How do you get a puppy to let you know when they want to go outside?

(20 Posts)
thatsmyspace Tue 05-Feb-19 12:13:09

My puppy is 5 months old and will not let me know when she needs to go outside to toilet! It's driving me mad 😤

I let her outside every 30-45 minutes, sometimes she will do her business other times she will just sit by the door until I open it again. This morning I woke up to a poo under the table that I must of missed last night and before I went to bed and I almost was sick in my mouth. I've got 2 young children and they could of found it before I did and that just grosses me out 😬 what do I need to do to get her to let me know when she needs to go out? I've never owned a dog that didn't let me know before now so I'm clueless!

She is crated at night and will hold herself all night until I'm up and let her out, so I know she can hold it. I'm at my wits end help!

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Tue 05-Feb-19 12:25:08

Have you tried training bells. Hang these off the door and bash them every time you open the door. Then get your puppy to bash them with his nose by using a treat and then open the door.

My dog got the hang of them within 1-2 days and then never stopped bashing them to go into the garden grin. We used them briefly when young as he would do a half hearted paw at the door which you often missed. Once he was older I got rid of them as he then understood he needed to let me know he wanted to go outside.

thatsmyspace Tue 05-Feb-19 12:29:06

I've never heard of them tbh 😳

She never willingly wants to go out I have to nudge her out. She will go out if someone goes too but for some reason just won't go out on her own accord, and I can't go out every time with her as I have small children that I can't leave alone. I'll look into the bells though thank you 😊

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Tue 05-Feb-19 12:47:47

She is still a bit young to be asking reliably.

The bells are a good idea.

Similarly, you can play on "other times she will just sit by the door until I open it again" but ALWAYS opening the door when she is sat by it - whether she needs to go or not. Over time she will come to link sitting by the door with getting to go out, and will use it as a way to ask.

If you don't want her to do that, just 'reward' whatever you do want with opening the door. Over time, she will link it. An odd example might be to open the door every single time she gets sniffs your hand. At first, she won't be sniffing your hand because she wants a wee but, over time, she will learn that hand sniffs = open door and will start to use it accordingly.

Consistency and repetition grin

missbattenburg Tue 05-Feb-19 12:49:23

Battendog has linked jumping up at the door = letting himself out. This is not always good. The other day he surprised the window cleaner shock. I think both dog and cleaner were unhappy about that!

Girlintheframe Tue 05-Feb-19 13:31:14

Our pup didn’t start letting me know he wanted out until he was around 6 months old.
We have had very few accidents before that but that was mainly due to us taking him out regularly.
Now he is 7 months he stares at me until I let him out. He will often leave the room (presumably going to the back door) then will return to the room and stare until I click on. grin

adaline Tue 05-Feb-19 13:45:56

Bells by the door, or knock on the door whenever you let them out. Mine will now jump at the door handle when he needs to go.


CMOTDibbler Tue 05-Feb-19 14:12:13

I use the door bells very successfully with my foster pups. I ring them every time we go out of the door, and obviously they get a treat and praise everytime they toilet outside, then they build the association

thatsmyspace Tue 05-Feb-19 14:31:44

Thank you all for your suggestions.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 05-Feb-19 14:42:47

You say you “let” her out. Really what you need to do it take her out on a lead so you can praise her when she goes outside. Sounds like she hadn’t entirely learnt that outside is the place to do it yet!
I also had to watch mine like a hawk for signs she wanted to go and get her out quick to prevent accidents.

pigsDOfly Tue 05-Feb-19 16:32:08

Mostly at that age I think you've still got to watch for the head down, tacking behaviour.

Five months is still very young to expect her to let you know when she needs to go out.

AlanThePig Tue 05-Feb-19 16:34:05

When mine were pups I used a puppy pad and slowly moved it bit by bit to the back door, eventually putting the pad just outside it.
It meant if he needed to go he'd head for the door.

These days he's an impatient sod and sits grumbling at us until we take him to the door.

Wolfiefan Tue 05-Feb-19 16:51:56

Puppy pads are generally not recommended as they teach a dog to go indoors and then you have to reteach them to go outside. Can be confusing.

CatnissEverdene Tue 05-Feb-19 16:59:43

Mine is 5 and he has never asked to go out..... I just make sure he goes out every couple of hours. Our puppy is 14 weeks, and I set a timer every hour to take her out, sometimes she goes, sometimes she just plays. I kind of know when she needs a wee though, she starts to sniff the floor then starts circling. We have a lot of wees inside still but she's amazing in comparison to 6 weeks ago.

MissShapesMissStakes Tue 05-Feb-19 17:27:03

We use the bells mentioned above. They have been great!

He was asking after a day or two by knocking the bells. He’s now 8 months and sticks wacks the bells when he wants to go out. He can be VERY insistent sometimes with them (when there’s a pigeon in the garden).

SuePerb Tue 05-Feb-19 17:34:05

this is interesting - my puppy has been confined indoors because he wasn't vaccinated and we have foxes and I have no idea how to move him outside. I'll try the bells!

AlanThePig Tue 05-Feb-19 17:41:25

I think it depends how you use them though Wolfie. We used them only to lead to the yard and it was a very simple transition. Worked for us and I'd happily train the same way again.

Wolfiefan Tue 05-Feb-19 18:48:56

It can work but the best advice is it is generally an unnecessary step and can confuse the dog. Best to make sure the dog is outside when it needs to go. They then very very quickly learn that outside is the way to go.

KateGrey Tue 05-Feb-19 19:15:41

We’ve just ordered some bells. Grey dog will sometimes go to the back door. I’m taking him out every hour though. But thought I’d give the bells a try as with three kids (two have autism and one touches everything) and so it would be good if he could ring when he wants to go 😀

pigsDOfly Tue 05-Feb-19 19:39:45

I never needed bells as my dog learned pretty early on to let me know she wanted to go out by just giving a single bark.

My DD's dog stayed with me when she was quite young and learned very quickly that if she slapped the flap of the cat flap it would get my attention and I'd let her out.

I never trained her to do this, she just seemed to work it out for herself. I suspect she saw the cats using it, tried pushing it herself and although she couldn't get through it she got my attention.

She learned that very quickly so I imagine most dog will learn how to use bells just as quickly.

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