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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Potty Training. HELP!

Hello. My husband and I are new to the Doberman world and we are at our wits end with our boy! We got our puppy at 6weeks old (I questioned this, but the breeder told us the mom is done with the pups by that time). In hind sight, I think it was waaaaay too young. We started potty training immediately and I wonder if it gave him a complex. We took him out every 15-20 minutes at that age and praised religiously when he pottied outside (also scolded for inside). Now he is 6 months old and has come a long ways, but still having occasional accidents (he's also pees when he feels he's in trouble which is incredibly frustrating because I know punishing only makes it worse). We're losing our minds because we feel like we've been at it for ages. Our Boston Terrier picked up on it right away and was completely trained by 4 months!, so I'm not sure what we're doing wrong.


We've tried putting a bell on the door, but I think he enjoyed getting a reaction out of us more than he actually used it to communicate that he had to go. My husband is super diligent about letting him out often when we're home (usually once every hour, sometimes closer to 2 hours, which I don't feel is unreasonable at this age). He holds his bladder ALL day while we're at work (8+ hours) but can't last 45 minutes once we're home. Last night, he was let out immediately when we got home from work. Less than 2 hours later, when we went to let him out again, he literally squatted right in front of the door and unloaded his bladder. This past weekend, he was let out immediately when we woke up. He pottied outside and 30 minutes later took a dump on the floor. I've let him out after 8 hours in the crate and watched him play for 15 minutes with our other dog before he remembered he had to pee...so it's not like he CAN'T hold it...I just feel like he's choosing not to. He knows it's wrong but he does it anyway.

We're literally losing our minds over this. My husband is ready to just throw in the towel and put him on Craigslist and I'm certainly not opposed to it at this point. I just want to make sure there's nothing else we can do that could solve this for us. He's a very sweet dog and I'd hate to give up for something that's considered rudimentary training, but we're both getting to the point where we are starting to resent him.

Any advice at all would be appreciated. We're willing to try anything.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 10:31 AM
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You have a very young dog, and yes, you did get him too young, but it's past fixing that. Here's a couple of things I can identify:

First off, scolding him for being incorrect can create issues with pottying, and Dobermans are a very sensitive breed. He may have developed a sort of aversion to pottying in front of you, or some issues with pottying in general, because he's associating negative things with it. You may need to go back to square one, as if he's a tiny pup. When he's inside, you are supervising 100% of the time. That means he's leashed to you, or crated - you have eyes on him ALL THE TIME. Any signs that he needs to go out, and you are out the door! Praise praise praise for correct behavior, and NO scolding!

Keep in mind that while puppies can hold it overnight or in a crate for longer periods, it's not the same at all when they are loose in the house, playing, etc. Very very different. If he needs to go out every half an hour, then take him out every half an hour. Set him up for success, not failure! He actually CAN'T hold it longer. He's a baby, and he's NOT doing this on purpose. He doesn't understand what's correct.

My boy took longer to potty train and to gain some control over his bladder...he just actually didn't get the signals when he was playing and active. I took him out more frequently, making sure he didn't have a chance to make a mistake. One day, he had that "aha!" moment, and from then on, we were golden. He just needed a chance to get it.

However, all that said, it sounds like you guys are very, very frustrated and upset, and I'm worried that this isn't a good situation for your pup. If you are truly "done," please contact a local Doberman rescue group if you want to rehome him, so they can help you find an appropriate home, or, at least can help you with how to screen homes for a good placement. Don't just give him to anyone with payment. You need to get references, call them, and make sure he's placed in a good home that's appropriate for a Doberman.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 10:38 AM
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Welcome to DT.

I'm assuming that he's been to see the vet, and doesn't have a bladder infection or anything like that going on?

Fist off, no scolding him for accidents, especially since you know about the submissive urination. If anyone gets scolded, it's you for missing his signals. If you see him starting to look like he's going to potty, just say "not there", and hustle him outside. If he has an accident, just clean it up with an enzymatic cleaner, and don't say anything to him.

While you are gone to work, he's probably sleeping most of the day, and therefore not needing to potty as much. When you are home, he's more active, which also stimulates the bowels and bladder.

I'd suggest that you go back to a schedule when you are home (maybe every 30 minutes to an hour), and take him out on a leash to ensure that he actually potties. When you let him out of his crate, take him outside, and don't let him play until after he potties.

