So we just brought home little Lola last week. She is 10 weeks and was kept outside by the breeder. She is good about going when we take her outside, but she still goes in the house about 5 times a day without any warning. We both work 8 hours a day and are using the pee pads while we are gone during the day, and we crate her at night. She always makes it through the night. Anyone have any suggestions on the best training methods?

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We had this problem with both Max and Molly. It was a nightmare for all of us. We have only been pad free for about 5 months. (Max was a year old in Aug. Molly will be a year at the 1st of jan.) Molly was easier but we kept plugging along.We still praise them when we go outand they do their thing. I realize this isn't alot of help but at least you know you aren't alone.
I really like Tamar Geller's suggestions for housetraining. In her book The Loved Dog she outlines some great principles, and really I think every new dog owner should read that book. Here is an Q&A from her website on this question:
Theresa writes:

Hi Tamar!

I just recently got a puppy about two months ago. She is now about four months and she is a little mut. I am still trying to first potty train her more then anything else. I keep her in our pantry so she has space to play. She doesn't use the bathroom in there and everytime we take her out of the pantry we take her to the backyard so she can reliever herself; once she does i let her come inside and give her a treat. But when we let her run around to play in the house she usually goes somewhere alone, when we aren't looking, and has an accident. How can i potty train her where i don't have to constantly watch her? I know this is probably a typical question but it would help so much if you can share some advice...thank you!

Dear Theresa,

Please read Chapter Eighteen, on housebreaking, in The Loved Dog. This chapter will give you a good understanding of how to housebreak your pup. No matter whether you have a young pup such as yours or an older dog that is not housebroken, the message is the same. If you have found urine or feces on the floor and you did not see your dog doing this, the dog has learned something. She has learned that using the bathroom on the floor is OK, as long as nobody sees you do it. She certainly has been "self" rewarded, because she now feels better and nobody seemed to object, because nobody told her otherwise, at least at that moment! So, it's like you being on a long road trip by car, you are glad to see a restroom because it will relieve your needs. Same for your dog, she feels better physically when she can relieve herself. So, that being said, yes, you need to watch her more carefully. If you cannot watch her and know what she's doing, simply put her in a safe area, either in a crate or another place where you know she will not potty. If you just need to keep her in your general area, so you can watch her, you can try placing her on a long leash and tie her to your waist. You can "wear" your dog for a short time. At least that way, your more likely to notice if she looks like she needs to go. Only give her the freedom of the house, after you are sure she is well housebroken. Some people tell me of their dogs looking "guilty" after going to the bathroom in another room. The reason this happens is not because they know they are wrong, as the owners sometime believe, but because they know when this has happened before, their owners became upset and the owners demeanor changed. This usually means a bad result for the dog. The poor dog doesn't really understand that it was the act of her relieving herself on the antique oriental rug that caused a problem, she just knows that when there is urine or feces present in the house, that her owners freak out! What she needs to understand is that it was the act of her "doing it," where she did it, that was the problem. Because nobody told her not to do it, as it happened, she has not a clue why the owner is now freaking out. Dogs operate in the moment, not well after the fact. That is why it is vital to watch this little girl. Help her to understand, going in the house is not an option and if she forgets and does it, you will be right there to remind her. If you catch her in the act you can be instructive, a quick correction with your voice and emotion, should do the trick. If the deed is done and it's after the fact, even only a few seconds, it's your mistake for not watching better.

Best Wishes,
The Loved Dog Coaching Team (taken from

Also, if you are gone all day, you really may want to look into getting a dog walker to come let her out to potty if you can't make it home at lunch. I would think that being able to pee all day any time during the day, but then not in the evening is very confusing for a young puppy. However, keeping her in a crate for 8 hours is just cruel since she certainly cannot hold it that long yet (other than when she is sleeping at not, but that is not uncommon). My advice is to find a solution that keeps her from having any accidents right now, even if it means you are taking her potty every 30 minutes when you are home (which you often have to do with young pups). If you can keep her from having accidents now, even if it's just because you take her out so often, it will keep her from having more later. Good luck!
Yes, it's in the FAQ, don't worry, we all went through this, it'll take 9 months to 1 year for her to master it. Good luck!
We used an exercise pen lined with newspapers during the day for "can't hold it" moments, and I would come home every day at lunch. By about 4 months he would almost always hold it, as most dogs don't like to be confined with their own pee! A puppy can only hold urine for the same number of hours as their age in months, plus one (a three month old puppy, awake and properly confined, can hold it for about 3-4 hours). Most will hold much longer when asleep, for the very same reasons you can sleep for eight hours without going, but can't go eight hours during the day without peeing.

