Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!

Online Users: 0 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 17

RanAway2Maine Posts : 2,359 Registered: 1/27/08
Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 11:40 AM

Hi Girls!

My husband bought me a puppy for Valentine's Day this year-my MIL named him Domino, which I thought was cute. (I picked him out!)

I am having a hard time potty training him! I have tried pee pads but he either rips them apart or uses them for their purpose. Other times, he goes wherever he wants to. He's never pooped on the pee pads, just on the old dog's bed. (The old dog, Mandy a 15 year old German Shephard)-he is fascinated with her and follows her everywhere!) But he poops in her bed and collects toys there too. Mandy growls and is too old to play with Domino.

But he's also an ankle biter! He will follow me all over the house attached and growling to my pants' bottoms! I can't stop him from doing this. He'll be three months on March 16! I know he's a baby, but do you have any early training tips that have worked for you?

I'd LOVE to hear about any tips you can give me. (Also does anybdy believe in the water bottle spray? I'm trying to be gentle with him!)

Thanks in advance


LisaSummerBride2B Posts : 126 Registered: 8/10/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 12:21 PM Go to message in response to: RanAway2Maine

I'm assuming that's your new puppy in your avatar?? Cute!!

We have 2 German Shepherds, one was the EASIEST puppy to potty train but our other one is a little harder. We JUST went through this so I know what you're going through!! She's currently 4 months old and we've had her for a month and a half now and was 99% potty trained in the first 3 weeks we got her. This is what we did and what our dog trainer (she helps us with this training our older one is going through so she can maybe become a therapy dog).

We tried the "letting her loose" around the house thing but our house is big and we can't keep an eye on her 24/7 that way. The most important thing about potty training is that you're able to keep an eye on her at all times.

We tried two techniques together. Kennel and leash dragging.

We have a wire one, not plastic, the wire ones come with a divider, we put the divider up and made sure that she has enough room to sit, turn around, stand and lay. Dogs usually don't tend to pee where they have to sleep. We did this at night cause we couldn't trust her to not poop in one place then sleep in the opposite corner of the room. But here's the trick: the kennel should be a "safe" place so you can't punnish them or else they'll hate the kennel forever. We put our kennel right beside our bed so she was still with the family at night. Since she was so young, we had to take her out at least once during the middle of the night cause she wasn't able to hold it for that long. I believe it's like however many months old they are is how many hours they can hold it.. I don't know if that's true or not but we didn't want her to have to hold it for too long.

For the leash dragging, we would keep her leash on her and it dragging around behind her throughout the house. We watched her and if she started sniffing around like she had to pee or if it was around that time to go, we would take the leash and take her outside. Go outside with your dog so you KNOW she did her business. If she eliminated in the house, we would never rub her nose in it cause they don't remember after 30 seconds. We would just say in a stern voice: "no, no, no!" grab her leash and as SOON as you get outside, completely change your attitude so she knows that going outside is a good thing, give her the command to go potty ours was: "go potty!". If she eliminated outside, we praised (with pets) her silly! She knew that going outside was a GOOD thing and if she eliminated outside she would get praised.

If she eliminated in the house, know that they CAN'T get freedom to roam around and do "fun" stuff. We would put her in her kennel (we had two, one in the living room and one in the bedroom) or tie her leash up inside the house or to one of us so we could keep an eye on her at ALL times. If she eliminated in the house, we'd do the "no, no" then outside she went, but as soon as she got inside, NO freedom for a little bit, not hours.

It's a slow process but we never used pee pads. It just let them know that they were allowed to eliminate at that specific spot and not outside. But now our puppy goes to the door, and hits her tail really hard against the door so we know she's by the door (she learned this from our older puppy) and we let her out without her leash. We always watch both of them when they're outside so we know that they eliminated but they're great. Our younger one has accidents once every couple weeks. I heard somewhere that they are 100% potty trained when they don't eliminate in your house for 3 or 4 weeks.

Our trainer told us that our puppy while being potty trained needs to go out at least once every hour, after they've woken up from a nap and 1/2hour to 45 minutes after they eat. Also you'll begin to learn their habits, when they need to poop (ours poops in the morning so we have to stay out there till she poops which can be 10 minutes, and poops at night).

