Puppy Potty Training – Facts and Myths

Puppy potty training is the bane of many new dog parents. That is why there are so many tutorials on how to housetrain a dog, with promises of how it can be simple and effortless.

The fact though, is that potty training requires time, patience, and consistency. How simple or difficult it is, will depend on our dog’s temperament and our own temperament.

Some dog breeds such as the Shiba Inu, are naturally clean and are relatively easy to housebreak. My Shiba was housebroken when we first got him at 10 weeks old.

Shiba Sephy does not even like to eliminate in our backyard. Instead, he prefers to wait until we go for a walk. In contrast, my second dog (a Siberian Husky), was more difficult to housetrain because she did not mind frolicking close to her own waste products.

It took a few weeks to housetrain her.

Puppy potty training also depends a lot on us. If we are naturally calm, consistent, and patient, housebreaking will seem easier and require less work.

Whatever the case, always remember that we can successfully housetrain a physically healthy dog, at whatever age (after the weaning off process), no matter the history.

And that is a potty training fact!

1. Set Up a Schedule

Puppy potty training begins, by setting up a schedule. Initially, we want to bring our dog out often, and reduce the chances of her making mistakes inside the house.

I observe my puppy closely, and try to identify patterns in her potty behavior. For example, she usually has to go when she wakes up, and after a bit of vigorous play. Therefore, I took her out after nap-time and after every 10-15 minutes of play. Different dogs may have different patterns depending on size, temperament, routine, and more.

I stop giving her water about 2-3 hours before sleep time, and take her out right before I crate her for the night. If I need to reward her during that time, I only use moist dog treats such as boiled chicken, so that she does not get thirsty from them.

FactDogs learn through a process called conditioning. They repeat behaviors that get them good results and stop behaviors that get them bad results.

The more we reward a puppy for eliminating outside, the more she will repeat that behavior. When my puppy does her business in the backyard, I mark that behavior (Yes!). Once she finishes, I treat her with something special that she only gets for potty success, and give her some good affection. Then, I reward her more with play-time and her favorite activities.

Similarly, the more a puppy practices eliminating inside, on her own, the more she will go in the house. After all, it is convenient and nobody is teaching her that it is inappropriate behavior.

Therefore, we want to not only maximize the number of successes, but also minimize the number of mistakes. In this way, our puppy will learn that doing her business outside is extremely rewarding and fun. On the other hand, when she does it inside, she consistently gets interrupted and taken outside.

MythMy dog cannot be housetrained because she comes from a stubborn breed, she is too stupid, she is too dominant, she doesn’t listen to me, she is too old, etc.

Any physically healthy dog can be housetrained. The key to potty training is patience and consistency. Always be around to supervise our puppy when she is inside. If I do not have the time to supervise, then I crate my puppy or put her in a long-term enclosure with puppy pads.

Myth: Screaming and hitting the dog will show her that I am boss and make her stop pottying inside the house.

Screaming and hitting a dog does not work well, and usually makes things worse. How well do you learn when somebody is screaming at you, or hitting you? It is the same way for a dog, especially a puppy.

The fastest way to housebreak our puppy, is to remain calm, and consistently let her know that going inside is inappropriate (Ack, ack), and going outside is appropriate (Yes).

2. Prevent Potty Mistakes

There are three ways to prevent mistakes inside the house:

a) Be there to supervise.

When our puppy shows signs that she has to go potty, take her outside right away. If I do not catch my puppy in time and she starts to do her business, then I interrupt her with a no-mark (Ack, ack) and take her outside.

MythI can potty train my puppy by rubbing her nose in it after the fact. She always looks sheepish and puts her head down when I shout at her. She knows she has done something wrong.

Dogs will only learn when we catch them in the act.

If we are not around and our dog makes a mistake, then we have missed a learning opportunity. All we can do is clean up the mess and move on. It is true that a dog may look sheepish when we shout at her after the fact. This is because she knows that we are upset, so she uses submissive gestures (e.g. putting her head down) to try and appease us.

The dog does not know what particular event has caused our anger, but just that we are angry. Shouting and rubbing a dog’s nose in her own waste does not teach her anything. All it does is confuse our dog, as well as create stress and fear. This can make things worse by causing submissive urination.

b) Crate train our dog.

Dogs do not generally like to soil where they sleep. Keeping our puppy in a crate can discourage her from pottying because she does not want to soil her sleeping area.

When I got my first dog, I was a bit concerned about crating him. Here is what the Humane Society of the United States and the American Dog Trainer’s Network have to say about crate training

MythA crate will magically keep my dog from pottying for any period of time.

The crate is not some magical cure. A crate discourages a dog from eliminating, but if a dog absolutely has to go, she has to go.

Keeping a puppy for too long in a crate, will force her to potty in the crate, possibly traumatize her, and greatly set back our potty training program.

The maximum crate time is dependent on the age of our puppy.

AgeMaximum time in crate
8–10 weeks30–60 minutes
11–14 weeks1–3 hours
15–16 weeks3–4 hours
17+ weeks4–5 hours

Maximum crate time from ASPCA Weekend Crate Training.

Note – this is just a general guideline for the maximum crate time. I usually take my puppy outside more frequently than that. I take her out as soon as she wakes up, and right after any heavy activity.

At night, I crate my dogs in the bedroom. Keeping our dogs with us in the bedroom will help with the bonding process, and show them that they are part of the pack.

When puppies are really young, they may not be able to hold their bladder throughout the night. It may be necessary to make an extra trip outside at night, or really early in the morning. Once they get a bit older though, this will no longer be necessary.

Some puppies, e.g. pet store puppies, may already be conditioned to eliminate in their crate, because they are kept in there for overly long periods of time. In such cases, a crate will no longer be a deterrent to potty behavior.

c) Put our dog in a long-term enclosure.

If I will be away for a long period of time, I put my puppy in a long-term enclosure. This can be a secure puppy pen, or a secure and safe room (e.g. kitchen).

Make sure there is nothing dangerous in the enclosure that our puppy can destroy and swallow. Put bedding, a water bowl, some puppy pads, safe chew toys, and safe food toys, in the enclosure. Put the pads in a corner as far away from the bedding as possible.

Instead of puppy pads, we may also use an indoor grass system. However, some dogs may not like standing on or eliminating on the indoor grass surface. Just using regular sod or grass did not work well for me because of drainage issues. The sod gets smelly very quickly because there isn’t anywhere for the pee to go.

When I tried using sod, I had to change it every other day, or my puppy refused to go onto it. This ended up being a lot more work than just using puppy pads.

MythWe cannot train a dog to potty outside as well as on puppy pads. She will get confused and not know what to do.

Yes, it is true that if we can be around most of the time to supervise, it is better not to let a puppy do her business in the house at all.

However, if we will be away for long periods of time, if our dog has separation anxiety issues (which may cause her to need to eliminate when we leave), or if there are other medical issues (surgery) that make frequent trips outside unfeasible, then it is perfectly fine to train a dog to both potty on pads, as well as outside.

Reward a puppy for going on his pads, and reward a puppy a lot more for going outside.

3. Clean Away Mistakes Properly

During the housetraining process, there will be some mistakes. When that happens, I calmly no-mark my puppy (Ack, ack) and take her outside. Once we are outside, I praise and reward her if she continues with her business.

Then, I leave my puppy in our fully enclosed and puppy-safe backyard, come in, and clean up the mess. Cleaning up messes in front of a puppy may sometimes cause her to mimic our behavior, and engage in eating her own poop. In her mind, she is only helping to clean out the den.

Use a cleaner that is made especially for pets. A popular pet odor cleaner is Nature’s Miracle.

Do not use ammonia based cleaners as the ammonia odor, which resembles urine, may attract our dog to urinate in the area.

4. Make Sure the Mistakes Are Potty Mistakes

Not all indoor urination is the result of housetraining mistakes. Other reasons for indoor urination include:

  1. Submissive or excitement urination.
  2. Medical issues, e.g. urinary tract infection.
  3. Marking objects or territory.
  4. Stress or anxiety, which results from being alone or other psychological issues.

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  1. Paul Henshaw says

    Hi I have an 11 week old French bulldog puppy I have had for three weeks now. I am now taking to puppy classes once a week and he is developing quite well with his potty training and I am now able to take him outside for walks.

    The problem we face is every time I go to clean up after him when he makes a mistake in the house, I use a specific pet odour & stain remover for the wooden floors, I clean his area up (a cordoned off part of the kitchen) and put a fresh potty mat down. When he goes back into his area, he seems to sniff around – I think because he’s trying to find his scent – which he then just pees or poops wherever he feels like. This ‘habit’ has actually been ongoing since I got him.

    He knows where his area is in the house. I never let him out of the area unless he’s with me on a leash and I keep a close eye on exactly what he’s doing. I follow all of the rules that if he makes a mistake I pick him up and I put him on his mat – Which I now know I should start taking him outside – and I intend to!

    Since he started puppy school last week he has become very naughty and not obeying my commands like he used to and just generally being a little rascal. (which I love and adore, but at the same time I thought we were both making really good progress quite quickly, however now it appears I’m going back to square one from the start).

    Overall I think I’m doing a great job raising him and we have formed a really close and loving bond now – he’s my world and my boy who I love unconditionally – but this issue of doing his business wherever he feels like after I’ve cleaned his area is starting to get a little frustrating now!!

    The trainer at his class has advised it’s just a phase he’s going through, however I’m not too convinced so I would like I would greatly appreciate a second opinion please!!!!

  2. Anonymous says

    I have a 7 week old poodle puppy I just bought, I’ve had him for 3 days and trying to train him to go potty outside. I live in a two story townhome so I even taking him outside to a grass area every morning and every night and of course in the afternoon and trying to catch him after every nap. He’s still having pee accidents in my room on the pee pads and sometimes outside the pads. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right or maybe I’m trying to rush the process since it’s only been 3 days. I will continue to take him outside hoping he will eventually get that outside is for potty and inside is a no no. He didn’t like the treats I bought him so the rewarding system doesn’t seem to work for me. I am a first time dog owner so this is also very new to me! Please let me know if I’m doing the right thing or if I need to change anything! I appreciate it.

  3. Gillian says

    Hi there! My husband and I own a five month old shiba inu. She was house broken at nine weeks, but since her spay-surgery last week, she has been doing her business in the house. We have been taking her outside and giving her rewards when she goes outside–but she still comes back in and maybe ten minutes later, she’ll go 1 or 2 in the house. Is that normal or do I need to retrain her? I’m really clueless as I’ve never had this happen with any previous animal that I’ve owned.

  4. Jessica says

    We have an 8 wk. old siberian husky (we adopted her 3 days ago) and a 2 year old Samoyed. We hoped that the Sib would follow our sammy outside and mimic her but that’s not the case. We take the sib outside every 10 minutes after eating or drinking and heavy play and still nothing. We are trying the puppy pad in the middle as well and the “puppy go” spray but still not having any of it. She can go hours and then just run run run .. pee.. run run run… OR we know she has to go to the bathroom b/c she’s circling and we take her out and she seems more concerned about her leash than going out. So we let her out to potty 5 mins at a time, twice … come in and then she goes. We’re good about cleaning up and trying to eliminate the smell in that area and I feel like statistically she should have went outside by now and a little frustrated that I can’t mark a good behavior if she’s never done it. Thoughts/suggestions are truly helpful

    • shibashake says

      For potty training my Sibe puppy, the most important thing is supervision. I want to consistently prevent and interrupt potty mistakes in the house, and in order to do this, I need to watch my puppy closely all of the time.

      I put a drag-lead on her (Only under supervision, and only with a regular collar. Absolutely no aversive collars), so that I can quickly interrupt and get her outside if need be. Management is key so that I can minimize potty mistakes in the house. The more my puppy goes in the house, the more she thinks it is ok to do so. Some people may also attach their puppy’s lead on themselves, so that they are always close-up and can easily interrupt and lead puppy out.

      If I cannot watch my puppy for even 1 minute, I put her in a puppy enclosure with puppy pads. In this way, she either goes on puppy pads or outside. I do not let my puppy roam freely in the house, without very close supervision, until she is fully potty trained.

      My puppy usually has to go when she wakes up, so that is when I take her outside. I go outside with her, so that I can reward her very very well with her favorite food, favorite games, and much, much, more. Consistency is very important with my puppy. I need to interrupt or prevent potty mistakes inside the house very consistently, so that she learns-
      Potty in house = Always get interrupted and taken outside,
      Potty outside = Bonanza of rewards, fun, attention, and much more.

  5. Chelsea says

    I just LOVE your wesite! I am afirst time puppy parent, and though I have owned dogs before I still have so many questions. Even though your blog is for puppies and dogs in general, your experiences with huskies and shibas help me relate because thats exactly what I have! You have already answered many of my questions and calmed mny of my fears, so thank you sooo much! If you know anything about moving dogs abroad it would be a relief to me. I live in China but will be moving back to the states at the end of the year. I want to know what I need to prepare, and how to prepare my pup. Again thank you sooo much for al the information you have already given.

    • shibashake says

      Thank you Chelsea!

      I don’t have much experience with air travel and dogs, so I have asked a friend about it. She shows her dogs so she has done a bunch of travelling with them. Will let you know if she has some advice. :)

  6. Emily says

    Hi there!
    I love your website, you have helped us to have a calmer household with your training tips!
    I have a situation that you may be able to offer guidance on. Loki is our 11 month old red, neutered male who is sweet and perky as can be! He was fully house trained at 4 months old and we had little to no accidents inside the apartment. We moved to a new state about 6 weeks ago. The move really stressed Loki out – messing with his digestive system and perkiness. His perky personality came back when we started unpacking but he only recently (last week) started eating and digesting his food normally. Our new home is 3 times bigger than the apartment we were in previously and it has a backyard, so that offers a lot more space for him to run around in! Unfortunately, he seems to have forgotten all of his house training. We can sit outside for close to an hour with him, take him inside, and then have an accident on the floor within 5 minutes! He has even started going poo on the front entry rug which has never happened before!!! He is outside a lot – we take him on walks, play outside, praise him when he goes potty outside just like when he was a puppy, and scold and put him into the “time out” room when he goes potty inside. We are at a loss on how to make things go back to how they used to be. We understand the move put a lot of stress and confusion on him, but we never though he would “unlearn” his house training. Do you have any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      Did he start this behavior right after the move? Did the previous owners have dogs or cats? Smells left behind by previous animals may encourage a dog to try to cover the scent. Does he do this more in certain locations in the house? At certain times? Does he do it more when he is alone? What is his daily routine like? Is it similar to his previous routine? Does the new environment have more traffic, dogs, noise, etc.?

      My dogs do not fully transfer their potty training across different houses or inside locations. For example, they will sometimes try to pee in the vet’s office, training class, or pet-store. They may also pee while visiting inside a friend’s house, so I make sure to have them on lead and to supervise.

      When I move to a new house, I repeat house training lessons as necessary. I *do not* use time-outs or any type of punishment for house training mistakes. With potty training, the behavior itself (peeing and pooping) is not wrong or undesirable. I am simply trying to teach my dog to go outside. More on how I potty train my dog.

      Time-outs are most useful in situations where my dog is over-excited when seeking attention or interaction. I would not use it for potty training or stress/anxiety related behaviors.

      The first thing I would do is to identify the source of the behavior. For example, is it a potty training issue, is it a physical/health issue, or is it a stress issue. After I identify the source of the problem, then I can take appropriate steps to fix it.

  7. Taylor says


    I have a 9 week old Goldendoodle, and her potty habits are worrying me a little. By no means am I complaining, but she’s almost too good and I’m worried something might be wrong.

    Every website I have read has indicated that puppies need to relieve themselves after 10-15 minutes after eating and also need to be taken out of their crate every hour or so in the middle of the night.

    My puppy went 7 hours through the night without needing to go outside (she did not cry or bark and went right away as soon as she was outside). She also does not go potty when I let her out 15-30 minutes after eating. It has now been an hour since she ate and she’s just sleeping away (no signs of needing to go to the bathroom).

    Is this normal and did I just get extremely lucky or could something be wrong medically?

    • shibashake says

      My Husky pups didn’t go potty after eating either. They usually fall asleep and then they need to go when they wake up. Heavy activity and excitement makes them have to go too.

      How often does your pup go per day? Does she drink pretty often? When I get a new puppy, I usually take her to the vet right away for a check-up to make sure that everything is ok, and to get advice on vaccinations, heart-worm medication, etc.

  8. Miranda Kenny says

    Hi, I have a 6 month old Siberian Husky. We kennel him every night for bed but lately he has been pooping in it. Every morning when we wake up to take him outside there’s poop. Did I do something wrong while potty training? Why is he doing it? What can I do to stop this? Thanks

    • shibashake says

      How long have you had him? What did you do for potty training? Is he fully potty trained or are there mistakes in the house? Where is his kennel? Can he see you from his kennel at night? Does he vocalize, pant a lot, or show other stress symptoms while in his kennel? Is he eating and drinking normally? Is he playing and moving around normally? Is his poop normal? Did this behavior start suddenly? Did anything unusual happen when the behavior started? What is his daily routine like?

      Dogs may sometimes poop because of stress and anxiety. There can also be other causes, which is why when it comes to dog behavior, context is very important.

  9. Dai says

    I have a 2 month old Siberian Husky puppy. I have been trying to crate train him. And he has been sleeping in the crate since the first night. But the thing is I have to sit nearby and wait till he falls asleep. Is that normal? Also we live in an apartment so how can I potty train him to eliminate in only one area?

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, I slept nearby my puppy as well for a few nights.

      With my Husky puppy I set up an enclosure with puppy pads. As soon as I see that she needs to go, I take her outside (or put her on the puppy pads) and give her the “Go Potty” command. I make sure to reward her extremely well with her favorite food, her favorite games, affection, and much much more when she does the right thing. Setting up a schedule, supervision, and everything else is as I have described in the article above.

      Congratulations on your Husky pup! 😀

  10. itzy says

    Hello i have a 2 month old husky, and so far it has only being hell with her. We r trying to potty train her to go outside and she does her business and we give her treats but as soon as we go inside she goes and does her business on the carpet or in the cage an then she lays on top of it. I can’t even trust playing with her inside the house because sout of the no where she will run away from you making your think she is going to get her toy but instead she does her business, and was soon as I take her outside she only wants to play and thee whol cycle happens again. What would you recommend to brake this horrible behavior?

    • shibashake says

      How long have you had her? What is her daily routine like? Has she been to the vet for a check-up? Has she always gone in her crate/cage? Is she from a pet-store or online store?

      In terms of potty training, the key with my puppy is very close supervision. I put a drag-lead on my puppy if necessary, so that I can keep her near me and can quickly interrupt her potty and take her outside if necessary. I do not let my puppy freely roam the house without very close supervision, until she is fully potty trained.

      I observe my puppy carefully and take note of all her potty signals. For example, if she always tries to run away before she needs to go, then I take her outside as soon as I notice her showing this behavior. In the beginning, I err on the safe side and take her outside as soon as I see any possible signs. Sometimes, I am wrong, and she doesn’t need to go. However, this enables me to minimize mistakes inside the house.

      If I am unable to supervise for even 1 minute, I put my puppy in a safe and secure enclosure, with puppy pads. In this way, she either goes outside or on the puppy pads.

      I need to maximize successes for potty outside behavior so that I can keep reinforcing it, and reinforce it well. I reward my puppy extremely well for pottying outside with special treats that she only gets for potty success, fun games, attention, and much more. The more rewarding I make it, the more my puppy will be motivated to go outside because she gets to do her favorite activities and eat her favorite food.

      At the same time I also need to minimize mistakes inside the house. The more my puppy goes inside the house, on her own, the more she will learn that it is also ok to go inside the house. Close supervision, management, and a fixed schedule are all important for potty training my puppy.

      I describe what I do in much greater detail in the article above.

  11. Huu Trung says

    Hi, I am having a 4 month old husky. At the very first days, me and my wife let him sleep with us. However, we just built up a nice backyard for him with a big house and toys as we want to keep him outside. However, he follows me all the time and it is hard to leave him outside without barking and crying. So how do I teach him to know that he can come inside when we allow him to and stay outside without crying?

  12. Amanda says

    Hi I just recently got a Siberian husky she is just a little over 3 months old. When I crate her at night or while I get ready for the day she whines the whole time. She also tries to bite her way out of the cage and I just recently notice she will drool prefusly. What can I do to help her stay calm while she is in her crate?

    Thank you for the advise

    • shibashake says

      Has she been to the vet? When I get a new puppy, I always bring her to the vet as soon as possible for a check-up. In this way, I can be sure that she is physically healthy, and I can also get my vet’s advice on vaccinations, etc.

      Where did you get your puppy from? Did she previously have bad experiences in a crate? Does she only do these behaviors when she is alone? Where is her crate at night? During puppyhood, I crate my puppy in the bedroom with me at night. In this way, my puppy can still see me and be with me, and thus feels safe.

      If she only shows these behaviors when she is alone, then it could be separation anxiety.
      ASPCA article on separation anxiety.
      With my puppy, I very slowly get her used to alone time. I start with very very short periods of alone time (e.g. seconds) and slowly build up from there.

      I also slowly crate train my puppy so that she associates her crate area with positive events and safety. However, dog behavior is very context dependent, so each dog and situation are different. When in doubt, I get help from a good professional trainer.

    • Anonymous says

      I got her from a dog store and I have family that had gotten puppies from there as well. As far as I know she hasn’t had any bad experiences at least with me. She displays the bitting of the kennel and drooling when I am not there. If I’m there she will just whine and paw at the kennel. I keep her kennel in my bedroom right at the end of the bed. I have not brought her to the vet yet but do have an appointment set up. We have been working on create training and I always reward her with a treat or a kong with peanut butter but she is not a huge fan of that.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, some puppies have it rough at the pet store. Also, many pet store puppies come from puppy mills.
      ASPCA article on pet store puppies.

      As for the Kong I try to identify what my puppy enjoys most and I use those for crate conditioning. I like using frozen Kongs because it engages my puppy for a longer period of time, and she is usually happy to settle down for a nap after that. Sometimes, I put some sardines at the bottom of my Kong, then I put puppy wet food in, and freeze the whole thing. My dog loves sardines so it can help to give the Kong that extra umph, if necessary.

      For alone time training and crate training, I make sure to start small and very slowly build up my puppy’s confidence and tolerance. Anxiety attacks and negative experiences will undermine my puppy’s confidence and significantly set back training. Therefore, if I need to leave the house, I get someone trustworthy to keep my puppy company. I try to set my puppy up for success and manage her environment so she is not exposed to situations that she is not ready to handle.

  13. Vanessa says

    I take him out every hour and 30 minutes after meals and don’t give him water before bed time. He still barks all night and pees most of the night even though I take him out at 2:00 am . He’s algo startin to growl when put in his crate. We’re doing better with him teething.

  14. Vanessa says

    Hi, I but a old English bulldog puppy from a pet store. Sadly I didn’t know they came from puppy mills…I was told by a friend that it harder to train them because of their previous living conditions. he was doing good with potty training but lately he’s peeing and pooping in his crate. He doesn’t lets us know…barks after so we can take him out and clean it. I was told that does hate to lay on their waste but he doesn’t seem to care

    • shibashake says

      How long have you had him? For how long was he doing good with potty training and when did that change? So initially he did not go in his crate? Did something unusual happen around the time of the change? What is his daily routine like? Have there been any changes to his routine or your routine?

      In general, dogs do not enjoy laying in their own waste so a *properly sized* crate can be a useful tool for potty training.

