Indoor to outdoor and more!

Posted by dubu
Feb 24, 2008
Hi, my fiance and I have a little one year old mini pin named Dubu. We LOVE HIM!!! He's been pad trained and he goes on the pad 99% of the time. We'd like to train him to go outide now that it's getting warmer out, but we're not sure how to go about it. Should we start by taking him outide first thing in the morning and then every couple of hours? AND should we take his pad away completely? We also run into problems with this becaue we're gone from the apt for around 4 to 5 hours a day. He's crate trained, so we could put him in his crate for that time, but we're occasionally away for a little longer, so we feel bad doing that. How would you suggest we go about "re-training" him?

Another problem we've had occasionally, is that Dubu marks things once in a while (he's not fixed). Since august 2007, he's marked the bed (mattress)4 times and my fiance's pants twice - all on separate occasions.

We love our little guy and want him to have good doggie manners. He learns things in record time (roll over, sit, stay, off, shake a paw, play dead, catch - by 7 months old), but a couple of things he just isn't catching on to, is to "come" on command and "heel". He's an energetic, smart, fun little guy!

Please help

Posted by Todd
Feb 28, 2008
Hi there and thanks for your question.

I think it is great that he is pad trained. There are a few ways to go about retraining them and i encourage you to choose the method you think will work best in your situation.

1) Slowly move the pad. Start with the pad where it is in your house. Every day move the pad say around half a metre closer to the door. These small movements shouldn't confuse him or cause any trouble. As time goes by the mat will get closer and closer to the door. Keep moving it outside. Once it is outside work on slowly reducing its size.
If you cant do this try and increase the amount of grass over the matt. You may have to trim some grass for this. Or if you prefer soil then give this a go.

2) Take him outside to the spot you want him to toilet every 2 hours, before and after dinner and first thing in the morning and at night. Give him a command like "Go toilet"
Wait for a few minutes, during this time completely ignore him. This means turning away and not talking to him.
Keep up with this.If he doesn't go, then go back inside and try again half an hour later.
If you suddenly take away the mats he may freak out and go backwards do try keep them around for a while.
You can always put the mats outside.

Could you put a doggie door in? This is a great way to keep them out of the crate and give them free reign in the house without being trapped.

As for the marking.

The KEY to correcting this behavior is catching your dog in the act. Not 5 seconds later but actually while your dog is relieving itself. The best way that I have found to correct this type of behavior is to startle your dog by loudly saying "AAHHH", squirting it with a water pistol or shaking a pebble filled can, when you catch your dog in the act. Wait for 4-5 minutes then redirect it to the area that your dog is meant to go. As the last drop is coming out, reward your dog with praise.

You will have to buy a quality DOG ODOR neutralizer, which you should be able to find at most good pet stores. Clean your carpets, with the odor neutralizer, in all the known places that you can find where your dog has been .

This will help disguise the scent and you will find it easier to catch your dog preparing to go potty before it has the chance to do so inside. No product can take away the scent 100%, however the weaker the scent is made the better, so buying an odor neutralizer will still be worthwhile.

The next time your dog has an accident inside or marks:

*Growl as your dog is doing it. You must reprimand your dog as it is performing the undesirable behavior, because dogs only ever associate your punishment or reward with the very last action they have performed.

*Soak up the puddle or pick up the waste with a sheet of newspaper.

*Then clean the spot with your odor neutralizer. I prefer SOX but it is up to you which you choose.

*Keep the soiled newspaper, place any solid wastes or the soaked paper outside, or wherever you want their bathroom spot to be. This will give your dog a place it can return to that is marked with its own scent and therefore safe to use as a bathroom. (keep in mind that dogs mark their territory and therefore claim their dominance as they eliminate, if another dog has been where you want your dog to go, your dog will only go there if it is of a dominant disposition and wish to challenge the opposing 'dog'.)

IS he neutered? I think this is very important for a number of reasons and can often help with these situations. Good luck and please let me know how things go.

