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I have no idea what I am doing!!!!!

1929 Views 17 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  jjacks
So, I have been TRYING to get Charlie house trained. I take him out after naps, after eating, after playing, etc. However, he still has numerous accidents throughout the day. Alright, so some days he does a pretty good job and has only one or two. A couple of times he has even stared at the back door wanting to go out. He is only 8 wks old (we got him at 6 wks....a little early I thought...). I suppose that on the bad days I get frustrated and wonder if I am doing something wrong (today was obviously one of those accident-fillled days).

Does anyone have some pointers for us? And also, when does the average puppy become potty trained?? I have only ever had one dog (who I got when he was 5, he passed away at the ripe ol age of 12) so I am a little unsure in the puppy department. For some reason I thought that after a couple weeks at home he would be improving in leaps and bounds?? My guess is that those are completely unrealistic expections.....!!
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8 weeks is still pretty young to expect a puppy to be fully potty trained, IMO. It took Mojo a LONG time to be "potty trained" ... he's almost 8 months old and will still have the occasional accident.

I'm wondering, how often do you take him out? I would do every half an hour or earlier for a while.

If he has so many accidents in the house, he might have a UTI.

Also, when you take him outside, are you sure he's actually going potty? Not just playing/eating grass/wandering around/enjoying just being outside?

I'm sure lots of others will give better advice than I did, but good luck anyway!!
I know exactly how you feel. A new puppy can be such a handful! It's easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed. But it will get better. It sounds like your doing the right things. Just remember that your pup is still a baby. 8 weeks is still very young for a pup to have good bladder control. Here's what I think are the two most important things in house training.

1 Are you crate training? The crate is an invaluable tool while house training. Dogs don't like to soil their den and will do their darnedest to hold it while in an appropriately sized crate. (It should be big enough for the pup to stand, lie down and turn around in, but not much bigger than that.) Any time you can't supervise him, he should be in the crate both for house training purposes and to keep him safe.

2. Anticipate when the pup will have to go and set him up for success. At 8 weeks, your little buddy has very little control, physically, of his bladder. So you're going to need to take him out every time he wakes up, eats or plays hard. Since you're already doing this, try taking the pup out every half hour he is awake. A lot of people have good results with this method.

Also, don't punish him if he has an accident in the house. When he goes to the bathroom in his designated spot, praise him like crazy. Use a good pet stain and odor remover (I like Nature's Miracle) on any accident spots in the house. If you don't get all the smell out, the pup will smell the pee and use the spot over and over again.

When does a puppy become potty trained? Well, I think Caleb was pretty good around 4 months and he was reliable around 6 months (no accidents at all). Caleb is my first dog, so I was a complete novice with puppies.
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You are right. Six weeks is much too young for a pup to be taken from the litter. They should be a bare minimum of 7 weeks and no younger.

As for the potty training, puppies are only able to hold it for a very short time and need to be taken out constantly in order to keep accidents down to a minimum. If you think he has to go, chances are that he probably does. Are you crate training? That is the #1 most useful tool for housebreaking any dog or puppy. Just keep working at it and be consistent with his potty schedule and it will eventually get better and he will gradually become more reliable. I highly suggest utilizing a crate of you're not already. The crate should only be big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If it's too big, he will easily find a spot to relieve himself away from where he sleeps. With crate training, we had Tucker housebroken by the time he was about 3 months old.
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First of all.....You have a very cute Puppy ! Your expectations are too high at this point in time. He will get it and it will be soon. The other tips here about the crate training, watching him and anticipating him are great. You need to expect accidents for a while. I would take him out every 45 min. to 1 hour. I would suggest putting a little leash on him, make him sit at the door, take him out (you go first out the door) and take him to the same place every time. Tell him Go Potty or whatever other phrase you want to sound stupid repeating at midnight in the cold of weather, LOL. When he is done take him back into the house again making him sit and you going through the door first and he follows you. Later down the road you might want to hang a jingle bell on some yarn and tie to door knob so it is at the height of his nose and ring the bell every time you go out. He will figure out that when he has to go, he will ring the bell and sit at the door. If you want you add a training treat or kibble after he goes potty. My wife did this and it was amusing how he was looking for the treat during the middle of the action.

