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So I've read that if you say 'go potty' while they use the potty spot, they will eventually learn to go when you say 'go potty'. Is this correct?

We got a 10-month-old from a family friend recently who was not potty trained. The owner had not done it intentionally, but he had started the pup on the way to 'litterbox' training in a shallow tub with potty pads. We've decided to embrace this, especially given the nasty weather, and he's doing great.
But he doesn't go 'on command', and I'm not sure if this really comes so simply or if I need to do it a specific way.

I don't know if it's a chihuahua thing or what, but our boy doesn't lift his leg. He doesn't give any signs before just going. So to get started, I would just sit down in the bathroom floor with him and read a book while I waited for him to go. His potty trips are much shorter than the hours upon hours I once had to wait, but even now I have to wait 20 minutes or more before he'll stop snuffling, playing, looking for attention he's already had all day, and just go. I often have to remove his blanket and his toys and sometimes have to cut back on petting as well to encourage him to stop pursuing distractions and go. Sometimes sprinkling a few treat crumbs on the clean pad will get him to sniff the potty box, pick up the scent, and go; but other times he just gobbles them up and moves on. He often waits just because he can / doesn't feel the need urgently enough to go yet.

We've only been working with him for 2 weeks or a little less, so I know he may just not get the command yet... but do you guys have any thoughts?

He has routine feedings, but not routine potty breaks. Do you guys think scheduled times would be better? and what times would you suggest?

Tuesday and Thursday mornings are the worst, because I have to crate him for my classes and often he won't have gone beforehand even though he could've and was given a multitude of chances. Tuesdays and Thursdays I get up early with him, feed him, and then sit down and wait for about two hours, get a shower while hubby keeps him, and then sit another hourish with him-- but he still won't go!

I also know that he can hold it for at least 7-12 hours because of a brief span when he was afraid to go in front of us-- but he no longer is afraid to do so, and he also refuses to hold it when in his crate even though he could hold it and ends up having to deal with it while I'm in class. :sad7:
 

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It's correct for my four. They are litter trained. I never had an issue training any of them.

Yes. Scheduled feeding will give you a better handle on his potty habits in the long run. In a sense, having scheduled feeding means automatic elimination because naturally he will need to go after eating. So there you already have two potty breaks down. I feed my 4 twice a day. They maybe go two other times in between meals. I did use the crate training method when training each of mine, however, I did get them as pups. I've had nothing but success training my 4. Being that you've only had your guy for such a short time, it's important to be patient and give it time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks! I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong. He's my first older dog and my first litter-trained and my first that doesn't give potty signs, so the circumstances have been kindof odd for him and me both!

I was afraid I might be doing the potty style odd and making it hard for him to understand the value of potty time because it was available for him at such random and usually plenteous times.

I knew doing that with food could make them lose interest in it, so I wasn't sure if pottyiing might work the same. x:
 

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It sounds like you not only are on the right track, but are very patient. We, too, got our first chi as an adult and he wasn't really potty trained. A combination of things helped get him trained. He now goes 'on command' most of the time. I really didn't know what I was doing and he still learned. My second, I had a much better plan with a pen and all and turned out she was already quite reliable with pee pads. Good luck, it's worth the effort!
 

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All my dogs know the "piddle and potty' command. When we are traveling, they hold it until we get to the hotel/motel, and their potty pads are down. Sometimes 8 hours!! That traveling was by airplane then a 2+ hour drive. I stopped several times, and though they walked around and sniffed, they didn't go. Very frustrating! Oh well that is a dog for you.Lead them to water, but can't 'go' for them.
 

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You need to wait till he is in the act of peeing then say potty, then praise. That's how I've trained my chihuahua and my last dog. My last dog, a mix, would even squat and pretend if she didn't have to go.
 

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Thank-you for the feedback and encouragement all!! I'm so relieved.

@Lola's Mommy,that is precious! He made a pretty funny face at me this evening after he did his first potty and got his first treat, and then he made a big proud show of his next potty just seconds later, so I think he might be on the same track! They are so precious! ^^
 

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Susan, I think when we travel sometimes he's held it so long that it takes a long time for him to relax the sphincter muscles. Somebody correct me here, but it seems the holds it, the longer it takes to go. He once held it for 15 hrs. and I thought he'd go the minute we "hit the ground" but it took 20 minutes of walking and then the flood released. I'm careful now not to let that happen. We did end up with a UTI after one long trip. Now it's every 4 hrs. for potty break.
 

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Susan, I think when we travel sometimes he's held it so long that it takes a long time for him to relax the sphincter muscles. Somebody correct me here, but it seems the holds it, the longer it takes to go. He once held it for 15 hrs. and I thought he'd go the minute we "hit the ground" but it took 20 minutes of walking and then the flood released. I'm careful now not to let that happen. We did end up with a UTI after one long trip. Now it's every 4 hrs. for potty break.
Wicked Pixie got it right - exercise stimulates the muscles needed to poo, so he needs to move around awhile before he poos.

We did the "Go poop" command training whenever they began the act - took about 2 weeks, but the boys now basically go on command. They may take their time, but they know they have to go before they go back into the house (I usually only h ave to walk them to the road and back - a couple of minutes). Very handy when the weather's bad. Because of the hawks and eagles here I can't let them out unleashed.

Neither of them lifted their legs until we babysat a dog who did lift his leg and we'd walk them together. It was like they had to see who could lift their leg the highest, (funny as all heck to watch) so I think it might be a marking trait among males.
 

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When I decided to train Pearl as my service dog going on command was the hardest part of the training mostly, I think, because Pearl does not like an audience. We compromised..I have to make a point of turning away from her and not watching. Once I'm turned away I say, "ok, go potty." She is by far the easiest dog I have ever trained.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Haha! thanks guys, these are all encouraging!
He still hasn't learned to go 'on command' yet, but since some of yours took two weeks and he's on the older side too, maybe it's just taking some time to learn. He doesn't go outside the potty spot anymore at least, so I'm still pretty psyched. He still doesn't like to use an already-soiled pad, so we sometimes have that issue on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I leave him in his room while I'm at school.... but I'm considering adding a second potty box for long days, so he has two clean areas to use up before I get home.

We still haven't had a chance to see if he is FULLY house-broken, as he did favor carpets with his old owner, and we have not tested to see if he's broken that habit... but we won't be able to check that until we are no longer renting, sadly. :<
I might try a cheap rug in his room and see if he goes on it... but it still won't be ideal, since he technically COULD mistake it for a potty-pad even if it's not in a box.... not to mention, I don't know if he'd run all the way to the room with the potty box when he needed to go, and we won't be able to test that either seeing as the only two non-carpeted rooms are not connected. :<

and he's definitely not 'crate-broken', but I'm not sure he ever will be, and we don't really need a crate for anything other than transport anyway....

His bathroom trips are also usually much shorter now. These days, I usually just give him a chance to go potty whenever I need to fix my hair or take a shower or use the restroom myself.... and once he's sure I'm not going to leave him, he seems to go immediately to potty if he needs to. and ofcourse, he can go any time he likes during play sessions too. It's still a little too chilly to take him on walks, but it's starting to warm up, so our cold snaps should be phasing out soon hopefully, and then we can have fun with that adventure too!
I try to give him enough play time, but he and I both have trouble focusing on that at times, and I know additional exercise with walks would be much better--- plus I bet he'd love to get out in a more unique, stimulating and explorable environment.
 
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