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Discussion Starter #1
I keep hearing about all these things dogs will do to let you know they need to go to the bathroom or go out. My dogs do neither of those. They sniff around all the time, not just when they need to go, and I will all of a sudden find my dog squating down with out any warning, no sniffing or anything else that I've read about. THey know to go outside and will go quickly almost every time we go out, but they don't ask to go outside unless someone starts getting a coat or boots on. Sometimes Banjo will sit by the door, but it seems to have nothing to do with needing to go. And sometimes it will seem like they're asking, only to bring them out and have them not go. Which is frustrating since it's so cold out and such a hassle to get dressed in 5 layers. I've stopped responding to them when they jump at the door or sit at the door. About a quarter or less of the time I ignore them they will have an accident, or try to go inside.
The other thing is that when they try to go inside, even if I catch them, I can't immediately bring them out as I have to get boots and coat AT LEAST on, plus the leash. It's so rare at this point, it's ridiculous to keep the leash on all the time, plus it doesn't even help, because I can't seem to read their signals. And there's two of them. THere's one accident at least almost every day, although sometimes we go multiple days without anything from either of them. Many of the accidents are when me and my boyfriend aren't home, right now, and my parents are there, but they aren't really on the dogs, and the dogs aren't in their crates. THis will change when we leave within the week, and have our own place where they will be crated when we're not home. However, we're students and are away for up to 10 hours a day a few days a week. Is this too long to crate them?
Any ideas?
 

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One prerequisite for a dog to let you know it has to go out is that it has to be housebroken first. From reading all your posts, your dogs are nowhere near housebroken. Work on that first. Don't think they are almost housebroken, because an accident a day is not housebroken. At this point going outside is the same as inside as far as your dog is concerned. Until you recognize that fact you won't make any progress.
 

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There are many ways to control the potty schedule; one way is to take them out every hour. Why every hour? Because untrained dogs (those not trained to hold it) will go every 70-90 minutes. That assumes they have free access to water. Which is another way to control or alter the schedule....restrict the water intake.
But, let's jump to the signs and then I'll come back to other methods ....how can you tell they need to go? If they give no clear sign that they have to go out...in other words they don't know that going in the house is wrong....then they are untrained....there won't be any really obvious signs....they'll just go. Once they understand that going in the house is very wrong...a really bad thing to do...that's when they start to whine, bark, jump around, anxiously toss their heads toward the door or scratch at the door....letting you know they need to go.
While some are willing and able to go out every hour or two and get their dogs used to a strict schedule, I don't think this will work for you with your schedule.
That leaves you with only a couple of options: teach the WRONG method and take them outside or set-up an indoor potty area and train them to go in that spot. The indoor method is often called litter box training or wee pad training but, any waterproof floor space can be used as the designated potty area. Those all require that you train some form of WRONG however...to only go on the pads, in the litter box or the designated floor space....nowhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What do you mean by the Wrong method? I never said in my post they were almost housetrained. They understand one principle of housetraining, but not the other. They know that going outside means it's time to relieve yourself, they don't know that it's not exceptible inside. An interesting thing happened, this morning, though. Banjo was jumping at the door asking to go out, which I usually ignore because in the past when she's done that and I've brought her out, she just wants to play. But this time she wouldn't eat her breakfast and kept jumping at the door. So I brought her out, and it turned out she has mild diarrhea. She jumped at the door again about 20 minutes later and I brought her out and she went again.
Banjo seems to be a lot better housetrained than Aurora. But I think her anxiety and excitement peeing are setting it back a bit. Is this a possibility? She NEVER poops inside, but will often pee. Is it possible for her to be housetrained as far as poop goes, but not pee?
Aurora, on the other hand came to us "housetrained" according to her owner. However from day one she refused to go outside and would go inside everytime we left her alone downstairs. That was when we were just dogsitting so we didn't get a crate or work with her on housetraining. Now it looks like she's ours, so she has a crate and we are trying to get her housetrained.
The stress of moving to my parent's house has also put a kind of set back on things. It's a lot more active and there's a lot of people and fighting and stuff, so they've been really stressed out. We were very close to having them get it till we moved here.
They rarely will go in the house in front of us, so how do we let them know that it's not okay? I know we crate them whenever we can't supervise them, but for how long do we have to do that until they get it?
 

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I'll try to clarify the two main methods of potty training. One way is to heavilly reward the dog for going in the right spot. Alot of dogs automatically make the connection that this is the right spot to go and any other spot is not. But, some dogs don't make that association. They need to be taught that going in the house is wrong. That means you have to catch them in the act...tell them WRONG!, hustle them to the right spot and reward for finishing in the right place. That's the hard part.....watching like a hawk ..you have to catch them in the act.
And, yes, it is somewhat common for dogs to understand the poop housetraining but, not the pee.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alright. One of our dogs responds well to treats, but the other doesn't. She really couldn't care less about treats. I think I will try treating Banjo every time she goes outside, because she's close enough to getting it that I think she would make the connection that she gets treats only when she potties outside. Aurora, however, we can keep from going inside if we keep her in the right situations. We know when she will go in the house and when she won't, but sometimes we can't help leaving her in the wrong situation (such as leaving her downstairs for a few minutes while I go upstairs.)
I think the "Wrong" method would work well, however with the cold and the amount of time it takes to get out the door, this may have to wait till spring. Is this a bad thing to do?
If they never go in the house because they are never in a situation that they are able to go in the house, will they eventually become safe in the house without having to be crated or watched? Or do they need to try to go in the house to understand that it's not okay. At what point can I allow them to be in the house without supervision?
And I would REALLY like to get some opinions on how long it's okay to crate a dog. Our school day is 9 hours or more, and sometimes our work schedules coincide, so we have another 9 hour day without anyone in the house (school is only 2 days a week). Should I just leave them in crates?
 
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