Housbreaking

I am having some trouble house breaking Malu. He is really good about going potty outside. Unfortunately, he also has no problem peeing inside. He seems to always do it on my couch on a throw pillow or blanket.
My biggest issue is he shows no signs of needing to go. One minute he'll be fine, I'll turn my back for 2 seconds (literally) and he'll pee. My last dog would do a "potty dance" and I could always tell when he needed to go. I don't remember having this many accidents with the last dog (although its probably only been a dozen accidents in the last 2 weeks).
I feel like the only way for me to house train him properly is to watch him like a hawk and not take him out until he tries to go inside and I tell him "NO" and then take him outside. That has only happened once. He started to pee, I said "No" and he stopped. I then asked if he wanted to go outside, took him out, let him pee and rewarded him. Every other time he has had an accident I haven't caught him in the act. I feel like every accident is a huge step back! Whats more frustrating is I have the opportunity to work from home many days but I have to keep him in the crate because I cant keep my eyes on him constantly. I might as well be in the office 😞

Maybe I have overly high expectations, I have only had him 3 weeks and he's only 12 weeks old.

any tips are much appreciated.

Thanks,

You have answered your own questions…

1. Yes, you are expecting to much at 12 wks
2. Yes, you have to watch him like a hawk, period... and even when you don't think he needs to go out, by then it was most likely too late.
3. When he has an accident, take that rolled up newspaper and smack yourself over the head while repeating, "I must remember to take him out".....

I have to agree with Pat. You DO need to watch him like a hawk - especially since he has started peeing in the house. The other thing to do is to set a schedule and if at first it means every 15 or 20 minutes, do it. If you can't watch him, maybe litter box train him or set up an expen, litterbox and his crate. That way he has more space to play but still has a place to eliminate that isn't his crate or your couch. Also, if he is peeing on the couch or throw, maybe it needs to be cleaned better as if he is smelling his scent, it will be a lure for him to go.

When you crate him when you are home, does he pee in his crate? I personally never wanted my dogs to pee in their crates as I think it is much harder to break that habit than peeing in the house.

When I brought my girl Aaliyah home as a baby a couple of years ago, I literally took her out every 20 minutes (or immediately after/during a bout of play). Once my brother got on board with the schedule it was quick work breaking her of going inside.

Oh, and it does get better. But I will say from my experience, boy puppies are harder to house train than girls.

Every time YOU don't watch and he pees, you increase the problem. So as annoying as active watching is, remember the more you watch the less you'll have to. Watch, tie to you, crate or outside.
http://www.clickerlessons.com/housetraining.htm

Mine are never fully potty trained till about 9 months, and that is with watching them, and taking them out or to their papers. The good news is Gambit is now sleeping thru the whole night in our bed without accidents at 14 weeks, I taker her out at 10 and to her papers at 530, when I wake up. For the first few weeks I took her to her papers mid way thru the night when I got up, but she does not seem to need that 2 am break anymore.

Well, Maybe we are doing better than I thought.

  1. He has never had an accident in his crate. and has slept through the night (~10pm to ~6am) every day since I got him. He doesn't even seem to need to go right when he gets out, he usually prefers to come on the couch with me and squirm around, lick me, stretch, get pet, etc… for 5 mins or so.

  2. Debbie, I understand that every time he gets away with it, its a step back. Its so frustrating!

The days when I'm most busy, he will be let out once before I leave at about 7:30. Once by a friend or myself at lunch around 12:30, then again when I get home around 5:30 and 1 or 2 more times depending on what we do that evening and when I go to bed. He has great control or maybe he just has a big bladder (he's big, 12.4 lbs at the vet last week at 11 weeks old). Thats another reason the accidents frustrate me. Its usually an hour or two after he had been out last.

thanks,

Does Malu pee right when he is taken out? What I mean is pee first, then he gets to check out the back yard, play around, etc. The checking things out in the yard then becomes a reward for doing a pee right away. This works for us. Of course, also praise tons when he pees outside, but give no emotion when he pees inside. Simply clean it up and display no anger.

Do you use a word(s) to indicate to him that it is time for him to pee when he is outside? We use 'hurry hurry'. Then lots of loving praise when he gets it right, and sometimes he gets a treat. That loving/praise/treat then shows him that there is a real benefit to peeing outside. At his age, he sounds to be doing quite well.

Kipawa is 6 months old tomorrow. He does still have the occasional 'oops' in the house, but when I analyze what happened, it seems to always be what I call 'operator error'.

@Vintinck:

Well, Maybe we are doing better than I thought.

  1. He has never had an accident in his crate. and has slept through the night (~10pm to ~6am) every day since I got him. He doesn't even seem to need to go right when he gets out, he usually prefers to come on the couch with me and squirm around, lick me, stretch, get pet, etc… for 5 mins or so.