I suggest using newspapers instead of pee pads. They are cheaper, it's ok if pup shreds/chews/ eats a bit, and because the puddle sorta sits there, it's a natural deterrent to the pup.

If you can't come home at lunch, I agree a petwalker is great until pup is about 9 months old and can consistenly hold while confined.

Good luck, and check out the FAQ!
Totally agree with Beth. We were lucky in that when we got Po at 12 weeks he had been an outside/newspaper trained dog. I think he peed twice on the carpet and once on the newspaper whilst he was confined and then never again.
You have to take a cuople days off, each of you to teach Lola that peeing indoors is not OK. The more she does it the harder it will be to do. At this young age puppies just cannot hold it for longer than an hour. They have to be taken out after they sleep, play, eat, drink and in general every huor or so. When not crated you should always watch your puppy, I mean really watch what she is doing. Distract when she gets into something she's not supposed and take her out as soon as she squats to pee. Usually puppies will sniff around first and will go in the same spot they did before.
Crate her when you are not watching her and still take her out frequently. 8 hours is a long time and I don't think she'll be able to hold it for so long. Once the puppy starts peeing in the crate it is very hard to teach them not to. The fact that she doesn't do it at night doesn't mean she'll be OK during the day too.
Take her out to the same spot every time, this will help her to do her business faster with all the smell.
Good luck
Thank you!! Yall have been so helpful. We just want the best for our Lola! I'm pretty sure her grandmas are about the become dog walkers!
Good advice. Also be sure to use a special cleaner (ex.urine off) because reular cleaning will not remove the smell and the odor will be a trigger for her to do it again.
When we first got Nibbler at 8 weeks, I brought her outside every half hour. Or if I forgot I usually had a mess to clean. I was only able to do this because I work as a teacher and I had the summer off. Nibbler is really bad about giving us any warning sign that she has to go so this was the only way to spare our carpet and even then we usually had about one accident a day. Someone already mentioned not freaking out after the fact, if we got Nibbler in the act though we'd usually yelp and then when she stopped we'd say outside! And then praise her. As much of a pain in the butt it is, I'd recommend taking her outside at regular intervals. Every half an hour worked for us, if you can get away with longer intervals then do that, but if you find that she is still having accidents in the house take her out more often. We installed a doggie door and for the first week she still had about two accidents but after that she was fully potty trained at four months old.
Does the puppy have access to water all the time? If he is drinking more than he needs than he is going to pee more than he needs to.

For healthy dogs under 20 lbs, their daily water requirement is 1 cup (8oz) per five pounds of its body weight, excluding excess physical activity.

So, give the puppy the right amount of water can cut down the hassles.
Oh, you must give Lola more time! At 10 weeks they aren't really able to hold their own pee. Their bladders aren't strong enough. The reason they can do it when they are in their crate is because it's a dog's instinct to keep its bed clean. Gonzo only had one or two accidents in his crate.

Gonzo was pretty good about housebreaking. He learned very early that he shouldn't pee in the house, but he just couldn't control it physically yet, so as soon as he started peeing he would run for the door. We'd have a pee trail through the living room! haha

To start, every time he started to pee in the house we said "NO," scooped him up before he finished, and brought him outside. Then, when he finished, we'd either give him a small treat or get really excited and dance and say, "Good boy Gonzo! Yay!" That seemed to work wonderfully for us. We just had to wait for his bladder to get stronger.

If you have trouble watching her all the time, keep her on a leash even in the house so she's never out of your sight or reach. This will make it easier to see the signs that she has to pee. Gonzo didn't have obvious signs either. He would just suddenly stop whatever he was doing and start to pee, or he'd run to the door peeing already. Eventually we started to see little warning signs (I can't remember them now, sorry).

Take Lola outside EVERY time she wakes up, even if it's just a 15 minute nap. Take her outside after she eats. Take her outside every hour to always give her the opportunity to pee in the correct places.

Some dogs are harder to housebreak, but these worked for my husband and I and neither of us had ever housebroken a dog before :o)
I got Winnie when she was six weeks old, and now she is 15 weeks old, and we still have accidents, maybe once a week. She tends to have more accidents when my husband is watching her because he just doesn't pay that much attention to her "I gotta go behavior." When I first got her she would pee and poop right out of no where, anywhere she was, and would also pee, and sometimes poop, in her crate. I started to keep her in her crate most of the day and take her out about every 30 minutes to use the bathroom. She started to want to keep her crate clean and would bark when she needed out, which I rewarded. As time went on I just let her spend more and more time out of the crate, still taking her out about every 30 minutes, and eventually she started to bark at the door for us to let her out, which I really rewarded with treats and praise.


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