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Hello,
We are hoping we might find some help or new ideas as we are extremely frustrated. We have a 9 month old labradoodle male who is not making any real progress in potty training.

As it seems with all dogs, he wanted to urinate on the grass - not in the plentiful large flowerbeds or not on the cement floor of a dog run. We started crate training him and would take him from the crate in the house to the dog run every morning, but he would rarely go there. He would wait until he had a chance to go on the lawn or in the house. For awhile, he would at least occasionally go on a piece of green hydroturf in the dog run, but he would still have accidents in the house. We didn't discover for a long time that he was urinating in our living room on an expensive rug - no one goes in that room and thus we didn't discover it until we had our carpets cleaned.

After we realized he really wasn't making as much progress as we thought, we went back to crate training and put him in a gated off section in the garage since it was really cold outside and snow on the ground. My wife tried a plastic 2'x2' tray with newspaper and a plastic grate, but he would not go on it while it was in the gated area. So, we took it out and got him to go on it successfully a couple of times and a couple more by catching him going elsewhere close by and quickly moving him over the tray. We praised him incessantly and gave him a treat.

However, he still doesn't get it. We always use the same phrase "go potty" and have a treat. But, often he will literally hold his urine all night long in the house and then another 12 hours in the fenced off area and still not go on the tray - as if he doesn't want to urinate in front of us. Yet, if we let him in the house, he will often immediately urinate on the floor right in front of us. Naturally, we yell - No Jack! and get him outside. We discipline him by pulling on his ear a little or a kick in the butt. We never hurt him. But, he knows it is bad behavior because if he has urinated somewhere else in the house, we know it immediately because of the way he holds in his tail and acts as if he is in trouble.

We know we must be doing something wrong and maybe we have confused him. But, we simply can't understand why he won't ever urinate when we take him out in the morning or other times and offer him a treat and say "Go Potty" when we have been consistent in this for 9 months. Yet he will urinate in the house immediately after being brought in from trying to get him to go and he knows he will get in trouble.

Otherwise he is a great dog with no consistent problems of chewing, digging or other bad behavior. He has responded well to commands to stop those things and will sit and lay down quite well for a puppy.

At this point we are at wits end and ready to give up the re-home the dog if we can't solve the problem quickly. If anyone has any great ideas or if we can even send him away to a school or something we will try it.
Thanks,
Dave and Lisa.
 

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I am with Kim, as I do not understand about where you do or do not want your dog to go. Also kicking in the but or pulling ears will not solve anything except to make your dog scared of you. Sorry if this is harsh but I cringe when I hear that kind of discipline.


Blueteal
 

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Hello Jack, welcome to the forum...I can tell you are very frustrated with the situation and there is nothing worse than having failures at potty training...
I have a few questions for you...is your puppy neutered? If not he may be marking. He is of an age when his hormones kick in.
Please keep in mind that pottying is disgusting to us, not to them...he is not trying to do something wrong. In fact, when you punish him he is learning that he will get into trouble if you SEE him potty. He is not connecting the potty to the problem...but you seeing him doing it. For some reason, he thinks that you should not see him...so he will hide.
You say that at times he does this right in front of you...but maybe that is the marking part.
You need to think like a canine, not a human. It isn't natural for dogs to potty when and where we tell them to. In fact, my dogs always find their own spot and go there consistently. Sometimes they want to hide, so they go into flower gardens or behind buildings or behind couches.
How old was he when you got him and what was his life like before you? If he was raised in a kennel, he may have had to potty where ever he could.
I'd have him checked out by a vet, make sure he is healthy (he may have a bladder infection or UTI, especially if he is holding it so much.)
Don't withold water...the idea is to stretch the bladder so that it hold s more...not shrink it.
Finally, you might need to get a professional trainer...but I agree with the others, as frustrated as you are, don't use any punishment when he makes a mistake with pottying...it will only make this harder for you. He is not trying to spite you...dogs dont' think like that. He is just doing what dogs naturally do...just like some children have to get older before they learn...for whatever reason...so does your dog.
This is a really good article, I hope it helps:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=2284
 

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Here is an article I found that might be helpful:

Choose a location in your yard that will be used specifically as the dog's potty, and give preference to an area that is a direct route out one of your home's doors. You will want to use the same door every time you take your puppy outside as you want him to learn to associate the act of going out the door and walking to this particular spot with the act of "going potty."

CAUTION

If you select paper training, don't line the dog's crate or bed with paper products.

