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nettydorko

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nettydorko

Hello!

I've googled so many tips on how to housebreak a puppy and I have never had any issue with potty training dogs I've had in the past until I got Theo, a Cairn Terrier. A lot of my friends have stated terriers are usually hard to train. I've had him for 3 weeks and he's still not potty-trained at 4 months old! He isn't neutered. We keep him on a consistent eating schedule, let him out first thing in the morning (to go poop and pee), middle of the day (to go pee) and before bed (to go poop and pee). I'm very familiar with his actions whenever he needs to go because he usually can't sit still and is always sniffing around. We live in an apartment, we've even provided 2 areas in the apartment with puppy pads for him to go potty. We've limited how much he can drink a day so that his peeing schedule isn't too hard to figure out. We use sprays that completely eliminate any areas he's gone on. Every time we take him outside, we're out for 15-30 minutes, I have him run around and I even rub his tummy to encourage him to pee/poo outside, but he's just always so distracted playing with sticks and digging. So far, he's only peed/pooped a total of 3 times outside, about 8 times on the puppy pad inside the apartment.. but all the other times, he's just peed or pooped wherever he wants. Every time we catch him in the action, we yell "NO!" and take him to the designated area(s) we would like for him to pee/poo on. One day I even had him on a leash on a puppy pad so that he isn't running around to potty ANYWHERE he likes in the apartment. I've taken away toys so he would just focus on going potty. I exclaim "go potty" every single time and when he goes potty in the right places, I reward him with a treat. He holds in his potty until my husband and I aren't looking, and it just gets really frustrating. The only thing my husband and I haven't tried are: getting him neutered or use those belly belt things. He's a cute little pup and he's extremely smart... but I feel like it's just in all the wrong ways. :/

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Sam I Am

Please don’t limit his water intake. It’s dangerous. A 4 month old puppy is way to young to expect to be potty trained. And only letting him out three times a day is no where enough. Sam is still intact and it was around 6 months before confirmed potty trained and even then we let him out many more times than three times a day.  I am not a big fan of pee pads because in my opinion it trains them to soil inside. Potty training takes patience  encouragement and no yelling. They are babies.

Edited by Terrier lover

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hheldorfer

Agree with Terrier lover.  Four months is very young and even adult dogs generally need more than three potty trips per day.  It's hard, I know, but you have to remain dedicated and consistent.  My opinion on potty pads is that they shouldn't be used because they teach the dog that peeing/pooping in the house is OK.  And you definitely don't want to limit water intake because a dog needs to stay hydrated, plus too little water can encourage urinary tract infections.

We recently had to house train an adult dog.  We took her out first thing in the morning, took her for a walk, fed breakfast, and took her out again.  Every time she peed/pooed outside we praised her enthusiastically.  If she peed/pooed, she got to run free through the house; if not, she was placed in her crate for 30 minutes, after which we took her outside again.  When she had an accident in the house we scolded her only if we caught her in the act.  It's been a month and I'd say she's 99.9% house trained now.  It will take a bit longer with a puppy because they don't have quite the bladder control of an adult.  

Once your puppy is a bit older you can also depend on several walks per day to help him eliminate.  Good luck!

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Hillscreek

Agree with both posts above. Especially not to shout at him. If you get mad with a cairn he may well get mad right back. They are extremely intelligent dogs but also very sensitive ones. A firm tone is enough and only when he's caught in the act. Some pups manage early but many take a while. It was six months before I felt Angus was fully housebroken. And even then I kept a close eye on him and took him out often.

Take your pup for several short walks on leash each day. That encourages elimination. Recommend no treats just praise when he goes. Many a pup has learned to hold it for a treat - do you want to be doing that for ever? What if you forget a treat when you are out walking or wherever. Praise is always available!

Keep him confined and/or  close to you at all times. It can be in an Xpen or a gated off area. I restricted where Angus could go with baby gates so I could always watch him. Gradually allowed him more access. 

If it were me I would throw away the puppy pads. You want him to understand without a doubt that outside is his bathroom.

Water is essential to his health as it is for all of us.

