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We have had our Doberman puppy for a month now and potty training him is starting to feel impossible. He just doesn't seem to understand the concept of going on a pee pad, but he knows how to go when let outside but he doesn't tell us when he needs to go. Its usually just a hit or miss. Every time we catch him in the act in the house or even after the fact, we tell him "outside, this goes outside" then we put him out there to show him, but despite our efforts we are making no progress, it just feels impossible. Any pointers or advice? This is my first doberman.
 

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We take him outside a bunch throughout the day but like for example, i'll take him out there, he'll go pee then he'll make us think he is done and beg to come in the like a couple mins later he'll go around the corner out of our sight and poop. I don't get it.
 

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We have had our Doberman puppy for a month now and potty training him is starting to feel impossible. He just doesn't seem to understand the concept of going on a pee pad, but he knows how to go when let outside but he doesn't tell us when he needs to go. Its usually just a hit or miss. Every time we catch him in the act in the house or even after the fact, we tell him "outside, this goes outside" then we put him out there to show him, but despite our efforts we are making no progress, it just feels impossible. Any pointers or advice? This is my first doberman.
Do you manage food and water? do you bring him out after food, water, sleep? Do you reward when done outside?
 

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If he goes in the house, and is a young puppy, he needs to be taken out more often. It's that simple! Clean the mess very good, don't yell at him, ever, for peeing in the house, and reward for going outside. How long does he go between being taken outside?
 

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We take him outside a bunch throughout the day but like for example, i'll take him out there, he'll go pee then he'll make us think he is done and beg to come in the like a couple mins later he'll go around the corner out of our sight and poop. I don't get it.
Rule #1 of puppies: If they do not have your 100% attention, they are in a crate or safe place. If they are not in a crate, or safe place, they have you 100% attention.
 

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How old is your puppy? How often is he let outside to go to the toilet? Is there someone home with him at the moment during the days or is everyone working?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
we take him out pretty much every time he wakes up from a nap and then randomly throughout the day, I am usually home with him and we reward him every time he does something good like going potty outside. But it doesn't seem to be much of a motivator for him, maybe its just to early to tell? how long is this whole potty training deal take for dobermans? I don't remember it being this difficult with my labs..
 

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Personally, I think the use of puppy pee pads or newspaper past the age that puppies are with their breeder (10-12 weeks) is counter-productive to house training. Unless it's absolutely necessary (because the pup cannot be let out of the crate to relieve themselves every 3-4 hours), then I suppose the pee pad thing in an X-pen is perhaps one of your only options; however, with this method, the pup is learning that it's "ok" to relieve themselves indoors (even if on a pad), and you're missing out on all the opportunities to teach the pup that outdoors is THE PLACE to do the business.

It's also very important that when your pup does mess in the house (and not on a pee pad) that you use an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature's Miracle to eliminate all odor; otherwise the pup is likely going to pee in the same place again, simply because he smells the pee in that spot.
 

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A puppy his age hasn't earned the right to go out of your sight, period. If they do, you can pretty much count on the fact that they are up to no good. Every time you allow that to happen, you set him back. It's up to you to set him up for success rather than failure, and that might mean taking him out every 20 minutes for a while to make sure he gets it right.

If you're using pee pads in the house, again, you're setting up for failure, imo. If you don't want him to go in the house, why give him something *to* go on in the house? It makes no sense. Make it black and white. He goes outside. Not in the house in certain spots and also outside.

When you start to thinking it's an impossible situation after only a month, stop and think about how long babies use diapers and when one starts to be able to train them. One month sure doesn't seem very long now, does it?
 

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Put a leash on the puppy--attach the leash to you. Take the puppy outside every hour. When the puppy comes in he should be attached to you so that he can't go around any corners and pee of poop. If he's not attached to you he should as Kevin K said, be in a crate.

For every mistake you make that allows a dog to pee or poop in the house (and they are your mistakes, not his) it will continue to delay his house training. Dogs don't get after the fact information. Take him out and praise him for pooping and/or peeing outside where you want him to go. Give him a treat for doing it right. Stay with him outside until he's done everything you think he should be doing outside at that time.

And loose the pee pads. Do you understand what they are training him to do? They are training him the going in the house is OK. I think even trying to train toy breeds to use pee pads is at best unsanitary and at worst disgusting but they are hopeless for dogs the size Dobes--even as puppies.

At this point you aren't having a lot of success because you are giving that puppy very mixed messages when it comes to where you want him to pee and poop.

And if you want him to tell you when he has to go out you'll have to teach him that too. One of the pretty easy methods is with a bell on a string at the door where you take him outside. Take him to the door and ask him if he needs to go out...open the door, ring the bell, stay out there until he pees or whatever and then come back in. Do that every time. Puppies catch on quick if you are absolutely consistent when it comes to training. They learn quickly to ring the bell when they need to go out (or sometimes if they want to go out)--just make sure the string is long enough for the puppy to reach the bell.

Good luck--you just need to be more consistent and he'll catch on.
 

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I felt like potty training was taking a long time with our pup too in the early stages and we finally made good progress when I tightened the schedule down. I fed at set times each day, 7:30am, noon and 5pm. I also took up the water after 7pm, as we were having our issues in the evening mainly. I had set crate time too, one morning session and one afternoon session, in the crate for bedtime at 9pm (I too her out at 11pm when we went to bed and then returned her to the crate). I took her out every hour, and walked her to where I wanted her to go. I would say "go potty" just as she started to go and then praise her as she finished (you could give a treat at the second of completion). If I could not have my eyes on her, she had to be in her crate. The other thing I did was put bells at the door and I would take her paw and hit the bells while saying "outside", then open the door and lead her out. She now rings the bells when she needs out. It was a lot of work, but it paid off and she is dependable in the house now...now we are working on counter surfing :)
 

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Put a leash on the puppy--attach the leash to you. Take the puppy outside every hour. When the puppy comes in he should be attached to you so that he can't go around any corners and pee of poop. If he's not attached to you he should as Kevin K said, be in a crate.

