Thanks everyone for your advice.
I know my basenji understands and he does listen to me but he has selective hearing. We are traning on it and he is getting better each day.
I'm really struggling with potty training my two boys. I've only been at it for a week, but I don't think I'm doing it correctly. If the accident is a fait accompli, as it were, I can't scold them or shove their nose in it, as I'm never sure which one actually did it. I take them out as often as I can, but at almost 11 weeks they have little bowel control. If I do catch them in the act, which is a rarity, I say a stern "no" and take them outside. The problem is that they never FINISH their business outside. They just sorta stand there, sniff around a bit, and then go back inside. Invariably the business gets finished half-an-hour later when I'm not concentrating! During the day whilst I'm at work (say, 8-4) they're locked outside in the garden, so they're ok then. I also take them out as often as I can, before they sleep, after eating, etc. etc. Because they're outside during the day, I don't want to do crate training. And the thought of spending R1000 (about $150 US) on two crates is not going down well at the moment. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Oh, the other big problem is that they'd rather do their business on the tiles on the patio then on the grass in the garden. Even when they're outside during the day, I come home to puppy accidents on the tiles, and the grass is spotless. Help!
I think 11 weeks is still pretty young.
I didn't consider Jazz fully potty-trained until she was about 16 - 18 weeks old.
If I found the "accident" after the fact, I just cleaned it up very well; on carpet I used an odor neutralizer to try to eliminate the scent from the floor.
If I caught her in the act, I also did a stern, "NO!", then took her outside to finish. She wasn't allowed back in until she had gone potty – sometimes that meant a good half hour outside. When she would go where I wanted her to, I would super-praise her with excited, "Good potty", and then we'd go in.
After meals and naps, and actually about every 40 minutes when she was awake, I'd be very excited and tell her, "Let's go potty!", and take her out.
Again, we'd stay until she had gone potty, she'd be praised, and then she could go back in.
Do be patient and positive with them; it takes a while. And some will take longer than others -- just like children.
As for the eliminating on the tile, if you cannot block them from the tile when you are not home, make sure that when you ARE home you spend time w/them outside so that you can "catch" them going potty there. Treat it as you do the inside, with a stern, "NO!" and put them where you want them, and praise, praise, praise when they do it right -- maybe even give them a treat? . And clean the messes up immediately with an odor neutralizer.
They'll catch on, but it is going to take some focus on your part. Those first weeks with Jazzy, I watched her like a hawk. If she was in the house, I was in the room, paying attention.
Your boys are still very young. Give them time.
If the accident is a fait accompli, as it were, I can't scold them or shove their nose in it, as I'm never sure which one actually did it.
you should never do that anyways, even if you know who had the accident.
I take them out as often as I can, but at almost 11 weeks they have little bowel control. If I do catch them in the act, which is a rarity, I say a stern "no" and take them outside. The problem is that they never FINISH their business outside. They just sorta stand there, sniff around a bit, and then go back inside.
I used a potty command - "go pee". everytime I took my dog out, on leash, and he went, I repeated GO PEE. then I praised him like he'd just won the olympics! make a HUGE deal out of it. be soooo super excited and happy! In addition to exuberant praise, I gave a small treat. Also, do not allow "play" before they potty. use playtime as a reward AFTER they've done their business.
During the day whilst I'm at work (say, 8-4) they're locked outside in the garden, so they're ok then. I also take them out as often as I can, before they sleep, after eating, etc. etc. Because they're outside during the day, I don't want to do crate training. And the thought of spending R1000 (about $150 US) on two crates is not going down well at the moment.
I personally wouldn't leave my dog outside (even in a well protected & fenced area) while I'm not home. Additionally, 8-4 is a long time for a pup (even two) to be on their own. Puppies, especially at their age, need constant reinforcement. I think the fact that they are outside and are allowed to go where & whenever they please will make your housebreaking difficult. You may want to consider other arrangements while you're working. For instance, I was fortunate enough to have a flexible work schedule while my pup was learning, then I arranged for him to go to a doggy-daycare.
Sometimes you can get crates second-hand (I got and xtra large second hand one for only $50) and a medium one (brand new) for only $60. IMO, it's money well spent.
Jazzysmom is right, these pups are very young, give them time, consistancy, and a solid routine, and they'll learn.
Thanks for the prompt advice! I gave my mom a set of keys to get in, she's a school teacher and can come some afternoons to spend some time with them so they don't get bored or lonely or bond only with each other. Still, doggy day-care isn't exactly something common in South Africa, but I will look out for it. I know they're young, I don't expect results yet, I just wanted to know if what I was doing was correct, inasmuch as it can be:) Thanks!
that's really GREAT that your mom can help out like that! I think your adorable pups will be just fine… keep us posted on their progress!
Hi Fluffypony - just read your Carpet Cleaning thread. Sorry you're having a bad time getting the pups potty trained. From my experience (2 cents worth) and based on me and hubby at work and son in school Mon - Fri), we can't be home either, so the training took longer than I thought too - (dirty carpets and the cleaning - ahhhh!!) Here's what I figured out:
Duke is in crate during day, sister-in-law came over on her lunch hour to let him out and put him on a cable outside for about 20 minutes during the week. When I got home, let him out of crate, outside immediately on leash all over the yard we went. He always went pee, no problem, but I would say "Go Potty!" until he did. Then we'd walk all over smelling everything, the whole time I said "Go Poop!" He wouldn't always have to do it. (Always use happy talk when they do what you want - doesn't matter what you say - just a happy voice). Go inside, give him some food and then immediately after eating, take him out - "Go Poop!" again and walk all over again. Well you get the idea, but I swear, we needed to be out every 20 minutes for this. Do the same on weekends when you are home. Make sure you crate or confine in small area when you are home if you can't watch them. Or you'll have a mess to clean! When we weren't vigilant, we always had messes. I would guess it may take pups longer to potty train because their owner's have to work and they're alone for longer hours than they need. It takes alot of commitment for us to get them potty trained. Once, it's done . . you'll be so happy. Basically, be observant, take them out immediatly after they've been crated, after playing, after drinking, after eating and definately after sleeping. (So yeah, every 20 minutes.)
You can use vinegar or even Oxy Clean to cut the carpet smells. I would wait on the carpet cleaning machine until you're comfortable about them being potty trained. Hope this helps a little.
Consider the kennels the best investment that you will make. We did not agree with crate training in the beginning when we got our Puggle, I felt that it was cruel to lock him up all day. We bought an excerise pen, put the pee pads in there and everyday we came home to shredded pee pads and a huge mess. Finally we decided to get the kennel because we could not take the mess anymore not to mention that we would have to bathe the Chase everynight after we cleaned up the mess. In time, we were able to trust Chase to be left with the kennel door open and he could be free in the kitchen because we had gates up. This took about 6 months. He hardly ever had an accidentonce he learned and got older.
Then, we got Zahra, our Basenji, now they are both locked in their kennels all day, I don't trust Zahra to not destroy our house. She still has not fully learned that she can not potty in the house. She is getting better but if I give her too much room in her crate she will potty on one end and hang out in the other. I thought Chase was hard to train, Zahra is much worse. Maybe it is the fact that we got her from a pet store and she was there for so long and it was acceptable for her to potty in her cage and sleep in it. Yuck.
Sometimes we let them share a kennel because when we first got Zahra she did not like to be apart from Chase, I think it made her feel safe to be with him in his kennel all day.
Anyway, as a person who originally did not like the kennel idea this was my first dog, I thought it was mean now I know that they actually enjoy the security of it. They are pack animals.
Hope this helps,