.I learned that patience, and persistence were the keys to getting things done whether housebreaking or whatever it might be. Cairn pups surely do try their owners but on the other hand they are so smart and full of fun and so loving and cute it's well worth the effort. Not to mention when they finally grow up there' no better companion ready to be by your side anywhere you choose inside or out.:)

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sanford

Other members have experienced the same frustrations you describe. You are hardly alone in this regard and I hope the above advice will encourage you to know that things will change and will get better.

Terriers are not the only dogs who can sometimes be hard to house train... It happens with some other breeds as well, and often comes down to the individual dog, as can also be the case when raising a two-legged toddler! I hope the good advice offered here will help to reassure you.

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Pepper Bug's Mom

Ha! Brodie at 8 months (not neutered yet) is not to be trusted as far as peeing in the house.  Today (the first time!) he barked and went outside and peed!!!  Wow!!! Lots of praise!!!  Yesterday where I take him to get his toenails trimmed they pointed out that he needed a "sanitary shave" -too much hair getting in the way, so he got one.  Maybe that made the difference?  I usually put him out every 3 hours during the day just to be safe...he dribbles on the way out the door if I wait too long...The yellow Lab (Teddy) had one accident in the house at 3 months and never again!!!

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JoJo

LOL my Pepper is a year old and we’re still confirming we’ve taken her out enough to try to avoid accidents!  They are definitely a challenge to housebreak!

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gd4

 

Nettydorko,

Sadly, I hate to share with you but this is why I just jumped on the forum. However, maybe, we can console each other. :( I am at the end of my rope with Trina Joy this week. At least, your pup is still young. She will soon be eight months old and I cannot seem to housebreak this dog. She was doing better before we got her spayed and then over the holidays after her surgery, she faltered again. I am totally frustrated. We have tried everything. The dog spent most of her day in the crate today because if I leave her unattended in the play pen she will poo and pee. This is despite our many, many walks outside in our fenced-in backyard. We monitor her and go at peak times when we think she will need to go. My husband lets her go outside in the fenced yard with a leash (to catch her because she eats everything) but lets her go on her own; half the time, she just plays and will not do anything. As soon as he brings her inside, she will potty. She will go on the leash for me and do both (in the AM after being in her crate all night). However, throughout the day, despite many opportunities, as soon as she hits the playpen, she poos. She thinks it is cool to just play outside but does not seem to get the reason for going. I just walked her for 15 minutes outside to get her to poo tonight. She pooed outside and then came in and peed in the playpen. I hate to keep this dog locked in the crate and only let her out when she has emptied herself but I do not know what else to do. Even, with my two former Cairns, never this bad. Or, maybe, I am getting old. lol. I honestly think it was the breeder we got her from that confused her with this playpen thing. She had her trained to go on paper in the playpen. We got her at 4 mo. The breeder started to crate train her before we picked her up and brought her home but the majority of the time she spent was in a secured playpen area on newspaper.  She will not go potty in her sleep crate. We had great success with our other dogs who were crate trained but had no playpens. They seemed to get that potty is outside not inside. But, the introduction of the playpen which I felt was more humane than keeping her locked up in the crate when I cannot watch her, seems to this remind her of old days back at the breeder. I removed the newspaper months ago, but she still poos on the floor in the playpen. When allowed to roam the house, she will go in the house, too. We do not keep her loose in the house because she is so bad about getting into everything. I worry about her eating bad things (which, she has).  I agree, the puppy pads and newspaper that the breeder used on this pup may be our problem with confusion. I know she is a smart dog --- so, where is the disconnect? I may have to hire a professional on this one. She is beyond hell on wheels. She is back at chewing and wanting to nip on our hands and wants to eat anything she can get her mouth on. She also seems to be getting picky about her food in the morning. My goodness. HELP!  Many blessings to you and your wild one.

Thanks, all for letting me vent. I am truly disgusted, :(

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JoJo

Have faith, she will get better.  I think it’s why Cairns are so cute.  My Pepper is a year old now and my husband jokes that if she was a beagle (he has hunting beagles) she would have been out in the outdoor kennel months ago.  She sometimes tells us she wants to go out, but not always so we make sure she gets out enough to limit accidents.  Chewing has really slowed down.  I used bitter apple on everything and it did really seem to help.  Now she almost always prefers some type of bone, but, if I hear her chewing, I still go check what she’s got!😬. We are lucky because we are retired and have plenty of time to work with her.

