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Up Topic Dog Boards / Behaviour / Toilet training at 6 months
- By Sadie.littley [gb] Date 06.03.17 17:15 GMT
We have a beautiful 6 month old golden cocker spaniel (show type)

She is very clever and has learnt lots of commands and is generally very well behaved. However she is still not toilet trained!

We take her out regularly (every 1-2 hours) and it's high fives all round when she goes, lots of praise etc. We don't shout at her when she goes inside, except if we catch her in the act and then we do a loud clap or NO and hurry her outside to finish off, and then lots of praise.

We say wee wees as a cue, and again while she is going so she associates the word. When we take her out we try to avoid playing so she can concentrate on just going to the toilet, and then some play afterwards if she goes. Sometimes I think she just gets distracted and would rather sniff around the garden than think about weeing even if she needs to! She will sometimes be outside for ages, do nothing and then come in and immediately wee on the floor.

We clean up with proper stuff to remove the odour to try and discourage her from going there again, although she doesn't seem to have a favourite spot. Although she will favour leaving the living room to go in the hallway or kitchen. We have tried keeping the living room door shut which in fairness does help as she will then sometimes go to the door, but also will sometimes just go in the living room regardless.

She sometimes gives us a clue she needs to go and we take her out, equally sometimes there is zero warning - especially for wees, she literally just drops to the floor and it's too late.

She sleeps fine through the night in a crate for 7+ hours with no accidents so she is capable of holding it.

I have googled and googled for more ideas, any suggestions or do we just need to be patient? Sometimes I feel a bit ashamed when people seem surprised she isn't toilet trained yet, what is a normal age??

Thanks for any help!
- By St.Domingo Date 06.03.17 21:06 GMT Edited 06.03.17 21:10 GMT
When you take her out do you keep her on a lead until she has performed? To prevent her getting distracted and get on with the job !
How long have you had her ? Are you her only owner since leaving the breeder ?
Have you considered having her urine tested ?
- By Sadie.littley [gb] Date 06.03.17 21:11 GMT
Hmmm probably half and half, front garden is open so she's on the lead, but loose in the back garden. Always stay with her and watch though. I haven't noticed she's any better on the lead but will give it a go!
- By Sadie.littley [gb] Date 06.03.17 21:27 GMT
We've had her since 8 weeks and yes only owner since the breeder. What would we be testing for? Our thinking was that since she can hold it at night and does have days with no accidents, that it was unlikely to be a UTI but happy to take her to the vets if there's a possibility it's something medical rather than training.
- By St.Domingo Date 06.03.17 21:33 GMT
I agree that it's unlikely to be a UTI but sometimes it's worth just ruling it out. I wouldn't be in a rush to do it but, if you ever get concerned, a vet check could be worth while.

How much does she get left alone and does she have accidents then ?
Did you use puppy pads at the beginning ?
What are you cleaning up with ?
- By Sadie.littley [gb] Date 06.03.17 22:14 GMT
She's not left alone very often, husband works from home so he is with her pretty much all day. We leave her alone maybe once a week or fortnight if we go out in the evening, and it's mixed. I'd say probably 50/50 if she has an accident or not while we're out.

We used puppy pads for maybe a couple of weeks before deciding not to bother, she wasn't really getting it and it seemed a bit odd to put that much effort into teaching her to go indoors.

Cleaning up with a spray bought from zooplus, called refesh'r which was recommended to me, but reading the descriptions now maybe I will try another. I've heard Natures Miracle recommended before?

Thanks for the responses!
- By Brainless [gb] Date 06.03.17 22:53 GMT
I have found that some of my girls have not been thoroughly reliable with wees until after they have had their first season, yet others seem to have cast iron bladders.
- By Nikita [gb] Date 07.03.17 07:43 GMT Upvotes 1
I'd up the garden visits and make sure she's emptying while she's out there, to minimise the chance of accidents indoors.  If there's nothing in there, it can't come out on your carpet!

Some dogs do take a long time to get it though, and it's just a case of plugging away at it until it's done.  My collie took over a year to be 100% clean - she was mostly by about 6 months but she'd decided that my bedroom and the dog beds were a perfectly acceptable toilet so it took a while to persuade her otherwise!
- By debbo198 [gb] Date 07.03.17 23:49 GMT Edited 07.03.17 23:53 GMT
We take her out regularly (every 1-2 hours) and it's high fives all round when she goes, lots of praise etc. We don't shout at her when she goes inside, except if we catch her in the act and then we do a loud clap or NO and hurry her outside to finish off, and then lots of praise.

I'm still struggling with my 14 month male Pap.  I've done similar to that and I think it didn't help- it seemed to scare him I think as he reverted to hiding where he went- only for a day or so, he's a sensitive soul.

I do have to be very quick with him as when he wants to go - he REALLY wants to go.  If I miss his urgent look/walk/trot he'll go in the kitchen & he's very quick!

I've seen an improvement since I have absolutely stopped saying no or using any negative distraction-  I use a silly happy singing tone to say "out out' (maybe with a 'do you want to go..'

I've probably tempted fate by having said this and will be covered in poop and pee by tomorrow. :D

It's not a problem I've ever had before so I'm far from an expert- I've had several untrained rescue dogs that have been amazingly clean, amazingly quickly, so this is a steep learning curve for me.
- By Nikita [gb] Date 08.03.17 08:44 GMT

> I do have to be very quick with him as when he wants to go - he REALLY wants to go.  If I miss his urgent look/walk/trot he'll go in the kitchen & he's very quick!

