Hi, it's been 2 months since I got Cola and I've been having problems with his potty training. He usually goes to bathroom 5 times a day and I've been using potty pads since I go to college during the day and have to keep him in his pen half of the day. The problem is he's been peeing on the potty pads most of the times but he also doesn't pee on it once or twice everyday. This is kind of pissing me off because a few weeks earlier there had not been as many accidents as it has been recently. I walk him almost every evening right after I get home and give him dinner and he also usually goes to the bathroom whenever I get him outside. I'm a little bit frustrated with his potty behavior since I can't really predict when he wants to go to bathroom. I've also thrown alot of stuffs that he has peed or pooped on. The only other problem is lately he's been chewing the potty pads. I don't know what's wrong with that. Those stuffs are expensive. :(

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Comment by GPN on May 25, 2012 at 11:19pm

Well not to be too graphic but Dipper usually does #1 right away and #2 only after he has been walking for a few minutes.  And sometimes he'll do #2 twice so it's helpful to have an idea of what the usual throughput is.  

Playing fetch as Versa says is the same idea.  GN

Comment by vera miller on May 25, 2012 at 9:22pm

hey there ,, if you can play fetch with him, i have been told the the exercise help get things moving

Comment by Calvin Tandi on May 25, 2012 at 5:11pm

Hi all it's been really great seeing all of these comments. It means alot to me and cola especially. So it has been 2 days since I changed the position of the pads and he's only had 1 accident so far. I also made the area of his pen smaller. But I have another problem here, recently every time I get Cola outside, he pees but not poops. This really bothers me because I don't really have time in the morning to wait him until he poops. This morning for example, I walked him for half an hour and he didn't poop. In the afternoon, I got back home and found out he pooped in his pen. I usually walk him right after he has his meal. Should I wait for an hour before I get him outside? He usually wants to pee right after he eats but not poop though.

Comment by GPN on May 25, 2012 at 11:04am

(can' figure out how the block quote works)

Jane yes 99.9% of the trainers today are for positive reinforcement training.  And your reasoning about 20 minutes later is true: of course, if I reward a dog for stopping on a leash when I say "stop" twenty minutes after the fact, it is meaningless.  There is one difference however.  Dogs know their own scent, and what their own pee is.  20 minutes later they still know what it is.  In fact days later they know what it is. There must be a reason why aversive training (on this matter) worked.  But probably the biggest argument against aversive training is that it trains the owner to think that the answer to all issues is some kind of negative reinforcement.  That would certainly be a very poor habit to develop.

It is certainly the case that a small piece of cheese is a powerful incentive to pee outside.  

Regarding bees, I would like to have some kind of treat that would I could keep in my pocket all the time for random moments when I'm out with the dog.   Cheese, meat, I can't leave that stuff in the car or in my pocket.  He eats his own kibble food at meal time but turns up his nose at it as a reward.  None of the commercial products have appealed to him so far, but I suppose I should try some of them again as he is older now.  I've also tried cat food kibbles as a reward, someone mentioned that they have higher protein content and dogs tend to like them.  Not much luck there either, even though when I'm feeding the neighbor's cat while they're away he dives for the cat's food.   Maybe I'll try little bits of dog chicken jerky.  He likes the stuff but it takes him awhile to chew it which distracts from the training process.  

My other worry about cheese is that it is very fattening.  He certainly likes it though, and deploys full dog radar any time anything is being done with cheese in the kitchen.

Now the dog across the street will eat anything anytime.  Dipper is the first dog I've know to be picky.

And it's not like he goes for the high end stuff either.  Moths and carpenter ants are fine fare as far as he's concerned.  Just not training treats.

Greg N

Comment by GPN on May 25, 2012 at 10:45am

 Would you give a treat as a reward for something the dog did 20 minutes ago and expect him to know what it was for? Of course not. And it's no different with punishment. When you give a correction it has to be AT THAT VERY MOMENT the event occurs, or the dog does not learn anything

Comment by Jane on May 25, 2012 at 9:22am

Plenty of dogs were trained by being slapped in the face too, but that doesn't mean it's a good training method. Just saying. Dogs do not associate something they did earlier with the punishment you are giving now. They just don't. if you want to rub your puppy's delicate nose in it's own filth, that's your own choice, but no good professional trainer agrees with that these days.


