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Dog Training/puppy is too focused on cats to potty train


I recently adopted a Yorkie/Pekingnese mix who is 11 months old. I am at my wit's end trying to house train this dog! He does very good for awhile, and then it seems he always has a set back. I have a crate that is not too big, his freedom in the house is limited so I can monitor his behavior, and I have a bell hanging on the door so he can let me know he needs to go out if he is running free. He is good about running to the door when he needs to go, and I am happy with his success so far even though he has not learned to ring the bell yet.

The problem I am having that is bringing me to tears is we have two outside cats that he is obsessed with! Urinating is no problem for him, and he will do it when they are around. However, he absolutely will not take out time to defecate. I can stand around for 30-45 minutes, but he refuses and is too focused on trying to chase them. I have tried putting the cats out of his sight, but once he has seen them, his concentration is wrecked. I then take him back in the house where he immediately eliminates on the floor! Please, help!

Take him somewhere else to eliminate until he's reliably going outside. Take him on a leash to an area without the cats.  If you are feeding meals at regular times each day, you should be able to predict when she should have to defecate. If he doesn't "go", bring him in and put him in the crate. Try again in a half hour. Good luck!

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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