For what it's worth, my GSD bitch was nearly two before she quit needing an early morning potty break, and if I ignored her fussing, it was almost guaranteed that I would have to clean a crate and probably the dog, as well, since she also couldn't have any bedding because she would shred it.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 10:59 AM
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Good advice from DT members above ^^^.

Just a note about potty bell training: Spock was trained in the potty bell (hung on several doors) from a pup and has kept it up through his 9 years with us. Yes, he will also ring the bell when he wants to go on a walk or wants attention. However, when he needs to go potty he rings the bell hard and repeatedly.

We have only had a potty training issue with our little Cairn/Chi terrier mutt, Lanah, who will occasionally drop a few turds on back door carpet. We always make her go out with her Dobe pack for "potty time", making this a group social event on a regular basis. When we do this, no potty issues in the house for Lanah!

Just in last two months, Lanah has been barking at us and scraping paws on floor to indicate she needs to go out for potty (big improvement for her) She even will wake us up at night from sound sleep with her barking for potty.

Before walks around neighborhood, I have both Spock and Eva go out back for a "preemptive potty break" This eliminates (pun intended) the need to pick and carry poop on long walks, even though I always carry poop bags (lavender scented) in my cargo pants pocket.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:01 AM
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First off - Welcome to DT . Boy ! If you have or had kids - would you put them on Craig's list when they had a accident or did something wrong ? That part really bothers me !

We have raised Dobie's for many years and no 2 are the same - Our latest addition - Mr. Business was terrible to potty train !! I'm not kidding ! the worse ! He did many of the same things your pup is doing - let him out to potty then he would run back in the house - around the table , then under the table and pee right in front of us then take off running !

It's called patience ! and he used up a lot of it - but we stuck with it and I let Ali out with him - to see if he would pick up what she was doing - sure enough - when Ali peed - He would pee - but he would still have a accident every now and then - But at almost 4 years old - he's a great boy !

One thing is they don't like to mess where they sleep ! he holds all day - then you let him out - he is excited to see you both ! He probably don't have much to drink either when your at work - so at night he's been running - playing and drinks more and will have to pee more .

You need to learn your dog better - they will give signs that they need to go most times - Now Mr. Business will jump up from sleep and pace some - look at us and head to the door - they may cry a little - there are many things they will do to try and tell yeah - trust me - I have missed a few signs when they were really little - yet - you will learn - Don't put off the signs - like your sitting on the couch - he may go to the door - you may think he's just looking out - then you need to ask him - do you need to go out , then go open the door and see what happens .

Positive reinforcement I found helps - when they go and do the deal outside - praise him ! I clap my hands and say loudly - good boy - good boy ! Dobermans love praise !

It takes the whole team here to get this deal done !

All dogs are NOT the same - one will break easy - then the next - will be a nightmare - they each have there own book to write -

One last thing - I promise - Get out of the frame of mind you two have gotten into ! Not all things are easy - Think positive ! Work and Work and work at this problem - and remember - Nobody likes a quitter !

He will be a GREAT boy - someday !
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bovineoxy View Post
Hello. My husband and I are new to the Doberman world and we are at our wits end with our boy! We got our puppy at 6weeks old (I questioned this, but the breeder told us the mom is done with the pups by that time). In hind sight, I think it was waaaaay too young. We started potty training immediately and I wonder if it gave him a complex. We took him out every 15-20 minutes at that age and praised religiously when he pottied outside (also scolded for inside). Now he is 6 months old and has come a long ways, but still having occasional accidents (he's also pees when he feels he's in trouble which is incredibly frustrating because I know punishing only makes it worse). We're losing our minds because we feel like we've been at it for ages. Our Boston Terrier picked up on it right away and was completely trained by 4 months!, so I'm not sure what we're doing wrong.
From your post I think that you have a couple of things going on with your puppy (and at 6 months he's really still a puppy). The peeing when he thinks he's in trouble is submissive peeing and really doesn't have anything to do with potty training. (And I don't think you gave him a complex by starting to do the training when he was only six weeks old--but you are right--he should have still been with his mother and litter mates at that age--food isn't the only thing a bitch does when raising puppies--between her and the litter mates a puppy learns a lot of behaviors that will be with him through his life.)

Most puppies outgrow submissive peeing but the best thing you can do about it is to try and avoid situations that make him think he's in trouble and don't reprimand him for that kind of peeing--that only makes it worse.

