Questions & Answers on House Training

Read All About Ed Frawley

Question:

Hello Ed,

I am writing to you asking for help with our Cocker Spaniel.  I have been watching your videos for our new puppy but am realizing we have a problem with our older dog.  We have a 6 year old Cocker that barks uncontrollably and when put in his crate will whimper and try to dig his way out the entire time he is in it.  He also salivates non stop until he is let out of the crate upon our return home.  I was leaving him out of the crate but he chewed our front door and our gate, we are Military so having him chew the doors is going to cost us upon our next pcs now.  I have purchased a prong collar for him to begin working with the barking but I am wondering what I can do about the crate problems.  It is so bad that just being in the crate for 15 minutes will cause him to salivate so severely that he will be wet from front paws to his rear( dripping wet).  Obviously this is disgusting and he stinks because he is constantly drenched in his own saliva.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Answer:

When dogs act like this we start by using a Tri-Tronics No Bark Collar while in the crate. The first goal is to get him to shut up in the crate. This works on the first day.

Some dogs will throw a bit of a fit when they are put in the crate and they get stimulated but that’s tough.

Then I change things around in their lives – they go into the pack structure program and live in the crate 24-7. They are fed in the crate and their only free time is when we take them outside to go to the bathroom. All free time in the crate is done with a bark collar on. In our case we will also use a remote collar – on a small dog like this we use a Dogtra 200ncp.

The fact is your new puppy needs to be crate trained before he is allowed out of the crate and loose in the house. IN fact his only free time out of the crate should be when he is on leash in the house. This is called tethered to you. Dogs can’t get in trouble if you have your eyes on them every minute. This means when you go to the bathroom they go with you. When you are sick of them they go back in the crate. This goes a long way to establishing pack structure with the new dog. Had you done this with your older dog you would not have these problems now.

In closing, we would not allow the pup to play and have unsupervised access to this older dog. You want your young dog to look at you for all his fun times not the other dog. This means they are out of the crates at different times, when they go outside they are supervised and if need be on a leash. The criteria for determining when they are allowed to run loose together is when you can call the little dog away from the older dog when they are highly distracted. If you can’t do that - then they are not ready to run together. This work is detailed in my Basic Dog Obedience.

Good luck and thanks for your service.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

Please help!  Our Boxer puppy is 5 months old and we have had him since he was 10 weeks.  We bought him from a breeder and we visited them a couple times, he was kept in a clean kennel with a doggie door to outside.  He has ALWAYS peed and pooped in the house, we cant get him to stop!  We take him for walks, take him to the dog park, take him out every 1/2-1 hour.  He will go outside and go to the bathroom and then come in and go to the bathroom.  I have been keeping him in the kennel frequently now because  he does not go potty in his kennel.  He has now jumped up on our bed 3 times and urinated.  We started out rewarding him with treats and praise, and no scolding. Then now as time has passed and it has gotten worse he is getting spanked, I know that's not the right thing to do, but we are so frustrated and I cannot and will not keep a dog that goes to the bathroom on my bed!  I don't know how to train this dog, I am so frustrated, and do not want to get rid of him.  Please help, we love him so much!

Andrea

Answer:

If you keep your puppy confined when you can’t watch him 100% of the time, then he would not be able to go to the bathroom all over your house.  Until he is house trained he should never be off leash or out of a crate, set yourself and the puppy up for success.  Because you have let this go on since he was 10 weeks it’s going to take longer to house train him than if you did it properly when you first brought him home, but it’s not too late.

I would recommend you purchase the DVD titled Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months.  Dog training is not rocket science its simple common sense ideas on how to handle and train a dog.

We have an eBook specifically for house training problems available also.

You should also consider the 4 hour DVD on Basic Dog Obedience.

I also recommend that you go to the web site and read the article on “Ed’s Philosophy of Dog Training.” I believe you will not only learn something about dog training, I hope you will also adopt the same philosophy on dog training.

