View Full Version : Tips on Dog Training - Potty!

Russ Filtz
08-29-2008, 7:12 AM
I tolerate dogs, but I'm a cat person at heart and haven't had to train a dog before (cats come pre-trained for litter boxes!). So, unbeknownst to me, my wife decides to bring home a 3-yr old rat dog (chihuahua). My wife walks her constantly, but the thing waits to come in and then pees on the carpet! Poo too sometimes.

We've tried the standbys, catching in the act, scolding and then taking outside. Give treats when she does go outside, etc. Still goes inside daily. remedies?

Greg Cole
08-29-2008, 8:01 AM
With a 3 year old, I'd wager some or alot of repetition is needed. The dog isn't "old" but most likely has been conditioned to behave as it is doing now. Using one reward over and over is the best bet, changing tactics makes it harder on the animal to "get it" as well.
A brief face wash in the potty spot is the old fashioned way.... along with a verbal scolding was how I learned to correct said behavior.
Most dogs can have their feelings hurt by words as easily as anything. I know the tone of my voice can get my dogs ears to lay back on his head and he knows it's a bad deal.
G'luck. Least dog pee isn't as aromatic as the feline variety.;)

David G Baker
08-29-2008, 8:24 AM
Take the reward for going outside to a physical level by saying nice things to the pet and giving it pets and a lot of loving. When the pet goes indoors the scolding is good and some shunning may help as well. Physical abuse tends to have the opposite result.

Julie Rose
08-29-2008, 8:28 AM
Please don't rub the dogs face in urine, nor use any physical punishment! After they have peed, they do not know what they have done wrong. The main idea is to not give the dog the opportunity to pee inside. Keep the dog crated, then after a few hours take the dog directly outside with no chance to stop and pee in the house. I could write a lot more details, feel free to PM me if you wish.


Greg Stanford
08-29-2008, 8:30 AM
The easiest way I know of is to "crate" the dog at night & when You're away. Get a small indoor kennel - like a pet carrier - it should be large enough for the dog to stand & turn/move around in but not much bigger, like a nest. Dog's don't like to go where they sleep. The first thing you do when you come home or when you get up is to take the dog outside -
the dog gets used to going outside to do his business. This works really well w/ puppies but you have to get up during the night as they can't hold it as long. May take a bit of patience w/ an older dog.


Joe Pelonio
08-29-2008, 8:39 AM
I have trained a bunch of them over the years, and found that it's a lot easier with a puppy than a dog that's been allowed to go inside for a few years. You have your work cut out for you.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and get into routines and stick to them. This is evidenced by my dogs who can "tell time". At 6pm they always stand there looking at me and wagging their tails waiting for dinner (DST clock changes mess them up for a week or so). They immediately go outside after eating, morning and evening and do their business.

In your case, if she makes it through the night, first thing in the morning feed and then usher her out before she has a chance to do anything inside. Don't let her back in until she goes, then praise her enthusiastically.
At dinner time, make sure it's early enough to do the same thing.

The rest of the day is the most difficult part, especially if people are not home. Confining her to a fairly small room, with the entire floor covered with newspapers. When she starts relieving herself on the papers, you might be able to work this into paper training.

Having the smell on a carpet or floor encourages them to go on or near the same spot again, so it's critical that you get all of the smell out with bacterial enzymes, a product found at the vet or good pet supplies.
Just vinegar or normal carpet spot cleaners will not do it.


Lee Schierer
08-29-2008, 9:04 AM
Sounds like you need the Dog Whisperer! Seriously though, you need to take charge of the animal and tell it you are the top dog. Whatever you do don't rub the nose in it. This teaches the dog nothing. Physical abuse like swatting, is no good either.

To be top dog, when you take the dog out, make it walk beside and slightly behind you, don't let the dog pull on the leash pulling you where it wants to go, if you do it is in charge. You should always go in and out of doors first. Keep the dog in a small kennel just big enough for the dog to lay down when it is indoors. Then take it out side to where you want it to go. Stay there until it does go in one small area, not walking the entire block, then praise it lavishly immediately after it goes and not until. Reinforce the process of "going" while they are doing it with a key word like "hurry up". Since the dog is three it already has some habits so be watchful at the first sign of going in the house take it outside on the run to "the spot" and pour on the praise when the event takes place properly.

Remember dogs don't have feeling so you can't hurt their feelings by being unhappy with them and showing it They only respect or lack respect. If you aren't the leader they will be.

David DeCristoforo
08-29-2008, 3:55 PM


Matt Ocel
08-29-2008, 4:42 PM
1) Roll up a newspaper
2) Wrap it tightley with duct tape
3) Keep it handy
4) When the puppy has an accident. Smack yourself over the head with it as hard as you can. Because its your fault, not the dog.

I use a crate, set it by the door, when you come home, open the door first, then let the puppy out so he or she can make a bee line outside.

I also feed my puupies, take them directly outside and time how long between eating and #2.
After I establish a pattern, I slowly let the puppies stay inside a couple of minutes then take them outside, gradually increasing the time spent inside until house training is complete.

This method we have also used on older dogs.

Brian Effinger
08-29-2008, 9:47 PM


I was going to say "rat poison", but that is more immediate. BTW, thanks for saying that - I wanted to before anyone else had posted a response, but figured I'd take some heat for it :D

Scott Shepherd
08-31-2008, 9:27 AM
I've seen quite a few people who have that type of dog that actually train them to go in the house. They typically buy those blue pads and place them on the floor, in a spot. Then when the dog needs to go, they always go to the blue pad. I'd never train a dog to do it's business in the house, but I personally know several people who have done just that, using those pads. All of those people are owners of very tiny dogs.

So it might just be trained to be going in the house. Follow the other's advice and retrain it to go outside. Shouldn't be too difficult, just takes a little time, patience, and repetition.

Good luck!

David G Baker
08-31-2008, 10:15 AM
In my area small dogs going outdoors to potty may be hawk or eagle food.

Doug Shepard
08-31-2008, 10:56 AM
China has only ever had one accident inside when she got pretty sick and just couldn't hold it until I got home. But one thing I found necessary was to always go outside with her and make sure she takes care of business. Dont just put them outside and expect they'll do what you want them to. China was good about waking me up in the middle of the night if she had to go, but that almost never happens anymore since I started taking (vs putting) her out. So we now go out about an hour before bedtime and she's good for the night. Then it's outside again in the morning. I take a cup of coffee and use it as a wakeup for me because it could be 5-10 minutes before both she and the cats (they go with) have done their duty. First thing we do when I get home is spend 30-45 minutes outside playing and letting her take care of business. Then a walk after supper. Like others have said, keep them on a routine.
I actually know someone with a small Yorkie who has their dog trained to go in a cat litter box - go figger. That might work for a small female dog but I dont think I'd try it for a male who would tend to lift the leg and pee higher up.

Don Bullock
09-02-2008, 7:43 AM
One remedy I've used successfully came from an animal behavioralist. Make the dog stay at the spot where they made the mess. Dogs don't like to potty in areas where they stay. We had a male that urinated in or dining room. After about the third time I put a leash on him, tied the leash to a chair and left him there for about half an hour. He never did that again.