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Idaho Cairns

gd--I'm thinking your Trina Joy has been acclimated to the "playpen" as a place to potty--even before she came into your home.  I think you might want to consider getting rid of the thing simply because of her association with it.  I realize that that would allow her to roam the home but that to me is far better than simply providing her a convenient bathroom 24/7.  
Also, if you have a fenced back yard, why not just let her out there for extended periods of time?  Let her tell  you when she wants to come in--in effect, turn your back yard into the new "play pen" for her.  Once she makes that association then the yard will become place where she goes to the bathroom and not that playpen.  Yes Cairns eat sticks, grass, poop, or whatever they find that might be tasty or taste worthy but that is natural to them and they soon learn what is good for them and what isn't--meantime they are making that most important connection--outside is where all those good old potty smelling places are and the inside (assuming you clean up the inevitable messes completely) becomes the place where she lives with you.  Habituating her to going outside does require you watch her and verbally correct her when she tries to go inside but that usually doesn't take too long--she just needs to make a new connection --- turning that outside area into the new play pen.  "Training" does require some observation and some intuition on the part of the owner and that training might be inconvenient for awhile but once she figures out what you want and don't want she will seek to please you and herself by using the outside of the home for the purpose intended.
Don't overlook the use of effusive, even ridiculous praise every time she goes outside in the yard--you have no idea how silly we look with our puppies when they started going outside for us--there were so many "good dogs", hand clapping, dancing around, praise heaped on praise that we must have looked like we had lost our minds to the neighbors but, eventually, the pups figured it out and associated the yard with natural functions.
It is a process and the start, for you, is replacing that symbolic play pen with the back yard--it's hard, I know, but your Trina Joy has been conditioned to go in that pen and until that pen goes she probably can't distinguish right from wrong.

I might also suggest that if you decide to do away with the play pen that you might consider folding it up and putting it out somewhere in that back yard--again, to see if Trina Joy makes that "connection" you need to have made.
 

Edited by Idaho Cairns

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Dempsy's Mom

It is hard.  Especially if you work and have to squeeze in time to potty train ... actually I don't know how people work with their puppies when they don't work from home.  Hats off to ya!  Demps is a dribbler so I have no problems with him - he wears his peepee pads and is happy - and he does his morning poo once a day.  Elsie is very good and she feels bad when she has an accident in the house or mom doesn't get home soon enough.  Elsie is 8 and she pees about 4 times a day and she is a 2 times a day pooer.  So once you get into a schedule and understand each other it goes pretty well.  Hang in there!  Patience Praise Love

Edited by Dempsy's Mom

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Corn Niblet

Things will get better. Never give up. Rocky was 7 months when he started to bark at the back door to go out. And Gus learned to scratch at the back door around 3 to 4 months. He was so much easier than Rocky.  They are all different. Be patient, I know it is hard but it WILL happen. Good luck!

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pkcrossley

gd4 an 8 month old puppy can certainly be retrained (i believe age has nothing to do with it), but idaho has spoken wisely: you need to start from scratch, get rid of anything that will bring up associations of her life in the breeding home. just pretend she has never been trained and you and she are starting from scratch. i think it is also probably important nettydorko ditch the puppy pad thing. it does take a long time, and a 4 month old or 8 month old dog who has not yet got it is not way way behind other cairns who do.

i think most people on the forum have had good results with crate training if the trip outside schedule is frequent enough. i also had good luck with confinement in a puppy-proof room --a laundry room or bathroom. it has to be small enough that the dog feels it is his or her, not to be messed up. but even if it gets messed up, clean-up is not the end of the world. 

as many have said, never limit water --if your puppy develops a UTI from inadequate drinking, your house training problems will triple. 

above all, look after your peace of mind. get your dog some pants (diapers, many very attractive) and have him or her wear them when inside the house. a few dogs wear these for life, because they have a physical problem that makes perfect house training unlikely. but most dogs who wear them do so as reinforcement while training or just peace of mind for mommy. they are cute. 