A few suggestions while you are waiting for him to become fully house trained. Get a spray bottle and fill hit half/half with water and white vinegar. Blot the urine with a towel and spray the area the the vinegar mixture and blot that up. It will save your carpets and your pup will not go back to the same spot. Using carpet cleaner leaves a detergent that brings back dirt to the carpet and leaves a spot. You might want to consider purchasing a bissel green machine and use the vinegar mixture in that. It is worth the $ 85 in the first 6 months between accidents and throwing up.

One other tip....Take a ton of photos they turn into a dog very quickly and you will want to remember the puppy days.

Best of Luck !
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Yep, it takes a while before they are fully potty trained. Good luck. :)
I set a timer for every 30 minutes when I was potty training Flora. It took us a while to get her potty trained, but she was also struggling with UTIs, so that made it more fun. :p: It sounds like what you're doing is spot on, but your pup is just too young to be completely trained. Hang in there!
Hank just turned 4 months so those 'accident' days are still fresh in my mind!

Don't worry too much about getting him at 6 weeks, Hank was only 5 1/2 weeks when he came home (he was a surprise gift and his littermates were leaving as well) and he's did/doing just fine. No real biting or nipping problems associated with leaving the littermates and mother early.

I took Hank out every 20 min. during the day, he did sleep through the night most of the time after the first few nights. I didn't keep him crated other than at night, when we were not home or busy else where in the house. He was gated in the kitchen/laundry room area and I'd watch him. He didn't go in the carpeted areas often and only with 100% supervision. It seemed that he magically "got it" by his 3 month birthday. He hasn't had an accident in over a month. I think with training of course, they finally are able to hold their urine and understand that the potty is outdoors.

Charlie is almost there, just hang on and keep the paper towels and cleaner handy for another month.
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I'm definitely not an expert. However, just wanted to share that our puppy Devon will be 14 weeks on Tuesday. He's pretty much got potty training down. He's even slept through the night the past two nights! To help us during work days, we have a pet sitter visit him twice a day. That has helped loads (but of course does have cost involved).

Good luck with your puppy. We definitely had some times of wondering if we made the right decision the first few weeks with Devon.
The first two weeks we took Bailey outside every 45-60 minutes and then every week she was able to hold it longer. Now at almost 5 months, we take her out every 2-3 hours and she's fine and hasn't had any accidents in the house since she was 10-11 weeks old. We were also very lucky at night with her. The first two weeks she slept until 5.30am (last time potty around 11.30pm) and now she sleeps anywhere between 6am-7am in the morning. So we never had to get up with her in the middle of the night.


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We brought Hurley home at 9 weeks & we were in the same boat as you....what do we do??? He was having numerous accidents & he just didn't have the concept of going outsides. So, we started setting a timer for 1 hr & every time it went off, we took him outside. Also found that if you say an entire sentences like "Hurley, do you need to go potty?" confused him more. So, we shortened it to "Potty?" or "Outside?". He picked it all up so very quick & the first week of trying this, we only had 2 accidents. The following week we only had 1 accident & he was completely potty trained by 13 weeks. He hasn't had a single accident since then!

Hang in there! It's tough at first but if you're diligent, they pick up these good habits quickly!
Just wanted to add that I am TOTALLY sympathetic to your situation... it took us over a month to get Oscar to a pretty reliable place where we weren't leaping up off the couch in fear every time he sniffed the floor!! ;) We got him at 8 weeks, but we were pretty beside ourselves for about the first month because it did not at all seem like he was "getting it", even though one or both of us was home with him ALL THE TIME, and we took him out every half hour to an hour! He seemed to get

BUT -- it DEFINITELY gets better!!! And you will be SOO happy once it all clicks :)

Here's what worked for us (others have said these as well, but just my 2 cents on what ACTUALLY seemed to work for us)

1) Constant vigilance! ;) haha

2) A crate!!!! (or two, like us!) We put him in there for his naps during the day, and always gave him something nice. Oscar cried and cried for the first few weeks when he knew we were around, but eventually he loved his crate.