  2. Debbie, I understand that every time he gets away with it, its a step back. Its so frustrating!

The days when I'm most busy, he will be let out once before I leave at about 7:30. Once by a friend or myself at lunch around 12:30, then again when I get home around 5:30 and 1 or 2 more times depending on what we do that evening and when I go to bed. He has great control or maybe he just has a big bladder (he's big, 12.4 lbs at the vet last week at 11 weeks old). Thats another reason the accidents frustrate me. Its usually an hour or two after he had been out last.

thanks,

Not sure I understand what you mean by "thats another reason the accidents frustrate me"? Just because he is a "big" boy has nothing to do with learning control over their bladder… and I can honestly say with the schedule you have listed above, I am not surprised that he has accidents in the house. Also, I would recommend that in the morning he go directly outside, carry him if you have to... not play/pets/cuddles until he has gone potty. He needs to learn a schedule. My girls are now 1yr 2 months old and it has only just been recently that when they get up in the morning I don't have to hustle them out the door to potty. They finally have the hang of that is the first thing they do in the morning. (and the last thing at night before bed time)…. that they learn a bit faster.;)

@Tanza

What a meant about it being frustrating was that if i he has an accident its often within an hour after he's just been outside. Mentioning the fact that he was big was more of a joke, i'm sure it has nothing to do with his bladder control.
The schedule listed is probably worse than reality. The friend that walks him is usually here for 1-2hrs and takes him out right before and right after she leaves. I will take him out twice in the morning often as well.
I really would like to shy away from carrying him out as much as possible (although I have had too a couple times). It would be ideal if I could coax him out on his own, although I know its not always possible.
Good point about not cuddling him in the morning, he just seems so excited and wants to say good morning :). Its probably a good training opportunity to withhold that attention from him until he does his business

@Kipawa

He usually pee's pretty quick, but not always. He takes longer and more sniffing to poop, but I think thats expected. "Go Potty" is what I use, but I am not sure what my friend/dog walker uses, we should probably get on the same page. He is not super food motivated. Sometimes he gobbles up his treats, sometimes he'll smell it and walk away if there is something more interesting. Maybe he is just bored with the kind of treats. I tried to get a new treat brand but he spit it out.

This weather in upstate NY isn't helping. He was just getting used to going outside and could do a walk around the block. Yesterday we got about a foot of snow and 25 degree temperatures. He refused to poop yesterday evening because of it, he would just try to run back inside. After about the 4th trip out that evening he finally caved and went.

I do agree with all that's been said but I do note that you say he is peeing on your couch, throw or blanket - this may be a 'marking' problem raher than especially a housetraining accident. (Yes, puppies will mark as well). Do make sure that you completely remove any lingering pee smells with a commercial product or, my favourite, white vinegar.

the fastest way to potty train is to make sure they are NEVER out of your sight, especially when they are that young. take him directly out first thing in the morning. stay out with him and make sure he goes (give big praise when does). then come back inside, play, eat, etc. as soon as he is done with a bout of playing, a b500, or a meal, take him back out. if he doesn't go right away, just wait and stand there for about 15 min (a reeeeaallly long time to be just standing there, i know). give big praise if he goes, and if he doesn't go, put him directly in his crate, then 1/2 hour to an hour, take him out again. repeat the same procedure. if he goes outside, he gets some freedom in the house, if he doesn't go, he doesn't get freedom. continue to take him out every time after waking from a nap, after finishing up play, and after a meal. stick to the routine, and he will get it. he has a small bladder and needs to go out more than 5-6 times per day.

The general rule of thumb is a puppy can hold urine for about 1 hour per MONTH of age. You are expecting too long of a stretch. The issue is that is how long, but they also want to go when they wake up, after eating and playing… Cara has had 3 accidents since I got her at 11 wks old. Three. And all were poops because it was RAINING outside and I didn't go out in the rain and make sure she went. But, I am home, I took her out every couple of hours, then every 3 hours til she was about 4 or 5 mos old so that she fully learned outside is for pottying.

I have heard 1 month plus 1 from a lot of sources as well.

Either way, its not an issue of him not being able to hold his bladder that long enough. He never has accidents during those periods. He has never had an accident in his crate. His accidents have been when I am home, after work, from 5:30-10:30. During that times we go out 3-4 times. Thats once every 1-2 hours.

His accidents since we started housebreaking have always been on the couch/on top of a pillow. Its very strange. That was more my concern. I throw what I can in the wash and use Natures miracle on the couch. So I don't think its a scent thing either.

I think the most important piece of advice you guys have given me is to make sure I take him out after every "exciting" activity. I am not sure I have been as good about making sure I take him out after every time he plays. Maybe that will solve the issue. We are working on bell training so hopefully soon he will let me know when he has to go!

