Puppy too distracted for toilet training (4 replies)
Hi. We are having a lot of trouble toilet training our Samoyed. I'm sure we must be doing something wrong. We take her outside on lead to her toilet spot, but very often she just won't go because she is distracted. All she can think about when she's outside is playing or chewing things. When she's inside it's also very hard to impossible to tell if she is whining and circling at the door because she needs to pee or because she just wants to go out and play. We are trying to crate train her but I am unsure when I should put her in. I put her in just if I can't watch her or I think she needs to go to the toilet but has refused to outside. Then she circles and whines in the crate sometimes and we don't know if she needs to pee or not.The other day she had a small accident in the crate too. I am disabled so constantly going to the toilet spot and standing there for most of the day is making me completely exhausted, and just doesn't seem to be working. We got her a bit over a week ago, and the previous owners (they had her for one week before giving her up) had her using puppy pads in the house. I'm guessing that's caused part of this problem. We don't know if we should just give up and have her use the pee pads inside. We have tried putting the pee pads outside too, and use a cue word. Any advice please?
Hi Nicola! Congrats on your new pup!
You're right, the pee pads probably did cause a little confusion, because now your pup has gotten multiple bathroom habit messages. The key here is patience and consistency, as hard as it is. Since becoming a pet sitter, I've noticed that dogs' bathroom habits vary wildly. Some go as soon as they get outside, but some take up to 20 minutes to conduct their business. It really depends on the dog.
One thing you can do is start tracking every time she goes to the bathroom. Make note of how long it generally is in between her potties. Then you'll have a rough idea when she circles and whines whether it's due to a bathroom need ("Oh it's been 5 hours since her last pee, I bet she needs to go") or that she just wants to play.
I also recommend tiring her out big time. It sounds like she has a lot of energy (common in this breed) and will need a lot of exercise and intellectual stimulation to keep her happy. That might be tricky for you but one thing to consider is hiring a dog walker to come and take her for a walk or two a day.
I would second the information Melissa posted, and also add that once this breed gets a routine in their head, they can be challenging to change. Training should be constant, starting as early as possible. Here is our breed profile on Samoyeds that might give you some more insight into her behavior and habits: https://www.petful.com/breeds/breed-profile-samoyed/.
Also, do you have kids, grandkids, or anyone else that can help out with her exercise and training needs? If not, perhaps consider a pet sitter/dog walker to help burn off all that excess energy.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
Hi Kristine and Melissa. Thanks a lot for your responses. My husband can walk her to tire her out, but the problem right now is that we have been told we can't walk her until after her third, and final, vaccination, so it's very hard to use up that energy, particularly when fetch doesn't interest her all that much (although I've been trying to encourage her to play it with treats). The other thing is given what I've read she is going to the toilet much more often than people say she should be. She doesn't seem to hold her urine at all, or doesn't seem to fully empty her bladder or bowel, so she can go again just 10 or 15 minutes after she last went. I'll try writing down when she goes as you suggested. We are trying to get her used to the yard too in the hopes she will be less distracted, but I think the fact she has learned to go on the pads indoors and her amount of energy without being able to walk her is causing us big problems. I don't know what I can do while we can't walk her, or how to get her out of the habit of going indoors. I thought we were finally making progress, with her going outside more than she has inside, but today she has had so many accidents inside. I don't know what's going on.
Ah, I hadn't realized about the vaccinations - sorry about that! In regards to the frequency of her elimination, I'd give the vet a jingle just to ask whether this is common in this breed of pup. There could be some marking going on, or just excitement. It could be a bladder or bowel problem, or a training issue but at least a vet can rule out anything medical which gives you a place to start.
Lots of rewards and praise when she goes outdoors as well. Make it super fun for her to go potty outdoors - I have a dog that I walk who literally pees and then runs up to me like COOKIE PLZ YAY YAY because I always give her a cookie and praise after she eliminates on our walks. She is a young hound and gets VERY distracted (particularly by scent trails) so this was a little motivator for her to want to pee.
If you see spam, harassment or other community guidelines violations, let us know.