Dogs are family, right? So I need advice regarding potty training a tiny dog.....HELP!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chicmom, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello Peeps!

    I was given a little girl dog last Sunday. She is just adoreable. Her mother was a Pomeranian, and her father was a Jack Russell/Poodle mix.

    She's about 1 & 1/2 years old, and she's the size of a Chihuahua. She's can't weight more than 5 lbs. She's really sweet, doesn't bark, and she is a cuddle bug.

    I've got one problem though. She was only half potty trained, because the girl who gave her to me didn't have time for her. She said she was re-homing her because she just had too many dogs, and she was feeling guilty. I lost my beloved Pom about five months ago, because he had poor health. He was a genetic throw back, and he was very large for a Pom--20 lbs.

    So I've never had a tiny dog like this before. I've been trying various things, and I do crate her when I'm not home and at night, because she's having potty issues. She will poop in a corner. She tries to hide when she poops. I've been watching her like a hawk, and I take her out LOT! She doesn't like it when it's super cold or rainy, and that's when we have accidents.

    Also, I can't give her a blanket in her crate, or she will poop on it and then try to hide the poop in it, and I have a mess. So I just put news paper down in her crate. I would like to make her more comfortable, but each time I put a litle blanket in there for her, she just gets it all covered in poop!

    So does anybody have any advice on potty training a tiny dog? I could use some wisdom from those with experience!

    Thank you,
  2. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    my suggestion would be..... when she's out of her crate, keep her tied to you on a leash. this way you can catch her and correct her or at least redirect her outside without stomping after her to catch her and scare her. You have to be very consistent about taking her out... even if you don't think she has to go. Maybe take her out every hour, after naps, after eating or drinking, before you leave and right when you come home.

    When she does go outside, praise her, maybe give her a tiny treat. Something to keep it positive for her. Also, if it's cold or rainy, put a sweater on her, or go out with her and use an umbrella! Take her out to a sheltered area out of the winds etc so she's not blown about.

    Eventually the crate going issue will stop once she learns. Or, you could get her a very small crate so if she goes, she sits in it.. no blanket.

    Small dogs can be very pig headed about house breaking... you need to be more pig headed, but patient, about where she will go.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  3. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    I have a tiny 3 lb pom that's around 13 or 14 years old now (can't recall off hand right now) and I litter boxed trained her when I brought her home from the breeder as very young puppy when she was old enough to leave (I think that was at 12 weeks old)... I litter box trained her like a cat but with a box w/doggie litter. Many others do the same thing and are very happy with it but it starts from a young age. Maybe you could consider that since she's so tiny and would be easy to keep right with you while training, meaning no chances for accidents. Some breeds, especially tiny ones, have housebreaking challenges that can often be overcome with good training, but once a habit is established it's harder to correct. Others have bad habits due to initial training that are hard to break and they're often given away for those (unspoken) reasons. Like other successful housebreaking training, 2 weeks of intense (for the owner) crate/potty training at the start usually lasts a happy lifetime for them and for you. But some older small dogs with ingrained habits may never change despite the most intense training, so confining them to a small, easy to clean bedding area while not under your direct supervision may be the best solution in those cases.
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    it sounds like the old owner taught her some very bad habits. She was probably left in her crate too long and was forced to potty in there. Once that habit is started, it's REALLY hard to break. From the hiding, I would also guess that she was punished. That means that she thinks that going potty is bad, another obstacle in your way.
    I'll second the idea to tether her to you. Don't give her a chance to sneak off. Any time you can't tether her to you, in the crate she goes. I would actually leave the crate empty for now. How big is it? If it is any larger than she needs to stand up and turn around/lay down, get a smaller one or partition this one off until she is housebroken. Otherwise, you are just giving her the option of pooping in the crate. She doesn't sound like she has lost her instinct to not poop directly where she sleeps, so this will help stop her from going in the crate.

