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Unread 08-14-2006, 11:35 AM   #1
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Unhappy Housebreaking a 6 month old puppy?

we got a puppy (english springer spaniel) 2 weeks ago. she was not potty trained when we got her.
we have been using "do you need to go outside" as our 'key' words. we have been praising her lots when she does go outside.
problem is: she doesnt bark or go to the door or anything when she needs to go out. she still has some accidents in the house too.
i know that it takes time for her to learn 'our way', but how long does it take to potty train a puppy (that is 6 months old)???

any suggestions?

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Unread 08-14-2006, 11:58 AM   #2
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Hi Ruby and
It sounds like she understands that she is supposed to do her business outside, so that is good.
Can you shorten the sentence to one word? Like "potty". Stretch it out and exagerate it. To dogs, English sounds like Chinese, so imagine someone trying to say something to you in Chinese. If they speak slowly and clearly maybe you can recognize a few words (I am assuming you do not speak Chinese!).
Our Sophia would not say anything either, we had to recognize by the way she looked at us that she wanted to go.
If you are ambitious you could try the 'ring a bell' technique. I did it (alhough to be honest it backfired when Zircon learned that he could ring the bell, someone would open the front door, then he would run around to the back door and bark to be let in, this went one several times in an evening). What you do is hang a bell of some kind near the door. It can be sleigh bells, a Christmas bell, some pet stores even have them now. When you are positive she wants to go out, like first thing in the morning, ask "OUT?" or "POTTTTY?", tap her nose with the bell, repeat the command, and then go out. Praise when she is done. Honestly I only had to do this 3-4 times with Zircon when he was 5 months old and the little stinker learned to love that bell. He is 4 yrs now and still taps it slightly when he wants to go "out". But not "out" to potty, "out" to play.
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Unread 08-14-2006, 12:01 PM   #3
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interesting technique... maybe we will try something like that.
we try to get really excited when we ruby if she needs to go outside, hoping that she will bark or something. but she is very quiet! ha ha ha
does it take longer to potty train an 'older' dog? b/c where we got her from, they let their dogs out every 1/2 hour to hour. that is NOT housebroken. she is holding it through the night, and during the day when we are at work. but then she still has accidents.....

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Unread 08-14-2006, 12:45 PM   #4
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Well I know what you mean about wanting them to bark sometimes. When Zircon wants to come in, he lets on one little 'yip'. When Sophia wants in, she says nothing, but starts pawing at the door. Our front door looks awful now.

Oh well. I think it may take a bit longer for an older dog to learn something, but 6 months is really still a puppy and easy to teach. What you have going for you is that a 6 month old can hold it much longer than an 8 week old so you miss out on that fun. But you are right about her not being potty trained. She may not understand that going inside is not good. If it were me I would try going out with her every three hours, then four hours etc. Watch her constantly so she does not have the chance to have an accident. As soon as you see her starting to go, whisk her outside. No scolding, no yelling, just say "potty" or whatever key word you have. When we got Sophia she had lived in a a 10 ft concrete kennel so to her, pooing 8 ft away was fine. Zircon, well, heaven help me if he ever needs a fecal, because he poos discreetly in the brush or woods, never where you can see it.
Good luck.
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Unread 08-14-2006, 03:23 PM   #5
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thanks for the suggestions. i hope she figures it out or my mom will make her an outside dog. and i like having her in the house!
i guess we will have to keep being consistent with her, and praising her for going outside. hopefully she'll catch on soon.

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