Housebreaking a Puppy

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hello Ellen, I just got a new puppy.  She is a 5 month old Shetland sheepdog.  I named her Abby and I am just so in love with her.  I was wondering if you could give me any pointers on potty training her.  I’ve been taking her outside whenever she goes to the door.  She is really good with that, anytime she has to go to the bathroom she stands by the front door.  When I take her out, she moseys around and sniffs everything and then she won’t go to the bathroom. It’s SO FRUSTRATING! After about 10 minutes, we will come inside and after another hour, I end up finding that she peed somewhere in the house.  This doesn’t happen all the time but I would say it happens about once every day.  Sometimes in the morning and sometimes at night.  I work during the day and she’s good about holding it, but if she doesn’t go when I take her out, how am I supposed to take her out again right after that if I am at work. I hope you understand what I’m saying.  Anyways, do you have any tips at all? Any advice is very much appreciated by me! Thank you very much!
Dear Andrea:
It seems like maybe Abby wants some exercise outside or even just some play time out there and she knows that if she stands by the door, she gets to go outside.   You should take her out at least once everyday when she isn’t by the door, just for a quick walk up and down the block, or toss a ball for her outside.  That way she can get her exploring done and still go to the bathroom during her potty times.  Be strict when you have her outside for potty breaks, don’t let her sniff around or wander around the whole time. Keep saying your key word (Potty, Out, etc.) to remind her why she is outside with you.  Once she goes, praise her praise her praise her!!!  We did this with our old dog and we could actually figure out if she wanted to go potty or she just wanted to go out.  It takes some time but I know that you have to be strict…. If you are taking her out to potty, don’t allow her to wander around at all.  Also, try to give her a designated area for potty, so when she is in it, that is all she will smell and it will let her know that she should go potty.  With a lot of practice for both of you, you should see some results soon!
Good luck!

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