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Old 12-19-2008, 11:30 AM   #1
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Default The rest of his life?

Hi everyone! We have an almost 10-month-old male yorkie, Samson. He's been doing pretty good with potty training, only have a few accidents once in a while when we're not on top of it (taking him out every hour or so).

However, I'm becoming fearful that we might have to spend the rest of Samson's life taking him out every hour. He hasn't really learned to tell us when he needs to go (or maybe the signs or so small we miss them) and if we try to go past an hour, sometimes he goes in the house. I just don't understand. We have the bells hanging from our doorknob and once I put the lease on him and walk him to the door, he will jump up and hit the bells and we treat him right away. However, if we are in the house and he needs to go to the bathroom, he will not ring the bells, and if we aren't up right then to take him out, he will just find a spot and go. So we are up pretty much every hour (less if he's just eaten or had a big drink) taking him out.

I don't understand why he's not able to hold it for longer than an hour now that he's 10 months. If we keep him on a leash or are constantly entertaining him, he seems to be okay, but I also don't want a dog that I have to keep on a leash or constantly entertain the rest of his life. I love my dog and I love spending time with him, but I can't spend all my hours at home watching him. I know that if we can't watch him 100% then he should go into his crate or on a leash, but I hate to crate him since he's crated during the day when we're at work.

I'm just wondering why this hasn't improved. How come he can't go longer than an hour before needing to pee. I thought that was supposed to improve as they got older??? I understand that he's more active at night and will need to go more often, but shouldn't he be able to hold it until we take him out or he gives us a sign?

We are in a condo without a balcony so we have to put on hats, gloves, scarves and coats and go downstairs every time. I know once we are in a house, it will be easier to just let him out the back door into a fenced yard, but right now, it's tough. We don't mind letting him out every hour for now, while he's still learning, but we really don't feel like it's working. I don't feel like he's connecting the "Ooooh, I got to pee. I should let them know and we can go outside." I feel like it's "Ooooh, I got to pee. They aren't getting up right this second so....aaaaahhhh, that feels better." I just don't get how come he's not learning/willing to hold it and give us a sign.

Am I the only one who's felt that way or am I just doing something wrong?
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:42 AM   #2
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When he is in his crate during the day does he hold it or does he go in the crate? If he can hold it while you are gone during the day there is no reason he can't during other times. If he is going in his crate and going every hour then I would take him to a vet to make sure his kidneys and bladder are O.K. and if everything is O.K. ...I would tend think he has just gotten use to his habit/routine .

Are potty pads out of the question ? I know you may not want to use them but it may help until you move. If not I would suggest trying to reform his pattern...even if it means holding him in your lap or carrying him with you for three hours in between potty breaks so he has no chance to go anywhere before then. You just have to get him in a new habit.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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He usually holds it in when he's in his crate. He's only gone twice in his crate. When we were keeping him in a gated bathroom, he'd pee a handful of times on a pad throughout the day. Now that we have him crated, he will only go in his crate if he absolutely has to, but we know he does everything he can to hold it.

That's why we are confused, too. He can hold it all day and all night, but in the evening, he has to go out every hour or so, unless he's constantly distracted or entertained.

We are afraid he got into a pattern/routine with us and we don't knwo how to break it. We've tried letting him be free for an hour (while we're keeping an eye on him) and then leasing him for an hour and THEN taking him outside to pee, but that doesn't seem to work. If we aren't on him like a hawk, he'll find a nice potty place on the carpet. We hate to crate him in the evening, but it's hard to watch him 100% of the time he's out.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:15 PM   #4
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Just a thought..maybe you could try a belly band? It might be that he pees in it anyway but there is a possibility that he we hold it because he doesn't like the wet feeling. That might train him to hold it a little bit longer and will save any accidents until he is fully trained.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:22 PM   #5
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If he is not going to the bathroom in his crate, seems like he needs to be crated more often to teach him how to "hold" his bladder for longer than an hour at a time. Move the crate around with you room to room when you're home and leave him in it, taking him out only after he has been "emptied".

A 10 month old dog should be able to hold it for at least 4 hours, I would think. My 12 week old pup can already go 4 hours in the crate during the daytime and 8 hours at night...when I'm home with him and he's loose, though, I usually take him out every two to two-and-a-half hours.

I think pee pads would exacerbate this problem, actually. Since he already feels like he doesn't need to alert you when he needs to go out, pee pads definitely aren't going to encourage him to learn that.

I have found that phasing pee pads out entirely in training my pup has helped *immensely* with him learning to hold his bladder and that going in the house is not appropriate. I think pee pads were just confusing him. When I was keeping him in the bathroom all day, he would pee on the pad several times. Now that he's crated until lunch, he will just let out one big long pee when I get home to let him out, and then he's good to go until 5PM.
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