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Hello! I've been doing a lot of research and have yet to find the answer to my issue.

I'm currently living with my parents and my mom got a puppy about eight months ago. She's a Shih-Tzu, her name is Mei-Li and she quite adorable. We have had a lot of dogs over the years, having been involved with rescuing Bichons, and had positive experiences with housetraining.

But this is the first time we've come across this problem:

She can hold her pee for hours. She's gone 12 hours without so much as a dribble, and we've taken her to the vet and everything. She's never wet her crate since we got her as a baby. She loves water more than food and will drink and drink and drink, but she can still hold it for hours!

The issue at hand is this: We take her out constantly(and consistently) and end up standing outside with her for long periods of time and she will literally just plop down in the grass. We taught her to ring the bell to go outside, and she does, but then when we go out, she wants to chase the birds and eat the bugs, etc. I have personally worked with her on the "leave it" command, and she does well, but she has puppy ADD, of course. Regardless, she mostly does not pee or poop.

Her ability to hold it wouldn't be a problem except that recently she's been going in the house. Doing BOTH of her businesses in the house. In fact, she's had a LOT of trouble associating pooping with outside, no matter how much we lavish her with praise when she does.

As far as catching her going in the house, she is unable to stop herself once she starts (probably because she's ready to pop when she finally goes). So if you catch her mid-pee, she will continue to go as you try to run her outside, which leaves a long trail to clean up sometimes. Then, when you get her to the grass, she's done and off to eat some bug. Same goes for her bowel movements. It's a mess.

She's absolutely adorable and we love her, but the carpet is suffering and I'm at a loss now. My parents, out of frustration, have resorted to yelling and scolding, no matter how many times I tell them it is ineffective.

What can I do!?

· Registered
4,358 Posts
It's quite natural for puppies to want to play when they go outside, they are very easily distracted. It's not a rare problem! :)

The way I see it, you haven't taught her to ring the bell when she needs to pee or poop, you've taught her to ring the bell when she wants to go out for ANY reason. So, the bell isn't really serving its purpose.

I would limit her freedom in the house. Don't let her out of your sight. You should be able to see the signs that she needs to go, and if she is in your sight, you can stop her before she even starts going by watching for the signs.

Basically, the goal, at this point, should be preventing accidents, and getting her into the habit of peeing/pooping only outside. Prevent by close supervision. It's a hassle, but worth it in the end.

If you want to re-teach the bell thing, ONLY ring the bell when you take her out to potty. If she doesn't potty withing 3-5 minutes of taking her out, bring her back in, but keep your eye on her so you can rush her out if she needs to go. She needs to learn the difference between potty time outside and playtime outside. If she rings the bell to go out, but doesn't pee/poop, she doesn't get to stay out and play. That is giving her the impression she can ring the bell just to go out and play.
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