Would you give a treat as a reward for something the dog did 20 minutes ago and expect him to know what it was for? Of course not. And it's no different with punishment. When you give a correction it has to be AT THAT VERY MOMENT the event occurs, or the dog does not learn anything.


What I would do for the bees is carry a treat pouch and a clicker. When the dog starts to fixate, immediately call his name and when he looks to you, click and treat. The dog should be rewarded for turning it's attention from the bee to you. Again, you have to give the click/treat at the very moment the dog looks at you. You can't rub his nose on a bee an hour later and expect him to understand he's being punished for chasing bees.

Comment by GPN on May 25, 2012 at 12:03am

Dipper is 4 1/2 mos old.  

The theory of the crate is that he won't foul his own space.  If given a large enough space, the dog will go to part of that space that isn't "his" and pee there.  I don't have much experience with poop--Dipper stopped pooping inside, well, I guess after a week or two after he got here.  Some books advise, if the crate is a bit big and the puppy is a bit small, that part of the crate be blocked off, but I never did it and my friend/dog advisor said he never did either.    

I have read a good deal about the theory that the dog has no sense of having done wrong and that therefore the rub-nose technique isn't any good, but it doesn't satisfy me.  The reason being that in the books I read it made the previous generations of trained dogs look like some kind of blind chance outcome.  I think that something else was going on.  For example, dogs are very smell sensitive, and certainly do know their own smell, and furthermore like peeing to demarcate territory, not to have that smell on themselves.  I suspect the old fashioned way worked because dogs learned that their own smell inside wasn't demarcating territory and was furthermore associated with a bad experience.  Aversion does work after all, as for example, it's hard to imagine a positive reinforcement approach to teach dogs to refrain from chomping bees (Dipper likes to chase bugs of all types, I try to keep him away from bees, but i think one of these days it's going to happen).  Nonetheless the general trend is against aversive or negative reinforcement training and there are some folks out there who say it should never be used ever not for people not for dogs etc.

In any case I'm certainly no expert, and will simply say that the experts advise against rub-nose, but have never explained (the ones I've read) how it was that tens of millions of dogs got house trained using that technique in an earlier era. 

And I would note that as a personal issue it is becoming less relevant to me because Dipper is doing very well.  

I'm not sure how to go about transitioning from a pen and pad inside to going outside.  At some point I think the pad has to be moved outside and the dog given a chance to use the pad outside, etc.  Most books will describe the process.  The reason to use a crate is that the dog's natural aversion to peeing on himself will provide a powerful motivation to stay under control when you're away.  Then wehn you come back you can immediately take him outside and give him a reward for doing his business outdoors.


Comment by vera miller on May 24, 2012 at 6:00pm

hope things are going better, get a Kong and stuff it with peanut butter that will stop chewing on the pads, if school is over, that will help too, take him out to the SAME SPOT every time , and tell him to potty, give lots of praise and treats, that is what work for me and Remy he is 10mths and has not had any problem,once your little guy understands outside , potty, 

Comment by Calvin Tandi on May 24, 2012 at 1:56pm

Wow. Thank you so much for all of the inputs here !! So I tried to change the position of the pads in the pen last and found out this morning he peed on it twice which might mean that he knows that he has to pee on it but he sometimes just doesn't do it. I'd love to get rid of these pads as soon as possible. Giving him "special" treats sounds really good because it worked really well when I taught him to walk on a leash and he had been a pain in the ass on walks before I found the right treats to get him know what I wanted. So I might do the same with this.

How old is Dipper btw? And is it really necessary to get a crate since I already have a pen.

Comment by GPN on May 24, 2012 at 12:23pm

hmmm, mine has peed while I was getting ready to take him out, and he has peed immediately upon being brought back in....I agree that owners need to keep watch and that if one is leaving the dog for multiple hours it's a problem, but it isn't always want of attention.  I don't think dogs need to be taught to eat their own crap they seem to do fine on their own!  

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