4 months old and difficult potty training

@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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