I hope this helps.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

I have a 12 week old boxer pup. I've had her almost 1 month and have her housebroken from peeing in the house, but sometimes I will find poop in the house or catch her in the action. How can I stop this because it is harder then the pee breaking is. A lot of the time I will take her outside to go to the bathroom and she will pee but not poop, then when we go back in the house she will go poop. Usually she will go in the basement and poop {and sometimes pee} but that is still unacceptable. Also I only put her in her crate at bed time, should I use it more in the daytime too? Sometimes she does pee and poop in the crate and sometimes she won't, but if she does go in it, she will cover it up with the blanket I have in there for her. Please give me your advice.

Candice

Answer:

You may want to read the article I wrote titled The Ground Work to Becoming a Pack leader. This is the protocol we use in our home when we raise a puppy for ourselves. It is also the part of the protocol we use to solving behavioral problems such as dominance and/or house breaking problems.

I would be using a dog crate and a leash – doing exactly what I say in the article. There should be no blankets or towels in the crate.

I would also be doing serious obedience with the dog.This does not mean jerk him around. I would be teaching him right from wrong and I would use marker training.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

I have a five month old male Chihuahua I have had him for several months now and I have taken on the mothering role, I have him on a routine that I thought he had gotten used to, but there are times that he urinates in his crate even after I have taken him out. How old should he be before I give him more freedom, I love to have him play but I have three children and can't always keep as close an eye on him as I would like. How do I know he is done relieving himself?

Toni & Gizmo

Answer:

As long as this dog is peeing in the crate he does not come out. Clean the crate with bleach water – I would not be letting this dog have freedom outside the crate for a long time. When he does come out – treat him like a 14 month old child - YOU NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF HIM. Not ever. It takes him 5 seconds to pee in your house when you turn your back.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

After watching your puppy video, we are working to crate train our GSD who is now 15 weeks old. I work at home, and I keep the dog in the crate in my office as I work. I take him out a couple times a day to relieve, eat, and for a short walk. When my wife gets home, about 4pm, she takes him upstairs. She does not crate him (even when he gets pesty), because she feels that the dog is more attached to me and she feels that if she crates him, he will like her less. Do you believe this is true? And how long should a dog this age be in his crate every day?

Thank you,
Dante

Answer:

Your wife is 100% WRONG.

If she wants the dog to bond with her she should spend some time training him in obedience. This establishes a bond.

Young house dogs should be in the crate a lot. Unless you are interacting with them they should be in the crate. If you do not do this you only create problems. Owners call these dog problems - I call them owner problems.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

Hi Ed,

I have an adorable 7-year old Yorkie named Sassy. I got her from a disreputable breeder when she was 6-years old - she was about to be put down. I saw the makeshift kennel where she was kept - it is obvious she spent the first six years of her life there. He never even bothered to name her. She has adapted well to her new surroundings BUT, she is not house-trained yet. She has been thoroughly checked out by a vet.

I am using a crate to train her - which she has pottied/pooped in. We are on her third crate. She does know the commands to potty and poop - though often I have to force her to poop - by saying it over and over and over again. She'll go for weeks without any problems - then in one heartbreaking - I thought she had it - not on my light carpet - moment, she will potty or poop. I am using your training suggestion for getting her to bark when she has to go out. She knows the bark command and does it to perfection when she wants a treat or out of her crate. But, she is still not barking to let me know she has to go out. Any other suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Angela & Sassy

Answer:

When a dog is pooping or peeing in the house it should live in the dog crate 24/7. The only time it is out of the crate is to go outside. The only time it should be loose in the house is when you have your eyes on it. Then if it pees or poops you scream at it and the shock of the scream will stop it from doing what it's doing. Then you scoop it up and run outside - as you go you are scolding the dog NO! NO! NO! OUTSIDE! - put it down and stay with it as you repeat the OUTSIDE command in an encouraging tone.

