Not sure why my dog won't tell me she needs to go outside?

@kcoregon (303)
United States
July 4, 2009 8:36pm CST
Okay, so I am sure that the problem is with me and not my dog. She is only my second dog and I have failed yet again with the house training. Here is what I have done... When we brought her home we tried the crate training. However after a week of constant whining, trying to get out, and barking I couldn't take it anymore. I felt like I was putting her in a prison and didn't want to approach training this way. I decided to leash her in my kitchen instead where her food and water is and I put a soft blanket down for her to lay on. It only took about two weeks for my dog to learn that when she goes outside where she likes to go and she doesn't get so easily distracted and usually conducts her business within the first few minutes of going outside. When she is leashed in the kitchen or on my bed at night she will not do anything. First thing in the morning she will bark to let me know she needs to go NOW. And so she has become my alarm clock. As long as I take her out at timed intervals, usually every half hour to an hour, she will immediately do her business. However she still has accidents occasionally indoors. I catch her in the act half of the time, I know shame on me I should be more aware, and if I catch her early enough I can take her outside and she will do her business out there. We have had her for over a month now and she will still not tell me that she needs to go outside to do something. She will just sniff around and then I take her cue to take her out that way or I take her out before she even begins to sniff. I thought that maybe I needed to let her have a chance to tell me so I waited but she will just sniff around the house and won't go anywhere near the front door or whine or anything. She is a four month old Lhasa Apso and I am a tired mom who is out of ideas. Is it just that I need to pay more attention so that I catch her in the act every time? I do have two older children, a toddler, and a husband who is deployed and so I cannot keep a constant eye on her. So should I leash her for those moments when I am busy with laundry or playing with the children and can't watch her? I hate putting her on the leash because I want her to have freedom. Thanks for any help! And yes I realize the problem is with me and not the dog. No matter what I love my Maggie and hope to find a solution!
2 people like this
8 responses
@dreamr802 (987)
• United States
5 Jul 09
Our first dog refused to let us know when she had to go out...but now that we have our second dog, my mom put a bell on the door that is about nose height for her. And everytime we brought her outside for any reason we would make her stand in front of the door and gently move her head towards the bell to get her to ring it. We did that everytime she had t go out. Soon after training her like that, she got the idea and now when she has to go out she will hit the bell so that it will bounce off the door and she will keep doing that until someone comes and takes her out. It works really well, you just have to remember to make her hit the bell before you take her out all the time.
@kcoregon (303)
• United States
6 Jul 09
This sounds like such a great idea I will definitely have to give this a try. Maggie is a pretty quiet puppy so this may help! Thank you for your response. :)
• United States
5 Jul 09
My dog is much bigger than yours. We did the crate training and that did work. But another thing we did was put a small windchime or bell hanging from the door knob. And trained him to ring the chime if he wants to go out. I would suggest you try this, everytime you see her sniff around, take her to the door, nudge her nose on the windchime, and then let her out. But, you must be consistent. Good luck
@kcoregon (303)
• United States
6 Jul 09
Thank you for the idea I will certainly try this out. I never even thought of it and yet it seems to make a great deal of sense.
• United States
5 Jul 09
I have a 13 month old Siberian Husky and remember all too well the "joys" of young puppyhood. One thing that you must remember is that it's no more fair to expect a 16 week old puppy not to have accidents than it is to expect a 2 or 3 year old not to have accidents. They're still babies, and she only gained bladder/bowel control at all a month ago. My sibe was five months old before he would start scratching at the door to tell me that he needed to go out, before then I just had to be quick enough and try to anticipate his needs ahead of time. It may also help if you get your carpet cleaned, if they can smell urine in the carpet they generally consider it "fair game". Try not to feel guilty about 'confining' her in some way, you need your sanity and it's a lot like putting a toddler in a play pen so that she can't hurt herself while you're busy doing things that you HAVE to do. My sibe is crate trained and it was about the only thing that kept me from going crazy during those early months. Now that he's older I find that the only time I need to crate him is when I'm going to be gone for more than a couple of hours (he gets separation anxiety, like many sibes). The point is, you shouldn't feel guilty about doing what you have to do to keep her safe/out of trouble!
