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Potty training if you can't crate

1144 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Francl27
Looking for some help with housebreaking my sister's dog. She rescued a little chihuahua when he was about 7 months old and he is now about 1.5 years old. He is not potty trained and since I am now here where I am with him during the day, I'd like to try to work on this. He's very timid but unless you are laying down, you cannot touch him. I am only familiar with crate training dogs so have no clue how to approach this since we cannot get him into a crate. He's very playful, runs along behind you as you walk and then when you turn, he runs away and as soon as your back is turned again, he will come up to you as you are walking. If we are laying down on the couch or in bed, he will run all over the bed, and even climb all over us and let us pet him. Even comes up to you if you are not petting him and tries to put his head under your hand, or will paw at you to get your attention and he loves to sleep curled up beside one of us. We give him lots of affection but on his terms, which is when we are laying down. He also has a problem with marking his territory and if there is anything set in the floor, such as a grocery bag, or box, he will, within a day or so, usually mark it with urine. She has another male dog who is a wonderfully trained dog. The little one will potty outside at times, but he is just as apt to come in from an outside break and crap within 5 minutes. Surely there is something that will help! Any suggestions on how we could go about starting to potty train this little guy would be greatly appreciated!
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You can try the leash method - basically, if he's outside a designated potty area, he needs to be supervised 100% of the time, otherwise there will be accidents. This often means he 1) needs to be right next to you at all times 2) watched like a hawk. Small dogs are harder to housebreak because their messes are small - so it's up to how vigilant you can be.

The other option, is to create a penned area with his bed on one side, and the potty grass on the other. I suggest grass because if you use a soft surface like pee pads, he will think carpets are ok to pee on and this will continue on into their adulthood. Some dogs don't, but I've heard too many stories to recommend taking the risk.

Take him out every 2 hours (until he's reliable, then slowly increase duration), say the command to potty, and when he goes, reward. Rinse and repeat until he starts signaling to you she needs to go (whining and pawing at the door, barking at you, etc) - that's how you know you've successfully trained him and can start going longer before letting him out.
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