Shepherd not yet trained

Posted by Michelle-Engelbert
Mar 23, 2009
I am very irritated that our 8 month shepherd is not yet trained. We have kept her crated when she doesn't eliminate outside after eating or when I know she "should" have to go potty and won't after a long time outside. We try to watch her when she isn't in her crate but is free in the house. She has found that 10 seconds that she isn't being watched and eliminated inside enough times that I know she thinks she is supposed to go inside. How can I now change that? In the 3 months we have had her, she has only had 3 or 4 days without an inside accident. Luckily, most days it has only been one time, but that is still WAY off. Everyone we talk to says "Potty training should take a week". Any quick suggestions? I don't want her to become a guinea pig in a cage 24/7 to keep her from eliminating indoors, but that is all I can think of to try now.
Posted by KOPsBecks
Mar 23, 2009
Thanks for your post, this sounds like a very frustrating problem but unfortunately it does sound like a simple case of incomplete house-training, so I think it is best to start from scratch again.
Your dog has probably developed habits regarding her urination by this stage which are different from those you wish her to have. Puppys develop a preference for the surface they wish to urinate on at 8.5 weeks, so since then she may have preferred to urinate inside. I think the important point to note here is that not all puppies develop equally and while some puppies may take a week to toilet train, others may take up to 10 months.

General guidelines for housebreaking a dog include:
- Take your puppy out frequently, generally immediately after waking, playing or within 15 mins of eating.
- Dogs should not be allowed to play or socialise until after they urinate.
- Choose a very restricted area outside for your puppy to urinate in, then she will learn the smell and what she is meant to do in that area.
- Always take your dog out to the toilet on a leash to keep them close to you and so you can control the area they are in.
- Permit cautious sniffing
- Praise your puppy as soon as she squats, but not so much as to startle her.
- Do not punish your dog for urinating in a inappropriate area, tis may induce fear and lead to fear urination disorders
- Praise your puppy, as you are doing, when she urinates in the appropriate place. This reinforces the location.
- Remember female puppies take longer to housebreak than males and may need to go out more frequently.
- Confine the puppy when not supervised. This is important and I know you don't want to keep her caged all the time but if she is out of her crate then she must be supervised so that you can catch her in the act.
- Watching an older dog urinate outside can sometimes help a puppy
- Be consistent
- Be patient
- Use good odour eliminator products on the areas she has urinated on inside as the smell of her urine will just reinforce that this is the correct place to urinate.

Good luck with everything, hopefully this helps,