Housebreaking, Behavior

Updated on July 01, 2008
T.W. asks from Naperville, IL
10 answers

I need help! We bought a schnauzer/poodle mix about 5 weeks ago (he is now a little over 3 months old) and despite every effort we can think of, he simply will not get housebroken. We take him out frequently, praise him constantly on the rare occastion that he does go outside, and spray the areas where he's peed/pooped with a spray that is supposed to deter them from going in that spot again. We've read countless books, watched videos, and have tried every method in them to no avail. What do we do now? Our other problem is that despite every effort, he will not stop jumping and biting at the clothes of our 3 yr old. He doesn't hurt him; but they play way too rough, and I'm afraid one of them is going to get hurt. I'm at a loss; I am growing very resentful of this puppy, although he is the cutest thing in the world. Please help. Thank you.

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So What Happened?

I appreciate the advice on the crate training. We have tried this, however, the dog pooped consistently in the crate, rolled around in it, and pushed it out of the crate. I am a SAHM, so when he's in the crate, I get to hear the barking/howling every time he's put in the crate. Is this normal to expect in the beginning?

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J.

answers from Chicago on

We have a schnauzer/terrier puppy and a 3 year old boy and the same problem. The dog just doesn't have a clue. Cute as can be. For the jumping and we have a chewing problem we had training classes. We got a spike/training collar and you have to put a short lead on it and when the dog jumps yank it hard. It will pinch it's neck like it's mother and it will learn to not jump. It has helped a lot. If you get any good solutions for the housebreaking please forward. Thanks J.

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B.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hey there,

I totally know where you're coming from! This can be so frustrating... it's like having two toddlers, right?!!

You didn't mention if you spoke to the vet about this... maybe the puppy has a phyiscal problem that is the root of all this???

Also, I'm not sure if you have ever watched The Dog Whisperer on NatGeo, but the guy is amazing and the website provides logical information that you can enforce at home.

Good luck!!

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A.Z.

answers from Chicago on

It takes a while to housebreak an animal. Little dogs are not fully adults until about 18-24 months and big dogs take longer I believe it is 3 years. It takes time. Lots of time. However, in the long run it will make your life together much better.

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A.P.

answers from Chicago on

Do you use a crate? If not, you NEED one!!! As a puppy he should have just enough space in his crate to turn around in and no more than that, not until he's trained. The puppy should come out of the cage and go right outside, use your key word like "go potty" or "go outside", whatever you want to say, but keep it consistant. Only after the puppy does his deed do you then play with him and offer him treats. The puppy should NEVER be left unattended where he has the opprotunity to mess in the house. If you can't watch him, then he goes into the crate- always. As he starts to get familiar with the routine and as you begin to trust him he can start exploring the house and getting more freedom. But if he has one accident then start allover. Consistancy is the key with puppies, they are easily confused.
Good luck, puppies are always a challange, I've raised several and it's worth it to start out right. Get the puppy into some puppy training classes too. It makes a big difference.

responding to your second issue:
My last puppy, who's now 4 had the same issues with pooping and rolling in it while in the cage and also the barking was riduculous. My dogs are huskies and it's common for then to have a very loose stool while puppies, so I expected this. What we did was make his space in his cage as small as possible, they shouldn't want to be covered in their poop. he's going to be getting to the point very soon where he's going to be able to control his bowel movements, up until now he may not have had the muscle control, due to his age. It may be something that you're just going to have to deal with a little longer until his muscles are more developed. The barking thing was the most obnixious for us, with a husky it's more like screaming. We tried putting him in a room by himself with a blanket over his cage, that didn't work. We put him in the basement by himself, that didn't work. So, we resorted to having him in the same room as us- which was horrible at the beginning with the runny poop!! That was only for about the first week or 2, then we just decided to put all 3 of my dogs in crates in the basement and that worked the best. When he was with the other dogs he didn't have a total coniption fit (sp??). So, I'm guessing, whoever your dog is most bonded with keep the dog mostly with that person, he'll feel safest and therefore there should be less barking.