Okay, then I agree you might want to wonder if it is MARKING, not peeing. LOL, don't you love dogs? But, that does make it easier if he does it only when you are home... leash him to you. 🙂 Bell training many swear by, but if it is marking, it may not help. You can, however, create a marking post for him outside. Take wet pillow, rub on the post you set up.
Sorry I got confused btw... you did say when you are home but then you put:
<<>> and my mind went to after you left. Old age sucks, btw.
I doubt it will make you feel better, but it can give you a warning. IF this is marking and you don't stop it now, it can be a living heII. My Rottweiler was dubbed "pee king." When he was a pup, I rescued 2 dogs with SEVERE Kennel cough, it went through the house, and then I brought in Angel. Which is to say I bit off more than I could chew.. and then my matriarch, Tasha, got sick--massive cancer--- and was gone in 3 wks time. During those 3 mos, he began and decided marking was his true calling in life.
Nothing and I mean NOTHING stopped him from marking. He wouldn't do it if you were watching, but blink and he would. We tried belly bands (pulled them off), everything. We ended up gating off the dining room, turning it into HIS room and letting him out only with supervision. But it was worse. He marked me. I have had him hit me when I was cleaning out the outside water buckets, at the park, Petsmart, sheep herding, flea markets. I consulted trainers, tried it all. A couple suggested a shock collar but I simply was not willing to go there over something that was not life threatening. But I tell you what, I'd consume bottles of no-doze and watch him every second if I had those 3 mos to live over. Much fun as it gave my friends, it was nothing I'd wish on anyone. He died at the ripe (for Rotties) old age of 12 1/2 last June... and he marked til the end.

Uh oh 😕. I was hoping someone was going to say "he's just a puppy so it's definately not marking". I guess thats not the case.

Debbie, how old was the "pee king" when he started? Was he neutered? After reading many posts from other members (yours included) about when to neuter/spay your pet, I have been leaning towards waiting a while (~1 year old or so). If he starts to mark early I fear that letting him go into puberty will just exacerbate the issue, so maybe I should go with the 5-6months that the vet recommended.

He hasn't been doing it that much and it hasn't happened in a couple days so maybe its under control. My breeder feels that vets neuter way to young and that it has an effect on the dogs appearance, making them look more "juvenile". I am more worried about the negative health effects like increased risk of bone cancer, etc..

I have never found that male Basenjis are "prone" to marking, even when you have more then one in the house and even have in-tact bitches. It is just not a behavior that I have seen very often in this breed.

Now, bitches on the other hand, I have seen more bitches marking…. Things like their bedding especially.

@tanza:

I have never found that male Basenjis are "prone" to marking, even when you have more then one in the house and even have in-tact bitches. It is just not a behavior that I have seen very often in this breed.

Now, bitches on the other hand, I have seen more bitches marking…. Things like their bedding especially.

I completely agree - even with my lesser basenji experience than Pat. I have 2 bitches and 2 dogs. Both dogs are intact and both bitches are spayed. Both bitches have marked indoors - neither dog has.

I disagree this time with both Pat and Renault1, which is unusual for me, - but I think they're very fortunate in not having had Basenjis that will mark (or perhaps it's a matter of better training).

I have known many Basenjis that will mark and it's often 'catching' in that if one does it the others may follow. It's not usually a bitch thing - although they will mark as well but more often outside.

Arizona Basenjis

Vintinck

Our pup is the same age, 3 weeks old and is showing the same level of behavior. We've only had her a week though. We're just getting a feel of how our routine in the day fits with her routine and keep it consistent. We are constantly encouraging her to go out to potty… everything everyone says, first thing ASAP after getting out of crate, after naps, after eating, before bed.... pretty much before and after anything!! LOL When we were having some accidents in the house I even resorted to a kitchen timer to keep reminding ourselves to try again... to get her out to go. She would snif and snif and snif... mosey around. Take a lot of time. More so with poop, more quickly with pee. She doesn't display really any cues either - except the sniffing of the floor.. !! that's the biggest thing. Hard to tell if she's sniffing for food crumbs, but we try just in case anyway. She does NOT like going outside in the dark at night.... at all. She also doesn't care for the cooler morning air... she's a warm weather southern dog... hehehe but the night time has been tougher. We think she is fearful of something despite we're right next to her comforting her. We've carried her out man times repeatedly when she tries to run back in. She eventually goes and I see an improvement over the past bit too. Keep up the great work... have lots of patience. Enjoy your beautiful pup!! 🙂

@Vintinck:

Debbie, how old was the "pee king" when he started? Was he neutered? After reading many posts from other members (yours included) about when to neuter/spay your pet, I have been leaning towards waiting a while (~1 year old or so). If he starts to mark early I fear that letting him go into puberty will just exacerbate the issue, so maybe I should go with the 5-6months that the vet recommended.

First, if I wanted to be called "Debbie" don't you think I'd have that as either my name or sig? LOL.

He was almost 6 mos old, full testosterone in play by 5 mos in large breeds… and we didn't neuter him as I wasn't sure if going to show and because, well, I see no reason to neuter if you can handle having a male intact dog, which I could. Neutering him after the problem began was really too late. Had I made him my focus on life and stopped it immediately, we'd have been fine. So really, you don't have to live my life, lol. And also, remember he was a 120 pound dog... massive amt of urine in that special tank, lol.

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