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Toilet training advice

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Mimoo123, Jul 11, 2018 at 7:33 PM.

  1. Mimoo123

    Mimoo123 New Member Registered

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    I rescued a cocker spaniel bitch around 6 weeks ago and she is doing really really well. She’s an ex breeding bitch so she knew nothing until I got her. The only thing we are struggling with is toilet training. There’s not much of a pattern and when she’s gotta go she goes wherever she is. I take her out often and always praise when she goes yet 6 weeks down the line she still doesn’t associate outside with potty. I am aware that the times she has been inside is me failing her as an owner - but it’s frustrating when the doors are wide open and she can go outside all day. I am worried that when winter comes and the doors are closed that she isn’t going to ask to go out.
    Any tips or advise? Is she always going to be this way because of the life she’s had or is this something that although will take time will rectify itself? I’ve toilet trained puppies In a matter of days but I’m now at a loss. And wondering if the technique I’m using isn’t the right one
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    This won't help. When the doors are open, dogs simply don't make the distinction between what is indoors and what is outdoors so this could be the root of the problem - summer puppies get the reputation of being harder to toilet train for this reason.

    Assuming she has no underlying medical problem that might cause this, take her back to basics as if she were a puppy.

    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 her to not be in a position where she needs to toilet before you have her outdoors, so that every toilet is outside. So set her up to succeed by taking her out far more than she needs. Take her out every hour or so (bear in mind the muscles she needs to hold her toilet may be undeveloped) and wait with her so you are right there when she performs. Your aim is to have her outside for every toilet. When she toilets outdoors make a huge fuss as if she were a pup (never mind the neighbours, act like outdoor toileting is the best thing you have ever seen) and reward her with a high value treat. Do that immediately, don't make her come to you for the treat so she is clear that it's for toileting and not for coming to you. As you probably are aware, the idea is that she wants to earn the treat enough to hold the toilet until she is outside. If she has an accident inside don't react at all. If you get annoyed she may learn to fear your reaction and avoid you if she needs to toilet - the opposite of what you want. Just clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace of smell that might attract her back to the spot. As she is actually performing the toilet you can introduce words she can associate with it (like 'do weewee' and 'busy busy') that later when she is reliably trained you can use these to tell her when you want her to toilet.

    Overnight she may not be able to control her toilet if she has never had to in the past so set your alarm to take her out during the night.

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