Paper and Litter or Sod Boxes
If you live in a high-rise apartment, have adopted a puppy during inclement weather, or want to avoid taking your dog outside late at night, consider training him to eliminate on paper or in a litter box or sod container.

Yard Concerns for Dog Owners

Dog urine and feces might have a fertilizer effect on grass called "greening up" or might cause the grass to burn, creating dead, brown patches. Urine is a bigger culprit than feces because urine is absorbed into the ground quicker.

To offset these potential problems, remove fecal deposits as soon as possible and water your yard after the dog has eliminated to dilute the urine effect.

A creative solution is to design an area specifically for dog waste. Remove the grass in this area and replace with a substrate that your dog likes such as artificial turf, pea-gravel, or mulch. Be creative and add a faux fireplug or large boulder to act as a marking post for male dogs.

If you choose newspapers or commercial potty training pads for your paper system, place them inside a small contained area opposite your puppy's crate and feeding and water bowls. Keep the papers in the same location, and place a damp bottom paper on top of the new ones when you change papers to provide an odor clue that this is indeed the bathroom.

Second nature by Purina is an inexpensive litter box system for small dogs (less than $20 for pan and instructions at most pet stores). The litter is larger than that used for cats and is made from absorbent paper. Boxes come in three sizes with the largest accommodating dogs up to thirty-five pounds. Place the box near the dog's crate or bed but not directly adjacent to it. Define your dog's territory, containing his crate/bed and litter pan, using your expandable exercise panels or baby gate.

A California company named PetaPotty offers a canine sod-based system, as shown in Figure 3.2. This company makes several container sizes that can be placed adjacent to each other to form a toilet system for larger dogs. You select real or artificial grass turf for the substrate material.

TIP

If you will be training your dog to go outside at a later date, prepare the dog for that surface. You might lay down a couple of concrete tiles under the papers or litter if you will eventually instruct an urban dog to eliminate curbside. If you intend the dog to eliminate on grass, rub grass and a little dirt into the training pad or papers.

When your dog urinates in the box, waste drains through the turf and into a concealed trap pan. It is recommended that you flush the sod with water from a hose or bucket several times per week. Solid waste should be scooped and flushed down your commode. Depending on the size of dog and number of dogs using the system, you will have to replace grass sod every couple of months. The PetaPotty can be placed on a boat deck, patio or balcony, or within the apartment itself.

Figure 3.2 Consider PetaPotty's sod container system for dogs confined on boats or in high-rise apartments.

For more information about PetaPotty, call (866) 738-7297 or visit the company's website at http://www.petapotty.com. This system ranges in cost from $180 to $260.

I really don't think your dog is being bad. I think he is confused. Dogs don't usually like to go on concrete or hard surfaces because it splatters. I hope you can find something that works for both of you to eliminate the stress you and the dog are under. Please keep us posted.
 

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I think your dog is confused !! After a lot of years of dog ownership--it seems to me that it is natural for a dog to want to go on a grassy area. Do you have some out of the way place in your yard that it would be ok for him to use? My three dogs all seem to have favorite spots in our fenced in area that they use most of the time. If you have a spot you could take him to consistently--I'll bet he would learn to use it. I know dog waste can be tough on a yard----but it's just grass and will grow back !!! Good luck--he sounds like a great dog !!!
 

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Thank you to all who replied to our last post!

I assumed replies would come to me via email so I apologize that I am just now responding, I didn't realize I needed to check the actual post. I am very new to this.

I wanted to clarify a little bit as my husband may have confused some with our request for help.

We do NOTwant Jack to "go" on the grass. We have a large dog run for him (about 10X20) to use for this purpose. We were having some success in getting him to go in his run on a piece of artificial turf. However, it was only if I took him there. He would never go to the back door, which was the door that we always used to take him to the run and I took him out every 2 hours or so. He was fine to go inside and all over inside. (We recently had our carpets cleaned. We found out then that there wasn't a room in the house that he hadn't used. There didn't seem to be any repeat spots. It was everywhere!)

About 4 weeks ago, with the snowfall, I stopped taking him there and tried to get him to go in the garage on a plastic tray. I thought that I would need to get Jack litter box trained because of the weather and fact that I cannot be home all day to take him out to the dog run. When I started looking online for info on litter box training, I came across a website that had a plastic tray with grate so that he didn't have to stand in the waste and his paws would stay clean. I liked this idea.