Quote:
We've tried putting a bell on the door, but I think he enjoyed getting a reaction out of us more than he actually used it to communicate that he had to go.
Sometimes the bell business works like a charm and sometimes it ends up with a dog who figures out that if he wants to go out and look at the bird on the lawn he can get out by ringing it. So it sound like what he's doing is getting a reaction from you--if he wants out for any reason the door opens and for him it's a positive--for you it's frustrating because he's ringing it but not because he needs to pee.

Quote:
My husband is super diligent about letting him out often when we're home (usually once every hour, sometimes closer to 2 hours, which I don't feel is unreasonable at this age). He holds his bladder ALL day while we're at work (8+ hours) but can't last 45 minutes once we're home. Last night, he was let out immediately when we got home from work. Less than 2 hours later, when we went to let him out again, he literally squatted right in front of the door and unloaded his bladder.
I'm only guessing (not being able to see exactly what's going on makes it hard to do more than offer some suggestion) There is a biological built into dogs (mammals in general actually) if they are inactive and sleeping they can retain urine and poop far longer than they can during periods when they are active. So if he's crated during the day he probably is sleeping and if he doesn't need to go out at night multiple times the same thing is going on.

A lot of dogs, males in particular, tend to not empty their bladders entirely--and that may be what is happening with the peeing before he gets out the door when he has peed only a couple of hours before. You need to make sure, if he's doing this that he either stays out long enough to empty his bladder or gets back out after a short period of time to pee again.

Quote:
This past weekend, he was let out immediately when we woke up. He pottied outside and 30 minutes later took a dump on the floor. I've let him out after 8 hours in the crate and watched him play for 15 minutes with our other dog before he remembered he had to pee...so it's not like he CAN'T hold it...I just feel like he's choosing not to. He knows it's wrong but he does it anyway.
The pooping (was this something he does all the time?) if it wasn't something that happens all the time is (I think) different than the peeing issue. Did he get fed when he came in from peeing? My dogs, especially in the morning need to go back out pretty immediately after breakfast and they will usually poop then and may pee again as well.

Puppies are dimwits--and if there is something to do even if they are supposed to be out to pee--that's more fun--like playing with your other dog--that's what they do. And then they really have to pee and finally do. And it may be the key to why he doesn't empty his bladder and needs to pee twice (and the second one may be in the house0. This isn't so much choice as we know it. Dogs don't choose to do things that get them in trouble but they often do things that will lead to behaviors that get them in trouble. So getting side tracked and then needing to pee right then isn't about "I choose to be bad..."

And you might want to talk to his vet about this--he could also have a UTI which is enough to trigger the need to pee instantly. The behavior you are describing doesn't sound like it but I'd want to be sure before I did anything drastic like getting rid of him.

Quote:
We're literally losing our minds over this. My husband is ready to just throw in the towel and put him on Craigslist and I'm certainly not opposed to it at this point. I just want to make sure there's nothing else we can do that could solve this for us. He's a very sweet dog and I'd hate to give up for something that's considered rudimentary training, but we're both getting to the point where we are starting to resent him.

Any advice at all would be appreciated. We're willing to try anything.
I wish you the best of luck--I understand your frustration and why you are starting to resent him. I'd definitely make sure there isn't something physical going on via a vet visit and discussion before you got rid of him and please, please--if you do decide he must go find a Doberman Rescue to take him--from Craig's list he could go to some terrible places--a bait dog for dog fighting, a "guard" who spends his life in an eight by eight pen during the day and in a fenced area alone at night--unloved sometimes mistreated and basically ignored.

dobebug
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so incredibly much for that insight! We don't have anything to compare him against except our Boston (who's almost 2 now). Potty training him was a dream.

He has been to the vet numerous times for puppy shots and ear cropping. He was given a clean bill of health, so no UTI's or bladder infections to speak of.

Our Dobie has no problem going outside, so he's not afraid of going in front of us. We let him out once every hour or so when we're home and he goes through the motions, even if he only dribbles. I caught him faking it a few times, where he squatted and nothing came out, and then he ran to me for praise and to be let in. He learned that if he "goes", he gets rewarded and gets to come back in. Since it was winter, I think he probably didn't want to be outside all that much. When I finally caught on almost a month later and called his bluff, I watched him fake pee and try to come in 5 times in a row before he finally unloaded outside. And yes, he had to go.

