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How long did it take for you to housetrain your pup?

Discussion in 'Dogs - small breeds (toy) specific' started by Kristine, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. Kristine

    Kristine New Member


    Im thinking about getting another pup--not for a while--I like to think about things for a long time. Ease of housetraining is a major issue for me.

    Im wondering if I just lucked out as it only took me about 3 days to litter train my oscar (shih tzu mix). He had some accidnets as I gave him more freedom and still is restricted to the kitchen, living, and dining rooms but is accident free.

    Im not sure if litter training is easier than training to outside or not. I know that Oscar went soooo many times when I first got him, it would have been impossible to take him out enough to avoid accidents. Maybe once I try to train him to go outside, I wont be so positive--but knowing me (I can be lazy) Ill probably just stick to the litter box--he will go outside if I take him so there is not a problem with him refusing to go anywhere except at box)

    Im just wondering if it took others much longer to housetrain? Im thinking about getting a pug--but have heard horror stories about the housetraining of pugs. But then since getting oscar I have also heard horror stories about housetraining male shih tzus--and I had no problem.

    If you have a chance, could you let me know--what was your experience, what breed do you have, did you train indoors, outdoors, did your pup come to you already paper trained, how long did it take, does your dog let you know when he has to go, ect.

  2. Rene

    Rene New Member

    Hello i have 2 Yorkies male and female and they are both a little over 1 year and we STILL have accidents they were never paper trained b/c when i put newspaper down they chewed it up i bought puppie pads they chewed then up. they are doing alot better now when we are not home we leave the sliding glass door open a little so they can go outside we have not had any accidents since we have had nice weather when the weather was bad i took them in the garage to go.

    My rottie on the other hand was very easy to train if we forgot to put her out when we left she would hold it till we got back (sometimes all day)
  3. MyBabyShihPoo

    MyBabyShihPoo New Member

    Hi Kristine~

    You know what, when it comes to housebreaking, it is my personal belief that the ease of training is HIGHLY dependent upon how persistent the owner is. (I won't lie to you though, there are cases of the most persistent owners struggling with housebreaking, but I believe the vast majority of persistent owners will fare well when it comes to housebreaking.) Sure small breed dogs have small bladders, and therefore usually need to eliminate more often than a larger breed. And yes, certain breeds are known to be difficult when it comes to housebreaking, but then again I have personally seen (and heard stories of) those breeds being housebroken in just a week or two.

    I have two shih-poo mixes and they took a good month to FULLY housebreak. Fortunately, I was able to be home a lot which allowed me to be very persistent in taking them out. And trust me, we went out A LOT during that housebreaking process. If they exhibited any signs at all that they might need to go, we were out the door in no time.

    I tried to teach them to ring a bell when they needed to go out, but that had to be stopped real quick! So instead, I taught them to answer when I ask them, "Do you need to go outside." If they do, they will bark to let me know that they need to; and if they don't, they will not bark at all. It works WONDERFULLY, and it REALLY does work!

    As far as if litter training is easier than outdoors, no I don't believe it is true. I base my opinion solely upon what I have heard from other dog owners. As a matter of fact, most people that I have spoken with that have small breed dogs and tried both litter and outdoor training said that they had better luck with the outdoor training. I obviously can't say that litter training was easier simply b/c I didn't try it. (I only wanted my pups to go outdoors and outdoors only. Although, I can see why people prefer litter training due to the convenience issue.)

    And no, my pups didn't come to me pre-trained. Although, they did spend a lot of time playing outdoors with their breeder, so they were used to eliminating outdoors when need be.

    In summary, I think the bigger question to ask when it comes to housebreaking a small breed that is notorious for housebreaking difficulties would be, "How much time are you willing to dedicate to housebreaking." I believe that answer will have a profound impact on how fast your future pup will be housebroken. As I am sure you already know, along with persistence, a large dose of patience and a positive attitude is necessary in making the process a little easier on you and your pup.

    Hope that helped! :D
  4. MonsterBailey

    MonsterBailey New Member

    I totally agree with mybabyshih... :y_the_best: it's persistence (which we all know, but hate! LOL). Bailey was housetrained in about a month also, and it definitely took us being very persistent. In the beginning, it sure was easier and lazier for me to just let him use the pee pads! But, I knew that wasn't the answer and we both got very persistent in taking him outside constantly (especially after naps and sleeping, etc.). This isn't anything you don't already know tho.... :love_y_t_much:
  5. Trixiepoo

    Trixiepoo New Member

  6. Perhaps this will help a little....I know it's LONG.....sorry! but it has some very good info...Good luck to you!

    Some Basic Concepts for You to Understand
    Dogs develop elimination habits during their first few months of life.
    Dogs do not want to eliminate where they rest.
    Being creatures of habit, dogs will return to their "usual spot" whenever it is convenient.
    Dogs can be conditioned (trained) to react to a conditioned stimulus in a certain way. (they can be taught to eliminate when you say a word over and over).
    A behavior is likely to be repeated if it is positively reinforced. (You will therefore be using food treats and praise to reinforce elimination at the proper time, in the proper place