I hope this helped, it helped us with our potty training so I thought maybe I should pass some information along!! Oh, also, if you have a steam cleaner or resolve or whatever gets the stench AND the stain up off your carpet (I'm not saying resolve is the best thing, it was just the first thing that came to mind, haha), get the smell up off your carpet so your dog doesn't go back and eliminate in the same spot! They have a better sense of smell than we do!!

Good luck! It takes some time and LOTS of patience since it's only a puppy!!

Deployment survivor!

wedding websites


Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 12:31 PM Go to message in response to: RanAway2Maine

It could be affected by what type of breed of dog he is. Have you tried google or checking amazon for a book on the subject?


Don't make me go Brooklyn on you. I have brass knuckles and I know how to use them.

P.O.O.P.E.R. - People Offended by Offended People Executive Recruiter


BenjaminsWife Posts : 1,069 Registered: 1/11/07
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 3:06 PM Go to message in response to: RanAway2Maine

It took a while for us to train our mastiff.

I dont recommend those pee pads. If you keep using that..he will think its ok to go potty inside the house and that's not what you want. If he's less than 3-1/2 months will need to take him out every hour. When he goes potty, praise him lavishly and give him a treat. Also be sure to give it a label like "go potty" and say that everytime you take him out.

We actually trained our dog to use a bell. We have a bell on the door and everytime he needs to go out he rings the bell. To get him to learn...we rang the bell before we took him out. Keep in mind...we were still taking him out every hour. At about 4 months he made the connection and rings the bell everytime he needs to go out. He's still not perfect...if it's been at least 3 hours since the last time he went out, we take him out. He's had only one accident in the last month which is not bad considering that he's only 5 months old.

Now when he's in the house and you can't keep a close eye on him..I suggest getting a crate for him. Puppies will not soil their living area...especially if it's just the right size.

Hope this helps

Just Married...9.20.08

Formerly BenjaminsBride 



kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 4:00 PM Go to message in response to: RanAway2Maine

Why not ask the breeder how they trained their dog I am assuming the puppy came from a reputable breeder and not a puppy farm. Try talking to the breeder they should be able to give you some tips. A book on house breaking and training a dog is a really good investment I would have read up on the dog and how to train it before I got it.




Kenny and me perfect together, 10 years and counting

Sucks to be you, So glad I am me

Proud Member of P.O.O.P,  People Offended by Offended People

wedding websites


Toast Posts : 480 Registered: 9/10/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 4:23 PM Go to message in response to: BenjaminsWife

I agree with everyones suggestions. When our dog was a puppy, we used a crate. We both worked during the day, but we would come home at lunch time to let him out, so he was never in his crate for more than 3 1/2 hors at a time.

Once we woke up, we would carry the puppy outside, hooking his leash on him while we were walking outside. As soon as his paws hit the grass, we would tell him to "go potty". If he went, he got lots of praise!! Lots of "good boy" and "good potty".

After breakfast/before we left for work, we would bring him out again. Then, he went in his crate until lunch time. Then, when we got home from work, we would not even talk to him, just go to the crate, pick him up, and bring him outside. Then, once he went we would praise him!

The trick is to get them to learn where to go. If it is controlled it works out well, and they learn fast! I think our pup had it down within a week! Also, lots of dogs get very excited and can pee from the excitement of seeing you come home. So, that is why we would not talk to him until we got him outside.

As far as the ankle biting, I would teach him how to heel. If he already follows you around, then use it to your advantage for heeling training. Have lots of yummy treats with you, and for every step you take, give him a treat if he doesnt bite you. If you can get him to look up at you, and not at your ankles, he should leave them alone. Start by giving him a treat for every step you take. Then, for every other step, and gradually reduce the amount of treats until he can naturally just walk with you and not bite you.

Also, make sure he has lots of chew toys! Maybe he needs something that he can shake from side to side in his mouth...or some kind of "heavy-duty" chew toy like a raw hide. Maybe he is teething and is just bored.