For every mistake you make that allows a dog to pee or poop in the house (and they are your mistakes, not his) it will continue to delay his house training. Dogs don't get after the fact information. Take him out and praise him for pooping and/or peeing outside where you want him to go. Give him a treat for doing it right. Stay with him outside until he's done everything you think he should be doing outside at that time.

And loose the pee pads. Do you understand what they are training him to do? They are training him the going in the house is OK. I think even trying to train toy breeds to use pee pads is at best unsanitary and at worst disgusting but they are hopeless for dogs the size Dobes--even as puppies.

At this point you aren't having a lot of success because you are giving that puppy very mixed messages when it comes to where you want him to pee and poop.

And if you want him to tell you when he has to go out you'll have to teach him that too. One of the pretty easy methods is with a bell on a string at the door where you take him outside. Take him to the door and ask him if he needs to go out...open the door, ring the bell, stay out there until he pees or whatever and then come back in. Do that every time. Puppies catch on quick if you are absolutely consistent when it comes to training. They learn quickly to ring the bell when they need to go out (or sometimes if they want to go out)--just make sure the string is long enough for the puppy to reach the bell.

Good luck--you just need to be more consistent and he'll catch on.
 

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Also try keeping him, going to the same spot and he will smell his own stuff. It seems dogs love smelling their stuff and it makes then go faster, lol. so keep some turd grenades in one area for now till he catches on. Later on, it makes cleanup easy if he continues to goto the same area.

Dobebug has some great suggestions.
Crating is the way to go and a set schedule.
Patience and a routine will get you there.
 

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ditto on the puppy pads. lose them.these dogs pee in buckets the puppy pads not only send a bad message that its ok to pee in the house but after a while they are not going to contain the pee either. My advice is crate or gate. our puppy was "sneaking" off to another room to pee too till we gated up her exits. now she is confined to two rooms and all of a sudden she is housebroken. puppies are sneaky. they like to pee where they think no one will look. crate or gate at all times, and stick eyes on the back of your head. thats my best advice. You really have to watch them all the time.
 

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OPclover - I am right there with you. My doberboy is 14.5 weeks and we are still working on this. He has been with us for about a month. When we first got him I feared he had kidney issues he was drinking and peeing so much. Then magically about 1 week ago his bladder seemed to grow. He went from peeing every 15 minutes or so, to being able to wait an hour or more. He stopped having accidents in his kennel (before he would pee in it if he was kenneled for more than 2 hours. We never kennel him longer than 3 hours without at least a 30 minute bathroom and exercise break.) A few times he has signaled us by going to the back door. Mostly he merely sniffs around and that's how I know. It is S-L-O-W going, but I see tiny bits of progress. I too had a lab and house training her was a snap. We have gone from 5-6 accidents in the house to 1-2 daily. We bought a carpet steam cleaner to help us with the quick clean up. It has allowed us to be less frustrated and more patient with this process. We never scold him, but rather grab him up and say "potty outside" when he starts to go and we take him out and plop him in the grass. We praise and treat him for going potty outside. I don't keep him on a leash tethered to me, but we do spend all of our time together in one room of the house with doors closed and baby gates in place to keep him close and supervised. I know we will get there, and you will too. Keep at it!
 

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I too am right there with you both!! I got my pup at 8 weeks and he is now 10 weeks. It feels like I have made no progress with the potty training. Very frustrating. I tried to crate train right out of the get go. The first and only three times I crated him, he had messed all over himself, the cage and anything within a foot of the cage!! He had a bowel movement right before I placed him there and I only gave him enough room to turn around in his kennel. He flew here from germany and may have had a bad experience with being crated for that long with the flight. I tried to make his crate a positive experience and will continue. I take him out all the time, limit his water, set times for feeding, make potty positive outside!! I have been sleeping on the couch while he is in the kitchen so I can catch him when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I need to start crating again so my fiance will talk to me!! She's not happy about the last 2 weeks on the couch:) I get maybe 4 hours of sleep a night:(
 

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Our little guy is almost 11 weeks now and has been very good. My wife and I have set pretty strict schedules for feeding, water, and going outside. I must admit my wife seems to be able to tell when the dog 'looks' like he has to pee and we go outside immediately.

We also have the bells and have been using them on a daily basis. Treats and praise for doing a good job outside is pretty standard.

The one thing I'm really impressed with is how he hasn't relieved himself in his crate ever, not even once. Probably has to do with the fact the breeder had the little in individual crates for two weeks prior to us getting him. Seems to have made a huge difference.

The one thing that I try to stick to is taking him out once we're done playing inside. It seems like the excitement stirs up that bladder or something but after playtime it's straight outside.

You'll get it!
 

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It's already been said, but I'll say it again. NO pee pads. They teach the puppy that it's okay to go inside the house, and it can be extremely confusing for them. If you want him to go outside, focus on ALL bathroom activity happening outside. Crate any time that you can't watch him and take him out often. Get him on a schedule and praise like crazy any time he goes outside...you should seriously be throwing a party and giving him treats when he goes. It needs to be a BIG deal and obvious to him that he's done the right thing. Good luck!
 

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I attached a bell on the door knob with some rope and every time I took her out to go I would touch her nose to it. So when she woke up, or had anything eat or drink I took her out on top of regular scheduled potty breaks. It was not very long and she caught on what to do. I did not use the puppy pads except in her crate in case she had an accident but that turned out to be a mistake because it just gave her something to chew up. good luck it will happen hang in there
 
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