Cocker Spaniels/Puppy potty training
QUESTION: My new ten-week old cocker puppy seems to not like her outdoor potty area. She will go there sometimes but other times runs back to the house and continues to do that if you take her back. She fights the leash and won't go and then she will pee or poop in the house when we get back inside. We took her to the potty area as soon as we got home with her five days ago and have tried to keep her on a schedule. We crate her at night and get up in the night to take her out and take her after meals and about every two or three hours in the daytime. We just started crating her a little in the daytime for a nap. She has not gone in her crate. We don't want to traumatize her by forcing her to go outside, but we don't want to indoor potty train her.
ANSWER: Hi Judy...let's not go to the potty crazy corner and get too bent out of shape. :)
First of all, you're doing the right thing by "taking" her out (not just putting her out) and most definitely take her on leash. Pick a command "go potty" - whatever you like. There is NO conversation other than the repeated command. Be patient. You can see when she's about to go - give command again- and then treat and wild praise. Over the top praise like she just split the atom.
From a ten week old's perspective it's "what's in this for me?" since she doesn't care where she tinkles...so that's where the attention-praise-treat comes in.
Basic message: Go where I want you to and happiness & rewards are the result.
You are not traumatizing her by teaching her what you want..that actually made me laugh.
You sound like lovely, good owners and please write anytime.
Stay on this and it'll all be over very shortly.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: The real problem is that she fights being out there and that becomes what is focused on rather than going potty. We do praise, but her main focus seems to be on getting back in the house. Not sure how to get her to focus on her business, not the leash or getting back in the house.
Take her somewhere else and be patient. So she's focused on whatever she wants - you need to not care and stand your ground.
Walk her and forget the potty patch until she's trained.
The biggest trick with training is to anticipate. You now KNOW she doesn't like the potty patch (for whatever reason...we may never know :)...so take her on the street. Give her command...praise a LOT in your "happy voice" and treat.
The main quest right now is to get her to understand she is being taken out "for a reason".
Let's not worry about where right now.