When you are in the house - if you have to take your eyes off the dog for 10 seconds - you should put it in the crate. You may have to keep this schedule for months or possibly forever. Remember this dog has been abused for 6 years. How can you expect to change it in 3 or 4 months?

What you are doing is the right thing by repeating the command when you are waiting for the dog to go. Your voice tone should be insistent and encouraging without sounding mad.

Then you need to obedience train this dog, try the Basic Dog Obedience DVD.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

My 3 mo. old puppy was found left in a yard. She is really good with relieving outside, and has already learned some commands. The problem we are having is leaving her in the crate for any amount of time. If she can see you she is fine if not she screams, cries and pees. We have another crate in the bedroom at night and she is just fine. She stays for 6hrs with no accidents. Could this be separation anxiety?

Thank you,
Donna

Answer:

No this is normal. If you react to her when she screams you are encouraging that behavior. The solution is to continue to crate the dog all the time until it learns to be quiet in the crate. Every time you leave the dog should be in the crate.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

I got my lab/chow mix puppy when he was 8 weeks old. He is now 14 weeks old and completely house trained and I used pee pads to train him. Through the course of training he had a grand total of 3 accidents in the house. I never used a crate. I put the pad down near the exit door in my kitchen and praised him for using it, quickly replacing the soiled pad with a clean one. After a few days I moved the pad outside onto the porch and a few days after that I moved it over to near the tree that I had chosen for his potty area. After a week, I got rid of the pad completely. He eats twice a day, at 4am, before I go to work and again at 5pm when I have my dinner. I let him outside to use the potty before I go to work, when I get home from work at 2:30pm, after dinner, and before I go to bed.

After dinner we go for a nice long walk and play in the yard, but he only relieves himself in his designated potty area.

I have never physically corrected him for anything, I simply give him a firm "NO!" when he behaves inappropriately and give him an appropriate toy or activity as a replacement.

According to what I have read on your site, I have done everything wrong, including giving him the full run of my home, yet I have a very well behaved, well mannered, social, happy puppy.

I thought you should know that confining a puppy or adult dog to a cramped and uncomfortable crate is not the only or always the best way to train.

I am not a professional trainer, just a single mom who wanted her son to have a puppy

Answer:

Thanks for writing – you have been lucky so far but you just started. You are so far from being out of the woods that you don’t even know it yet. When the dog starts to pee and poop in the house – please remember this email.

About 35 years ago I lived in an apartment and I paper trained a pup. I followed your protocol only with news papers. I had to gradually move the paper out of the apartment. Then slowly move the paper down the hall and out into the yard. For weeks this pup would not pee on grass without a small piece of paper being put down. I ended out with a damn napkin and laying it down for the pup to pee on. It was a happy day when she went outside and beat me to the grass and went on her own.

With this all said I had to be VERY CAREFUL ABOUT READING NEWS PAPERS. I could never lay the paper on the floor next to my chair.

Trust me – you have not reinvented the wheel.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

Mr. Frawley,

I am having the worst time housebreaking my puppy. I have tried the recommended time outside and even diapers. She still pees and poops in the house. I watch her like a hawk but she beats me and is very quick about it. We don't put her in a crate, because she also does it in there. She does not pee on regular time intervals and I tried tracking it by time and sleeping patterns. I am confused and trying to be patient with her. I know she is not acting out and trying to be disobedient, but I can not figure out what to do. I am not mean, I say no when she does something that I see her do. I usually put her outside after she does something. I also bought the spray that shows dogs where to pee. I am doing something wrong and can't figure out what.

Please help me, I really need some advice.

Answer:

I am sorry to say this is more of an owner problem than a dog problem. You can not reinvent the wheel. Try reading the article on house training and the Q&As on house training.

You need to change the way you are living with this pup. All interaction must be outside. When the dog comes inside it goes in the crate - there is no free time. None at all in the house. Not for months. If the dog is out of the crate in the house, it is on a line and your eyes are always on it. Take the dog out every hour at the beginning.

