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Beckett, 13 months, Miniature Poodle; Street, 5 years, Chihuahua
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Mini Poodle, Beckett, is now 13 months old. His breeder kept him until he was about 6.5 months old (hoping that his testicles would sudden re-descend and that he could be shown/bred) and admittedly didn’t do much in the way of house training. When I first got him he was completely clueless about house training, peeing in front of me inside the house just moments after coming in from a walk. He still does that, albeit waiting longer, now months later.

I have been giving him treats regularly on the walk after he makes (Stewart’s dried beef liver), although there have been times when I haven’t for a day or two. On these occasions, I have seen compliance go downhill, peeing less on the walk, to the point where he will pee inside 45 minutes after coming in from a walk. So, obviously treats are essential (hopefully not permanently).

I started out crating him about 45 minutes after the walk to head off the accidents. Eventually, he went 2 weeks without an accident, and I thought that he might be house trained.

However, that was before the snow. He is obsessed with it. He eats it, rolls in it, practically bathes in it. I let him, figuring that it’s too much trouble to keep him away. The problem is that even plied with treats, he has started to pee minutes after coming inside, generally while we are playing fetch. I’m thinking that the snow is too much of a distraction and he’s just not emptying his bladder even after a half hour walk. I’m considering higher value treats, maybe mixed in with the dried liver and some kibble. Has anyone else had a similar problem?
 

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Two weeks does not = housebroken, unfortunately. Especially if you’ve already gotten a little lax with the rewards. I would treat Beckett like a young puppy and follow this method:


The only difference will be that he can hold it longer than a tiny baby could.
 

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Beckett, 13 months, Miniature Poodle; Street, 5 years, Chihuahua
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have tried the standing around method. He does nothing and then has to go back in the crate. It’s very cold to stand around right now, and even if he does pee, how can I be sure his bladder is empty? Don’t I just risk an accident when I go back in?
 

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Beckett, 13 months, Miniature Poodle; Street, 5 years, Chihuahua
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd be a bit careful with the liver. It easily causes loose stools. Fine in moderation though! Is he a marker? As in is he marking inside or just peeing?
Thanks for your comments. He’s not marking. He’ll just stop, often in the act of playing with a ball, pee in place, and run around again, mostly in the same high traffic areas.

I have been thinking about switching to chicken liver instead of the beef, as I‘ve seen some of the posts about the high fat content and fatty liver issues. He hasn’t had loose stools. In fact, his stools are a bit hard sometimes. I have been supplementing with sweet potato to keep him on a regular walk schedule.
 

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Thanks for your comments. He’s not marking. He’ll just stop, often in the act of playing with a ball, pee in place, and run around again, mostly in the same high traffic areas.

I have been thinking about switching to chicken liver instead of the beef, as I‘ve seen some of the posts about the high fat content and fatty liver issues. He hasn’t had loose stools. In fact, his stools are a bit hard sometimes. I have been supplementing with sweet potato to keep him on a regular walk schedule.
That sounds a bit unusual. I know past the age of 7-8 months my mini wasn't interested in non-marking based peeing. Have you mentioned this to your vet? There are some medical causes for poor bladder control that would be good to rule out. If there is no medical cause, then I'm with PeggyTheParti in that I'd try to concentrate on the basics and being super consistent and careful as if he was a young puppy. You might find it helpful to use the umbilical cord method, in which you attach him to you with a leash. This is useful because you can catch him in the act when he tries to pee inside, hopefully to reinforce the idea that it is not allowed. It can be hard with older dogs that would normally have more freedom than a puppy.
 

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I agree that health issues should always be ruled out. But if the breeder didn’t house train him, he’s not house trained. Period. Just like I can’t speak Spanish because I learned French in school instead. ¯\(ツ)

Do you know for a fact he wasn’t house trained before you got him? Have you spoken to the breeder about it? If so, that means during the most formative months of Beckett’s life, he was trained to do the exact opposite of what you want. So it’s going to take some time to teach him what you’d prefer he do instead, and that is going to require restricted access to parts of the home that he doesn’t yet understand are off-limits. And lots and lots of patient consistency.

If you’ve not already discussed this with the breeder, I suggest you do. Maybe he’s paper trained or pad trained or even litterbox trained. You can use that training as a starting point. It’s also possibly they had a doggy door.
 

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(I just thought of something else - Some of the dogs that Peggy attended puppy class with are very particular about where they go to the bathroom. They will hold it for an entire walk because they were taught to use one place when they were very small and impressionable, and that training stuck.)
 

