Ok, so I have a question!! My 9 week old pup is doing awesome with his potty training, for the most part! Last night, the little guy didn't even want to go out! I made him go out at 5:30 this morning. He goes for 3 to 4 hours at a time when I am at work, no accidents! BUT, about 5 mintues or so after he has gone out, he is in the house, and potties a little spot! I go out with him, do the bells and whistles when he goes outside. Sometimes he will even go more than once and still come in with the same reaction. My vet recommended to literally have him on a leash tied to me at all times. But this isn't an issue of not being there when he goes, him hiding from me, etc. I have even gotten to a point of taking him out every 10 minutes, and he tries to go. Any advice or information on this?

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Comment by Sylvia & Timmy on April 16, 2010 at 3:57pm
Hi Michelle,
Your vet gave you some awesome advice. (Yeah!!!, Wish more vets were like that). Tethering him to you not only will help you pick up on signals that he has to go (circling, sniffing, or whatever else he'll do, it'll also help develop a wonderful bond with you. Since he is right there with you he will also learn to stay out from under your feet. When you start training him it will be so much easier, because he will be much more focused on you and less on other distractions. When you're cooking or cleaning or other times that a dog tethered to you won't work, then make sure he's crated with a kong or SAFE toy.

Just think, you'll miss having to post about how they miss signals that their pup needs to go outside, or how upset they get when their pup finds hidden places to do their business!!!
Comment by Gina Mac/Fergie & Minnie on April 16, 2010 at 1:06pm
In the book "Smart Puppy", they recommend going to the same spot every time, using a command word (I say get busy), and using a food treat as soon as it happens(you could use a clicker as well). I do everything except the food treat with Fergie, due to Minnie's perpetual lust for food, i.e. potential squabble. Fergie is not quite there either at 4 months. Instead of a leash, we use an x-pen when we can't monitor which seems to work really well if you're in the mood for a large play pen in the family room. It will happen, I think it took Minnie a full year, as she had a pooping in the crate problem for a long time. It will happen!
Comment by Melissa S. on April 15, 2010 at 11:01pm
keep him on a 4 foot lead, be patient!! and soon it will come! My 14 week old is on a leash at ALL times when in the house. remember if he does start to go inside make a growly loud AAAAEEAT sound and very quickly take him out! It will come, and soon you will have a great potty trained pup!
Comment by Beth on April 15, 2010 at 10:19pm
At that age they really don't have bladder control yet. For young puppies, "housebreaking" is really just control--- getting them accustomed to going outside so it's their preferred spot, and minimizing the number of times they go inside by taking them out frequently. I agree that a short walk or longer time outside can help; he's probably not emptying his bladder while he's out, which is why he goes again so soon. Bowel control is a bit better than bladder control but still not perfect.

WIth most pups, you start to see real progress somewhere around 4 months or so, with some reliability by 6 months but not a "sure thing" til 9 months to 1 year, as Sam said.

We've all been there. This too shall pass. :-) I found it helpful (for many reasons besides pottying) to mostly keep my pup in the kitchen til he was a bit older and more reliable.
Comment by Sam Tsang on April 15, 2010 at 5:04pm
Young pups at that age forgets and they get distracted easily, what you can do is take a longer walk with him, establish a solid schedule, mastering potty training takes 9 months - 1 year, by then he'll be physically capable and have less relapse. Your vet is correct, when you cannot supervise him (out of your sight) put him back in the crate. You may also want to check out the faq. Good luck! You'll get there :)
Comment by Bev Levy on April 15, 2010 at 4:56pm
At 9 weeks he still does not quite have the ability to hold it while he is awake and understand that the whole house is off limits. I found except for the early morning potty a little walk worked better to make sure the puppy was done. The advantage to a leash is that you can immediately say no and take him out so that may actually help. He really is still a baby so will not be very reliable for quite a while but if you can say no and grab him right away he will eventually get it.

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