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If we did anything right with Tessa, it was housetraining her! We had a hard time with the rest of her training as we do not have access to a trainer or obedience classes in our remote area, but she only ever peed three times in our house and has NEVER pooped. We were confident in her housetraining within the first week that we had her home.

I'm not sure if this has been written about already (I'm sure it has), but I just wanted to share what we did with her, in case someone else might find it helpful.

The main thing we did that we thought had a huge impact, was making bathroom time FUN! Every time we took her out to go pee or poop, we'd get very excited and make her WANT to go outside and do it. We would go out with her and walk around until she peed or pooped. While waiting for her to do it we'd say "Go pee!" "Go poop!" (mostly pee - we found once she "got it" that she had to pee outside, she just understood that poop was outside too).

When she would pee or poop we'd get SUPER excited and say "GOOD PEE!!!!!" "GOOD POOP!!!!" "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY GOOD GIRL!!!!" We'd make a super huge deal out of it and she'd LOVE it!

We crate trained her and in the first 3 days we made sure to wake up in the night to take her out - even if she didn't cry. We scheduled it to AVOID any accidents. It worked well.

We made sure to take her out to go every 20 minutes or so during the day. It was very tiring at first, but it worked. We never let her go longer than 30 minutes max the first few weeks without going out to pee.

Also, the few times in the very beginning when she did have an accident in the house - we did not acknowledge it at all. We didn't scold her and didn't let her see us clean it up. It was our understanding that she didn't even really realize what she had done at that age, and scolding her about it would only bring attention to what she did inside.

Anyway, it was that easy for us. I know that may not work for everyone, but we really found that by making it fun for her - it made her want to go out and do it. Now if we want her to go out to pee, all we have to do is open the door and say "go pee" - she will go down the stairs on our deck, pee, and come back. She knows the words "pee" and "poop" inside and out and will do them on command. She hasn't had an accident since her second day home, and she's a year and a half old now.

We are confident that we could leave her for probably up to 12 hours and not need to worry about her having an accident in the house. We know that she knows and understands that pee and poop is outside.

I feel really bad for people who have housetraining issues and wish that everyone could have it as easy as we did! I hope this info has helped some of you. I realize that not all dogs are the same and this may not work for everyone, but we were very surprised at how well this worked for us, and other people we have told.

Good luck!!
 
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