Help to house train my lab

Posted by Creamy
Jun 2, 2012
I've adopted a pedigree lab. She's 10 months old and we've tried to house train her in many ways like crate, newspapers etc but she just refused to do so. She'll only do her business when nobody is around or the moment we come back from walks or the moment we step away for a couple of minutes. It is never at the same spot. Thus everytime when she does her business we're unable to correct her because we were not there. Please advise.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jun 3, 2012
Hi Creamy,

Unfortunately the best advice I can give it to go back to crate training. Use puppy pads in the crate, and keep your dog in the crate until you can supervise her properly. After walks, in the evening, etc. Block access to other rooms in the house until you can better trust her.

Alternatively, you could immediately put your dog outside when you get home, and don't let her in until she's gone to the bathroom. This does mean that you should try to keep an eye on her, but its an option.

The best thing to do it be consistent, and try one method for at least 2 weeks straight.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jun 3, 2012
Hi Creamy,

Let me ask you following questions:

1. How long have you had your lab?
2. Do you have a fenced yard?
3. Is she timid/shy?

Coincidently, my current foster dog got once adopted but came back to me because she refused to go potty on a leash. She actually hold it for 14 hrs!

From my other foster dogs' experience, most of female dogs don't go potty on walks until they really get familiar with me and the environment. The biggest mistake people make is to assume dogs will go potty automatically on walks. Going potty forces dogs to be vulnerable body position and they don't feel comfortable. Also, some shy dogs don't want to release themselves when being watched.

If you have a fenced yard, make sure there is a spot that she cannot be seen. Don't let her out too often. At the age of 10 mos old, she should be able to hold for several hours without any problems.

When she is inside the house and if you cannot watch her, have her in a crate as Caroline suggested. If you are around, tie her to yourself with a leash so that the moment she starts sniffing and circling the floor. guide her to outside with the leash saying "Let's go potty" to the designated spot.

Don't scold her for making accidents. Just clean it up without making a big deal. When you scold her when going potty, she will most likely prefer not to go when you are around.

Hope this makes sense to you. Good luck
Posted by Creamy
Jun 3, 2012
Hi Caroline, Max,
Thanks for your advises. I've had my lab for about 5 weeks now. The first 2 weeks she actually relieve herself during walks/ exercises and at times even on newspapers that we had placed but since then she no longer does it outside nor on the newspapers. She is not allowed into the house yet and currently stays in our sheltered tiled yard where there is a little garden which she loves to dig. We walked her every hour, after she naps, after she had eaten etc hoping that she will continue to go potty outside but to no avail. That hasnt been happening since the last 3 weeks. When we have to leave her in the crate while we have to tend to things in the house, the moment we step away, she'll relieve herself in there. Either that, as mentioned earlier, when we're out of her sight for a while and returned after a few minutes, she would have peed/ pooped on the yard. We do not scold her when such accidents happened and we'll just clean up and leave her alone. Am at wits end not sure what else can be done....
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jun 3, 2012
Hi Creamy,

I am totally confused

Is your lab 10 weeks old, or 10 months old?
It doesn't make sense to me to have her go potty on news papers if she is 10 months old...A 10 months old lab should weigh at least 40 lbs and the amount of pee should be more than newspaper can absorb...:confused:

I still don't understand what you are trying to accomplish... because you said she is not yet allowed inside the house. You also don't want her to go potty in the sheltered tiled yard, correct? That means she is only allowed to go potty outside of your property when taken out on a leash.

I don't think she understands the rules. Does she go potty (pees and poops) at around the same spot within the tiled area? If the tiled area is big enough she would consider it as her living space and she thinks it's OK to release herself there, like most of shelter kennels (I don't know if you got her from a shelter or not). Can you make the area smaller by putting a chiken fense or something so that she would consider the smaller space as where she sleeps and eats and no potty? Or start feeding her at the spot she has pooped before so that she might understand that it's not a place to go potty.

The reason why this started is maybe she thought it's OK to go potty there since she held it inside the crate. To you, the crate and the tiled area are both "inside" but in her mind, the contract of "in" and "out" is different from what we, people, think.

It will be nice if you can make a corner of the tiled area as her "potty" space.