As my husband said in our original post, we went back to crate training him and taking him to the tray every couple of hours. Despite taking him to the crate, he would hold his urine, sometimes up to 24 hours. He would go in the house or find away to get out of the gate type kennel and go somewhere in the garage. Not on the crate.

Also, on his discipline, we were told that if we ever caught Jack in the actual act of eliminating that we should pull his ear softly or "spank" his bottom. Not to hurt him but to teach him that it was naughty. Otherwise, finding the accident later, we would not do so.

I realize that we have confused him. I was hoping that using the same command of "go potty" he would understand that I wanted him to go there. Now, I am afraid that he doesn't want to go in front of us as Jacque said. But then why will he come inside after me encouraging him to go outside and go right in front of me? Could this may be Jack's marking behavior and if so, is this something dogs outgrow? Jack has not been neutered.

Ultimately, I would like Jack to go potty in the dog run if he is outside or on the crate if he is inside. Am I asking too much?
I want to be a good mom to Jack. I want him to feel comfortable in the house and would love to be able to trust him in the house if I am gone.

In response to other questions, I have not withheld water at all. Jack's life before coming to us was good. We got him when he was about 9 weeks old. I will take him to the vet to be sure that he doesn't have some kind of bladder problem. When he gets excited, he dribbles often. I don't know if this is simply from holding his urine so long.

Thanks to all who have helped so far.
 

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It sounds to me like you are really trying to make this work and I know that many people have certain restrictions for their dogs. So, I do understand what you are trying to do.
I am very glad that you will follow up with some of the suggestions. I have tried the whiz dog that you mention, tried it for my puppies...they would use it if there was a potty pad inside...but it wasn't great for their little poopies...they kept stepping on them and pushing them into the squares! LOL
So, one thing that I found out, as I read the article that I linked for you, was that dogs who mark their territory (and I do believe that your un-neutered male is the perfect age for that to start) is that they are saying (in canine ways) that they are willing to give their life for you...they are marking you as being in their protection. So, as bad as it is to have the marking inhouse...please try to keep in mind what it means to him...he is just doing what he instinctively would do in the wild to protect his pack.
I would get him neutered immediately. (To reward him :wink: )
I also read that dogs prefer to potty on grass. I have found that to be true. We don't have grass, just dirt, but our dogs will poop on a bush rather than on the ground. You may be fighting a losing battle if you won't let him have a place on the grass to potty.
We have had two puppies, one we bought from another breeder the other was from our own litter, and they had the hardest time learning that they should go outside to potty. They believed that they were supposed to potty on rugs or blankets or on dog beds. When I caught them, I never got angry (I wanted to, believe me!) I just rushed them outside, clapping my hands to divert their attention, but not to show anger...I clapped my hands and in a happy voice said, "Outside to potty! Let's go outside to potty!" and they thought it was a game. Then when they did their deed, I said, "Good potty! Let's get a treat!" and they followed me in to the garage to the treat cupboard where they got a chicken tender (their favorite).
Now, the two of them are the only ones that will go out every time I say, " You want to go outside to potty?" and they potty every single time. My other dogs just look at me as if to say, "No, stupid human, I don't need to."
We also have a doggie door that we use when we can't be around and that has been a wonderful thing for us.
I wonder if you could extend the dog run to part of your house with a doggie door and plant a little grass in the dog run?
I don't know...I am sure that there are no easy answers...but I promise that you will find the answers...they will just be unique to you, your situation and to your dog.
Best of luck to you!
 

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Jack--I hope you will keep us posted on your "potty progress"--I guess I am really "old school"--I had no idea there was so many "potty" options available !! We gave up on a nice yard many dogs ago !! It amazes me that a dog would even consider going on a tray type thing !! Although I work with a guy whose yorkie uses a litter box, and rarely touches his dainty little paw outside !! I also think a vet visit is in order--when our Lizzie had a bladder infection her urinating habits really changed--not like herself at all. That was really our only clue she had a problem. I applaud all your efforts--I know it can be frustrating-best of luck and keep us posted. Kathy, Lizzie and Louie
 

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I have to agree with the others on pulling the ear and kicking or spanking his Butt. Dogs do not think like we do, I do think you have confused him some but I do think with some work you can turn this around quickly. It sounds like he has had the run of the house and had used it repeatly :oops: and not for just playing or sleeping.

Ultimately, I would like Jack to go potty in the dog run if he is outside or on the crate if he is inside. Am I asking too much?

By this statement above are you saying that you want him to potty in his crate? If so that is something we usually discourage if he is a large dog he won't want to potty were he might have to sleep it is not natural for them to do that.

