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House training without a crate

(20 Posts)
CavalierKingCharlesSpaniel Sat 09-Jul-16 22:22:51

Got my gorgeous Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Pup today. He's lovely. And follows me everywhere, already.

The problem is I have only once today been successful in getting him to toilet outside. When we first got back (a couple of hour journey) he didn't do anything outside, gave up and came in. He napped for 2hrs. When he woke I took him straight outside and he had wee - so loads of praise and a couple of treats given. But since then he hasn't been when I'm taking him outside (just tried to curl up on my feet) but goes within 5mins of coming back in. I've interrupted with a 'aah aah' noise and straight back outside, each time. But even staying out for 1/2 hr he won't go, we come back in and he starts again! Lost sad

I don't know what to do.

PS I really don't want to use the crate method - he has a playpen I cannot bring myself to lock him in something that is just a bed.

Wombat87 Sat 09-Jul-16 22:40:15

I didn't crate mine. I used puppy pads and gradually moved them closer to the back door. It took about 3 weeks for her get the proper hang of it. I found making the noises stopped her going, but put her off. So i would leave her out there and watch and run down to praise her after. It's day one-puppy is just getting used to you and your home and probably doesn't know what way is up right now. Time and patience. And a good bottle of cleaner.

And a picture. A picture is needed.

Wombat87 Sat 09-Jul-16 22:44:41

And not wanting to sound rude, but you weren't really expecting him to be trained on the first day and just walk in and know what to do were you? You did research it all before getting him?

CavalierKingCharlesSpaniel Sat 09-Jul-16 22:58:32

No I knew there would be accidents. Its just everything says reward for going outside but I can't get him to go outside so how do I get him to understand that's where he's supposed to go? I thought from everything I'd read that if I kept taking him out he'd wee/poo, I'd praise loads and over the next couple of weeks he'd be going outside more and more because of all the praise he'd be getting when he went outside.

He's settled amazingly well overall. I'm actually really surprised. He follows me around when he's awake, sleeps beautifully in his bed, plays nice (I expected far more mouthing/nipping) and has eaten every single bit of all his meals.

insan1tyscartching Sat 09-Jul-16 22:59:39

We didn't have a crate but Eric was house trained within a fortnight so before he was eleven weeks old. I followed the advice on here, no puppy pads take puppy out every thirty minutes,give him a name to what you want him to do "be quick" in our case (because pee pee is embarrassing out in public) and praise when he performs outside.If he doesn't go, bring in and carry round for five minutes before taking him straight back outside.Be familiar with his cues for toileting so sniffing and circling for Eric was a cue he needed to go.
By watching him and regularly taking him outside as well he trained easily and we only had two accidents which were my fault because I wasn't watching tbh

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sat 09-Jul-16 23:07:42

I don't know what the weather's like where you are but here it's lovely. I'd take a blanket, a book and a pot of tea and stay out in the garden for a few hours. Puppies need to wee very frequently, he can't hold it forever!

FiveShelties Sat 09-Jul-16 23:08:04

I always said I would never crate a puppy, but my lovely Sheltie was so difficult to house train, the others were so easy. Eventualy I did get a crate and she loves it, was house trained in 2 days and can be now left for hours. The crate door is always open and she puts herself to bed whenever she feels like it. I thought they were cruel, but would not be without it.

If I ever get the sixth Sheltie, I would have no hesitation in using a crate. Ours has a chew, her Teddy and of course water in - it is quite big - probably far too big for a Sheltie, but she is happy and really for me, that is all that matters!

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sat 09-Jul-16 23:08:24

you have to stay out until they do something, unless they are seriously dim it really doesn't take long for them to catch on.

basically every single time the dog pauses or looks like it is changing its mind you whip it outside and wait for some action, as soon as they squat to perform use your word/command and lavish praise/treats

magicboy79 Sat 09-Jul-16 23:10:31

You will have a few months of accidents ahead! Are you using puppy pads?

I wouldn't dismiss the crate idea, get a big enough crate (they don't see it as a cage it's their little house) we use one now and rarely lock the door of it. but the dog is coming 4!!!
We planned to do the crate thing when we got the puppy but ended up taking a dog basket into our room at night and at 4am or if I heard the dog get out of bed id make my husband take the dog outside for a pee. It worked for us.
Good luck, itl just take time and patience.

