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Hi!
I'm new here...looking for help!
So we have 2 small chihuahuas. We love them dearly. They are wonderful family pets...except for 1 little issue.... we cannot get them housebroken! The girl, Chloe, is a little over a year old and the boy, Casper, is almost 1 year old. We have had them both since last March. At first we tried the litter box training, because that is what the breeder recommended. It seemed to work if they were enclosed in the laundry room WITH the box. But if we gave them free run of the house they would not run back to the laundry room for the box.
So next, over the summer, we tried training them to potty outside. They still haven't learned. They are in our backyard ALOT..but then they will come inside and poop on the floor or pee on the laundry. It doesn't matter how long they are outside first. AND, we rarely ever catch them in the act, we just find the poop or pee later. Because they are very small..they run and hide and do their naughtiness. lol

We have a very busy household with 4 young children who love their doggies. So maybe I didn't devote myself to the potty training process the way that was needed. So I'm asking for help and advice. The weather is getting cold so we cannot leave these little dogs outside for long stretches to get them to potty outside! I don't want them trapped in their kennels all the time because we can't trust them whenever we aren't watching them like a hawk!

Please Please email me with help!
Thank you!
 

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Welcome to Cp,when i was training my puppies i had pee pads in the rooms they used so i could catch them using it, then lots of praise and a treat, does take a lot of time,as soon as they wake outside with you watching so when they do go lots of praise and a treat,show them how happy you are.You must clean where they've been before in the house vey well otherwise they will sniff and think that's the place to go.
 

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I tried the pee pads, but didn't want him to get use to using them. My Zeus still won't tell me he HAS to go, though he is not vocal what so ever. He will just get overly excited and tries jumping around. I take him outside and he uses it just fine, only in the backyard though. I joke that it is for his privacy.lol. He gets lots of praise for going outside. I'm not very happy with him when he uses it inside, everyday he gets better. (I have only had my chi for 3 weeks or so now. My friend tells me I have made leaps and bounds with him. For what he does now just within 3 weeks, it took her chi to do in 6 months)
 

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If I were you, with 3 children and a busy household, I'd get a puppy playpen for them. Then they can see you, and you can see them. Confine them and take them outside at least 4X a day. It will take awhile. See if you can get 30min to an hour and take them out, and wait until they go. (take them out after eating, waking up, playing etc) Praise, praise, treat. Then they can have a little time free. They have to earn freedom. Wetting and pooing all over is not something to tolerate. If you use pee pads then take them to the pee pads and make sure they use them before you set them free. Too much freedom for these little hulilgans! Sue
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "we rarely ever catch them in the act, we just find the poop or pee later. Because they are very small..they run and hide and do their naughtiness. lol"
That there is your biggest issue... as Susan said, they need to earn that freedom and should not be allowed free run of the house. Without you being able to catch them in the act, there's no real way for you to correct (or redirect) the behavior.
I agree with the advice to set up a playpen for them; or if they are reliable in the laundry room that will work too. The biggest thing you want to make sure if is that if they are ever loose/roaming; that you have an eye on them at all times. Granted I can't imagine that would be easy with 4 kids though, but it's not impossible. "Tether training" might be a better option; as it still lets them follow you around while you go about your daily business; but does NOT give them the freedom to go that far to find somewhere to potty. Basically you would attach a leash to your waste or belt loop; and the other end to the dogs harness. That keeps your hands free to do whatever you usually do. But also lets you keep an eye on them. The key is to catch every accident and prevent it BEFORE it happens... and, giving them plenty of opportunities (either outside, or over to the pad, whatever you prefer) frequently and rewarding/praising like crazy whenever they get it right. It does require a lot of diligence on your part, no doubt; but it does not take long of doing this method before the pups realize there is only one appropriate area to eliminate it. Good luck!
 

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I would suggest for now, get rid of the litter box. Get a couple of carriers/crates that are big enough just for them to stand/turn around/sleep in. Then crate them at night and during the day. Any playtime outside of the crate need to be monitored. Also control feeding times. It's going to sound cruel for now but you must try your best to not let them make any more mistakes in the house and get every poop and pee session you can get your hands on (not to be taken literally) outside.

My breeder suggested I use newspapers since my puppy was paper trained but I soon found out that he kept going outside the papers by accident...and then it wasn't an accident anymore, he just went everywhere. Now I got rid of the papers and pan and just take the pup out.

Your chis are older so they should be able to hold it no problem, just be consistent and they should get it sooner or later :).
 
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