      However, if a dog/puppy has been forced to stay in a crate for long periods of time, for example in a pet store cage, he has no choice but to go in there. Ultimately, it becomes normal to pee and poop in his cage. In this case, the crate is not longer a good deterrent for potty mistakes.

      When potty training my dog, supervision is *key*. There is absolutely no free roaming in the house until my puppy is fully potty trained. If I am too busy to supervise or need to be away for even 1 minute, I put my puppy in her crate or puppy enclosure. If the crate is no longer a good deterrent, then I use a puppy enclosure.

      I put the puppy enclosure close to where I am, e.g. in the computer room or close to the kitchen so that I can catch my puppy if she tries to dig or chew on her pads. When she does that, I no-mark, and get her to do something else. I change her pads as soon as she goes on them. There are also alternatives to training pads. I talk more about how I use a puppy enclosure in the article above.

      In terms of taking my puppy out, I observe her carefully and try to identify when she needs to go. For example, my Husky puppy needed to go soon after she wakes up and also after about 10-15 minutes of heavy activity. Therefore, I always take her out as soon as she wakes up and also after 10-15 minutes of play. Each puppy is different, so I observe each puppy and schedule accordingly.

      I also watch for potty signals and take my puppy out as soon as I see them. There is more on this in the article above.

  15. Scott says

    Hi! My partner and I have just adopted a Siberian husky from a kennel to save him being put to sleep. His name is Radley and he is extremely intelligent and eager to please and learn. The only problem I am worried about is that my partner is out 7 hours a day and myself 11 hours. He is 18 weeks old and shows signs that he may already be housetrained but due to being in kennels and separated from his original family we are worried that he may have anxiety and separation issues. Can you advise the best way to ease this and combat it so to reduce as much stress as possible, given that we are out all day.

    The weather is ok and I have a large bricked outhouse and garden he could be left in during the day…or is this a no at a young age?

    Any help appreciated. Like I said, he learns very fast and is so eager to please so with positive reinforcement I don’t think there is a lot he Couldn’t learn.

    Thanks in advance!! X

    • shibashake says

      Four paws up for saving a Husky in dire need!

      Does he show any anxiety or separation issues currently? With my dogs I make sure to exercise them well before I leave. Most of the time, when I leave, I keep them inside the house. This is because the house is more quiet and low stimulus, so they are generally more calm and relaxed inside. In the backyard there are more interesting smells, more noises, etc. In addition, there are some naughty squirrels or cats that sometimes sit up on the fence and tease the dogs. :)

      Also, my Huskies love to dig, and they can do it very well. My younger Husky dug her way into my neighbor’s lawn once when going after an Earth critter. Now I place concrete blocks all along my fence line to prevent digging.

      However, a puppy probably can’t hold it for that long inside, so something will have to be done for potty.

      In terms of separation anxiety, it depends on whether there is anxiety now and how serious the anxiety is. With my puppy I slowly desensitize her to alone time by starting with very short periods and slowly building up from there. The key thing with desensitization is that during the entire process, it is important to keep my dog from having any panic or anxiety attacks. The more positive and calm alone experiences my dog has, the more confidence she builds, and the greater her tolerance will be. Similarly, anxiety attacks will undermine that confidence, significantly set back training, and increase her level of stress. Therefore, it depends a lot on the current level of anxiety and how much the dog can currently tolerate.

      With my Shiba Inu, I also hired a dog walker who took him out on group walks to the park. In this way, he is not alone for very long, and he gets to do a fun but structured activity while I am away. Just be very careful about choosing an experienced walker who knows how to deal with Huskies. Pet sitter or having a neighbor drop by are also possibilities.

      This ASPCA article has more on separation anxiety and how to do desensitization exercises.
      More on my experiences with separation anxiety.

  16. Vincent says


    should i put the crate in the safe room(Kitchen in my case) with pads? and then when i get home i can take him out every time i see he wants to eliminate.


    • shibashake says

      With my puppy I put a bunch of bedding in there for her to sleep on. I did not put her crate in there, coz it does take up a bunch of the space.

      I think it depends on the puppy. Does your puppy like sleeping in his crate? Does his crate help him to relax and be more comfortable?

    • Vincent says

      He loves to sleep in his crate. Right now i have the pad on one side of the kitchen and his food and bed(Crate) in the other side, now that he’s 2 months old and i can take him out.

      Since he’s a medium dog(Blue nose pitbull) i don’t want to train him to go inside the house, but again, i have to work and leave the house usually at 6:00 am and i come back at 3:30 5 days a week. on my days off i spend all day take him into the crate then every 2 hours out to eliminate and he does! but when i’m not home i don’t have more options to leave him loose in the kitchen..

      what should i do? set a smaller place(like a pen) with pads or papers for him to stay while i’m not home? and then when i get home take him out to do the housebreaking training?.


    • shibashake says

      If he is doing well with the crate in the kitchen arrangement, then I would stick with that. It sounds like a good setup to me.

      With my dog, I just make sure that the kitchen or whatever enclosure I use is puppy-proof and safe. When I am home, I take my puppy outside to do his business.

  17. Zoe Saunders says

    I’ve read a lot of your replies to others and it has been very helpful. I have a 13 week old husky that we have managed to train to go out side now & we have only had a few accidents in the hous :-)
    The only concern we have is that his poo is still soft/runny, how long should it take for them to become solid. He full of beans and it doesn’t seem to affect him

    • shibashake says

      Runny poop can sometimes be the result of some kind of food allergy. Both my Huskies have very sensitive tummies, so I try to limit the type of food that I give them. They are both allergic to many types of grains, so I use a grain free, high protein kibble. Eating too much has also resulted in my puppy having soft poop.

      What food is your Husky currently eating? Does he get additional treats or people food?

      More on how I pick food for my dogs.

  18. Josephine says

    Hi I’m on my second husky (i now have two the first one is a lot older we’ve bad him for 3 years)

    The second husky is only a month and two weeks old (I didn’t have my first puppy until he was 3 months old) … it’s December now and really cold is it okay to take her out to pee and poop in this cold weather? I tried and she was just shaking and walking around very little. She would not poop or pee outside only inside. Her dad lives with us and they are getting along a little bit but the dad is too hyper … the mom lives somewhere else.. a little help please?

  19. Kenny Dang says

    I have a 4 months old huksy puppy and I dont know how to potty train him. I mean i would do everything in the “book” like when they pee or poop outside i show him love but alot of the time he just goes in the house. Even after 20 mins of going outside he would pee or poop. EVEN IF HE ALREADY WENT OUTSIDE! I really try my best to not get mad and hit him (sad to say) but i do hit him when time gets hard. please help me.

    • shibashake says

      When potty training my Husky, supervision is the most important thing. I try to not only maximize successful outings, so that I can keep reinforcing good behavior, but also to minimize mistakes in the house. If I cannot supervise for even 1 minute, I put my puppy in a safe puppy enclosure with puppy pads. In this way, my puppy either goes outside or on pads. I do not let my puppy freely roam the house until after she is fully potty trained.

      I also want to reinforce the potty outside behavior *very very strongly*, especially in the beginning. Therefore, when my puppy goes outside, I make sure to reward her EXTREMELY well, not just with affection, but also with her favorite food that she only gets on potty success, with her favorite games, and more.

      I make sure *not* to hit my puppy for potty mistakes. Hitting her will only make her more nervous and fearful, and may cause things to get worse because of submissive urination.

      I talk more about how I potty trained my Husky puppy in the article above.

      More on how I trained my Husky puppy.

      Supervision, consistency, patience, and repetition are the key ingredients for successfully potty training my Husky puppy.

  20. Storm says

    I have a 9 week old Australian Shepherd at the moment. She is very very smart and has already learned commands such as sit, lay down, and turn around. We’ve had issues potty training her though. She only sniffs and whines when she needs to poop but when she has to pee its a whole different ball game. Willow (my puppy) will be playing or laying by me and will look as though she is walking to go get some food or water or even a toy and just stop and pee. No whine, no sniffing, NOTHING. I don’t know what to do about it. It has proven to be very difficult to potty train her in my house. I haven’t had issues at anyone else’s house. Maybe I’m more cautious but she pees throughout the house without a thought. I don’t no what to do about it. Sometimes she doesn’t even really stop and just pees. I’m trying my best but this is my first puppy and I am only a college student.
    Willow has even peed in her crate sometimes but I think that is my fault considering I didn’t cut her water source off soon enough.
    What should I do though?

    • shibashake says

      Does your puppy ever pee when she is lying down? Has she been to the vet for a check-up? Does her pee look clear?

      The thing that was most important with potty training my Husky puppy (Lara) was very very close supervision. Sometimes, she doesn’t have very strong signals, but whenever she moves around, I am following her. Usually she walks to the corner before peeing, so as soon as I see her walking towards a corner, I take her out. I am following her and close by, so I can do it quickly before she starts. Also, as soon as I see her start to squat, I take her out.

      No free roaming for Lara without me shadowing her, until after she is fully potty trained. 😀 After that, I can ease back a bit, but still supervise to make sure she interacts properly with my other dogs, and that she is safe.

      I also try to predict when she needs to go. I do that by setting up a very fixed schedule and observing her closely. For example, I noticed that Lara often needs to go very soon after playing/activity. Therefore, I take her out after 15 minutes of play whether she shows any signs or not. She also usually needs to go soon after she wakes up from her scheduled naps.

      When I cannot supervise very closely, I put Lara in an enclosure with puppy pads. Crates can work with some dogs, but if a puppy is already used to going in her crate because of past experience (e.g. some pet store puppies), then using a crate is no longer a deterrent.

      I talk more about what I do in the article above. When in doubt, I get help from a good professional trainer.

  21. shanu says

    I had a shiba Inu and am now thinking to get an Alaskan Klee Kai, I noticed you have a shiba and a husky, are huskies easy to potty train like shibas? On a separate note is your husky okay with being left alone for hours. My shiba was fine alone 8 hours while I worked and wondering if that is the same as huskies?

    • shibashake says

      I didn’t really have to potty train my Shiba. He only made 1 mistake in the house on his first day, and after that he always let us know when he needed to go out. However, my Huskies needed proper potty training. It took a couple of weeks of close supervision.

      My Huskies are *a lot* more affectionate than my Shiba and like people attention. They are also a lot more energetic, and need more exercise. They also like being outside a lot more than my Shiba and they like digging. Husky Lara dug under the fence once and ended up in my neighbor’s yard. After that, we put concrete blocks all along our fence line to prevent digging.

      At most, I am away for about 4 hours, and that doesn’t happen very often.

      However, my Husky breeder tells me that the Klee Kai has a different temperament compared to a Sibe, and that is what I have read as well.

      More on Shiba vs. Siberian Husky.

  22. kirsten says

    I have a 14 week old puppy (husky) he is in full puppy mood..i have two other dogs that I successfully crate trained.. This pup how ever goes out side then even more as soon as I get in hse..

  23. Aisha says

    Hi there. I have a 5 month old shiba inu. He’s done well with the crate training so I’ve given him more freedom. Occasionally he will have an accident. Tonight he drank some water and fell asleep. I take him out an hour after eating or drinking. I woke him up to take him outside and he watched me grabbed the leash and peed at the back door. I don’t know why he did that when he knew I was taking him out. The other thing is he never lets me know he has to go out. I just have him on a schedule. Does your shiba let you know he needs to go outside?

    • shibashake says

      Does your shiba let you know he needs to go outside?

      Yeah, Sephy is good about that. He prefers to go outside, especially during walks.

      In terms of potty training, a puppy does not have as good bladder control as an adult dog, so sometimes he may just go if he can’t hold it in any longer. During potty training, I usually have a drag lead on my puppy (only under supervision and only with a regular collar, *not* a training collar). In this way, when my puppy needs to go, we go right away. I make sure to reward my puppy extremely well with his favorite games, food, and more when he goes outside.

      When I cannot supervise, even for just 1 minute, I put my puppy in a safe enclosure with puppy pads.

      I talk more about potty training my puppy in the article above.

  24. Jeniffer says

    I just got a toy poodle a week ago and she is not 9 weeks old. The first few days she was doing her business anywhere because she was not toilet trained. As she sleeps in my room on a couch she can not get off at night to do her business anywhere she wants, she whines to wake me up and I take her to pee on the pee pad. It was doing great until two days ago. She began doing her business on both the pee pad and the floor and then returning to the pee pad and sleeping on her own mess. Last night she pee’d in her own bed! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong here.

    • shibashake says

      Did anything unusual happen two days ago? Are there any other changes in behavior? Is she pee-ing more often? Does her pee look clear and normal? Has she been to the vet for a check-up? When she peed on her own bed, was she standing up or lying down?

      What is her potty routine like when things were going well? In particular, what happens when she makes a mistake and what happens when she goes on the pad? What is her daily routine like?

  25. Chris says

    I am getting extremely frustrated. I have a 16 week old shepard mix. I got her when she was 11 weeks old. Here is the problem….Since we’ve gotten her, she has a “designated spot” in the yard that we have her peeing and pooping in. She has been doing it consistently until this week. This week, she refuses to go pee or poop there and will fight to leave that area. It seems like she is afraid. She pulls on the leash, and jumps around to leave. This is something new and I can’t quite figure out what has changed for her. I don’t want to keep forcing her but this is the spot for her to go so that she doesn’t just go anywhere in the yard where people sit. She’s been doing it there since 11 weeks old now all of a sudden…….she won’t go. Any suggestions as to why and maybe how I can fix it?

    • shibashake says

      With my dogs, I have noticed that they don’t particularly like being around their own poop. I think it is a smell thing.

      For example, there was one time that I was experimenting with using sod for potty, after Shania’s surgery. She would go on it the first couple of times, but after that she really did not want to use it anymore. When I tried to get her on it, she got really stressed. After I aired the sod out for a few days (took it outside and no potty on it for a few days), then she was ok with it again for a short while. I think if the area smells too much like her own pee or poop, then she really doesn’t want to go near it.

      The same thing with potty pads.

      They don’t seem to have an aversion to poop from other dogs, cats, or other animals, just their own stuff.

      This article from the ASPCA on designated spot training does not deal with this specific issue, but it does have some good information on how to reward and maintain the behavior.

  26. Leah says

    Hi! I recently got a new husky puppy and he’s 9 weeks. I did my research and it seems like crate training works really well. Last night was the first time I put my husky in his crate and he absolutely hated it. He cried and howled for a very long time. I have the crate in my room next to my bed and I tried to calm him down, but the howling and crying didn’t stop. I took him out and let him sleep with me. I know it’s bad to do that because they think if they cry they can come out. But my family was asleep and I had school the next morning so I couldn’t just let him keep crying. Can I train my puppy without the crate? I do take him outside in the middle of the night and he has been going outside. Oh and he eats a lot! Like every second of the day. Is this normal?

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your Husky puppy!

      Can I train my puppy without the crate?

      I find the crate or enclosure to be useful for my puppy during the potty training period because it allows me to prevent potty mistakes in the house, when I am unable to closely supervise my puppy. It also helps me to keep my puppy safe and out of trouble, e.g. chewing on wires, jumping off couches, etc.

      However, each dog and each situation is different, so it depends. Dog behavior is very context dependent, so I modify things as appropriate to suit my dog and my own situation. How is potty training going?

      Here is an account of the first 10 days with my Husky puppy Lara. It is a very good reminder for me, on how very important constant supervision is for a young puppy.

      With crate training, I always start small and slowly build up my puppy’s tolerance for her crate. In this way, she becomes more confident and learns to associate her crate with positive events. More on how I crate train my puppy.

      I also slept with my puppy the first few nights, until she was more comfortable with her crate. However, the problem with this was that my puppy did make several mistakes in the bedroom during the night. I fell asleep and was not there to properly supervise her. Next time around, I may try tethering my puppy to me (in a safe way) so that if she moves away, I will wake up and can take her out.

      Oh and he eats a lot!

      Haha, yeah my Husky puppy loved to eat as well. In fact, she is older now but she still loves to eat. 😀 I try not to overfeed her though, because when I feed her too much, she may get an upset tummy. I tweak things as I go along.

      Has your puppy been to the vet for a check-up? I usually take a new puppy to my vet for a general examination, just to make sure everything is ok, and to set up a vaccination schedule if necessary.

  27. Mary S says

    I have a now 15 week old female french bulldog. She came home at 9 weeks. I’ve been doing my best to watch her ‘like a hawk’, have been keeping her on a schedule, and praise/give treats when she goes outside! She continues to have random accidents in the house and does not tell me (at least in a way that I have picked up on) that she has to go, which makes me feel frustrated and disappointed. I feel like I’m doing things right, but maybe she just isn’t getting it yet? She does well in her crate at night and when I’m at work. I have been taking her out every 30-45 minutes when I’m home and would like to start extending the time between trips, but I just feel like I can’t trust her. She is so tiny she slips away and 2 seconds later there is a puddle on the floor!!
    I have been continuing with the schedule, praise, and have now started doing special treats that she will only get when she goes outside. Is there ANYTHING else I can do differently? Trying to stay positive!!

    • shibashake says

      For my puppy, the key was full time supervision. If I need to be away or cannot supervise for even one second, I put her in her enclosure so that there is no slipping away. Any time she is roaming about, I am right there to supervise.

      Some people tether the puppy on their belt to stop puppy from going off on her own. I have not tried that though, as the enclosure method has worked well for me.

      More on the first 10 days with puppy Lara. In the beginning, we had lots of mistakes, but things improved a lot after I started doing full-time supervision (i.e. no free roaming without my full attention).

  28. Lindsey says


    My question is regarding house-training. My boyfriend and I recently adopted a about 13mo old golden retriever from a local humane society two weeks ago this Sunday (April 13th, 2014). We have another Shepard mix, male who is 1.5years old. He is well house-trained, also a rescue dog and they get along well except a bit of jealously issues… but they are manageable.
    The new pup, Tucker is very sweet, well-tempered, working on his manners/basic commands… but the MAJOR obstacle is house training. He does not seem to have any accidents (the first day he had several accidents indoors since though he has had maybe 3…) while we are home. He seems to have difficulty when we leave. We are very regimented with our daily routine; wake up around 5:30 let him out to pee, feed him once he done his business, we play outdoors for 20-25min before we leave in the morning around 8a.m. I have been coming home almost daily at noon to let him out/play a bit and then head back to work until about 4p.m. when we come home we play outside either go for long walk in woods, play ball, etc… for about an hour eat at 5:30p.m. and play again before bedtime.
    He has been messing in the house whether it be pee, poop or both nearly everyday since we got him…. I’m becoming so discouraged. We trained crate training and he was so anxious in there that he bent the metal bars and pooped/peed. Then we tried putting him in an empty spare room with his bed, crate, toys, and little water with a metal extra tall gate blocking the door… you don’t even want to know what happened to the gate =( So now we let him roam the house with as many doors closed as possible and all potentially dangerous items away but he is pooping and peeing; and it needs to STOP. I have been using Nature’s Miracle brand to clean the areas throughly (most often happening on carpet), bringing him outside or out of sight when I clean the areas, I do not reprimand him when there is a mess, and glorify him we he does his business outside. But I am at a loss as to what to do. These actions cannot continue and I do not want my emotions/frustrations to start being reflected on him.
    Any suggestions/advice/resources you have would be GREATLY appreciated. =)))

  29. says

    Hello there. I recently got a new siberian husky puppy. He is 2months old and a male one. Every morning, he eats his dog food but during lunch time, he doesn’t eat. Then he eats again at night. Is this normal? What should I do? Also, when I first got him home, he urinated around the house. The first night was ok. He didn’t cried a lot. Actually he cried but when I got him out of his crate, he bark and urinated. I think that is his way of saying, “hey, i’m gonna pee!”. I’m also having a hard time training him since he is moody. Sometimes he is so energetic that when his enery was drained already, he sleeps alot then when he wakes up, he becomes playful again. He also likes to go around the corners of our house. When I gave him tasty biscuits (dog food treats), he goes to the corner to eat it. What might be the reason? Please help me as I am a first time owner. By the way, I’m from the Philippines. Can you also give me tips on caring a husky in tropical areas. Hope to hear from you. Thank you in advance!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new puppy!

      1. When I get a new dog, I take him to the vet as soon as possible for a general exam. With puppies, I also set up a vaccination schedule. In this way, I can be sure that my puppy is healthy.

      2. I usually feed my puppy smaller meals but more frequently throughout the day. Once they are adult, I only feed them twice a day. Here is more on how I pick my dog’s food.

      3. I break treats up into very small pieces, so that my puppy can finish it in a single chomp. In this way, my puppy doesn’t get distracted with eating and I can motivate him more effectively. More on how I trained my Husky puppy.

      4. When a dog has something valuable to chew on, he may take it to a safe place to eat. In this way, he can enjoy it in peace and he can be sure that nobody is going to take it from him. When I give my dogs a high priority chew, I make sure to separate them. They usually like eating their chews in the crate. More on how I prevent food guarding with my dog.

      5. More on how I keep my dog cool during the summer. I am not sure if this will be enough for a tropical climate, but perhaps it is a start. 😀

  30. says

    Maximus the 8mth old Labradoodle has recently come to live with us. He is completely untrained. My partner and I are both patient and both willing to take the time to train him to go potty outside. As per your advice we take him out after meals and after playing, he just explores and then within 10 minutes of coming back in side he has an accident. To date we have only been able to catch him in the act twice and both times we interrupted, took him outside but he refused to continue.
    Do you have any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      For potty training my pups, I think that supervision is the most important thing. During the training period, I watch my puppy like a hawk so that I can always take her out as soon as I notice any potty signals. I err on the side of safety, so I take her out even if I slightly suspect that she needs to go. If I need to be away for even just one minute, I put my puppy in her safe enclosure, with puppy pads.
      Here is the first 10 days with my puppy Lara. At first, there were a bunch of mistakes, but after I increased supervision, things went a lot more smoothly.

      My Husky puppy usually needs to go potty when she wakes up and also after very rigorous play. I set up a fixed schedule and always take her out during those times, in addition to all the other times I notice her showing any potty signals. It may be different for different puppies though, so I observe my puppy closely and see when her favorite potty times are.

      It is important to not only maximize successes outside, but also to minimize mistakes inside – which is why the supervision is key. I also try and make things relaxed and positive, so if she doesn’t want/need to go, then it is no big deal.

      The other important part to potty training, I think, is to very strongly reinforce successes. I take my puppy out when she needs to go, so that as soon as she is done, I can mark the behavior, and reward her *very very very* well. I give her special treats that she only gets after potty, I play her favorite games with her, and I make it into a really big deal.

  31. charity says

    Hay there..I have read most of all your advice on the potty training for dogs.I have recently took in a two mnth. Old yorkie poo.her name is Dolce`.though she is a total sweetheart,and very good company she keeps me on my feet alot.when I first brought her home she was just being trained by previous owners to potty outside ,and so she would go to the door.Dolce,now feels that she can potty anywhere inside the house.I let her out to play throughout everyday and I even take her out on a leash to potty if iam busy and have short time to keep an eye on her.(another opinion please?)I give her a bath lastnight..left her collar off .this morning I went to put it on cos she wanted out to potty
    Meanwhile during me putting her leash on she peed on my pillow she was setting on..then about an hr. Later she peed again when I went to put her leash on..while we were just getting rdy to go out to potty..this made me frustrated.I lightly spanked her and went to get stuff ta clean the mess only to come back not even two minutes later to witness her doing number two ina different place..
    Neither accidents hapend in front of door…any advice? Please help..

