We've had our puppy, Gatsby, for about 5 weeks now (he's now 12 weeks old) & we're struggling with housetraining.  He is so smart in every other area, but just doesn't seem to "get" the housetraining thing :-(  I know he can hold it as he does all night, almost every night (the pads in his pen are clean in the morning) but during the day, he just seems to "let it go" whenever the urge strikes.  He will occasionally go to the back door but the second he gets to the door he starts going & doesn't even try to hold it until we get there.  He's also still going #2 inside, but not as often as before (mainly because we've figured out that schedule and try to make sure he's outside when it's time).

Any tips?? Thank goodness we  had already decided to get new flooring before he came to live with us! ;-)

- Liz

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Yes, here is the tip, but you won't like it!  YOU are the one who has to figure out how often he needs to  go and make sure you  take him out in plenty of time, so he does not go indoors.  It is normal for a 12 week old pup to be able to hold it most of the time during the night, because he is quiet, but any healthy puppy is quite active during the day and will  eliminate as often as every hour...  He cannot really "hold it" as it takes time and maturity for the involuntary muscles that control elimination to come under voluntary control.  What you are doing is trying to create a preference (habit) of going outdoors and that's why we reward pups with a treat when that happens. If you successfully create that preference, as the pup matures physically, he will naturally start to "hold it" or give signs he needs to go outdoors.  You however will have to learn what his signals are, and then encourage him by immediately taking him out.  I like to do all the housebreaking on leash with a verbal cue ("go potty, ot "get busy" for instance), so they know they're out for that purpose. I am not a fan of pads, unless you work and cannot be there to let him out when he needs it.  I prefer pups not to go indoors at all, so there is no confusion.

He is still such a baby that he probably doesn't know when he had to go until he is. As Anna pointed out you can train him to prefer going outside. This can be very frustrating but typically it takes a puppy until 4 to 6 months to be usually reliable about going outside. It takes until at least a year to be reliable most of the time. Fortunately it takes less time then it does to train a human! I also like to train a "go potty" command by saying it whenever the puppy starts to go. Eventually they begin to want to potty when you say it. Usually I find that just when I think my puppy was never going to get it, they suddenly start getting it. Be patient and limit your puppy's unsupervised time. Good luck !

Thanks, Ladies, for the advice!!  It had been so long since we houstrained our older dog that we could not remember how long it took (and I suspect it took much longer than we remember).  We will keep plugging along and I'm sure he'll get it soon enough.  He's so adorable all you can do it smile at him even when he's "helping" you clean up a mess lol! <3

Just like a person can sleep 8 hours without going to the bathroom, but needs to go a half hour after that cup of coffee, night time and daytime performance are VERY different for puppies.

With a puppy that small, one thing you have to do is take him out about once an hour while he's awake.   That seems like too much but it's only for a month or so til he starts to get it.  ALSO take him out any time activity changes:  Immediately upon waking from a nap, soon after playing, soon after eating, and so on. 

After you've done this for a few weeks you can get an idea of when he goes and when he doesn't, and gradually stretch the time between potty breaks over the time periods when he doesn't always go when you take him out.

Continue to take him out after vigorous play or after a nap for many months, however.


Patience!  He'll get there. 

Hey all - I have a follow up Q: How long do you wait for your pup to go on his trips outside if he doesn't go immediately? What time frame do you give before deciding he doesn't have to go?

Our new pup (8 weeks, we've had him for 7 days), will go pee immediately when set outside, but takes a goodly long time to go #2, even when he should definitely have to go. We're positively reinforcing the #2 potties outside when he does.

I don't want to give up too soon for the guy (a min or two), but he could wait up to 30 mins outside before going if he wants to. Whats a reasonable time to let him sniff it out before taking him back in?

(Obviously because hes so new we're not worried about it being any sort of issue, or being impatient with him. I'm more worried about not giving him enough time.)

Like Anna said!!!

One other tip I'd add is BE PATIENT. These dogs seem to take their time about deciding to accede to house-training, certainly compared to other breeds I've enjoyed. It seemed to take for-freaking-ever to train Ruby the Corgi Pup. But once she got the idea -- and discovered what a doggy door is for, which also took awhile -- she's never had another accident in the house.

Also useful to know: here at MyCorgi.com, people suggested I have her checked for a UTI (urinary tract infectiono), and lo! The vet did discover one. I took her to another vet for a second opinion, and he concurred. She did improve significantly soon after she was treated with this (antibiotics and a few weeks of special low-ash food). That combined with the special elixir -- Concentrate of Patience -- led to very excellent housetraining. But it took a surprisingly long time and a lot of floor de-stinking enzyme stuff.

Thanks so much!!  Little Mr Gatsby is getting "better" but, by no means reliable yet (i.e. accidents are fewer, but there are still quite a few).  My daughter taught him to ring a little bell with his nose when he wants to go outside, which he learned super quickly, but now it's become a game of "let's see if I can get a human to go outside with me" lol!! 

I do think I'm going to have him checked for a UTI as he goes outside super often and goes (#1) almost every time he asks to go out (but then two minutes later he can come in & go on the floor).

He will be 4mos on Saturday, so he's still a baby (I have to keep reminding my husband) - he'll get it - he's super smart about everything else, this is just a little harder to figure out for him I guess.

Thanks again!!! :-) :-) :-)

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