@kcoregon (303)
• United States
6 Jul 09
Yes I certainly agree about the accidents part. I was just thinking that maybe I was doing something wrong and that is why she wasn't signalling to go outside. Perhaps it seems that she just needs more time. Also she isn't a very noisy puppy she only barks when she really gets into playing or in the morning when I overslept and she needs to go. Thanks for your response, I appreciate it. :)
@Anandhh (389)
• India
5 Jul 09
not all dogs learn this. it's an active behaviour that really cant be expected in all dogs. i'hv had loads of fosters who are like this.in all honestly,what helps them the most is my dog.she asks to go out and they pick up on it. i wish i hard advice for you on this,but its just one of those things that some dogs never get.i'd almost say condition her to go to the door with treats and then immediatly let her out with her "go potty" command.:)
@kcoregon (303)
• United States
6 Jul 09
Hmmm...I might have to give that a try. I always saved the treat for after she did something outside. She gets so excited when she hears the word treat so that may just work!
@lilaclady (28240)
• Australia
5 Jul 09
I think this is one of the reasons I prefer cats, they are so easy to train to use kitty litter which is better than finding puddles every where...I have friends that say their dogs are house trained but I see puddles in their houses and they always leave puddles when they bring their dogs to my place...
@kcoregon (303)
• United States
6 Jul 09
I did hear that cats are easier to train in that manner. Thanks for your response.
@snowy22315 (48868)
• United States
5 Jul 09
I would consult some experts on dog training for your ideas. I would just try to take her at regular intervals and praise her like crazy whenever she does do what she is supposed to. Dogs can be difficult sometimes. You never really know what is going to work to make them get the message. My dog used to soil a lot and would sneak into other rooms when he thought we werent looking, but fortunately I havent had any problems with him for the past year or so.
@kcoregon (303)
• United States
6 Jul 09
I'm glad that your dog has gotten over that habit! I really wish I could just figure out why she won't bark to go out. I guess maybe its because she isn't much of a barker? Who knows! But thanks for your response. :)
• United States
9 Jul 09
I have a shih tzu that I had to house train, I have done a lot of reading on how to do it, but have also come to the conclusion that it also depends on the dog. I crate trained her, she is now about 7 months old. Did you try doggie pads? You can try the doggie pads and if she uses them, slowly start moving it closer and closer to the door to go outside. You could also try putting a bell on the door, every time you go out with her say the key word, like "potty" or what ever it may be and shake the bell by the door. One dog we had I kept the leash on the door knob and taught her to grab it when he wanted to go out. You also like you said need to learn how to read your dog, my shih tzu now, either barks at me, or follows me everywhere grabbing at my leg. Also I have done is when they go outside, say good girl, and give her a treat. In time your dog will get it. You said she is four months so it will take a while for her to fully understand it so don't get to upset with yourself about the messes, just be patient. Good Luck
• United States
7 Jul 09
I have a 4 year old Pit and 3 7 month old pit puppies in my home. Talk about crazy! This is how we trained all 3 of our puppies. We left them outside with their food and water for the majority of the day, they would do their business outside, and then at night they slept in cages. The cages seem like a prison to you, but if you make it comfortable to them it is like home. Blankets, sheets, pillow, something for them to lay on, so they know this is their spot. Whatever blanket you give your dog, make sure that when you bring the dog out in the house you use the same blanket. A dog will rarely go where they sleep...By feeding my dogs and giving them their water outside, they have learned that is where they go to do their business. On a rare occasion my male will have an accident if he is left at home too long by himself, but he is not fixed either. My female's on the other hand, do not do their business in my house at all. Also when the dog goes outside, praise the dog with a treat, tell them good potty or you went we we outside, good boy/girl. Praise your dog for doing right. Also ask your dog, do you have to go potty? do you need to pee? my dogs will whine or run to the door if they do when I ask these. My puppies don't bark, they get excited, each dog is different. hope this helps