The Housebreaking Bible Forum

    • Back to Square 1

      Our MinPin is about 4 months old. We live in an apartment overseas so we thought pee pad training would be the best option. She is an extremely small dog even for a MinPin, only weighing about 2 pounds. We started with her confined area big enough for her to only eat, sleep and use the bathroom. She had a few accidents but caught on quick. We reward her with praise and treats when she goes on her pad. She got to the point that he would pretend to go by squatting on the pad then look to us for praise and a treat. She will even hold it all night just to be seen when we get up in the morning. Once she was using the pad on a regular basis we kept her pen up (to keep our daughter out) however we leave the door open. She has no problem returning to her pen to pee. My problem is that recently she has taken to not wanting to poop on the pad. She travels when she goes so even if she starts on the pad she finishes elsewhere. She will hold it all day then as soon as we open the door to her pen she will poop in the house. It's very frustrating, especially having a toddler that might get to a pile before I do. I'm really at a loss for what to do. Any thoughts will be appreciated! Thanks!
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Back to Square 1 started by poconc View original post
      Comments 5 Comments
      1. Rebecca's Avatar
        Rebecca -
        Sorry to hear you're having problems with your pup... sounds like you were off to a pretty good start with your housebreaking!

        There are a couple of things I'd implement right away to try to get her back into the habit of going poo only on the pads. First, you might want to expand her area and add an extra pad to make her potty area bigger... she might just be realizing that it's pretty gross to sleep and hang out next to her poo, so she's trying to go elsewhere. That's just the natural potty training tendency at work... she's starting to want to go outside of her living area so she can keep it clean! Giving her some extra pad space and maybe a bigger bed in there to hang out in will likely help.

        Also, adding some kind of tray or pan with a low edge (VERY low for a 2 pounder!!) to clearly separate her potty zone from her living area may also help... that's often all it takes to stop dogs from starting to go on the pad, then wandering off mid-poo.

        When she's out of the confinement area, you'll need to use the puppy airlift and/or umbilical cord training for a while... that'll keep her from having any accidents in the house and you'll be able to make sure her only opportunity to poo is in the right place!

        Hope this helps!
      1. poconc's Avatar
        poconc -
        Thanks for your response. I will try to increase her pen size and see if that helps. I'm not optimistic because when she was using the pad consistently she had free run of the house as long as we were home. When we first started her training she didn't like to go on the pad more than a couple of times. We were changing it 3-4 times a day just to keep her from using the floor. We really didn't have the problem with her not pooping on it until we started rewarding her for going potty on the pad. We would reward her for #2 but we rarely see her go. We have a tray that holds the pad in place so she can't drag it around like she did before. For the past 2 days I have only taken her out for times of play when I could keep a very close eye on her. I gave her treats and lots and lots of praise when I saw her poo on the pad but it was a very small amount. This morning she had a small amount on the pad and I let her out. The minute I turned my back, she went on the floor in the kitchen. She even had a fresh pad in her pen. It's clear to me that she was holding it all this time. I'm wondering if changing her feeding schedule might help me control it some. We do measure her food but we "free" feed her so she has access to it all day. I still praise her when she goes potty on the pad but have stopped with the treats as she has this down pat! Right now she is in her pen with a clean pad. She keeps going over to it and rubbing her butt on it like she has to go but then jumps around and gets back in her bed. I know she has to go but she's holding it, hoping she will be let out. It's so frustrating!
      1. Rebecca's Avatar
        Rebecca -
        Sorry for the delayed response to your post... had some technical issues and couldn't access the forum for several days. Ugh!!

        I suspect that there are a couple of things contributing to this issue... I think you started giving your gal too much freedom too soon, which gave her some info we didn't want her to have... she now knows she can go potty off of the pads and it works for her, which is probably leading her to hold it to not mess up her confinement area. At 4 months, most pups can't have the run of the house and still need to be under strict supervision.

        The treats you're using for your potty training may also be a contributing factor. Though treats can sometimes work for housebreaking, I don't recommend using them, as they often cause problems. You mentioned that she sometimes goes a tiny bit on the pad, then still has a poo accident once you let her out of the pen. This may be caused by the treats... read more about it in Training Commandment #4!

        Hope things are improving!!
      1. poconc's Avatar
        poconc -
        I stopped giving her treats for going on the pad and now just reward her with lots of praise. She's done ok being let out for only a little at a time for the past several days. Today, less than a minute after I let her out, she got on the couch and pooped. I can't have a dog pooping all over the house and the furniture. We keep her pad and her area clean. I'm really frustrated right now and on the verge of giving up. She has no problem going back into her pen to pee so I don't understand why she refuses to poop in there. What's worst is that it seems like she will hold it for days until she is allowed out. What can I do?
      1. Rebecca's Avatar
        Rebecca -
        Sorry to hear you're still having some frustrating poo problems! Just remember that at 4 months old, she's still a baby and we can't expect her to be perfect! If you've already increased her confinement area and pad space, that should help, but you'll need to do really strict puppy airlift and/or umbilical cord supervision. If you take away her opportunities to go potty in other areas, she'll have no choice but to use her pads and that should get her back into the habit of doing the right thing.

        This will take a little time, so just try to be as patient as you can... puppies can be frustrating little buggers, but try not to get mad at her for being confused. If you're really at the end of your rope, I'd suggest that you work with a trainer in your area who can assess your situation in person and give you some hands-on help.

        Keep me updated on how she's doing!

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