Author Topic: Potty Train your Berner--how long?  (Read 6353 times)

Offline baggins

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Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« on: June 13, 2006, 04:21:40 pm »
We've had murphy for 3 weeks now and he mostly goes outside, but still uses the frontroom when it's convienent.  There is no doggy-door and we mostly leave the door open, put him out after he eats, etc.  He even whines when he has to go #2 and the door is closed.  But, he still is not afraid to go #1 on the carpet.  We don't use puppy pads...mostly just watch for signs he has to go/praise him when he goes outside.

Question
How long did it take before your puppy was no longer going in the house at all?

Any suggetions on how to speed up the training process?


Offline NoDogNow

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Re: Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 06:10:47 pm »
You really, really need the puppy pads.  ;)

Have you been using anything to clean the smell from the carpet?  It can be confusing for him if he smells where he's gone before.

If I were you, I'd steamclean my carpets with an enzymatic cleaner to break down any urine scent that's left in the carpet right now; keep puppy pads around for him; and make sure that you use an enzyme cleaner for any accidents he has going forward.  It's just a matter of time.  :D

Sheryl, Dogless and sad

Lyn

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Re: Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 07:10:24 pm »
I don't have a berner.. but

What I did was just take Bubba outside frequently. After eating, playing, as soon as he woke up and whenever it looked like he was looking for a spot to go. I swear there were some days when I was outside more than inside. But if it saved me from scrubbing my carpets I was all for it. :D

Bubba was the same though.. he never pooped inside. Just peed and it was always when I wasn't paying attention, or gave him just a little too much freedom.

Definitely use something to remove any hint of the smell or he will go back to the same spots.

I don't use puppy pads either. Not that they are not effective.. I just hated picking shredded pads up off the floor. Bubba prefered to eat them rather than pee on them.. LOL

There were days where it seemed like he was never going to get it.. I think Bubba was 5 months old when it clued in. 6 months old before I trusted him completely out of my sight.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2006, 07:11:43 pm by Lyn »

Offline baggins

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Re: Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2006, 11:38:07 am »
Lyn:  My experience is exactly like yours..I watch murphy like a hawk, spend a lot of time outside, and he only goes inside if i decide to trust him and leave him alone for a few minutes.  I guess I need to be more patient as he's only 10 weeks old.  I do clean the carpet immediately (I swear we have so many different types of cleaners) and plan on renting a carpet cleaner after he's totally potty trained.  Luckily, it's just the urine and it's mostly clear.

Oh, and we also didn't do puppy pads because i've heard more stories of pups chewing them up then using them. 

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2006, 04:01:42 pm »

My Berners have always been very easy to potty train, and my current girl took just 3 days to understand and 2 weeks to be trusted and reliable on her own. The breed is highly trainable this way - of course, it depends on our consistency :)

In my experience, the key to training effectively is to consistently show the behavior desired and reward for it (you're doing that) and don't allow the puppy to be wrong. Mistakes are reinforcing and each one doubles the amount of time to undue. The goal is 0 accidents inside and you can get it done in 3 days like I did.  If accidents happen, they must be caught in the act or there is no learning.

I strongly advise against the use of puppy pads - that does nothing to show the puppy the desired behavior OR location and should only be used in desperate situations such as gone all day long and left alone in a kitchen - not ideal.

In my case, I picked up my girl a couple minutes after eating or drinking and took her outside to the same spot - when she squatted I said "go potty" and after 4 or so repetitions of this she learned the association of the action and word command. We stayed outside until she went by the way...patience . Thereafter, I continued taking her outside every 40 minutes or so to empty herself with the same routine. They seem like they are never empty :)

While inside, I stayed within 2 feet of her at all times. This is tough for many and so I recommend tethering him to your waist. If she went into a squat, I was right there to pick her up and say "no", moving her outside. Any further than that, and we can't be on top of the action. I always left our back door open for my first Berner, and while he was generally good at going on when he needed he never learned to scratch the door or truly tell me he needed out should the door be closed...this can backfire....so with this girl, I never left the door open, so she learned how to manage with it closed and had to tell me and give me a sign.