    • shibashake says

      Puppies still have developing bodies, and often cannot hold their pee for long. This is probably even more true for small dogs.

      As soon as I notice my puppy needing to go, I rush her out right away. Since I am always there to supervise, I also leave a drag lead on, so I can get her out right away. I only use a drag lead under close supervision and only with a harness or properly fitted flat collar that is safe for a puppy (no aversive collars).

      If I missed my puppy’s cues and she has already started to go, I still take her out right away so that she can continue outside and I can reward her really well for doing the right thing. This helps to reinforce the behavior. Then I leave her outside and come back in to clean up the earlier mistake.

      Also, puppies may go for other reasons including stress and to show submission (submissive urination). For these reasons, I make sure to keep potty training positive, and I do not use any physical punishment. Physical issues such as urinary tract infection can also cause a dog to lose bladder control.

    • liz says

      I have a baby so watching my new husky puppy to potty train her is not always possible any suggestions.

  32. Aly says

    I feel like I am epic failing at potty training
    Out new pup is 8 wks old ( jack russell x sheltie). I am very patient and determined but am starting to feel frustrated with toilet training. In addition to the puppy I have a 2 and 3 yo who keep me busy.
    When I take our puppy to the designated toilet spot he NEVER ONCE has gone. Intake him out frequently to avoid accidents inside. I watch him closely and give him the ” toilet time” command. I have now resorted to a puppy pad and added bits of his own urine to it but no success. He runs away or goes somewhere else, although I’m home most days I do work part time And we keep him in the laundry. I gab newspaper down but he goes everywhere. Please help, I’m at my wits end….

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, my Husky puppy didn’t like going on her pad either if there is old urine. She will only go on clean pads.

      As for potty training, the most important thing for my pups was supervision. I only allow my puppy to roam when I am right there to supervise. If I cannot supervise for even one minute, I put her in her enclosure or crate. I put her enclosure in a people area of the house, so that she won’t get lonely or afraid. In this way, I can also keep an eye on her and make sure she goes on her pad. I use a pad holder so that the papers don’t slip on tile and it is comfortable for her to go on it.

      I make sure to reward my puppy extremely well when she goes outside with her favorite game, special treats, and more. Supervision is important so that I can maximize successes and keep reinforcing the potty outside behavior. If I miss my puppy’s cues and she starts to go inside, I make sure I am there to interrupt and take her outside. If she continues going outside, then I can reward the behavior and reinforce it.

      My puppy usually liked to go when she woke up and also after short play sessions, so I take her out then. At other times I observe her closely so that I can identify her favorite potty periods and also her potty signals. I talk more about what I do in the article above.

      How long have you had your puppy? It took about a couple of weeks to mostly potty train my Husky puppy, and then after that there were still some occasional mistakes. I continued with supervision until we were mistake free for several weeks. I figured it was better to be certain.

  33. Danny says

    Hi my name is Dannie, my husband and I got a 4 week old Siberian husky from la, we have almoste mastered peeing on the pad. (She walks up to it, sniffs it and squats, and she 7 out of 10 times pees next to the pad while smelling it lol) she gets the idea but can’t quite do it right, I still give her credit for trying. Also is her pee supposed to smell like iron or blood? It doesn’t have a color and its normal in fluidity, but it smells so aweful that when she’s done and I pick her up to congradulate her it smells so potent. Also another question is when she poops she eats it. I don’t know why or if that’s normal. Once she finishes she turns around… and it’s gone. She isn’t old enough to get her shots yet so I’m too afraid to take her outside for any potty training outside because of parvo and other risks.

    • shibashake says

      4 weeks is really young for a puppy to be separated from her mother and siblings. If possible, it is usually best to wait until at least 8 weeks.

      Has the puppy been to the vet? What food is she currently eating? I take a new puppy to the vet as early as possible just for a check-up and to make sure that everything is ok. Based on what I have read, the metallic smell could be because of infection (e.g. urinary tract infection), could be from the anal gland, dietary, or something else. Best to consult with a vet.

      As for poop eating, there are many reasons why a dog may show this behavior. Some dogs do it to clean up the den, it could be related to diet, etc. I train my dogs as early as possible not to do it, so that it does not become a habit.

  34. Sue Campbell says

    I have one dog thst is house trsined and just got a 7 month old puppy that needs house training. She refuses to potty outside. She waits till I bring her back in the house. Need help please.

    • shibashake says

      With potty training my puppies, two things were really important – supervision and observation.

      I need to observe my puppy closely, so that I can anticipate when she needs to go. In this way, I can take her out when she *needs* to go. With Lara, she usually needs to go when she wakes up from her nap and also after a short amount of rigorous play. I also set up a fixed routine her, so that her potty routine is also more regular.

      In addition to observation, supervision is also very important. I supervise Lara closely so that I can take her out as soon as I see her showing any of her potty signals (e.g. going to corners, circling). In this way, I can minimize mistakes and maximize successes. The more successes we have, the more I get to reward her well for going outside, and the more I reinforce that behavior. Similarly, the more unsupervised mistakes she makes inside, the more she learns that it is ok to go inside.

      I talk more about what I do in the article above.

  35. jeffrey says

    Hello, I have a question that I’ll try not to repeat for you :) I just got a 13 week Siberian husky. I’m doing every thing that I have read on potty training, my issue is her pooping! I feed her in the morning and evening, I take her out right after she eats and still every 30 min after (better more often then less to help train) BUT the problem is, she never goes right after eating. She could eat her food and then poop 4-6 hours later, no routine with her on the poop issue! I can take her out for 15-20 min waiting for her to go to the bathroom and the minute I get inside, then she will poop. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. PLEASE HELP

    • shibashake says

      With my Husky puppy, I fed her frozen Kongs to calm her down before nap time. After working on her Kong she usually falls off to sleep. I take her out when she wakes up. She usually has to pee then. For poop, I found that doing some activity helps. After she pees, I play with her a bunch as a reward, and she will usually poop after a bit.

      Also with pooping, my puppy has much clearer signals. In usual times, my puppy likes to be close by me. However, when she needs to poop, she will pace, go to the corner, and circle. As soon as I see her go to corners, I take her out right away. At worst, as soon as I see her start to get into squatting position, I rush her out.

      It is probably a bit different for each puppy, so I observe my puppy closely and try to look for patterns and consistent signals.

  36. doug says

    I have a weird question.my new 14 week lab puppy can hold his pee for several hours in his crate..But seems to pee server times and hour outside the crate…I don’t understand. He went pee his crate..But why doesn’t he hold it so we can take him out at certain times of the day…instead he is constantly walking up to the door looking like he wants to go out..then we let him out and he just digs in the grass and doesn’t go to the bathroom. He has to pee one out of every three times of going to the door. How do I know when he has to go to the bathroom our just wants to go cause problems in the backyard. And how do I get him to pee less often outside his crate?

    • shibashake says

      In the beginning, my puppy does that too. A puppy does not know that it is not ok to go in the house, so he will go whenever he needs to. Also, puppies still have developing bodies, so they generally cannot hold too much liquid and will have to go *much more* often than an adult dog.

      However, dogs in general, do not like soiling their sleeping area, which is why they usually prefer not to go in their crates. This is also why crates can be a useful potty training tool. Nevertheless, crates are not some miracle cure. If we keep a puppy in his crate for too long, he may be forced to go in there, which will be very stressful for the puppy and will also set back our potty training efforts.

      As for potty training, I set up a fixed schedule for my puppy so that his potty schedule will also be more regular. I usually take my puppy out when he wakes up and also after a short session of rigorous play. I observe him carefully, so that I take note of his potty signals, and can take him out whenever I see them. In this way, I can reward him *very well* for going outside and reinforce the behavior.

      With potty training, supervision is key so that I can not only maximize successes with my puppy (and reinforce the behavior), but also minimize mistakes (and prevent it from becoming a habit).

      I talk more about what I do in the article above.

  37. Chad says

    Hello! We just got our puppy. He is 10 weeks old. Australian cattle dog and lab mix (adorable). It’s been too cold and snowy to take him outside so we are potty training him with puppy pads. He is getting better with using them, but there are still plenty of accidents. When he has to pee, it happens so fast that we barely have time to react. Do you have any tips on improving this process? Also, any info on how to help with his constant biting and nibbling on everything? Particularly my fingers.

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new puppy!

      In terms of potty training, having a very fixed schedule helped with my puppy Lara. I also observed her very closely to try and anticipate her “potty time”. For example, she usually wants to go when she wakes up, and very shortly during/after some high energy activity.

      In the beginning, I took Lara out a lot – more than I needed to. It is no fun cleaning up messes, and for me, it is a lot easier to err on the side of safety. 😀

      During the early puppy training period, I also put a drag-lead on my puppy. I only do this when I am around to fully supervise and only with a properly fitted flat collar (*not* an aversive collar). If I miss Lara’s potty signals and she starts to go, I quickly give a no-mark and use the lead to interrupt her and take her outside.

      Some people may further tether the puppy to themselves, so that they are always close-by and can react quickly.

      For puppy biting, this is what I do.
      More on how I manage puppy biting.
      I also do bite inhibition training with all of my dogs.

  38. Amber says

    I just adopted an 8 month old Pomeranian. She was in a foster program that kept her in a barn so she is not potty trained. We are crate/potty training her and it bringing to get very frustrating. We will take her on long walks for 20+ minutes and we will get back inside and pee. She also doesn’t mind laying in her own pee and poop in the crate…
    I just don’t know what else to do.

    • shibashake says

      With my dogs, supervision was probably the most important thing during potty training. I want to try and maximize successes so that I can keep reinforcing the “potty outside” behavior, and minimize mistakes so that she does not get used to doing it inside.

      To do this, I supervise my dog very very closely during the potty training period. As soon as I see her showing signs that she might have to go, I take her outside immediately. I take her to her favorite potty spot and give her the “Go Potty” command. If she goes, I make sure to reward her *extremely well* for it with her favorite game, affection, special food, and more. In the beginning, I make they potty outside behavior very very rewarding.

      If I cannot supervise for even 1 minute, I put my puppy in her enclosure with puppy pads. In this way, she either goes on her puppy pads, or I am there to supervise and take her outside. Some people also use crates, but that will *not* work for dogs who are already accustomed to going in their crates/sleeping area because of past experience.

      I also set up a very fixed schedule for my puppy so that her potty schedule also becomes more predictable. I talk more about what I do in the article above.

    • Amy says

      I would love to hear an update and if you got through this issue. We have a 10 week old puppy who seems fine pooping and lying in it. Everything everyone told us about crate training is not working or not true for us. Even if I take her out once an hour she will still come back and poop in the crate. Will this ever end?

  39. Katie says

    I recently got a new puppy. She is 4 months old and I am trying hard to crate/housetrain her. However, the last few times when I go to put her leash on to go outside to potty, she will squat and begin in the house. Also, she is not a fan of her crate until she dozes off. I know with my work schedule she will spend a lot time in there. There have been times I’m trying to get things done and can’t watch her closely, so I put her in there. I don’t want her to view it as punishment. Any advice you have would be appreciated, especially with the going when I put her leash on.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Katie,
      Congratulations on your new puppy.

      In terms of the crate, here is how I crate train my dog.

      As for potty training, I usually leave a very light leash on my puppy when I am around to supervise (drag lead). I only do this with a properly fitted flat collar (*not* an aversive collar) and only when I am around to supervise. In this way, I can very quickly pick up the lead and prevent her from squatting.

      Setting up a fixed routine is also very helpful, as it makes my puppy’s potty routine more regular as well. In addition, I observe her carefully to see when are the times she is most likely to go, e.g. after rigorous play, when she wakes up, etc. Then I work that into the routine.

      Big hugs to your puppy!

  40. Jackie says

    Hi I have two pit I’ll puppies well now their 4 months old but when I first got then I tried crate training them but gave up because they would poop all over it and I would take them out they would have poop all over them they don’t mind pooping where they sleep so now I just have one sleep in my room next to my bed the other in the living room then in the morning I clean up the messes but I know this is bad so I need to fix this

  41. Elanne says

    Hi there,

    Recently i had just adopted a 1 and 1/2 years mix schnauzer, he has a poor background where he has been abused by previous owner till he does not know how to bark (as if like he is mute) . Besides, he spend his entire time in the cage till i adopted him..

    However , problem arise when i took him home with me, he dont seems to understand my command and likes to marks here and there,, whenever i tried to teach him or bring him into the toilet (i am living in an apartment and i can only bring him out once a week) , he dont seems to follow and start peeing and pooping everywhere..

    He gets excited easily where it create a great nuisance for my 6 years old miniature schnauzer(Ringo) as well. Ringo is a very dominant boy where whenever Taro (mix schnauzer) is around.. As well, Taro is very excited that he keep licking Ringo every inch of its body and start humming him after the licking, i tried to stop Taro from doing it but no use, after a while he start again.

    Usually, Ringo does not like my younger brother even before i start adopting Taro, but after Taro came, he became really aggressive that he start putting his teeth to Taro whenever Taro is nearby our kitchen where their food is placed there..

    Before Taro came, Ringo use to depend on my mummy or me to feed him with his kibble or he would rather starve himself till we feed him. Taro eats really fast and whenever he finish his bowl, he will tried eating Ringo’s portion, of course, I stop Taro from doing this and he no longer behave in such, however, nowadays, whenever i feed them kibble, Ringo will run towards Taro and start bullying him. I scolded Ringo for that because I dont want him to be a bully, so now whenever i place the kibble onto their bowl, his will start looking around to check where is Taro and Taro will quickly finish his portion and ran away from the kitchen.

    My questions is, how long does it take and how to potty train a hyper active dog like Taro as my mummy give me a week time, if Taro still does not behave, he will be sending away,

    Secondly, if there any way for Ringo and Taro to get along?

    Will really appreciate the advise from you . Thank you

    From : A helpless girl

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, I am not sure I understand, are you trying to potty train him on pee pads? Why can you only bring him out once a week?

      Young dogs have more energy and we will need to direct that energy into positive and structured activity.

      When I first get a new dog, I also set up house rules and a fixed routine. Then, I slowly teach my dog what those rules are. It is can be very stressful for a new dog to move into a totally new environment with totally new people, so I try to create as much certainty and consistency as I can, which will help to reduce stress.

      I find that training my dog is a group effort, and it is best when I get everyone in the family involved. I would get help from your mom and dad, and if possible, also from a trainer. This is especially important for retraining aggressive behavior because we want to keep things safe for everyone.

      Here are some guidelines on how to choose a trainer-

      Here is a bit more on how dogs learn.

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, and each situation is different because the dog is different, the environment is different, the routine is different, and all of this will affect behavior. This is why getting help is important – from parents and from a good trainer.

    • Anonymous says

      Because i dont have car to drive them out.. beside, my mum all day except for weekends, so they can only go out on weekend.

      I am trying to toilet train Taro as Ringo knows how to pee pee and poo poo in the toilet but Taro dont..

      And i am trying to think of a way of stop Taro from marking here and there..

      Thanks for the tips ..

    • shibashake says

      With potty training my dogs I have found that supervision is key. I need to be right there during a potty mistake so that I can no-mark, interrupt, and take them to their potty area. Then I make sure to reward my dog extremely well for doing her potty in the right place.

      The more successful potty events we have, the more I get to reinforce the behavior, and the more my dog learns to go in the right place. Similarly, the more unobserved mistakes there are in the house, the more my dog will think it is ok to go there because nobody is teaching her otherwise. This is why for my dogs, supervision is key, as well as setting up a fixed routine.

      I talk more about what I do in the article above.

  42. Alice says

    Hi, I think your website is amazing and I follow this as a guide to raising a puppy more than any other site. I actually really want to get a Shiba Inu or Husky but with alot of research, I figured as a first time dog owner I should not. Anyway, I got a Japanese spitz about one week ago and I have some issues with potty training. On the first 2 days we did not have a crate for him as we were reluctant of ‘caging him’ however later found his business all over the house. I am the main carer of the dog, (basically the only one) and so I have to do the cleaning up, and training etc. We got him a crate and he has been better with it now, he still occasionally whimpers when we close the door and only rarely goes in on his free will. I also did not sleep with him (I sleep upstairs) while he slept in the extension of the house near the main living area. The first day we got him the crate we did not use a divider and he pooped on the other side of it. He also woke up extremely early because my mother wakes up very early at 5am hence when she walks around the house, he wakes up. So learning from my mistake I used a cardboard sheet as one. The second night, he was okay and held it in, and I took him outside and he did his business there, but not in the desired place. The third night however, was horrible, he pooped in his crate and we had to clean the entire thing out. The next few days, he pooped in the house occasionally, probably 85% of the time. Hence I knew there was something wrong with my training – my supervision. From then on till now (about 2-3 days) I’ve kept him under very close supervision (following your advice), and now are trying to train him to poop outside (on command – just by saying ‘pee’ everytime he is almost finished his business) in a specific area.

    However, I have tried various techniques to take him outside to the specific place – he would not poop near me. I have tried using a leash but he bites that and gets easily distracted, and would just play with the grass. When I let him off he will run to an area which he has not pooed in before and do his business. A few times I have stopped him mid-poo/pee run to him and carried him to the desired area however he does not do it and prefers playing with the grass and 10-15minutes later finishing it off in a different place. I am attempting to do a schedule, I feed him once in the morning 1-2hrs after waking up (7-8am) , 1-2pm, 5-6pm. However he does not go until about 1-2 hours later. I initially attempted to let him poop on newspaper outside in a specific place however he would never do it, even when he showed signs of doing it before. Sometimes I would sit there with a leash on him and stop him walking away and wait for literally 4hours (his last business for the night but he would not do it – just sleep, and I think it is because I am pressuring him. One day (I regret doing this) I put an enclosed area with an opening for him to go in and out of and when I saw signs he would go, I put him inside and closed the gate which caused him to start barking and go berserk so I let him out and took off the gates. Now I would put him in his crate when I cannot supervise him and take him outside whenever he has signs of having to go.

    Just today when he went outside and I actually caught him, I praised him alot and gave him treats etc. played with him and let him inside. My approach now is to see where he goes, and what I did was show him the poop on a paper towel and follow me as I took it and placed it on his desired spot. Then I would leave it there until he next does his poop and repeat this step, continually replacing the previous poop with his most recent one.

    I’m sorry for this extremely long post (I don’t mind you probably skimmed over most of it) but I really need your help! I only just read the potty training part on your site and I know I have done the wrong things before (I was trying to follow methods from other sites and made my own mistakes as well but they did not seem to work for me) and I was wondering if I’m going on the right track and hope you can provide me some advice.

    Thanks so much,

    • shibashake says

      Hello Alice,

      Here are some things that seem to work well with my dogs-
      1. Crate
      I try to make crate-time be very positive and rewarding for my dogs. Crates can be very useful for when my dogs are travelling, sleeping at night, training, or for management when they are sick and more. Therefore I want them to associate their crate with good things, and feel comfortable, relaxed, and calm while in their crate.

      Here is a bit more on how I crate train my dog.

      2. Potty Training
      My dogs *don’t* really like pooping in places that have *their own* old poop. I try to clean up after them as soon as they go, which will also discourage poop eating behaviors. During walks, they may poop or pee over stuff from other dogs or other animals, but they do not like going over their own stuff.

      I also try to give my dogs as much freedom as I can, and I do not require them to go in a fixed spot. They can go wherever they want in my backyard. What I do is observe where they usually *like* to go. When I take them out to potty, I bring them to their usual spot and give them the “Go Potty” command. I do this, so that it is easier for them to understand what I am trying to say, but if they choose to go somewhere else, that is perfectly fine. I always praise and reward them very well for doing their business outside.

      I try to keep things simple and I try to stay very calm while interacting with my puppy. This helps him to stay calm and learn things quickly. If I am stressed or make a big deal out of the situation, my dog will pick up on my energy and get stressed himself.

      Congratulations on your new puppy and big hugs to him! 😀

  43. erin says

    I am posting on behalf of my Aunt who recently got a husky/shepherd cross puppy. Rio is now five months old and is not house broken yet, My Aunt got her when she was about 3- 3 1/2 months. My Aunt has been training dogs for over 10 years now and is almost at her wits end as to what to do. I trust that she knows what she is doing, when it comes to consistency and positive reinforcement so far nothing has worked. She thinks that although she is not submissive in many areas like around other dogs or their cats. She has a very playful nature. As soon as you walk up to her to pet her or go to put her on a leash she pees. She is a very sweet dog and has every aspect that my Aunt loves, so I am hoping that she will perservere, if not she is talking about possibly rehoming her. Does anyone have any advice? I would appreciate an answer as soon as possible,

  44. Naomi Williams says

    Hi there~ I have just welcomed 10 week old Siberian Husky Bleu into my home and would like to potty train her as soon as I can. The thing is, she has only just had her jabs and cannot go outside until Sunday which is another 4 days so I cannot teach her to go outside straight off. Will 4 days on puppy pads effect the training of going outside at all?

    Also, the breeder in which I got Bleu from used “Good Girl” when she did something right and “No” when she did something wrong. I also have a 2 year old which I use the same commands with o.O Will this effect her training is she hears me telling my son “No” when I tell him off? Should I teach Bleu new Yes and No commands just in case?

    Ah, and one last things. The last two nights she has been howling (or trying to) all night when we place her in the kitchen to sleep. We leave the door open and use a stair-gate to block the entrance. What can I do to help her feel more comfortable in my home and not want to howl and cry all night? (I stayed awake all night with her the first night she was separated from her brother and sister.)

    Thank you x

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Husky puppy!

      In terms of going outside, I would make sure to check with your vet. As I understand it, puppies should *not* be exposed to unknown dogs and feces from other animals until after they are fully vaccinated.

      Puppies should be vaccinated with a combination vaccine (called a “5-in-1”) at two, three and four months of age, and then once annually. This vaccine protects the puppy from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. A puppy’s vaccination program cannot be finished before four months of age.
      ~~ [ASPCA]

      I did dog socialization with my puppy through puppy class, and by inviting friends over. The puppy class that I went to checked for vaccination records for all the attending puppies.

      With potty training, I was able to train my Husky Shania on both puppy pads and then later to go outside. Shania had to go through surgery when she was young, so there were periods where going outside was not an option. Therefore, I trained her to go on puppy pads first. When the surgeries were over, I retrained her to go outside. It took a bit more time and supervision, but was doable.

      For the yes-mark and no-mark, I prefer to use more unique words or sounds with my dogs that I do not use much with others. This lessens the chances for confusion.

      In the beginning, I sleep with my puppy in the bedroom. My puppy has just left her mom and siblings, so it is natural that she should feel a bit stressed and be in need of affection and company. The first few nights I sleep with her on the floor in a sleeping bag. I tether puppy to me so that I can tell when she needs to go potty and can take her out. I sleep with her on the floor because I do not want her jumping off any raised surfaces.

      During this time, I slowly crate train my puppy.

      After my puppy is comfortable being in her crate and after I have gained some of her trust, I very slowly train her to get used to alone time. I first start with very short periods of alone time and then slowly build up from there.

      Big hugs to your puppy and Happy Holidays! 😀

  45. Leah says

    I seriously need your help ShibaShake! My 4 year old shiba inu, Kenji, is still using my house as a potty area and my family and I are at our wits end. We are by no means inexperienced when it comes to dogs and proper dog training but no matter what I do or how hard I try he still manages to get the better of me! And the worst part is he treats it as if its a game to him! I know that with dogs accidents are going to happen but this has got to stop, Now! Please I help me!