ImBrian Sun 10-Jul-16 00:12:35

I've a 9 week old pup and I'm using a crate for overnight and short periods when I can't watch her. She's already starting to go to the back door (will pee if you don't open it within 10 seconds) and all accidents have been my fault. She loves her crate and goes in it to nap and play when she feels like it.

tabulahrasa Sun 10-Jul-16 00:47:37

Um, you do know a crate is just for when you can't watch them? Not for keeping them in between toilet breaks? totally irrelevant to the fact your puppy isn't going to the toilet outside yet...

Wombat87 Sun 10-Jul-16 09:24:54

Just move him gradually. Don't let him inside till he's been. Watch him and when he starts looking like he's getting ready to go, put him straight outside and say it. 7 years on I throw mine out and sat "go for a wee"

CavalierKingCharlesSpaniel Sun 10-Jul-16 13:35:10

tabulahrasa it's completely relevant. When you Google this problem with not weeing outside but going as soon as you come in - the main suggestion is that you lock them in the crate for x length of time (so they have to hold it) before trying again. Its also relevant in that when I can't watch him he has newspaper in one corner of play pen rather than being forced to hold on or soil his bed, which is the choice in a crate.

LilCamper Sun 10-Jul-16 13:42:18

Errorless Toilet Training by Sally Bradbury:

Toilet training is all about creating good habits.   Young pups have very small bladders and very little bladder control so they need to be in the right place when nature calls.
To toilet train successfully in as short a time as possible you must take your puppy to the garden:
When they wake
After eating
After taking a drink
Before, during and after a period of activity
When you come in
Before you go out
Before bedtime
During the adverts
And every twenty to thirty minutes in between unless they are asleep.  During periods of activity change that to every ten to twenty minutes.
Stay outside with your pup.  Do not nag or distract him just mooch about and he will do the same and eventually eliminate.  Quiet praise is sufficient.  Once pup has eliminated you can either stay out and play or go back indoors.  If you stay out for a game then he will often need to go again before you go back indoors so stop the game and stay out for a while longer to give him a chance to go again.
If  you have to take him back in and he hasn’t eliminated outside then either confine him to his crate, sit him on your lap or tuck him under your arm (small breeds only) as you go about your chores and try again in five minutes.
It is imperative that you do this, especially if you have started off with newspaper down or puppy pads because your puppy may prefer to pee indoors and he could simply be waiting to be taken back in.  Give him zero opportunity to go wrong.
If your puppy toilets in the house it is because you haven’t toilet trained him yet and didn’t take him outside when he needed to go.  When this happens take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head whilst repeating the words “I forgot to watch my puppy.  I forgot to watch my puppy”  If your puppy laughs at you when you do this – praise him.
Common mistakes during toilet training.
Using newspaper or puppy training pads.  Whilst it may aid the clearing up process it can be very confusing for the pup that is taught or permitted to toilet in the house to make the transition to going outside and will often result in a pup that when playing in the garden will simply hold on until they are back indoors because that is where the toilet is.
Leaving the door open. This does nothing to teach the pup to toilet outside only.
Reprimands for toileting in the house will result in a dog that believes you disapprove of what he did not where he did it and is damaging to your relationship with your pup.
Giving treats for toileting in the garden, again the dog is being rewarded for what he did not where he did it.  Whilst this is not going to be as big a problem as the reprimand, the clever dog will learn to do lots of little wees and never fully empty their bladder.  The insecure dog may wee indoors to appease you if you get cross about something else because they know that this is something that pleases you and gets rewarded.  NB using both reprimands and rewards is very confusing for your pup.
Expecting your pup to tell you when he needs to go out.  Once a pup understands that outside is where the toilet is then he may start to let you know he needs out.  However if you are not there to ask or you fail to notice him asking then the housetraining will break down.  Far better to have a dog go out to the toilet on your schedule once they are house trained.
Giving your pup an ensuite in his crate.  Do not encourage your pup to toilet in his crate by putting puppy pads in there.  If you have to leave puppy for a while and he is going to need to go then best to have the crate inside a larger pen or blocked off area and leave the crate door open so that he can get away from his bed to toilet.
N.B. Areas indoors where pup has had an accident are best cleaned with a dilute of biological washing powder.  Avoid using disinfectant as this contains ammonia and can encourage pup to pee there again.
Young pups will need to go to the toilet once or twice in the night for anything from a few days to a few weeks.
If your pup is sleeping in a crate in the bedroom with you then they will wake and should let you know they need to go out.  Carry pup to the garden to eliminate and then straight back to bed again.  A few nights of this and it will take you longer to find your slippers because of sleep deprivation and consequently pup is learning to hold on and will soon be sleeping all night.
If you choose to leave puppy in the kitchen or utility room to sleep then do not shut them in a crate and simply clean up in the morning without comment. 
Why punishment does not work for house training.
A typical morning in the life of an 8 week old pup.
7:00am  Puppy pees in the garden – Owner present.   Gets praised
7.30am  Puppy pees in the kitchen – Owner present.  Gets a reprimand
8:15am  Puppy pees in the lounge – Owner not present.  Nothing happens except relief
9:00am  Puppy pees in the lounge – Owner present. Gets a reprimand
9:30 am Puppy pees in the kitchen – Owner not present. Nothing, just relief
11:00am Puppy pees in the garden – Owner doesn’t notice Just relief again
11:30am Puppy pees under the dining room table – Owner not present. Nothing happens
12:15pm Puppy pees in the garden – Owner present – gets praise
What we think we are teaching puppy is that it is good to pee in the garden and wrong to pee in the house but what the pup is actually learning is that sometimes it is rewarding to pee when the owner is present and sometimes it is dangerous.  However it is always safe to go when the owner is not present and that so far the safest place is under the dining room table.
NOTE. - Never deny your dog water in the mistaken belief that this will aid toilet training.  It won't.  It will make the urine stronger, it may impact on your dog's health, i.e. cause kidney problems or urinary tract infections.if the dog drinks greedily and excessively when it is available knowing it will be taken away. Dogs must have clean fresh water available all of the time. 

