My 5 month old puppy was doing very well for a bit with his housebreaking and now he seems to have forgotten everything he ever learned. We will both not survive if we have to start over. What can I do as a quick refresher? I haven't changed the routine at all, just take him out whenever he's at the door or every hour even if he hasn't been at the door. He gets treats when he comes in (after going potty only). What can I do? HELP! Thanks!
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My 5 month old puppy was doing very well for a bit with his housebreaking and now he seems to ... at the door. He gets treats when he comes in (after going potty only). What can I do? HELP! Thanks!

Go out with him. Praise and treeat immediately when he relieives himself. At five months he shouldn't need to go out every hour. Use baby gates, tethering or as a last restort crating to ensure he doesn't go unwatched. By going outside regularly with him you will learn his "about to go" signmal. That , plus your supervision, will prevent accidents. Take him outside only if you see the indications, or every five hours, whichever comes first. Do not take him outside just because he is at the door, unless he is relieving himself every single time he gives that indication. Your focussed attnetion now may be difficult for the short run, but it will pay off in the long run.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
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He gets treats when he comes in (after going potty only).

Why are you giving him treats for coming in? Doesn't he know how to come in?
What can I do?

Go out with him. Give him praise and treats for peeing and pooing. It'll work much better if you're there for encouragement, rather than sending him out the door and expecting him to figure it out on his own.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
My 5 month old puppy was doing very well for a bit with his housebreaking and now he seems to have forgotten everything he ever learned.

First take him to the vet and rule out urinary tract infection. If he's clean medically, then you can work on the behavior.

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What can I do as a quick refresher? I haven't changed the routine at all, just take him out whenever he's at the door or every hour even if he hasn't been at the door.[/nq]Going to the door seems to mean that he wants to go out to him, not necessarily that he wants to go out to potty. Going outside every hour probably just means to him that you want to take him out, not necessarily that you want to take him out specifically to potty. When he was young enough that his little bladder had to be emptied often, it may have worked out that pottying was part of every outing, but it sounds like if that was the case, it was more coincidence than knowing what you were trying to get across to him.

Go outside with him and tell him to "go potty" (or whatever you want the command to be) and then praise and treat him when he finally does his business. Once he gets what the go potty command means, you can let him out and tell him to go potty and wait inside for him to go, but until then, you need to go out there with him and make sure he knows what he is out there for.
He gets treats when he comes in (after going potty only).[/nq]He wouldn't know what the treats are for. Since he gets them for coming in, it seems to him that sometimes you are happy when he comes in and sometimes you are not. If all you did was sometimes reward your dog for sitting on his butt and sometimes not, he wouldn't necessarily know when to sit and when to stand and he certainly wouldn't sit on command. It just seems like random instead of constant reinforcement unless you help him to tie it to the specific behavior you want.

This is the biggest reason you need to go out with him. You need to make sure he knows that he is being rewarded for getting down to business when he goes outside. In order to do that, you need to reward him as he is pottying or immediately thereafter, not wait until he has performed another behavior (coming in the door) that he will be more likely to associate with the reward. Dogs live in the moment and don't speak English. Whatever he last did before you got happy or gave him a treat will be the thing he most likely attributes to your behavior and will learn to do if he wants praise or a treat.When I am lazy, I don't go out with the dogs any more. Especially when it is cold, I send them out and tell them to go potty. If one of them does not do as she is told, she can't come back in until she has at least tried. Now, they all know what they are being sent out to do when I tell them to go potty and that letting them inside is the reward for squatting rather than for anything else that was going on in the same time frame, so it isn't crucial for me to have the timing right on.

But we never would have got to that point without getting the timing of behavior and reward down to the point where there was no question what I wanted from them as we went through the housebreaking process.

Paula
"I think I'm having the best childhood I've ever had!" Mimi
Could he possibly have learned that the way to get to go out is to "go" where you can see him? I've had 2 dogs learn that. The cure was to bung 'em in their crates for awhile instead of letting them out. After about three times they caught on. One of them continued to squat at me when he wanted out (he lost a leg, so couldn't lift one). But no liquid - just the squat!
Another problem some dogs run into is not knowing how to ask to go out. In this case they will either go right by the door you let them out of, or as far away from the main living area as possible, like in a guest room. Hang a bell from the doorknob, where he can reach it with his snout. Gently push his nose into the bell every time you let him out, and he'll catch on fast.
Of course you should have him checked for bladder problems.

Also, many dogs will "backslide" on house training if there has been a change in the household - someone moving out or in, a change in your work hours, something like that. Patience is all that's required.

And of course, at 5 months, he is verging on adolescence, which can lead to "marking," which (to the dog) is a whole different thing from relieving himself. This requires a new session of training called "don't mark in the house." They usually pick a spot they like to mark. When they learn not to mark there, they may pick another spot indoors. I had one dog who learned not to mark on 3 different pieces of furniture before he finally figured out that marking, too, was done outside! (and he needed a refresher when we moved to a new house!

Ruthie, the housebreaking expert
alowan'earthlink'net
My 5 month old puppy was doing very well for a bit with his housebreaking and now he seems to ... at the door. He gets treats when he comes in (after going potty only). What can I do? HELP! Thanks!

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how do they rule this out? urine test? blood test? by other means?
how do they rule this out? urine test? blood test? by other means?

Urine test.

Emily Carroll
http://www.fluttervale.com/kennel - Fluttervale Labradors http://www.fluttervale.com/biography - Canine Biography
how do they rule this out? urine test? blood test? by other means?

Urine test.

Canine Action Dog Trainer
http://www.canineaction.com
It's A Dog's Life
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://www.re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
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