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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Dilemma: Puppy training to one 'spot'

Hi everyone,

Just got a wonderful 8 week Dobe, Baron. Having a bit of a dilemma on how to house train him in regards to one spot outside. He does not have accidents in the house, which is great; he really does want to go outside.
At the breeder's he had tons of grass to run around in, so obviously he is comfortable going in grass. I built a special spot for him with smooth pebbles in the corner of the back yard - my family has always had this spot with our dogs, and it saves us cleaning up poo in the whole yard. The problem is that he HATES the spot. I can take him out for 5 mins or 20, it makes no difference. He howls like I'm torturing him. I use the keyword 'quick quick,' put him in the spot on a leash attached to the fence, and look away so I don't make eye contact or give attention. Eventually he just sits and stares and howls. I know he doesn't 'get' what I want, but I don't seem to be making any progress. But if I carry him out front and say 'quick quick' he immediately trots to the usual spot (I have been carrying him to the devils strip out front) and relieves himself. I have a huge party and everyone wins. I have literally spent an entire day before setting the timer for 10-15 min intervals, taking him to the pebbles, trying the phrase, then placing him back in his crate til time's up and trying again -- he held out a whole day and pooped 3 times and peed twice on one walk, after I felt like I just had to let him relieve himself. I don't want to make him sick.

I had stopped temporarily training him in the back because he was scratching the heck out of his ears, newly cropped, and they got a bad infection -had to take him to e.r. vet clinic yesterday. We have better antibiotics and ear care things now, and are making great progress, so I'm hoping he'll be back on track within a day or two. But as it is, if I put him out there in the pebbles he scratches continually til I turn around to stop him - defeating the purpose of ignoring him. He is too distracted by the itching to go.

... My point and question is, if he loves grass so much do I have a better shot at potty training him to one grassy spot in the back yard? Should I give up the pebbles altogether? I feel like he would respond to the grass more easily - but would that confuse him since the rest of the yard would still technically be 'off limits'? Right now I am helping ears heal by taking him out front because when we go on walks or to the park it will still be acceptable for him to go in the median... But the cone comes off next Tuesday and I have to decide how to handle the back yard potty 'spot' training. I think he already associates 'quick quick' with relieving himself (amazing as that might sound) so I thought if I keep doing that til next Tuesday maybe he will recognize the phrase when I place him on the pebbles and he will go???

The other tricky piece is that I am moving into an apartment tomorrow (finally after a lot of hectic planning and delays), and have been staying at my boyfriend's place, because he has a yard and owns a house which is ideal for puppy -- so the spot is at my boyfriend's house, and I will probably just train him to relieve himself on command in one spot of grass in the back yard area of my apartment complex when he's hanging out with me. Is this too confusing? I don't want to demand more of Baron than he can handle :/

Any advice greatly appreciated! Thank you!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 04:15 PM
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my dog hates going on the area we have with decorative rocks and also hates mulch - for her, it has to be grass.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 04:38 PM
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So why bother training him to go on pebbles at your bf's place and use grass at your apartment? I don't see the point. Sorry.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmingram View Post
Hi everyone,

Just got a wonderful 8 week Dobe, Baron. Having a bit of a dilemma on how to house train him in regards to one spot outside. He does not have accidents in the house, which is great; he really does want to go outside.
At the breeder's he had tons of grass to run around in, so obviously he is comfortable going in grass. I built a special spot for him with smooth pebbles in the corner of the back yard - my family has always had this spot with our dogs, and it saves us cleaning up poo in the whole yard. The problem is that he HATES the spot. I can take him out for 5 mins or 20, it makes no difference. He howls like I'm torturing him. I use the keyword 'quick quick,' put him in the spot on a leash attached to the fence, and look away so I don't make eye contact or give attention. Eventually he just sits and stares and howls. I know he doesn't 'get' what I want, but I don't seem to be making any progress. But if I carry him out front and say 'quick quick' he immediately trots to the usual spot (I have been carrying him to the devils strip out front) and relieves himself. I have a huge party and everyone wins. I have literally spent an entire day before setting the timer for 10-15 min intervals, taking him to the pebbles, trying the phrase, then placing him back in his crate til time's up and trying again -- he held out a whole day and pooped 3 times and peed twice on one walk, after I felt like I just had to let him relieve himself. I don't want to make him sick.

I had stopped temporarily training him in the back because he was scratching the heck out of his ears, newly cropped, and they got a bad infection -had to take him to e.r. vet clinic yesterday. We have better antibiotics and ear care things now, and are making great progress, so I'm hoping he'll be back on track within a day or two. But as it is, if I put him out there in the pebbles he scratches continually til I turn around to stop him - defeating the purpose of ignoring him. He is too distracted by the itching to go.