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Beckett, 13 months, Miniature Poodle; Street, 5 years, Chihuahua
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree that health issues should always be ruled out. But if the breeder didn’t house train him, he’s not house trained. Period. Just like I can’t speak Spanish because I learned French in school instead. ¯\(ツ)

Do you know for a fact he wasn’t house trained before you got him? Have you spoken to the breeder about it? If so, that means during the most formative months of Beckett’s life, he was trained to do the exact opposite of what you want. So it’s going to take some time to teach him what you’d prefer he do instead, and that is going to require restricted access to parts of the home that he doesn’t yet understand are off-limits. And lots and lots of patient consistency.

If you’ve not already discussed this with the breeder, I suggest you do. Maybe he’s paper trained or pad trained or even litterbox trained. You can use that training as a starting point. It’s also possibly they had a doggy door.
The breeder said that he was in the yard outside most of the time. He did have a kennel out in the back, so it sounds like he wasn’t in the house and didn’t have any training. I did discuss it with her at some point. As I said above, he was completely clueless about house training when I got him home: walks were for strolling, not for taking care of business. And it’s still that way for him: he rarely pees the first opportunity he gets, only getting around to it the second or even third time, although recently he’s been improving. So, yes, already it has been a process and he’s doing much better than the “pee-less walks” situation when I first brought him home.

I have been wondering if it could be physical as well. However, he can hold his urine while I gate him in the kitchen with my other dog. So it’s not like he can’t hold it. And he hasn’t had an accident in his crate since the first month or two. In fact, I walk the dogs in the morning, there is a mid-day walker, and I walk them again at night, sometimes twice. The kitchen floor is always dry when I get home. I’m thinking maybe an extra walk for a total of 4 times might be helpful.
 

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Beckett, 13 months, Miniature Poodle; Street, 5 years, Chihuahua
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That sounds a bit unusual. I know past the age of 7-8 months my mini wasn't interested in non-marking based peeing. Have you mentioned this to your vet? There are some medical causes for poor bladder control that would be good to rule out. If there is no medical cause, then I'm with PeggyTheParti in that I'd try to concentrate on the basics and being super consistent and careful as if he was a young puppy. You might find it helpful to use the umbilical cord method, in which you attach him to you with a leash. This is useful because you can catch him in the act when he tries to pee inside, hopefully to reinforce the idea that it is not allowed. It can be hard with older dogs that would normally have more freedom than a puppy.
I usually keep an eye on him when he’s loose in the house, and put him in his crate when I can’t. When he has an accident, he almost always pees in front of me, while he’s playing or nearby, so I typically catch him in the act.

The umbilical method might help because some dogs tend to be more inhibited from urinating while on leash. I use that method while leashing up the dogs, getting coats on, etc., and he’s never had an accident while leashed.

One thing I’ve noticed is that he has very hard stools sometimes, like pebble hard. This might be because I add sweet potato to the dogs’ diets. My Chihuahua is prone to anal gland issues, so I give them both sweet potato, but it might be too much fiber for Beckett. Also, I feed bully sticks pretty regularly, almost daily. I wonder if either of these things or both could cause him to drink too much water. I wonder, too, about salt in the snow. Our streets here in NYC are way over salted right now, and he eats the snow every chance he gets. The inappropriate urination got much worse after our recent Nor‘Easter.
 

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I have had this problem with rescues. They are often not housebroken. You need to count the seconds it takes him to totally finish peeing. 5 seconds in this spot, plus 6 seconds in the next spot, plus 2 seconds someplace else. Plus two seconds in your living room. That totals up to 15 seconds. (Just an example, maybe he needs 25 seconds). It should be pretty consistent each morning. Keep him outside and count the seconds that he pees here and there. Do not go back inside until he is finished.
 

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Beckett, 13 months, Miniature Poodle; Street, 5 years, Chihuahua
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have had this problem with rescues. They are often not housebroken. You need to count the seconds it takes him to totally finish peeing. 5 seconds in this spot, plus 6 seconds in the next spot, plus 2 seconds someplace else. Plus two seconds in your living room. That totals up to 15 seconds. (Just an example, maybe he needs 25 seconds). It should be pretty consistent each morning. Keep him outside and count the seconds that he pees here and there. Do not go back inside until he is finished.
Thanks, MI Gal, that’s really helpful!
 
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