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Discussion Starter #1
We got our rescue GSD, Heidi, three months ago and we don't know how to get her to let us know that she has to go outside to go potty.

Since we've had her, she's had two accidents in our house. She pooped in the den once and peed in our bedroom once. Since then, we've been letting her outside a LOT and there have been no accidents since. I'd really like her to let us know that she has to go out. The problem is that she ALWAYS wants to go out to hunt for squirrels (which we have an abundance of, unfortunately!)

Any tips for us? Also, has anyone used the bell method? I'd like to try that but I have a feeling she would be ringing it all day long to go outside to get at the squirrels!

The very good thing about Heidi is that she only goes potty in two areas of our yard, both of which are on the perimeters. I think that's so she doesn't have to worry about stepping in anything nasty!!
 

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the bell thing can be a problem.i know someone who did it and really regrets it.
how old is she?
do you crate her when you're not home?
do you give her treats/praise her when she goes outside?
you should also try to use a command to go potty.
rescuing a dog can be like having a puppy all over again,depending on how she was treated/train before.so be patient.
when she goes outside she likes to go to the side ?
i have put down pine straws along my fence,and that's where my 2 gsd do their buisness.i didn't mean for that to happens,it just did.
i don't have to worry about walking in the backyard,and it's easy to clean up!
hopefully someone here can help you better than i can.
good luck.
 

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Thanks for your reply. She's about a year and a half (they're not sure since she was picked up as a stray). I do crate her when I'm not at home and at night. I don't leave her for more than four hours when I go away though, and I let her outside as soon as I come home.

She does know the "go potty" command, which I praise her HIGHLY for, and she's very good about it (although she has to do a quick perimeter check for squirrels when I let her out during the day
She likes to go on two far edges of the yard, which is great.

I know I'm letting her out way more than she needs to because I don't want her to have another accident, and I can't tell if she needs to go out because of the squirrrels or if she really has to go. I just wonder if she'll ever let me know that she actually has to go potty....
 

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you said that you didnt want her ringing the bell to go outside? you have to associate it with actually going to the toilet. so if she rings bell, lead her, take her to the toilet, bring her back in.
 

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My GSD (who is 7 months now) has been my first dog not to bark at the door to go out, or at least scratch the door gently. He has only had four pee accidents in our home, but these were when he was very young. I am not sure if my method of training him to at least show me a sign he has to go out will help you any, but here it is...

I will tell him "let's go outside and go potty," and walk to the back door. I make him sit and I will tell him again... "let's go outside and go potty." I place his leash on him, walk out first, give him the "okay" command to walk out after me, and lead him directly to his potty area, tell him to go potty for pee, and the german term for potty number 2 (which I use only about 20 minutes after he is done eating). He follows through and does his duty, and back in the house we go. He will go to the door by himself now, but he just walks by it and looks to see if someone is watching him... without a peep from him. I still make him sit and go through the same process.

Good luck.

Terry
 

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I have a small cow bell hanging by string from the door handle. Mine will go up to it and ring the bell when they have to go out. I had Hella trained to use it by 4 months old. I got mine at tractor supply. She didn't abuse it just when she had to go. Of course, she would also ring it when she came back in. Guess she had to let everyone know she was done, lol. Just jingle it as you go outside, they'll associate it eventually.
 

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We have the bell too, dh is master of training tricks. I don't know how he did it, occasionally Ozzy does misuse the bell, but going outside involves me so unless he's going potty, he gets brought back in pretty quick. I try to not allow misuse/abuse of the bell. I also keep both of them on a pretty tight schedule. So the bell is outside of that schedule. With Sandi, I can just tell, but we've been together 11 years and we've had Ozzy for 3, so you can read them pretty well. All they do now is look at the door and out we go!
Dh also caught them to catch flies, which is great, unless that fly has landed on you!
 

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Originally Posted By: KarinThat is a very good idea! I'm going to try it. I'll probably have to put her on a leash when I take her out though because she has a tendency to bolt out and rush around the yard before doing her business.
yeah sorry, when i said "lead her" i meant "leash her", its the english english language barrier
 

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Funny my girl is named Heidi too. She is 12 weeks old and hasn't had a single accident yet. We've had her for 3 weeks now. We crate her when not here to watch her. From day one we started taking her out every hour then after I learned how long she usually holds it we take her out every 2 hours. We both work so we usually come home during the day to let her out. I'm not trying to show her off but just saying be consistant on taking her out. When they eat its usually 30 minutes after that. But since we take her out so often she runs to the door and cries. I don't waste no time and see myself running to let her out. Its kind of a team effort thing. Also another pointer let yours out the same time everytime. Our times are 12am-5am-7:30am-830am12pm-5pm-8pm-10pm. I know that seems like a lot and it is but believe me she goes everytime. In time when she gets older she will hold it longer
 
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