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Tips for housebreaking

Zamboni posted 3/4/2019 10:43 AM

I have a new French bulldog and I'm having a heck of a time getting her housebroken (she is three months old.)

I don't know if this is because of her breed (aren't bulldogs stubborn?) and her size.

I've never had one of these ankle biter sized dogs before, so does anyone have any tips? I'm guessing her bladder is the size of a grape!

I've been crating her at night, but all hell breaks loose when she isn't in it.

zebra25 posted 3/4/2019 11:14 AM

French bulldog puppies are adorable. I'm so jealous!

As far as house breaking I will share what has worked well for me. I currently have a Boston Terrier and a terrier mix. My Boston took a bit longer to train than other dogs I've had. He is great now and will ring a bell when he needs to go out.

When I have a puppy I have them in a small crate or with me at all times. I never let them wander around or take my eyes off them. I actually keep them on a leash with me. I feel this prevents accidents because I can get them outside right away if they start potty behavior. If they do have an accident and I catch them doing it I tell them no and take them outside immediately.

I also take them out on a schedule. First thing in the morning, right after eating, after a nap. We go out and I repeat a cue word and praise when they go. We do not come in until they go.

It is very time consuming and a pain in the neck to do this but if you do it consistently it should work.

Good luck. She will get it eventually.

marchmadness posted 3/4/2019 11:41 AM

I have raised and housebroken 4 dogs. Each dog got progressively smaller, the most recent being only 5.5 pounds as an adult. In my experience, the smaller the dog, the longer housebreaking takes for peeing. Crate training makes a huge difference.

tushnurse posted 3/4/2019 12:15 PM

I have a 12 week old lab.
Housebreaking is very difficult if the dog is able to sneak off. For every mistake they have it takes 10 times of getting it right to reinforce the habit of going to the door when they have to go.

We use the bell method with our dogs, so that when they have to go the jingle the bell hanging from the knob so they get our attention. You can google/you tube this method it works.

Additionally if you have one that is having lots of accidents the general recommendation is keep them in the crate or next to you so they can't sneak off. When being let out of the crate, take outside immediately. Use the same commands for "Go Potty" everytime. Reward with treats and love when they get it right.
Personally I think smaller dogs are more difficult to train, but have had a large dog that was difficult as well. For them they spent time in the crate anytime I couldn't keep an eye on them 100%. I also use a short leash <6' and loop it around my ankle so they can't sneak off.

Don't punish or beat them, as it's known to not work effectively, but do reward any wanted behavior.
It takes about 5 days usually with this for them to get the hang of it.
My Lab pup has a bit of ADD so sometimes by the time he runs to the door, he can't hold it, but the ONLY accidents he has had in the past week have been at the door. HE knows where he is supposed to go, just can't always hold it.

Starzen posted 3/4/2019 12:24 PM

I did the "ring the bell" thing when my dog was a pup, with jingle bells hanging on my door. It was so cute!

I really regretted it once she became the adult 105 pound shepherd. lol. I clearly wasn't thinking about my future door when training her.

tushnurse posted 3/4/2019 12:29 PM

Zebra - Ha!!! you and I said almost the same exact thing. Too funny.

Starzen - Yes I have had to sand and stain my current front door, and had to repaint the one in my prior home from the bells.

zebra25 posted 3/4/2019 12:37 PM

Tush great minds think alike.

My little dog did take much much longer than five days. He didn't have accidents because he was either with me or in his crate but it took weeks maybe even a couple of months for him to go to the door. We did a happy dance when he rang the bell.

I'm still working on my little adult terrier mix rescue. He is just starting to figure out how to get my attention if he wants to go out. I've had him for four months.

FindingDory posted 3/4/2019 13:03 PM

Awwww, a Frenchie!! ::insert jealous emojii::

I had a english bulldog that I adopted after she was approximately a year old. Never kept inside from what I gather, so not housebroken-ever. I did just like zebra25 said...set up a schedule, always after sleeping/eating, and do not come back inside until they potty. I called it "walking the sh** out of her" And praise to high heaven when she DID go. I did the "happy dance", like over the top, "GOOD GIRL!! WAY TO GO!! GOOD JOB!!" as if she'd just performed a miracle or something. But you know what? It worked! Even on an adult dog who had never been an inside dog before. Yes, the bullies are notoriously stubborn, but O.M.G. the rewards!!! My Sophie was the smartest, goofiest, absolute best dog I've ever had. They call them clowns in a dog suit for a reason. She's been gone a little over a year now and I still miss and grieve for her.

On the other hand...I'd be willing to -ahem- take her off your hands

TheCaterpillar posted 3/4/2019 14:31 PM

Our family dog (border terrier) was a nuisance to train. She got the basic hang of it and knew the commands (my parents used "down the garden" to mean going into the back yard to pee) and was fine with the routine but would occassionally have 'accidents'. A few weeks in the family had to go away for 2 weeks so she was fostered with my cousin who had 2 labs, when she came back she never went in the hosue again. My mum asked my cousin what she'd done to 'finalise' the training but the cousin said she'd not done anything and that the dog just 'got it'. Personally, I think she may have been copying the labs. It's a mystery.

We house trained our miniature dachshund very successfully but did have to have a puppy pad in the garage by our back door for the first month as she was afraid to go out in the snow (we got her in November). The key thing was the pad was still out of the house and as soon as the weather was dry she only went in the garden and we didn't even let her wander into the garage. We also crate trained at nighttime and when we were away from the house which I think made a huge difference. Even as a trained dog when it rains we will let her onto the grass behind the garage as there's an overhang that stops the rain so it's drier. Doxies are rarely fond of rain! We were told doxies were hard to train so we kept a strict schedule and didn't have too bad a time. Once trained she had 2 or 3 times where she did a "protest poo" outside the bedroom door as we'd shut her out while we had some alone time. We trained that out of her pretty quickly, there's nothing fun about coming out of the room in a state of undress to be greeted with a "present"!

I'd also second have a quick and easy command, but use something you don't mind the neighbours hearing! Visitors to our house would always laugh at use shouting "wee time" as she happily trotted out to the grass. Remember once the command works you are stuck with it for the dog's lifetime.. If you're using a clicker for positive reinforcement (definitely recommend this too! It bridges the gap between the good behaviour and giving a treat) keep it close to hand to help praise when her when she gets it right. If she's food driven have low cal/small training treats ready so you don't over feed her I had a pocket size tin of broken up nibbles for all training.

Zamboni posted 3/4/2019 15:55 PM

Thank you for all of the advice!! I love the idea of the tell bell.

I would have to agree that the smaller breeds are much harder to house break. She is so small and can wander off in a flash.

I think the other issue is she drinks a lot of water because of her smooshed face / nose she gets really thirsty.

I just love her. She is a blue Frenchie.

omgididwhat posted 3/4/2019 16:35 PM

One day soon you will feel like Annie Sullivan teaching Helen Keller....OMG...she Will understand!!!! Congratulations on that beautiful new sweetheart💗

likeapinball posted 3/5/2019 13:27 PM

If she's drinking lots of water and having accidents in the house - you may want to get her checked out for a UTI. They don't drink more because of their anatomy.

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