Potty Training Tricks? What worked for you?

Wildlife Gal

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As someone currently raising their first Doberman, but who has raised probably 100+ puppies (I foster), here are my tricks.

NEVER paper, pee pad or otherwise TEACH them to eliminate in the house, unless this is where you always want them to go. I know how tempting this is, but it only confuses everyone and makes outdoor potty training soooo much harder.

In general terms, dogs can "hold it" for one hour for each month they are old...a three month old cannot be expected to "hold it" for more than three hours.

It is NEVER the pups fault if it has an "accident", it is the humans fault for not paying close enough attention. Watch for "change", sniffing, wandering...grab and go, do not attempt to walk a very young puppy out the door. Do interrupt indoor potty behavior with your "outside" command, while you pick up the pup (yes, you will get pee/poop on you, and trailing through the house) and rush out the door so they can "finish" outside.

Never scold, punish or otherwise associate anything negative with undesirable potty behavior, they will connect this with the action of pottying, not the location. You do not want them to be hesitant to "go" outside to eliminate, nor do you want them become a stealth eliminator and learn "hide-a-poop" or "hide-a-pee" so as to not incur your wrath.

Decide on a key word/phrase for elimination: pee pee, potty, get busy and use it in conjunction with whatever praise words you use.

1) all puppies will eliminate within minutes of waking, eating, stopping playing - take them out.
2) learn poop transit time (feed carrots) and watch for length of time from eating to elimination.
3) no water in the house - drinking occurs outside, AFTER peeing.
4) if necessary, limit water at night to deal with late night peeing.
5) when they eliminate outside you MUST do the "potty praise" as if you dog has just discovered the cure for cancer!!! Effusive, excited, repetitive..."GOOD DOG, GOOD POTTY, OH YOU ARE SUCH A CLEVER GIRL/BOY, GOOD PEE PEE....."

Potty training is all about learning your pups patterns, and giving them the opportunity to be successful. Depending on the pups age this could take days or weeks, but the progress is dependent on you providing a positive, rewarding environment to learn the proper protocol.
 

Gelcoater

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I could share a trick I used with Daisy to get her to pee at 3:00am, but it might be tricky for some of you gals. :D
 

Oh Little Oji

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Wow! You've potty trained over 100 pups? That is what I call experience! Think about it, folks! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

You share some things I did not know (not that I ever claimed to be an expert on potty training). Some of what you list is right in line with my theories though.

One main thing I have added to my arsenal is controlling their water intake – having them request water, and picking it up after they're done.

I like to say be a control freak. Control all that you can, observe everything you can.

@Wildlife Gal , do you limit how much of the house the pup has access to?
 

Oh Little Oji

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I could share a trick I used with Daisy to get her to pee at 3:00am, but it might be tricky for some of you gals. :D
Hey, if I were a woman, I'd do it if I had adequate privacy. Heck, it might be easier for the pup to understand squatting as opposed to the very different technique of standing up.
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
Hmm. Why carrots? Because you can see them appear in the poo, or something?
Exactly. They can't digest a raw carrot. They are able to chomp it down so the bites are big enough that you will see them come out in the poop. That gives you a time line to poop time! But raw carrot poops apparently stink more, according to my hb. Can also use corn as nothing is digested. You will see every kernel as it was on the cob.

If you want the dog to get nutrition from the carrot, then you must at least mince it. I purée carrots mixed with red/orange/yellow bell peppers, sometimes I mix it with greens - whatever is leftover - all high in vitamin C.
 

Wildlife Gal

New Member
I keep the water outside, and have a dog door, so in a sense, yes, I limit water, as they have to go outside to drink and while out there they tend to pee, as I hear the dog door, and follow them out and insist that they pee before coming inside.

Generally, though no, I don't restrict access to water, unless there is an overnight peeing issue - but I have recommended this to others having greater issues.

