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New Dog Owner, So Frustrated With Potty Breaks!


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We've had Xena for 2 1/2 weeks now so this is all very new, both for her and us. My husband and I had dogs growing up but never indoor dogs. We're still getting used to the concept of having to let our dog out to go to the bathroom and we thought it would be pretty straight-forward but it's proving to be anything but.

 

Xena is straight from the track so we're technically fostering her right now, soon to adopt. Perhaps a lot of this is because she's still learning too.

 

Most of the time when we let her out to go, she pees first and then sometimes poops too. I've found that if she doesn't pee at every potty break we give her, she'll go on the floor in the house. This is especially so at night when we give her her last potty break before bed. She'll be indoors for 8-9 hours while we sleep so this one is the most important.

 

But here I am sitting by the door waiting for her to pee. It's now 11:30pm and she's been out there for over an hour, still no pee. I need to sleep! Is there some magic button everyone else knows how to press which I have yet to discover? Is it something she'll pick up on if I just keep waiting until she goes and then praising her like mad and showering her with treats every time? How long will it take? I'd like to know when I get to stop being a sleep-deprived zombie during the day.

 

Getting a dog door is seeming like it won't be an option as we have strictly-indoor cats and I can't find a single microchip-activated door that's sized for greyhounds. Are there other options out there that I don't know about?

 

Please help me, I'm at my wit's end!

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If you can get another dog to visit and pee and poop there, at least you'll get Xena wanting to go out there and mark over it. Long pees (bladder relieving ones) take 3-4 seconds. Marking ones about half that.

 

Crating and/or leaving the dog in an easy-clean room might be your only option for a while.

 

You could ask your vet if there are underlying issues for peace of mind too.

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We've had Xena for 2 1/2 weeks now so this is all very new, both for her and us. My husband and I had dogs growing up but never indoor dogs. We're still getting used to the concept of having to let our dog out to go to the bathroom and we thought it would be pretty straight-forward but it's proving to be anything but.

 

Xena is straight from the track so we're technically fostering her right now, soon to adopt. Perhaps a lot of this is because she's still learning too.

 

Most of the time when we let her out to go, she pees first and then sometimes poops too. I've found that if she doesn't pee at every potty break we give her, she'll go on the floor in the house. This is especially so at night when we give her her last potty break before bed. She'll be indoors for 8-9 hours while we sleep so this one is the most important.

 

But here I am sitting by the door waiting for her to pee. It's now 11:30pm and she's been out there for over an hour, still no pee. I need to sleep! Is there some magic button everyone else knows how to press which I have yet to discover? Is it something she'll pick up on if I just keep waiting until she goes and then praising her like mad and showering her with treats every time? How long will it take? I'd like to know when I get to stop being a sleep-deprived zombie during the day.

 

Getting a dog door is seeming like it won't be an option as we have strictly-indoor cats and I can't find a single microchip-activated door that's sized for greyhounds. Are there other options out there that I don't know about?

 

Please help me, I'm at my wit's end!

It's hard to tell for sure, but it sounds like you are letting her out into a yard and then waiting by the door for her to do her business and come back?

If she's alone out there, she has no idea what you expect her to do; she thinks it's just exploring/do-whatever-she-wants time.

 

You need to go out there with her every time, and give her the reward immediately after doing her business, then again for coming inside promptly. This can eventually transition her being alone when she goes out, but you first have to teach her what's she's supposed to be doing.

She's still basically a puppy and fresh off the track, treat this situation more like traditional potty training inside and outside the house.

 

A crate is probably a good option as far as nighttime goes, you also could limit her water a couple hours before bedtime (provided there's no medical reason not to) and make sure she has multiple opportunities to empty the tank before bed. If she's treat motivated, it would also probably be helpful to start training her to tell you when she needs to go out.

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Don’t forget to give her a verbal signal when she goes to the toilet, you can make it as graphic or subtle as you like! I tell mine to “Go and do a wee” but many other friends use more polite words or phrases. Use it every time she is doing what you want, just as you would give her a treat when she’s doing any other action, then she will associate that action with those/that word.

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Most likey she is used to an earlier turnout. From what I remember the tracks turnout the dogs VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING.our first grey just off the track arrived the weekend the clocks were changed in the fall. So her wakeup was 4am!

 

I am not sure of then you get up. She should be able to hold it for 10 hrs.

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If she's happy in a crate (most are right off the track, there are the occasional exceptions) I would use a crate for the time being while you are house training her. One she's reliably housetrained you may elect to do away with the crate. I know some people bring in new dogs and puppies without crate training... but for the life of me I'm not really sure how. Giving the dog a "den" area is the most reliable way to assure she holds her bladder as dogs are generally clean creatures who do not want to soil where they sleep. You put the dog in the crate when you cannot be supervising (overnight, when you're not home, when you're preoccupied with cooking dinner, etc).

 

The moment you let her out of the crate you take her directly outside to pee. If she goes you give her a reward and praise her before going back in the house. You need to go out in the yard with her and give her the reward the second she finishes. If you stand at the door and reward her when she gets back to you, you've just rewarded her for coming to the door and not for peeing outside. If you go out with her you can also put a verbal cue on the potty so that in future if you need her to go quickly you can ask her to go. I use "hurry up". As soon as the dog squats to pee give the verbal cue and reward when she finishes as per usual.

 

If she doesn't pee after about 5 minutes when you take her out, then you go back in and put her back in the crate for half an hour or so (go and make yourself breakfast or fold some laundry or whatever). Repeat until she goes when you take her outside. Do not leave her loose in the house unless she has gone because inevitably at some point when you're not paying attention she'll need to go. Once she's gone outside you can let her have some free time in the house. If it's the time of day when she should need to poop as well then you will also need to wait until she has pooped before you give her free time in the house.

 

It is also a good idea to take a dog out to the bathroom shortly after eating, after a long nap, or after exercise/play.

 

If you choose not to use a crate then the concept is the same but it requires more supervision. I recommend using the umbilical method (attach a leash to your waist at all times so the dog can't wander off somewhere while you're distracted).

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Ours had a few accidents in the first week or so and we were definitely feeling the sleep-deprivation, too! It does get easier, but there were certainly moments the first week where we were like "is this going to work...?" even though we already loved our hound.

 

We have a fenced-in yard, but for the first two weeks, we took her out on a leash each time. After she would do her business, we would praise her in really excited, high-pitched voices and give her a treat. Then, we'd take her straight back inside. Mid-way through the second week, we stopped using the leash but would still go outside with her, praise her and give her a treat the second she was done, and then call her inside. After that, she was able to go outside and almost always uses the bathroom right away, then plays/explores. Help her to understand that going outside = potty = treat.

 

With the accidents inside -- try not to let her out of your sight. You can even keep her on a leash inside, if it's too hard to watch her 24/7. Does she go in one particular spot? If so, that makes it easier to tell when she's about to potty indoors -- if not, you'll just kind of want to let her out every two hours or so, plus after meals and before bed/after waking up -- ours can hold it for 10-12 hours, but we let her out frequently in the beginning just to encourage her to go in the right place. Spend time in all the rooms of your house so that she understands it's all part of her "crate". We made the mistake of hanging out in one or two rooms all the time the first week, and while she wouldn't go to the bathroom in those rooms, she would go in the other rooms. If you see/hear her going potty inside and can get to her before she stops, firmly but calmly tell her no, take her by the collar, and lead her outside. If she's already had the accident and you just find it later, there isn't much you can do. (Except make sure you're using a cleaner that will get the scent out of the carpet, so that she doesn't smell it later and think that's an acceptable bathroom spot.)

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