    The easiest way to housetrain your dog is to use a crate or cage in order to use the dog’s instinct against soiling his or her den. If your dog is not accustomed to the crate, leave the door open and feed your dog one or two meals in the crate then close the door for the next meal. Once your dog is used to the crate you can start feeding outside of the crate. Put bedding in the crate to make it comfortable and tie the door open when the dog is not confined to the crate. As a final note you may have to make the crate smaller by bunching up bedding in the back of the crate if you have a large crate and a small puppy. If the crate is too big the pup may still eliminate in one corner and sleep in the other.

    The most important keys to housetraining are close supervision and a regular schedule. Feed your dog at the same times each day and only offer water at scheduled intervals of about two hours. Don’t give your dog any water for at least three hours before bed. Let your dog out to eliminate after every meal, nap, and play. If he does not eliminate, try again in a few minutes. Keep your dog in the crate at any time that you cannot supervise, and while your dog is not in the crate watch for any signs that he needs to eliminate (such as sniffing the floor, scratching the door, whining, and pacing). As a side note to this, do make sure that you have play sessions indoors and outdoors during the day. Once your puppy has eliminated, he should be good for at least 30 minutes, depending on his age.

    When you let your dog out to eliminate, you should go out too. When you see that your dog is about to eliminate, repeat a word or phrase (such as "hurry up") that your dog will associate with the act. You will definitely appreciate this tool when you have to take your dog on a long car trip.

    At night, keep your dog in the crate. If she whines after being quiet for several hours she probably needs to go out. Be patient, and you will find that the number of outings will decrease as your pup learns to control herself. If at any time you are having problems during housetraining (as with any training), simply go back a step – you were probably pushing your dog too far. Of course adult dogs can be expected to go longer without eliminating than puppies can.


    No matter how careful you are, accidents are bound to happen. When they do, do not use folk remedies and do not even punish your dog unless you catch her in the act. Your dog or puppy might not remember the accident and may only get confused. Consider it your mistake for not supervising closely enough. Just put your dog in the crate and clean up the mess with a deoderizing cleanser or vinegar. Don’t use detergent or ammonia because the smell of ammonia may encourage the dog to soil in the same place again. Don’t let your dog see you cleaning up the mess. If she does happen to remember doing it, you do not want her to see you as her maid.

    If you do catch your dog in the act, shout "No", clap your hands, or otherwise distract him from the act of eliminating. Take your dog outside and wait until he eliminates while repeating your chosen word or phrase. Once your dog has eliminated, praise your dog because he has now eliminated in the correct place.

    City dogs

    In the city it is not always practical to housetrain a young puppy as described above. Eventually you will want your pup to eliminate outside, but if you live at the top of an apartment building you probably do not want to be taking your puppy outside every hour. As well, until your pup is fully vaccinated it is dangerous to let your dog walk where other dogs have been.

    In this case you will have to paper-train your puppy. Cover the entire floor of your pup’s confined area (eg. the kitchen) with newspaper. Praise your pup for eliminating on the newspaper and use the key word or phrase. Change the paper and remove some of the paper from the other side of the room. Continue this until there is only a small area of paper left. You may instead want to use special housetraining pads that can be bought at pet stores. After the pup is immunized at 16 weeks, take the paper away and use the crate to train your pup to go outside as described above. It may be necessary to take a sheet of newspaper outside so that your pup gets the idea.

    If you want your dog to scratch or whine at the door, you may want to try the following procedure. Once you are down to one sheet of newspaper, move the newspaper progressively towards the door. Finally, slide the paper under the door so that only a small corner is visible. Watch your dog carefully to see if he whines or scratches at the door to try to get to the paper and take him outside immediately. Praise him profusely once he has eliminated outside.

    Sincerley, Susan
  7. Kristine

    Kristine New Member

    Thank you all for your responses. I think that Oscar was easy to litter train as the woman i got him from at 10 weeks already had started training him to use a box lined with newspaper. Thus, when I get another pup Ill get it from a breeder who starts litter training and crate training them before they leave. That will make my task easier.

    It will just be hard for me to get a pup that takes months to train when Oscar was fairly well trained within week. I do know that consisency is the key--Im just looking to avoid breeds notoriosly difficult to housetrain-what I heard about yorkies and bichons. Although i know there are exeptions--on another board a member completely trained her bichon to go outside and let her know when it needed to out in about 2 weeks.
  8. EmmesMom

    EmmesMom New Member

    This might sound crazy

    BUT having a dog already that uses the box will help your new pup too. Each time we get a new dog they are easier and easier to train!! They see the older dogs asking to go out and then doing their business outside and then the puppy learns from them.

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