3) Setting a timer for 30-45min between potty trips. (We wouldn't wake him up if he was sleeping, but we always took him out once he woke up. Also before/after meals, after playing... pretty much after everything he did!)

4) We live in an apartment, so we CARRIED him outside to his potty spot (to avoid accidents in the hallway). Outside, we say "hurry up!" and then say "good boy!" quietly as he does his business, then lots of praise & petting and a treat(s) when he finishes. He figured out the benefits of pottying outside VERY QUICKLY!

5) However, Oscar did not really seem to catch on that going INSIDE is not good (for a WHILE), so whenever we "caught him in the act", we would say "AH-AH! NO!" loudly, and if he stopped, picked him up right away and go outside. Usually he did not stop (even if we picked him up, I think they just really CAN'T stop peeing because of muscle control!), so we would pick him up when done and go straight outside. The other person would clean up the mess in the meantime (so he didn't see you), or if alone, would put him in his crate once back inside (so he didn't see you clean up). (I heard that they would figure out peeing gets attention if they saw you clean it up?? don't know how true this really is but we did it anyway).

6) When we were getting REALLY frustrated, we decided to stop giving treats during his other training throughout the day (e.g. sit, lie down), and ONLY give treats (multiple!) for going to the potty OUTSIDE. Our reasoning followed the "cashing in his pees & poops for treats" mentality that I read somewhere (maybe on GRF???)... if he "knows" he can get treats for other stuff, he has less motivation to really "hold it" until he gets outside... This might sound really crazy, but it DID really seem to help -- maybe just coincidentally LOL, but I suspect we were probably just giving him too MANY treats for various things throughout the day, which reduced the interest/novelty of his "potty" praise/treats.

7) And last, we found out just recently that Oscar has a bladder infection, which was obviously negatively impacting his bladder control as he had just started to have accidents in his crate (which had not really ever happened before). So if you really suspect that your puppy "should" be able to hold it for a certain period of time and he is still having accidents (although this does NOT apply to an 8 week old puppy, who can only hold it for 30min-1 hour, if he has had water recently), make sure you talk to your vet because there might be some health issue confounding your efforts.

Best of luck!!!!! You & your pup will surely persevere! :)
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8 weeks is so little still. It took Hudson a while to get it but he did. It is frustrating. Aside from the potty issue I'm quite sure he is learning other things and improving in leaps and bounds! Be patient with Charlie, he is still just a tiny guy.
I am in love with Oscar. Just wanted to say that. The only other thing I'd add is to make sure you clean up any mess with Nature's Miracle or something similar to remove any of the odor - remember that puppies have an incredible sense of smell and we might think the odor is gone, but they can still smell it. And good luck.
every hour like clockwork. Tell your puppy to Go Potty. When he pees, make a big deal out of it - good boy, cuddles, lots of atta boys. Then tell him to go Poopie. They do this often at that age - and when he goes it's celebration time. Important thing is to give your puppy enough time to get the job done. That's what I did anyways. For night time, you're looking at a 3 hour pee pee holding ability most likely so get up take him potty but don't work him up - its tiresome but worth it in the end. As he gets older you can try seeing if he can last 3 1/2 hours, 4 hours, 4 1/2 and so on. Good luck.
only thing I can add is make sure your puppy does not have too much is much easier for them to get the idea if they have a much smaller space, this can increase as he gets the hang of his potty spot, and his age is increased...I feel too many people give young puppies full run of the house, and in their excitement/exploration they just go...It is up to us, to be vigilant in all stages of potty training....the way I see it, if puppy makes a mistake, chances are its OUR fault, not theirs ....good luck
Thanks so much guys!! I will just keep trying!! I am going to start setting the timer so that I do remember to take him out at least once every 45mins.

We got super lucky with Charlie because he has never gone potty in his crate. He just naturally knew to hold it. However, around the house I think that he may just get overstimulated when the boys are playing with him and so then he just "goes" wherever.

I'll keep at it, we love this little guy SO MUCH!!! He is definately worth all of the hard work :)
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