few hours later, again at a set time each day, lead on, "have a wee, have a wee", when she does it, fuss, fuss,fuss. when i caught her doing it in the house, a load, "NO!, outside for a wee", lead on, and you guessed it. probably spent the first month we had her saying have a wee lol, but she's perfect ever since then
 
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