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, what methods have you tried? What is his reaction? How long have you had him? What is his routine like? What other house rules does he have to follow? How does he do with those?

      In terms of potty training my Huskies, supervision was key. During the potty training period I watch them all the time so that I can interrupt them and take them outside. If I am busy for even 1 minute, I put my Husky puppy in her enclosure with puppy pads. In this way, I minimize mistakes in the house and have more opportunities to reinforce the “potty outside” behavior.

      As for my Shiba, he also likes chasing games. I make sure never to inadvertently reward any bad behaviors by starting a chasing game. For example, Sephy used to grab the t.v. controller and run around with it. In the beginning, I chased him and shouted for him to stop, which only made the “game” more fun for him. I was inadvertently rewarding him for stealing the t.v. controller because he got a fun game of chase out of it.

      Instead of chasing him around, I put a drag lead on him (during training, only with a harness or flat collar, and only under close supervision). In this way, when he steals the controller, I can easily catch him and get him to settle down. He stopped stealing the controller after it became very unrewarding to do so.

  46. says

    Hello there,

    I’m a big time follower/reader of your blog, and I’ve been using it to help guide my training for the last few months now. I have a Shiba pup about 3 months old (will be 4 in December), and she’s been with me for about a week and a half now. She’s had a few accidents around the house (I work 8-5, but a neighbor comes and let’s her out for about 30 or so minutes) both when I was and wasn’t there to watch her. She spends the day in an ex-pen with pee-pads, and while she seems to use them while I’m at work, she also shreds them to pieces by the time I get home (this just started happening recently). I leave her with tons of kongs and food-dispensing toys, and a special frozen kong with peanut butter and things she only gets when I leave for work and when I get home. How should I discourage her from pee-pad chewing? Also, she tends to not want to pee/poop in front of me. I take her outside to her pee place, but she’ll just sniff everything, then sit down and whine. After 10 min. or so, I bring her back inside (into her ex-pen), and she’ll pee/poop right after I walk away. She’s even peed/pooped in her crate (but I think I need to divide her crate to make it smaller so she doesn’t poop on one end and sleep on the other; that’s my fault). How do I get her to pee/poop in front of me? I can’t praise her for doing the right thing if she won’t do it while I’m there. :/ Thank you!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on you new puppy! Koebi is adorable!

      In terms of pee-pad chewing, some dogs enjoy playing with and tearing up paper. My Shiba and Huskies all enjoy this game, especially when they were young. 😀

      To stop them from tearing up pee-pads, I have to be around during their pee-pad phase to supervise them. As soon as my dog tries to chew on the pad, I no-mark and redirect him to doing something else. If he keeps at it, then I remove him from the pen and close the door. I have to consistently do this many times so that he learns that if he chews on the pads, he does not get to be in his play-pen with all of his toys.

      Another possibility is to use something other than pads – that is less of a chewing temptation. I tried using sod at one time, but because of drainage issues, I had to change it almost every day. If I did not change it, my puppy would not go on it. Ultimately, it was just not a very viable option. Some people use the artificial grass systems but I haven’t tried those before. The weakness of artificial grass systems is that some dogs may not like stepping on it, and some dogs may not like using it.

      For pottying outside, I think it is a matter of routine. I find that my dogs will usually go with what they are familiar with or used to. Dogs that are used to going on pads, will usually continue to go on pads because that is what they normally do. When I was potty training my dogs, I only used pads when I absolutely needed to, for example when I needed to step away for a bit and could not supervise. When I am around, I supervise my puppy closely so that I can take him out as soon as I see that he needs to go.

      I also set up a very fixed routine so that I can plan to take him out at times when he most likely needs to go, e.g. after heavy activity and when he wakes up after a nap.

      Supervision is key when it comes to potty training. I need to be there and ready when my puppy needs to go, so that I can take him out and reinforce the behavior. The more times I positively reinforce the behavior, the more he learns to potty outside. The more time I spend supervising my puppy, the more chances I will get to reinforce the behavior.

      Big hugs to Koebi. I love her pictures.

  47. Tara says

    I desperately need help. We came home one night to a dog on our front steps. We found out more about him, that he was utd on shots and that his previous owners may have abused/neglected him. We also found out that he is deaf. we have since then decided to keep him and are going through the business of “potty training” It is hard to verbally direct him to do it outside so I am constantly watching him and I have noticed that he shows no signs of having to pee, he just simply squats. this is still somewhat better than before, we had to get him fixed and he has then stopped marking on everything, but now we cannot get him to stop peeing every 5-10 minutes (at least a cup full each time). He is very sweet and lovable and I have rewarded him tremendously when he uses the bathroom outside with treats and affection, but still nothing seems to work because as soon as we come in the house he goes more. He is only about 25lbs and a mut, but I can’t imagine how he still has some left in his bladder each time. We need help so very much seeing as how we already have 3 other dogs and they are showing signs of “accidents” because our new adoption is making it seem ok for the rest of them. Thank you.

  48. Kathy says

    Your site is amazing and is definitely helping me to maintain my sanity. Our son brought home a husky puppy 2 weeks ago. She is around 9 weeks old according to vet. We have 2
    10 year old male cocker spaniels who aren’t pleased but we are trying to integrate puppy.
    Puppy (Sasha) is not yet potty trained but does not soil her crate. Cockers were not crate trained so I am following all directions on your site. She comes to her name, sits, follows commands for down. Can consistent outdoor pottying be far behind? What a difference between cockers and huskies. I follow NILIF for her but it is too late for the cockers. When we praise and give a treat for pottying the older dogs line up for theirs. It is amusing. Any words of advice for a mom who just sort of got left in it? My husband helps too, but I am home the most. Thank you so much for all you do.

    • shibashake says

      Lucky Sasha! Sounds like things are going really well with her, so I am not sure what else I can add. 😀

      The one thing that comes to mind is puppy socialization. I did not do enough of that with my Husky Lara, and I wish we had done more when she was young. My two other dogs (Sephy and Shania) had a lot of socialization when they were young, and they are a lot more comfortable and relaxed with people, other dogs, and new things. Lara gets a lot more reactive, vocal, and over-excited compared to them.

      Here is more on puppy socialization –
      1. ASPCA.
      2. Paw Rescue.

      Big hugs to Sasha!

  49. Rachel Hartley says


    I have just re-homed a female jackawawa who is 9 month old and has had two previous homes. I don’t know much about her first home only they couldn’t cope with her behaviour (it’s a puppy!) so had her till she was 16 weeks then sold her on. I got her from a friend last week, who said she would give her to me instead sending her to the shelter. She said she was prone to accidents, chewed her house up, and was generally hyperactive. I asked how much exercise she was given and the answer was sometimes 200 yards to the corner shop. I live on a farm right by the beach so she has been going for 5 mile walks twice a day. I now have no chewing and she doesn’t tend to wee in the house. However, she will not deficate while you are there, and will hide and do it if you are in the room. As soon as she notices you have seen she will become submissive and wee. Even outside she will not do it in front of you unless she can find somewhere to hide. This makes it really difficult to praise her. She has also been crated for long periods of time and will deficate in the crate and lie in it. At the minute I’m confining her to one room with my other jack Russell (using baby gates round the rest of the cottage) and putting down newspaper when I go out. I have only caught her once for the first time today made ‘shoo’ noises and carried her outside where she finished off. I gave her loads of praise and she still did submissive wee. She is very nervous too. She has dedicated twice in the house since ‘the miracle’ this morning and I am ensuring I feed her at certain times etc. She will run to the door to let you know she wants a wee and I think she’s had the whole rub nose in poo traumatisation. Any ideas?

    • shibashake says

      For very fearful and submissive dogs, I always try to keep my voice soft and calm. Even excited praise can sound scary to them, which can then cause submissive urination.

      Lara was pretty submissive when I first got her, so I focused on building her confidence and gaining her trust. Some things that helped with Lara-
      1. I did very simple commands and training with her. I set her up for success, start small and go in little steps, as well as keep sessions positive and rewarding. Training is a good way to build confidence and gain trust.

      2. I played her favorite games with her. I always set up rules for our games, but I also make sure that it is rewarding and a whole lot of fun.

      3. I try my very hardest to be calm and consistent. I use a soft and calm voice. Sometimes, Lara may go a certain distance away from me or go behind a bush to potty. That is ok. I give her space to do her business. When she is done, I calmly praise her, call her over, treat her very well, and play a favorite game with her. When we are done, I distract her with an interactive food toy, while I go clean up her poop.

      4. I set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of rules. In this way, Lara knows exactly what she can expect from me, and what I expect from her in return. Certainty can really help reduce stress and build confidence.

      5. Eye-contact, physical contact, loud voices, or standing over a submissive dog can be somewhat threatening to him. In general, I like having Lara approach me on her own, which she is very happy to do because I reward her well for it with games, food, and affection.

      This article from the ASPCA has more dos and don’t for submissive urination-

      I am glad that Puppy has finally found a good home. Big hugs to her!

  50. Usman says

    Today i bought a german shepherd pup almost 1 month old..i want to ask that she is barking too much continuously and she is peeing again and again after 30 minutes almost..is it normal and what should i do. as she is 1 month old so what should i feed her ?? just milk or what ?

  51. Usman says

    Thank you so very much for the detailed answer.I hope you will not mint at all if i further ask some questions :) I wanted to ask that i have a specific place in my flat where the dog can pee/poop so can i train him to do his business on the specific place in flat and when i will be not around for some time will he go himself at that specific spot to do his business ?? Last but not the least question is that i am going to buy a pit bull pup but i don’t know how to recognize that its pure or not so if i attach 2-3 pictures of dog can you help me by telling that its pure r not ?? Waiting for your reply
    Than kyou so Much

  52. Usman says

    Hi there,
    Basically i love dogs and i desperately want to keep one But the problem is that i live in flat so i dont have space and no backyard or lawn where my dog can pee or poop So i wanted to ask from you experts that can i keep a dog in my flat and i take him outside once or twice in 24 hours to pee or poop.maybe this is a silly question But i know nothing about dogs and have no experience.Right now i am trying to gather information so that if its suits me i should go and buy a dog bec i desperately want one..Please help me out

    • shibashake says

      Puppies have less bladder control than adult dogs and their bodies are still developing, so they need to go pee and poop *a lot* more often than that. They are also energetic and need a lot of supervision, training, and structured activity.

      Adult dogs that are already trained need less supervision and exercise, but they still need a good amount of structured daily activity. I walk all my dogs daily for at least 1 hour. My Huskies are more high energy so we are out for more than that every day. In addition, I also play games with them, and supervise them while they play with each other. They work for all of their food through grooming exercises, obedience exercises, or interactive food toys.

      In addition to the walk, my adult Huskies go out about three or more times daily to do their business. They drink more during hot weather, so they have to pee more. If they are sick and have diarrhea, they may need to go more often and more urgently.

      Some things that I learned from my first dog-
      1. Dogs are a lot of work. 😀

      2. Keeping up with my dogs is more like a marathon and less like a sprint. Like the postman, I walk my dogs in wind, in rain, or in heat. If I am too sick or need to travel, I have to make alternate arrangements for their care and exercise. I have to come home and feed them, let them out, and exercise them – and can’t just take off with my friends.

      3. Dogs cost a lot of money. Food, toys, training, grooming, vet bills, and more very quickly pile up. Visits to the pet emergency room are extremely expensive.

      4. My dogs like and need a pretty fixed routine. They get stressed if my schedule keeps changing.

      5. Dogs may scratch up our furniture, chew up our nice shoes, try digging on our carpets, and more. Dogs may get ticks or fleas when out on walks, from other dogs, or other animals.

      Here are some questions I considered before getting a dog.

      There are also many good things that come from living with dogs – but they are a big responsibility.

    • meeeee says

      A dog the size of a german shepherd needs regular walks. You need to give this dog a free run of a back yard or walk for at least three hours a day. My suggestion would be to give this dog the three hours of exercise a day or get a smaller dog. We have a cavaschon puppy which needs only half an hour of exercise a day plus the freedom of our back yard.

    • shibashake says

      I don’t see why not. I just do potty training exercises in a consistent way in both places.

  53. Carina says

    Hi there!

    I am in desperate need of help! My boyfriend and I got a shiba in February. Yoshi was two months old at the time and he was mostly potty trained at the time. He would go outside in our backyard and do his business with occassional accidents as expected with puppies.

    However, the last two and half months have been a nightmare! Back in May we had one week where it rained all week and from that point on he would not do his business outside in our backyard. He has held his pee in for 24 hours or until he can’t hold it anymore and he will just pee in the house. He will pe and walk at the same time so there would always be a trail. I feel that at 7 months this should be under control somewhat but I just don’t know what to do anymore.

    For a little while we walked him and he would go but it would mostly be marking more than anything. And then we had conditioned him to only go on leash and when we were near by. Now I can’t seem to reverse this!
    I am so frustrated and I’m constantly cleaning up his mess in the hosue. At least 4 times day if not more!! =( We’ve tried buying a pee post and phermone spray but that hasn’t done anything for him. He will just sniff it and walk away.
    We have also tried crate, outside, crate, until he goes but still nothing. Everytime we think he has gone, he has only gone enough to get some relief and will go again once we let him inside the house.
    We have also tried praising and giving him treats if he goes outside but he still does not go .

    Any help or advice you may have would be greatly appreciated! I am losing my mind over this!

    • shibashake says

      When dogs that have been potty trained suddenly start to potty in the house, it can sometimes be due to a physical condition, such as urinary tract infection, or something else. Has Yoshi been showing other behavior changes? How is his eating and drinking? Does his pee look clear?

      Another possibility is that he is marking inside the house. My dogs are fully potty trained in my house, but they will sometimes try to mark when we go to the vet or training class, because they smell previous urine scent in the place. Dogs have very strong noses, so during potty training, it is important to totally clean up past mistakes.

      I also walk Sephy every day for at least 1 hour. He prefers to do his peeing during walks, and it also gives him an outlet for his marking behavior. He only goes in our backyard when he absolutely needs to. Therefore, I usually also take him out for a short walk in the evening as well, because I don’t want him holding-in his pee for too long. He always pees during walks, so it is a good way to manage his pee schedule. He does not like walking in the rain either, so we go for shorter walks when it is raining, but we still go, so he has a chance to clear his bladder.

      This article from the ASPCA has a lot of useful information on urine marking in dogs.

      As for potty training, the most important thing is supervision. I make sure to always have eyes on puppy so that I can take her out as soon as she starts to show any potty behaviors (e.g. going to corners or circling). The key is to bring my puppy out before she makes a mistake, so that I can teach her the right behavior, and reinforce it with very good rewards, including fun games, attention, and favorite treats that she *only* gets for doing her potty outside. I talk more about what I do in the article above. I make sure to go out with puppy every time so that I can properly mark the behavior and praise her.

      If I don’t catch things early enough and she starts to pee, then I interrupt her with a no-mark, and I take her outside to finish her business. My dogs usually do not pee when they are walking at a fast clip. If she continues doing her business outside, then I make sure to reward her very well for it.

      The best way, I find, to potty train my dogs, is to minimize mistakes in the house through constant supervision, and maximize potty successes outside. Potty training takes a lot of time and patience, but with consistency, a dog will learn to go outside fairly quickly, because it is much more rewarding to do so.

  54. Khrysty says

    I am bringing my shiba inu puppy home in 3 weeks. I am curious does it matter what crate I buy? Thanks!

    • shibashake says

      Do you mean crate size or type of crate?

      For crate size, this is a good discussion on the Shiba Inu forum-

      I got a 36″ crate for my Shiba, but he is a big Shiba (over 30 pounds). We can use a divider or some other barrier to make the crate smaller (if necessary) during puppyhood and potty training.

      I got a more closed plastic crate for my Shiba. He seems to like that more, and will often curl up at the back of the crate. I think he feels safer, more protected, and more relaxed. I got wireframe crates for my Huskies because they get hot a lot more easily, and a more open crate allows for better airflow. They also have much weaker guard instincts, so they seem fine relaxing in the more open crate.

      Congratulations on your upcoming Shiba puppy!

  55. Mike says

    Hi ShibaShake,

    We’ve had our Shiba Inu for a little over a week and a half now, and he’s 13 weeks old now. He’s had a few accidents, but mostly successes going outside. Apparently he’s lured me into a false sense of security with his good successes going outside this past week, he was even waiting at the door and howling yesterday (I wanted to test what he’d do if I wasn’t present, but clearly wanted to go outside and was impressed he made noise instead of going inside). This morning he had an accident though. I let him have the run of the living room after letting him outside (where he urinated) while me and my boyfriend were busy with the morning routine. When I returned to him there was a nice present waiting on the rug. At least it was solid, easy to pick up, and didn’t leave a stain.

    The living room seems to be a common area for him to have accidents (he’s only had around seven inside, three of them there). It is also sectioned off with a child gate most of the time, but we usually let him in after he’s gone outside to the bathroom recently. It’s also his favorite room to play in now (maybe because it’s the most spacious and he can run laps around it; which he does to much hilarity when he’s in hyper-shiba mode later in the evening! I’ve been letting him in the room more and more as I thought the accidents may be due to excitement and unfamiliarity with the room (i.e., he sees it as not being part of the den). I guess we have to be more vigilant about watching him in the living room to catch him in the act.

    Do you think it’s a good idea to section off portions of the house that we do want him to consider part of his home eventually? Or should we just crate him if we’re busy with some task and can’t keep an eye on him constantly? For example, right now I’m at home working and I usually keep him around my computer, and close doors to the other areas of the house. He always has access to the door outside to let me know if he has to go to the bathroom though. Should I be keeping doors around the home and the child gate open instead?


    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your Shiba puppy!

      I used baby-gates during Sephy’s puppy-hood as well. If I am in the kitchen, I would keep him in there with me while I do my chores. In this way, he still gets some freedom to walk around, work on his toys, come sit next to me, etc.

      When Sephy was young, it was good to have more structure and house rules for him. Structure and routine gives him certainty, lets him know what he can expect from me, and what I expect from him in return. Sephy is more calm and relaxed when he knows what the rules are, and when there is consistency. As he matured and got older, I very slowly gave him more freedom. I make sure the changes happen at a pace that he is comfortable with.

      Big hugs to your Shiba puppy and happy July 4th!

  56. celeste torres says

    We have a Shiba Inu…and we’ve just about tried everything to potty training her. I would let her out every 30 minutes while i was pregnant and since i’ve had my baby i only let her out every hr. Here is where the problem comes into play….SHE REFUSES TO USE THE RR OUTSIDE!!!! I can leave her out back for hours and she wont do her business but the minute she walks in the door she does her business….soon my infant will be crawling and I REFUSE to continue letting our pet use the rr in the house. I’ve aprraised her during her business outside we’ve been taking her on walks, hour long walks at that, and she wont do her business. So I’m not sure what were doing wrong.

    • shibashake says

      With potty training, supervision is very important. During the training period, I watch my puppy very closely. If I cannot be there for even 1 minute, I put her in her crate or puppy enclosure (with pads). In this way, as soon as I notice that she needs to go, I take her outside. I go outside with her to her potty spot and give her the “Go-Potty” command. If she does her business, I make a *very big deal* out of it (after she finishes) and reward her with games, attention, and treats.

      In this way she learns that-
      Potty outside = Bonanza of rewards,
      Potty inside = Get interrupted and taken outside.

      I describe more of what I do with my puppy in the article above.

      I always try to maximize successes and minimize failures. In this way, my puppy learns what the right behavior is and I can reward her well for it. The more she practices doing her potty outside, the more likely she will do it outside. The same is true for pottying inside the house.

  57. nataly says

    i just have some questions and hope to get some help please!i just got a siberian husky and it’s 2 and a half months old,what’s the quantity of treats can i feed him per day?because i felt it’s gone so hyper and started jumping and wholing in a way which scared me so i started to run and it was following me i know what i did is a bit weird but i don’t know why i always keep in mind that it will bite me or something!!
    the next question is how can i train him to walk next to me when i take him in a walk?and how to sit and come to me an those things.waiting for your advice dear!thank u

    • shibashake says

      If I start to run, my dogs will think I am playing a fun game with them and they will give chase. Dogs are very attuned to motion, and their instinct will be to chase a moving object. Running may also trigger prey drive in some dogs.

      Sibes are independent and high energy. I make sure to set up a fixed routine for my Sibe puppy and teach her a consistent set of house rules right from the start. I also engage her in positive structured activity, and teach her the right way to interact with people.

      Here is a bit more on how I trained my Husky puppy.
      This is how I trained her to do a Sit.
      This is how I trained her to walk on a leash.

      NOTE however, dog training is very context dependent and timing is very important. If we do not time things properly, our puppy may learn the wrong thing. Our own energy is also very important. If I want my dogs to be calm, I need to be calm myself, and teach them what behaviors are desirable to me. Based on what you say, it may be best to get help from a professional trainer. Here is more on how to choose a trainer.

  58. Devon says


    I have a 6 month old Siberian husky – Xena, and I am having a really difficult time potty training her. She can go 7 hours overnight without peeing in her crate but during the day when I am home and she is not in the crate she is constantly peeing all over the place. I live in an apartment building but have a huge concrete balcony. When the weather is nice I leave the door open at all times so that she can go outside on her own to relieve herself. This has reduced the number of accidents she has in the apartment. I, like other people that also mentioned it, have noticed that I can walk xena outside only to come home and have her pee in the house 5 minutes later. When we are home we actively supervise her at all times. When she has an accident she usually doesnt present any warning that she is going to pee. She just squats quickly and pees fast – not enough time for me to interrupt her and bring her outside. She has not pooped in the house but she does on the balcony – its not a habit i want to get into but its better than her going in the house. In addition, we live un nyc and xena pees and poops on concrete. She has never walked over to grass to eliminate. I was looking into the artificial grass area but im not sure she would use it. In addition, She just got over having a uti so I know that it is not a medical issue anymore. Please help!

    • shibashake says

      Some things that helped with Lara during her potty training period –
      1. I try to anticipate when she is going to potty. For example, she will usually want to potty when she wakes up and after she plays with my other dogs, so I take her out as soon as she wakes up, and after about 10-15 minutes of play (depending on age). I also set up a consistent routine for her, and observe her routine so that I can better anticipate when she has to go.

      2. I go out with Lara and reward her very well for doing her potty outside. This is very important because it teaches her that potty outside = a lot of attention, games, treats, and more. I make sure to reinforce her potty outside behavior *every time*, so that she starts to associate the behavior with something really good. This will motivate her to go outside because pottying inside gets her no rewards, and she just gets taken outside.

      3. In potty training, I have found that consistency is very important. I take Lara outside when I think she needs to go, and reward her well. If she goes to the door and indicates that she needs to go, I also go outside with her and reward her well. If she makes a mistake, I always no-mark and take her outside anyway. She gets rewarded if she continues to go outside. If she does not, then we just come back in and there are no rewards.

      Another technique that some trainers suggest for potty training young puppies is to tether the puppy to us. In this way, the puppy is right there with us all of the time and we can quickly interrupt and take her outside if necessary. I have not tried this with any of my dogs though, and I am not sure how well it will work with an older puppy.

    • Joshua says

      That’s an AWESOME name for your Husky!!!! I’m going to do the same if I ever get one!!! 😀

  59. Nicole says


    I just got a 7 week old male shiba inu, I know that patience is needed but I am confused as to what I am doing wrong. I live in a condo and I have a very good sized balcony that I have one of the grass potty systems on. I will sit outside with him for up to 30 minutes and he will not go potty and then as soo as I let him insdie he will go to the bathroom on the carpet. Any suggestiong, I think he might not like the sounds outside since we live on a busy street. I need help please!