Now we have to tell him repeatedly to get off the porch and finish his business. He always does but it takes 3-4 times of reminding him. It baffles me because he does know going inside is wrong.. He doesn't have accidents in the middle of the room or anywhere else. He doesn't sneak off and try to hide it. It's always when we're in the process of taking him out. It's like the act of going towards the front door makes him remember he has to pee and as soon as he thinks about it, it's too late. I mean, he's gotten LOADS better, but the accidents he has now just confuse me. He goes a week or so without problems and then, BAM, back to square one. We had him outside for 45 minutes a few days ago to enjoy the warmer weather, let him back in, and he peed as soon as he walked in the house.

I suppose we'll try the aforementioned advice about letting him out every 30 minutes and going back to square 1. We're desperate and willing to try anything. We're not malicious people. We really do want this to work. It's just incredibly frustrating because I feel we've tried everything and we've been at it for so long. It's nice to have a time frame, though. I think we gave him more credit than he deserved because we were told how intelligent they were, so we assumed he'd catch on quicker than our other dog.

Thanks for your input!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure where my last reply went. I'm still figuring out this forum thing.

Thank you all so much for your advice. We do truly want to make this work! I know we sound awful, but we're just very, very frustrated.

For the most part, he tells us when he wants out. He looks to the front door and acts like he wants to walk down that hallway. We always let him out when he shows us he is thinking about it. But sometimes we take precautions and decide to let him out before he displays any signs because we don't want any accidents. He goes a week or more at a time without any trouble, then he relapses and has accidents for days. It's the weirdest thing. We're not changing anything in our routine (that we're aware of).

I did catch him fake pee'ing a month or so back. He would squat and pretend to pee, then run to me for praise and immediately get let back in only to have an accident. I did eventually catch on and call his bluff. I watched him fake it 5 times and try to come back in before he finally decided to go. And he did have to go! Now we go through this every time we let him out. He pees/poops and comes running back to the front door and we make him go back out again. Just last week he was outside for 45+ minutes because it was a warmer day, and he apparently didn't go at all during that time because he peed shortly after he was let back in.

The "accidents" he's having aren't just random anymore. They're almost always by the front door and they occur when we're in the process of taking him out. It's like the act of walking him down the hallway makes him remember he has to pee and then he doesn't make it outside. The submissive urination has pretty much stopped, so I don't think the scolding is a problem anymore (although I'm convinced that's what it was when he was younger. He's more self confident now). We don't beat him or anything. We just firmly yell "no!" and rush him outside when we catch him.

We'll take your advice and go back to square one. Hopefully it gets better. I think we gave him WAAY more credit than he deserved because we thought "oh! Dobermans are listed top 10 for intelligence! He'll be SOOO much easier to train than our Boston!". --> unamused face.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:17 PM
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Hang in there bovineoxy! Do you have access to a local dog trainer or other doggie friends that could offer some support during this trying time?
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Where we live is kind of remote. The nearest dog trainer that I'm aware of from a basic google search is 45 minutes away. We did bring the issue up with our veterinarian awhile back, but she just said that he's going to be hard headed around this age and that he's going to intentionally do things he's not supposed to to see what he can get away with.

We have other, not so pressing issues with him, too. Most of these I'm attributing to his age, but obviously this is the issue that's making us pull our hair out lol
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:40 PM
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Where we live is kind of remote. The nearest dog trainer that I'm aware of from a basic google search is 45 minutes away. We did bring the issue up with our veterinarian awhile back, but she just said that he's going to be hard headed around this age and that he's going to intentionally do things he's not supposed to to see what he can get away with.

We have other, not so pressing issues with him, too. Most of these I'm attributing to his age, but obviously this is the issue that's making us pull our hair out lol
You need a new veterinarian, I think. Just my opinion, but that's not at all an appropriate response to the situation that's going on with your puppy.