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J.A.

answers from Chicago on

Greetings, I am a professional dog trainer, and I will see if I can help out some. First, the potty problem. Do you have a small dog crate for the dog? How often does the animal eat? and What does he eat? Is the dog's water available at all times? How often do you take the dog out? Once, I get some answers to these questions, I will be able to give you some helpful tips. Now, the jumping and biting problem. The dog needs to know who the alpha animal is in the house. ( It is you/ and/ or, your husband) Even though the dog is small, it still should not be jumping. (That is a BIG no-no!)Keep a leash on the dog, yes, in the house to gain control over the situation. The 3 year old should have no control over the leash,at this time, and should not play with the leash in anyway. The leash is to gain control over the jumping, immediately, when it happens. The leash also allows the animal to be socialized in a proper manner. When you are sitting in the room, put your foot on the leash approx. 4-6 inches, from the collar, and command the dog to lay down, and to relax, or just to lay quitely, chewing a chew toy/bone. The leash also allows everyone to get into the action, even your 3 year old.,by teaching the dog to "come". What you, and your husband?, and your 3 year old can do, is sit in a circle (more or less) with the dog in the miiddle, and 1 at a time, you say "COME, FLUFFY" (I don't know the dog's name, so, I am just using the name Fluffy). The 1st person whom is calling the dog, has the leash in front of them, the dog is in the middle, and the person says strongly 3 times only, Come, Fluffy, Come. After the 3rd time calling the dog, you take the leash, and pull him/her towards you, and say , " Come ,Fluffy, Come. You come when I say Come!" Then you sit the dog down , facing the next person,throwing the end of the leash the next person's way, and repeat the above steps. Repitition is the only way to properly train your animal. The 1st year of a dog's life, while they are a puppy is the hardest. 6 months - 1 year is the absolute most crucial. By gaining control of the puppy's behavior, it is the first step to having a great friend, companion, and dog. I hope I explained what I am trying to say, in a way that you understand. Feel free to email me, with your questions, and concerns. I will do my best to help you out. When the puppy bites, take your 2 fingers (pointer finger, and middle finger), and come down on the dog's snout and say, STRONGLY, "NO BITES! NO BITES!" Be patient, yet persistent. J.

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T.S.

answers from Chicago on

If you aren't doing it ... crate training. And with regard to the jumping, I would suggest some obedience classes. Even some puppy classes to start.

Good luck.

T.

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J.G.

answers from Chicago on

Amanda,

i to have a puppy she is a pure bred Chihuahua (Charlotte) the cutest thing every. But she is 6 months old now and I got her at 8 weeks. She is getting better, hardly has accidents but she has not learned how to tell me she has to go. When we get up in the am the first thing is the dogs out to go potty, I take the time and wait for her to pee and poop. Good girl and all she get a "good girl" treat. My bigest thing is the poopie accidents.

I know this does not help you but it has been getting alot better for us and I hope that it will for you to. Just have to stick to a routine. I takeCharlotte out alot when I am home and during the day she is caged. With no accidents in there.

J.

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J.

answers from Chicago on

Hi
Your pup is still pretty young, but still, he should be getting the idea about what's acceptable and what's not.
First of all, you MUST buy/borrow a crate for him. It's not cruel: it will be "his room". Your 3 year old probably has his own bed or room - the puppy needs his "own" place.
The crate is where he will sleep at night and be when you aren't home. A dog with any sense won't mess the area they sleep in. First thing in the AM - you go let him out of the crate & take him outside where he's supposed to go. When he does - LOTS of praise and a special treat (piece of leftover meat?). For the next week or two, he's either in the crate, or outside with you until he does his business - Then he can come in have have some free time.
Hope this helps - sounds like you have your hands full!!!
You might also talk with his breeder to find out what he or she recommends as they know what worked for the mother of this little fireball!

J.

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J.M.

answers from Chicago on

I learned with our dog that they need a small space to learn in. He needs to be allowed only in the kitchen for the next few weeks. In the "wild" a puppy's space is very small and if given too much now they never learn where the indoors vs. outdoors is.
Keep him in the kitchen so that your three year old has the rest of the house to move through freely. the puppy thinks he is another puppy, not someone to obey. You need to be there and be firm with the dog each time.

The only one that my dog rough houses with is me! That's because I allowed it as a puppy. they don't learn later, you need to be assertive with him now. Make sure that the three year old and the puppy have a couple of appropriate toys to play with and only allow that type of play between them for awhile.

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R.F.

answers from Chicago on

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