View Full Version : Question about 15 week old Pyrenees/Bernese puppy

10-28-2011, 10:31 AM

My family and I brought our puppy home the first week in September at 7 weeks and 2 days old. She is 3/4 Great Pyrenees and 1/4 Bernese Mountain dog, born July 12th, 2011 (she will be 16 weeks old next Tuesday). We named her Aspen and she has been such a great addition to our family! Aspen is amazingly gentle with our two young boys (4 & 2) and our 7 month old kitten. She's a mommy's girl and follows me everywhere, but she's taking some time to warm up to my husband. Since she was about 9-10 weeks old, she has known basic commands like sit, down, speak (her favorite), she can go potty on command, and she just recently learned shake.

The downside, we go through periods where we think she's finally potty trained, but then she starts having accidents in the house again. She can go WEEKS with going outside EVERY time, and she knows how to let us know that he has to go outside. However, she goes through these phases where she will sit by the back door, and if we don't see her, she goes straight to the living room and tinkles there. It's always the living room, but she never does it more than once in a day. And it can be a few days in a row, or weeks apart. Is there a way to train her to bark every time to she goes to the back door other than when just when she wants to? I know she understands that she needs to go potty outside, but it's like sometimes she just doesn't want to make the effort to really let us know... I appreciate any help!!

I'm new to the forum so I am posting a picture of myself, my boys, and Aspen :)

ETA: I wanted to add that I am a stay at home mom, so she hangs out with the boys and I all day. She does sleep in a crate at night and can "hold it" from the time she falls asleep (about 8pm) until I get her out of her crate at about 7am).

Maggie's mom
10-28-2011, 11:37 AM
What a great photo and beautiful family! Aspen is gorgeous. I have a friend in Littleton, CO with a Pyr/BMD mix...I wonder if they came from the same breeder?
I taught Jasper and Maggie to ring a bell using the "touch" command when they want to go out; but I see no reason you couldn't teach Aspen to do the same thing by "speaking" when she wants to go out...esp. since it's her favorite trick. Every time she goes to the door, have her sit-speak-treat/praise her-open the door to go out. Seems like it would work, right?

10-28-2011, 11:53 AM
Thank you Maggie's Mom! It would be very likely that your friend got her puppy from the same breeder, as the breeder is in between where I am located and where she is located. The town we got Aspen in is called Keenesburg and her parents' names were Ella and Harley (the dogs, not the people, hehe)..you'll have to ask for me as I am curious to know now :)

I think I might try the barking-to-go-outside trick, and see if it encourages her to bark every time she needs to go out. If anyone has has any other ideas on how to accomplish this, I would love to hear them!

10-28-2011, 11:55 AM
Welcome! What a great mix - you can see from my album I have a soft spot for Berners and Pyrs. Yep, I've always had some potty training accidents with puppies until around 1 year old. Having adopted older rescues for almost 20 years, I'm going through it all over again, and what you're going through, with our 3-5 month old Golden Retriever rescue we brought home earlier this month. They just don't have the control yet at this age than they will have when older We are just being hyper-vigilant these days when our Golden goes to the back sliding door to let her out. Post more photos when you can! :D

10-28-2011, 12:13 PM
Omg I love your dog.

10-28-2011, 01:14 PM
She looks just like one of Missy's siblings! Missy is also a Pyr/BMD mix. Each one of her siblings looked so different it was shocking, there was one that looked like a Berner and the others were all different looking reds.

As far as the potty training goes, I taught Missy to scratch the door because she was big on using her paws. Now she paws me when I am sleeping to tell me to let her out. I just gave her a treat everytime she scratched a door and then opened it. So you should be able to teach her how to bark to be let out.

nick's spirit
10-28-2011, 03:27 PM
Welcome to the forum momo....snow already!! What a pyrfect place for Aspen
The only down side I can see to teaching her to "speak" every time she has to potty is that...is she going to differentiate between telling you she has to go from telling you she just wants to be outside?
What ever word or phrase you are using to cue her to eliminate...use that in the training..".Aspen outside potty speak" then as was mentioned in another post...leash her, take her to her spot, let her "go potty" praise praise praise yummy treat back into house on leash.
Since you have 2 little boys....can you remember how long it took to potty train them? Did they have accidents? Well, Aspen is only 16 weeks...she'll get it.
And another thing that might help....close off the living room to her if possible. Clean that area very well, try to get a black light to see if there is any urine left...leave no scent behind!
Patience, calmness & lots of love...just like being a mommy only she has 4 legs instead of 2!!
Look forward to hearing more about Aspen & your family growing up together
Nancy & Holly

10-28-2011, 04:39 PM
:) Shiya was the same way. We just learned to keep an eye on her, follow her cues, and took her out often. She will be a year next week! Goodness! At this point she has the regular out times and will come up to and give me the big pyr paw deal if she wants to go outside. She is persistent! The only time she has an accident in the house now is if she is playing (zooming around the house in a chase with us) she will suddenly stop to go suddenly, so we have learned to make sure she empties her bladder outside first now. Weird. haha!