Good luck....hes a cutie!


tellitlikeitis Posts : 4 Registered: 11/11/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 5:06 PM Go to message in response to: RanAway2Maine

Are you really that dumb? The water bottle method is for cats, not dogs. Duh. Dogs are not afraid of water.


BenjaminsWife Posts : 1,069 Registered: 1/11/07
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 5:48 PM Go to message in response to: tellitlikeitis

That was uncalled for...

We used a spray bottle for a while to distract our puppy when he started getting mouthy (ie biting)

So no it's not just for cats.

Just Married...9.20.08

Formerly BenjaminsBride 



mrsJLA Posts : 445 Registered: 5/25/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 5:52 PM Go to message in response to: tellitlikeitis

"Dogs are not afraid of water"

Well my dog hates the sprinkler in the summer when he gets whacked in the face - even though he loves to swim. Where do these smarty pants people without good advice come from?

 Jaime :)

Wedding Pictures and the Furbabies:

 Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker


MrsM2009 Posts : 422 Registered: 3/16/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 5:57 PM Go to message in response to: tellitlikeitis

Tellitlikeitis - that's totally ridiculous. Dogs aren't afraid of water, but many dogs (particularly little ones like RanAway has) don't like being sprayed in the face!! My parents have a toy poodle, and she is a MAJOR barker. They spray her with water every time she barks, and it always shuts her up. Now they just have to pick up the spray bottle or say "spray bottle" and that usually stops her. Would this work for a German Shepard? I doubt it. A 10 pound mini-dog? Could be, depends on the dog!
P.O.O.P. - People Offended by Offended People


MandyandVance Posts : 650 Registered: 4/10/06
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 5:59 PM Go to message in response to: RanAway2Maine

Congrats on your puppy maine! He is a cutie!

Firstly, do NOT use puppy pads. Those things are the worst invention EVER. All they do is teach your dog it is ok to go in the house. The main thing to remember is to always take him out first thing in the morning, before bed and after meals. With puppies you have to take them out every hour or so. Also watch for signs he may need to go such as circling in one spot. When he is outside and he does do his business praise his pants off and give him treats. Dogs react well to praise. I know it is frustrating but he will get there in time. Also, he really needs consistency. Make sure you do the same actions repeatedly. Also if you do find an accident don't do the old rubbing his nose in it or yelling, he won't understand. You have to catch him in the act in order to discipline him or he will get confused. And if you do catch him I would grab him (hopefully he will stop going when you do this!) and immediately put him outside.

With the ankle biting, that is tricky since he is teething. You could try the water or clapping really loudly to distract him or if that doesn't work put some pennies in a jar and shake them. Also dogs hate to be ignored. When he is doing something bad try ignoring him - don't touch him or look at him. Have you tried a kong? They are great for teething and you can stick treats in them or a bit of peanut butter and it should keep him busy.

Do you have a crate for him? They are honestly the best things. Dogs usually get used to them quite quickly and think of them as their territory. The are great.

Good luck and I hope everything works out!


JuneSCbride Posts : 5 Registered: 8/13/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 6:01 PM Go to message in response to: RanAway2Maine

Spray water bottles work great! We have taken both of our dogs (a Rotti mix and a Great Dane mix) to a couple of different trainers. They were both rescue dogs and had some fear and egression issues. All of them have used the spray water bottle. They tell us first to tell them no sternly, then if that doesn't work we are supposed tot make a noise like a growl to them (since that is something they understand). If that doesn't work we are supposed to spray a squirt of water on their nose. Between those few steps, are dogs are completely different dogs. They seem happy and more balanced now. I hope this helps!


CountryPrincess Posts : 673 Registered: 9/25/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 5, 2009 6:07 PM Go to message in response to: mrsJLA

OP: your puppy is actually at the PERFECT age to begin training. I would look into obediance classes. All my dogs went to PetSmart's puppy class. It's affordable, flexible, and really helpful. If you have a PetSmart I would seriously look into it. Anyway...I've trained 4 dogs now so I've figured out some techniques.

There is the water bottle method but it only works with some dogs. Our beagle loves getting water splashed in his face so it obviously doesn't work for him. However, our goldens & doberman hate it. It really depends on the breed because that will show how stubborn they are.

