I have a 3 month old puppy and I lost control over her peeing behavior. Nothing I try seems to work. I need help!

Some facts:

1. The breeder taught her to pee on pads. She was never outside before I got her.

2. I started taking her out immediately after I got her. At first, she was scared of everything, so we took it slowly, but by now she gets more and more adventurous. My initial idea was to let her use the pads all day and just take her out every couple hours for her #2. That seemed to work.

3. Then I thought, maybe this situation is confusing -- both pads and going outside at the same time? I decided I will leave a pad in the bedroom for the night and during daytime I will take her out every hour if she is not sleeping.

4. I praise her every time she does her business outside and as a reward I give her some delicious peanut butter (she does not get it otherwise).

The problem is, starting this week, she seems to forgot what pads are for. She sleeps with me in the bed and usually, when she would wake up and start walking around, I would wake up too and just put her on a pad to pee. Now, she just sits on it, lays down or just goes to another place and pees there. She wants to do it everywhere, but not on the pads. Giving her a fresh one does not help.

She is healthy, has no issues with food, wants to play all the time and sleeps a lot. She looks just like a regular, happy puppy.

My vet suggested I should scold her if I catch her in the act. Tried that today -- she just looked at me with a "what do you want?" stare, finished what she was doing and went back to her toy.

Today I had enough. I've found two dried puddles, she peed in my bed and after a walk (she didn't want to move a lot, just sat in one place and observed people) she peed again after just 30 mins. I feel the only things I do during the day is watching her and cleaning...

It seems she does not see the difference between here and outside. What am I doing wrong? Should I just wait it out? Scold her louder?

Views: 562

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Get rid of the pee pads altogether.  Crate train the pup, if you've not done this already.  Take the puppy out every hour to start with, then progress to 45', then to 2hrs at this age.  If the pup has peed, leave her out in a confined area (gated area) WITH NO CARPETING, or you can let her do some exploring with you supervision during the first 30 minutes.  If she did not pee when outside, confine her to the crate and take her out for another chance in 30 minutes, then start the process over as above.  Dogs develop a preference for surface, make sure she is off the carpeted areas until 100% housebroken for at least a month or two.  Crate her at night and, if she needs to go, take her out on leash. Most pups can hold it through the nigh  (8 hrs.) at 12 wks of age.  Do not scold, simply interrupt if you catch her peeing.  The bladder muscles are not under voluntary control in young pups, it is a skill that is acquired with age.

The FAQ section has more information on housebreaking.

Jack was not entirely safe on carpeted surfaces til he was nearly 7 months old;  he seemed to think that if he felt cushioning under his feet, it was a good spot to pee.    He would go outside, he would not go on a hard surface, but carpet was just fine with him.   So we kept him off the carpet unless he had very recently peed.  

Like Anna says, use a crate or ex-pen when you can't watch her.  Non-housebroken puppies shouldn't be loose at all when you are sleeping, or when you can't have your attention 100% focused on them.  You are right that the pads confused her, but the good news is she is really just at the age when you can truly start house-breaking now.   So you haven't lost time, it just feels that way!

Here's a typical schedule for a working adult:

Wake up, take puppy out of crate and carry outside.  Praise puppy for relieving herself outside.  Bring puppy in for breakfast.  Free play time while you eat.  

Put puppy in ex-pen while you shower and get ready.  Take puppy back out to potty and play for 10 minutes while you go to work.

Put puppy in ex-pen with newspapers on the floor for accidents and a non-tippable water bowl.  Over a couple weeks, notice where puppy relieves herself and reduce papers to an area in that spot about one-third the size of the penned area. Walk out the door without fussing about leaving.

Come home at lunch.  Take puppy out, praise for relieving herself outside.  Bring her in.  She has lunch while you clean up the papers and put down fresh.  Playtime while you eat, back out again for potty before you go back to work.

Put puppy back in ex-pen with some safe toys and water and clean papers. 

Come home.  Carry puppy outside.  Praise for relieving herself.  Half hour play time and age-appropriate walk.  Bring her in, take papers off the floor and don't put them back down at all.  The idea is the papers are there for accidents only and not to use instead of going outside.  Feed puppy.  Put puppy in pen while you eat dinner.

After dinner, take puppy back out to relieve herself.  15 to 30 minutes of free time with run of the house, then back to carpet-free area of house for play and training.  Take puppy out after vigorous play, eating, and naps, and otherwise every hour, gradually increasing to two hours.

Pick water off floor about 2 hours before bed and have one last potty trip right before bed, then put her in the crate at bedtime.

If you are not working outside the home, then the papers are not needed and this will speed up housebreaking considerably.  Put the puppy in the pen any time you are distracted (cleaning, working, cooking) with some toys and water.   Take her out every hour and make sure she gets plenty of time out of the pen for play, exercise, socialization, training.  

At three months, bladder control is JUST starting to develop so this is when real housebreaking begins.  You are developing a preference for potty surface in your pup so every time she goes inside sets you back.  It's mostly about management and not allowing too much freedom until she starts to develop more control.

Get rid of the pee pads completely. Take her out every hour at least, and keep her in your sight 100% of the time. If you're busy and can't watch her, crate or an xpen.

If you catch her in the act you should definitely scold her IMO, but just with something like a sharp OH NO! and run her outside. Don't just let her sit there and finish!

