Another potty question

guatnutAugust 8, 2010

This is our 5th day with our new poodle mix rescue dog. She is around 6 years old. She has not relieved herself in the house (I watch her at all times and take her out regularly), but I cannot get her to go outside when I walk her around the yard with or without a leash. She will only go pee & poop when she wants to, or when I leave her outside alone, then she goes right in front of the outside door on a large door mat. I have been out trying to get her to go before bed for as long as 2 hours when I know she hasn't gone pee for at least 4 hours prior. She "wins" everytime. Another problem I'm having is I walk her 2x a day. While out walking, she'll suddenly stop, sniff, and squat. At first when I saw this, I repeated go potty, go potty, she went and I gave her praise and a treat. Now when she squats and I say "go potty", she stops immediately, distracted by the thought of a treat which I now have held back. She has even tried and faked a pee! As a result we get all the way home without any "results". No association with the word "potty". It's either let her go and not say anything, or say go "potty" and get no potty at all and we're back to square one (but with the exercise)! We begin our walks after breakfast and dinner which are at the same time everyday. I need some ideas to turn the noun potty into the verb potty, if that makes any sense! Anyone have any?

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It sounds like you might need a completely different command now! She thinks the squating action is what she is being rewarded for and the word potty means treat. Maybe try saying nothing until she is completely done with her business, then make a big fuss over her and ignore her when she squats with no results. I'd also start moving that mat closer to the yard if that's what she thinks she needs to go on.

I had a dog that liked her privacy. She wouldn't do poopies unless I turned my back. Maybe she's bashful too :)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 12:00PM
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LOL I babysit my grand dog who also will not poop unless he is hidden. I also agree that you say NOTHING until the dog has actually performed the deed and then you speak the word and give the treat. That's what we do with our shelter boy and we do not treat for a dry run. He's smart and knows if he just goes for a walk it's on his nickle and he won't get a reward. If he does his business it's gushed over and he's rewarded.

I think twice a day to toilet a dog is not enough. Our boy gets a short walk to relieve himself at least every two hours.......a long walk for the exercise only two or three times a day.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 5:41PM
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I agree, wait until she is finished before giving praise and a treat. She's learned the word potty means treat so she stops to get the treat. If you say it just as she finished then potty is related to what she just did. Plus I'm not sure if she needs to have a command to go potty but it is helpful. My friend in childhood had a dog that they could say "Go all the way" and it would go to the far back of the yard, down a slope and poop only there. I love the idea of a part of the backyard set aside just for poopies. That way if you can't get it right away, like in the middle of the night, you won't step on it accidentally the next day if you forget to pick it up.

Also pay attention to your energy. Have you ever been doing something and had someone standing near or staring at you waiting for you to finish? If you're thinking "Go potty! Go potty!" then you could be sending that energy to her and its like peeing in a cup at the doctor's office. Turn away and think about something else, something positive.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 6:20PM
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Thanks for your responses. I do let her out every 2 hours or when I see she seems a little "antsy". No results if I'm watching her and then the second I turn away there's a wet spot (on the cement). I was thinking you had to say potty while they're in the act so they'll get the association. Now I will try saying it immediately after I know she's peed. I'm going to stop with the treats to get her mind off them and stick with the praise.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:11PM
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Hang in there. As the human companion to a lot of rescues, I know only too well that they all come with the habits they learn with their previous humans interactions (or lack of them). It's especially ingrained in dogs because their potty habits are closely tied to being vulnerable in the act to other animals or discipline from other owners, the sexual signals, dominance or submission flags, territory. It's a wonder any of them arrive at behaviour we deem as acceptable. But they do and you'll probably hit on what works for you. Poodles are very intelligent, but quirky canines. Gotta love 'em.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:26PM
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One thing also to consider is the difference between walking and taking out. Your dog should understand that walking around the neighborhood is for different purposes than taking her out in the yard to go peepee and poopoo.

I understand your aggravation...we had a dog that would NOT go poop outside for a week or two when we first got him. Finally, after the hard work of watching him incessantly in the house, he finally went outside and all that. It was tempting to take him on walks around the neighborhood because we knew he'd go, but the yard is his potty place, not down the street. We take him for walks now, but couldn't in the first few weeks because we had to teach him the yard was for potty, and walking was for excercise.

You've only had your new dog for 5 days so things should gradually get more comfortable! Don't worry! Just keep being consistent and watchful and your doggie will get the hang of things.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:47PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Try the word "tinkle". She might know that word already. Ours did.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:25PM
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Thanks, guys! I'll try to keep you posted. It's bedtime and she just went (didn't see her, of course). Can't wait to start a new day with "ok, Kitty, let's go TINKLE!"....

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 11:22PM
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I use "peepers" so any word works as long as you are consistent! LOL

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 11:58PM
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"Tinkle" didn't work but there is a breakthrough of sorts. I sit in a special place in the yard and she will disappear for a bit. This a.m. she came back and started grunting about something and when I investigated, there was a wet spot (on the cement). I think she was telling me she went! She saw me examining the spot and was wagging away, so I praised her and she seemed very proud of herself. An hour later, same thing....came back excited about something and sure enough, another wet spot (on the cement). Communication, at last! Now I know that's how she's going tell me something is up and we'll go from there.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 10:05AM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Wow, fantastic!! Congratulations!!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 12:45PM
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