Help with dachsund house training

Posted by kcgendron
Dec 4, 2007
I am looking for some tips on how to effectively train our 8 1/2 week old long-haired dachsund to paper train. He pees great after we let him out of the crate, but I am having a real hard time getting him to poo on the paper. He even moves off the paper when I place him there when i catch him in the act.

I am just wondering what to expect with his age and if there are any suggestions for me. It is hard to hang in there when it seems no progress is being made. Pee is OK. Poo needs help.

Posted by MartyEd
Dec 12, 2007
Hi there,

Thank you for your email regarding your Dachshund you are having trouble paper training. It is very common for puppies your dog's age to have toilet troubles as their bladders and colon are still developing at this young age. Do not be too alarmed for this reason. His ability to better undertstand when and where to toilet will increase as time goes on, but you can definitely do a few things to further help him understand that he is supposed to be toileting on the paper rather than anywhere else.

In order to help maximize the training of your puppy, it is important to understand when a puppy is most likely to urinate (pee) or defecate (poo). Typically, this can be divided into four categories:

1. A puppy usually eliminates (urinates or defecates) soon after it wakes up, since during sleep urine production continues to fill the bladder. It is important to remember that puppies sleep several times a day and so have several waking periods.
2. After eating a meal a puppy is likely to defecate within ten to twenty minutes. This is due to a physiological function called the gastro-colic response which is, in more simple terms, a bodily response produced after eating that causes a dog’s bowels to move leading to defecation. Since young puppies are generally fed at around three to four times daily, they will also need to be taken outside, or to paper (depending on your training method) after being fed.
3. If a puppy has been highly active at one time, it is likely to eliminate soon after.
4. In general puppies usually also eliminate before sleeping each night.

As you can see, there are many times throughout a single day that a puppy may eliminate. It is important to remember that, as well as these general categories, a puppy may eliminate at any time and thus you need to be aware that accidents will happen. They are bound to occur no matter how prepared or organized you are since:

The muscles in a puppy bladder are still developing resulting in less control
The smaller size of the bladder results in more frequent urination of small volumes.

You can help regulate the elimination process with well controlled schedules and a frequent regime of resting, eating and playing. At times when this schedule is changed by other family members having other separate activities with the puppy, him schedule and need to eliminate will change as well. A common mistake made by many owners when they get their new puppy and bring them home for the first time is to allow free run of the house. Allowing the puppy a free run will interrupt and set the training process back several weeks. This setback happens because the puppy will most likely ‘accidentally’ eliminate in several areas of the house. As a result of the odor and him familiarity of the area, he may remember these areas as being those at which he can go back to in order to eliminate again. Unless these areas are scrubbed and deodorized the problem will worsen.

Supervision of the puppy must be carried out at all times at this early stage. Not only does this ensure your puppy cannot cause trouble, but it also greatly aids the training process. In circumstances where it is not possible to devote all this time to supervision, crate training could be used as it sounds as though you have been doing. Because a puppy will generally eliminate in an area they have previously urinated or defecated, it is important to remove and neutralize any area that has been affected. This is a very important aspect of house training both puppies and adult dogs.

By making set times during the day when someone in the family is able to feed and then supervise your puppy you will be able to help him in getting to the area you have chosen to train him to eliminate in. In general a puppy should be fed three to four times per day. The day should therefore be arranged such the puppy can be fed on three to four separate occasions with supervision. It also needs to be arranged so that when the puppy awakes from sleep, someone is available to take him outside to the toilet.

Whether it’s the middle of the night, early morning or after a day-nap, an awakening puppy needs to be taken outside to urinate and/or defecate. As stated earlier, puppies are generally fed three to four smaller meals per day. Elimination after a period of activity or exercise is also common, so you should wait with him outside and encourage him to urinate/defecate before letting him back into the house.

By following the guidelines above, you should have more control over your puppy’s house training problem. Puppies generally do not give you much warning that they need to go out, because they haven’t yet learnt that they HAVE to go out! For this reason following the guidelines above will give you the best idea of when your puppy will most likely be feeling like urinating or defecating. If you catch him about to toilet inside, quickly run and pick him up to carry him outside. Sometimes he will end up urinating or defecating in your arms, but this is just something you will have to put up with for the next little while until he is properly trained. If you are too late to pick him up, but he is still in the act or it is definitely only seconds after the event, you can reprimand him with a guttural growl “AAAAH” and a clap of the hands so that he knows what he has done is wrong. Doing so after the event, be it more than 10 seconds will be pointless and only confuse your dog as well as potentially giving him a submissive complex later in life.

Clean up any messes with paper towels, and then spray the spot with a good quality odor neutralizer to remove the smell. Take the paper towels to the designated spot, then when you see you Dachshund puppy needs to toilet, quickly take him to the appropriate spot inside and encourage him to smell the paper. If he can smell his own urine or feces, he will hopefully use that spot to eliminate.

There are some other steps to follow to help stop inappropriate indoor urination or defecation.

Be sure to clean the floors with a cleaner which does not contain any ammonia or chlorine, as this can encourage accidents to happen when your dog mistakes the scent as a previously marked spot.

Buy a DOG ODOR neutralizer (such as Natures Miracle) to neutralize the area your dog has been before.

It is a good idea to read the "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog" and apply these tips if you are not already.

Be ready at the times when the dog is likely to need to go and you are home to watch closely.

Be vigilant, and have patience!

Do NOT rub the dog's face in whatever it does; this will just confuse your dog.

If your dog seems to be relieving itself in the same place, try feeding it in that spot – generally dogs will not eliminate in a feeding spot.

With time you will find that your Dachshund quickly understands where and when he is supposed to toilet and what is inappropriate toileting behavior. Do not have unrealistic expectations of him though. Good luck with his training and please let us know how you get on.

Kind Regards,

Mark Edwards
Kingdom of Pets Team