how long to wait after outside after catching in the act?

Posted by jscheunhage
Nov 2, 2011
wow, this forum is wonderful - I am super grateful I found it.

I have an 8 week old Dalmatian boy who has been home about 5 days. I am trying the crate training technique but live in an apartment where the path to get outside is a fair distance (down a flight of stairs, then through the parkade to the outside).

also I am not supposed to let him outdoors until 12 weeks because of parvovirus risk (this will be after his last shot).

instead I have a large concrete deck where I am training him to go on some newpaper layed out. he has a domain in the kitchen which is blocked off and his crate is accessible from the domain. in the domain I am not using paper on the floor, just linoleum.

a couple questions:

1) when I catch him in the act in his domain (both peeing and pooping) I firmly say outside and quickly pick him up to take to the spot. my issue is how long do I stay there outside with him if he doesn't go? I don't want him to run around the deck area until he goes, so I restrict him with his leash to that 4-5 foot radius area near the papers on the deck. often he just whines and fusses and tugs on the leash - how should I deal with that in terms of waiting? I don't say anything to him when I am outside, but if he really whines I am stuck because I feel I am giving in if he doesn't go.

2) the outside deck is quite cold on his feet and he seems to really not like that! it's not freezing yet - just above freezing by a few degrees but it will get colder. so he is resisting me when we go out for his normal scheduled visit. any tips on this one? again we'll go at a scheduled time like first thing in the morning and he'll whine outside while I try to wait for him to go. then I give up after a couple minutes and we head inside. then he'll go in the domain area!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 3, 2011
Hi jscheunhage,

I am not a puppy expert but I think your pup is too young for the method you described. In fact it will be pretty confusing for him and he might think you are saying "No" to release himself (regardless of inside/outside). You wouldn't want him to be discouraged to go potty altogether

For young puppies like yours, it will be much easier to train him to go on puppy potty pads. They can learn pretty quickly to go on a pad, rather than the linoleum floor. Newspapers are OK but pee goes through so training pads are easier to clean and they absorb better. Of course you can encourage him to go potty outside by taking him regularly, such as when he wakes up, after meals, after drinking a lot of water, right before going to bed, etc.

Ideally, you want to have a baby play pan or circle (expandable wire fence) to make his living area smaller when you are not watching him. Cover half of the area with the training pads and put a blanket on the other half. It will help if you put some of his pee on the pad so that he would sniff and go on it next time. Praise him for going on the pad. He will soon learn where to go potty.

This way you don't need to stand outside in the cold weather and he will learn to release himself in a designated area, which will be the base of potty training after he gets ready to go outside.

Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Nov 3, 2011
Hey there,

Starting the same, I'm not a puppy expert I think 8 weeks old is old enough to get a routine, but I think your method, if I'm interpreting it correctly, is a bit too haphazard for him to get at this point.

Housetraining pups, no matter what your living circumstances, is all about routine. I definitely agree with MHN about taking him outside (to your porch for now, if thats your method) first thing in the morning, about 10 minutes after every meal, and before you shut him up for bed. He will get the idea to go where he is if you put him there when he needs to go.

I also agree that his confinement "domain" in the house should be much smaller for times when you're not directly interacting with him. If you're not keeping an eye on him and talking, playing, etc with him, you need to make sure he cant roam too big a space. Confining pups to a small area encourages no accidents, especially if the space includes their beds and food bowls - dogs don't like to use the bathroom where they eat/sleep. You said you were crate training him - the crate would be ideal for this. Just again, be sure to let him outside immediately when you take him out of the crate.

As far as being outside with him on the porch, it may be better to just put him out and draw curtains across the door so he doesn't sit in front of it and whine and look in at you. Leave him to do his business, and check on him 10-15 minutes later. This will help with basic training as well - if you stand with him the whole time and take him back inside after he whines a little, he will get the idea that whining = attention and getting to go where he wants.

I do think, however, if you tire of the porch approach, that you can take your pup out for supervised bathroom trips in the "real" outdoors. When I got my pup at 8 weeks old, I was told that as long as I watched him, made sure he didnt roll in anything or eat anything, and was only outside for a brief trip ON LEAD, he would be ok without full vaccinations. This is, obviously, a personal choice with each owner and dog - but its just another side to consider.

Puppy pee pads will be better than newspaper, as MHN said, and you can use these in the "domain" area when you're playing, and on the porch to pee on. These can help with the eventual outdoor potty training too in the future - you put the pads down on the grass to encourage bathroom acts there, then remove the pads after a few successful trips.

Hope this helps - please let us know if we can help at all anymore or if you have more questions. Good luck!
Posted by jscheunhage
Nov 4, 2011
thanks a ton to both of you!

I have been lucky, I guess in his case the age hasn't been a factor since things are much better now. he is not really resisting and is going straight to his spots without much coercion or focus on my part!

Since writing I have been much more regimented in when and how I take him out. the transformation is pretty amazing - they learn so quickly! I have upped the positive encouragement and in combination with regularity he is doing great. he now hasn't really resisted when going to and from the deck, and also is getting better at queuing me to when he needs to go.

for whatever reason, probably a little less transition stress and also the positive reinforcement if I were to guess, he now doesn't really mind the cold deck as much. he loves playing on it as a reward after doing his thing. he knows his spots (one for peeing and one for pooping) and goes there more and more like clockwork. he also takes WAY less time to go generally speaking. following the exact steps recommended in the eBook, with the cue word, is totally worth the effort and time - in my case it really is working.

after doing the newspaper piles and hearing how much more flexible and useful the pads are I think I going to switch to those. its sounds almost too good to be true actually. I like the idea of putting one in the domain in times when I have to leave him longer. so far I have been able to come home from work 3 times a workday so I can always crate him, and then come home to give him a potty break and play time/lunch.

I will definitely take the smaller crate into consideration. I have a Pretty small kitchen (it's about 5x5 feet), and the crate doesn't take up any of that space (it forms part of the wall on the open side of the kitchen, with a sliding panel that encloses against the crate).

would you say a 5x5 domain is too big?

I really like the outside suggestions - I am definitely going to try taking him to the real outdoors in the next week or two at most. and before then try the option of leaving him on the deck alone if he is taking too much time.

thanks again!

here is a video to his domain area (that I made to show the breeder Bonnie just the other day)

[url=]IMG_0831.MOV - YouTube[/url]
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 4, 2011
Hi there,

I am so happy to hear that your pup's potty training is going well I watched the video and he is such an adorable pup and looks pretty smart and well behaving boy. Is he a Dalmatian pup?

5x5 seems to be fine, as well as there is a potty sheet where he can go when he needs to go potty. Being so smart and a quick learner, he will soon realize that he should only go potty on the pad.

Instead of allowing him making mistakes of going on the linoleum floor, I think it will be nice to have a designated area in his domain, in case you miss subtle signs of going pee. If he keeps peeing on the linoleum floor, you might want to consider making his domain area smaller.

Enjoy your puppy and let us know when you give him a name, rather than Beau
Posted by KOPCaroline
Nov 7, 2011
Hey there! Glad to hear things are improving! I'm sure part of the problem was just puppy needing time to get used to everything and take it all in. Most dogs arent used to cold decks and confinement with exciting things going on - it just takes a bit to settle in

As far as the "domain" - I dont think 5x5 is too big per say - but as MHN said, if you keep having accidents in the area, that is an indicator that you need to confine the pup more when you're not watching attentively. I would think if you feed the pup in the domain, that 5x5 is a good size and shouldn't be much of a problem. But yea, just watch out for accidents or bad behaviour in there, then consider downsizing

Hope things continue to look up and go smoothly! Keep us posted