Thanks for the input!! It seems I need to clarify!
We don't do any intensive 'training' sessions. It has been over 5 years since we have had a puppy. We do positive behavior training- he gets treats constantly, and I honestly can't ever remember spending this amount of money on treats and toys...it's a whole thing. I only try to get him to follow 'commands' a couple times a day, and it is a super short, couple tries, and always reinforced immediately with treats. I do talk to him with a high-pitched voice, and we (the entire family) play with him, and give him lots of outside play and inside play time with us (my husband, myself, and my kids, an of course, our other dog). We haven't 'forced' him to do anything, with the exception of picking him up to take him out a few times the first week or so we had him when we were first potty training. In reading through the comments, most of what we do with him is 'lure' based, with toys or treats, or just us to play with. We don't play tug games, he is teething, and I don't want to hurt his teeth or his spine, we also don't play 'fetch'. There's lots of sitting on the floor and cuddling and tummy rubbing.
I will say he has an enormous bladder, though he does a fantastic job, and hasn't had an accident in the house in a couple weeks. He goes to our back door to indicate he needs to go, and we praise him and let him out. Same with the crate at night, we tell him good job as he goes out to go potty, he goes quickly and comes right back to the door, and then he walks to his crate, and we 'reinforce' with the word 'crate', he walks in, lays down, gets a treat and rubs and cuddles, then we tuck him in with his blanket and bear, and close the door.
Reading through the comments and thinking through the preceding events before he has one of these pee accidents (he isn't really peeing to go to the bathroom, its like a tablespoon of pee), I am thinking he might be stressed by not understanding what we want, but knowing we want something. He isn't afraid of me, and lays all over me when I am on the floor with him (his favorite way to cuddle is to sit on my legs and stick his nose between my head and neck, like he is giving hugs- he comes over to me often to get quick cuddles and rubs).
My big concern and the reason I posted is that I don't want to cause any more stress (we got him from a home that couldn't care for him, and I have no idea what happened to him there), and we haven't been pushing to really train him formally (like a session that's focused on training), though I did try the food thing were I put his food behind me and with treats asked him to 'sit', and he just wandered off. I shrugged it off, called his name and shook his bowl, so he came right back over for his lunch, and happily ate, and I didn't ask him to do anything else. The times that I have had treats and tried to teach him sit (holding the treat up high so his nose goes up, and his butt goes down) he has done well, and get's treats and praise. When I have tried other words like settle or stay, that tends to be when the little bit of pee happens. I am thinking he doesn't know what I am asking, and gets stressed.
We haven't really gone anywhere (pandemic) with him beyond the vet, and he would still be too young to be off leash anywhere we go. He is off leash in our fenced in backyard (its about an acre of fenced property), though we were initially using the leash to take him to the 'potty area', but he goes there on his own now.
I think my big problem is he is so big (almost the size of our girl!!) and I am not remembering he is actually the baby he is, so I'm surprised when I call his name outside and he doesn't come right over. When we were working on him going into his crate on his own, we would tell him "crate" and have a treat and his bear (his favorite toy), and he would run circles around our couch that's in the middle of the room. We did pick him up and bring him over to the crate because we didn't want to make him more anxious about what we meant. And every time he would go in or we put him in, we would say the word 'crate' and then give him a treat and lots of praise for being in there.
I have been watching Doberman Planet on youtube since everything is closed in terms of training. Would you guys recommend someone/somewhere different?
Super glad to read this post!!
First, it sounds like you've not been doing things "wrong."
Second, I'm NOT a fan of Doberman Planet. The guy that runs that website and channel really portrays himself as an "expert" and the amount of misinformation I find all over the website really turns me off. Again, just my opinion, but...not a site or channel I'd ever use! I feel like he got lucky with choosing a great name and now...yeah. LOL.
If you want a really good youtube trainer, check out Kikopup! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-q...k6bfs3UZuue6IQ
I also posted a lot of links on socializing and training a puppy during the pandemic in another thread - I highly encourage you to read through it: https://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-c...ns-please.html
There are some free webinars, links to awesome trainers, etc. I think you'd get a lot out of it!
I also know of some training classes offered online. Some are trainers local to me, but since they are virtual, it really doesn't matter that you aren't local. I'd personally recommend getting into a class. It really helps to have a trainer help you learn!
And totally, YES, you forget they are just babies when their bodies start getting big!