View Full Version : Sudden Potty Training Issues

10-24-2011, 11:41 AM
So, we are having potty training issues all of a sudden, and not sure what to do about it. Murphy is 11 week old male, we have had him since 8 weeks. He is excellent in his crate (has actually held it for 7 hours when my alarm didn't go off in the middle of the night). During the day when we are at work, he lives in the kitchen and doesn't mess in there either. When we are home, we leave the slider door open to the back yard, so he can go out any time he needs to do his business, and, barring the occasional slip-up, has been doing really great.

However, this week, it as if going outside is what he doesn't want to do. He will go outside when we take him out there, however, when we are just hanging out in the house, he has started urinating in the house, too, which he hardly ever did before. He has never urinated in the same spot twice. When we catch him, we give him a stern "No!" and run him outside to finish, which he never does. I started thinking that perhaps he wanted the attention he was getting from peeing in the house, because a couple of times after we got mad at him, he wagged his tail and jumped around excited. So, we have tried ignoring him after we tell him No!, and I even locked him outside for several minutes after he peed on the floor right in front of the open sliding door (and then he wandered outside). But, he is still doing it. Last night, he peed 4 little puddles within one hour.

To clean it, I sop up the urine, then clean it with 409, then go over it with Nature's Miracle.

I am not quite sure what has changed in his mind and how to fix it, so if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it!

10-24-2011, 12:06 PM
Sounds like he just wants to hang out with you guys and forgets when he has to use the potty till it is too late and hasn't quite captured the concept that the whole home is his den...not unusual given your Pyr's young age (even big puppies should go out every few hours). Can you guys go back to a schedule of putting water down at a certain time, taking him out 20-40 minutes later (depending on his bladder), picking the water up for a few hours, putting water down again (repeat)? He'll get the hang of it, just takes repetition.

Also, consider confining him to a smaller area with you when you are hanging out...he is a little young to have the run of the house when you guys are home. Slowly expand the space he has access to in the house over the course of the next 4 months or so. My dog only had access to the combined living/dining room and kitchen when I was home and access to my bedroom (where he sleeps) when I was in there. He didn't have access to the hallway, other bedrooms, etc. unless I was literally right with him until he was about 7 months.

10-24-2011, 01:19 PM
I'd like to echo what Chi-gal has said and add another little thought.

Leaving the door open so that he can go in and out to do his business may be interfering with his discovery that "IN" and "OUT" are different. That is, there is no boundry between in and out for him.

You may actually need to go back to the "take him out every 1 to 1-1/2 hours" regimen of potty training. As an 11 week old pup, he should be expected to only 'hold it' for about 3 hours -- one hour for every month he is old.

If you do 'start over' with potty training, you also need to go out with him to remind him what he's supposed to do. It's very easy for such a young puppy to get distracted and go off to chase a butterfly instead of peeing. Plus you don't really know if he did his business and can easily make the mistake of letting him come back in before he's actually gotten around to it.

Some have taught their pups to ring bells hanging on the door to go out. Mine just tap on the glass in the french door (not a scratch, it's actually a tap). However it works for you, be sure to celebrate his successes!

I know that it's time consuming to drop everything every few minutes to take him out, but better now than later. :p

10-24-2011, 01:43 PM
Don't worry, TexasKat...I don't make him hold it for 7 hours. I actually do get up every 3 hours right now at night to take him out, and my husband comes home between jobs to let him out during the day, so every couple of hours there.
I guess we will start leaving the slider door shut and see how that changes things.
And Chi_gal, he doesn't have the run of the house right now. He only has the kitchen when we aren't at home, and the kitchen/dining/living room when we are home. The rest of the house is blocked off so our cats can have their own stress-free living area when the pup is free.

10-24-2011, 01:53 PM
Oh Kate! I surely didn't think you usually left him without potty time that long!

I know that 'stuff' happens. I was more trying to say that both he and you have to get a schedule worked out to make a potty trip on a regular basis when you ARE at home. Even if he has every opportunity to go out on his own, making it a 'routine' for him will help him along. Pyrs seem to LOVE routine.

Always ask him the same question "Do you need to potty?" or "Let's go potty" or something. Always go out the same door. Call him to the door, then have him wait till you open it. If you sit in the backyard to wait for him, always sit in the same place. If he comes to you wanting to play, gently push him away and say "go potty". When he's done, clap your hands to get his attention (well applaud really) and make many happy noises.

You can also give him a special treat (small one-bite things) when he follows you back in. It can reinforce the "coming in the house with me is a good thing" and 'great job' at the same time.

10-27-2011, 11:32 AM
So, we have been trying to time it, after he drinks his water, how long he can wait before he needs to go. It seems to be around 35 minutes right now. We have been keeping the slider door shut, and either we will take him out in 35 minutes, or he shows possible signs of needing to go (sniffing around, tail up), and we take him outside. We also have been increasing the number of times he gets a treat for peeing outside, in conjuction with praise. He hasn't had as many accidents, but I think that's because the door is shut, so he can't go out by himself now. He hasn't learned to let us know when he needs to go; I guess that will just take time?
Also, how will I know, if we are taking him out every 35 minutes, when he will be able to hold it longer?

Jack Frost
10-27-2011, 11:54 AM
There's always the possibility he has a urinary tract infection. This happened to a dog of mine many years ago ... it is not uncommon. Maybe a call or trip to your vet might help.


10-28-2011, 10:19 AM
I have only dealt with cats with UTI, not dogs. Would they have blood in their urine like cats when they have UTI? Also, Murphy is able to hold his bladder while in the crate like a champ. Are they still able to do that with an infection, cause I know when I have had a UTI, I feel like I have to pee all the time.

Maggie's mom
10-28-2011, 11:20 AM
Unless it's a rip-roarin' UTI, blood may not be visible. In a pup who has been doing well with house training that suddenly has accidents, it's one of the first things I check. Jazz had one as a young pup...but he did start having accidents in his crate, which was highly unusual for him. So you're correct... usually, if it's a UTI, they cannot control their urine, even in the crate. Sometimes, it may just be a dribble in the crate...I noticed the odor on Jazz's bedding before I noticed the wetness. Another indication of a UTI that you may notice is a cloudy/yellowish discharge in the fur around their urethra (sorry to sound gross.) It never hurts to catch a urine sample and run it into your vet for a U/A...better safe than sorry.
When we were house training Jazz, he would get distracted easily and often wouldn't finish outside. I learned to keep him isolated in the "potty area" and repeated over and over for him to "go pee" (or whatever your word is) He would finally go a second time and finish doing his business. I kept him on lead so he wouldn't wander off to find a bug or bird or anything to distract him. The other thing we had to do with Jazz was to get pretty firm that peeing in the house was a BAD thing. I used the ol' can of pennies and furiously shook it when he started to squat inside, along with a very firm "NO!!!" The high value treats and praise, praise, praise were all delightful for him when he did his business outside, but he didn't seem to grasp the concept that going inside was a terrible, horrible, reprehensible thing to do. After we got that point across, he quit having accidents in the house.
Good luck!!