potty training issues

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Training Forum' started by lost_punk, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. lost_punk

    lost_punk New Member

    Hello everyone and thank you in advance for helping me out. I have a 5 month old female berner. She is a very smart dog with lots of feelings. We are having lot of house breaking issues. we have had several big dogs and have house broke all of them pretty much the same way with great success untill Emma arrived. As soon as we got her she was kenneled. She was in a large kennel with a divider to keep her in a smaller space. Now she is in the kennel without a divider and laying down she is just about touch both far sides. She will pee in her kennel about once a week. Sometimes at night but normally its during the day. When its at night she will suddenly start crying and i come down to let her out and she is soaked. she didn't cry to go out just went(or at least i didn't hear her but i sleep light and she isn't far from our bed. ) other times its during the day. My wife leaves at 8am and i get home at 4pm. I know this is a while but i thought she would of gotten enough bladder control by now to make it this long.

    The other problem ( and bigger problem) is that she loves to pee on carpet. We have hardwood in our house with a large area rug in the living room and a small mat by the back door. She pees on the mat by the door and we just threw it away because it was horrible. We are one out 2nd area rug in 2 months because she keeps peeing on it. tonight i had let her out in the fenced in yard for about 30 min to play with our other dog. i let her in and she layed down. i went up stairs for 10 min. came down and she was walking out of the living room and i saw a wet spot on the floor. last weekend we were up north and she peed on 8 different small rugs. most of them happened at night.

    She is not fixed yet but will be soon. I am hoping that this is part of her problem but i don't know. We watch her water intake but i know this breed needs a lot of water. she seems perfectly healthy otherwise. stools are normal.

  2. hlm

    hlm New Member

    Hi there,
    Hopefully I can offer something that will be helpful to you. Housebreaking can be a challenge. First off I think 8-4pm is way too long for a 5 month old to be expected to able to hold it. Their bladders aren't developed enough to be able to hold it that long. Is there some way of having someone come by to let her out a couple of times within that period???
    I'm not sure what house training methods you are using, you didn't give us that info other than the crate, so apologies if I offer something you've already tried.
    Puppies will need to relieve themselves pretty much immediately after sleeping, eating, playing and chewing. The pup should be given the opportunity immediately after any of these activities. Attach a command like "go potty" and reward/praise each time she goes when and where she is asked. When you begin to understand her rhythms throughout the day, try turning that into a pee/poo "schedule" be consistent and take her out at the same intervals and times each day and again reward and praise each time. Dogs are great with schedules, they love them.
    We found when our boy was younger that often he wouldn't completely empty his bladder the first time and would have to go again soon after. They are still learning that they need to do ALL of their business when given the opportunity, so don't be surprised if she needs to go again even though you just took her out. And just because she was outside doesn't necessarily mean she went, don't bring her in until you've seen her do it.
    Pups that young may not be able to hold it through the night, so I might suggest setting your alarm and getting up to take her out in the middle of the night, I know it's exhausting, but that's puppyhood for ya :)
    If she does have an accident in the house, make sure you not only clean the area, but use a product like "natures miracle" and thoroughly saturate the area. This is an enzyme that will eradicate the smell of the urine to her nose. If she can smell urine (even if you don't) in a particular spot she WILL go there again. It's practically an invitation. This one is really important, it's not good enough to just wash the spot.
    And just one more thing to keep in mind. She is a puppy, and accidents are going to happen occasionally. Berners are a little slower to mature than some other breeds and even within the breed some dogs just take a little longer than others to house break. You must try to be consistent. She may just not be able to hold it as long, so adjust your/her schedule and get her out there as often as she needs and really try to set her up to be successful, and when she is successful shower her with praise, I mean lots, heck throw her a parade!!! They do love to please you.
    I hope this is helpful
    best wishes to you!
  3. Frances

    Frances New Member

    My German shepherd pooped and peed on carpet. he was really bad at potty training. you could try feeding her where she usually pees on the carpet. Dogs don't pee where they eat, or sleep.
  4. kse74

