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I am not sure what I am doing wrong here so I was hoping someone could send me in the right direction. Athena is 5.5 months old and we live on the second floor of an apartment. I put up a bell by the top of the stairs going out and she usually hits the bell and sits by the top of the sitars. We also try to take her out at least once an hour if not more. I try to monitor her water intake and take her out more often if she is drinking more.

The problem is she will signal to go out and then when we are on our way out she will pee. She has gone as close to a foot from the door. This is not all the time but at least once a week. Last night she signaled and while I was taking her out she sprinted over to an old futon mattress and did a drive by pee and then came over to me to go out. I am going to throw that futon mattress out because it has to have urine smell on it. I am just very confused because she is signaling to go out and I know she knows we are going out and will pee on the way. I throw a small party every time she goes outside so I know she understands that she gets praise when she does it out there. She goes in the same general place outside so it isn't a matter of her not knowing where to go. Last night when she went on the futon she had just been out half and hour before. I really don't think it is a bladder issue because she can hold it in the crate all night and has never once gone in the crate. It is pretty much to the point that the only time she pees in the house is when we are taking her out. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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That's a tough one and I'm hoping someone with more experience than I can chime in and offer some advice. I would carry her in your arms (assuming she's not too heavy to do so) and put her down when you get to the spot she's supposed to go. At 5-1/2 months though I'm not sure if this option is going to work. I would hope after not too long that she would learn to hold it until she gets to that area before relieving herself.

You can also try walking quickly to the potty area so she doesn't have a chance to stop and go before you reach it.
 

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I had something like that happen a couple times, where I would be leading her to the door and she'd pee before she'd get there. I'd also suggest carrying her to where she needs to go.
 

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You can save the futon mattress. Soak the area in an enzyme cleaner and let it air dry for a few days. Nature's Miracle is the cleaner I used when my old cat used my bed mattress once. Talk about gross! It works just as well for dogs. My senior had diarrhea all over the living room carpet and this stuff worked like a charm :)

As for the potty training, sorry I can't help. No puppy experience, just adopted adults.
 

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One thing I can suggest is watch for signs in her behavior before she goes to the door. If you can pick up on small cues she puts out, leash her up and get outside quick ringing the bell before you go out. It sounds to me she is waiting too long before signaling she wants out. I would watch her habits to let her know when she performs a certain act or exibits a behavior is when you signal to go out.

Also, take her out on a timely bases. Dont wait on her signal. A few minutes after a drink, just after eating ect. My pup had accidents while he trained. But at 5 months, he has yet to go inside anywhere. Thats even after spending all day in the crate.

Just some ideas.
 

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I second the Nature's Miracle remark; had a sick cat who used everything but the litter box and it got the smell out of several mattresses and a couch with no issue.

It sounds like she's ringing the bell to signal impending doom; "I have to go NOW!!!" and by the time you get your shoes on, the leash together, and whatever else you need to go outside, the pup can't hold it for a second longer. I've been there, done that, and am doing it again. I'd recommend setting a time interval where you will take her out no matter what. We started out at every 15 minutes and slowly worked our way up. Now we're up to 90 minutes and can push it to a full two hours if there's a puppy nap happening.
 

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She just doesn't understand what you want from her yet. Probably due to your training. I think 5.5 months is too young to be implementing a bell...especially if she's not 100% about going OUTSIDE. Sounds like she is ringing the bell because its her "last second" signal that she has to go...and if you're taking her out every hour at 5.5 months she shouldn't be reaching a "last second" moment at all.

Does she always go when you're outside with her? If she doesn't...you walk back inside and walk back outside (don't have to go up to the apartment), give her 30 seconds (tell her your command) and wait. If she doesn't go, walk back inside and repeat. With a female...its weird that she has to go all the time. I have a male and he'll go pee no matter what outside, so when we implemented a bell system...he would ring it just to go outside, squeeze some out on a tree to make me happy, and continue on with his walk. Sadly...you can't not take them out when they ring the bell even though you know they don't have to go...as that will ruin that training method. After a few months, when I knew he could hold it for as long as he needed...we took the bell away.

I'm not trying to be rude...but do you raise your voice in any way? Have you ever used any "strong armed" methods with her? It's not a bad thing...we all have gotten aggravated and done something stupid, and it sounds like your pup might've taken something like that to heart. So even a "happy" raise of voice to go out gets her freaked out and she submissive pees. Another option is that your "happy voice" as praise at the moment of the bell ringing, gets her excited and she pees from excitement...many dogs have that issue. So if that's it...just don't praise for ringing the bell, stay calm, put a leash on, and quickly walk outside...then praise outside for the actual act.
 

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I won't pretend I'm a saint and I have raised my voice in frustration a couple times but never anything physical or rubbing her nose in it. It almost seems like the opposite it seems like she is too excited and pees. I noticed it happens more often when I take my other dog out with her which gets her extra excited. I might be adding to it because I will keep repeating let's go out let's go out thinking if I keep her on task she wouldn't get too excited and pee. I have never seen her do submissive urination but I have seen her let some out when she is very excited like someone she really likes coming over.

I have had rescue dogs that have done submissive urination but there is no head going down or tail between the legs. If anything she looks almost proud when she does it like she is ready to play. Maybe I am waiting to long and over stimulating her? There is no aggression when we are taking her out and it happens with my fiancé and myself. Probably more for my fiance whos voice is higher. If anything we are being extra excited in our voices. She goes outside at least 95% of the times I take her out, even after going on the way out. When she doesn't go it is usually because she is very easily distracted usually by other dogs. When that happens I try to take her inside wait for the dog to pass then back out.

Another thing I have noticed is she will drink water excessively. I have another dog that is 14 so I can't really restrict her water intake. One morning I actually counted and she went to the water bowl for the third time in 5 minutes and I counted 87 licks before she came up for air and that was the third time only. Her drinking has only increased with the warmer weather. I try to watch when she drinks a lot and increase how often I take her out.

I'm going to try to put her leash on upstairs, try to not get to excessive or excited when taking her out and will just take her out more often. I do really think she drinks a lot more than I would think she should, way more than my 95lb dog ever did, but it is really hard to regulate it with two dogs. She is 50lbs so carrying her is not going to work. I try not to let my frustration show but I'm human and sometimes slip up. If I do raise my voice she is much more likely to try to jump in my lap and give doggy kisses than pee.
 

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I bet 95% of the time my pup was urinating in the house was 100% my fault for not setting times to take him out and or not recognizing when he wanted out. Once I recognized his cues that he wanted out, life became easier. My pup would come up and mouth my hand playfully. I took it as just that, play. He would also walk excessively before hand. Once I understood that he was trying to tell me he wanted out, it got easier. I also took him to one place for urinating and he had a different place for the other. But to this day, he still has the same signals, just alittle rougher. He also drinks heavy. In the morning, he will drink a whole bowl of water. The bowl is one of those stainless inti-tip bowls. It's not a ton of water but after that he's ok. My dog is also around 50#.

I've never used a bell. Your kind of relying on the dog to understand "when" to ring the bell to go out. My personal preference is intervals and watching the pup closefor signs of them needing out. JMO
 

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What you described is submissive urination. It's also from over-excitement. Try to keep things low key and see if that changes the behavior.

Also, you don't need to be taking a 5.5 month old puppy out every hour. That's how often you take out a baby puppy when you first bring them home. At this point every 4 hours should be plenty (or however long after she's eaten or had a big drink).
 
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