    Thank you

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, Sephy is also very picky about his potty spot. He likes going on bushes, trees, posts, and such (vertical objects). He prefers to potty during walks, or in our front yard. He does not even really like going in our backyard.

      My guess is that Shiba pup does not like going on the artificial grass system. Does he go onto the artificial grass on his own to explore? One possible test is to bring the potty system inside to see if he will go on it. Some dogs don’t like the surface, some don’t like the smell, there may not be enough room to circle, etc.

      When he was at his breeder’s place, did he potty inside the house or outside? On regular grass or some other surface?

      I try to bring my puppy out when she is most likely to go (e.g. when she first wakes up, or after very rigorous play). In this way, she will very likely potty when I take her out, which means I can reward her really well and reinforce the behavior.

      I also try to minimize mistakes inside. As soon as she shows any potty signals (going into the corner or circling) I take her out right away. If I miss the signals and she starts to go, then I no-mark, interrupt her, and take her outside. She will usually continue when I take her out, so I can reward her well and further reinforce the behavior.

      In this way, she learns that –
      Potty outside = Lots of attention, treats, and a fun game,
      Potty inside = Get interrupted and taken outside.

  60. Jacob Pittas says

    I just got my Siberian Husky Kona the other day and so far things are going as expected. I know there will be messes to clean up, and supervision and time is needed to train him. There is one thing that needs to be stopped asap though, and that’s whining/howling when he’s in his crate. It’s non stop and very loud and will go through the night. I have roommates that are very dog friendly and ok with me having Kona, but they need the howling to stop. It can be heard throughout the house. Do you have any suggestions? I can put him in the garage where he can be barley heard but that doesn’t seem like its solving the problem. I could also leave him in my own bedroom with everything out of reach and clean, but he’ll still whine/howl and it kind of defeats the purpose of having a crate for training. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    • shibashake says

      Does he only vocalize when he is alone? Puppies often get anxious when they are left alone, especially in the beginning, because they have just been separated from their littermates, and are in a totally new and unfamiliar environment.

      When Lara was young, I put her puppy enclosure in the tv room, so that she can always see and be with people. Using a puppy enclosure in the beginning also helped, because then I had more time to train her to get used to her crate.

      Once we made good progress with crate training, I also tethered her for brief periods of time to her crate (only under supervision and only with a flat collar or harness). This was a useful intermediate step for us, because it gave her a bit more freedom, and got her used to calming down and resting around her crate area.

      Here is a bit more from the San Francisco SPCA on crate training.

  61. Stephanie says

    My 15 week shiba inu is still not house trained. (We got her at 8 weeks) she will go 4 days without an accident then 1 week with accidents all the time. My husband and I work 8 hour days and do not have consistent shifts ( although I was told I would before getting Maya). We try our best to keep her on a schedule but it seems to not work. We live in an apartment and I have read that it is hard to potty train a puppy in an apartment but I did not think it would be this tough. I do not have an enclosed area to “just take her out” we have to put on the leash, then walk down 2 flights of stairs to get her outside, so correcting the behaviour is hard. We have tried pee pads but she just destroys them. I have tried coming home on my lunch but it doesn’t seem to work either. Any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Stephanie,

      The only way I know of to effectively potty train a puppy is through supervision.

      With my puppy Lara, I am there to prevent mistakes and to quickly no-mark and take her to her potty spot when she makes a mistake inside the house. I reward her for going in her potty spot very very well, so that she learns –
      Going in her potty spot = Attention, rewards, play, and more,
      Going inside = No-mark, get interrupted, get taken outside.

      For a puppy to learn, we need to be there to teach her what to do, and what not to do. Here is a bit more on how dogs learn.

      When Shania was young, she had to go through leg surgery, so we kept her in an enclosure during the healing process. During that time, we trained her to go on puppy pads. I changed the pads as soon as she goes on it, and I am also there to supervise and train her not to play-bite on the pads. Puppy pads can be very helpful for situations where we are unable to go outside quickly or easily. However, supervision is still necessary.

      Some alternate possibilities for supervision-
      1. Hire a pet sitter.
      2. Get a friend, neighbor, or relative to drop by and help.
      3. Take some time off to train our puppy.

      Some people may also use dog-daycare, but that is only appropriate *after* our puppy is fully vaccinated. In a daycare, or other public kennel, our dog will be exposed to many other dogs, some of whom may be sick or contagious. Some daycare places may keep only puppies together, and check for vaccination records; but personally, it is not something that I would take a chance with.

      Some people may suggest using a plastic potty system that cannot be shredded. However, my Shiba is very particular about his potty ritual and he will not go on plastic potty systems. He is also a strong chewer, and has chewed up plastic objects before, which can be a health risk.

      When Sephy was a puppy, he was very energetic, mischievous, and full of curiosity. He needed a lot of structured activity, a consistent set of rules, training, and a lot of supervision.

  62. Mikayla says

    I have a teacup yorki and the house and crate training has been a nightmare. I was always told that dogs don’t like to be in their own “mess” or go to the bathroom where they sleep. But this little one has no problem being covered in it. Any suggestions? I feel like we have tried everything

    • shibashake says

      I was always told that dogs don’t like to be in their own “mess” or go to the bathroom where they sleep.

      In general, I think that is true. However, some puppies (especially pet store puppies or puppy mill puppies) are kept by their breeders in cages for long periods of time in their youth. As a result they have no other choice but to eliminate where they eat and sleep. After a while, they get used to it and think it is what they are supposed to do.

      Since there is already a potty association with the crate, one possibility is to use a puppy enclosure/pen instead. I make sure the enclosure is safe, put puppy pads in the enclosure, and teach my puppy to go on the pads (if need be) when she is in there. When she is outside, I am always there to supervise, take her outside, and reward her very well for doing the right thing.

  63. Holly says

    i have had a siberian husky for about 6 weeks now he is 11 weeks old and i cannot house train him! He did very well around week 2 and 3 and now all of a sudden he is peeing in his crate and peeing and pooping in the house….we only use positive reinforcements treats and praise but he has just taken a major step in the wrong direction and we just dont know what to do. Please help.

    • shibashake says

      Did something change recently that may have caused this change in behavior? Is he energetic and eating and drinking normally? Is his pee and poop normal? Has he been to the vet for an examination?

      Has anything else changed in terms of level of supervision, routine, exercise, etc.?

      What is his daily routine? When he pees and poops in the house, is he home alone?

      When there is a sudden change in behavior, there is usually something that triggers it. What has worked with my dogs, is to identify the source of that change, and help them overcome it.

  64. Tiffany says

    I just got a Shiba Inu three days ago, she(Mocha) is 3 months old and will be 4 months on January 3rd. I just found your website and I love it! I googled a lot about potty training and as advised, I bring her out after sleeping/a nap, eating and playing. She hasnt had any accidents today, a few yesterday but that was partially my fault since I think she was trying to tell me but I didn’t notice. I taught her sit but she only does it when I have my hands bunched up in front of her or if I have a treat holding it in the bunched up position(idk how to explain, sorry). She doesnt sit if I say sit while standing or sitting somewhere not having my hand in front of her. She automatically sits now when I have a treat, is that good? Also, when I bring her out now, she doesnt want to go in. Instead she sits there just looking around. She already peed but she still didnt go in, she used to go in after me but she didnt follow me in today so I just picked her up and went in while saying “Come in” totry and teach her to come in when I say that. Any advice on that? She also sleeps a lot, is that normal? And one last thing, she only goes out if I go out, any advice?
    Thank you! Help appreciated!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Shiba Inu puppy! She sounds like a very clever and sweet girl.

      In terms of commands, my dogs also learned the visual gestures first. I give them different hand signals for different commands. In the beginning, I repeat a command very frequently using visual gestures. Once they are doing well with a particular command, I add in the verbal and keep practicing. Then, I try just the verbal without the hand gesture.

      When I first did this with Lara, she was a bit confused. She did not really understand what I wanted because she learned the commands first using visual cues, which I believe is more natural for a dog. So I waited while she tried out different things and finally she got it. Sometimes, it was necessary to help her out with a slight hand gesture, but with enough consistency and repetition, she was able to learn the verbal cue in addition to the visual.

      In terms of “Coming In” or more generally, coming when called, this article from the ASPCA has a very nice list of recall training techniques-

      She also sleeps a lot, is that normal?

      Hmmm, how many hours does she sleep? What is her regular routine like during the day? Does she have a good appetite? When I get a new puppy, I usually take her to the vet early-on to get a general check-up and set up a vaccination schedule.

      Big hugs to Mocha and Happy New Year!

  65. Nikola says

    My fiancé bought me a shiba as an early Christmas present and he is adorable and very loving, however he is making me want to rip my hair out!! I was able to train him to poop outside very early on (thank god), but he pees everywhere- all the time! We’ve tried crate training him as well and that isn’t working either. I’ve tried rewarding him when he does go outside, the trouble is, when he comes back in..he pees what seems like every 5 min inside as well! He pees in his crate, he pees….pretty much everywhere. He’s got lots of energy so I don’t see him being sick in any way. I take him out when he wakes up all the time, every 1/2 hr to hr of being awake, after eating, before bed, once during night, and stop water 3 hrs before bed and only gets it every few hours during the day-what am I doing wrong? He was so easy to poop train!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Nikola,

      If puppy is peeing really frequently, then there could be a urinary issue. Is his pee clear or cloudy? When I get a new puppy, I find that it is really helpful to take her into the vet right away, for a general check-up and to setup a vaccination schedule.

      With Husky puppy Lara, she usually needs to go when she wakes up and also after any kind of play or exciting activity. At most, we do 10 mminutes of play then I take her out. Other than that, supervision is key. I try to look out for her “pee signals” – e.g. circling, going to corners. When she starts doing any of these things, I take her out right away.

      If I am too slow, then I calmly no-mark, interrupt her, and take her out for her to finish outside. I praise her very well when she continues outside and reward her with very high priority food (something that she only gets during potty training) and a very fun game. We stay outside for a while, and then I check if she needs to potty again before we come in.

      If I am too busy to supervise, I put Lara in her enclosure with puppy pads and bedding.

      Supervision is probably the most important thing in potty training. If I am there to catch her every time, I can limit the number of mistakes, and maximize reinforcing her for doing the right thing.

  66. Eve says

    I got my Shiba Inu when he was 3 months old. he is now 8 months, and absolutely refuses to go outside. I don’t understand why, at the start he always went outside to use the bathroom, and now he fights me to put on his harness, and fights me outside b/c he does not want to walk or use the bathroom. I’m a bit worried, I don’t know what to do.

    • shibashake says

      When did this start? Did it coincide with changes in the weather outside – e.g. getting more rain? Sephy does not like going outside when it is too wet. He also does not like doing his business too close to the house, so we usually walk a bit before he will do his business. Trees and bushes are his favorite spots.

      We use a collar with Sephy because in general, he does not like having anything on his royal Shiba body. The collar is the least amount of material, but even so, we desensitized him to it carefully.

      How is your Shiba’s energy level while in the house? Have there been other changes? Does he like going out into the backyard or not at all?

  67. MamaWolf says

    Ok, a few questions. My Sibe Luna will sleep in the crate all night, whining only a bit when first put into it. However, she pooped in the kitchen at one point, so I crated her to clean it up (didn’t scold her). She went nuts. She was digging at the plastic floor, biting the bars, pawing at everything. Even when I sat there with her, she was panting and wearing herself out… do you ignore the outburst at that point until they calm down?

    Also, even though we have her sleep there at night, she never goes in on her own. She doesn’t look in it, doesn’t explore it, and never sleeps there during the day. I can understand her sleeping in the study where I am, but sometimes she’ll go into the bedroom and just sleep on anything else. One morning we weren’t ready to get up, but she was, so we just shut the bedroom door and kept her in with us. She slept on a pile of clothes. When we were worried about our jeans and stuff, we moved the clothes, but she still didn’t go to the crate. My husband lay a sweatshirt down for her, and she’ll go sleep on that sometimes. So basically, she doesn’t seem to see it as any sort of sanctuary.

    Also, I think it may be too big… do we need to replace it?

    You talk about scheduled crate time. How do you schedule it? Do you leave any toys in there? Just chew toys?

    • shibashake says

      Interesting. The crate thing happened with Shania as well. She pooped on her bedding in her enclosure, so I put her in the crate and proceeded to clean up the mess on her bedding. She went nuts in the crate and pooped there again.

      I think she sensed my energy – that I was stressed, frustrated, and unhappy. In addition, she probably didn’t get all the stuff out the first time. My guess is that the flurry of activity (getting her out of the enclosure without her stepping on the poop), combined with my unstable energy, combined with the sudden confinement, got her really stressed out. All my dogs are very good at picking up on my energy even when I don’t say anything. After that, I never used the crate again in that circumstance.

      If she makes a mistake inside, I try to stay very very calm, interrupt her, and take her outside. If that is not possible, I also have a secondary smaller enclosure with puppy pads but no bedding. I put her in there, and then I clean up the mess. That seemed to work well for Shania.

      do you ignore the outburst at that point until they calm down?

      In Shania’s case, I let her out right away. This is because-

      1. Her behavior came from stress and not from anything else.
      2. The confinement was contributing to her stress, and making it worse.
      3. I want her to always associate the crate with positive events.

      Context is very important in dog training. The general wisdom is that we should not reward undesirable behaviors, so if our dog whines to demand attention, we should ignore her until she calms down.

      However, in Shania’s case, her frantic behavior was borne out of stress, and the confinement was exacerbating the situation.

      One important lesson I learned, during my difficult Shiba days, was to be flexible. I carefully look at Sephy’s body language to try and understand where he is coming from, and I try to take everything into account. I do what I think is right given the surrounding context, and given what Sephy is saying to me. I try to follow the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law.

      In terms of crate training, I go slowly during training and I pair it with positive rewards including food, attention, and relaxation.

      I usually let my dogs work on frozen Kongs while in their crate. Sometimes they work on chicken stuffed chew toys. I only use *very safe* chew toys. Some dogs can tear chunks out of toys, and these chunks can become a choking hazard.

      When Lara was young, we would have about 2 hours of activity, training, and working on food toys, then nap time and repeat. Each dog is different though, so I set-up Lara’s schedule based on her activity level at the time. At night, Lara would sleep for a longer period of time, maybe about 6 hours. Then she wakes up and needs to go out. After she got a bit older, she slept through the night.

  68. Mack "The Truck"'s Mom says

    Great advice on potty training – THANK YOU. We have a new rescue dog in our home. While he is beyond precious…we are struggling with the potty training. As he was a breeder rescue, his previous life was confined to a very small crate where he slept and poor guy also had to go to the restroom. As such we are having some challenges with him going in his cage.

    We would love some tips on this.

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, one possibility is to use an enclosure instead of a crate when we are not around to supervise. I used an enclosure with Shania after her operation so that she didn’t have to go out every time she needs to potty. In that way, our dog can go on potty pads, and at the same time does not get into the habit of soiling in the crate.

      After the dog is potty trained, we can slowly reintroduce the crate and help him associate it with positive outcomes.

  69. Haleigh says

    Hi, ShibaShake! I was wondering if I could have a little bit of advice.

    So, I’m 12 years old. Plain and simple. My stepfather is a traditional (stick) trainer, and will yell at me for not keeping Shiloh from messing in the house. He will tell me to swat her, shove her muzzle in the feces/urine, and shout at her. We brought her home on Sunday, October 28th, and it’s only been a couple of days. Both he and my mother actually yell at me for not fixing it.
    Shiloh is a 5 and 1/2 month old black and white ticked German Shorthaired Pointer puppy, and for her whole life, she has lived in an outdoor kennel. Today, she was doing good, we thought she was learning her house training, but then she urinated 3 times within at least 2 hours. We leave water out for her access at all times, but she doesn’t drink it very often.
    Even though I tell my stepfather not to hit her (she’s my dog), he still does, and yells at me. He says positive reinforcement is dumb and you ‘always need treats’, and we often go round and round in our arguments. My mom, being a non-animal person that knows nothing about training, just screams at me. What do I do? I don’t want to involve physical negativity, and my mother and stepfather both won’t buy me a tether for her, or treats, so I have no way to work with her. Is there any other way? Please help.

    • shibashake says

      Actually, what I found to be most important in potty training my dogs is supervision. During the training period, I keep puppy close to me and watch her closely. In this way, when it looks like she is about to make a mistake, I interrupt her and take her outside.

      I take her to her potty spot, and say “Go Potty”. If she does, I praise her very well, give her attention, and also play a really fun game with her. There are many types of rewards we can use to motivate our dogs, and treats is just one of them. We can also use attention, fun games, and also the dog’s regular food. In fact, rather than giving my dogs free food in a bowl, I make them work for all of their food. This is good exercise for them, helps them redirect their energies into positive activities, and teaches them a good work ethic. This is also called the Nothing in Life is Free program.

      With close supervision, I am able to maximize the number of successes that end with a reward, and minimize the number of mistakes. Also, I clean up all the messes, so nobody else needs to get involved if they don’t want to.

      Here is a bit more on what I do to train my Sibe puppies.

  70. Morgan says

    We just got 2 Shiba Inu Males – 8 weeks old. They have not yet been crated in the 4 days we had have them. They use our uncarpeted downstairs and their crate is open at nights. Should we shut the crate tonight?? They sure do whimper a lot during the night. They do not understand about potty yet. We try and reward with treats. Any ideas for the little guys?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Morgan,

      When Sephy was a puppy, we kept him in his crate, but had the crate in our bedroom so that he could be with everyone. That worked out pretty well, and if he needs to go potty during the night, we will know and can take him out.

      Some other things that helped-
      1. We stopped giving him water a few hours before bed.
      2. We got him to go potty one more time right before bed.
      3. If we need to give him treats then, we would only use wet treats so he does not get thirsty.

      Still, young puppies have small bladders and may still need potty breaks during the night. When Sephy needed to do that, we would take him out on-lead, go to his potty spot, and give the “Go Potty” command. If he goes, then I make a big deal of it and reward him really well for letting me know he has to go, and then for pottying in the right place.

      Otherwise, I would wait about 10 minutes or so. If he doesn’t go, we come back in and he goes back into his crate.

      I also did a lot of crate training exercises during the day with Sephy so that he would get used to it and learn to associate it with positive experiences.

  71. William says

    I have a new 4 month old siberian husky named bolt. He is very energetic and smart with my training. But i really have trouble with teaching him how to potty. The previous owner only put him in a cage and never lets him outside, so he never learn how to housebreak. He often poops on the floor, its his favorite spot. I even took him for a walk in the morning and he still doesnt poop until we enter the house. I caught him right in act sometimes and immediately make him smell his poop and punish him with my high NO voice. I have only been with him for 3 days but im wondering have i been doing the right thing? Will this work?

    • William says

      I always leave him in the cage whenever i leave. I only let him out when i take him to walk and play

    • shibashake says

      What seems to work for my Sibes-
      1. When Sibe puppy makes a mistake, I calmly no-mark her (say Ack-ack) so that she knows it is an undesirable behavior.
      2. Then I interrupt her and take her outside calmly.
      3. Usually she will continue with her business outside, so I reward her very well with food and a very fun game.
      4. I come in alone and clean up the mess.

      In this way, she learns that doing her potty outside = lots of rewards, while doing her potty inside just means she gets interrupted and taken outside. She quickly got very motivated to let me know when she needed to go.

      Other things that help with potty training my Sibes-
      1. Putting them on a fixed schedule.
      2. Close supervision. We want to be there to consistently prevent mistakes, and maximize successes.

      I describe more of what I did in the article above.

    • shibashake says

      It depends on how we go about crate training the puppy. I always go slowly and make training sessions positive and rewarding. In this way, my dogs associate their crate with a calm, safe place, that they can go to to eat and rest.

      More on crate training.

      However, as with anything else, mistakes can occur or equipment can be misused.

      Problems can arise when we force our dog to stay in the crate (e.g. for punishment) or keep a puppy in there for overly long periods of time. Sometimes, dogs are only crated when nobody is home, which causes them to associate crate time with being alone. All of these things can create negative associations with the crate, that can then lead to stress, anxiety, and fear.

  72. Sam Park says

    Hi, my family just recently got a 4 month old puppy from some friends that had to move, his name is Bolt and he is a white husky, and we knew it would be hard for us to train him because he was with the other family for 2 months and they had not taken very good care of potty training him. We are following your advice and he like to potty in the living room and in front of the bathroom and will go to the bathroom as soon as 15 minutes or more after he has already gone…what should we do? and is it okay to cage him for punishment? ,Thanks so much

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new puppy!

      When I catch my Sibe puppy making a mistake, I just calmly no-mark her (Ack-ack), interrupt her, and bring her outside. If she continues to do her business outside, I praise her very well, and reward her with treats, and a very fun game. Then, I come back in (alone) and clean up the mess.

      In terms of potty frequency, young puppies may have to go more often because their bladders are not fully developed. My Sibe puppy also needed to go more frequently after she does some rigorous activity, e.g. play, run around, walks, etc. How often does Bolt need to potty? Has he been to the vet for a checkup and vaccination shots?

      As for the crate/cage, I generally only want my dog to associate it with positive experiences. This makes her like going into her crate, which she does at night and sometimes during the day to eat. The crate is her safe and peaceful spot where she goes to sleep, rest, and sometimes eat while thinking great thoughts. 😀

      For timeouts, I put my dog briefly in the laundry room. But only for more serious offenses.

  73. Troxell says

    I’m getting a shichon puppy in about 2 weeks and I’m trying to get prepared for him. I have 2 small children and want to avoid any accidents in the house if possible. What is the best way to go about this? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your upcoming new puppy.

      As for potty training, I think the most important aspect is supervision. When Lara was a puppy, she was doing so well with her potty lessons that I slacked off on the supervision slightly (e.g. go on brief bathroom breaks without putting her in her enclosure). As soon as I started relaxing things, she started making lots of mistakes.

      After this, I made sure to always put her in her enclosure even if I will only be gone for 30 seconds. Puppy can do lots in 30 seconds. 😀

  74. kevin stewart says

    My 12 week old male husky, when placed in an enclosure with training pads… tends to tear up the pad during the day… How can I teach/keep him from doing this??

    • shibashake says

      With Lara, I first started training her to stay in the enclosure when I am home and can supervise. When she starts to get restless and goes to bite her pads, I would no-mark and then get her to chew on her toys instead. If she keeps going back to the pad, then I just put her in the backyard, and she doesn’t get to be with people or my other dogs for a while.

      Other things that seem to help-
      1. I used a pad holder so that the pad stays in one place. Motion often gets a puppy excited, and she will want to pounce and chase it.
      2. I make sure she is very well exercised before I leave.
      3. I give her many safe chew toys to play with. She got a lot of frozen kongs during puppyhood.

      Another possibility is to use something less-chewable. With Shania, I tried using sod but ran into drainage issues. Some people have success with those artificial-grass potty systems. However, I have not tried using them, so I do not know how well they work.

  75. Jonathan says

    Hi ShibaShake,

    Thank you for your informative articles. I am thinking about adopting a Shiba from a local rescue – about 2 years old. The foster home says that it has been housebroken and will wait for 8-9 hours before going potty. I don’t think this is acceptable and plan on bringing it out every 3-4 hours for potty.

