Any advice for housetraining?

A couple weeks ago, I received a comment on a very old post on housetraining.
Hi, we are also having trouble with our 8 week old Shiba. We live in an Apt in New York City, and can't take him out until he's vaccinated. What is happening is that when he has to go to the bathroom (and this is after he is holding is for a long time), he get's so frustrated/anxious that he runs around the apartment biting us! Finally after 10 minutes of this he'll finally just go on the floor. 
Any tips on how to get him to use a pee pad, calmly?
We were actually never very successful about potty training Loki until after he finished his vaccinations. Once, he could to on the grass and trees and bushes, he was good to go. Before that, we were getting accidents at the rate of maybe one a week or one every two weeks. After he was done with his shots, he became very reliably potty trained. So, given our poor track record, I'm not sure if I am qualified to offer tips.

My advice would be to always praise and treat when your dog goes on the correct spot. Throw a potty party! Never scold your dog for going in the wrong spot.

Use crate training. The dog goes in the crate (with toys and treats and maybe a kong) whenever you aren't able to watch his every move. Or you can tether the dog to you, so that you'll know if and when he feels like eliminating.

I think the rule of thumb is that a dog can hold his pee for as many hours as he is old. So a 2 month old dog should be given the opportunity to eliminate every two hours. If I recall correctly, Loki was able to do more than that. I think I added on an additional hour to his age in months. When he was 2 months old, he could hold it for 3 hours. Etc. I think by 5 or 6 months old, he could hold it for 8 hours. And generally, even now, I don't ask them to hold it for more than 8-9 hours, even though they probably can.

At one point, I used to give out the advice of picking your dog up. That worked well for us. If I caught Loki peeing in the wrong spot, I immediately raced over and picked him up mid-pee. He would stop peeing and then he's finish after I placed him down at the correct spot. Unfortunately, I've heard that this advice doesn't work for everyone, and for some people, pee just got everywhere. So, you can try it, but it might not work for you.

Anyone else have tips to offer?

6 comments:

jen said...

Because he's giving them such a clear signal that he WANTS to go outside, I wouldn't do anything to damage that. In fact I'd encourage it by building a temporary grassy space either in the hall or bathroom floor. Something if he really can't go outside.

There are safe spaces outside - there has to be!

Anyway that's my 0.02

Adam said...

I would definitely take him outside. As long as the pup isn't getting into any other dogs' business (read that in every applicable way) the dog will be fine and safe and will get to enjoy the outdoors! (even if it is a concrete jungle)

Judy Whitton said...

I would have to agree with Adam. There's nothing wrong with taking a puppy outside to do it's business as long as it doesn't come in contact with another dog or it's waste.

Cheryl & Cody said...

We raised Cody in LIC, Queens. We did take him out, but only for a quick release! I would actually carry him down in the elevator (or else he would pee in the hall/elevator/lobby, wherever). I would find a clean spot for him outside, put him down to do his business, then pick him back up and bring him in. We bell trained him, which worked really well. At first he was going to the window and rattling the blinds when he had to go. After a few mistakes we caught on to that. Eventually he switched to the bells. The worse he had to go, the stronger the bells- when he would swat them against the wall we knew he meant business!!! Good luck! Note- he was crate trained too.

Oscar said...

We were in the same situation when we brought Oscar to our high-rise in Vancouver. We used newspapers instead of potty pads and sprayed it with one of those potty training aid sprays. The key for making it work was letting him pick where he wanted to pee on the floor and then we placed the newspapers there. He instinctually used that the next time. Then we would slowly move the pee pad towards the balcony where we wanted him to end up. We left the pad the first time in the same place for a couple of days and then moved it daily or twice a day... But only about 4 inches at a time or he would catch on! ( literally.... He was so stubborn and would pee right beside the newspaper if we moved it too far! ) within a week he was 100% trained and in the place we wanted him to go! Good luck!

Ralene Miller said...

I would tend to agree with the others and encourage you to take him out whenever possible since he's showing good signs of letting you know when he needs to go. If you absolutely can't do that, have you considered using a potty patch? It follows the same idea as a puppy pad but it looks like grass. Do you have a balcony area at your apartment? That would be a great place to put the patch or puppy pad so he's still "outside."

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