26 answers

Trying to House Break 6 Month Old Puppy with No Luck

We have a now 6 month old small dog, she's a Havanese, and she really is smart, but we're having a problem getting her to either go to the door to let us know when she needs to go outside. We even have little cow bells by the doors, and she's got to where she'll ring it, but sometimes she'll do her job outside and other times she won't. She does this because my husband lets her out without a leash and will give her a treat for coming in. So she knows if she goes outside, she'll get a treat whether or not she does a job outside. Also, we do have the little pads by the doors for her to go on - - - she sometimes gets about 4 inches away from that. We're lucky we don't have carpet or she'd already be outside!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I'd say the number one thing is NOT to give her a treat if she doesn't do her duty outside. Then she can learn that she only gets a treat when the deed is done, rather than every time she goes outside. Good luck!

I think it is because she is already 6 months old, but it should still be possible. What I did with my maltese, who was only 2 months old was I basically stayed in the kitchen with her for an entire week as much as possible, where the blue potty pad was. When she would try to go elsewhere, I just picked her up and said NO, and put her on the potty pad. It was barely a week and she got it! She still goes on them without fail which is very convenient if you cannot always be home to take them out.

You are going to have to go ouitside with the dog and reward her for actually going potty rather than treats for going outside. Puppies are about as much work as an infant & take a lot of time. Good luck

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I also have a 6 month old Shi Tsu puppy and he has been hard to housebreak. I hear that small dogs are notoriously hard to potty train because of their small bladders. I've been obsessed the last few months with dog training and dog psychology and did a lot of rsearch, but the best help has been local puppy school. We have been going to Pet Smart for puppy kindergarden classes and Erika, out trainer says that puppys do better with their potty training when they are on a consistant feeding and potty schedule. He has been so much better since I started this. We take him out on a leash at set times during the day and also 15-20 minutes after eating. We also crate him during the day and come home at lunchtime. He has been able to hold it for 6 hours, so I know he is capable of potty trainng despite his small size bladder. I would also tell your husband to only give her a treat while she is outside doing her business...she is getting the wrong message. I was told to treat the dog after they've done a trick or a command correctly, not just because they come to you. I don't know what else to tell you, good luck with the bell ringing thing. That's a great idea. I might try that myself once my dog learns more basic commands. He's still having trouble with sit and stay, I think he might not get bell ringing yet. Dogs like routine, try the schedule if you can. I never had luck with potty pads, my dog seemed confused about if I wanted him to go outside on the grass or inside the house. I'm just trying to be consistant for now and only take him outside and praise him out there. If he has an accident in the house (which he still does on occasion) I don;t make a fuss about it unless I catch him in the act. This morning I wasn't paying close attention and he was about to poop on the rug...I caught him in the act , yelled "No" and immediatly took him outside, then praised him out there. He's still a work in progess. I'm hoping in a few months we'll be able to let him out of the crate while we're gone. Good luck. Have you seen "The Dog Whisperer" on the Nat. Geographic Channel? I LOVE that show!

1 mom found this helpful

We got a mutt when he was about 6 months old. We did crate training & it works! I still put him in his crate at night, but I may be able to stop that too. We fed him inside the crate with the door left open for a while, so he would get used to the crate. When he was comfortable in the crate we would shut the gate on it. After he ate (maybe 20 mins after??) we would let him out and take him outside. If he does his business, we'd let him back in the house - out of the crate. If he didn't, he'd go right back in the crate for a bit & we would try again. I can't remember the whole schedule at the beginning. At our new house (with new carpet!) we had to leave him in the crate at night & when we weren't home during the day. We slowly worked our way up to letting him stay in the house out of the crate when we were gone.

The crate training works because a dog will not do his business where he sleeps. If he is comfortable in the crate & sleeps there, he will keep it clean & learn to hold it until it's time to go outside. You can do a Google search for more info on crate training.

It is hard to potty train a puppy. I never had luck with the crate due to the dog whining would wake up my daughter. I did crate her when I was not home so that she would not potty on anything. I would keep her is a small area if you are not home because they will not potty where they sleep. If I was home, I would take her potty right after she woke up from her nap and I would take her again about an hour after she ate or drank. I did not have her on a leash but I would go out with her and praise her every time that she went and would give her a treat once in awhile but only if she did her business. I would remove the puppy pads as it is telling her that she can go inside the house and she is old enough to know better. Otherwise watch for the signs of her sniffing around to find a spot to potty. Every time that you take her out say the same thing whether it is "out" or "potty" but it needs to consistent with all family members and it needs to be the same word. I have found that it takes time for them to actually tell you when they have to go but if everyone is consistent and follows scheduled potty times the dog will be house broken in no time. If the dog goes in the house, scold her firmly and proceed to take her outside. Tell hubby no more treats for just coming back inside the house because that is giving the dog the wrong message.

Crate training that is how we trained our english mastiff.


she only went a total of i think 2 times in the two years we have had her and she hasn't done that in over a year

Good luck

You are going to have to go ouitside with the dog and reward her for actually going potty rather than treats for going outside. Puppies are about as much work as an infant & take a lot of time. Good luck

When we got our puppy she was 7 months old & had just been spayed. We completely pad trained her so as not ot have to let her out or worry with it. Firstly, right after her surgery might take a week or so. It might have her off. But if she is getting a treat whether she does her business outside or not then she will have you up and down several times a day when she gets bored or thinks about wanting a treat. Make sure if you want her to go outside that she is actually going before you give her a treat. Verbal praise works really well with my little doggie.

hi R.,

i know every puppy is different. what has worked for us(my husband is a veterinarian specialist) is not necessarily waiting for the puppy to 'tell' us he needs go out -but instead, we set the times. meaning, around 7a.m. we let 'em outside; again at 2ish; and again in the evening around 6. it takes some time to adjust, but it's always worked eventually. also, the dogs begin to expect it -they seem to have these cute internal clocks.
good luck with this - i know it can be frustrating! and congrats on the new addition - i'm sure your son is excited!

I have heard that after their spayed that it could affect thier bathroom patterns for a little while until they get bac on track. maybe that is it?

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