We used potty pads while flying home on the airplane together in her bag and in the airport. Here's a great lesson of how this can backfire too:  my girl was good and knowing where to go - outside is first choice. But for the first few days, she would go to the back door and if closed, she would turn and head upstairs straight to the master bathroom, where we had...of all things....whit e bath mats. Funny, they looked like a potty pad.  She peed the first time on the bath mat - very smart girl. So realizing this, I waited for the second instance, and when she turned to head upstairs I allowed her to go...following her...and waited until she got up to the bathmat and started to squat - then I quickly picked her up while saying "no" and ran her downstairs and outside. She understood that the bathmat was also not the right choice through clear association and it never happened again. This is the final key lesson - always catch them in the act in order to correct the behavior. I could have always prevented her from going upstairs to the bathmat but there was no learning in that - I needed to undue the thinking that the bathmat was choice #2. This is harder and harder to do the more times they have been successful going inside without being caught in the act and moved appropriately outside.

So just remember to focus on 1) very close supervision within 2 feet, 2) catch them in the act and move them promptly 3) set up structure to teach the behavior you want such as door closed and an indication they need out 4) reward profusely for going outside 5) set them up for success and take them out frequently so they cant be wrong

Good luck
SC Trojans
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Offline sc.trojans

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Re: Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2006, 04:08:51 pm »
You really, really need the puppy pads.  ;)

Have you been using anything to clean the smell from the carpet?  It can be confusing for him if he smells where he's gone before.

If I were you, I'd steamclean my carpets with an enzymatic cleaner to break down any urine scent that's left in the carpet right now; keep puppy pads around for him; and make sure that you use an enzyme cleaner for any accidents he has going forward.  It's just a matter of time.  :D



I should have also seconded NoDogNow in that the quality of cleaning is very important as well and is reinforcing. Many think they have cleaned it well since they can't see it, but I have learned that without using at least half a gallon of Nature's Miracle and my steam cleaner - it isn't clean.  Stick your nose to it and if you can smell it at all, you need to keep working on it.  If the dog is going in the same area as well, he is showing you it is well marked also.

The best test of whether it is clean are dogs themselves. When dogs come into my home and don't stick their noses to the carpet, I know I have mine clean...truly clean.
SC Trojans
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Offline MonaGirl

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Re: Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2006, 10:10:11 am »
I was shocked at how long it took my Berner to become truly potty trained.  I took her out every 30 minutes, like clock-work, yet she would still come inside and squat.  I thought it would never end!!!

She's 7 months old now and has been fully trained since about 4.5 months.  I don't know what to tell you- be patient and one day soon you'll wake up and she'll be a new dog!

Offline Binky

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Re: Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2006, 06:35:11 pm »
I had the same problem with Binky- she's a Pyr, but if you spend the weekend doing this, or if you're home all day during the week, this could help.
Tie a small bell by the door you use to take the puppy out.  Take her paw and bang the bell, say Potty outside? (or whatever word you use) and go out.  Once out, keep saying go potty or whatever.  Give her a treat when she potties. Do this every 20 minutes for two full days.    And I mean every 20 minutes while you and the puppy are awake!  It is very tedious and it seems like the 2 days last forever, but it worked for me!  By the end of day 2, Binky would go to the bell and ring it herself to go out!  I continued to remind her of it for an extra day, but cut back to every 30-40 minutes.  Like I said, it is a pain, but well worth it!  Binky had only one accident in the house after that, and it was my fault for not paying attention!  It was amazing to go from her peeing in the house every hour, to having her fully trained-and it was such a releif not to have to wear shoes in the house all the time!
I found this method on the internet but can't remember where.
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Offline baggins

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Re: Potty Train your Berner--how long?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2006, 02:21:11 pm »
Thanks for all the suggestions!  I really excited about the bell idea.  Murphy is doing better and only has an accident every few days, but still just sits by the door so I'm constantly opening it in case he has to go.  I don't really want him barking at me, so the bell makes sense.

Oh, and we recently started puppy classes so that should hopefully help.