As to restricting their access inside the house, again, yes and no...but that is mostly because the house is small, and all the floors are done in sheet vinyl that looks like wood (puke and pee proof). Fortunately all the rooms open onto the single, central hallway that leads to the yard through the doggie door. If no one is home then dog gate is deployed to limit them to one room and the hallway, but otherwise they pretty much have free run so they are with us and we can see/watch/supervise them.

We currently have a pack of ten Miniature Pinschers, and a Chihuahua (8 permanent, 2 fosters) ranging from 18mths to 15 yrs. Miss Gracie our Doberman Foster has just gone to her forever home. We have puppy raised neonate labs, mastiffs, boxers, pins, chi's and now a Dobie...all fosters without a Mum, sometimes partial litters, sometimes the whole litter. We also take the "damaged" dogs that aren't puppies, and they too often have never been potty trained. We provide the supportive care the infants and injured ones need for the first few critical days/weeks and the environment of a dog friendly home with healthy, mentally balanced dogs. We are fortunate that our pack tends to do most of the work, teaching the fosters appropriate manners and skills. The goal is to raise kind, confident, bomb proof puppies and/or rehab abused/unwanted dogs that can then go on to forever homes. The rule here is we only keep the 'broken' ones - those for whom rehoming would be too traumatic or too difficult to manage their special needs.

Now, does anyone have the magic cure FOR MARKING (dogs who urinate not to void their bladders but to mark the door jamb, carpet, towel, bed, toy....as theirs???
 

Wildlife Gal

New Member
It all sounds so altruistic when I read my previous post, but it is actually a very selfish endeavor - we just ADORE babies (puppies, whatever!) and do not really find it work at all.

I love taking "things that are supposed to be dead" (babies/broken's that would have been put down) and in just a few weeks we are privileged to watch this magical transformation to normal, adoptable/releasable animals. It never ceases to amaze me how far and how quickly these animals progress.

Majority are vet referrals that are brought in to be euthanized...so essentially we get to "play God", save a life, and get IMMENSE pleasure in observing the evolution to independence. We just can't understand why EVERYONE doesn't fight us for the opportunity to do the same, there is nothing more rewarding or fun. Once they reach the point of being healthy, confident, loving and bombproof we have filled their "tool boxes" with all they need to be successful in life and it is time for them to move on.

Gracie is a prime example, a thrown away pup, just 17 days old, not even worth the price of an x-ray...all it took was a vet who cared enough to offer an alternative, and we were given this miraculous 2lb puppy, that only needed time and love, and who gave us so much hope, love and affection in return. You will never laugh, marvel or experience so much joy until you are fortunate enough to be blessed with a rescue...

Yes, it can be heartbreaking when they go, but they must, to ensure there is room for the next one(s) in need. Nothing can make a person feel more wonderful than to know you have not only saved a life, but taken that animal to the point that it no longer needs you and can move on to the next phase of its now, long life and bright future...except maybe the the joy and excitement the next call brings when we are asked if we can take on a new project!


We are currently baby/project-less, anyone on Vancouver Island have anything in need????
 

Tropicalbri's

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Nothing can make a person feel more wonderful than to know you have not only saved a life, but taken that animal to the point that it no longer needs you and can move on to the next phase of its now, long life and bright future...except maybe the the joy and excitement the next call brings when we are asked if we can take on a new project!
I respect and appreciate what you do. I have done this with wild animal rescues but certainly not to the amazing level that you have. The rewards are immense even through the sadness of them leaving, but being independent, healthy and ready for a forever home. The biggest thrill for me was releasing the birds of prey, turtles and other marine animals. It always brought tears of joy to me as I watched them go back to their habitat, healthy and rehabbed.
 

Wildlife Gal

New Member
I adore the wildlife babies - having a bond, albeit momentary, with a wild creature is amazing, returning an animal that was supposed to die is incredibly rewarding! The birds of prey are majestic, but the mammals somehow seem to "appreciate" your efforts more openly. I often feel like I live in a Disney movie - you never know WHAT might be in my bathtub, bathroom, deck, van.....
 

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