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Olivers Mom
Olivers Mom, Dog Answer Team
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 283
Experience:  Dog Expert
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Potty Training

Customer Question

I have a springer spaniel/beagle mix puppy. Now 16 wks old. I have a problem with potty training. She urinates outside (majority of the time), she’ll wait by the door and ring a bell I have hanging to let me know when she has to go out. But she NEVER has had a BM outside. Always in the house. I have taken a sample outside and showed her where it should go. This didn't help. I use lots of praise when she urinates outside. What else should I do???
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Olivers Mom replied 11 years ago.
If you would answer the following questions:

1) How often does she poop in the house on a daily basis?


2) Is it always in the same spot or randomly throughout the house?


3)  Is the firmness or consistency of the stool appear normal?


4)  What kind of food do you feed her?


5)  Is the food left out for her to eat when she wants or do you schedule her meals?


6)  Finally - is she crate or kennel trained?
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oliver’s Mom's Post: 1. 2 or 3 times. She always poops on the floor after breakfast-even though I take her outside 2-3 times in the am before this happens.
2. Randomly, but there are 4 spots she uses more often. I use a disinfectant spray in these areas after she soils them.
3. Yes, normal stools
4. Purina one, puppy food.
5. She has 2 scheduled meals 7am and 5 pm. I feed her 1 cup ea. meal, she now weights 22 lbs.
( she always seems starving for more food)
6. She is crate trained-has never messed in the crate.
Thank you so much for your help
Expert:  Olivers Mom replied 11 years ago.
Thanks for your answers Patti.

I do not see anything that raises a red flag in your answers - good food, good meal schedule & amount, etc.


I really believe this comes down to a housebreaking issue where she simply has not learned to poop outside.


Dogs are very regular when it comes to bowel movements.  What I suggest you do for the next 7 days is:


Keep a log of the times of the day she poops.  You'll find the regularity of her pooping will give you the convenience of knowing very near the time she is ready to poop.

Chose an area where you would like her to go outside. When it's about the time you think she should go, take her out, have her on a leash (it can be a longer one) and be prepared with treats/praise just like you did when she pee'd outside.  Be patient!  Sit on a chair with a good book if you have to.  This is the toughest part of the training however you will be glad you did this in the end.

When she is inside - it will be critical you limit her access to the house and increase the supervision.  You can do this by placing her into her kennel when you cannot supervise her 100% (don't be afraid to use the kennel for housebreaking - they are wonderful tools so take advantage of it!); tie one end of the leash around your waist or belt loop and attached to her.  This way, she can be free to play with a toy or roam around with you but you'll be right there when she shows signs of needing to go.  If she is about to poop or she's already started - say "No!" (but not too harsh or loud or she'll be afraid to poop anytime in front of you) and immediately take her outside to a designated poop place.  If she poops a little or a lot - praise and reward excessively!


Note the improvement you see after 7 days.  At this time, if you are consistent with the methods described above, I truly believe you'll be satisfied with the results seen.  Continue to use these methods until you are 100% confident she is completely housebroken.  Many times owners will give the benefit of doubt way too early in house breaking and the pup will revert back to it's old ways very quickly.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oliver’s Mom's Post: Thanks for your response. The main problem I see with this is waiting, and being patient for her to have a BM. I have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old and I can't leave them alone in the house for a long period of time. (The weather outside is still very cold here-so we can't play outside yet either). I tried putting the dog on a long leash outside, but as soon as I leave she barks. I can't have that in our neighborhood. As for tying the leash around my waist, I know that we all will be tripping over each other!
I think she may be afraid to poop in front of me now, after 2 months of BMs in the house, I have yelled at her a couple of time when I "caught her in the act" When she does poop in the house, she will run and hide because she knows she did something wrong. Anything I can do to mend this action? Do you have any other suggestions I could use? I appreciate all of your feedback.
Expert:  Olivers Mom replied 11 years ago.
I completely understand your full time job as a mother to your children hinders your work with the puppy!  Plus two things will happen if you leave the pup outside without being there - you won't be there to reward/praise her if she does poop and like you said, the barking is a problem. 
I wish there was other alternatives I could offer you.  I have to say you may be surprised that tying the leash around your waist may not be as big a problem as you think.  I don't deny the 'real side' of life that the puppy may be right at your feet the first few times - but they do learn to stay out of the way if you just ignore any contact with your feet or legs.  It might be worth a try for just 2 days to see - what do you have to lose really.

Your perception of her being afraid to poop in front of you is more than likely dead on by her 'run away' behavior.  But if you don't yell at her anymore (and don't feel bad about this - most pet owners do this at first!) she could turn around.

As I'm writing this I have thought of another alternative - crate training.  Crates (or kennels) are wonderful tools to use for times you cannot supervise puppy and will help your housebreaking efforts significantly.  Are you familiar with crate training?

What about getting the kids involved to help you train the pup?  Could you think of a creative way to encourage them to get excited about training puppy to poop outside?  Kids think it's funny when we talk about peeing and pooping - maybe you could find a way to 'hire' them to help you; to bundle up when it's time to go out.  Maybe find them a reward to help just like you find puppy a reward to do the right thing?!?

I'm trying!!!

Let me know your thoughts when you have time....
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
The dog is worse than ever. She is now urinating all over the house. Today she peeped on mine and my daughter's beds. I took her outside 6x before 11:00am and she only peeped one time. She peeped 4x in the house today. She also pooped in the house today. She has been in the crate alot today because she has not gone outside. I take treats outside with me and praised her highly the one time she peeped outside. I tried the indoor leash method above and the dog just constantly got tangled around the chairs and people's legs. This is not an option for us. I put her immediately in the crate this am after she didn't go potty outside, for about 20 mins. I then took her outside and waited 15+ mins. for her to go to the bathroom. She came in and peeped about 5-10 mins. later. My husband wants to get rid of the dog. My kids are attached to her and will be upset if we get rid of her. I have had 2 dogs before this one and have never had this problem with house breaking. I really need some new advice asap! thank you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Does anyone have any other suggestions?????
thank you

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