Edited by pkcrossley

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Pepper Bug's Mom

Brodie in his X-Pen because he CANNOT be trusted not to pee in the house or chew on something forbidden - trying to get my bills done...haha.  He is not happy.

Brodie Jan 2018 2.jpg

Brodie Jan 2018 3.jpg

Brodie Jan 2018.jpg

Edited by Pepper Bug's Mom

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gd4

Thanks to all who have responded to me and Nettydorko. Especially, thanks for tolerating my frustration. Please do not confuse it with me not loving this dog enough :) I LOVE TRINA JOY! She drives me crazy but I know how smart these terriers are and what good pups they transpire to be (I had my boy and girl for 13 and 14 years until recent loss :( ). Trina Joy is full of love (as well as poo). Everything stated is exactly how I feel. We have a metal playpen for summer and I will consider moving it outside on the concrete patio area by patio door. While it is on the patio and I really don't want her to go potty there, it will reinforce the need to her that potty is outside; I can watch her from the window when it is too cold to be out with her. As spring and summer approaches, she will probably understand to go out in the grass. Sadly, if we leave her out on her own, she devours her own poo and it is simply TOO dangerous, trust me, she will eat something bad. I can't relax to leave her outside on her own for any period of time. She seeks things in the grass and under our pool deck, neighbor's fence, shed, etc. I swear I don't know where she finds it ---but, she will eat anything (rocks, hard sticks, metal/plastic pieces??? ). I experienced two scares that turned out fine but I just can't go through it again. I am going to try to leave some poo outside when she goes potty (I have to grab right away with a bag) so she can smell her scented spots. I think this is important. I really don't want her to eat the poo. And, trust, we pick-up and clean with Nature's Miracle each time she has an accident in the house, as well. But, I think she can still pick-up the scent on the carpet or hardwood floors where the playpen/s are. I really hate to eliminate the playpens in the house (I know the need to do so) because this is the only way I can keep her from getting into things. She cannot be turned loose for five minutes with our backs turned. However, she will sleep in her crate (she is crate trained) all night or when we leave the house without any accidents (up to 7 hours). I try never to leave her in there that very long but she doesn't mind during the night, she sleeps sound! I NEVER limit her water. I would never do that (unless, again, she is sleeping overnight in the crate). She is something else, really. But, very smart. We both work. However, we both work from home on varied days which helps. This ensures we have time to potty her throughout the day. When we both worked with our other dogs, they were crate-trained and simply had to stay in the crate when we were not home; however, we had a petsitter visit at lunch each day to let them out.

I also think it would help if Trina Joy had another pup to go out with her. This straightened out our former female pup. She was about a year when we rescued a Cairn terrier mix. He was potty trained and they went out together and played in the yard. I miss them pups so much still (he died in May, she followed on Labor day). 2017 has proven a sad year for us. Trina Joy has brought us so much JOY and frustration :)

Edited by gd4
typos/errors

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nettydorko

Hello,

Just wanted to give everyone an update that Theo is now 1 year old and was successfully potty-trained at around 6 months. He was initially comfortable on pee pads. When my father passed away early last year, he hit puberty (his balls dropped.. planning to get him neutered) and my friend was able to take care of him for the week I had to go overseas. I think he was influenced by my friend's dog's actions of peeing outside and "marking territories," since we got back and he got into the habit of going outside. In fact, we have taught Theo to ring the little bells we hung around the door to let us know he wants to go outside. Sorry for the long rant at the beginning of this post. My husband and I were losing sleep and was getting so frustrated. He's also our first furbaby and we don't have any children. Anyway, hopefully I didn't offend anyone! He's an intelligent little guy and has learned so many new things the past year. 

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bradl

Patience and persistence pays with these little terriers. I think you are right that a week of monkey-see monkey-do probably did help Theo along. He'd have gotten it eventually either way but faster is easier on us :) 

You still have adolescence to get through :w00t: but keep the faith. He will grow into a fine companion. Cairns are smart and adorable like no other (in my completely objective opinion :P).

Thank you for the update! 

