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Hi everyone! Juniper the spoo is now a little over 4 months old and doing really well in a lot of ways. Her puppy biting and the jumping/biting has gotten a lot better (though is no where near gone). She's learned and improved on a lot of her commands. She's been attending a weekly puppy play date that our trainer organizes (that's essentially just a 30 minute free play with three other similar age pups). She also just started puppy kindergarten and, so far, she's already known all the things being taught (but it's been a GREAT chance to practice around the distraction of other dogs). She takes a minute or two to warm up to new dogs but then loves playing with them. She's honestly a little rougher than I expected but I'm always careful to make her take breaks when playing rough.

And to house training. It's going really well for the most part. It seems as if she fully understands the concept at this point. It's been weeks since she's had an accident inside. We've been using one of the FluentPet buttons for "Go Potty" and she pretty reliably presses it when she needs to go potty. She also, not surprisingly, presses the button when she just wants to go outside. We're struggling with her need to go out often, sometimes back to back. She will often press the button, go out and pee, come inside, press the button again 2-3 minutes later, go out to poop (or pee again). This is most frustrating when we are getting ready for bed. We take her out right before bed, she'll do one of the two things, we'll put her in her crate with a little snack while we go about our bedtime routine, we'll get snuggled into bed and then BAM, she'll be demanding to go out and she, without fail, produces something. Relatedly, she's been waking us up in the middle of the night to go out every few days and always produces something.

Her crate is located in our bedroom and we let her have access to water during the night. Another thing to note is that she isn't super vocal, so far (knock on wood). She doesn't bark or whine to let us know she needs to go out. She places her paws on the door of the crate and rattles it until we wake up. It's kind of adorable and my husband and I have started to say she's "knocking" at her door.

Obviously I'm very happy that she's letting us know that she needs to go. I'm guessing that this is just her age. She's just a puppy. At a little over 4 months, she's definitely still maturing and getting the hang of this pee/poop outside thing. She's also still super easily distracted and likely is just forgetting. We've been trying to make sure we're not rushing her to come in and giving her plenty of time outside, especially right before bed. It's likely just going to take some time and practice but I guess I just wanted to see if others have dealt with this and if there were any tips to share. Thanks!
 

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I would reccommend 2 things:
• teach 'potty on command'. That way you can tell her to get it all out when you want. It'll also help her focus. It takes some effort, but well worth it in the end. Frankie won't go unless told because snow and wind and noises and grass are just way too exciting to stop and pee.
• stick to a strict food schedule. If you feed the bulk of her food at the same time every day, her poos will be very regular. We went trhoguh the same thing and made a jounral of poos, pees, and times. After a while it became really predictable especially with the fixed feeding times.

Sounds like you are on the right track, keep it up!
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Good advice above. Do you know how to capture a behavior with a command? If not, someone here will chime in and help.
 

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Be sure to jog to the potty spot to get her system going. I find that helps to jostle everything out.

At that age, I would also still be proactively taking her outside regularly, rather than relying on her to alert me. I want her to know that I control outside time, not her. Pairing that with a potty command (I use “Hurry up”) works well.

Currently, your girl is doing exactly what you’ve trained her to do, which is impressive, though maybe not desirable. Lol. Honestly, much of my Peggy training time has been spent UN-training certain behaviours. When it comes to poodles, you have to be careful what you wish for. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice! We’ve been trying to train potty on command but after doing a little reading on it, looks like maybe we were doing it wrong. We’ve been saying “go potty” as soon as we go outside and then “yes!” + more “go potty” + treat when she goes. Looks like maybe we wait to say “go potty” until she’s finished? Appreciate any other feedback on the best way to do this.

On feeding on a schedule, this is something we definitely need to get better about. Breakfast is almost always around 9AM but lunch and dinner can vary by a few hours, depending on what’s going on.

And on still taking out on a schedule, that makes sense. I, of course, want her to eventually be telling us when she needs to go but maybe we need to take a small step back on that. It’s just hard when she’s pacing by the back door to tell her no (which she’ll do if we pick the button up, which happens sometimes when she’s been pressing it too much).
 

