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This is all to be expected... Vixen is a great puppy, just 10 weeks old today. We cannot afford dog training, so we are forced to try this out on our own and hope for very good tips to come our way.

Vixen has housetraining pads in the bathroom where she sleeps, since she absolutely hates her crate and thinks it's punishment, even if she has all of her toys and a treat in there with her. She enjoys the bathroom, it is big enough for her to walk around and play, she has her doggie bed in there as well. We also have a little patio that we put her on to go potty, but she INSISTS on still peeing on the carpet!

She hasn't pooped on the carpet for the last several days, which is already great progress since we got her only 9 days ago, but how do we get her to hold in her pee until she goes in the bathroom or the patio?? She knows the housetraining pads are there, she does go pee on them, but she will STILL go on the carpet everytime we take her out of the bathroom or patio. She knows where the housetraining pads are. Even after she goes for a nice 10-15 min walk outside on the grass, where she does go potty and we praise her everytime! She comes inside and still pees multiple times on the carpet. She's also walked about 3 times a day, sometimes 4. And still, after every time out, she comes in and pees on the carpet, and then has another time out. Several times a day. She knows it's wrong because when we catch her she cowers away, sometimes runs away.

I don't know how long this will go on for, she's still a baby. I'm quite aware that this will take time, I just don't know if there is anything that we should do that we aren't doing. We show her that it's bad to pee on the carpet, but she already knows that. She's even good if we walk her without a leash. She listens. So I do not understand why she's catching on to so many other things, except this one basic issue.

I also bought this spray that is supposed to attract the puppy to an area where it is okay to eliminate. It supposedly has this grassy smell. I spray it on every housetraining pad that is being used, but she still chooses to completely ignore the 'okay' spots once she's let out.

Any ideas?

With Thanks,



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6,104 Posts
Your dog is like a newborn infant and your expectations are bit unrealistic.

A puppy generally needs to eliminate every hour or two. So 3-4 walks per day...???

If the puppy has not had a thorough vet exam I would do that first before assuming a behavioral issue.

And it is incredibly confusing to your puppy to have potty pads in the house and also the expectation to eliminate outside. Choose either one or the other, both at the same time is confusing. Bite the bullet, buy an alarm clock, and take the dog outside every 2 hours faithfully. It lengthens out as the dog gets older. Rule of thumb...puppy can reasonably hold it # hours = age in months. 10 weeks = 2+ months = 2 hours at most.

House training is easier if you stick to a regular schedule of feeding the puppy 3 regular times per day. Give plenty of water with meals and limited water (within reason...heat, exercise, etc) between meals. Pick up the water bowl 2 hours before bedtime. Set and alarm to take the dog out at least every 2 hours, 24/7, 365, rain or shine.

If you take the dog outside and it does not perform then you put the dog back in the crate or gated room and try again in 20 minutes. Until the dog performs they should not have any freedom. Once the dog has eliminated outside and you want to give some freedom, do it in limited areas. Only leave the dog loose where you can completely supervise every move. If necessary some people tether the dog to themselves with the leash so the dog cannot wander out of sight and leave surprises behind furniture. It is your responsibility to supervise the dog. Sort of like letting a toddler run around the house without a diaper on...you need to watch for any signs that the dog has to go again. If you cannot watch the dog with two eyes at all times then you need to put the dog in its safe area...i.e. crate or safe room.

Any areas that have already been pee'd on need to be thoroughly cleaned with an enzyme cleaner from the pet store. Nothing else will kill the bacteria attracted by the urine or stool. You may not be able to smell it but your dog can and will repeatedly go back to the scene of the crime to continue the behavior.

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I agree with Briteday - it sounds like you have situations that are "confusing" your pup.

There's a reason why crate training is successful. It worked perfectly for my puppy. She has never elimiated in the crate ever since I got her 2 months ago. She has had accidents on the carpet, but it took about a month of soild potty schedule for it to work.

A 10 weeks old puppy is still a little baby, even much younger than my dog (6 months).

You mentioned:

"She absolutely hates the crate and thinks it's punishment" - how do you know that's what your dog is thinking unless if you put her in there every time she does something bad. If she whines/barks - you have to ignore it. Just like when a baby is crying...they will cry your ears off, but they eventually will settle down. Put in a shirt that you wore in there for comfort. Put her favorite toys in there. Eventually she'll get used to it, and will make it her "den", that's the whole point of crate training.

When she "starts" to pee on the carpet, do you punish her? Or do you pick her up right away (put your hands on her butt, it will stop the pee)? Or do you let her finish? Try NOT to let her finish and don't punish her. Instead, pick her up, and take her outside and say, "Go Potty" or whatever marker word you use.

I'm gonna have to agree with the poster above. Don't use housetraining pads. I thought they were a great idea...until I realized that most dogs will believe that using the housetraining pads will actually reenforce the idea that it is OKAY to pee inside the house, then you have another set of problems. My vet was against it, and so many other dog owners that I talked with when I started doing the potty training.

So, here's what you can do (anyone else...feel free to add as I'm basing this off my experience and reading others).

One - buy a good gallon of Enzymatic cleanser like Nature's Miracles. EXPECT accidents to happen. It's all it is...accidents. IGNORE the accident and just clean it up. No punishment, no "OH WTF?!", no yelling...do nothing. This was the hardest thing as I would let out a major groan, but eventually, I just sucked it up and blame it on me as I totally ignored the signs.

Two - You gotta walk her MORE often. 3 to 4 times a day ain't cutting it. I take my dog for potty break at LEAST 7 to 10 times. Walking for excercise/energy depletation is different than Potty breaks.

Three - Get rid of the pads. You probably can "try" to keep her in that bathroom and close the door. she probably has it as a "den" already, but crate training will be better IMO. Imagine if your dog has to go to the hospital, or has to travel in a crate...if your dog is not used to it, your dog will be screaming when it's a neccesscity in the future. I HATE having dogs that are in the cages (I used to be a vet tech) that are screaming and whining because they're not used to the confinement. So, not only it's a good idea for potty training, but it's good for boarding, grooming, or any situation where the dog needs to be confined. It's gonna happen at least ONCE in it's lifetime.

Four - THe poster above mentioned it - if the dog does not perform on the scheduled potty break, the dog gets confined for a little while.

I'm not sure if Time Outs are effective. If the pup did it while you turned your head, or you did time out after a couple mintues, it's ineffective. Same thing with training how to sit, stay, down etc...you have to treat the action the SECOND after the action is performed. So, if you are SEEING your dog pee, you can just scoop him out and take him outside right away. That's just my opinion - I just don't see how having a time out after the action has already been done be effective.

As you already know - it is going to take time and patience. There will be times where the dog will be testing your patience...just grin and bear it and be ready to look forward to its adult life. :)

Good luck!
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