Diapers are crazy. Really crazy. Whoever told you to use them is an idiot!!!

I would recommend that you purchase the DVD titled Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months. Read the description - dog training is not rocket science, it is simple common sense ideas on how to handle and train a dog.

You may also want to consider Basic Dog Obedience. The fact is that you have way more to learn than your dog. I always recommend that the handlers start studying this DVD right away, even though you won't train a lot of the work until the pup is 4 to 6 months old.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

Ed,

We just got a puppy this past weekend. I have barely slept and ate, but it is getting better. We have been using a crate (made it smaller yesterday so it is more den-like) and today is my first day back at work. It is a short day today and tomorrow and then Thursday I'll be gone 8 hours but we're going to hire a dog walker for a few months.

Anyway, he is very good with going outside, because I take him out often. He only needed to get up once last night, which was ok because I have to as well (being 11 weeks pregnant). He is in his crate in our room for now, but I plan to move him out to the living room as he can hold it longer and is used to being on his own. We ignore his whining (unless he needs to pee).

Now that I feel better about crate training, my question is how to get him to tell us. When I take him out, I tell him to "potty" and he always goes right away. I don't let him run around in our small fenced yard until after he goes, and I just kind of repeat potty until he goes. Than I tell him how good he is when he goes. But I thought about it this morning that when we're inside and about to take him out to pee we say "want to go outside?" I wonder if this is confusing to him because outside we say "potty." Would it help if I start saying "potty" inside before we go out so he makes the connection? I thought of the bells thing but I'd rather him respond to me than have to ring a bell.

Thanks in advance and I really like you site. It has put me at ease and I don't feel like the next few months are going to kill me anymore.

Answer:

To put things into perspective a little, I compare pups to babies - little babies. How old does a baby have to be before it tells you it no longer wants to pee and poop in his pants? The answer is that this varies but older than a year and probably close to two.

People fall into the "TELL ME TRAP" when they should be in the mode of "TAKE THE PUP OUT EVERY HOUR OR SO" so the dog learns that if he holds it a little longer he will be able to go outside. And when he goes out - KEPP HIM ON LEASH. Teaching a dog to pee and poop on leash is a HUGE thing. In later life you will appreciate it.

By reading through the house training article and the other questions from people., you will gain a better understanding of how you should be hose training your new pup.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question:

I have a long-haired dachshund. I am following a crate training program, but during the day (M-F) I leave the dog in a gated play area in the garage with her den inside. In other words, the den is there, but the dog is not closed inside of it.

Since she is a pup (13 weeks), she cannot handle being craed for 10 hours without a break, so I leave her out in the small play area so that she doesn't soil her den due to not being able to control her bladder. I have a paper are for her to soil on since I really don't have any other option at this time. I plan on weaning her off of the paper as she gets a little older. Hopefully she will just hold it at this point until someone comes.

My question is, am I confusing her by crate training her in the house, but not in the garage? I just don't want her to soil her den and makes things worse.

Thank you for your time and help!

Answer:

I think you are doing as good of a job as you can based on your circumstances.

I think you are doing it ok by putting the crate in there with her. When you need to get her to go outside, save some of the soiled newspaper and take it outside and put it on the grass. Maybe a SMALL piece. Then gradually reduce it and finally just rub it on the grass.

I would recommend two DVD's, Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months and Basic Dog Obedience to help you out.

Ed Frawley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

House Training Supplies

Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months

Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months
DVD

By Ed Frawley

Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet

Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
DVD

By Ed Frawley

Basic Dog Obedience DVD

Basic Dog Obedience
DVD

By Ed Frawley

House Training eBook

Common Sense Solutions to House Training Problems
eBook

By Ed Frawley

The Power of Training Dogs with Markers DVD

The Power of Training Dogs with Markers
DVD

By Ed Frawley

The Power of Training Dogs with Food DVD

The Power of Training Dogs with Food
DVD

By Ed Frawley

The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog

The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog
DVD

By Ed Frawley