puppy plays outside not poops

Posted by amyanderik
Feb 26, 2008
We purchased a havanese puppy from a breeder. They allowed the puppies to eliminate on paper in a confined area at one end of room and a crate at the other end. He went outside for a short time everyday.

He will only sit and look at us when we take him to go potty. He will play outside with our other dogs and holds everything until he gets back inside to eliminate.

We take him to the spot consistantly, waiting and waiting and waiting. How can we change his bad habit from the breeder?

We have followed the guidelines of direct training and need some suggestions. We have successfully trained 2 other dogs and this is making us pull our hair out!!! HELP
Posted by Blue
Feb 28, 2008
Hello Amy and Erik,
Persistence is the best method when house training puppies or dogs.
With your dog, rather than letting him play with the other puppies, take him for the longest walk he'll have - around the same block a few times is good, because you'll be back at your toilet spot a few times! Always the same route, to a location where he can eliminate.

The key with puppies/dogs while house training is to stay outside as long as it takes to get them to go! Your dog is distracted from his "business" by the other dogs, he is getting his reward before he's done his work. If he really refuses to go, but is due to, take him back inside the house for a few minutes, and then take him out again for a walk.

Ideally it would be easiest to take say a week off work and train him for that week.

The aim of toilet training is to predict when he is going to toilet and then take him to a place where he may toilet. With that in mind the ideal times to take your puppy out to the toilet are first thing in the morning, after feeding, before and after play and last thing at night.

Take him to his toileting spot and give her a command like "Go toilet" or "pee pee!!". Then wait. It may take a few minutes to toilet but you must wait. When he starts to toilet give him praise and when she is finished give him more praise and attention.

The aim is to reinforce that toileting is good when done in an appropriate place.

The weekend or any days you have off are great times where you can make some real progress on your dogs toilet training.

Don't ever growl or reprimand your dog after you find a mess and don't rub there noses in it. This DOESN'T work. If you catch your dog preparing to toilet quickly grab them and run them to their toileting area. If you catch her mid act you can growl at her quietly then clean the mess up as mentioned below.

Take the messed paper out to her toilet place and show him. This will help him make the right associations.

Always make sure you clean up any mess properly and then use an odor neutralizer on it to make sure she doesn't have the smells around that cue dogs as to where to toilet.

Because your dog is already paper trained, you can also try the following method, but this is much slower and messier than the above method.

Paper training -
The basic idea is to first train your dog to toilet on paper (which he is already trained for) and then move the paper away. (some of this you can skip if you feel he is already past those stages in paper training).

First you will need a small room that has an easy clean linoleum floor. The room should be warm and quiet.

Cover the entire room in newspaper. When you come home and he has toileted clean up the mess, change the paper and use an odor neutralizer on the spot.

Over time slowly reduce the area of the room covered in paper over a week or so. Once you are down to a single piece it is time to retrain to another area. This is best arranged to be at the weekend when you can work hard.

Take a few pieces of paper outside onto your lawn. Follow the steps above as when to take your dog out to toilet and get him to toilet on the paper. Every time you take him out to toilet make the paper smaller and smaller. Eventually you will have a very small say 5cm by 5 cm piece of paper that he is trained to toilet on. With any luck he will not notice the paper and learn that the grass is best.

One important thing to remember is not to leave paper lying around on the floor as your dog may accidentally toilet on it.

I hope this helps. Be patient and don't give up!
Let us know if this advice worked for you, or if you have any more questions, post them for us and we'll do our best to get you answers!