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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Nov 2019
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    Default Housetraining Help

    We have a 4 month old Great Pyrenees Gracie. We have had her since she was 9 weeks old.
    My husband and I are both very committed to her training. We both work from home so we are able to devote a lot of time and care to her.
    We've been struggling with housetraining and I'm not sure what else to try. She's done really well with pretty much everything else - she knows sit/stay/come and is very good on a leash. We train commands regularly as part of play. She has a wonderful gentle personality, especially for a puppy. I've read every forum and article under the sun and they all seem to advise the usual things we're already doing (high value treats, watch them carefully, crate train, take them out after, etc). We taught "make a pee" as her potty command, which seems to work some of the time outside.

    Despite all this, she has accidents in the kitchen regularly (she is not free in other parts of the house). We take her out every 2-3 hours, religiously. Today she had an accident just under 3 hours from her last pee. I was right in the room with her. She has also had several poop accidents in the house. We've never had a solid week without an accident.

    In many cases, it happens during periods of excitement, though in this last situation that didn't appear to be the case. She did have a UTI at about 16 weeks of age - which we treated and cleared. That didn't really improve the situation much, though. Could it be solely excitement peeing?

    We give her extremely high value treats (cheese) outside and she seems to get that she should go outside. But the consistency isn't there.

    We have her in the crate for several hours a day and she has not had an accident in there. I really don't want to leave her in a crate the entire day, but I'm not sure what else to try. Is restricting water useful in these situations? I was reticent to try that. I'm confused because I hear stories of people training their pyr in weeks, not months. I have a friend with a puppy who is 6 months old and only ever had one accident in the house. Is what I'm experiencing normal? It doesn't seem very common.

    Also this might be grasping at straws but I remember her gently poking me in the butt once before an accident - is this an "I need to go out" sign that I missed? If so, it was still only 2 hours after she last peed, which seems fast for a 4.5 month old.

    Any guidance is appreciated. It's been pretty frustrating.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    First and foremost, it isn't realistic to expect a 4 month old to be fully potty trained. I usually roll my eyes whenever people brag about how their pups were potty trained "within days." Boasts like that distorts reality and sets up unrealistic expectations.

    Most 4 month old pups do not have full control of their bladder. It is normal for accidents to happen at that age. The 6 month mark is a more realistic expectation for pups to have good bladder control. We raised 3 pups in a row and none were potty trained at 4 months, not even close. My experience is most definitely within the average.

    Also, waiting 2-3 hours is too long for some pups. With Ren it was imperative that I let him out literally every 45 minutes. If I waited longer, I was risking an accident. I know they say if one has to leave a pup in a crate, one can expect the pup can hold the number of hours equal to how many months old the pup is. While a 4 month old pup may be able to hold for 3-4 hours while left alone in the crate, the same shouldn't be expected when the pup is out about.

    It sounds like you are doing things the right way, just that you probably need to adjust the expectation a teeny bit. Also though, since she's had one bout of UTI, I'd pay close attention to make sure she's clear. It isn't uncommon for a young female pup to have recurring UTIs.

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Thanks, this response is incredibly helpful. In looking at when her accidents occurred (one of the helpful things about logging it in a spreadsheet) I do think our expectations were too high for how long she could potentially hold it. Especially as you said being out and about. I do very much get the sense she understands where she ought to go - but that the physically isn't there as you said. We'll take her out more, adjust our expectations, and be more patient with her and ourselves (I was beating myself up a lot for not being able to get this aspect of training "right")

    We made a follow up about the UTI to be on the safe side as well. Thanks again - I'll post an update when she's a little older. She's an amazing dog and we love her so much already - there really is something special about these guys.

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