    However, I am also wondering if I could train the Shiba to use my toilet or go in my bathtub (I am thinking of building steps for it to go). I would like to teach my Shiba to go in my bathtub as and when it wants. If so, who can I talk to or where can I read up on it? I would like to figure out how to use positive reinforcement to teach it that technique.

    I am not asking out of laziness – I still plan on bringing my Shiba out 3-4 times a day. I simply think it’s unphysiological to make my Shiba hold it in while I am not at home.

    Thank you.


    • shibashake says

      With Sephy, he is very particular about where he does his business. He most prefers to go during his walks and will usually even disdain using the backyard. Even when he goes outside, he picks special spots that presumably have the right set of smells. He only goes in the backyard when he absolutely needs to.

      The bathtub has a slippery and cold surface that dogs often do not like. My dogs may smell the tub but they do not willingly go in there on their own.

      Sephy has free access to the backyard whenever he wants. He may sometimes go outside to sun himself, but he does not pee in there very often (his choice). When you gotta go, you gotta go, but when you don’t gotta go, then you don’t gotta go. 😀

  76. Sarah says

    My shiba inu is 9 months old. I was wondering if you have any advice on how to get him to go to the bathroom in our yard. Right now, he will only go if we take him for a walk.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, Sephy is the same way. I think it is a pretty common Shiba trait.

      When he really has to go though, he will go in the backyard, so I don’t think any harm comes from it. I just walk him daily and make sure he has many chances to relieve himself. 😀

  77. Anonymous says

    Hi Shibashake,

    We took our 19week shiba puppy to our basement where she loves to play. She hasn’t had an accident for a while and always let’s us know if she has to go pee. When she layed down on the floor to chew on her chew toy, she peed while laying down! It just didn’t seem right and we would like to know what to do.

  78. Peyton says

    I have two Boston Terriers and we successfully potty trained both dogs, or so we thought. Duke our older dog(7yrs.old)almost never pooped or peed in the house even during almost 6 hour periods during the school/work day and during the night. Edward who we got when Duke was about four we potty-trained and had luck! After about a year we felt we could trust him to stay out of the crate during the school/work day. He did good some days and bad others but nothing crazy. Duke had diaherra(excuse my spelling) and had to go back to the crate, he never acted sick and ate regularly. So just before we were about to take him to the vet he pooped regularly in the yard again! Ever since that both dogs have been acting like we’ve never potty-trained them in the first place! We are having our carpets cleaned today I think that will help. I have no idea what happened can you help me please??
    -desperate dog lover

    • shibashake says

      Hello Peyton,

      1. Diarrhea

      When my dogs have diarrhea, they often have a hard time holding it in. I let them out more often and sometimes, they may also need to go out at night. Recently, my younger Sibe Lara got giardia, which gave her bad diarrhea. She was still eating well and energetic, but she had to go out very often to do her business.

      The vet gave us pills and some powdered medicine to give her, and we also switched her over to a bland diet. She got better after a couple of weeks.

      In general, I find that when my dogs have diarrhea, switching over to a bland diet really helps.

      2. Potty training

      Hmmm, I am not sure I understand the timeline. It sounds like Duke’s diarrhea had already cleared up on its own? And then after that he started doing his business in the house frequently? Is his diarrhea totally gone? Did he visit with the vet? Is he on medication? Did the potty mistakes happen only after the vet? Did something else happen during the time of the potty mistakes?

      Usually when I potty train my dogs I supervise them closely until they fully stop going inside the house. Once they have no potty mistakes for about two weeks, I feel better about relaxing the level of supervision.

      Consistency and supervision are very important during the potty training period. If a dog can sometimes go on his own inside the house, then he may not know that we only want him to do his business in the backyard.

  79. Tara says

    I have a chihuahua that might be mixed with another, unknown small dog breed. He’s a super sweet dog and he’s somewhere between 1 year and 18 months old. We live in an apartment and I’m getting ready to start working 2nd shift and my husband works 3rd shift so he sleeps while I work and I sleep while he works. Unfortunately, that means our puppy will have to be kept indoors during my second shift, which will be from about 2pm till about 11 pm. We have one of those training mats that have a compartment that catches the urine and a grassy mat on top. Our dog won’t use the bathroom on it. I tried getting some of that spray that’s supposed to help but it only makes him want to lay on it, not pee on it. I want to be able to put him in the kitchen while I’m at work so that he has some space to run around and play but I need to get him to use his mat. Any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tara,

      He probably does not know that he is supposed to go on the training mat. It may help to go back to basics and supervise him when you are home to go on the mat (while he is in the enclosure). With Shania I just no-mark her when it looks like she is about to go on the floor and put her on the potty pads.

      Another thing I have observed is that Shania will happily go on clean pads but she does not go on them once they are soiled. My guess is that she does not like going on an area that smells strongly like her own urine. When she had to spend time in her enclosure, I made sure to always provide her with clean pads and to change them frequently.

      Hope this helps and big hugs to your Chi!

  80. Erica says

    My friend made a very selfish decision to get a cavipoo while living in a crowded 2 bedroom apartment which does not allow pets. She has not been committed to being a dog owner from day 1, so I started puppy sitting her when she was about 4 weeks old. Now I have her about 5 days/nights a week and then she goes home to the apartment. She is 7 months old now and is still struggling with going potty solely outside at my house. It is extremely frustrating because everything I teach her gets forgotten as soon as she leaves.

    When she first started coming over I used the puppy pads more and than going outside, but now that she is here so much I’m really trying to get her to go solely outside while she is here. She is getting it most of the time, but once in awhile she will still use her pad or even go in some random spot throughout the house.

    Should I stop putting out the puppy pads while she is here-even when she has been gone for a couple of days? Should I retrain her by using the crate?

    It is very frustrating for both myself and the puppy. The same thing applies for jumping up on people, barking, biting, digging, coming when called, and any of the tricks I’ve taught her. Once she comes back from the apartment she is back at square one.


    • shibashake says

      Hello Erica,

      It may be best to have a friendly chat with the owner and convince her to follow the same routine and training. As you have already observed, consistency in training is very important. If puppy is allowed to jump on people sometimes and not on others, then puppy will learn to try jumping first, because this may be one of those times where she is allowed to jump. The same is true for other behaviors.

      If the rules keep changing, puppy will get confused as to what the rules are. With my Shiba puppy, I learned that consistency and a fixed routine were both very helpful in getting him to stay calm, building his confidence, and lowering his level of stress.

  81. Jamie says

    Hi, I have a 9 month old shepherd Rottweiler mix pup who’s very much potty trained when we are home, he won’t go no matter what, I only know because I’ve slacked a few days when I’ve had the flu and he’s gone all night and well into the afternoon without pottying and just laying in bed with me. But if we aren’t home(we always take him out before we leave) even for an hour, he has an accident. We were crating him, but he is very destructive and would chew and break the metal bars and plastic ones don’t stand a chance. Leaving him in a safe spot doesn’t work because he gnaws on door frames or anything close by. He gets at least an hour walk a day and has plenty of chew toys…I’ve left potty pads and came home to them chewed up and pee on our rug…it’s becoming quite frustrating and I’m not sure how to fix the problem.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jamie,

      It sounds like it could be a separation anxiety issue. Some dogs may get very stressed when left alone, which may cause them to escape from crates, even to the point of hurting themselves. Stress from separation anxiety may also cause potty mistakes, chewing on furniture and walls, etc.

      Here is more on Separation Anxiety

      Here is a more general article on Dog Anxiety Problems

  82. marisol says

    hi um i am going to get a siberian husky soon but i have a problem i waited till summer so i could train the pup and i am going to creat train her. but when school starts again i dont know how it will work. i was thinking to get it when ts nine months old so by the time school starts it can stay in the creat for twelve hours.but i have also have two cats one may be fine with the pup but the other my be to scared and i wanted to get the pup small so the scared cat would get used to te pup before it got really big but if i get her nine months old will she be to big to introduce to my ant’s two cats? my sister also has a siberian husky and when she showed the husky to the cat it kind of scard the cat ithink y sidters dog was oneyears old.if nine months is to big what are some things i can do to make the cat not scared of the pup and make sure the pup is jentl with both cats?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Marisol,

      I have two Siberian Huskies, Shania and Lara. They both have very high prey drive and will go after cats. They also spend a lot of time hunting for gophers and mice in my backyard.

      Based on what I have read, Sibes can be trained to live with house cats but because of their high prey drive, that may be more challenging and may take a lot more patience and time. I don’t have any cats myself, so I don’t have first hand knowledge in this area. However, I always liked this post on cat training-

      As for time in crate for potty training, that only applies to young puppies. However, Siberian Huskies are very active and energetic dogs. My Sibes are always on the go, and need a lot of structured activity throughout the day. Otherwise, they will try to escape or create their own activities, that will likely lead to property damage and who knows what else. 😀

      More about Siberian Huskies.


  83. Carolina says

    Hi, I have a 4 year old male Lab and I have PERFECTLY trained him to ONLY go to the bathroom outside. I did this by taking him out every 2 hours and praising praising praising when he went (in the begining I would even have to go at 4am, 6am, UGH, and just walk walk walk until he went – I never gave up on that). Today he can (has to only in an emergency situation where I just CAN’T take him out) hold for almost a whole day (again, this rarely is the situation).
    Oh well, so now I am about to get a chihuahua. I would like her to go on a weewee pad now that she is very young and can’t really go outside, and later be able to go on a weewee pad AND ALSO OUTSIDE. Do dogs do well with this kind of thing? To be ok to go “in the house” but on a weewee pad, and know to hold to go outside too?

    I take my lab out for long walks to go the bathroom, raining or sunny, 3 to 4 times a day. Would a chi work on this schedule too? That is why I worry about the dual training. I am not a fan of pads =/ It seems to make the training a bit more complicated to have them go in only two places – pads or outside. Any easy to understand tips, please? =)

    • shibashake says

      Hello Carolina,

      In general, I think it is easier to train a dog to not potty in the house and just potty outside. However, sometimes, we may not be around or it may be unfeasible to take a puppy outside frequently. For example, when Shania was young, she had to go through a series of surgeries. When she was recovering, we had to keep her activity level very low, so we mostly spent time with her in an enclosure that had bedding and potty pads. We put the potty pads in the corner, far away from the bedding. She was fine going on the potty pads, and we praised her for going on them.

      Once she recovered, she preferred to go outside because when she does her business outside she gets praised, special treats, and a really fun game. Since it is much much more rewarding to go outside, she quickly learned to go to the door whenever she needs to go.

      In terms of frequency and length of walks it depends on the energy level of the dog. For example, many Terriers may be small in size, but they usually have a lot of energy. I usually walk puppy separately first. That is helpful for leash training and also to gauge the energy and comfort level of the puppy. I only walk my dogs together if they have about the same energy level and are comfortable walking at around the same pace. For example, I walk Shania separately from my other dogs. She is a three legged dog and gets tired more frequently, so we have a lot more rest breaks.

  84. Habago says

    Hello ShibaShake! I came across your website while looking for potty training tips for my new puppy. He’s a Havanese and 9 weeks old. I’ve been potty training him for about a week now. He is very good about using the potty pads when I restrict his play area to tile. However whenever he encounters a rug he gets very confused and pees. My questions are as follows:

    Is it possible to have rugs while training a puppy with pee pads? I’ve read that puppies can’t tell the difference between the two. I’ve also read about people getting frustrated and going so far as to get rid of all the rugs in their home.

    Will using a pee pad holder help? Will a pee pad in a holder feel different than a rug?

    Finally, how can I correct my puppy’s offending behavior? I always praise him when he goes potty on the pad. But I can never tell when he’s gone potty on the rug until after he’s walked away. My puppy is very obvious when he wants to go poop. He circles around and does this squat walk. But I can never tell when he’s going to pee! He doesn’t sniff. He doesn’t lift his leg. Sometimes he pees in the middle of walking. Sometimes he pees while stretching.

    Any advice you could give me would be a great help!

    Thanks, and I love your site!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Habago,

      Is it possible to have rugs while training a puppy with pee pads? I’ve read that puppies can’t tell the difference between the two.

      Hmmm, that is interesting but not something I have observed with my dogs. While Husky Shania was recovering from her leg surgeries, I mostly kept her inside the house. She was mostly in her enclosure area with bedding and puppy pads, but she did not really show any interest in going on the carpets or rugs in the house. My other puppy Lara also had access to puppy pads while in the house. She would sometimes make mistakes on the carpet, but in her case, it was simply a potty mistake and not confusion about pad vs. carpet. She would sometimes make mistakes on the tile floor as well. After I fully potty trained her, she stopped going in the house.

      At this point perhaps puppy has learned that going on tile is not ok, but still does not understand about carpets? It could also be that puppy got accustomed to going on carpets in his old home.

      Another possibility is that there may still be some left over smell from previous mistakes, which may encourage a dog to treat the area as a potty spot.

      Finally, how can I correct my puppy’s offending behavior? I always praise him when he goes potty on the pad.

      What has worked with my dogs is to reward really really well for the right behavior, especially in the beginning. When they potty outside, I praise, treat with something special that they only get for doing a good potty, and play their favorite game with them. In this way, they are highly motivated to potty outside.

      As for stopping the behavior inside, we usually want to catch them in the act or as close to it as possible. I would keep observing puppy closely to see what his tells are
      – Is there a specific area that he favors? During puppyhood my Sibes would pee close to the wall, so when they go sniffing at the edges, I take them out right away.
      – Is his body language different when he is about to go? Does he put his head down, take his tail up, is his posture different?
      – Does he usually stretch before peeing?

  85. Jennifer says

    We adpoted a beautiful 4 month old german shepard mix about 5 months ago. She quickly learned to go on the potty pads and has had barely any issues with pottying anywhere but her pads. Now that she is older and can hold her waste longer, I want to train her to go outside. We live in a condiminum and either my husband and I are home all the time so we usually take her outside if we see she looks like she is about to go potty on her pads. Once outside though, she sniffs around and looks like she is about to go but never does. We’ve been outside with her for hours at a time waiting for her to go but nothing. Our 8 year old Beagle knows how to cry at the door to go out and Bailey (german-shepard mix) has caught on to this but hasn’t caught on to actually going outside. This evening she has peed on our bed as well as our couch and I think it is because of all of the changes of going outside has stressed her out? I do not know what to do. Please HELP!!!!!!
    Desperate Doggy Owner

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jennifer,

      She may think that she is only allowed to go on potty pads, and not on grass. With my dogs, I have also noticed that they prefer to go on grass, which is the surface that I initially potty trained them on.

      Some things that may help-
      1. Associate a verbal command with the potty action.

      Initially, I associate the “Go Potty” command with the potty action. When I am pretty sure that my puppy is about to do her business, I say “Go Potty”, then I reward her especially well for doing it “on command”. I keep repeating this every time she does her business. This helps her associate the verbal with the action, so that I can later use it to communicate with her and let her know that now is a good time to potty, or this is a good spot to go potty.

      2. Put a potty pad on the grass.

      As a transition step, putting a potty pad on the grass may help her learn that it is ok to do her business on grass. I always make sure to reward really well when puppy potties in the right place. I give her affection, food, and also play a very fun game with her.

      3. Long walks or exercise.

      I have noticed that my dogs are more likely to potty after some rigorous exercise, e.g.long walks, or high energy play sessions.

      It can sometimes be difficult, but I also try to be relaxed when puppy makes mistakes in the house. Dogs are usually very sensitive to their people’s energy or emotional state. When I am stressed or angry, my dogs pick up on that right away and often get stressed themselves. As you say, this can cause them to make even more mistakes.

      Big hugs to Bailey. She sounds like a wonderful girl.

  86. Selina says

    HI :)
    this site is very useful ! :) and your dogs are very adorable !

    i recently bought a 2 month old beagle, her name is Yuri.. (btw, its my first time to take care of a dog)
    we live in a condominium so we decided to let her do her thing is a small tray we provided for her.. sometimes, pees and poops on it, but most of the time, she poops anywhere… if we suspect she’s about to poop, we put newspaper right away…

    my main problem is this.. during the night, we leave her outside our room, Yuri would not sleep unless there’s someone beside her, so I always sit beside until she sleeps, most of the time, I rub her belly to make her sleep… or carry her like a baby until she fell asleep…is this normal for a puppy?
    i had been doing this for a week
    to make things worse, whenever she poops in the middle of the night, she would scratch our bedroom door and bark to wake me up to clean her pee and poop, she would not stop until its cleaned… usually she poops at 12pm, 1am, 4am… *i am already tired but i have no choice…

    we tried to put her in her cage but she keeps barking and howling… i am worried that the neighbors might complain so i did not continue with this method…

    HELP!! i am very tired 😐 and frustrated…

    i will take her outside when she’s old enough, the vet advised me not to take her outside yet because she might acquire bacteria, viruses etc…..

    ***your reply would be a big help .. THANKS A LOT :)


    • shibashake says

      Hello Selina,

      In terms of potty training, I train my dogs to only potty right on their pads. If they get used to pottying wherever in the house, then it will be more difficult to potty train them later.

      With my Sibe puppy Lara, I set up some puppy pads in her long-term enclosure. In this way, she has some place to go when I am not around to supervise. I make sure to praise her and reward her for going on her pads. If she tries to go anywhere else, I no-mark her and take her to her sanctioned potty area. If she continues, then I praise her and reward her.

      In terms of sleeping, my dogs sleep with me in the bedroom in their crates. With puppy Lara, I slept with her for the first couple of days, then I slowly desensitized her to her crate.

      It is natural for puppies to whine and cry when they are not getting their way. I make sure not to reward this behavior though, because if I do, puppy will just keep repeating it. I always wait for them to be quiet before giving them anything, including my attention.

      I also make my dogs work for all the things that they want, including food, toys, access to the backyard, and also for tummy rubs! 😀 I do this by following the Nothing in Life is Free program.

      Here are a few more things that helped with my dogs during puppyhood-

      Hugs to Yuri!

  87. LARISSA says

    Hi Shiba, thanks for your reply.
    Yes, that is very unusual! Well…answering your questions…maybe we can figure it out!

    Did she do her business after you got home and took her out? Yes she does…but she is not doing it on her pad…she does it specially when we’re not around her…or not looking at her…and she does it on the floor, she pees a lot then because she held all day! But when we take her outside she pees and poops too…I think she likes outside…but we were not taking her outside because she still doesn’t have all shots and we live on the 34th floor! That’s why we wanted her to use the pad….but now that she is holding it…maybe it’s better to just start taking her outside?
    But when we leave her alone in the kitchen all day…there is a pad there and she used to do her business there (both) but now when I get home the pad is clean…there is no signs of pee….

    How is her appetite? Does she drink water regularly? Does she have water and food in the kitchen during the day? How is her energy level?
    We feed her twice a day, 06h45am and 06h45pm. While we are gone for work we just leave a kong in the kitchen with some food so that she can play and also eat during the day…she drinks a lot of water too. She is full of energy and loves to run in the house!

    It could be a health issue, in which case it would be best to take her to the vet for a checkup.

    Did something change 10 days ago?
    Well I think we didn’t established a routine…on the weekends when we’re home we don’t wake up so early and she realizes that we’re home…from Mon to Fri she is all by herself…could it be an issue?

    Did she eat something she shouldn’t have? Sometimes…pieces of paper or anything she finds on the floor…we always try to keep the floor clean.

    Were there any schedule changes? Yes…a lot…specially on the weekends…

    Were there changes to the location of the pads and type of pads used? No…not change at all.

    Any food changes? Same food

    Are there any other behavioral changes? Yes…I think she is kind of…scared of us sometimes…not sure….I think she was feeling so pressured to pee on the pad that she started to hold it….I don’t know :(

    What do you think?
    Thanks again!!!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Larissa,

      It is difficult to say for sure from just online communication.

      Yes…I think she is kind of…scared of us sometimes…not sure….I think she was feeling so pressured to pee on the pad that she started to hold it….I don’t know

      This could be it. What happens when she pees in the house?

      With my dogs I find that consistency and clear communication work best. I set up a clear mark and no-mark, and have clear and consistent rules for them. In this way, they know what is expected of them, and what they can expect from me. A fixed routine also helps with my dogs.

      When their environment becomes uncertain, they get stressed which can result in various unhealthy behaviors. Here is more on how I train my puppy.

      It may also be useful to get a professional trainer to come and observe her just for a couple of sessions. By reading her body language, a trainer will be better able to identify what is triggering her behavior.

  88. says

    Hello! My Boston Terrier puppy (14 weeks old now) learnt to use her pads since day one! She was perfect! Smart and was always using the pads only….but since 10 days ago she stopped using the pad…she pees and poops on the floor and her pads were no longer used, I am trying to make her go back to the pads…I don’t know what happened…she won’t use them anymore….need help please??? Also, she leart to hold it for long periods…she is only 3 months and she can be in her crate during the night (7 hours) with no problems…She stays alone all day confined in the kitchen with toys and the pad (which is about 9 to 10 hours) and for my surprise yesterday she didn’t pee or pooped at all!! She held it for 9 hours…and is only 3 months old…is this normal? Could this be related to the fact she is not using the pads anymore? Maybe she is scared? No idea….please help me!! Thanks a lot! :)

    • shibashake says

      She held it for 9 hours…and is only 3 months old

      That is very very unusual for a young puppy. Did she do her business after you got home and took her out? How is her appetite? Does she drink water regularly? Does she have water and food in the kitchen during the day? How is her energy level?

      It could be a health issue, in which case it would be best to take her to the vet for a checkup.

      Did something change 10 days ago? Did she eat something she shouldn’t have? Were there any schedule changes? Were there changes to the location of the pads and type of pads used? Any food changes? Are there any other behavioral changes?

  89. Matt says

    I have a 5 month shiba and she cries whenever she wants to go outside & does great with that. But at night I’ll taker her out and she will do her business, even have her on a schedule for feeding. But she still does her business in the house. We will not even be gone for too long like 2-4 hours and she still does it. I dont know what else to do. I keep her in an enclosed area with a piddle pad. She will sometimes pee on the pad then rip it up. Anything else I can do to help her get better about doing her business in the house? It’s becoming very frustrating.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Matt,

      Does she do her business in the house when you are around, or only when you are out? If it is only when there is nobody home, then it could be because of separation anxiety.

      My Shiba, Sephy, gets very anxious whenever there are any changes to his routine. In the beginning, we would just go away for a few seconds and then come back. Then once he was comfortable with that, and started ignoring our shenanigans, we slowly extended our away time.

      Here is more on my experiences with separation anxiety-

  90. chris says

    Okay so I have some concerns. My husky is 4 months and she knows where to do her business in the puppy pad but I’m also trying to train her to do her business outside. She happens to do both. I don’t know if I should praise her for pooping and peeing in the pad or not even though she doing her business inside the house at the right spot I’d would highly rather her to do it outside but the thing is, I don’t know her signals when she wants to go. I cannot tell at all. Also when I walk her around the park she doesn’t do her business there, she dones’t like it for some reason but I don’t know how to make her. I even stayed for like 2-3 hours and nothing. And when I leave her in the backyeard I close the door and hoping she will just jump or scratch at the door when she’s done. And when she does do that, she didn’t even do her business outside. I’m so lost and I don’t know what to do. Please help

    • shibashake says

      Hello Chris,
      When my Sibe was a puppy, I would praise her for going on her pads, but when she goes outside, she would get a bonanza of rewards including attention, food rewards, and a fun game.

      I take her out after she wakes up, after short play sessions, as well as when she starts to pace and goes to corners in the house. I always go out with her so that I can reward her really well for doing her potty outside.

