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Potty training has gone well the last couple of weeks or so. I am curious to know when to stop rewarding for such behavior? I am sure this is a very subjective subject. Should I just go with my gut and try it out? I have noticed there are times that I have missed the opportunity to reward him (as I discover new piles from time to time) He also starts obedience training this week. Pretty stoked about that.

Thanks in advance for any help!
--Scott
 

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I guess my question is how are you rewarding? Are you giving him treats or just praising him? I stopped giving my shepherd puppy treats relatively quickly. Once he got the point, I started praising him without treats and only gave them every once in a while, and I eventually dropped the treats completely. I probably stopped giving treats within two weeks or so. I still praise my 7 year old golden retriever when she goes to the bathroom. I usually praise her if I ask her to go and she does, or if she does it in a weird place upon my urging.
 

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How do you reward?


I have a puppy right now, brought him home at 8 weeks, he's 14 weeks now. Even though he hasn't had an accident in the house for about 3 weeks now, I still consider him being potty trained. He's still a little guy.


My reward is probably generic, he gets a "good boy" for letting me know when he has to go out and for actually going to the bathroom outside. But I don't reward with treats, toys or whatever. Just verbal low-key praise and we move on.
 

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We give treats and praise when we see him go. Without seeing him go, he just get's the praise, i.e. when i discover poo in the yard. I am usually fairly quick to clean up the poo so it is pretty easy to tell a fresh one.
 

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I suppose I should have been clearer in my question. I'm all for giving praise for good behavior. I'm just wondering when you all might have stopped giving treats as part of the reward?
 

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I suppose I should have been clearer in my question. I'm all for giving praise for good behavior. I'm just wondering when you all might have stopped giving treats as part of the reward?

I faded the treats once the behavior was fixed and being offered independently, but she still gets a treat when we come back in the house.
 

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I don't give treats when potty training; just rely on vocal praise and soothing strokes. My goal is to make potty training no big deal --- reward worthy, but not too much excitement. Years ago, I had an Airedale who was ferociously food oriented. He'd actually squat walk while peeing to get to a treat.

Not at all what I'd had in mind...

Aly
 

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I don't give treats when potty training; just rely on vocal praise and soothing strokes. My goal is to make potty training no big deal --- reward worthy, but not too much excitement. Years ago, I had an Airedale who was ferociously food oriented. He'd actually squat walk while peeing to get to a treat.

Not at all what I'd had in mind...

Aly
You worded this much better than me, this is my thought as well.


Trust me, I am super happy when my pup goes to the bathroom outside, especially when he let's me know he needs to. He's subtle about it and will quietly wait by the door. I have to be quick. I do smile at him and tell him good boy. But treats and more animated praises I reserve for our training sessions, especially on recalls right now!


Scott, I think you can phase the treats out at this point if you're comfortable with it.
 

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I was treating every time he went out to use the bathroom when housebreaking, then we hung a bell by the backdoor, and trained him to ring the bell to alert us when he needed to go outside, so I was treating that behavior every time too. Now, he rings the bell all the time whether he needs to go out or not, and I think he started associating the bell with getting a treat, so I have scaled back on the treating now in effort to limit his use of the bell.
 

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OP, sorry, I didn't really answer your question. Yes, I think you can phase treats out now. Keep the praise though; I think you should let dogs/people/horses know whenever they've done something good. I regularly say, "Thank You," to adult dogs once the basics are established. They seem to understand and like it.
@Courtney, you could tie bells to the door knob. Then, you can either teach the pup to nose the bells each time you go out OR if you mess with them yourself, they'll pick it up soon enough. Handy trick to have on board if/when they're not in your line of sight.

Aly
 
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