Messed up?

Posted by Melissa
Jan 8, 2008
Hi! I hope someone has a few spare moments to help. We have a 14-week old papillon puppy. When we brought her home she was only 8 weeks old. Since we are away for most of the day, we had her set up in a room with puppy pads while we were gone. We also took her outside when we were able during the day. I believe we have missed the boat trying to train her to potty outside. She is pretty consistent with the puppy pads which is good, but now when she goes outside she just wants to romp around. Even when I stay in one spot and give her a "Go potty" command she will be stubborn and wait until she gets inside before she will eliminate. For example, last night I took her out when I knew it was time for her to go. I even took out one of the soiled puppy pads and put it on the ground and placed her on it and told her, "go potty!" She showed no interest and sniffed all around the area. I waited for what seemed like a long time thinking she would eventually potty. I took her back inside and left the leash on her. She almost immediately went to the puppy pad and started to urinate. I clapped and told her No!, picked her up and took her back outside. She still would not go. The same thing happened this morning. I took her out immediately upon waking. The only different outcome was that she pooped in the living room instead of the puppy pads! Should I put some of her poop outside in the elimination area? She's a smart little bugger and I suppose a little stubborn ... so how do I fix it?

I am in the process of crate training her and I have started leaving her in her crate when I'm in the room for increasing amounts of time, but I'm not to the point I can leave her for an extended period of time yet. Will the crate training make it easier to train her outside? Should I just not use the puppy pads at all? At my last vet visit, the vet said to not use them, but since she isn't crate trained yet I would hate to let her have free reign in her room with out anything to protect the floors. Also, I can't be there every hour to take her outside.
Any advice appreciated muchly!
Posted by Todd
Jan 8, 2008
Hi there Melissa

Puppies can be frustrating and stubborn, just like the rest of us
In the ideal it would be easier if you could take a few days off work. Try and position these around the weekend so you get as much time with her as possible. She is a little older so retraining her will take a lot of effort, that's why you need to be at home with her for a while.

As for the puppy mats i would definately want you to take them out as well and just have the crate. But i can understand the reasons why you don't want to do this.

So here is the ideal way to help solve this problem. Whenever you are not at home she should be in the crate. When you are home you need to take her out as frequently as possible first thing morning and night, before and after play and before and after feeding. You seem to already know when she needs to go the toilet so take her out when you think she needs to.
When she is outside take her to her toileting spot as you have been doing and give her her command. If she doesn't toilet after a minute play a little game with her in another area of the yard. Take her back to her spot and give her the command again. If she doesn't go repeat.
You will have to repeat a few times until she is so desperate she has to go. At first this will take a long time for her to go but after a few times she will start to get better so don't give up

Remember to always use a deodouriser inside when she messes because dogs are very much creatures of habit and smell plays a huge part in that.
If you do catch her as you have been growl and her and take her outside just like you said. Taking the soiled material outside is also very important so you are doing everything right.

Make sure her toilet spot outside is always the same place and for a while you may need to put the pads out there. As she slowly becomes use to it you can slowly remove the pads until she doesn't need them anymore.

The last way that takes a huge amount of time and a lot of mess. Is to slowly day by day move the mats say 30cm closer to outside. Day by day they will get closer to the door, then you can slowly put them outside. Many dogs are more comfortable with this gradual change but i would recommend this as the last option

Good luck with her. be patient and i am sure your puppy will be a great dog.

Kind Regards
Todd Field
Posted by Melissa
Jan 10, 2008
Thanks for your speedy reply, Todd! I have been trying to be consistent, and I had a small victory this morning. I took her out straight away with pee pad in hand. I also planted a wad of toilet paper with her scent on it in the area. She wandered around a bit and then peed on the puppy pad! YAY! I was generous with the praise and then we went back inside. Then she went to the kitchen floor and proceeded to poop. I caught her in the middle, clapped, told her no, picked her up and took her outside with the waste dropping off in transit. By the time I was back outside she was finished and of course didn't go anymore. On a couple of occasions since, she has done her business in other places away from the puppy pad! Is she totally confused or is this progress? Another problem I am having is that other family members are being sort of lazy with the routine. :mad:For example, it's raining today and my hubby didn't take our puppy outside since we have a swamp for a yard at the moment. What do you recommend in instances like this? My guess is that unless everyone does the exact same thing she's not going to "get it!" Am I right? Rain, snow or sleet?:confused:
Posted by Todd
Jan 10, 2008
Hi Melissa

She does sound as though she is getting it, remember she will make mistakes along the way. The peeing was brilliant and you did the right thing when you caught her even though she was finished when you made it out.
Keep up with it and remember to deodourise and take her out frequently.

To answer your second part yes everyone does have to be on the same page. The only thing worse than doing nothing is everyone doing something different she will get confused by the mixed messages and end up anxious about things.
If the lawn is a mess is there a brick patio or an area that is sort of sheltered that you can use. Yes your husband will have to get wet but remind him that eventually he will dry out

Good luck and keep up the good work

Kind Regards