      Also when I walk her around the park she doesn’t do her business there,

      Yeah, my dogs were the same way. In the beginning, they much prefer doing their business around the house. I think this may be because they feel somewhat vulnerable when they are crouching, so puppies prefer to do that on safe ground.

  91. Channy says

    Hi i have a female labradore she is 8 months old i have tryed everything to get her to wee and poo outside she goes out in the garden and walks she does have wees and poos outside but she also does it inside :-/ she knows she has done wrong because when she has done this in the house she runs off and hides :-/ often she will come in from being out fer walk or in garden and just wee on floor i have tryed since she was 6weeks old to stop her doing this and i just dont know what to do anymore i tryed the treats when she does something outside and prasing her up !? I admitt i have rubbed her nose in her wee and put her in garden and also tapped her nose and pointed to wee and said no n then put her out and told her outside when we go to go out i say to her do u want go wee wee n she wags her tail but when she comes in its wee straight on the floor she dosent poo as much as she wees in house !!!?? Any suggestions at what else i can do :-( this is very fustrating now im at the end of my thever with her ..thank you

    • shibashake says

      Dear Channy,
      With my own dogs, I find that the best way to potty train them is to supervise them very closely. In this way, I am there when puppy makes a mistake, and can no-mark her calmly (Ack-ack) so that she knows it is an undesirable behavior. Then I calmly interrupt her and take her outside. If she continues outside, I make sure to make a very big deal of it, and reward her very well not just with treats but also with her favorite game.

      In this way, she quickly learns that –
      Potty outside = Lots of attention, treats, games, and rewards,
      Potty inside = Get interrupted and taken outside.

      Dogs repeat behaviors that get them good results, so this teaches and motivates them to potty outside.

      Finally, dogs may sometimes run and hide after the fact because they can sense our anger and frustration. They do not know why we are angry, but only that we are so, and that they may get punished.

  92. Michelle says

    Good day! It looks as though you have had great success with your dogs! I have had this issue with my Shepherd since rescuing her 2 years ago and I’m at my wits end. She is a rescue and I love her dearly but the entire notion that you have to catch them in the act is not accurate. I have caught her peeing and she will happily wag her tail while doing it 2 inches from my foot. I have changed my tones and words thinking maybe she was over discplined prior to getting her and not trained. I have done everything. EVERY last trick and training process I’ve been told to do by trainers and advice from others and yet every night and every time I leave the house she poops in my kitchen. She is given more than enough time to go outside. She has been rewarded for her “good” behaivor. IF I let her sleep in my room she will not poop. But if I don’t let her, which I don’t want her in my room because I’m a light sleeper and she makes more noise than any animal I’ve ever seen or heard of before! She prances, moves things around, pushes me with her nose, licks me etc…etc…etc… I’m really thinking she is doing this not because she is no potty trained but because she is mad that I won’t let her in the room and I leave without her from time to time. I tried an outdoor kennel with heavey a chain linked fence and no kidding within an hour she had chewed her way out and cut up her face. NOTHING is working and I can’t stand a dog that poops and pees in the house. An accident I can understand but I’m home all day and the dog is outside the majority of the day there is no excuse for this. I’m at my wits end. So how do you catch a dog when she will only do it when your not home or asleep?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Michelle,

      yet every night and every time I leave the house she poops in my kitchen.

      Does she only poop in the house when she is separated from you? If so, that could be from separation anxiety. When dogs are overly anxious, they may poop and pee as a result of stress.

      Based on your description of the outdoor kennel escape, it sounds like separation anxiety may be an issue. Some dogs may hurt themselves when trying to escape because they want to get to their people or family very badly.

      Here are some of my experiences on dealing with dog separation anxiety.

      In terms of sleeping in bedroom, crating may help. All my dogs sleep together with us in the bedroom and they each have their own crate.

      Some trainers also suggest video taping our dog while we are away, so that we can see whether she is stressed and anxious. Having a professional trainer come over to the house to observe her may also be helpful.

  93. Jess V. says


    Our Shiba, Scout, will be 6 months this month. She has been pretty good about potty training. She has not pooped in the house or kennel in a long time. But, she will randomly pee on the couch. Tonight, she was laying next to me and peed laying down. She does not bark or whine when she has to go potty. What should we do?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jess,
      I would consider taking her to the vet for a check-up. In general, dogs do not like peeing while laying down. It could be that she has no control over it, e.g. urinary tract infection. It could also be the result of spaying.

      How is her stool quality, energy level, and appetite? When did this behavior start?

  94. Tiffany says

    I just recently adopted a 1yr old dog that is a mix of heeler, springer spanial, and collie. He is already potty trained but has been having lots of accidents lately. When I am home he sneaks away and poops behind the kitchen table! This is my first dog so I’m not sure how often I should be taking him out to go potty. Right now I take him out first thing in the morning, when I get home from work, and right before bed. When I go to work he is alone for about 9hrs and is kept in the garage due to him chewing on things and potty accidents! What do I do to make sure he doesn’t have any accidents?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tiffany,

      Was he potty trained in your house or in his previous home? Some dogs may not generalize potty training across different houses and may need a short refresher course.

      With potty training, the key thing is supervision. We want to be there to stop our dog from pottying in the house, take him outside, and reward him for pottying outside. With my puppy Lara, when I am not around, I keep her in a long-term enclosure with nice bedding, safe chew toys, interactive food toys, and puppy pads far away from her bedding.

  95. Margie Sillman says

    Hi, I have a very old dog who has been trained to do her business in the backyard. Recently we had to move to an apartment, so we taught her to pee on the balcony. The problem is that she will just not poop there. She is also deaf so verbal commands do not work. Any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      Heh, my Shiba Inu is the same way. He will not even poop in our backyard. What seems to work well for us is to set up a routine where he does his business during his daily walks outside.

  96. Amanda Weaver says

    I have a 2 year old mix. He is part bearded collie and part golden doodle. I am wanting to take a job that will require a couple extra hours of alone time for my baby. He does not potty in the house and waits to go outside. I would like to train him to go on a the pee pad when he is alone so that he has the option to relieve himself if he needs. I am so lost as to go about doing this. So far I have placed the pee pad under him while he went outside and got his urine on it. Then placed it in my bathroom where it will be kept while I am away. I point to it and say “potty”. He stands on it excitedly then looks at me and exits the bathroom. I am from here lost as to what to do. If you could please tell me how you trained your pups to use the pee pads along with going outside I would be so so so grateful! Thanks

    • shibashake says

      Hello Amanda,

      I trained my Sibe puppy on potty pads by simply putting it in her long-term enclosure, at the corner, far away from her bedding. When I was too busy to supervise, I put her in her enclosure and she knew to use the pad on her own. I think the pads may also have scent that attracts her to potty on it.

      Then during normal times, she knew to go there to potty because she was already used to it.

      However, I only did that during puppy-hood. Once she matured, she no longer needed to potty very often and she just stopped using the pads. She gets rewards and play when she goes outside, so that is a better deal for her. 😀

      How long will you be gone?

    • Amanda Weaver says

      I am gone for 9 to 10 hours. I stopped keeping Liam in his crate after he became house broken and matured past the chewing stage. The only thing he like to chew now is a kleenex left on a table. Loves to shred paper. :) I gained his trust by keeping him in my room with door closed instead of in his crate. After about a week of doing that and having no issues he was then able to have free rome of the house. It made a huge difference in his behavior. I play with him every morning before work and when I get home. If I am busy he will surely let me know. hehe. Since he isn’t in his crate he isn’t as crazy hyper as when he was kept in it. He keeps himself entertained while home without me. He boxes with my male cat which is a sight to see. I will also see he has pulled all of his toys from his toy basket as well. He isn’t a crazy eater so I give him his food rations for the day every morning. He usually waits till the evening to finish it off. He knows the routine and does great with it. Especially in the summer. He knows momma has to go to work then he sees me pack my weekend bag on friday mornings and goes crazy and talks to me cause he knows where we are going. The lake!. Then he is dog heaven. He runs and runs with lots of doggies and swims all day in the lake. THen when we get home he is pretty much hung over from the weekend and happy to lay around for 2 days and do nothing. haha. So just to give a little insight to Liam’s life. While he holds it in and does great during the day I still feel I need to give him the option to go on a pee pad if he needs to. Sometimes I am asked to stay an extra 15-30 minutes at work or there is traffic and takes me an extra 30 minutes to get home. I am anxious to get home to him so I can’t imaging how he must feel. I don’t have any close neighbors who can let him out for me either. If he won’t use the pee pads then I will hire someone for sure to help but if I can get him to use them then it would be wonderful.

    • shibashake says

      Hahaha, Liam sounds like a really lucky and happy dog. Thanks for sharing a bit of Liam’s life with us.

      In terms of the pee-pad training, the two things that I can think of is to-
      1. Place the pee-pad close to the door where he usually goes out to potty, e.g. backyard door. Since the dog already goes there when he needs to potty, he may go on the pads when he really needs to go. Many dogs will probably prefer to hold it in though. My dogs were trained on grass so that is where they most prefer to pee. Shiba Sephy likes to do his business during walks, and will only use the backyard when he really has to go.

      2. My dogs usually have to pee when they wake up in the mornings. One possibility is to bring the dog to the pee-pad in the bathroom during that time and giving the “Go Potty” command. Then praise and reward when they do so. The danger here though is that they may think that we prefer them to potty inside.

      I think (1) is safer, but getting someone to let him out is probably best.

      Sorry I could not be of more help.

  97. stephanie says

    hello, you were very ! i have two puppies and at first i thought it was best to train them to go inside the house. now they i three months and im finding that if they go outside it would be better; a close friend who has 4 dogs told me also. one of them actually goes outside and does both of his business. the other only sniffs around. i take them out 30 minutes after i feed them but he refuses to go! when i get home again he runs straight to the pad and does both urinate and deficate on the pad. CAN YOU HELP ME PLEASE ????

    • shibashake says

      Some people retrain this by slowly moving the puppy pads closer to the backyard door. We want to do this slowly so that our dog can get used to the change in position, and can find the pads easily. Then we can try moving the pads outside the door. There may be some mistakes at this point.

      When I was potty training my puppy, sometimes she would go close to the door area. I think she wasn’t sure if that was ok, or not. I just calmly no mark (ack-ack) her, interrupt her, and take her outside. Then I make sure to reward her very well with praise, affection, treats and play, if she continues to potty outside.

      Another possibility is to teach our dog the “Go Potty” command.

  98. Anonymous says

    I have a friend who has a 3 month old puppy. She works but her boyfriend is home alot of the time. After she takes the puppy out in the morning, when she is getting ready for work, he will pee in the house. What advise do you have?

  99. Tammy says

    I have a 1 yo female Pit Bull Terrier, she is fully house trained. But recently she has been urinating outside but “messing” in the house. We can go for a 20 minute walk, but as soon as we get back inside if she is left alone for a minute even, she will mess in the house. This has become an everyday and several time a day occurance.We clean up messes with either bleach or a pet odor eliminator. It is getting frustrating. She has always been praised for good behavior consistently, even for her potty behaviors. I’ve never had this problem before and not sure what to do. Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated.

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm … it is difficult to say for sure. Some common causes include –

      1. Physical issue. How is the quality of her stool? How is her energy level? Appetite? Is she acting differently in other ways?

      2. Stress. Something could have changed in her regular schedule or yours that is causing stress. What changes were there around the time that this behavior first appeared? Has anything changed in the walks?

      What do you do when you catch her in the act? Did she previously poop in the backyard? Does she do it when she is alone or only when you are around? What is her usual routine?

      When dogs poop, they have to crouch for the duration, which is a vulnerable position. Sometimes, if they feel vulnerable or threatened, they will not poop until they get to a safe place, e.g. on their own property.

      With my own dogs I have observed that during puppy-hood, they always prefer to do their business in the backyard, where they feel safer.

  100. Jaime says

    We are getting a cute little pomaranian soon but will be gone 9 hours what can we do for potty training we looked into getting help for lunchtime watering but can’t find anyone. I was thinking keeping her in our room with an open kennel and a kitty litter box with puppy pads do you think it will work? If so how long if ever will our little puppy be able to go without the pads?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jaime,

      It will likely depend on the dog. When Shania (Siberian Husky) was a puppy, she did not like going on puppy pads that were too dirty. She would go on it a couple of times, but not after that. She also made a mess if we didn’t clean up the poop right away.

      How long a puppy can hold her pee will depend on age, size of the dog, how much she drinks, etc. Small dogs are generally harder to potty train.

  101. Carrie-Anne says


    I came across your website full of great tips and advice and I am hoping you will be able to help me. I am considering a puppy and being a. ‘would be’ conscientious owner, I have literally carried out hours of research in different, suitable breeds, crate training, puppy pad training etc!

    I work 8 hours a day and live alone, but when I first get puppy, I will have 2 weeks off to start some intensive crate/house training. Whilst I am at home, I don’t intend to use puppy pads, but rely on regular trips outside with lots of praise and treats, as well as crate training. Whilst at work, I am thinking of using a puppy play pen with food, water, toys, and puppy pads. Do you think this would set back the house training to introduce puppy pads two weeks later?

    Also, do puppies just instinctively stop using the pads because they can hold their bladder/bowels or could it turn into a case of the pads are there, so I will just use them?! When do you take the risk and stop using pads?

    My friend had a Shih Tzu cross who was not house trained by 8 months and so she gave her up for adoption. Needless to say, I have heard some horror stories regarding house training!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :-)

    • shibashake says

      Hello Carrie-Anne,

      I used both puppy pads and outside potty training with my Sibes.

      One thing that I did encounter with the puppy pads though is that my Sibe Shania would not go onto it once it was too dirty. She also made a mess of things one time when she had to poop on the pads. The key I found is not to leave puppy for too long in the enclosure. Maybe consider coming back during lunch break? Or get a neighbor to look in on puppy?

      When do you take the risk and stop using pads?

      Yeah, it is as you say. As puppies get older, they no longer need to go as often. I stopped using the pads with my Sibe puppy Lara after it went unused for about 2 months. I figured she was good by then. 😀

      It is awesome that you are doing so much research so early. Congratulations on your soon to be new family member! 😀

  102. Chelsea says

    I just adopted a one year old nova scotia duck toller mix. She was a stray in Mexico and then lived at the los cabos humane society for two months before coming here to alberta canada. She never poops inside. She is however peeing on the carpeted parts of my floor. I live on the sixth floor
    In an apartment building. I have looked and looked but can’t find much help regarding house breaking in apartments. I alway supervise her and constantly catch her in the act and calmly say no! But getting her right outside quick enough is not an option. We have a balcony but I don’t think she views this as outside.
    She even goes after her nightly walk while we are in bed. I have never crate trained and dog and I suppose maybe it is going to be something I have to do with her, I guess I just feel bad since she is a very fearful dog and probably spent a lot of time crated in the past little while. Do you think puppy pads would be the best thing? Or would a potty patch on the balcony serve us better? Thanks for your help chelsea

    • shibashake says

      Hello Chelsea,

      One thing that may help is to establish a fixed area to go potty, and use the “Go Potty” command. I do that with my dogs during the initial stages of potty training.

      When I suspect that puppy needs to potty, I take her to the potty spot and say “Go Potty”. If she does her business on command, I make a really big deal out of it and give her a lot of rewards including food, affection, and a fun game. I do the same when I catch her inside. I will interrupt, take her out to the spot, and say “Go Potty”. The key to success is to anticipate when she needs to go, and only give the command then. In this way, we can reinforce the command by rewarding her very well.

      The advantage of using the Go Potty command is that then we can use it outside during walks. This allows me to get my dog to potty in certain potty friendly areas outside, or to potty outside before returning home. I always make sure to reward very well when puppy does her business on command.

      In terms of crate training, I think it all depends on how the crate is introduced to the dog, and in what context the crate is used. If the dog is forced to stay in the crate for long periods of time, likely, she will grow to dislike it. I try to establish the crate as a safe place that my dogs go to for food and sleep. Here is a bit more on crate training-

  103. Lindsey says

    My husband I just got a 7 week old Italian Mastiff. We both work so Kobalt will be alone for 8 hours a day during the week. I know its not the best situation but he gets lots of play, attention, and exercise before we leave for work and after we get home! He has a large crate and we just bought him the “potty Patch” which is the fake grass which has a place for a potty pad underneath. I was wondering if it was a bad idea to leave the potty patch in his crate. I know that he can’t hold it for the eight hours we will be gone but I didn’t know if this would lead to bad behavior when he gets older or will it teach him that he doesn’t need to hold it? Thanks.

  104. Mike says

    May I just say, I am so glad to have found your site, I was getting so many ambiguous weird conflicting answers on the web about Siberian Husky puppies, I thought Loki and I were doomed.
    I have a question about the pee pads… he wants to chew on them well, I mean… he wants to taste and chew everything (I did puppy proof my room, though so I might rest easier…) and he especially runs to them and starts to chew, when I’m not paying every bit of attention to him (maybe because he knows I’ll pay attention to him by saying “ack”? I say that, then either give him a toy that he should be biting on, or move him to a different place and give him a toy. I hope that doesn’t read as a treat for him chewing on it?)
    So I was thinking about getting a pee pad holder (also because they just seem more hygienic.) and was wondering if you could recommend any particular kind? I noticed some have grates, and others are just a plastic pad. I also want something I feel safe about him potentially chewing one. Any suggestions would be awesome, I’ve been pretty stumped.
    Thanks a million-trillion.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Mike,
      Congratulations on your new Siberian Husky puppy! How old is Loki?

      I hope that doesn’t read as a treat for him chewing on it?

      That is a good question. I usually no-mark puppy for the chewing. If she moves away on her own, then I reward her well for stopping and moving away. Otherwise, I body block her away. Then, I get her to do some obedience commands for me. This allows me to treat her and give her a toy for doing something positive.

      In terms of pee pad holders, I have one of the plastic ones. Essentially, I place a puppy pad on top, and there are two locks on either end that holds the pad in place. It is nice to have, and essential for my three legged dog (during puppyhood) because the holder keeps the pad from slipping.

      I haven’t tried the grate indoor potty system. My understanding is that they are cheaper in the long run because we don’t have to use puppy pads, and the dog just pees over the grate. Then, the pee collects in a container at the bottom. This requires a lot more clean-up work though. Also, grates are not a very comfortable surface for dogs to walk on. However, dogs do not generally like chewing on metal or hard-plastic, so it likely reduces the probability of the dog playing around with his potty system, and making a mess.

      There are also artificial grass indoor potty systems. As I understand it, it is similar to the grate system but it has a layer of more comfortable artificial grass on top. I haven’t tried this either.

      I only used puppy pads+holder in the short term, during the potty training period, and after my Sibe puppy came back from surgery.

      Hugs to Loki! Sibes are awesome dogs.

    • Mike says

      Loki’s 6 weeks and 3 days old, (I got him right when he was six weeks old… too young I found out when I perused about the web a bit more… Unfortunately I don’t believe there are any laws in WV about selling puppies before 8 weeks old…)
      I’ve only had him a few days and wow… what a hand full! I’d read about how intelligent huskies are, but sometimes I wonder who’s training who!
      (his name was very very fitting)

      I honestly believe chewing on the piddle pad is a way of having me pay attention to him. As I’ve said he’s done it while I’m here with him… but never when I leave him alone. In fact, he’s pretty great at using them correctly, only a couple of incidents where he’s missed. When I leave him for an hour or two he may have used the pad, but they appear to be okay otherwise.
      If I’m at the computer and he wants attention and is yelping and barking…. I tried ignoring him until he stops (with full intentions of playing with him after he’s stopped barking and yelping… in hopes that he learns that howling and carrying on won’t get results…) but sometimes before he’s even done he’ll snatch up the piddle pad and run around over to his bed and start to chew and make noise (when I usually step in to correct him) What should I do in a situation like that… where I’m trying to ignore him to teach a lesson, but he then does something that needs correcting? Correct him and ignore him again for a length of time? Once again… I can’t thank you enough for your help!

    • shibashake says


      Loki sounds like my Shiba Inu Sephy.

      Sephy loves playing chase games. When he was a puppy, his favorite game was to snatch our t.v. remote controller and run around with it. I finally put a stop to that by putting a drag lead (only with a flat collar), on him. When he starts his chasing game, I would just step on the lead, and take him straight to time-out. In this way, he doesn’t get to play, and he loses his freedom temporarily.

      Sephy also tried to steal and chew-up puppy pads from the other dogs. I usually have the pads in a puppy pen that has its door open. When Sephy is up to no-good, I just no-mark him, get him away, and then close the door to the puppy pen. Then I go outside to play with puppy, and Sephy has to stay inside the house by himself. He really did not like being excluded from the fun play session, so he stopped his pad chewing behavior pretty quickly. 😀

      The key I found, is to figure out what Sephy wants most, and to use that as a reward/punishment. If I want to motivate Sephy, I use a fun chase game as his reward. If I want to stop him from doing something, I take away something he values, e.g. playing with puppy, or freedom in the house.

      I’ve only had him a few days and wow… what a hand full!

      Yeah, the first few days are the most difficult. It gets a lot better after they are potty trained. Here are the first 10 days with my Sibe puppy Lara.

  105. Fiona says


    I have two puppies one 8 months and the other 6. We have only had the youngest for about 6 weeks and he is very good apart from he has recently taken to chewing up puppy pads during the day. We leave them both in our kitchen during the day with everything that they need but now we are unable to leave the puppy pads down and he hasn’t stopped urinating unfortunately :( I am not sure what to do now to try and discourage this behaviour. We do have a crate but he has not been in it whilst he has been with us and I don’t know whether it would be best to put both dogs in the crate together? Really not sure what to do so any advice would be appreciated!

    Thank you!

    • shibashake says

      Several possibilities that I can think of-
      1. I use a plastic potty pad holder to properly hold the puppy pads down. In this way, the pads don’t move around and are always in place.
      2. There are also various artificial grass systems.

      I have not tried any of these, but I have tried real grass (i.e. sod). I would not recommend sod because drainage is bad, and it is difficult to clean and transport. I ended up having to change it several times a day and it was more work than anything else.

      To be safe, make sure to monitor how puppy ‘uses’ the artificial grass system. Some puppies may attack it or try to chew at it.

      3. Install a doggy door and train puppies to use it when they need to potty.

  106. Cindi says

    I have 3 Maltese 1 male 2 female both females potty trained to use the doggy door 3-4 weeks the male wow hes just lazy to the point I have to crate him he is now 4 months I do take him out after he eats and drinks after he wakes up I let him loose 30 mins for play time now if the girls go out he follows and goes outside never poops in house mind you. BUT if they dont go out he just pees where he wants. I feel hes potty trained just lazy. More time than I can count Ive put him out he comes in and pees right beside me and literlly so fast I cant stop it. How do you fix that. I do put him right away back in pen when he does. Further more he is a major whiner. I mean he can wine for hours no matter hes really frustrating me.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Cindi,
      Yeah, I have also observed that some dogs can be more of a challenge to potty train than others. For example, I have 2 Sibes and one of them took a shorter time to house train than the other.

      Some things that helped with my Sibe puppy-
      1. I gave her special treats for doing her business outside. She only gets these for going potty and nothing else.
      2. She really likes to play outside. Therefore, once she is done with her potty I play a fun chase game with her.
      3. If she does her business inside the house, I no-mark her (Ack-ack) and I interrupt her. I have a drag-lead on her so I just use the lead to get her moving. She stops peeing as soon as I get her moving, then I take her outside to finish her potty. I praise her very well for doing it outside and give her a special treat.

