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Thread: Another potty training question

  1. #1
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    Another potty training question

    When we were training Zoee we used the puppy pads. Which didn't take long because Zoee was pretty much already potty trained. We just had to teach her where the doors were.
    Now with Taggart we bought the puppy pads but haven't even used them. He's had about 4 accidents in the week we've had him (not bad). My question is - how do we teach him to let us know when he needs to go out? Right now we just take him out all the time. Zoee caught on quick and would go to the door and whine if we didn't notice her there soon enough.
    A girl I volunteer with suggested a bell on the door handle and you teach them to ring it. I can see a few things with that method that wouldn't work for us. 1) we have two cats who'd probably play with the bell 2) I am a lite sleeper and wouldn't want it being rung when I was sleeping.
    Now I have thought of putting it up at night. Right now Taggart is crated at night, but we'd like to eventually let him out to sleep with the rest of us.
    Ok, I'm turning a simple question into a LONG thread. Sorry.

    Anyway, any ideas and suggestions would be appreciated.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  2. #2
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    I had avery hard time housebreaking Ginger. For being such clean dogs, Eskies are very hard to housebreak. I had to keep her leashed almost all of the time, when she wasn't crated, and as soon as I saw her squat (or show signs of wanting to) I would pick up the leash and walk her out the door. I guess the main thing is, until he shows signs of understanding that he needs to tell you when he wants to go out, you will have to keep an eye on him at all times, when he is not crated. If he is just going whenever he feels he has to, bells on the door won't help. Once Ginger understood what was expected she would go sit against the front door. If I wasn't paying attention, she would walk into the den and stare at me real hard (you have an Aussie, you understand that ), but first they have to know to get your attention first. They need to know that going potty is something you do together. (Hmmm, is that why they always follow us into the bathroom?)

  3. #3
    well, since your always going outside, that is the first step to success. You can try clicker training when they do go potty(never personally tried it). We associated words with going to the door to go potty. First say potty, usually it ends being in a high pitched voice haha, then doing the constant potty break thing. Then hopefully they associate the high pitched potty with going and obviously praise when they do. Then you can tell them when they need to go. also, on top of the constant potty breaks, when zoee goes, take taggart out too. HOPEFULLY taggart can catch on and see that zoee goes to the door to go potty, then will think, I get it!
    It took bayley a long time to get the trick, but slowly letting them out together and randomly asking if she has to, go she picked it up!

    potty training is tough.. i wish you luck. Thats the steps we all took.. hope it helps some!!!

  4. #4
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    If you keep associating "Outside = Potty", Taggart will begin to self-initiate. He'll start learning to stand around the door area to go outside. Very quickly you'll see signs. He'll walk over, look at you, etc. Reward these little things!!! Over time, the behavior becomes more accurate and more exaggerated (soon, he'll paw the door or sit by it). This process of rewarding small successive behaviors is called shaping. In this case, it's actually closer to "capturing" a behavior. Anywhoo...

    I had a lot of inquiries as to how to teach a dog to ring a bell, so I eventually made a video. Disclaimer: I personally like using Post-It notes because, once you teach it once, the dog learns to target anything with a Post-It note. This makes it really easy to teach and generalize various targeting behaviors. You could definitely just teach the dog to target the object itself (the bell, in this case), but I use a lot of targeting so I like Post-It noties

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v4...awAnObject.flv

  5. #5
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    Thanks you guys. I will take these ideas and keep them in mind.

    Sophie, please do tell more about the post-it notes. I don't get it.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  6. #6
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    Basically, to get the dog to hit something like a bell, you get the dog to hit a target. In other words, how to get the dog to hit the bell? Target.

    Some folks choose to use the actual object as the target. So, from the beginning, they would attempt to train their dog to hit the bell. However, depending on what the actual object is (i.e. it could be a light switch, a door, etc.), that can get tricky.

    That's why I like using Post-It notes. Once I train Ivy to hit the Post-It note, I can stick that Post-It note on ANYTHING, and Ivy generalizes the targetting behavior. I don't have to re-teach her to hit the door, the light switch, the bell as separate behaviors. She knows it all as targeting a Post-It note. Once she understands it, I quickly fade the Post-It note and voila! It significantly speeds up training if you do a lot of targetting. If not, you can just use the bell as the target. The video shows how quickly Ivy generalizes the behavior

  7. #7
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    Thank you Sophie! I guess I should have watched the video before asking questions. But I was just checking in quickly last night. I've watched the video now and I'm going to show Bruce and see if this is something we can do with Taggart and maybe even Zoee too!
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  8. #8
    That video was really cool, the post it is a really good idea!

  9. #9
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    I would definitely not use puppy pads, especially at his size and age. I think that if you set up a routine and make sure he goes out on a regular basis he will eventually start to tell you he needs to go out.

    I like to stand out with the dog as they're pottying and say "go potty" or "hurry up" because it's a lot easier when traveling or if you are in a hurry, they know when they have to potty and when they can play/sniff around. I usually reward them going potty with a game of fetch (with Kyra) or by getting really excited.

    After awhile I'm sure you'll start noticing little things that he does when he has to go out. Like Sophie said, he'll eventually exaggerate the cues.

    Ashley & Crossbone ("mini ACD")
    Living with my parent's: Jack (Lab/Beagle), Micki & Mini (JRTS)
    RIP Kyra: 07/11/04 - 11/3/12; Shadow: 4/2/96 - 3/17/08

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by k9krazee View Post
    I would definitely not use puppy pads, especially at his size and age. I think that if you set up a routine and make sure he goes out on a regular basis he will eventually start to tell you he needs to go out.

    I like to stand out with the dog as they're pottying and say "go potty" or "hurry up" because it's a lot easier when traveling or if you are in a hurry, they know when they have to potty and when they can play/sniff around. I usually reward them going potty with a game of fetch (with Kyra) or by getting really excited.

    After awhile I'm sure you'll start noticing little things that he does when he has to go out. Like Sophie said, he'll eventually exaggerate the cues.
    Yes, I do go out with him to potty. And he will just sit there, so I walk around to get him to catch a scent or something. Like this morning it took about 5 minutes, which felt like 15 at 5am!
    The other day he went really quickly on command. I think another problem is during the day Bruce lets them stay outside and play while he works. He checks on them often, and they come in several times too, but I think this may hinder our progress. There's nothing I can do about it either.
    So I will just keep doing what I'm doing and I'm sure he will catch on. I was just curious if there was a specific way to teach him. I'm sure he will catch on, he seems like a very smart dog.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

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