4 months old and difficult potty training


  • I have the pee pads because I work from home and if I have a conference call then I may not be able to get her outside when she needs to go. Work also means that I can’t be outside with her for as long as it takes. Recently I have been putting her outside, then I have to run back to work and then 10 minutes later I go back and get her. I know it’s not ideal. I have a 4 day weekend coming up and hope to work with her more closely


  • @margiem said in 4 months old and difficult potty training:

    I have the pee pads because I work from home and if I have a conference call then I may not be able to get her outside when she needs to go. Work also means that I can’t be outside with her for as long as it takes. Recently I have been putting her outside, then I have to run back to work and then 10 minutes later I go back and get her. I know it’s not ideal. I have a 4 day weekend coming up and hope to work with her more closely

    But she shouldn't be out for ten minutes. The result is that she will not see the trips outside as for potty, but for fun. The potty trip should be short, like only as long as it takes to go. When she goes, start doing word association. If she's peeing only, then repeat the word, "good pee, good pee" or something. Use a different word or phrase for #2, and praise at the same time. Then bring in immediately after she's gone. This is potty training.

    If you continue to use the pee pad, she'll only learn that going inside is OK. The crate helps because, unless under extreme circumstances, a dog won't defecate where they sleep. Develop a schedule and work around it.

    Keep track of when she goes, so you know when she'll go next. Usually pee every hour, or after activity or waking up. Take out and start saying the words. She'll get it.

    Poo is about 8 hours after eating, except night, which slightly longer. So if eats at 7 pm, poos at 5:30-6:30. Second meal at noon, poos at 7-8 pm. No water after 7 pm. [0_1617239214781_chart.docx](Uploading 100%) Attached is chart we use.


  • Well couldn't up load a file. That's odd because one icon is clearly for uploading images (says "upload image") while the other icon says "upload file" but gives error message that isn't an image type of file.

    Maybe the administrator can change settings to allow for docx or PDF files...

    If you email me, I'll send several files that help with potty training, including a chart.

    [removed private email]


  • @sanjibasenji - Disagree with that, after eating they will poop just after eating not 8 hours later. If you watch puppies with Mom, they will poop just about immediately after eating because Mom stimulates them to go... because that is what they do it was easy to litter box train them.... they eat, put them in the litter box, they go... same with then moving to outdoors. As they get older they might hold it longer after eating.


  • @tanza said in 4 months old and difficult potty training:

    @sanjibasenji - Disagree with that, after eating they will poop just after eating not 8 hours later. If you watch puppies with Mom, they will poop just about immediately after eating because Mom stimulates them to go... because that is what they do it was easy to litter box train them.... they eat, put them in the litter box, they go... same with then moving to outdoors. As they get older they might hold it longer after eating.

    Totally agree with @tanza on this one. Eat - poop. Maybe from the meal before, or the meal before that, but when they've eaten, something needs to come out.

    Pee-pads - I have never used them. I actually bought a packet of them for Kito, because everyone told me they are a good idea as a training tool. The packet is still unopened. Tried and tested training methods had him cleanish by 9 weeks old and totally so by 11. I fetched him at 8 weeks. @eeeefarm, @tanza and well - most other people have already given good advice. If she won't react to 'go potty' - mine never have, btw - try 'be quick, be clean !' which has worked for mine through the years.


  • @zande

    I agree with both of you -- the morning and afternoon meals can stimulate defecation within 10-30 minutes. But not always. What's coming out, is what they ate 6-10 hours earlier, depending. We tracked this carefully for a month. Here's the pattern for 10-15 week old puppy, fed three times a day:

    Wakes at 4:30 or 5:30, poos and pees (no meal). Back to sleep for an hour or two.
    Feed at 6-6:30 am, may poo again within an hour, but definitely will poo in 6-8 hours, around noon -1 pm. Noon meal may stimulate that.
    Following noon meal, will defecate around 6-7 pm. Evening meal at 6-7 may stimulate that, may not.
    BUT, feed at 7, won't poo until 4:30-5:30 am.

    As he ages, all this will change of course. As an adult, will eat twice a day, and after evening meal at 6 pm, won't defecate for 12 hours or more.

    Peeing is a different story altogether. Peeing happens all day long. As others have stated, it's crucial to take out after waking from naps, after 5-10 minutes of intense activity, and of course, just after eating (to encourage timely defecation too).

    We use a bell inside and that helps a lot. At first he used it mosly for #2. But now for a week he's been using it for #1 too and is getting consistent. He hasn't peed in the house for a week. SO SO happy about that!!!


  • @sanjibasenji said in 4 months old and difficult potty training:

    Well couldn't up load a file.

    One icon is for uploading images from your computer, one is for linking from another online source (such as OneDrive, DropBox, etc.). I tried to explain it better in this post.


  • @margiem said in 4 months old and difficult potty training:

    We go for walks and sometimes she does her business and sometimes not.