    kse74 New Member

    my little boy is eleven weeks today. he has absolutely no inclination to potty train. none. i am just thankful we have stopped crate accidents, since he was a crate pooper. he sleeps at night for about a 5 hour stretch, we potty him at midnight and he stays put will 5 am. i think that is for sure the limit of what he can hold at this time...and he can only manage that five hour stretch once a day. i do find i am becoming increasingly frustrated about inside accidents, since he will not go to the door(even though we have worked on this, we have bells, we ring the bells every single time we go to the door saying "potty". we reward going potty.) i have had to take up all the area rugs in my house because he prefers to pee on those. i have had to gate my bedroom because that has wall to wall carpet and he was peeing in there. he is a very private puppy and doesn't like anyone to really see him do his business. he has shown some preference to the same place in the house over and over again(and yes we use natures miracle, rubbing alcohol and biokleen bac-out to clean). he has accidents other places as well, but i have noticed a preference. it would be great help to me to even get the "preference" area closer to the door...so he can associate the two. all this to say i am sorry you are facing the same struggles, but i do feel that you are trying to crate your puppy too long during the day and then expecting her to stay crated all night. as for carpet peeing...carpet stimulates their feet like grass does and gives them the inclination to pee. so essentially they are learning to pee in the house by having rugs available at this age(at least this is what i am figuring out). they are slow to learn and slow to mature. i have read that it can take up to a year to potty train this breed. i am hoping that is perhaps incorrect information because dealing with a 125 pound dog and indoor potty isn't going to be fun. i have also read that this is one of the MOST surrendered breeds because of training difficulties. as new owners we have our work cut out for us. having been around adults(that aren't mine) they are incredible dogs and i really want this to work as i am sure you do. just keep at it and see if you can give your girl some sort of crate break during the day..it might help your situation a lot. and if anyone else out there has any advice at all on getting them to be interested in the idea of going to the door/potty...speak up please!

    edit: i just now realized this topic was a year old :/
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  5. ISIS

    ISIS New Member

    Good Afternoon from the UK...........

    Many of the issues you guys are having can be worked on by training and simply by recognising how often and under what circumstances your babies are "getting it wrong".

    When you are with them watch for the warning signs and react straight away don't carry on what you are doing thinking another 5 minutes wont matter because it will.

    If your puppy is showing the signs that they want "to go" and you don't react then you are training them subliminally to accept that "going" indoors is okay.

    All Berner's are different and yes they do mature at a slower rate but our girl is 13 months old now and has been clean in the house since she was 4 months.

    Separation anxiety can create its own problems and any Berner left alone for 8 hours during the day then a further 8 hours or so overnight will be having serious difficulty in learning the rules....up to 4 hours is the absolute maximum you should leave them and yep that does mean setting the alarm if necessary and getting up a couple of time s with them in the night.

    All of the above said patience and love and understanding will see you through but dont expect miracles and dont be surprised that after a while they can slip back once they have gone "clean".

    GB Bernese Buddies on Facebook has loads and loads of members who have so much knowledge that they can share to help you with this sort of problem so give them a look @


    Hope this all helps but stay calm and plough right on.
  6. kse74

    kse74 New Member

    i also wanted to make note that it was just this week he started the five hour stretch. before that(we got him at 8 weeks) we were up every 2 hours assisting him. and NO i don't feel we spoiled him and taught him when he fusses we will take him from the crate. his body is growing so fast, we recognized that he is making more urine than his small bladder can possibly handle. (mind you i never let any of my human babies cry it out either, so take my opinion for what it is worth).
    as far as watching him closely. HA! i do. i stay at home and have given up just about every single activity i have to be with him on constant vigil. we go out every 30 minutes when he is awake. if he is sleeping i let him sleep and the moment he starts to stir, out we go. so as you can imagine i spend a lot of time sitting here staring at him. or folding laundry in his vicinity. or sit on the computer as i peek at him through the rungs of a kitchen chair. pretty much i feel eyes are on him all the time. but BOY is he a fast little bugger. there seems to be no rhyme to the accidents either. when he does run off i am quick on his tail and usually i catch him mid accident(recently i have gotten faster or he has gotten slower and i have scooped him up before he can start). if we see him have an accident he goes to his crate, with no verbal discipline(berners don't like yelling and i am very aware of that). what confuses me is that he will often have an accident after a nice stretch outside and a few pees and a poop. on a breezy sunny day we can hang out for up to an hour out there. sometimes we have our lunch in the front yard. so i have yet to really figure this out. we have an adult golden also and he was a cinch to potty train..so it isn't like we haven't done this before. i am hoping that he starts to offer us better cues next week, which will be 12 weeks of age...right now i think he doesn't notice the urge until it is just too late. he is a smuggler and a hugger and kisser though, so in the end his nice smile and joyfulness to see me makes it worth it.

    eta: thank you for the fb group link. i just joined and my membership is pending.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  7. Nathan Lyke

    Nathan Lyke New Member

    There are having some issues of potty training problem, the first most important thing that we have to keep in mind is the puppies are like just like babies they have no control over their bladder or bowel reflexes. You have to keep little patience when you are giving house training to your dog. There are having many issues due to which they suddenly do potty anywhere in house, it was due to lack of feeding schedule, inconsistency, lack of communication, lack of exercise, confusion etc.

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