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house training advice and reassurance please..

(10 Posts)
geekgrrl Fri 19-May-06 14:35:53

We got a golden retriever puppy 3 weeks ago, he's exactly 10 weeks old now.
House training is not going well at all really - I have to watch him like a hawk or crate him, whenever he's not watched he'll go and pee in the house.
I take him out regularly (at least every hour unless he's being left in the crate because I'm out) and he just pees... and pees some more.
I've started puppy classes and am now really paranoid that he's not doing as well as he should - everybody else's puppies are apparently 'doing really well' etc (goodness me it's as competitive as a toddler group!) and well, mine isn't. Should he? At just 10 weeks old? I am really clueless as to at what age dogs are usually housetrained.

shimmy21 Fri 19-May-06 15:04:49

Hi gg - don't despair 10 weeks is still very young!
We had our puppy at 8 weeks old and I naievely thought that a week of constant training would be all it took. Well, perhaps with some dogs but ours took a good month to be doing more in the right place than the wrong place. Even after that there were mistakes fairly frequently for perhaps 3 or 4 months. It really is like children in that eventually you get to the stage where you think 'Gosh we haven't had any accidents for ages' and you realise that you've finally cracked it. My rules were to take the puppy out every time she ate, she got excited, she woke up from a sleep or she hadn't been out for an hour. It meant that I spent at least half my time in the garden in the rain!

Are you using a signal for getting your puppy to wee on command? We use 'busy busy'. It does make you sound an idiot for a while but is so useful once the dog learns what it means if you need to speed up the process!

shimmy21 Fri 19-May-06 15:10:29

Oh yes, and of course tons of praise and rewards for doing it in the right place and a really sharp fierce bark-sounding shout the instant he even thinks about squatting in the wrong place.

And by the way, I do remember at almost exactly ten weeks going through the 'Oh my god, we've made a mistake, this is a nightmare' stage. It does get better a lot faster than it does with human babies!

geekgrrl Fri 19-May-06 15:58:10

thank you shimmy - glad to hear the 'it's all been a huge mistake' stage will pass.
Really reassuring to hear the house training does take quite a while. The books make it sound so easy...

2labs Fri 19-May-06 16:44:29

I think most new puppy owners need to be treated for shell-shock in the first few weeks .

Sounds like you're doing all the right things. Try posting on this training site for specific advice. There are a few dog behaviourists who post on there and lots of tips in the archives.

cjw Mon 22-May-06 14:31:08

My puppy is now 5 months and he is a lab too. The weeing in the house does pass so do not worry however the constant chewing and barking is doing my head in ! Any advice on that is greatfully received. I also did the puppy class thing and he was so naughty after two weeks did not return. The others were so good at what they were supposed to do i just could not turn up again. The shame of it !

2labs Mon 22-May-06 18:34:56

cjw - chewing is something he needs to do, so just make sure you provide plenty of safe things to gnaw on. If he's teething you might find freezing a whole raw carrot and giving that to him helps. If he chews things he shouldn't you need to keep watch and redirect his attention to things he can have. You can also get Bitter Apple spray to put on furniture etc which deters some dogs from chewing that. With the barking you need to figure out why he's doing it - is it for attention when you're there, or is he left alone for long periods, or does he bark at people going past the house etc.

Don't give up on training classes - maybe try a different one. Any class that doesn't give you the help you need is the wrong one.

cjw Mon 22-May-06 18:44:47

Thanks 2labs, i think maybe i will go to another class. Things can only get better as they say .

shewhoneverdusts Tue 23-May-06 10:14:56

I think we did all the things we probably shouldn't have done but they worked for us. We bought a crate after two nights of destruction, poo everywhere, utter chaos. BUT it worked!!! We also gave her my old trainer to chew and a sharp NO if she even attempted anyone else's shoes. It was like dealing with a child again, "No, that's not your shoe, here's yours"!!! I also gave her things like my old dressing gown if I was going out just for the comfort. Toilet training took time, patience, persistance and lots of careful watching, oh and leaving the back door open. She seemed to like having the freedom, and when I started shutting the door, she would go and stand at it to go out when she needed to. Good luck you will get there soon.

nannyme Wed 24-May-06 01:31:13

Clicker training is really great for this - in fact all training. Have you tried it/heard of it?

As a retriever he should respond to it quite well, I'd have thought.

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