... My point and question is, if he loves grass so much do I have a better shot at potty training him to one grassy spot in the back yard? Should I give up the pebbles altogether? I feel like he would respond to the grass more easily - but would that confuse him since the rest of the yard would still technically be 'off limits'? Right now I am helping ears heal by taking him out front because when we go on walks or to the park it will still be acceptable for him to go in the median... But the cone comes off next Tuesday and I have to decide how to handle the back yard potty 'spot' training. I think he already associates 'quick quick' with relieving himself (amazing as that might sound) so I thought if I keep doing that til next Tuesday maybe he will recognize the phrase when I place him on the pebbles and he will go???

The other tricky piece is that I am moving into an apartment tomorrow (finally after a lot of hectic planning and delays), and have been staying at my boyfriend's place, because he has a yard and owns a house which is ideal for puppy -- so the spot is at my boyfriend's house, and I will probably just train him to relieve himself on command in one spot of grass in the back yard area of my apartment complex when he's hanging out with me. Is this too confusing? I don't want to demand more of Baron than he can handle :/

Any advice greatly appreciated! Thank you!!
my dogs picked their spot so thats where we take them... conveniently its right outside our patio. about 6ft by 6 ft area, obviously we clean it up but they stick to that area. we just use a 6 ft leash walk around a bit, they do their business and get treats and praise for doin it outside and we go on a little walk and on with our day. my husky gave me a hard time about pooping outside at first but once she got the hang of it we're doing rather well.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivienne00 View Post
So why bother training him to go on pebbles at your bf's place and use grass at your apartment? I don't see the point. Sorry.
Well I can't build a 'spot' at my apartment, so it's got to be grass. But I didn't want him pooping all over my boyfriend's yard, so I did what my mom did with her dogs and made him a nice spot in the corner. Hers all got the hang of it which is awesome, because she can send them out and they just go in that place
But my guy doesn't seem to like going in any particular spot - he just squats where it suits him. He's great about trotting right out to the spot at my place, and he's found a spot at my parents' but for some reason he is being really stubborn about the spot I put in for him at my boyfriend's. If I try to make him go in it, he will hold it in all day to avoid it. But if I take him for a walk he goes immediately. Puzzling to say the least :/
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmclove View Post
my dogs picked their spot so thats where we take them... conveniently its right outside our patio. about 6ft by 6 ft area, obviously we clean it up but they stick to that area. we just use a 6 ft leash walk around a bit, they do their business and get treats and praise for doin it outside and we go on a little walk and on with our day. my husky gave me a hard time about pooping outside at first but once she got the hang of it we're doing rather well.
Hmmm... Maybe I will try putting him out and letting him pick a spot and see if he returns to it? I could definitely understand if he likes grass better, and to me it doesn't make a difference - I just want to encourage him to go in one place so we don't step in doodoo all summer long....
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acemommy View Post
my dog hates going on the area we have with decorative rocks and also hates mulch - for her, it has to be grass.
Did she finally end up picking some particular area she likes?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:49 PM
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Why don't you just clean up after him instead? If he has to pee and the boyfriend doesn't want that on his yard you should take him on a short walk when he has to go.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 03:10 PM
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My last girl Mysti was trained to go in a pen behind our garage, as was the dog before her, my lab. Training Mysti was pretty damn easy, we took her to the pen, said "go potty" and walked around sniffing for a few minutes and when she pees we praised and all was well. Then came Nexus. I swear when it comes to stubborn she was the poster child. We took both dogs to the pen, I said "go potty" .. Nexus happily watched Mysti pee or poop, then proceeded to try to follow her out of the pen. No, go potty was always my response. And I got that blank stare. I tried taking her with Mysti, without Mysti, leaving her in the pen alone for long periods, everything I could think of. The longer she sat in the pen the longer she held it, and as soon as her feet hit the back yard, pee or poop followed! It didnt matter if I left her 5 mins or 5 hours (which we never did but I swear she would have held out if we had.) There was something about that pen that she did not like and was not going to use it. Our back yard is a free for all now, both dogs go where they please and it is cleaned up every couple days. Of course in winter its harder to go out and clean it up but it is still maintained. It was alot easier when it was localized but its not really that much harder to go clean it up every couple days. In the hottest part of summer its done daily to keep the yard from stinking.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 08:14 PM
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Bruce picked his favorite spot where he always goes, but I've had dogs in the past who didn't pick a spot. I still do poop clean ups daily, but that's just me. He has his spot, I clean it up every day, and nobody steps in poo. If he didn't have a favorite spot I still wouldn't be too bothered since I do that daily clean up out there.
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