For biting you can get this spray called Apple Bitter or use vinegar. If you use the spray make sure you get Apple Bitter brand. I've found that a lot of the off brands don't work/aren't as strong. If your dog is weird and likes the apple bitter, there is another one called lemon bitter. Spray on it anything that the puppy is biting. Furniture, leashes, clothes, etc... Our doberman would bite his tags when he was small enough to reach them so we had to soak them in straight vinegar.

Potty training: put your puppy on a schedule! I can not stress that enough. When dogs are older they don't need a schedule, but puppies do. Puppies go to the bathroom as soon as they feel the urge, holding it is something they learn over time. If your puppy takes a nap, take them to go potty as soon as they wake up. If they are in their cage, take them to go potty as soon as they get out. Even playing incredibly hard can work up their blatter. Learn when your dog typically goes potty. For example, our beagle had to go every hour but our dobie would go every two or three. Some dogs blatters are like clockwork & all of them have a just pay attention and try to learn it. Also, go outside with your dog. Don't just let them loose in the backyard. You only have to do this in the training stage. When your puppy goes potty, "say good boy/girl!" and pet them. It shows postive feedback. Our beagle is incredibly stubborn and we had to housebreak him in a way that most people don't agree with. Some dogs you can just scold them and they learn. But not our beagle. What we had to do with him is when he would go potty and we would catch him in the act, we would take his nose and put it right up against (but not in) the pee. Then we say "eh-eh". He hated that and quit doing it. Its a little harsher method but when "nicer" ones don't work, it becomes necessary. Also it is important to know that if you do punish your puppy for going in the house, you can only do it when you catch them.

About the training pads...we tried those once and they just didn't work for us. I personally think they're a waste of money. If you want to go that route, do the old newspaper trick.

"I don't care how much it hurts. I don't care if its a brick wall disaster. I'd rather fight with you everday than be happy for one second with anyone else." <3

Kevin & Mari: 11/09/06 to Forever.


RanAway2Maine Posts : 2,359 Registered: 1/27/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 6, 2009 8:29 AM Go to message in response to: LisaSummerBride2B

LisaSummer-Thank you so much for your response. Yes-that is my new little terror!

Yea-Domino really does have the run of the house right now. I will try the leash dragging. My vet told me about that. It is my understanding that the Shih Tzu are very very difficult to potty train, so I am keeping that in mind.

And I have a "crate" for him. He doesn't really use it, but on occasion he will go in there on his own. The crate is right by my bedside. Also, having two crates is I think a very good idea so I think I will get another one.

Thanks again for your tips-they are very good ones and I will take your post into consideration! As a matter of fact, I am going to print it out for reference!


RanAway2Maine Posts : 2,359 Registered: 1/27/08
Re: Help! I Need Help PUPPY Training!
Posted: Mar 6, 2009 8:43 AM Go to message in response to: Bride2008

Bride2008-Yes the Shih Tzu are like no other! Especially when potty training! I have done a LOT of research and have asked the vet a thousand questions. But it's good to ask people who have had their own experience with their little ones...

Benjamins-Thank you for the tips. Wow! The bell idea is fantastic! Right now he barely knows his name, though, so it'll be a while. It's funny because he knows what "Wanna go out" means. He cocks his head and gets all excited!

kennys-Hello! I have read up on potty training. The breeder had one female who gave birth to 4 pups. Since he is an AKC purebred, Dean and I are thinking about studding him out. But I'm not sure yet whether I want him fixed. Anybody ever stud their boys out?

Hello Toast-Great name! Thank you for your tips. I will try what you said about the ankle biting! That's the thing that I really want to rid him of. Nobody can walk around without him biting! I have been saying "NO!", but he continues right on. And my God I hate to yell at him or be so stern because I feel like I'm being a meanie! LOTS of toys all around the house!

tellitlike-You must be a troll...Have fun...

MrsJLA-Your pup is a beauty! I will try the water bottle method! Thank You!

Edited by: RanAway2Maine on Mar 6, 2009 8:44 AM


Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift
Subscribe to Brides magazine