Housebreaking Break Through

January 4, 2010

Holmes and Watson have had a potty box attached to the whelping box since they were four weeks old.  I put shavings in it and that’s where they did their business.  It kept them clean and smelling fresh.  Watson left with Alden before Thanksgiving and seemed to have no problem understanding that he could do his business out in the yard.  Holmes, however, would go outside to play (apparently with his legs crossed), and when he came back into the house, would run into the potty box to relieve himself.  He did not care that the big dogs went outside — his place was inside.

We had a lovely (for winter) long weekend with temperatures in the high 40’s, lots of sunshine.  So, little Holmes was outside a great deal.  As of last night, he was still waiting to go until he came inside.  Aaaargh!  But today — I think I fixed it today.  I left him with his Mom and Dad when I came to work this morning.  Inca came with me.  So, Holmes, Chase and Phoebe had the kitchen, laundry room, half bath -> dog door to backyard to themselves.  The floors are tile and I left no blankets or beds in the area.  All they have is water and, of course, toys.  I went home at noon to check on the little family.  Chase met me at the garage door with his muzzle quivering.  I think that means Phoebe is smelling really good.  Holmes bounded in through the dog door to say hi, Phoebe was right behind him.  There were no accidents in the house at all.  I didn’t give the puppy a chance to go to his potty box (in the living room).  I gave everyone a dog treat, and came back to the office.

When I get home this evening, I’m going to remove the puppy pen from the living room — potty box, underlying carpet remnant, and all.  I’ll disinfect the tile in the area where the box has been.  Hopefully, Holmes will see this as leaving him only one bathroom option, i.e., outside.  I can’t remember ever having a puppy that was so certain he should have an indoor facility.  He doesn’t indiscriminately go in the house — he just wants his shavings.  It will be wonderful to have cleared this hurdle.  We have other things to do.  Holmes begins his conformation training on the 10th and his Puppy Foundations I class on January 16th.  I bet he’ll love both!


  1. Kathy says:


    If, for any reason, this doesn’t work and Holmes decides to find a “substitute” indoor spot, refer to Housetraining 101 on the ForPaws Corgi Rescue website.

    This is what I share with all new adopters when a dog goes home. The leash bonding and ability to catch the dog in the act, as well as praising like crazy when they do the “right thing in the right place” is critical. Over the years I’ve found that if it isn’t working, it is almost always “pilot error.” Generally the missing piece is failure to go outside with the dog and praise like crazy when he does his thing. Just allowing the dog to go outside, without any reinforcement for a job well-done can sometimes result in total confusion. That is when the dog resorts to “hiding” in the house.


  2. Sandy says:

    Yeah Holmes….atta boy to the max. Now, go show Mom so she can say GOOD DOG to ya!