My old lab was like that!  I just had to make sure I let her out frequently and that she went when she was out.  Good routine and frequent opportunities and she was clean indoors.
- By furriefriends [gb] Date 08.03.17 09:09 GMT
I found it a great shock when I got a toy breed puppy . I m not sure she ever became 100℅ tbh Debbo as if the weather was inclement in her opinion she just wouldn't bother  if she was too far from the back door .Oh to hell with the walk her will do !  And I don't kid in a mansion.slrry that's probably not what u want to hear lol thank goodness it wasn't my gsd he wees buckets !
- By Nikita [gb] Date 08.03.17 09:32 GMT
Ooh, don't.  I've had a JRT/whippet cross here on daycare for years but from the start of this year, she's gone back onto walks because I cannot get her housetrained.  In her own home, she is allowed to go indoors - the owner just puts pads down - so that is the norm for her wherever she goes.  I thought it was just me until I took her to a friend's for a visit as I often did - she walked straight into the lounge and pood even though we'd come in the back door via the back garden!  As she's 8yrs old now, I've given up hope.  If her owner had housetrained her properly at the beginning she'd be ok, but after years of being asked how to address it and never putting a single suggestiong into practice, I just pointed her to the puppy pads and abandoned it!

I have known a toy breed who was similar to J in habits and in a very similar situation subsequently be housetrained reliably, though - lots of loo breaks, absolutely no time unsupervised unless she was in a crate and it was a success.  So it can be done and it's easier when they're younger - she was 2 at the time (chi/JRT/shih tzu mix I believe).
- By St.Domingo Date 08.03.17 09:35 GMT
My toy breed doesn't like going out in the rain either so, if it's bad, I put her coat on. And if she still won't go out I put my coat on aswell and we both go out until she performs.
- By furriefriends [gb] Date 08.03.17 10:14 GMT Edited 08.03.17 10:18 GMT
Yep did all of that and she would just look  at me .Would never do anything on lead either. Nikita  I didn't give in btw she was always sent out with and without me (she was a shy wee ER so hated spectators too .Never used pee pads or anything and she wasn'towed to behave as the jet you have does .She never did it in anyone else house either .  Fortunately it did get to mostly  perfect and I have laminate kitchen and. Hall and I put ridge plastic under my bed so it was easily cleared up should she get lazy.
- By debbo198 [gb] Date 08.03.17 18:54 GMT
Lol FF - Whispa would flood the place!    I'm glad it's not just me struggling with a toy breed - I don't feel quite so incompetent now.  I also know exactly what you mean about being a shy wee-er.
I've not given up hope nor effort but i am prepared for it to always be an issue I need to be aware of - his breeder says the same about them & not just the males.   I do think I delayed his training as I was quite poorly for a while not long after I got him and did use puppy pads :(  I've not yet braved taking him to anyone else's house yet as I wouldn't want him to pee there.

I also think, as Nikita suggested, a regular routine would help - certainly in my case - as I don't really have a strict routine atm.  i do know he has certain times(ish) he needs to go out more.  He's raw fed so a lot of his water comes from his food and peeing times do seem to have some correlation with this. He doesn't wee or poo for several hours in the afternoon -  I think I need to do a food, wee, poo, play diary...?

St Domingo, I used to do the same when my jrt x was a pup (putting on coats)  he'll now go out in any weather if he needs to but my Elkhound bitch wouldn't ever go out in the rain!  Thankfully, just like some of Brainless' bitches, she had a cast iron bladder.  My Pap will go out in some bad weather (I'm up North so we get lots of rain) but when it's torrential or really windy there's no chance and I'd be worried about him being blown away. 

Sadie.littley - I do think different dogs mature in different ways - just like kids.  Of my two sons, one was dry overnight very early and the other what was considered late (by other mum's terms!)  They each developed different aspects at early or late times - growing bodies and minds have a lot to do.  Saying this has just make me wonder about toy breeds - they 'mature' physically quite young ie reach adult size, but does everything else reach maturity at the same time?
I would also consider your pup's diet as that can affect their diet (as I said before - I raw feed and can see some relationship) this link is worth having a look at
- By Nikita [gb] Date 08.03.17 19:27 GMT
Unfortunately Jolly favours anything soft - dog beds, blankets or carpet - and has never messed on bare flooring in her life which is partly why it bothered me so much!  If I'd had her here full time, I'd have won eventually but with it being undone every night when she went home, it's just beyond fixing now.  Which is incredibly frustrating as a trainer/behaviourist!
- By debbo198 [gb] Date 08.03.17 19:37 GMT

> Jolly favours anything soft ->

No splash back!  She wants to be/keep herself clean???
- By Brainless [gb] Date 08.03.17 20:28 GMT Upvotes 2
That's why the Elkhound ladies curtsey so low, virtually touching the ground.
- By Harley Date 09.03.17 16:37 GMT

> We say wee wees as a cue, and again while she is going so she associates the word

If she isn't yet able to "go" on command I wouldn't use the word wee wees as a cue - if she's not attempting to go on that cue then she hasn't yet associated the word with the action. I would just use the words as she is actually going so she can make that connection before starting to use it as a cue. If you are using the cue word when she is doing something other than going you will confuse her - she might associate it with sniffing, chasing around or whatever she is doing when you say those words - it could mean anything that she is doing at the time. Don't use it as a cue until you are certain that she has associated the word with the correct action.

I made that mistake many moons ago when trying to teach the heel position to the first dog I ever owned - all I did was to teach him that the word "heel" meant pull like a train as I was using the word when he was pulling and not when he was in the correct position. They have to have associated the word with the action before it can be used as a cue.

You could try using a different word if you have made that mistake. I use busy for my word and all my dogs will go, or attempt to go, on cue and it is such a useful behaviour to have on cue.
Up Topic Dog Boards / Behaviour / Toilet training at 6 months

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