    Go on longer walks. Dogs need walks, they need the exercise, but walks are also a social bonding time for them. And, well... movement begets movement. It also eliminates boredom, which produces a less destructive dog. Plus, no concerns about being interrupted while you are working.

    So, toss on some clothes (since you work at home) and take the dogs for walk together, 30-60 minutes. When you get home, check the water/kibble bowls, and get your work day started. (I need to do the same!) The dogs will take a nap and you will be able to get more done.

    I do agree with @sanjibasenji, @Zande, and (all of us, really)... get rid of the pee pads! They send the wrong signal. Besides, once you start going for walks, you shouldn't need them.


  • @margiem said in 4 months old and difficult potty training:

    I do praise her when she goes on walks and pees/poops. I work from home so it’s been hard to watch her like a hawk. I blocked off the steps so she only has 2 rooms to go into. My office and bedroom where the pee pad is.

    Try putting a crate right where you work and keeping her in it. When she gets restless, take her out. If she does her business, praise and allow access to the 2 rooms for awhile as a reward. If she doesn't "go", back in the crate. Another opportunity after a bit, rinse, repeat. When she figures out that it profits her to do her business, hopefully that will be the end of your problems. The most important thing at this point is to not allow her to keep reinforcing the habit of eliminating in the house!


  • I'm not as experienced as others, but have a 10 month old female so have just come out the other side and found it very frustrating!

    The turn around for me was deciding that I would take her out every hour rather than waiting for her to show signs. Taking her in the garden wasn't working as she would just get really stressed wanting to come in and still wouldn't go, but I found that taking her out for a quick walk around our road was much quicker and more effective and removed the battle of the wills element.

    She didn't necessarily go every time and there were still some accidents but the increased frequency meant that she had many more opportunities to go outside and less to go inside, so going inside started to feel less natural to her and after just a couple of days of this routine it finally felt we were getting somewhere.

    As she matured and obviously needed to go less often I increased the frequency to 1.5 hours, 2 hours etc. and eventually she started asking to go herself. About a month ago she started not needing to go for a much longer period of time and now I don't really need to think about whether she has been unless we are going to bed and I want her to sleep through the night!

    With consistency and physical maturity it does get better! If you have 4 days off you could focus on regular toileting opportunities and hopefully get into a better pattern.

    Personally I found it unhelpful to let myself get overly controlling about it and we both had a much better experience trying to relax if she didn't need to go or.had an accident, but at the same time being disciplined enough to make sure I to tried again an hour later.


  • @jkent said in 4 months old and difficult potty training:

    the battle of the wills

    The older I get the more I realize that what we perceive as a "battle of wills" is more often confusion about what is required. Most animals do not thrive on confrontation, even Basenjis! Often we think the critter knows what we want, when he or she really doesn't. The other problem is being aware of what you are rewarding or what is reinforcing a behaviour. The one thing I do know is that the longer something unwanted is allowed to continue the harder it will be to break the habit.

    "going inside started to feel less natural to her and after just a couple of days of this routine it finally felt we were getting somewhere."

    Bingo! She was starting to understand that she should eliminate outside and it was beginning to become a habit, and trust me, she would be accurately reading your feelings on the matter!


  • @eeeefarm i think you're right that it can be confusion rather than will. Ellie sits and briefly waits for her meals and even now sometimes just looks at me when I give her the command to eat it, not understanding.


  • situations vary. typically, I'd say never use a pad.

    But what about rescue pups that are 3 or 4 weeks old and having issues, including severe weather I wouldn't force a 4 week old out into.

    Or a sick puppy/dog?

    Or a dog like Cara who originally cried and shook with terror if it was raining. Add the winds (Common in GA and Israel) that so scared her she would pee on herself as she looked out the windows and the view confirmed her worse fears.

    Cara goes out in the rain most of the time. She seems braced, hates it, but goes. But storms? When I have a big potty pad on the enclosed porch? Sorry, there are "not an option rules". But there are also compromise ones. I'd rater have my battles elsewhere. When I can carry it with me and not have her fixating on windows as it rains.

    Choose your battles. If this is one for you,go for it. If it isn't, consider that sometimes people have different needs.


  • Hi. I just wanted to thank everyone for the advice. I also wanted to give an update. So far she’s doing great. I’ve been on vacation and able to devote my full attention to her. First 2 days, 1 accident a day. Really proud of her. She gets 3 walks a day (even when I’m working) so she has lots of chances to go outside.
    Happy Easter


  • @margiem - Glad to hear that.... did you get rid of the pee pads?


  • @margiem Well done both of you !


  • Yes. I didn’t put out a new pee pad. Fingers crossed


  • @jkent said in 4 months old and difficult potty training:

    sometimes just looks at me when I give her the command to eat it, not understanding.

    She might be confused about the signals. Try eating a cracker while she's watching and then, setting her bowl down and telling her it's "okay" to eat. In the dog world, the boss (Alpha dog, or leader) eats first. Then the other dog(s) get to eat.

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