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Dog Training/having trouble potty training


I have potty trained dogs before and I have never had a situation like this. I have a 5 month old austrailian sheppard/st bennard his first few months was terrible he was taken from his mother too early and hurt and under fed. My aunt saved him and gave him to me as a companion for my 8 year old labrador who I rescude from a simular situation 7 years ago. He is very calm very loving and over all one of the best dogs to handle even though he is large and still growing. The issue is he doesnt respond to any of the normal training I have tried to stop him from using the bathroom in our home. I have tried swatting him on the bum, putting the poo in his face and taking him outside, ive also tried giving him treats and being positive when he goes outside. He doesnt respond to the negative training at all honestly time out in the kennel is the only way for him to handle negative training because he shuts down to everything else but he doesnt seem to associate the punishment to why hes being punished. I really need advice because I wont give him up. He is an amazing dog and easy to handle I just need to stop this habit of usibg the bathroom in the house.

Thanks for your question Joy. You are correct that your dog can't associate punishment after he's relieved himself. He won't have any idea why he's being swatted or having poo put in his face. He'll just learn not to trust you.

Use his crate as a confinement area when you can't supervise him 100% of the time. As soon as you let him out, take him outside to do his business, then reward and play with him. If he's awake and you are monitoring him, take him out every 20 minutes. Take him out just after a play session. Don't allow him to roam the house unless you are with him. Tether him to you if necessary.

Teach him to ring a bell to tell you he has to go outside. Here's a great how-to article:

Don't allow him any freedom in the house until he goes 2 weeks without an accident and is able to notify you that he has to go outside.

Please let me know if you have further questions. 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
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Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
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BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
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