Posted by Todd
Feb 28, 2008
Sorry forgot to answer the last 2 points.

The leash pulling problem can be relatively easily fixed by teaching your dog the 3 stages of the Heel command as outlined in SitStayFetch. I have copied in the text from Stage 1 of the process below, even this stage should give you good results regardless of whether you have a puppy or fully grown dog!

Stage 1

The first stage of teaching your puppy to heel is to prevent him from pulling on the leash at all.


You will need to have the collar and leash on your puppy.

Stand next to and to the right of your puppy so that you are both facing in the same direction and the puppy is sitting on your left.

Start walking forward slowly in a straight line, leading with your left leg. As soon as your puppy takes off and starts pulling on the leash, stand still and pull the leash back towards you. Do not drag the puppy back towards you. All you need to do is halt its progress.

Wait until the puppy stops, praise it and then continue walking. No command needs to be given at this stage as you are just trying to teach your puppy good manners so that it can more easily understand the Heel command when the time comes to teach it fully.

If you apply this method for ten minutes at a time and for three or four times per day then within four or five days you should be ready to move on to the next phase.

It is quite likely that you will get good results within a few minutes, at least enough that your puppy will stop pulling you all over the place. It may take longer for some older dogs who have been given a free rein, so to speak, throughout their lives to change their leash-pulling behavior.

When the SitStay Technique isn't Enough

You have to modify the way that you are training your dog slightly. When your dog starts to pull, you need to:

*Stop and give your dogs lead a few tugs, and growl the guttural growl, ("AAHH!" rather then "NO") then bring the dog back beside you.

*Start walking away again and hold a treat by your side (so that your dog knows it is there).

*Your dog should be following along side you, if it tries to jump for the treat ignore it (do not let your dog bite at your hand though).

*When your dog tires of that, and simply walks along beside you say "NAME!.....HEEL!" then reward your dog for walking beside you.

Repeat this over and over, then you should start to see the results. If you praise your dog as it comes towards you then your dog is being rewarded only for backing up (the very last action it performed). You need to reward your dog for walking freely beside you as you move off from the stand still.

And for the come command.

I think the best thing for you to do will be to Clicker train your dog. Review the section of the book on Clicker Training for a full description of Clicker Training. In your case, I think it is a good idea that you use a food reward training method sometimes, to help keep your dog motivated.

You can start with a food reward and gradually wean them off them by introducing a secondary reinforcement, such as a Clicker. You may think that your dog will only come to you for the food reward, however, in the process, they quickly learn what the Come command is, and what the click from the Clicker means too!

Clicker Training

If you start to train you dog with the Clicker, you will find this very helpful when your dog decides to take off. For example, The second your dog turns to look at you, you should (after teaching her what the Clicker means) click the Clicker as if to reward your dog for looking over at you. This may help entice her to make a decision to turn back again.

An example on training your dog to respond to the Clicker:

• Ask your dog to sit; for example, say "Holly....SIT!" (always use its name in front of a command as this trains them to respond to their name),

• Then when your dog obeys, click the Clicker (you can find these at most pet stores), and follow the click quickly with praise/reward.

• Be consistent with your training and be rigorous when you are training your dog.

Then for the Come command do the same thing.

*Say "NAME....COME!" and when your dog even moves a little towards you, click the Clicker and then hold out a treat (just to get your dog anticipating the Clicker as a good thing!). Pretty soon you will not need to use treats all the time, the vocal praise with the Clicker will be enough (however it is a good idea to sometimes reinforce the obedience from time to time with treats).

*It is also a good idea that you use hand signals when you are training your dog so that when your dog is in the distance, but can still see you, it will know what you are commanding and you will not have to yell.

*Practice asking your dog to come inside your home too.

*Never call your dog to you for something she will not like (e.g. a bath, or to be told off) as this will hinder your dog's trust in you.

It is very important with the Come command that you keep practicing it. In fact, I recommend this is something you practice through-out the life of your dog.