    Is she on a feeding schedule? Tiny dogs DO need to eat often, but free feeding makes it hard to house break. Feed her several small meals and take her outside about 15 minutes after she eats. No playing or running around, just leash and walk to the potty spot. If she doesn't go, take her back inside and into the crate or tethered to you. Take her out in about 10 minutes. Repeat until she goes. Then it's party time. Give her something super yummy that she will only get for pottying - vienna sausages are great ;) Is she only having a problem with pooping in the house? Or does she pee as well? You can restrict her water (but offer it at least once an hour) as well. Of course, that will automatically happen if you are using the tether method.

    Just treat her like an 8week old puppy.
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    Several things you can do.

    1. GET A SMALLER CRATE. A dog will not poop or pee in its bed. The crate should be big enough for her to stand up and turn around it easily - and lay stretched out - not much bigger than this. She will hold on as she does not want to mess her sleeping area. ONLY USE THE CRATE AS HER BED. keep the door open in the day and only lock her it it at night. You can put her dog bed in there or a folded up towel.

    If you have to go out you can either leave her in the kitchen or room with tiled floor, or put her in the bigger crate with a bed on one side and some paper on the other for her to go toilet on.

    2. Every time she comes out of the crate, take her outdoors straight away and wait till she does her stuff.

    3. After each feeding time or play time, keep taking her outside or for a short walk so she can go to the toilet outside.

    4. Never shout of scold her for making a mistake - this will make her worse and damage her relationship with you. She will try to be sneaky and hid her business from you - like she is doing now - because she think you will scold her when she relives herself.

    5 Have patience! It can take several weeks to get a dog into the right habits.

    Don't worry. She will get the idea eventually!
  6. MargaretAnneHK

    MargaretAnneHK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2012
    Have you thought about puppy pads? I think they put some sort of pheromones on some of them. At least that way, if she ended up going in the house, while you are working on the housebreaking, it would be an easier clean up and where you wanted it...
  7. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Quote: x2 Exactly what I was going to suggest. Also, don't return blankets to the crate until you have the potty thing down solid, and schedules are your friend when training. :)
  8. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    I think puppy pads are a lazy persons bad idea, later she'll be trying to un train the dog on those to go out anyway. If she does it right she'll never need them. Timing is everything consistency and patience go along way.
  9. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2012
    I got a completely untrained puppy when she was 2 months old. She had to stay in her crate when we were gone and at night, because she was much too small to be outside alone and had potty problems. Though she never went in the house (she was only allowed in the laundry room, but she never went potty in it.) She would go into her crate to go potty, then come back out to play again.

    What I did for crate potty training, was literally ignored it. I watched her for a while to learn her potty schedule. I would take her out on leash when she had to go and tell her "go potty" when she would squat. She learned that way, to go potty on command. (for a while she would go any time I said "go potty". I dropped the training because she is outside now and doesn't need me to tell her when to go anymore.) When she was done and not a minute before I would praise her highly. Pet her, tell her how good she was and treat her. Make it a big deal. She wants the praise. If you praise her every single time she goes outside, and totally ignore any time she goes anywhere other than outside, she will learn to go outside to get attention. (motivation changes from dog to dog, so find what yours will work for.)
  10. Mieya

    Mieya New Egg

    Mar 27, 2012
    Little dogs come with alot of axienty problems that lead them to crapping inside, the more insecure they feel the more they do it. A lot of people even view it as a form of revenge the dog is taking on them when they aren't giving their full attention to the dog. I used to have two chihuahuas, one was the queen bee the other would take a dump inside in front of his dog door everytime I left the house.

    Try building your little mans confidence, it will help A LOT. There's different ways of doing it, I did it by taking my little buddy to dog training classes, dog parks, I even *gasp* let him win at tug-o-war a few times. Socialized him like crazy and always made it rain treats when he was experiencing something new. VERY SLOWLY he got more sure of himself and being alone. It was agony though.... and unfortunately scarred me for life when it comes to really little dogs.

    Also, the pooping on the blanket is probably a way to make sure no one steals his stuff, which coming from a home with a lot of other dogs makes sense. Let him have his stuff outside the crate, but giving him a blanket one night and not another is just going to reinforce his fear of losing his meager belongings.

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