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Sam I Am

 

Meditating while humming a lot and the occasional nip of sherry also help...the Cairn owner....the dog will figure out very fast what softies most of us are...oh yes I almost forgot, an amazing sense of humour is required from us...the Cairn is in for the party all the time.. 🤗

Edited by Sam I Am

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DogsSmarterThanMe

So ok, we’re insane. We have. 5 1/2 month Siberian Husky and a 4 month cairn. Both females.  The husky does her business outside except when she’s mad. The Cairn uses pee pads because it was too cold outside when we got her. Now she pees wherever she feels like and almost immediately when coming in lol. Trying to wean her off the pee pads but who can go outside to pee when there’s a husky to pounce on you?  Haven’t trained the cairn with a leash for walks and business but that’s next

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bradl

Sounds like you've got some logistics challenges :P  If the Husky is or becomes reliable, there is hope that over time the Cairn may come to emulate the Husky in monkey-see monkey-do manner. Fingers crossed for you :) 

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Dianne

Oh, this sounds like a challenge!

With 40 years with Westies (our own plus fostering rescues) I thought I had a good grasp of the terrier mind! Katie the Cairn upended that assurance and humbled me. 

Cairns are very bright, quick learners but they have to think it is their idea when it comes to learning a new task. Katie potty trained very well and at 2 ½ years is very reliable.

The key, for us, potty training started with crate training. We have an unfenced yard. Katie's, at 3 months old, potty breaks started out hourly. Every hour we took her out. Soon moved to 2 hours and then 3… We would attached a leash to her collar, carry her out, tell her to “hurry up”, let her wander for 10 minutes, if she pottied , lots of praise, a tiny treat and then back in the house. If she did not potty, we brought her back in to her puppy play pen for another hour, then back out etc. If she pottied, she was brought in until the next potty break time. She caught on very quickly and we stretched out the times in between. The treat was slowly phased out to none, just praise.  The more reliable she became, the more time she spent out of the puppy pen and in play time with us.

Yes, in the beginning this is very focused and time consuming, but for us it went very quickly.

My suggestions: Sit down with your favorite beverage and review the previous posts. So many good ideas. Check AKC.com on puppy training. Toss the piddle pads.

>but who can go outside to pee when there’s a husky to pounce on you

Potty train her separately from the husky, leave husky inside until she is finished pottying and then they can romp together. IMHO, terrier puppies have a nano second attention span. She can’t focus on potty if being distracted by protecting her bum or preferring to play.  If it will then be her idea to potty!

Best of luck and be sure keep your sense of humor!

Cheers!

I have attached a digest of the previous posts in this thread.

potty training.docx

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Hillscreek

Dianne's advice worked for me. It's what we've done over the years with our retrievers and terriers.

We had dogs long before puppy pads. If pup can go out with a dog who is potty trained it will very soon be trained too. If no older dog available then we did as above. Confined pup in house in xpen or with baby gates, took out often on leash - at least every hour, gave command to "do your business". Let pup wander a bit. If business done -big praise. Taking pup out frequently like this is a chore but it gets an independent minded pup to pay attention. Gradually increased space inside but never letting him be out of sight. If accident did not scold. Just picked up took outside and gave command. Restricted space inside again.

We crated our dogs at night starting the first day they came to us. Pups very soon learned to hold it through the night. Crate became a safe place, a special spot to retire to from noise and bustle or just for a nap. Used when taking dogs on a journey. Never used for punishment.

Incidentally I traveled quite a lot with my cairn. Having him go potty on command was a big benefit in strange places. 🙂

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Dianne

Like Hillscreek, Katie is kenneled in her crate at night only.  When we travel, we have a folding soft crate. Both crates are roomy. Could easily hold 2 Cairns.

As a puppy we used a pet yard play pen until she was able to escape by climbing out. By that time she had more freedom in the house. We then used a taller X-pen until she was reliable not to potty in the house.  We also used it when we needed to keep he confined and out of mischief while we were other wise occupied. 

Katie had a propensity to put everything and anything in her mouth! She still has a vacuum mentality. Yesterday I found her chewing a paperclip! 

Vigilance with a Cairn can never be relaxed, but it is balanced by their joyful companionship. 

Cheers all!

 

 

 

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Dianne

Opps! I forgot to mention...

When we are to be away for a couple of hours we will place her in her crate with a treat filled Kong.

When she sees that Kong she runs into her crate!

Cheers!

 

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