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I have 2 French Bulldog puppies, they are now 7 months old. I've had many dogs and have never had an issue housebreaking any of them. However, these two seem to be impossible to housebreak. I'm totally at my wits end. I talked to the puppy class trainer, I've called trainers. I've been told that the dogs need basic obedience training. But I've already done that. I take them for a walk almost every day, they know heel, come, sit, and they can stay for short periods of time. I can't limit their water intake more than I already do, they are Frenchies and I live in a desert, I can't let them dehydrate. I'm trying to bell train them to tell us when they want to go out. Roxie will ring the bells, Bettie doesn't even seem to realize they are there. However, they will both sometimes pee and even poop on the floor. They will pee in their crate before we let them out in the morning. They have both peed on the couch. Roxie peed on the couch tonight, right next to my teenage son. She didn't make any effort to hop off the couch or go anywhere near the door. I'm totally at a loss and I feel like they need a new home if I can't solve this problem. They are going to lead very sad lives if I have to leave them in a crate most of the time because they can't be loose in my house. I desperately want to love and enjoy them, but instead I'm constantly watching them to catch accidents before they happen. Please, someone give me some advice that might actually work.
 

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Tether them to you when out of the crate. Take them out every hour at first, and after eating, playing and when they wake up. Clean up accidents with an enzyme cleaner. They sound like they have never been housetrained, so they shouldn't be left unsupervised where you can't interrupt them, or catch them when they look like they are looking for a spot.

I'd get them vet checked for a UTI, especially if you have been withholding water.
 

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Make sure that you are making pottying outside VERY rewarding for them. Bring delicious treats (cheese or chicken..something stinky!) and when they go potty outside, throw a party! That will make them WANT to go outside to go potty rather than just going in the house because it's convenient. You have to make outside more rewarding than the house. :)
 

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Some dogs are easier to potty train than others. My parents' dog was super easy, she just seemed to know what to do. Other dogs are challenging; I have a 2 year old chihuahua-dachshund mix that was abandoned, and she took awhile.
It sounds like you've been having this problem with them since they were younger? In that case, they were probably having so many accidents that it seemed to them like inside was acceptable, or at least they simply got in the habit of doing it indoors. So, I would go back to the beginning with them.

PREVENT accidents at all costs. If you can do this, it simply takes inside pottying out of the equation. And, the longer you make inside pottying NOT an option (by PREVENTING it) the more likely they are to start seeing outside as the only option.

So, keep them right with you. Imagine when your children were small, just learning how to crawl, and you had to follow along with them whenever they made a move, to make sure they weren't getting into danger. Do this with the puppies. Any time they stand up from a nap, just assume they may be about to pee and take them out. Anytime they move away from a toy they're playing with just assume they are going to pee and take them out. That means A LOT of going out. But, it's better to be safe than sorry, right? :)
 

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If they do not have a urinary tract infection then it sounds like you have two very dominant dogs. You need to establish a leadership role with your dogs. No more getting on the furniture. Keep them crated if you can’t watch them. If you take them out to go you should have a command like potty or hurry. Take them out for potty one at a time. If they choose to play instead of potty bring them in and place them back in the crate. Let them sit 15 minutes and try again. The size of the crate should be large enough for them to lay down in and no larger. If there is room for them to pee in the crate and not have to lay in it you will never potty train them. One dog per crate.
 

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I totally disagree with dcherry about your pups being "very dominant". Don't listen to that. Your dogs are PUPPIES. Puppies don't gain full physical control of their bladders til 6 months of age, give or take, and yours are just now 7 months. It is highly likely that they are just NOT potty trained, and need to go back to the beginning of potty training. There could be several reasons: maybe you (the OP) weren't totally consistent with them while potty training, maybe they were taken out to potty together (makes it difficult for them to focus on the job of going potty), whatever.

And, if you want to let them on furniture, fine. Just make sure that their bladders are empty when you allow them up. Dogs on furniture doesn't have anything to do with the dog being dominant.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of the good advice. I've instituted the rule of one puppy at a time to go out to potty so that they don't interfere with one another. And I've started rewarding them with their all time favorite treat (cheese) only after they successfully go potty outside. I'm also lengthening their evening walk by a mile so that I don't feel so guilty for leaving them in their crate when I'm home. I think I need to start only having one of them out at a time so the puppy that is out gets ALL of the attention. I have never had this much difficulty potty training a dog. A big part of the problem is that the breeder didn't let the puppies go outside to potty with their mom. They were left in a large crate most of the time and that's where they learned to pee. Their crate now is the right size for them, just enough space to comfortably lay down. But one of them still pees in there and ends up laying in it. That's the part that makes me think her bladder just isn't big enough yet. I've already had them checked for UTI and they are both clear. Any other good ideas are welcome, keep 'em coming!
 

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My doxie mix is 14 weeks old, and we've had him for six weeks. He has pee accidents in the house maybe twice a week at this point, and hasn't pooped inside in a month! We do the bell thing, but he is really only reliable with it for poops. Mostly what we did was just take him outside constantly, and never have him more than an arm's reach away unless he JUST went. For a while that meant taking him out every 30 minutes (or if he didn't go that time, every 10 minutes until he did). We use "hurryup!" as his potty command, and praisepraisepraise when he goes and just have made it our life's mission to make sure he does not have the opportunity to have an accident.
 

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Thanks for all of the good advice. I've instituted the rule of one puppy at a time to go out to potty so that they don't interfere with one another. And I've started rewarding them with their all time favorite treat (cheese) only after they successfully go potty outside. I'm also lengthening their evening walk by a mile so that I don't feel so guilty for leaving them in their crate when I'm home. I think I need to start only having one of them out at a time so the puppy that is out gets ALL of the attention. I have never had this much difficulty potty training a dog. A big part of the problem is that the breeder didn't let the puppies go outside to potty with their mom. They were left in a large crate most of the time and that's where they learned to pee. Their crate now is the right size for them, just enough space to comfortably lay down. But one of them still pees in there and ends up laying in it. That's the part that makes me think her bladder just isn't big enough yet. I've already had them checked for UTI and they are both clear. Any other good ideas are welcome, keep 'em coming!
Was it a puppy mill or backyard breeder-type situation? That is what it sounds like. A good breeder would never put dogs through that, not only is it cruel but it is just common sense that making a baby puppy sleep it its urine will make it think it is okay to pee every where. Dogs usually will never pee where they sleep or eat.

Everyone's advice is great, just make sure to clean up the pee 100% so there are no pee smells left for the dogs to smell. They have really good noses so you have to use a special enzyme solution to break down the pee. There is a brand called natures miracle that I like, the other ones smell weird lol.

For the one that can't hold it, add in 1 or 2 potty break to prevent accidents. The more you can keep her clean the easier it will be to teach her that bed and bathroom are different places.
 
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