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Discussion Starter #1
I have just agreed to take a mini daschund from a family that had 4 daschunds. Two are older, 2 are just 7 months. I have one of the 7 month olds. He has no clue that he needs to potty outside. They let their dogs out all together an then let them back in after some time - who pottied, pottied - who didn't, didn't!
At first he would run back to the back door everytime I brought him out. I persistently put him back in the grass. Now he is very good about relieving himself when I take him out (#1). If I time it right, he is doing his #2 outside as well. My question is: how to i get him to let me know when he needs to go? I feel like a prisoner in my home who is on CONSTANT patrol of him to make sure he doesn't have an accident inside.
I've never had a pup before, so maybe he just needs to mature more? Please advise!
 

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Two key ingredients to all potty training (aside from puppy bladder control..under 5 months of age...and medical conditions) are teaching the dog Right Place and Wrong Place. Going in the right place gets heavy praise and reinforcement with treats. That alone is often enough for most dogs to make the connection that outside is right...inside is wrong.
Some dogs don't get it and still go in the house. The critical step here is that you must catch them in the act and not allow them to finish. Finishing is very self-rewarding. You have to interupt them with a sharp handclap, tell them Outside and then herd them to the right place. They have to walk on their own to get there. Once they understand that going in the house is wrong/bad is when they start to tell you that they need to go out.
Dogs that are not trained to hold it will relieve themselves every 70-90 minutes so, most folks take their dogs out every hour while training and gradually increase the time.
One caveat: dogs get distracted easily and often don't finish on the first try so, don't be too quick to rush them back into the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your response.
I have been praising the dog and giving him a tiny treat every time he goes outside. Maybe that is why he has stopped running back to the door, but does stay and do business (usually). But if I understand it, I AM going to have to be on patrol to catch any accidents as they are happening and lead him outside to finish?
OK then give me some light at the end here. Usually how long before he will learn to to let us know? He can go 2 - 3 hours dry. I assume then that he is getting decent bladder control. If I don't take him out though . . .
Also I have read to put his poo in one specifid spot in the yard and lead him there. That is supposed to teach him that is where he needs to eliminate??
 

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The one specific spot in the yard is if you want to teach your dog to only go in that special spot...not in the flower beds, not on the path to the shed or near the BBQ area.
Great question on staying on patrol and catching him every single time and how long it takes. That depends on how thoroughly you drive home the point that going in the house is wrong. Ideally, you want to catch him and stop him before he even starts to go. How you interupt him is up to you. In the old days we used to throw things thru the air at them....really startle them. You don't have to get that extreme and the intent here isn't to make the dog afraid...just interrupt and herd outside.
To give you an idea of how long.....my wife and I always devoted a full weekend to this training. We blocked out everything else and tag teamed on watching/teaching. That gives about 12 opportunities per weekend. Some of our dogs learned that weekend, some took a couple of weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It has been a week and we have had no accidents. However it is because I always get Samson out and he is now very good about going when I take him out. The one time when I was late to get him out and caught him starting to go in the house, I yelled,"No, outside!" and led him out. He would not finish going outside. After staying out with him for about 15' we went back in. An hour later we went out and had success.
So basically I am the one trained. He still doesn't let us know and ALWAYS goes in the house if we are gone for more than 2 hours. Is the only solution to stop taking him out and instead try to catch him when he relieves himself inside and march him out???
He knows the right place to go - but doesn't know the wrong place to go!
 

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Sometimes it just takes practice.....one day the light bulb just comes on.
More importantly though is going in the house whenever you're gone for more that 2 hours. Several key points.....where the accidents happen.....near the door to outside is a very good sign. That tells you he 'knows' where he should be going. If accidents are 'everywhere' then he doesn't understand at all.
He should be able to hold it for 2-3 hours and relieving himself in the house is very self-rewarding and makes the potty training for outside that much harder. Under the circumstances, I would not let him have free roam of the house. Either crate or confine him when you're gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again for your advice. The accidents that happen while we are gone, could be anywhere in our kitchen, where he is confined (hardwoods clean easier than carpet). Everyone says I should kennel him when we are gone and then take him out as soon as we return. His former owners did kennel him quite a bit, even to sleep. This would, I assume, help teach him that the house is WRONG place. Thank you again.
 

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Most dogs don't like to soil their beds and have to lay in their own mess. That doesn't directly tell them that going in the house is wrong and unfortunately, some dogs don't care if their area gets filthy. Crating is done primarily for safety and to contain any accidents to a specific area.
 
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