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Discussion Starter #1
I am having a bit of trouble with potty training my 14 week old GSD. I will explain what I am doing and hopefully some of the pros can chime in with some good advice!

First off we are in two story house and are mostly on the second floor. When we are not home Athena is in her crate on the first floor. She never goes in her crate anymore so that is a great step. When we are on the second floor she is pretty much always within site so we can almost always catch her when she has an accident. I noticed she didn't have a consistent "signal" so I hung a bell at the top of the stairs where I noticed her sitting when she wanted to go out. The bell has only been up for three days but she already seems to get the idea that when she hits the bell she gets to go out. She almost always goes when she is outside.

Here is my current Potty Training method. Whenever she leaves the crate we go directly outside. I always reward her for going outside either with praise or a treat and sometimes both. When I take her outside I say "Do It" every time. If I see her taking a nap I try to take her out as soon as she wakes up. If it has been 30-60 minutes and she has not signaled or gone I take her out. Every time she rings the bell I take her out and I would say she goes 85% of the time, a few times she just wants to go outside and play. She will sometimes signals as often as 10-15 minutes after going and usually when I take her out she does go again. When she has an accident in the house I try to say nononnononono really quickly to startle her and a few times I was able distract her before she went and make it outside. When she does go inside we don't yell at her, we take her downstairs, put her in the crate, come up and clean the spot with a cleaner with enzymes and then go take her outside, then she can come back up.

Using this technique we are having some success but still a couple accidents in the house a day. When she does have her accidents it is almost like there is no warning at all. No sniffing out a spot just in the middle of walking and starts to pee. She very rarely poos in the house but it does happen on occasion. Even when she poos in the house it is like it snuck up on her, she usually walks in circles looking for the perfect spot but when an accident happens she just goes right then and there with no warning.

Any and all advice is appreciated!
 

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Athena is doing very well and some pups just need more time. I think the accidents are due to that she isn't given enough time to empty out during her potty times - puppies need to piddle and poop more than once. At 14 weeks - I would take her out at regular times -no bell ringing and for at least 15 minutes - be sure she gets some exercise and goes enough - when you bring her back inside - play with her a bit then put her back in her crate say for 45 minutes - take her out again for another 15 mintues. In the house, when she is not in her crate, I would not let her loose, but have her tethered to me so I could catch the accidents.
 

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Apparently it's pretty common for female pups to get UTI's, and I wonder if that might be the problem if she's going so frequently, and having to go again so soon after peeing. My girl had stopped using the puppy pads in her exercise pen for the 4 1/2 hr stretches I was at work by 13 weeks, then started up again, and even had accidents in the house. After 2 days on antibiotics, she was back to normal. I would suggest asking your vet to do a UA though, because IMO I don't think it's a great idea to just throw meds at a symptom without being sure they're gonna help. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice! I am going to change a few things around.

My normal morning routine was to take Athena out to pee. Then we went inside and played for about 10 minutes then back outside to pee. Then upstairs to eat, then my 14 year old dog Luna wakes up and we go back outside and that was when she would poo.

Now I am adjusting that to when Athena wakes up we go outside and take a 10-15 minute walk. Then upstairs to eat and after 15-20 minute back outside again. I tried that this morning and she did three pees and a poo on the walk! I think I just need to spend more time outside when we do go outside.

I think part of the problem is she gets so excited and distracted by everything that she doesn't let it all out. She knows she has to go so she goes then runs over to play. I think spending more time out when we go out will allow her to fully relieve herself before we go back inside.
 

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When she does go inside we don't yell at her, we take her downstairs, put her in the crate, come up and clean the spot with a cleaner with enzymes and then go take her outside, then she can come back up.
You've gotten good advice so far. Your training plan sounds good to me other than the above, which may be fine, just different than how we did it. Like you, my pup is loose but supervised. If he goes to have an accident we see it and immediately say no, scoop him up and take him outside, even if it's mid stream. I don't know if pup going, then pup gets put in the crate, then pup gets taken outside is as effective in teaching them that potty is outside.

And like others mentioned, some dogs just take a bit longer, Penny was one, Blaze on the other hand was so easy.
 

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My GSD was doing good till I ran out of raw and thought I would feed a bit of good organic kibble. Not. Been a nightmare. But finally back on the raw diet. Hoping we get back on track. I have to say this is the hardest dog thus far I have had to potty train. I have a boxer, a husky mix, a mal shi and now the GSD. Sure hope he quits having the accidents. I am home 24/7 so I guess it is all on me not paying close enough attention.:cry::(
 

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Puppies don't have accidents. Their owners do..like mentioned dont wait for her to ask, take her out every hour, or as soon as she wakes from a nap, 15 minutes after she finishes eating or any time after she drinks water. When you can't keep a constant watch on her, kennel her.. Don't carry her to her potty spot, walk her there on a leash.. Keep the area cleaned up. Just like most of us not wanting to go on dirty potty neither does your pup..
If you catch her in the act of going inside, scoop her up and take her to her potty spot outside, not her kennel. Clean it up after you take her out.
When she goes in her potty spot throw a party, if she goes inside say nothing, again that's your mistake not the pups..
The bell idea is great but I prefer it on the door knob at your pups nose height. Tap it as your going out the door.
The more your dog goes inside on the carpet or floor the longer it will take to housebreak.
 

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I would also get her checked for a UTI.
Do you have a nice boring spot to let her pee? If its in a bustling area then yeah I'd find a quiet place so she can let it all out at once. Do you leave out the same door every time too? That helps
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again for the additional advice. I will start to take her directly out after she goes in the house instead of in the crate. I guess I was putting her in the crate so I could get the mess cleaned up without her seeing me clean it. Maybe I will do it in reverse, take her out then put her in the crate while I clean up the mess.

We do go out the same door every time and I would ideally like to hang the bell on the door but the problem is we are on the second floor and the door to the outside is on the first floor where she can't get to. She still can't go down that big of a staircase so I put the bell right by the stairs where we do go down.

I have been taking her out in the front yard where there does tend to be other people walking by and other dogs or cars etc. Maybe I will start to take her out to the backyard where there is not as much action. I do clean up every time she goes outside so that there isn't a dirty area to go in and I walk her out on the leash. The only time I carry her is down the stairs since she is still scared to go down them.

Honestly my 2nd floor situation isn't probably ideal for potty training but I feel she is doing pretty well with just a few accidents that I freely will admit wouldn't happen if I took her out more. I am gong to try to take her out more often and work on positive reinforcement. She isn't doing terrible by any means but I know I can always improve what I am doing.
 
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