Help with housebreaking

Posted by borderterrierlover
Feb 16, 2012
Hi there

Lately I've been more than a bit frustrated in my efforts at housebreaking my 4 month old border terrier pup. She just seems to like going to toilet indoors!!

A bit of background info on how I'm feeding her. She gets two meals per day, morning and night after which I would take her out to the backyard after 10 minutes of eating so she can poop, which she does after 20 or so minutes.

Then there's the water which I feed her with every meal and spread out at regular intervals throughout the day. After each water feed I would take her out again after 10 or so minutes but these 'pee' breaks don't involve any peeing at all, she seems to rather go back inside as she runs to the door after 30 or so minutes. As you can guess once I let my eyes off her for just one second, she'll go pee in the house.

Lastly there's the taking her out before bed so she wouldn't wet her bed. I'd take her out two hours before bed (in which she wouldn't go), then one hour before bed (no peeing again), and lastly just before bed (yup you guessed it, no peeing whatsoever). Of course I only feed her last bit of water 2 hours before bed so as to avoid bedwetting her crate. Well end result is she still wets her crate. I'm worried that if wetting her crate becomes a regular habit then she might think it is okay to wet in her crate (and therefore make my practice of taking her out to pee before bed obsolete).

Any help would be great!! I'm running out of ideas to try!!

P.S. The times when she does go outside (albeit after waiting 30 min or so for her to sniff out the best patch of grass to do it on) I would immediately say 'hurry up' as she is pooing/peeing and then reward her with a treat and plenty of praise. Is this the way I'm meant to encourage her to pee outside?

P.P.S. When I take her out she is unleashed. Also we do play games in the backyard as well, does anyone think this might be a contributing factor as to why she doesn't like to pee outside?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Feb 23, 2012
Hi there,

It sounds like you've tried a lot of really good tips - taking her out after meals, putting her in her crate overnight, giving a verbal "command" when she does go outside - these are all great and I would continue doing them! As far as being off lead when you take her out for toiletting, it shouldn't make a difference, unless she will more likely pee when she's on lead, then I would try doing that.

Do you feed her in her crate? You might try doing so for a while - dogs are less likely to bathroom where they eat. Normally dogs don't like to urinate or poo where they sleep, but since that doesn't seem to be enough in this case....

You could also try puppy pads - put one in her crate, let her pee there, then gradually move the place of the pads from her crate to outside. This should take a week or two in total. If she has an accident along the way - move the pad back a day and try again. Some dogs cope really well with this technique.

Otherwise, I'd say try leaving your girl outside until she pees. It may mean leaving her out for a while from the sound of it, but its best if you can watch while she is outside, so that you can praise her when she does pee there. You don't have to be outside with her - just put her out and keep an eye on her

I hope this helps - good luck!