Tips for potty training a new pup?

Thread starter #1

BeerThirty

Senior Member
We have a 10-week old female lab pup. We've had her for about 2-weeks.

We are struggling with potty training. Our approach has been the reward/routine method, i.e. we are kennel training her and anytime she comes out of the kennel, we take her outside immediately and reward her with a treat/positive reinforcement every time she goes potty outside.

She has access to her bowl of water all day, except we pull it at 8pm every night and she has demonstrated that she can hold her bladder all night until 6:30am. We usually take her outside every hour, but sometimes it's around 2-hrs. Despite what I feel is an adequate potty routine, she sometimes just squats and goes wherever/whenever she wants. When she does this, I usually yell at her "no!" and grab her by the collar and put her outside. When she is in her kennel and has to go, she barks, but when she is out of her kennel, she gives us no indication that she has to go.

Do I need to up my game and discpline the accidents harsher? What am I missing? Or am just impatient?

To clarify, she is only in her kennel overnight and very rarely during the day. We let her roam the house during the day.
 

j_seph

Senior Member
Hopefully she is not peeing in the house so she can get to go outside. Our Lab will not use the bathroom in the house unless it is just pure accident. Then she ends up waking us up telling on herself. I can tell you from experience that when a full grown Lab has that accident in her kennel...........................It is a doozie for sure. I learned why a friend once told me he did not like a dog in the house that pooped bigger than he does LoL
 
Thread starter #4

BeerThirty

Senior Member
Hopefully she is not peeing in the house so she can get to go outside. Our Lab will not use the bathroom in the house unless it is just pure accident. Then she ends up waking us up telling on herself. I can tell you from experience that when a full grown Lab has that accident in her kennel...........................It is a doozie for sure. I learned why a friend once told me he did not like a dog in the house that pooped bigger than he does LoL
I know a lot of dogs like that but I don't think that's the case with us. She likes it outside but generally likes to come back inside right away if no one is outside with her.
 
Puppies are like babies.....if something goes in.....something is coming out. Put her dishes up, feed and water her and then take her outside until she potties. Taking her to the same spot each time will help, she will associate the scent with the job. Being verbally harsh or whipping usually makes one hide to potty inside. If you are grabbing her by the collar and putting or pulling her outside, you may very well be making “ going outside” a negative thing. When they do go out side like you want, make a big deal out of it with baby talk. Remember an abrupt temperature change will often make them potty. Like bringing them in from the cold or taking them out of a bath. It takes patience, but positive reinforcement will make it easier and give you a better dog. You have to watch them like a hawk when their getting thru it.
 
Take her out routinely and go overboard on the affection when she does her business. If you catch her in the act inside, just grab her and run out the door and let her finish, no real need to scold her. When she's done, throw a ton of praise her way. If you come across a puddle or pile in the house a few minutes after she messed up, I don't think it does a lot of good to scold her. I have read that they don't really understand why they are in trouble if you didn't catch it right away. I did it this way with all of our dogs over the years and while some got it quicker than others, they all fall in line pretty quickly.

Sounds like you are on the right track, though. Best of luck!
 

Dbender

Senior Member
They are just like little kids at that age. It sneaks up on them before they realize it. If they are pooping in the house that is a different story unless they are sick. Keep doing what you're doing and let her out more often. Not sure the age they have complete control of their bladder, but yours isn't there yet.
 
Doggie IQ has a lot to do with it. Most of ours caught on quickly.
We had one poor little guy (beagle mix rescue) that never learned, made a good outside pet for a neighbor.
 

jicard3

Senior Member
This just reminded me of a chocolate lab puppy I had once. I'd take her outside. After she went I'd love her up good, give her a treat then we'd head back inside. That little stinker learned to go pop a squat but not actually use the bathroom. She'd fake it, get her praise and treat then go inside and wet the floor in short order. I had to start following her around and watch her close so we didn't go inside until she actually went to the bathroom. I never thought about it until now, but I bet I looked like some kind of weirdo following my dog around and inspecting her every time she squatted in the yard.
 

baddave

Senior Member
I've had hunting dogs all my life . labs for the last 25yrs- never had an issue house breaking . just take em out when its time and take em to the same place .. the praise is way unnecessary . but the scolding is good . I ain't a mean dog trainer but the praise can, most of the time , be detrimental .. and whatever you do , don't do the hi pitch girly talk , just a normal tone g-o-o-o-d , they'll get it
 

JustUs4All

Slow Mod
Staff member
Take her out more often than you think necessary. She will catch on pretty quickly. Sometimes a change in the surface she is walking on will help like moving from grass to pine straw or leaves. Taking her to the same area will help once you find a spot she likes. Notice her posture and vocalizations when inside. Once she gets it the will typically show you that she needs to go. This can go all the way to scratching at the door or ringing a bell to get outside.

The most important thing I have found is to try to be smarter than the dog you are training. I have probably failed at this a time or two.
 
This just reminded me of a chocolate lab puppy I had once. I'd take her outside. After she went I'd love her up good, give her a treat then we'd head back inside. That little stinker learned to go pop a squat but not actually use the bathroom. She'd fake it, get her praise and treat then go inside and wet the floor in short order. I had to start following her around and watch her close so we didn't go inside until she actually went to the bathroom. I never thought about it until now, but I bet I looked like some kind of weirdo following my dog around and inspecting her every time she squatted in the yard.
I had a female rat terrier that would walk around in circles and squat and hike a leg, but wouldn't pee. This was only of she didn't need to go but I was trying to make her.
Usually at night before bed.
I have done the look while squatting many times. LOL.
 
Thread starter #18
The wife and I have noticed the pup is becoming VERY clingy to us. She follows us around to every room. We shut the door to go into the bathroom and she will sit outside the door and bark. She is constantly under foot. The pup seemed to have a greater sense of independence and exploration when we picked up from the litter, but not so much anymore.

She has become so clingy that I think it is impacting her potty training. We are trying to ween her of us physically needing to walk her around the entire yard to go, so we open the door to let her out and shut door behind her, and she will turn around and bark at the door. In fact, she would rather bark at the door and wait for us to come outside than walk 5 feet further into the yard to take care of her business. Sometimes I will start walking around the yard with her and sneak back inside when she isn't paying full attention. As I watch through the window, the second she notices no one is out there with her, she runs full blast to the door. I guess we keep working at it...
 

JustUs4All

Slow Mod
Staff member
Research separation anxiety.
 
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