Don't get me wrong I'm not judging you be any means we all had to learn things and we all still make mistakes with our animals.

Keep us posted will you?
 

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I totally agree with Kathy and Linda...and I hope that I am clear that, in my opinion, a dogs should be a member of the household and be allowed to live happily and joyfullly, but I also know that in order for that to happen, for the dog to be a member of the family, there must be rules and limits.
I agree with Kathy and I believe that expecting a dog not to potty on grass is beyond my sense of reason, for a home situation. I have seen too many dogs kept in kennels day and night and in dog runs without grass or companionship. It is heartbreaking.
I don't think that it what you want for Jack...I don't get that feeling from what you are saying...however, I do think that you may have an expectation that Jack should conform to your rules...no matter what his instincts are.
If I owned Jack, and I wanted him not to potty in the house, then I would open my yard and let him have the freedom to potty where he felt comfortable doing so...and I'd either clean it up myself or have a family member "assigned" to the task.
To me, that is part of being a responsible dog owner...taking care of the needs of the dog is as important as taking care of the needs of any member of your family.
I am not trying to preach...I know that it sounds like I am...I just want to be clear about my very strong opinion regarding owning a dog and the responsibilities we take on with dog ownership...but I am not trying to say that in Jack's case, he is being mistreated...I honestly don't understand the circumstances...but it sounds like you are trying many options, like you simply want a well kept home and yard. And I believe that you can train Jack to fit into this criteria, but he can't do it alone. He will need you to undertstand that he could lose control sometimes and the owners need to clean up...that he does need to eliminate....so I hope that you will look carefully at your situation, your motivation and your goals...and also look carefully at what you expect from Jack. He won't be perfect and he has a long way to go, but I know that he will try to please you.
He doesn't want to anger you...he just needs to understand.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi all,
Again, I need to clarify. NEVER have I wanted to have Jack eliminate in his crate. I know that dogs naturally don't want to and thus the purpose of crate training. I typed the word crate and meant grate. Referring to the plastic tray and grate that I found. The WizDog.

Trust me when I tell you that Jack has not been mistreated. We love Jack and have said before that outside of his potty training, he is a great dog!
I know that he is not trying to be mean and that by nature dogs want to please. We actually were using the advise of a former vet that told us with one of our other dogs that a slight ear pull or spank, again, not to hurt was a way of reinforcing that the behavior was wrong.

Jack hasn't spent any time in his huge dog run. Other than me taking him there to pee. I don't keep him in the run, ever. He is an inside dog. I just don't want him peeing all over the grass and having my kids step in the other. Even though they pick it up regularly. I live on 1/3 of an acre and there is only an area of about 50x50 feet (the grass) that I don't want him using. I know that it is his instinct to go on the grass but I am hoping that he will use the more than plentiful flower beds or even better the dog run. It is the larger part of the yard that I would like him to claim as his.

I am thinking that the grate system is just not going to work for Jack. Thank you Jacque for your info on pooping on the grate. We hadn't gotten that far yet. He just doesn't seem to like the plastic.

I have just started letting him go wherever he wants in the garage in hopes that HE can show ME a spot that he likes. If he will use that spot repeatedly, maybe I can keep some plastic there or another piece of turf.

I have to say that since I have done this, he hasn't had any accidents in the house.... that I know of.

Thank you for your help and ideas/articles so far. Keep them coming if you can think of something helpful.

Regards,
Lisa
 

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Hi Lisa,
I am so glad that you don't feel that we are picking on you...I have never felt that you were trying to be unfair to Jack or that he was being mistreated...
Sometimes these threads are read by lots of people who don't post but who have similar problems...and often we speak to those silent readers too...just in case it might help them too.
I really do understand how frustrated you must feel and I can tell that you really love Jack...you just seem so conflicted, and rightfully so...you are getting "old school" advice from a former vet (my mother would probably tell you to roll up a news paper and rub his nose in it! ARGH!) But that is what they used to do...things are different now and people have better understanding, I think.
So, thank you for being so open to our advice because by letting us talk to you about this, we are reaching a lot of others too. (Just take a look at the number of "views" this particular thread has and you will see that many folks are interested in the topic and what is being said.)
I promise...promise...that Jack will get it right! The older they get, the more they understand. Hang in there....keep your spirits up and it will be fine.
It sounds, to me, that you have a perfect yard for Jack and I think that you are doing the best you can for him...I look forward to the day that you write in to report that he has "finally got it!" :D
 

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Hi Lisa, I didn't mean you were mean to him either, please forgive me if you thiought I was thinking that I wasn't. I did misunderstand about the word (crate). Let us know how his training is going and sometimes are post come across as though we are judging when we aren't, so sorry.
 