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:57 PM
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If you are willing to do anything my suggestion is this:
I do not recall how old the pup is NOW.....but either way ........pup should always be on a 6 foot lead and tied to your hip unless crated. I know .......I know......it is a pain but........it was a pain for me also but I did it......Hoss was a sneaky pooper in the house as a pup.
Trainer taught me "prevention" was the key.........you must catch this potty activity ...."in the moment" ............so give pup plenty of opportunities to potty outside....their bladders are small just like human babies until they mature.
But once you are back inside ....leash is on .............no more free roaming.............so now .....with the leash on...if pup starts to go.... .........no words.......no negative vibes ...... just take pup outside pronto..........encourage pup to finish.
Good idea to establish a "potty spot" ......if you go to the same place each time on the leash ...they smell it and encourages them to go.
You are going to find with this breed initially as you train they will seem like they get it one day ...and then some days not......BUT the goods news is it all begins to come together as they get older.
Just like when we were babies we needed time to develop physically and mentally.
Dobermans are very smart ......but not necessarily from day one.......
As far as Hoss ......like you at 8 months I was exhausted ..........it was like having a newborn in the house ........but one day I decided I was not going to let him outwit me.......I listened to my trainer and that leash was on my hip dog by my side no more free roaming for me to find his little pile of poop.
Now as Hoss got older he still had to stay by my side .....so as I was doing dishes ,laundry, etc. that was an opportunity to practice down-stays and then longer down stays.................as it turned..... out keeping pup with me via leash is allowed us to have frequent training sessions because 5 minutes here ......3 minutes there..... etc.
If chores were done and time to watch TV......boom......still on a leash .......and I was always watching Hoss out of the corner of my eye for any attempts of negative behavior.........if something happened ........I was able to see it "the second" it happened in order to make my "sound" ......
Oh my ....we all have so much to teach you.......I love training.....I could just go on and on..........
So if you are willing to go the distance we have some folks that are very experienced with this breed.
Study your pup .........they read our body language all the time............in order to read us.....they study us...........they pick up our movements ....facial expressions....etc.........so everyday ......just watch your pup.....if you watch the pup frequently..... there will be some little thing that pup does each time before he pees or poops . Teach yourself how to read that sign......because as humans we are smarter ........it just takes down right determination.
Anyway ...hope to hear from you again.....
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 03:14 PM
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Lots of good advice to go back to square one with potty training. Personally, I would skip the treats outside for potty, as he might be “training” you to give him a treat, I go potty I get a treat whether he’s emptied his bladder or not. If he goes potty, more than just a few dribbles throw a potty party, “ oh good boy potty outside” sound happy and put the words with it. Stay outside with him for 15 min or so to 1. Make sure he’s done and 2. So that he doesn’t learn that he has to go inside immediately after he’s finished, he might not be relieving himself fully because he doesn’t want to go inside, he wants to stay outside and play. I know a lot of people suggest ignoring potty inside and while I would agree with that due to the submissive peeing, I would say something along the lines of ah ah or uh oh or even oops, go potty outside, make sure you sound very flat and casual, it’s not a punishment it’s a reminder to potty outside.....remember you’re putting those words to the behavior when he’s outside. Then immediately take him outside, and be very nonchalant about it, when he goes outside throw a potty party and hopefully he will eventually realize that he’s supposed to go outside.

One of my dogs developed a case of really bad diarrhea and was having accidents in the house, she was fully potty trained at the time. I never punished her because if you have to go right now you have to go right now just like you wouldn’t scream at a kid who pooped their pants when they had the flu. She would go out and potty and then 15 min later have an accident, she literally couldn’t help it. We got the diarrhea cleared up but it took awhile and by then she learned that it wasn’t a big deal to poop in the house and would even pee in the house. We started back at square one, and I personally took responsibility for ever accident she had.....my fault that I wasn’t watching her close enough/taking her out enough/making sure she went outside. It took about 2 months to get her back to not going inside.

You’re dog is just a baby and this is only one of the many behavior issues you’re going to have over the course of his life. You need to be prepared to handle these situations. I know you’re frustrated but putting him on Craigslist is not the answer, look up the story of puppy doe, a dog that was rehomed on Craigslist. You’re not going to want to hear this but if you aren’t willing to change your mindset that getting rid of him is the solution to behavior issues, then you’re better contacting a reputable rescue and rehoming him sooner rather than later.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 03:29 PM
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Great reminder about not going immediately back inside, CF.... I forgot that one. Especially when it gets nice outside, you can really shoot yourself in the foot if you don't stay outside and have fun, too. You don't want them to learn that pottying means the outside fun is over! So the reward can be you stay out and play! Yay!

Conversely, in bad weather, sometimes my dogs' reward for pottying is you get to COME INSIDE NOW! Ha!
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I think the most difficult part of the potty training was that it occurred over the winter. Here in Iowa it gets pretty cold with the wind chill. We were in the -40's for a week or two.

Thank you, Ladi Di for the advice! I've considered leashing him to my side a few times now. It's probably honestly the only thing we haven't tried. Our living room is gated off from the rest of the house, so he's under constant supervision. There's never a time I'm not watching him like a hawk, waiting for him to signal potty time. Visitors probably think I'm nuts with how obsessively I watch him!

