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4 Month old Puppy housetraining HELP!

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by archietheshihtzu, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. archietheshihtzu

    archietheshihtzu New Member Registered

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    My family and I have recently got an almost 4 month old Shih Tzu. When we collected him he was housetrained with a cat flap and we do not have one of these. We keep him in the non carpeted area of the house and he sleeps in a pen. He doesn't know how to tell us he needs to go out so we try to take him every 2 hours or so but this is a bit hit and miss. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can we have some advice on:
    1. How to get him to tell us when he needs to go out
    2. How to avoid inside accidents

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    To answer question 2, first, don't rely on what you want from question 1. It's too soon to expect him to tell you.

    Toilet training happens when two things come together - the ABILITY to hold the toilet, along with the DESIRE to hold it in order to earn the reward for doing so.

    Ideally you want him to not be in a position where he needs to toilet before you have him outdoors, so that every toilet is outside - as far as possible, there will be accidents! So set him up to succeed by being proactive and taking him out even more than he needs; for example every hour and always after sleeping, eating, playing.

    The time between a puppy realising they need to toilet, and being unable to hold that toilet, is zero. So your aim is to have him outside before he can't help himself.

    When he toilets outdoors make a huge fuss (never mind the neighbours, act like outdoor toileting is the best thing you have ever seen) and reward him with a high value treat. Do that immediately, don't make him come to you for the treat so he is clear that it's for toileting and not for coming to you. The idea is that he eventually wants to earn the treat enough to hold the toilet until he is outside - once he is physically able to control his toileting obviously.

    As he is actually performing the toilet you can introduce words he can associate with it (like 'do weewee' and 'busy busy') that later when he is reliably trained you can use these to tell him when you want him to toilet.

    If you take him out and he doesn't toilet after five minutes, bring him in but don't take your eyes off him. Any hint of a toilet inside, scoop him up and get him out fast. If he doesn't try to toilet indoors (great!) take him out a second time and repeat until you do get outside toilets. You need the outside toilet to happen SO that you can reward SO that he learns.

    If he has an accident inside don't react at all. If you get annoyed he may learn to fear your reaction and avoid you if he needs to toilet (by going off and toileting out of sight) - the opposite of what you want. Dogs cant make the distinction between you being annoyed at him TOILETING, as opposed to toileting INDOORS. Take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not having taken him outside in time. Not when he is there though in case you scare him. Then clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace of smell that might attract him back to the spot.

    Indoors if you see him circling or scratching the floor, that can sometimes precede toileting so get him out fast.

    Overnight he is unlikely to be able to control his toilet as his little bladder and bowel are underdeveloped and not strong enough to hold all night so set your alarm to take him out at during the night.

    I dont know if you were going to use them but I really don't like puppy pads - they give mixed messages about whether it's ok to toilet indoors and confuse the puppy.
     
    niamh123 likes this.
  4. archietheshihtzu

    archietheshihtzu New Member Registered

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    You are a lifesaver thank you so much!
     
    JoanneF likes this.
  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    The key is the value of the reward and the timing - it has to be great, to make it worth his while and it has to be immediate to make it clear that it is for toileting and not for anything else.
     
    niamh123 likes this.

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