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We’ve been trying to train potty on command but after doing a little reading on it, looks like maybe we were doing it wrong. We’ve been saying “go potty” as soon as we go outside and then “yes!” + more “go potty” + treat when she goes. Looks like maybe we wait to say “go potty” until she’s finished? Appreciate any other feedback on the best way to do this.
STEP 1 When you start training, you say « Go potty » as soon as she starts peeing. Then, when she’s done, you say « yes » enthusiastically.

After a while, maybe 3-4 weeks, of your dog hearing « go potty » while she’s peeing (you can use a different command for pooping, or the same), and « yes » when done, your dog now knows what the command is used for.

STEP 2 You can then start saying « Go potty » when you specifically want her to go. You keep saying it as a firm command, until she does. When she does it, make sure to go crazy with praise. If, after trying on 2-3 different occasions, you keep giving the command and she doesn’t do anything, then she wasn’t ready for STEP 2. Go back to STEP 1.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Exactly as Dechi says. As soon as she squats to pee/poo, say whatever your command is ("go potty," "do your business," or whatever you choose). Then heap on the praise when she finishes. You want her to know she's the best girl ever for going potty in the right place.
 

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It sounds like your doing everything within your control correctly. I would definitely keep supplying the treats and rewarding as mentioned above because sometimes we forget how effective they are.

Everyone's pup is a little different, but from 18-22 weeks Basil's bladder maturity skyrocketed.

The general advice is that by 6 months old the sucky part of potty training is in the rear view mirror, and you can look forward to a full night sleep.

Accidents will still happen, just waaayy less frequent.

When we visit family I stick to taking Basil (9-1/2 month old Spoo) out every 3-3.5 hours, but when we're at home under normal conditions it's like every 3.5-5 hours.

You're rounding the corner!
 

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For Peggy’s first year, we called the shots on all outside time, and that didn’t stop her from telling us when she urgently had to go. But I could count on one hand the number of times that happened.

I think the fair thing to do is either keep the button down and respond every time or take it away altogether while you finish potty training.

@For Want of Poodle, am I remembering correctly that Annie became a “potty-bell abuser” (lol) and had to be cut off?
 

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@For Want of Poodle, am I remembering correctly that Annie became a “potty-bell abuser” (lol) and had to be cut off?
Lol yes. She had bells for maybe one day. I couldn't stand the every 5 min outside requests. Her absolute favourite thing is to be outside, especially when we were living in an apartment, so for me to put that on cue for her, and, like magic, we went out every time she hit those bells? Ahhh.... at around the same time, I had to put walks on an alarm, because otherwise she would bug me for an hour before our regular walk times ( walk again? Walk now? No, we walk when this alarm goes off, not when the poodle barks enough).

If it were me, I would probably put the dog on a leash, and walk until the dog pees and poops since you know when that normally occurs. Then, if the dog wants in, go inside. If the dog likes walking, walk more as a reward. A bit of a walk often seems to jostle it out

I also had an issue with Annie not peeing or delaying peeing then asking out again, because she knew if she peed then we went in, so I started rewarding with a tiny (3 houses down, 3 houses back) walk as a reward for doing her business in the front yard. It only took a day or two, and she suddenly stopped hanging around avoiding peeing!

I also just have a schedule for when the dog goes out, very, very seldom does Annie tell me that I have forgotten ( maybe once a week or less?).

Oh, and Annie definitely still needed a middle of the night trip until around 5 months old. Her bladder took a long time to mature.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Isn't there a New Yorker cartoon about a dog who can't make up his mind about coming in or going out? I can't find it, but I did find this gem.
 

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I think you should still expect her to still have some issues recognizing and controlling her urges at 4 months. My pup Pogo was pretty reliable at 4 months, but the rest were all later. She's doing really well if she's consistently signaling to go out at her young age.
Additionally, I learned through hard experience that my Galen never empties himself on the first go. When he was a baby he would mess on the rug or in his x-pen if I brought him in too soon. Now that he's an adolescent I need to make sure to take him on a long enough walk to get the second round in, or I need to put him back out within an hour if I rush him. It's just how his system works. As he's gotten older he can wait longer and longer between outings. At this point he's usually good if I take him on a walk around the block after dinner and then put him out for a quick pee before we all go to bed.
 
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