Lou Lou
10-29-2011, 07:27 AM
...The only time she has an accident in the house now is if she is playing (zooming around the house in a chase with us) she will suddenly stop to go suddenly, so we have learned to make sure she empties her bladder outside first now. Weird. haha!

Ralph did this the other day playing with my older brother. I couldn't believe it, 4 months shy of 2 years old. (Is he really that old already??) And he just froze himself while peeing like "Uh oh.. Maybe if I don't move she won't know what I'm doing.. can't stop now."

It is my fault though. He's a lovebug with our family and so when my brother came over he was all over the place, so excited. So I put him in the kitchen because we had picked up take out and were trying to eat and he just couldn't contain himself, rubbing his entire body on my brother. So when I gated him in the kitchen he was pacing and whining, I just chalked it up to him being excited wanting to be in the same room as us but he in hindsight probably had to pee. And then after we were done eating playing with my brother was apparently much higher on his priority list than going outside to the bathroom. :rolleyes:

Aspen is gooooooorgeous! I love that face! I don't have any new opinions LOL pretty much in agreement with everyone else. Make sure you clean the floors really well so she can't smell where she's gone previously. I think Terry uses a bell on his door (?) that Emma can paw at. For me, encouraging the barking is something I'm not likely to do LOL it happens enough on it's own. :p But most of the time they'll come up with their own ways to tell you. I wouldn't worry about training her to do it. Ralph will paw at the door most of the time, he'll come into the living room where we usually are give us that look and go back to the kitchen door, or he'll run across the house from door to door with a toy stuffed into his face if it's a poop emergency. I don't know why he does it but it's what he does.

PS. All that snow in that awesome pic of yours gets me excited!! I can't wait for winter and Christmas. We were at Home Depot last night and I spotted the Christmas section with the trees and wreaths and I got sooo excited I couldn't contain myself. My fiance was laughing at my basketcase-ness.

10-29-2011, 10:22 AM
Is a dog door an option? Butters was trained in two days.
My new puppy is already trained as well. I just take them out every hour, when they pee, I say good pee pee . I take them out tell them PEE PEE.

They never pooped in the house , and as soon as they could hold their bladder after 8 weeks , stopped peeing in the house. We have a dog door though.

My neighbors next door do not have the dog door, but do the same thing I do,
and they run to the door when they have to go, but if you dont get there to open it, they pee . Even the blind one runs to the door and knows where to go pee :)

Good luck!

10-29-2011, 11:39 AM
My general rule of thumb is, expect pups to have accidents all the way up to they are 6 months old. It really doesn't sound like Aspen is doing anything out of the ordinary given her age. She is just barely 4 months, that is VERY young and so accidents are perfectly normal. If you were describing the same situation with a 6 month old, then there may be cause to look into whether there is a behavior or medical issue with the dog. But at barely 4 months, accidents as you described is pretty normal and you just have to keep on doing the regular potty breaks and praise when they go outside.

10-29-2011, 03:09 PM
Thank you all so much for the responses, it definitely helps to hear from other people who are familiar with the Pyrenees and puppies in general. We haven't had a puppy around in years (since before kids)! She is a very smart puppy, almost too smart... Seems to be catching on to the idea of barking every time she wants outside, however, I don't want to jinx it :rolleyes:

The snow made me pretty excited too! We had a pretty large storm roll in last weekend and we got about 7-8 inches! Aspen, wasn't sure about it at first, but soon she couldn't get enough of it, so we all had a blast playing in it. We are all pretty excited for winter now. :D

I want to add Aspen is a BIG girl! At not even 4 months old, she is well over 30 lbs, almost as big as my 4 year old son, lol :o Anyone else have a pretty large female?

ETA: We are actually looking into the doggie door option. I want it to be available for her when we are gone during the day this winter so she isn't stuck outside. Right now, we are saving money to get a large enough one that she won't outgrow.

10-29-2011, 03:30 PM
We got ours on ebay. I think we paid about 100 for it. It is rally large . they didnt sell one that large at home depot or pets mart.

10-29-2011, 04:30 PM
Missy at 4 months old was 40lbs. Now she will be 3 years old in March and weighs 125lbs and I try to keep her thin and at the withers she stands at 32" tall. So she is by no means a small girl, her dad was a big Bernese Mountain Dog, he was also on the thinner side but, weighed at least 110lbs and her mom was 100lbs and tall and lean.

So Aspen might be that big girl you wanted.

10-29-2011, 06:17 PM
I thought Gracie was going to be smaller like her mom, but she will be 9 weeks tues, and is already 25 pounds. She is bigger that butters ever was at that age. She m,ay outgrow him!