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We need some help, my wife and I have 2 little toy poodles, one male, one female...and the female is only about 13 weeks now, but our male is coming up on a year, hes about 11 mos.

From the onset weve been taking him on a leash, outside to pee and do his thing....we even rewarded him with a treat. But he doesnt seem to connect the dots that he has to let us know to go outside, he still will if he has to go just unload.

We plan to get our yard fenced soon to help so that we can let him out even more to hopefully avoid the accident.

But what is a way to help him understand you dont pee in the house and to let us know when he has to go?

Even when we have him out every hour or so...he pees, but if we by chance just miss it by a split second he will pee and its like thats where i need him to learn to hold it. Because in his little house, he knows to hold it, so we need to make him understand that big house = hold it too...help!
 

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Not ever dog will "connect the dots" ever in a lifetime. I have three dogs. One will spin around on the rug by the door and bark. The other two will just pee on the floor. Same household, same training, they all go out through the same door.

The only thing you can do is set up a good feeding schedule (feed at a regular time twice per day, don't leave food out to graze) and then elimination becomes more predictable. At that point it is up to you to set up a reasonable schedule to let the dog out. Until the dog reliably goes outside all the time they need to be watched or gated / crated so that they cannot make mistakes in the house. Those mistakes take you back several steps in training each time as it reinforces to the dog that it's ok to eliminate in the house. The object of the game for the human is to bring indoor elimination to an absolute 0 by keeping the dog under close supervision at all times while free in the house. Otherwise it is better to confine the dog until they get the schedule down.
 

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Treating and praising for going in the right potty area is the right thing to do and most dogs will "connect the dots" but, some don't. There can be many small reasons why they don't make the connection.

IMO, one of the bigger mistakes is the owner always leading the way to the potty area when they think the dog needs to go out. But, the dog needs to find the route by himself...not 'be taken by the hand' and, he needs to announce that he needs to go out....by barking, scratching, ringing a bell, sitting at the door...whatever method you want to train.

For some dogs that can't seem to connect the dots they need to understand that going in the house is wrong....very wrong. There is only one way to teach that...you must catch them the instant they start to go. If they finish before you can catch them it's way too late....the opportunity for a lesson was missed entirely.

The instant they start you interrupt them...a sharp handclap, stomp your foot on the floor....they must not finish. You immediately herd him in front of you to the right potty area to finish....where you treat and praise profusely.
 

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My pit bull mix was really easy to house train. Basically whenever she did her business inside, I'd correct her and put her in her crate while I cleaned it up. Whenever she went outside, I'd give her a small treat or a tiny kibble of food. Within a few days, whenever she had to go, she would sit by the door. Now she only has an accident in the house if she's sitting by the door, and I'm not paying attention.
I have never seen a dog so responsive to treats :) She's learned several commands, sit, stay, down, come, shake, just from giving her a treat whenever she did it.
 

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I have heard that the easiest way to housetrain is to keep the dog confined to a crate 24/7 for a week. You let the dog out only in order to pee and for no other reason. I'm skeptical, but I have been told that it's an extremely effective method.
 

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I have heard that the easiest way to housetrain is to keep the dog confined to a crate 24/7 for a week. You let the dog out only in order to pee and for no other reason. I'm skeptical, but I have been told that it's an extremely effective method.
I could never do that. That just seems cruel.
 

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I could never do that. That just seems cruel.
I have personally never tried it so I can't speak for it's effectiveness. That being said, I wouldn't find it to be cruel at all if it worked. The way I see it, it's only for a week. I don't think it's cruel if it's just for a week.
 

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I have personally never tried it so I can't speak for it's effectiveness. That being said, I wouldn't find it to be cruel at all if it worked. The way I see it, it's only for a week. I don't think it's cruel if it's just for a week.
I'm not criticizing those who use it, but my concern would be a lot of pent up energy and possible aggression. My dog is a big and very, very energetic pit bull mix. She gets antsy if I for some reason can't walk her for just one day. I could not imagine her going a week without lots of exercise.
 

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I had this same problem about a month ago. A friend at work who raised seeing eye dogs suggested to hang some bells off the door knob. I did this, and when I took my dog out, I would hold his paw and hit the bell everytime. Eventually I would still have to take him out, but I would tell him, "bell" and he would (sometimes) hit the bell.

I thought that I was just wasting my time, but after about a month or so, I decided one weekend to see if he would let us know somehow that he had to go. To our amazement he rang the bell! Since then he's never had an accident, and he's always used the bell. There has been a couple of small issues where he's rang it just because he wants to go outside, but we quickly take him inside once it's apparent he doesn't have to go. We also scold him then and put him in his crate for a bit.

For the most part though, this technique has worked brilliantly!
 

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I'm not criticizing those who use it, but my concern would be a lot of pent up energy and possible aggression. My dog is a big and very, very energetic pit bull mix. She gets antsy if I for some reason can't walk her for just one day. I could not imagine her going a week without lots of exercise.
Sounds like a great chance to use a rousing game of fetch, chase, or just a nice walk as reward for going potty in the right spot.

Use what she's missing as a reward for doing what you would like. Seems like instant motivator.
 

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I used the bell for my little dog that I couldn't pick up on his signals when he had to go, and am thinking about busting it back out for my rottie pup. It's very easy to teach and most dogs catch on real quick. I did it differently than some of the online ways to teach it (my behaviorist taught me). I held a treat in my closed hand and told the dog to touch, when he touched it with his paw or nose, even by accident he got the treat. After he mastered this, I held out a closed hand with no treat and when he touched he got a treat from the other hand. Then I held the bell in my hand so it couldn't ring and gave the touch command. Then held it up so it would ring when he touched it. Then I hung it on the door and gave the command. Treats were ALWAYS given for a touch. Everytime I would take him out to go potty, I would give the command to touch the bell. He eventually got the idea and would ring it on his own. We phased it out about 2 years after he started ringing it. Now he sits by the door. It may sound like alot but I had the bell on the door in about 2 afternoons of working with him. The touch command comes in handy for other trick training also, that's why the behaviorist and I decided to do it that way. I still use it with him.
 
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