Happy 2022 everyone! 😊 Middle of last November I adopted a tiny 5 week old Shar Pei x, Babby Bugaboo (who is now 11 weeks). She was 1 of 28 puppies that were going to be killed by the owner of a puppy mill. Bugs was the only one to go into rescue as no one wanted due to an umbilical hernia – saved her life! She was 4 weeks when she was rescued and went into foster with a very new foster carer with no experience with such young puppies. Bugs is doing well, all things considered, and the other 4 members of my pack have taken really well to her.
The main issue I am having is house training! FYI, I am a dog trainer and potty training is usually something I can do with my eyes closed LOL! I am very familiar with Shar Pei and have been owned by them for many years hehe! They are super easy to house train, even cross breeds seem to carry that gene! Bugs on the other hand is very much an exception to that rule!! I think she lacked enough time and guidance from her mother and never really built that spatial preference. To make the situation worse the foster carer had her playpen lined wall to wall with puppy pads – I HATE those things!! The carer was also a bit lazy and ignored Bugs during the night if she cried to go outside to the toilet… I have gotten Bugs out of the habit of soiling in her bed or right next to her bed, however, she does like soiling on my other dog’s beds or in the hallway, even if the door is open. I have never reprimanded her for going inside. From day one I have taken her to a specific spot in the yard and used the cue ‘toilet’, like I have with all my dogs, and don’t go inside until she is done. Little bugger has faked it a number of times!!
I know she is still very young, and her having the chance to go somewhere that is not appropriate when I am not around, is at the end of the day my fault! But, she will also go right in front of me, for example if I am in the lounge room watching TV, door open to the yard, she is playing with one of my other dogs and decided to pee or poo right in front of me on my other dog’s bed! As soon as I see the signs I grab her and run outside etc.
Just wondering if anyone has experienced raising a pup from this kind of background? Or does anyone have any other suggestions? Mostly all of my other dogs were practically house trained by 11 weeks! Thanks!!
Michelle, I see no one has responded to this, probably because it is such a unique situation. Hopefully you have been able to make progress on this, but just in case… It sounds like you are doing all of the things I would typically do for housetraining. If you are still have problems, here are some thoughts. I have not encountered this specific situation, so it is really just brain-storming. I would guess that this little guy was imprinted early on to toilet on bedding / pee pads. Now that association needs to be broken. As an analogy, it would be like trying to get a human to pee in the kitchen and not in the bathroom. The human would understandably be very averse to doing this and might even “fake it” to get the “trainer” off their back! So how can we convince this little guy that outdoors really IS the best place to go? I might start by taking a soiled pee pad out to the area where I want the pup to go. The odor and familiar substrate might convince the puppy to actually eliminate there. Then, I would start making the pad smaller and smaller until the pup associates the grass / dirt / or whatever the surface is with toileting.
Let us know how you are progressing, and bless you for taking this puppy on and building a good life for him!
I’m not very good at house training. This is because I give my dogs more freedom they are ready for. Anyway. In a past chat or AMA Robert addressed a similar question and the answer was to stick with the house training. For us what mostly derails house training is access to too much space in the house, if you keep the dog in the crate or in a small space around you where you are able to keep an eye on him/her it is easier to spot and move them outside or for them not to go to begin with. The previous wee pad training will make it harder and perhaps it will take a lot more effort, but it will be just as rewarding as well. Good luck!