I understand he is a puppy and that's why we're willing to put the work in and why I'm here seeking advice. I've raised many dogs in my time (Bostie mom!) but never had an issue quite like this. I've read every dog training book I could get my hands on since I could read. I'm not unfamiliar with the potty terrain. Just hoping to get alternate perspectives on the off chance we've missed something key in Doberman behavior, because he's the toughest dog I've ever worked with in this department. He just doesn't seem as attentive as our other dog and he doesn't pick up on things quite as fast (we've more or less successfully taught "sit", "laydown", "come", "shake", and "stay"). But the potty training is a real struggle.

Also, on a side note and completely unrelated...is it normal for your Doberman to be OBSESSED with your other dog? It seems unhealthy/odd to me. He wants to constantly be touching him or by him and he doesn't know what to do with himself when we tell him to "leave Gimli alone". He herds him and literally follows in his footsteps everywhere he goes. He only wants the toy/bone the Boston has and is constantly pestering him for it (they play very well together). If we are having "lap time", the Doberman immediately wants down if the Boston gets down. But sometimes our poor Bostie just doesn't want anything to do with him and needs a breather. We try to play with the Doberman, but he doesn't really seem keen on playing with us and just redirects the "play" atmosphere to our other dog. When we go on walks, my husband and I have to walk some ways apart because the Doberman just spends all of his time pulling on the leash trying to get to the Boston. He doesn't listen AT ALL (well...sub par listening at best) if the other dog is in the vicinity. It's odd, to me, but I've never raised Doberman's before and so don't really know what behavior is normal for this breed. He's perfectly friendly to us and strangers and loves getting pet, etc. But he is incapable of leaving the other dog alone.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
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Where we live is kind of remote. The nearest dog trainer that I'm aware of from a basic google search is 45 minutes away. We did bring the issue up with our veterinarian awhile back, but she just said that he's going to be hard headed around this age and that he's going to intentionally do things he's not supposed to to see what he can get away with.

We have other, not so pressing issues with him, too. Most of these I'm attributing to his age, but obviously this is the issue that's making us pull our hair out lol
You really do need a new vet. Dogs will do things they've never done before--but not to see if they can get away with doing whatever it is. Then if you don't catch it immediately, because dogs are the ultimate pragmatists--they tend to keep doing whatever it was--not because they are now seeing if they will get away with it but because the way a dogs brain processes stuff since the did it once and no one said it was something they shouldn't have done they'll do it again because it's OK. (As in no one said it wasn't OK--and once that happens it's a lot harder to keep them from repeating actions.

All training is easier if you don't let them make mistakes at all--that's why trying to teach a dog who has been allowed on furniture is so hard to train to not get on the new furniture--to them furniture is furniture and it's always been OK in the past.

Good luck on this issue--let us know how it goes--maybe we can think of some other things to try.

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 05:27 PM
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Remember when you thought his was placed by his breeder at 6 weeks and it seemed a little early? The dependence on your other dog is part of what he didn't learn in the 6 to 8 week period (or even better the 6 to 10 week period. Dogs actually learn to leave other dogs alone best from their litter mates who will bite them and run away if they want to be left alone. It's also where they learn bite inhibition from their litter mates who won't interact with them if they are too rough or bite too hard. Sometimes they learn these things from their mother--and adult bitches are not always kind to their puppies as they grow.

We recommend not have two similarly aged puppies at the same time--because the puppies will bond to each other rather than to you. Your puppy won't leave your other dog alone because he has bonded to him--you'll have to find an appropriate way to separate them for substantial periods of time so that he is less dependent on the Boston and more bonded to you.

And at this point it's not going to be easy. I'd stop taking them for walks together for starters. I'd also make sure that I was somewhere away from the Boston when I was working on training for the Dobe.

Boy--you may find this ends up being more of a problem than the potty issue but I wish you the very best of luck.

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 05:52 PM
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In addition to Dobebug's great advice, if you haven't read up on same-sex aggression in this breed, it sounds like you now have two males, and that can end up being a pretty serious issue when your pup matures. We have a lot of threads on that topic, so I would suggest doing some reading to prepare yourself for that potential issue. It's genetic, not a training issue.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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I figured the dependency on our Bostie was probably an age thing but figured I'd ask while I had people responding. I hadn't heard about the same sex aggression, so we'll certainly keep an eye out for that and I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. Apparently there was quite a bit of information we missed when we looked into the breed. We do remove the boston when we are having training sessions and I intentionally give them time outs when I feel he's being too intrusive. Our Boston doesn't nip or vocalize when he's had enough. He just tries to get away from him and eventually jumps on my lap so mom can play referee.