CavalierKingCharlesSpaniel Sun 10-Jul-16 13:46:33

Last night he woke me at 3am and 4am for toilet break and did a wee and poo outside!!! I've never been so happy at 3am. He got lots of praise and some treats.

At 7am, when i got up, he'd done a little wee on the newspaper. Took him out and he did a big wee. Loads of praise and some treats again.

Since then its been similar to yesterday. Keeps going to go inside but if I say 'aah aah' and whisk him outside - he just lies on my feet, if I move he moves and straight back on my feet. Then after about 30mins he goes to sleep on my feet! I bring him in he has a nap and the cycle starts again.

CalmItKermitt Sun 10-Jul-16 13:58:19

Best toilet training article ever by Sally B there 👍🏻

CavalierKingCharlesSpaniel Sun 10-Jul-16 14:18:10

Oh and most of the time he doesn't sniff or circle. His only sign is his tail goes ruler straight just before he squats and goes.

CavalierKingCharlesSpaniel Sun 10-Jul-16 14:27:26

What I really don't understand with that sally b article is it doesn't praise the dog for going in the right place, which goes against everything every other article I've read says.

insan1tyscartching Sun 10-Jul-16 14:35:29

Yes Lilcamper that's the advice I followed to the letter, I think you had posted it previously, hard work for the fortnight I spent most of the days going in and out of the garden but it was quick and painless and Eric has never had an accident since.
cavalier if you've noticed his tail goes ruler straight that is your cue to take him outside before he gets the chance to squat. With Eric the minute his nose went down he was scooped up and took outside. I think the trick is to try and avoid them having accidents indoors as then it's not a habit you have to stop.

TrionicLettuce Sun 10-Jul-16 14:53:20

"Stay outside with your pup. Do not nag or distract him just mooch about and he will do the same and eventually eliminate. Quiet praise is sufficient."

I'm a bit more effusive with praise when a puppy has got it right but I don't use treats as I find that having them on me ready to dole out as soon as the puppy goes distracts them and is counter productive.

I'd avoid trying to interrupt the puppy at this stage as well. Aside from the fact that when they're so tiny they can't really stop once they've started anyway you could end up startling the pup and make them worried about going in front of you.

Once they're older and have more control you can use a positive interruptor but right now I'd focus on watching him like a hawk and whisking him outside as soon as there's the slightest hint he may want to go.

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