Post # 1
DH and I got a puppy about a month ago. She was just over 2 months old when we got her and now she is 3.5 months old. We had a rough go of potty training the first couple weeks because she would go potty outside and then be inside and pee on the floor only 20 minutes later. We started training her with a potty bell after the first maybe two weeks and she has picked that up really well. Now she pees outside about 97% of the time and only pees inside randomly if we aren’t paying attention to her or when she gets too excited.
We are so grateful that the bell system has stopped the potty accidents in the house for the most part, but she is now ringing the bell every 10-15 minutes. We have been taking her out every time because we want her to continue to acknowledge that the bells means potty and we don’t let her in until she pees. So every 10-15 minutes she rings the bell, goes outside and squats (maybe she pees, maybe it’s just drops, maybe it’s just for show) and comes right back in. We know she can hold her pee because she has not once since we adopted her peed in her crate even overnight while we sleep.
It’s driving us crazy! How can we prompt her to hold it for longer during the day without untraining her from the bell???
Post # 2
If she’s actually squatting that often I’d probably have her checked for a UTI.
However, the bell didn’t really work for us…our dogs just figured out they could ring it, go outside, pee 2 drops and get a cookie after lol.
Post # 3
1.) Get her checked for UTI
2.) The bell system is KNOWN for being abused by puppies. To the puppy, they just know that when they ring it, they get to go outside. So it kinda morphs for them from “I have to pee, better ring the bell” to “I want to go outside, better ring the bell!”
As for being able to hold their pee, it’s a lot easier to do while they’re asleep than when they are awake, running around, getting excited, etc. So it’s not really fair to expect them to really be able to hold their pee for a long period of time during the day just because they can go a long time at night.
What I did with my dog was to eventually take the bell away. After that, she still went over to the door and sat and looked at me, so I still knew she needed to go out. But it took me longer to notice, which gave her a chance to practice holding it in.
The age at which most puppies’ bladders are fully developed is 4-6 months. So I would stick with the bell for another few weeks, then take it away and see if you can’t get her to go a little longer between potty sessions. As her bladder muscles mature, she should naturally start going longer and longer. Definitely do not expect 100% house training until around 6 months old.
Post # 4
I’d also rule out a UTI before considering behavioural approaches. Juat because she doesn’t go over night doesn’t make a UTI impossible but does make it less likely. Only way to know for sure is to have the bet run a urine test.
Post # 5
As a human, I sleep through the night without having to go, but go every 2 hours when I’m awake, so I don’t think it’s fair to judge length of time she can hold by how long overnight.
My pup was a nonstop pee machine at that age.
Post # 6
Once a UTI is ruled out. I would drop the bell for now and start crate training. Pup is either in the crate, or under your direct attention . Start taking her out every 20 minutes when out of the crate and slowly stretch the time out, waiting longer and longer between stretches. Assuming the crate is properly sized (if it’s too big they are more likely to pee in it) the pup should be able to go a couple of hours without going outside.
Post # 7
You need to pay more attention when she goes outside. Puppies are like babies and will have less control over their bladder when they’re young. You say you don’t know if she goes or not when she goes out and then goes on the floor 20 mins later so you need to go out with her and make sure she goes otherwise she doesn’t go back in yet.
Other posters have already mentioned but I agree it’s stupid to say you know she can hold it because she does during the night. I ‘hold it’ for 8 hours every night but I certainly don’t go 8 hours in the day with out needing to go.
Post # 8
Either she has a UTI or she’s come to associate the bell with going outside rather than needing to pee. First I’d check her out for a UTI.
My pup had a dog door and was pretty much trained by 3 months but still randomly peed in the house for a couple of months after that out of “laziness” (often if we were playing and she didn’t want to take a break). It sounds like you’re doing a fine job so just have patience with the household accidents.
I know you don’t want to untrain the bell but I’d start ignoring some of her bell rings (assuming she doesn’t have a UTI). The bell should be treated as a request, not an automatic guarantee out. If she brings you a toy, you don’t always play with her right? You’re not a play machine. You play when you’re free and you feel like it. An aknowledged bell ring (going outside) is a positive/treat and should be treated similarly.
Post # 9
My friend is using the bell system as well… at first her dog would hit the bells just because he wanted to go outside! As he’s gotten older though, he only hits them when he actually needs to pee.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone. I guess I never considered part of the reason she holds it so well in the crate is because she spends some time sleeping in there. Though she doesn’t just sleep for 8 hours straight.
To clarify, when she was still having frquent accidents inside she was peeing outside, coming inside and then peeing a lot inside too. And then it was always pretty clear pee. Now I think she probably is associating the bell with going outside. I have to let our older dog out there alone and block her from ringing the bell. If I walk away she rings it and then when I let her out she harrasses our poor older dog trying to do his business! Maybe it’s more of a boredom thing than a needing to pee thing. Again, I haven’t been as adamant about checking if she’s actually peeing when she squats lately. So maybe I will. She could very well just be squatting because I tell her to potty and not doing anything.
Post # 11
Something else that I learned at puppy class for my puppy is that puppies usually don’t understand at first that they need to hold it instead of peeing every 10 minutes. So your puppy may start getting that full bladder feeling and want to go out right away instead of holding it for longer.
Post # 12
I’m a vet, if she’s asking to go outside and squatting I would first rule out a UTI (or something possibly more serious). You don’t need to see blood in the urine for their to be an infection. If UTI get some ruled out, it’s important to know that between 2-6 months is when the kidneys are developing and learning their function (to filter and concentrate urine, so it is not uncommon for normal puppies to drink and pee a lot up until 6 months. After that I would not expect frequent urination.
Always take her out as soon as she is done eating and immediately after waking up.
Post # 13
I got a puppy a few months ago and I went through the same thing as you. I have to say the best thing that worked for me was crate training. I would take my pup out and he would pee, then he would come in and pee right as he came in the door. SO FRUSTRATING. but also COMMON. That is very very normal. Puppies don’t realize when that happens that your puppy lacks bladder control. WHen they get older they are better at holding it. Obviously you should check for a UTI or any medical conditions but that is fairly common in a pup so young, trust me I practially went insane training my little guy. As for the bell system, my pup did the same too except he would scratch at the door when he needed to go. Now I would take him every single time because it is good to let them know they are doing the right thing, but they also need to learn to hold it. My vet told me to not ALWAYS take him out when he scratches. But when you take them out and they go always praise like crazy. the Accidents inside should stop over time.The bell ringing you should try to moderate how much they go, maybe dont always take her and try and distract her so she can learn to hold it. Vet also recommended putting in crate for a few hours through out the day to promote training on holding it.
and of course as other PPs said, always go out after meals, naps, and playtime. You’llget through it trust me!
Post # 14
We did not use the bell system, instead we did crate training and that worked very well. Of course it was a pain at first because it was basically crate, out to pee, crate, out to eat, crate, out to pee, crate, out to play, crate, out to pee, etc. Lots of crate time and coming out to pee first and then play time so that our puppy would associate that when it’s time to go out it would be time to pee first and then play. Now at a year any time he goes out he knows it’s time to pee.