As far as the potty training goes, we've decided to regroup, be even more diligent (didn't think that was possible, but here's to trying!) and try again. Apologies for the frustrations but truly appreciate everyone's help!

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 07:22 PM
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Make sure you come back here to wail and complain and rant This is a great place to express frustrations with all things dog, and you will have some during this process. Sometimes getting a rant off your chest helps you start to laugh at a problem (well, that's the theory anyway.)

And we understand (having often been there ourselves.)
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 07:30 PM
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Same sex aggression is a very real thing, I was going to mention it but didn’t want to throw too much at you at one time. This usually happens around the time your dog reaches sexual maturity. It doesn’t always happen but it can be life altering if it does, constant crate and rotate....hopefully since your Boston sounds like he’s submissive it won’t happen, but do your best to make sure he doesn’t get bullied by your Doberman.

Dobermans are not like most dogs, they are extremely smart and a true working breed. If they don’t get enough mental and physical stimulation they get bored and will act out. You mentioned that he doesn’t seem easy to train, I’d be willing to bet he’s actually bored. For example, he knows sit if you make him sit over and over he’s going to be like WTF mom I got this, why do you keep making me do the same thing over and over. Start working on harder more complex things. Here are some ideas to help you keep him stimulated, also keep in mind training should be fun, don’t correct him for something he doesn’t know and always end on a positive note, before he is mentally tapped. You want him to end the game wanting more and make sure you use high value treats for the super hard stuff. Also, I suggest taking a basic obedience class, find an actual training center, not PetSmart or sit means sit.

-puppy sit ups, sit down sit, sit down stand sit etc.
-tricks, turn in a circle, crawl, bow, shake , roll over, high five, shake (careful with these you could end up with a very paw friendly dog) really anything you can think of
-sit and wait for meals...I use get in your spots (which for us is just outside the kitchen), and wait until I release you for dinner. This also helps train them to leave us be while we’re eating.
-stays, slowly increase the time and add distractions like turning your back, walking around your dog Etc.
-incorporate OB into your walks, start with easy stuff like stopping and doing some sits, downs, stays and then start actively looking for distractions, kids playing basketball, great! Work on your OB right in front of them.
-obedience at the pet store, same as above, I also love to stand near the entrance and work on stays while people are coming and going
-name attention, say his name and lure him to look at you with a treat, when he makes eye contact mark it and treat.
-come, this is my favorite thing to teach and games are a great way. You and your husband go outside with a handful of treats one person has the dog and then the other calls him when he comes through a party and give him a treat ( don’t worry if your neighbors are judging you then you’re doing it right), always reach for his collar before treating. Later you can include a sit when he gets to you. You can also play hide and seek in the house, same concept.

That’s all I can think of at the moment, sorry if I’m a little detailed, it’s not to insult you just want to make sure I didn’t leave anything out. I know you said you’ve trained dogs before and read a lot of literature, but I swear some Dobermans are smarter than most people....some use it against us . Take me for example, I’ve also trained several dogs, ALL Dobermans,my current pup is 14 months old and a heathen! Not really but she can be real obnoxious when she’s bored. She’s been in training classes since she was 10 weeks old and is currently in AKC OB and agility and I work with a private trainer. A few weeks ago she’s being a **** in class and refusing to sit and then jumping on me, instructor comes over and tells me she’s bullying me.....huh? You to,d her to sit she doesn’t, then she jumps on you. Essentially she’s saying no I will not do what you ask me to and eff you give me my treat.....****! Your right! I know better but yet she still got me. They will also test you to see what they can get away with, just like a toddler who doesn’t want to eat his dinner but miraculously 20 min later he’s hungry and wants a snack.

Puppies especially Doberman puppies are ALOT of work, but trust me, put the work in now and you’ll be rewarded ten fold later. You got this!
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 01:29 PM
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I know your pain all too well!

We have a Weimaraner, stubborn as all hell! It was a bear to train him and although he’s been good for a couple months, I still don’t completely trust him.

We were in your same spot. I was a wreck, my husband wanted to find him a home, you name it. My husband was at his whit’s end. I thought that it was a male/male thing between the two of them.

