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Potty Training Puppy Troubles

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Hi all! I am new to the forum! I am in search of some puppy Border Collie training advice. So a quick update about me:

I've trained dogs for about 3 years now. I was an animal control officer for a year and worked with many dog breeds. I've owned two, now in total border collies, an Australian shepherd, and a German shepherd. All of my dogs have been phenomenal in learning all of their commands, staying at my side, etc. However, for some damn reason I have had potty training troubles with almost all of them. So obviously I am doing something wrong somewhere and desperately need the help.

Currently, I have a 3 1/2 month old Border Collie boy. He gets plenty of exercise. I am home on disability and have had him for about a monthish now. I have been consistent and on a schedule with him. He goes out with me every hour to potty. He eats Eukanuba (spelling) puppy food 3 times a day about half if not a little more of a cup. Hes a little stubborn. He fetches and goes running for hours. I clap, or say no, or say his name in a firm voice when he tries to potty in the house. I take him immediately outside and then give him a treat and praise him for going potty outside. He goes potty in the same spots, and others.

He is crate trained. He won't go to the bathroom in his crate. Its the appropriate small size. He is only in his crate for two reasons. One, we are going somewhere and he cant come with. Maybe 2 hours tops. And at night. He goes to bed at 11pm, and will hold it until 6am where we start his hourly potty trips.

Buuuuuuuuuuuut. He will still potty in the house. I understand it will take time, but its a little confusing. How can I mimic his behavior in the crate to when he is not in the crate? It will be completely random when he goes to the bathroom in the house. He will potty right after hes been outside. He has not pooped in the house. Its only peeing. Ive cleaned the pee spots,(with Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator, Enzyme-Powered)
and he will still find a random place to go. Ive literally had this happen with my aussie and my german. They just go, even though the vet has cleared them. He eats treats for bladder support. Im very disappointed that with the dogs ive owned, 3 out of the 4 have these potty training issues. :/

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Sounds like too much freedom in the house. We restricted ours to just the kitchen and living room when he wasn’t in his crate and every time he got into other rooms he would pee even if he didn’t need to. 

We gradually added in the dining room and thought we were doing ok but then discovered he’d been ‘marking’ up the chair legs!

He’s ten months now and never soils in his domain (which now includes a couple more rooms) but if he gets access to the dining room or our washroom he just can’t help himself!

We achieved the room restriction with lots of used child gates that we got from various neighbours haha! 

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Your puppy is too young to be loose in the house all the time. I suggest that you either crate him, confine him to a corner of the kitchen, or confine him to an X-pen unless you are with him and watching him at all times. My policy is that until potty trained, a puppy is never, ever out of my sight for a moment unless confined. This is not only for potty training but also for the pup's safety, as it only takes a few seconds to chew through an electric cord or do something else that is dangerous. I am either totally with the pup, meaning I am actively either training, playing, or watching the pup like a hawk, or the pup is confined. I don't read with the puppy lose, I don't use the computer, I don't even go to the bathroom with the pup loose. If you do this it gives you the chance to observe the pup closely and you will know when he is about to go potty. That is when you scoop him up and take him outside, before he has had the chance to go. Always better to stop the behavior before it occurs than to take action afterward.

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I always use the rule to go out with the puppy whenever he has done something.

Which means:

- after play

- after sleep

- after food/drink

- after I stop with whatever I am doing

Plus, as was said above, always keep an eye on the pup.

Accidents do happen, so don't feel too bad about it. I have never heard about anyone training their dogs to relieve themselves outside without a few bumps along the way :) 

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So to clear up a little confusion. My puppy does not have free roam over the house. He is either tied to my hip by the leash, or in the living room which we section off so he cant escape it. He runs in circles and sometimes takes a dive off the couches! lol So its not that he is too explorive. He is always under close watch with very little out of eyeball room. 

He is definitely taken out a lot. Im more concerned over the fact he may have just been outside, peed a lot (he pees maybe three times to completely empty his bladder) and then thirty minutes later hes go to one or two of the same spots for the most part, and starts his squat. Its usually never a big amount, so Im wondering if hes trying to mark or something...? He got into big trouble last night and it was almost funny. After that, he went to squat again, and before I said something, he stopped and laid down like, "you know what, thats a bad idea" lmao

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Whether or not he is marking doesn't matter, the approach to changing it is the same. If he is tethered to you or under your watch all of the time then you can always stop him as soon as he is even thinking about it, and then always take him outside instead. Just keep doing that. It will work. Clearly he is already getting the idea, so just be persistent and 100% consistent with the training and it will be fine.

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At his age it really isn't all that surprising that he doesn't get it yet. There'a a lot of variation in the time it takes puppies to be house trained. I've had one who completely got the concept at 6 weeks old (there were a few truly oops moments from time to time, but they really were accidents rather than sliding), and another one who just didn't seem to entirely understand the rules until he was 7 months old.

And that peeing shortly after he's come in and seemingly emptied his bladder? That's not all that uncommon either, especially if he's been playing hard in the meantime. But his last reaction does sound like he's getting the idea.

The reason he's going back to the same spots is because it still has urine odor so it seems like it should be an acceptable place to him. Be sure you're really removing all the urine odor with a good enzymatic cleaner meant for the job. Any remaining scent will make things that much harder for you -- and him.

It sounds like you're on the right track, so just be patient and keep doing what you're doing. It'll come. The only other thing I'll mention is to be sure you're really paying attention to his signals. Just because the pup is tethered to you doesn't necessarily mean you're paying 100% attention to him. If you are, great; but if not, be honest with yourself and step up your game in that department. ;)

 

 

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I have three different enzyme cleaners and they just dont seem to be working, then. :/ My pup has had 6 accidents today, in about a span of 3 hours. While I get he wont get it right away, I dont understand why its every 30 minutes that hes having accidents after being taken immediately out etc. Todays a rainy day, so we are inside all day and im really seeing how he is not getting it. He gets scared and stops but then 20 minutes later, hes at it again. Its so weird, hes perfect in his crate. He has had 0 accidents in there so far, he slept on our bed this morning for about 5 hours, 0 accidents. Then boom hes with me in the room on the floor and were playing, and I take a seat from playing and hes about to pee. I take him out, and I watch some tv and within 30 minutes, hes peeing again. From what im reading, this is normal. is it really going to be all this repetition for him finally to get it? Or is there anything else I can try? I love my bugger to death and I want to give him all the right tools to success but feel im failing.

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Honestly, if he’s peeing every 30 minutes while he’s awake, take him out every 25. 

He’s very young yet and it does take time.  Of my two, they were both quite reliable around 6 months old. My girl was able to hold it for an hour, and no more, when she was tiny. While our male pup was often ready to go out again every 20 minutes. 

They are all different and it takes lots of successful repetitions, plus maturity to be able to hold it longer and learn how to alert you they need to go outside.

Hang in there! They grow so fast and he will catch on. :)

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Thanks! I tried a diaper yesterday. He held it for 2 hours and then started the wattle and scratched at the door. His max was about 3 hours with the diaper on before he started showing hey hey I’m at my limit here. So there’s that. He is capable, it’s just getting him to make the connection I guess. And to want to hold it. 

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