To be clear, by "interrupt" I mean exactly what Jane says,  Oh, No!! Scoop puppy up pronto (she will stop in mid stream) and carry outside.  @ Beth,  nice clear schedule :-)

Thanks, Anna.  That was the schedule we followed with Jack and it worked well.   :-)  

I want to add a few things.  If there are two responsible adults or older children in the home, pup can have much more play time in the morning, which is even better. I would get up with pup while my husband showered, then he would watch pup while I showered, so between the two of us pup had a good 45 minutes to an hour of play/training fun time before work.

The other thing is that the papers, IMO, are better than pee pads because they are NOT that absorbent.  They get puddly and gross and pup stays as far away as possible, which means pup tries to hold it as long as possible.

You'll know you are getting bladder control when instead of two or three small puddles, you find one big puddle when you get home from work.    That means pup was trying to hold it in.

As soon as pup has gone about two weeks with no puddle while at work, it's time to pick up the papers and only put them down if you are afraid you might not be able to get home at lunch (there's a blizzard that day, say).   

FInally, with so much necessary crate/pen time with everyone at work, it is essential to spend more or less all evening playing and training and socializing pup.  Which means the social life tends to go out the window.... 

Thank you for all the valuable tips.

I will get rid of the pads. There are no carpets in the apartment, just hardwood floors. The pup has no preference where to do her business.

I knew a crate might be a valuable addtion, but now I clearly see it is a necessity. Thankfully, I ordered one few days ago and I should get it shortly. I just hope the training process won't take long and the pup will quickly get used to it.

I was surprised to read that such young dogs can already hold through the night. But of course, you are right -- this night I did not get the little one out on purpose, just calmed her down when she woke up. It seems she didn't mind.

My social life is not thriving, but it is not that bad after all :). Most of my friends like dogs (some of them would really like to have one, but the time commitment is too big for them) and on our walks we meet many furry friends to socialize with.

I also read about an inexpensive formula you can make from simple household items such as hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar and dish liquid to clean the stains so she doesn't smell them and decide to remark in the same spot. Might be worth checking out to remove the smell.


Good idea, thanks, I'll give it a try!

So, I got the crate yesterday. I'm teaching the pup it is a safe place to stay, but the progress is slow. Let's see how it goes.

The other thing is, when I praise her for doing her business outside ("good doggy", "great job" in an excited voice, not too loud), she ignores me completely, doesn't even look at me. How will she know she is doing a good thing?

We took a couple of little treats out with us when we took Asta and Sophie out for pit stops when they were pups. We'd give them a treat a pet, and praise as soon as they were done. After about a week of no accidents, we'd skip the treats here and there and just give a little pet along with the verbal praise. As they got better at it, we'd wait until we got back int he house for the treat. We still give a tiny treat most of the time 4for being productive; just a silly thing we do. We also started giving a "potty command" (we use "squat!"-- hubby refused to say "go potty") as soon as she started to assume the position once she got the hang of outside bathrooming. Comes in very handy in rain, cold, when we're in a rush, etc. She stops and goes as soon as she hears us say the command without all the sniffing and circling that she sometimes goes through before finding the "right spot."

To get her used to the crate, line it with a dog bed that she's used out of the crate, throw some treats and toys in there and just let her go in and out at will for a day. Then put her in there w/ treat and toys, close the door while she eats the snacks, and open it up as soon as she's done and wants to get out, but don't make  fuss about it and ignore her for a minute or two. Gradually make her wait a little longer each time to get out. Wait until she's quiet before letting her out, though. Don't teach her that barking means you will open the door or that you will love her up as soon as she gets out if she barks. We don't use a crate at home during the day, but if we travel, we bring one along and Sophie waits for us to set it up and goes in immediately on her own, even if we are not going out. We just leave the door open and she wanders in and out. If we go out, we tell her, "Kennel up!" and she marches right in. She loves it!  We call it her "boudoir."

Crates (or x-pens) are really the safest place for a pup when you are not able to keep eyes on them. It doesn't take much for them to get into trouble -- or even danger -- if left to roam on their own. A work acquaintance got a pup and was appalled that I suggested "jailing" it while she was at work when she complained that it was chewing the rugs, shoes, etc. I asked her if she'd let her well behaved eight year old run around the house loose without supervision while she was at work all day and of course she said no. Pup managed to chew through an electrical cord and had serious burns on its lips on both sides of its mouth. It healed up okay, but the whole situation would have been prevented if she had just used a crate.

Excellent move!

Ruby the Corgi Puppy (well...former puppy nowadays) actually LOVES her crate and will go in there for any number of idle reasons: just wants some peace and quiet; sees I'm about to leave the house; bored...whatever. I lure her in with a small bite of treat, and of course the result is she expects a treat every time she goes in there. That's no problem as far as I'm concerned, and it means she enthusiastically runs for the crate every time I give so much as a hint that I'd like her to go there.

From what others have reported on this site, I gather corgis can be hard to house-train. It seemed to take forEVER for Ruby to desist from trying to build a new Salton Sea in the family room. Complicating matters, she either developed a urinary tract infection shortly after arriving or came to me with it. If your pup continues to have difficulty with the "outside" trick, you might want to have a vet check her for a UTI.

 She knows.


Rescue Store

Stay Connected


FDA Recall

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Recall

We support...



© 2024   Created by Sam Tsang.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report a boo boo  |  Terms of Service