Without having to repeat your story, I’ll just cut to what helped us, maybe it can help you guys too.

He had a clean bill of health, never any indication of a UTI. Tests after tests, nothing-all good. Finally I asked if they tested for a UTI. He had a UTI. So once we got past that, we had to start from square one again.

My husband is a firefighter so he has full days at home with him, where I work a regular schedule. He hated to keep him crated when he was home, so whenever Apollo needed to go, he let him out.

He never got a chance to learn to hold it outside of sleeping at night & he got to play and train with dad all day.

The days that my husband is on shift, we started to have a lady come and walk him. Every couple weeks, we push her out an a little later. There’s been some days that she hasn’t been able to make it, but he’s been able to hold it until I get home.

What changed: We keep his schedule 100% the same every day of the week. After a few days of that, he wasn’t having accidents.

Our schedule is a little crazy because of our work hours, but we’re up at 4am to let him out and feed him, we let him out as he needs. 5:30, he goes for a run. 6:00 he goes for a small walk to empty his bladder. He absolutely will not completely empty in our back yard. So we walk so that he can spritz all over everything & he always winds up going poop again one last time too.

It’s become clock work for him and for us. You can pin point when he’ll poop at this point.

He goes in his crate and he’ll go for a walk when our lady comes by for what is now 1:30. We started with 9:00. I do understand that it’s not practical for everyone to have someone check in on their dog, we got lucky and found a wonderful retired lady that adores spending time with our pup and he adores her back. We plan to keep her because he just loves his time with her, I hear all about it when I get home; it’s cute.

I get home at 4:15, he comes out and I feed him again and let him do his business and we’ll play and train a bunch. If I have to go somewhere, he gets walked before he goes back in his crate.

Not eliminating where they sleep does not work for him. We got him from a crappy breeder, not realizing. No matter how big or small we kept he crate, it didn’t matter to him because that’s all he knew.

After dinner, we walk him. We walk him before bed. Some walks are long, others are just to the end of the road and back. Depends on what life throws at us that day. His time out of the crate can be all of us lounging around, the dog park, a long hike, trip to the store, a family member’s house...his days are different, but his time out of the crate is just that. No crate unless he chooses to go hang out in it-which he will.

The days my husband is home, he waits longer than if Eileen would visit Apollo for his walk. But he’s the one to walk, run, train. Whatever it is for that break.

We haven’t had an accident since 2/1/19 (fingers crossed).

He does have a bell and he’ll use it to tell us his water is empty or if he wants a treat, but he doesn’t abuse it luckily. We’ve had the bell since the day we brought him home. If he has to pee and we didn’t act on the first couple rings, he’ll ring it like crazy. If he has to poop, same thing but he’ll cry with it. We can now tell by how he rings if he needs water, to smell the air (because he’s weird), pee, poop, or if he wants to do zoomies around the pool.

I wish there was a magic pill, but you’ll get through it. If you can afford it, you all could possibly benefit from boarding training; if that’s an option. He’ll learn a lot more than potty training and you’ll get a break from the stress.

I know the frustration, but hang in there. Our biggest thing for Apollo was a schedule & consistency. When he’s more mature and we can trust him, then maybe we can all have a little bit more freedom. But for now, the structure needs to happen or else life will be hell with an angry husband, a pissed off wife and a pissy puppy.

He’s a ton more enjoyable now too, now that we’re not as stressed out. We got him at 12 weeks, he’s 8 months now.

Best of luck to you and hang in there, it’ll be incredibly rewarding!
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 02:14 PM
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"Watch like a hawk" may not be enough! Tie that baby to your hip and take him out every 30 minutes. He should be created if you can't have him tied to your hip. Pee pee/doo doo and then throw a huge pee pee/doo doo party! Clapping, singing, petting, and dancing!!! Make him feel like he just won the lottery. After a few days, start stretching time out by 10 minutes every few days. He will come along but you have to be consistent. If he has accident, take him out side immediately. Don't say a word and don't act upset. I would start walking Chloe to the door when she was peeing. (she would stop peeing once she started walking) If he peed in you house it your fault.....not his....and we have all been there! Chloe was pretty much house broke in a month or two. No poops in the house she probably peed in the house 10 times. She's 8.5 now, so it hard to remember.

He will love being tied to your hip. It's a great bonding time for you guys. I believe she even came to the bathroom with me....we did everything together. They love being around us. Good Luck!

Last edited by blueberry; 03-28-2019 at 02:19 PM.
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