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blueteal said:
I am with Kim, as I do not understand about where you do or do not want your dog to go. Also kicking in the but or pulling ears will not solve anything except to make your dog scared of you. Sorry if this is harsh but I cringe when I hear that kind of discipline.

Blueteal
I also do not want to come across as judgemental and truly believe after reading your other posts, that you want what is best for your dog as well as your family I do not have a large yard at all(All grass with bark mulch around 2 trees)and in the beginning I had hoped that Denver would go around the tree area. He let me know that he preferred the grass area so my response was as long as this puppy is going outside that is fine for me LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the last posts and encouragement from everyone.

We had a really good weekend with Jack! No accidents, again that I am aware of. However, tonight I took him outside with me while I did a few things. He was out there for about 5 minutes running around, sniffing, chasing the kids and then sure enough, after being inside for less than 2 minutes, our friend found my carpet useful. I couldn't believe it.

I did as Jacque said and clapped real loud and said "go potty outside" and walked him to the garage door. He knew, I wasn't happy.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that he gets this soon!

Also, I gave Jack a bath this morning. Any tips on grooming? Specifically, should I be trimming the hair around his eyes. I feel like he can't see things. Also, should I be brushing him. So far his coat has been beautiful but lately, he is looking a little ragamuffin.

Is it ever necessary to shave his puppy coat? I have heard that at a certain age, puppies start to lose their puppy coat and that I should perhaps shave him.

Happy New Year
Lisa
 

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Congratulations, Lisa, for hanging in there! Sounds like you are making progress!
About cutting the hair around his eyes...be very careful...but you can do it. I always wait until the dog is sleeping, then I take my hands, using my fingers like sissors, put the hair between my fingers and the palm of my hand over the eyes, then you can clip the hair in your fingers...and if there is any puppy movement it won't slip and poke an eye.
I don't see any need to shave the puppy coat, I guess some people might, but I wouldn't. I would, however, brush him. At first they don't care for it, then soon they love it.
If you brush him regularly, any shedding should not be a problem.
 

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Hi Lisa,
I hope that today you are seeing some nice results with Jack.
I was looking for articles that might address the issues you face, and I found one. Although some of the things don't apply and some of the advice has already been given, I do hope that you will read this through because I think that it has some really good suggestions. Things I have never considered, anyway...the article actually helped me to gain some insight. I hope it gives you a little more info so that you and Jack can get on the same page.
I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best!
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=1689
 

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Discussion Starter #19
AAAAGGGHHH! I just spent the last 40 minutes cleaing up pee. I got up at 6:30am and the first thing I always do is take Jack out to go potty. Well this morning, as we were heading downstairs to go outside. Jack just stopped on the stairs and started peeing. Then when I clapped and said Jack potty outside, he drizzled all the way down the rest of each step.

I didn't pull his ear but I want to pull my hair out.
I am taking him to the Vet today to have him checked.

Jack is my 4th dog. I have never had these kinds of problems last for so long. Two of my other dogs were well trained by about 4 1/2 months old. The other I had to get rid of nearly right after we bought her because I was pregnant and was put on bed rest. I couldn't take the time to train her. But Jack is now almost 10 months old.
 
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Hi Lisa!
Not sure if I can help, but I do know that puppies will ALWAYS prefer to go on the carpet over ANY other spot. It is warm and absorbent and convenient :roll:
Here is what our trainer told us when we had a similar problem;
Do not under any circumstances let him back in the carpeted rooms where he has gone potty. (Until he is really trained). He will continue to go there and will continue to think it is OK. For us this was our office. We gated the room and then I ended up pulling up the rug and replacing it with hardwood.
We also gated a large area for her that is totally tiled. Because peeing on tile is not appealing, this makes training easier.
When you take him out, stay out until she goes. Say "Go potty" over and over again and praise her profusely and give great treats when he does go outside. Eventually the "Go Potty" command is obeyed at all times. (Even when she does not have to go, she now squats and pees a tiny bit when commanded.) Very useful on those cold winter mornings when you are in a hurry!
She is 9 months old and fully trained, except occasional bouts of 'excitement peeing' when certain friends visit.
Good Luck!
 
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