      In this way she learns that when she goes potty outside, it is very very rewarding. However, when she does her business inside, she just gets interrupted and taken outside.

  107. Bethany says

    Hi, You have a really helpful website. I also have a Shiba and I guess I didn’t realize how lucky I was with the breed being so easy to housetrain, he had accidents in the house for maybe 2 days after I brought him home, that was it, then we never had another issue with him. Unfortunately, my new dog is a whole other story. I just got a 4 month old female doberman 2 weeks ago. She is well crate trained (quite content in there overnight and for short stretches when necessary during the day) and never has an accident in the crate, even overnight. I take her out for potty breaks after getting out of the crate, after eating and drinking, after naps, and after playing. She is very good about going outside almost every time I take her out, and I praise her each time. The problem is, she also still goes in the house! I started taking her outside at least every hour in addition to all the other times we go out, but sometimes she will go inside less than 20 mins after having gone outside! I was given the (good) advice of keeping her leashed to me at all times inside to try and prevent this, and have tried this technique the last few days. Unfortunately, she is still having accidents even while on the leash, when I just take my eyes off her for a few minutes, I look back over and see that she’s just peed right where she was standing. I don’t understand how she can have to go so often, especially when she holds it fine overnight. It is getting very frustrating because even as frequently as we go outside, her accidents have not decreased at all in the two weeks she has been here. I am not sure what I am missing, or what else I should be doing differently. Any advice would be great!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Bethany,

      It sounds like you are doing all the right things.

      I don’t understand how she can have to go so often, especially when she holds it fine overnight.

      One thing to try is to give the vet a call and see if they have anything to say about it. With my dogs, I try to rule out physical reasons first.

      Another thing I have noticed with my Sibe puppy is that she will go out, do her business, and then play about some outside. She likes running around bushes and digging. Usually, she forgets to go potty again when she comes in, or asks to come in. Before she comes in, I take her to her potty spot and ask her to do her business.

      When you leave her outside, does she pee really frequently as well? When she pees inside the house, what is she doing before that? Does she show signs that she is about to pee (circling, going to corners)? Does she squat when she pees or is she just standing? What do you do when you see her peeing?

      Another possibility is that she is marking, but that seems less likely given that she still does it when tethered to you.

  108. Bella's Mom says

    My puppy is 13 weeks old, she has been going outside to go to the bathroom very well. Our problem is we will take her out when we return home usually only 3 or 4 hrs after placing her in the crate, she will pee first come in eat lunch then go back out to poop. Then once back inside she will wine like she has to go outside we take her out and all she does is play. Now it seems more like a game and not going out to do her business. We walk her in the mornings before work and at night when I get home from work. Most of the time my husband will run her at lunch time around the outside of the house as well just to give her some exercise. How can we get her to wine/bark/ring potty bell (which she does very well), when she really has to go outside and not just when she wants to go out and play. I don’t want to not take her then she has an accident but taking her just for her to dig a few holes is not good either. I am assuming she is bored and that is her fun time just didn’t know if you had suggestions. Maybe not put her on a ground leash but walk her out when she has to go potty and only put her on the ground leash when we allow her to play? Usually we put her on the ground leash and let her go on her own to potty while we wait at back door. Especially when raining or when very cold outside.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, my Shiba Inu Sephy used to do the same thing. Therefore, whenever he goes to the door I would take him out on-leash directly to his potty spot. Then I say “Go Potty”. I wait there for a few minutes, but do not allow him to roam around. If he does his potty, I praise him, treat him, and play with him outside. The outside time becomes a reward for his potty.

      If he does not potty then we come back into the house. Once we come back, I have a short black-out period where he is ignored if he goes to the door again.

      In this way, he learns that potty trips are only for potty and not for playing. However, if he does potty, he gets rewarded with play-time outside. This encourages him to let me know when he needs to potty (because he gets rewarded with play) but discourages him from ‘crying wolf’ (because he doesn’t get to play when he doesn’t potty, and gets ignored when we come back in).

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Big hugs to Bella.

  109. sarah :) says

    Hey i have a 7 week old pomerainian poodle mix named mason that i got last night and he keeps doing his buisnes on the carpet…….he has gone on the pody pads and outside but hes gone on the carpet like 6 times……HELP PLEASE!! my mom is getting really mad at the fact that he isnt going on the pads and outside…..when i leave him in his enclosure he goes on the pads but when he is out he goes on the carpet.HELP!!! thank u!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Sarah,
      Congratulations on your new puppy!

      It will take a while before puppy learns where it is ok to do his business, and where it is not. I got a puppy early last year and I was reminded that when it comes to puppy training, supervision and consistency are very important.

      Whenever my puppy Lara was roaming outside, I make sure to supervise her very closely. If it looks like she has to go potty, I take her outside. In this way I can reward her well for doing the right thing. If I miss her potty cues and she starts to do her business, I interrupt her and take her outside. Then, I reward her if she continues with her business outside.

      Having a very fixed routine also helps. For example, Lara usually needs to potty when she wakes up, and after rigorous activity, e.g. playing with the other dogs. I make sure to always take her out during those times. A fixed eating schedule will also help to keep potty time more consistent.

  110. Janis Davies says


    We have a 21 month old Bishon/Pug/Shi Tzu cross that has always been most comfortable going to the bathroom in our front yard,or on a walk. We have allowed this since he was a puppy but this winter and last we have tried to get him to go in a fenced kennel. He adamantly refuses to go in the kennel on the rock/snow. He will hold his pee and poop for hours if he is not allowed to go in the front yard or when we take him for a walk. He also, when in the yard, will go from spot to spot until he finds the perfect area to do his business. How can we change this behavior? Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks,,,,

    • shibashake says

      Hello Janis,
      Based on what I have read, it seems that dogs prefer going on the type of surface that they were used to as a puppy. I train all my puppies on grass, and as adult dogs that is what they prefer to go on. My Shiba Inu especially will not go on concrete or rock.

      Shiba Inu Sephy also has to find the perfect spot to do his business. I think it has to do with scent, type of surface, safety of location, and probably other factors. It also depends on the temperament of the dog. Some dogs are just more particular about such things. My Siberian Huskies, for example, are a lot more relaxed about pee and poop locations.

      Sephy will pee and poop in the backyard if he absolutely has to, but usually he prefers to do it during walks.

  111. Kirei says

    Hi I have a 3 months old shiba with me for a week now. We keep her in a wired cage and place a lavatory inside for her to do her business. She only sleeps on the lavatory and hence she has a strong urine odor on her. Do you have any idea why she likes to sleep on the lavatory and how to train her not to sleep on that? From what I know shiba likes cleaniness and will not choose to sleep on the area she pees. Appreciate your feedback

    • shibashake says

      How big is the cage?

      When my Shiba was a puppy and I had to leave him home alone, I usually put him in a large enclosure. In this way, I can put his puppy pads far away from his bed. I can also give him safe toys to chew on and some water in case he needs to drink.

      If there is too little space, then puppy just gets used to sleeping in pee and poop, which makes potty training a lot more difficult.

  112. tyra says

    Hello we.have a nine week.old shorkie and she will go pee and poop on the pee pad in the pen but she will not go on the pee pad in the den.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tyra,
      In the beginning, puppies do not really understand what are acceptable places to pee and poop. We can teach them this by supervising them closely. When my puppy pees in the house, I non-mark her, and calmly take her outside. Then I reward her very well for going outside.

      In this way, she learns that peeing outside = lots of rewards, attention, and a game with me. On the other hand peeing inside = she gets interrupted and taken outside.

  113. Mary says

    Hi there Ceasar I enjoyed watching all of your tv shows about dogs.
    I have a 5 month old chinese pug and i’m having a hard time potty training her
    i put her outside and watch her but she does nothing she just wants to play and nothing else then as soon as i take her in she’ll go potty in the house sometimes on
    the newspaper and the rest of the time not.I get frustrated with her cause she’s been going potty on the couch or anywhere that is soft.I do praise her when she does go outside.She is not a crate dog.Please help me, what do i do.Thank you.

  114. stephanie says

    I have been trying to puppy pad train my 4 month old puppy for over a month now and she is not making ANY improvements. I am at my wits end with her! She pees and poops EVERYWHERE! I keep her in a crate at night and during the day while im at work i confine her to a small area but when shes not in either of those places, she pees and poops on the carpet. I’m about to lost my mind! any advice???

    • shibashake says

      Hello Stephanie,

      I just got a new puppy earlier this year, so I had a refresher course in potty training.

      My Sibe puppy Lara reminded me that the most important thing with potty training is supervision. I make sure to watch her *every second* she is roaming free in the house. There were a couple of times when I thought it was ok to just step into the kitchen for some bread – but puppy always decided to potty at exactly those times! 😀

      Once I started watching puppy like a hawk, things really started to improve significantly. If I even need to step out for just 1 second, I put puppy in her long-term enclosure that has pads in it.

      As soon as I see puppy start to circle and about to potty, I calmly take her outside and give her the “go potty” command. If she does her potty, I praise her very very well, treat her with a high priority item, and also play a fun game with her. In this way, puppy learns that when she does her potty outside, she gets lots of good stuff. However, when she does her potty inside, she only gets interrupted and taken outside.

      Supervision and consistency were the two most important things when potty training my Sibe puppy.

      Good luck and congratulations on your new puppy.

  115. Anonymous says

    You have a really amazing website going on here.
    I don’t have a Shiba, but hopefully you help me with my questions concerning my Westiepoo Terrier. I also don’t think you’ll see the last of me for a while.
    I recently added a 2 month old Westiepoo Terrier to our family. He is now three months, and training has been a disaster. We have been training him to go on peepads(hopefully moving on to just newspaper soon) and we reward him whenever we catch him finishing his act. He sometimes goes on the peepad, and other times he doesn’t, but that’s not even the main problem.
    I hope you can suggest something for my problem! Thanks so much (you’ll probably see me post again).
    The main problem is that we are not home a lot in some weeks. We crate him for almost 8 hours on the days when we are not home, and I know that shouldn’t be allowed (but he sleeps for half the time any ways). He obviously then soils his crate because it is a long time for such a young puppy. As soon as we get home, we take him on walks and let him in the house.
    I guess my question is what to do when we are gone and crating him? I know there is another method of taking him outside to do his business, but again it wouldn’t be 100% consistent because we are not always there. If he had learned to use the peepad more consistently or if we had some other method of training him, we would’ve let him roam the house instead of crating him for so long.

  116. Greg says

    Great info, but I have a unique situation I need some help with. We live in a harsh weather climate and have a pretty small breed so we cannot let her outside for the bathroom. We have “successfully” trained her to do her business on puppy pads in the basement, which she has free access to all day long (except at night when she is asleep in her crate). We have had her for 5 months now (from 2 months to now 7 months old) and in that time, she has twice gone an entire month without making a mistake, but then out of nowhere, starts to pooh (maybe half of the time) on the carpet nearby. After the first time this happened, we tried everything to stop her from doing that in the carpeted area in question…including making loud noises when she roamed into that area and spraying the area with vinegar to cover/taint the smell. We finally had to erect a barrier so she was unable to access that carpeted area. Once we did that, she went potty strictly on the puppy pads for another month (or more) straight and we thought we were in the clear. But this past week, she has picked another different carpeted area to use for half of her pooh business. Given where this area is in the house, we are not able to block it off. What do we do now?? Why is she doing it? We always give her treats when we see her doing it correctly, and never when she fails. And she has never peed anywhere but the pads, only half of the time with her poohs. What can we do? Is she mad about something and doing it to spite us? Please help!!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Greg,

      Why is she doing it?

      My guess is that she does not understand that she is not supposed to go on the carpet. She may have learned that she gets rewarded when she does her business in that general area, and not that she has to go on the pads.

      Also, when my Sibe was recovering from surgery and using puppy pads, I noticed that she only wants to go on there once. If the pad is already soiled, she does not like going on there again, and does her business close to the pads. This can also be another factor.

      What do you do when she makes a mistake? Do you catch her making a mistake while she is doing it?

      What can we do? Is she mad about something and doing it to spite us?

      Nah, dogs are not spiteful like that. It is just not the way they operate. Likely, she just does not yet fully understand where exactly it is ok to potty and where it is not. Dog’s don’t easily generalize the way humans do, so if we teach them not to go on one carpet, they may still think that it is ok to go on another carpet. That is why it is easier to teach them not to go in the house at all.

      One thing that seemed to help with my Sibe is to set up a potty enclosure for her inside the house on tile floor. In this way, the place that she is supposed to potty is well defined. Then I put puppy pads inside the enclosure. I make sure to change the puppy pads as soon as she goes so that it is always clean.

      When she makes a mistake, I non-mark her, interrupt her potty, and take her inside the enclosure. If she continues with her potty, I praise her, give her treats, and play a fun game with her afterward.

  117. Nikki says

    Hello and thank you for the info on this website, they are very helpful :)
    I have a 4 month old Shiba Inu named Duke. me and my bf got him when he was about 7 weeks old. He was only crated for the first week and as soon as he learned to only pee on his puppy pad, we let him sleep with us in the bedroom . For the past 2 months he has never peed or pooped in the bedroom, which is also where we keep him when we leave for work during the day.
    When we are home he behaves perfectly and sits by the door anytime he needs to go out which makes us believe that he is potty trained. last week, we decided to allow him into the living room at nights, which ended up in a disaster! The first morning he had pooped all over the living room :( we cleaned it up, and placed a puppy pad at the place that he normally goes. this morning he had pooped all AROUND the puppy pad, but not on it… :(
    How can we get him to not poop at nights? the last food he gets is usually around 7 pm and we do take him out a lot before bedtime. We really feel bad crating him, since he is just too nice and cute!!

    I would really appreciate your help, since we don’t know what else to do :(


    • shibashake says

      Hello Nikki,

      Dogs generally, and Shibas especially do not like to soil their sleeping area. It sounds like Duke knows that he is not supposed to poop in the bedroom, but he does not know that the living room is also off-limits.

      We could redo potty training exercises for the living room, but then we may have to repeat this for other rooms. For this reason, I find that it is easier to teach my dogs to just not go inside the house. In this way, it is clear – inside the house = no poop, outside the house = can poop.

      How can we get him to not poop at nights?

      The only way I know to potty train a dog is through supervision, or to keep the dog in a crate or enclosure, when supervision is not possible.

      As for crating, my Shiba likes being in his crate at night. He was crate trained as a puppy, and it is now his routine to sleep in his crate at night. He goes in on his own, and sleeps all night. In the mornings, we open his crate door for him, and usually he will sleep in there for another hour more before he gets out.

      The only time he does not want to sleep in his crate is on the night that he gets home from his yearly vet visit. I think he feels woozy then, and prefers to be by himself in the living room.

      My Sibes like to sleep in the backyard during the hot weather. However, once it starts to cool down, they also prefer sleeping in their crates at night, in the bedroom.

      Here are a couple of articles that I found to be helpful while I was deciding whether to crate Shiba Sephy –
      1. Humane Society of the United States.
      2. American Dog Trainer’s Network.

  118. Kayla says

    What do you feed your husky for treats that they will not get anywhere else? I have heard they have sensitive tummys and I don’t wanna cause my little girl any discomfort, but I need to get her to go potty outside…. i also heard that sometimes feeding them treats to go potty won’t always work because they will only eat the treats when they are hungry for them. This has been the case with my puppy, she doesn’t accept praise or treats really. She just runs around being distracted by everything. Any advice on that? Thank you!!

    • shibashake says

      With puppy Lara I used boiled chicken and dried chicken strips. In general I use treats that are mostly meat and has as few additives as possible. Another one that I sometimes use is the Innova EVO treats. All these are poultry based so only give to a dog that is not allergic to poultry.

      As for type of reward it will depend to some degree on the dog. Both my Sibes are very food focused. I also make sure that they work for all of their food. My Shiba is less food focused so I use freedom and play-time as a reward.

      For example, when he was young he would keep knocking at the door to ask to go out .We did not have an enclosed backyard then so I couldn’t just let him out. It turns out that most of the time he was only interested in going out to explore. Therefore, when he knocks at the door I would take him out on leash, take him to our potty spot, and say go-potty. I would wait for about 5-10 minutes. If he goes potty, I praise him a lot and then let him explore and also play a really fun game with him. If he does not go, we just come back inside.

  119. tara says


    My bf and I just brought home a Shiba Inu last night. We took him out many times during the night (about 4 after putting him in the crate for bed time) but every time we took him out he would not go potty and would come back in and go in the crate. The pup is smaller than we expected so we are exchanging it for a much smaller one tonight. Do you have any suggestions to get him to potty outside? When we took he out we carried him from the crate to the spot we want him to go and said “potty”. The one time he did actually go I gave him a treat and praised him but that was only once. Are we missing some important piece of housebreaking information? I know it has only been one night but every blog says they hate going to the potty in their crate and our little guy will only go in his crate.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tara,

      One possibility is to perhaps enhance the rewards he gets for going potty outside. For example, with my Sibes I usually treat them with something really good that they don’t get anywhere else. I also reward them with a fun game after they potty.

      If the puppy is from a pet store or an online store, he could have become used to pottying in the crate because that was probably the only option open to him. I think with continued consistency and patience, he will learn that he does not need to do this anymore, but it is likely that breaking the habit may take some extra time and effort.

      Good luck and big hugs to Shiba puppy.

  120. Meri says

    I will soon be a new Shiba mommy and I’ve been doing a lot of research on crate training. My fiancé and I are running into one issue. We will be at work for about 8.5 hours during the day and we feel that is too long to crate the puppy (8 wks old). We have come up with 2 options and I would love to know your opinion.

    Option 1- Gate off our galley kitchen for her during the day… She would have her crate, water, toys, and some potty pads since she will not be able to hold it for the whole day….

    Option 2- I work in a very secluded area with woods and a small park so I was considering bringing my puppy to work with me and crating her for approx. 2 hour increments. This would only be on good to moderate (no snow or torrential rain but light rain is ok- my car is kinda crappy) weather days because I would have the crate in my car with all the windows down. She would have the opportunity to go for 4- 15 min walks (8:15, 11:00, 3:45 and 5:00) and 1- 30 minute walk (1-1:30) during the day.

    I’m trying to do what is best for her and I know leaving her in the car is kinda mean but it would be a steady crating schedule. I feel like leaving her crated at home for 8 hours would be much worse and I think using the potty pads will result in more issues when we are home. I feel like she will consider that her potty place even though we will be taking her out often.

    What are your thoughts?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Meri,

      Congratulations on your soon to be new furry family addition!

      We will be at work for about 8.5 hours during the day and we feel that is too long to crate the puppy (8 wks old).

      I agree. You are absolutely right.

      In terms of the two options it is difficult for me to say since I have not seen either environments.

      A concern I would have for option 2 is that in warmer weather, things may heat up really quickly in a car, and especially more so in an enclosed crate. Also, the Shiba puppy may try to entertain everyone at the park with Shiba screams.

      The frequent walks sound really good but may be risky for such a young puppy. Before a puppy is fully vaccinated, she will be pretty susceptible to parvo, giardia, worms, and various other diseases that may be contracted by meeting sick adult dogs, or by smelling and eating their poop.

      Solely based on what you say, option-1 sounds like a safer option. A possibility is to get a neighbor to maybe look in on her during the day and perhaps take her on a short walk just in the backyard? I think lots of neighbors will volunteer to spend time with a Shiba puppy. 😀

      Another possibility is to hire a pet sitter a couple of days a week.

  121. Lee says

    I have a three month old female Shiba named Pria and she barks A LOT. With previous dogs, spraying them with water stopped their negative behaviors like excessive barking, biting and chewing but Pria doesn’t mind the water at all. Is there any way to teach a Shiba not to do certain things? Also, as long as I take her out every 3-4hours, she potties outside. How do I teach her a way to let me know she needs to go? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Lee,
      Congratulations on your new Shiba puppy!

      Is there any way to teach a Shiba not to do certain things?

      Haha, yeah Shibas are very stubborn. With my Shiba consistency and patience were very important. If I lose my cool, he gets even more ill behaved.

      I also follow the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free). This means Shiba must work for everything that he wants including his food, going outside, going to walks, and also for my affection. Before I give my Shiba anything, I just ask for a simple command that he already knows, e.g. Sit. This teaches him that the best way to get what he wants is to do what I want first.

      Here are more of my experiences in training my Shiba, Sephy.

      How do I teach her a way to let me know she needs to go?

      During puppyhood, I always took my Shiba outside through the same door during potty breaks. In this way, he learns that that is the potty door. Now, he just goes and waits there when he needs to do his business.

      Some people also teach their Shiba to ring a bell when they need to go. Install a bell by the door and consistently ring it before opening the door for potty breaks. Shiba will catch on pretty quickly. I don’t do this because I know Sephy will just keep ringing the bell just to drive me nuts. 😀

  122. Andrea says

    Did you have any problems with Sephy after he was neutered? Kiba was neutered on Thursday and he’s had three accidents in the house since then. (One I think was because of the fireworks though!)

    It’s not consistently happening and isn’t in the same place – the other suspicion I have is that we’re not letting him out when he has to go, but the problem with that is now that the nicer weather has come, he never wants to come inside! However, he barks when other dogs go by and bugs the neighbors, so we have to keep him in. I’m never sure if he is asking to go potty or just to play, so I try to gauge how long it’s been since he was out last.

    He still goes all night in his crate with no problem, and doesn’t make a mess in his playpen if we leave him there a few hours while we’re out.

    • shibashake says

      Wow, Lara just got spayed on Thrusday as well!

      Did you have any problems with Sephy after he was neutered?

      Heh, we had a lot of problems with Sephy after he was neutered but most of it involved the evil E-collar. There were no accidents in the house, but I did take him out a lot more during his recovery period, mainly to drain his energy.

      One thing that I did notice with Lara after her spaying is that she needed to go out a lot more, especially in the first few days. I think this may have to do with the medications and possibly the anesthesia – perhaps the body is flushing out the stuff?

      She is pretty much back to her normal routine now, although the hot weather also causes her to drink more and have to go out more.

      However, he barks when other dogs go by and bugs the neighbors, so we have to keep him in.

      Yeah, when Sephy was young, he would want to go out all the time. Frequently it was just to go look at people. Most of the time I would put a lead on him, take him out to his potty spot and give him the go potty command. If he does not want to go, I would wait a few minutes, then come right back in.

      If he does his potty, I would praise him, reward him, and then play with him outside for a bit.

      Big hugs to Kiba. Hope he is mostly recovered now. Did you have to put an E-collar on him?

  123. says

    Hi Colleen. I found your tips very helpful, but, I am still searching for a particular answer. Our 2 year old Boston Terrier has been a mess to train. We’ve tried just about everything, and when we think she has turned a corner, it’s back to square one. I have used crate training for my other 3 dogs, and it’s been quite successful. However, with Olive, it seems as though she goes potty in it, kicks it all around, and gets covered in it within a relatively short amount of time. Initially, I decided to keep at it, and wash her and her crate every time. After a month, it became too much. Any thoughts on this behavior? Thank you so much. -John

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, that definitely sounds like a challenge.

      Have you tried tethering her to you? That way, you can always keep an eye on her and as soon as she starts to show potty signs, you can quickly pick her up and take her out. Make sure to reward her very well for doing it outside so she learns that pottying outside means very good rewards. I usually give my dogs something really good that they *only* get when they potty outside.

      Keeping a very fixed eating schedule also helped a lot while potty training my dogs. I usually give them more food earlier in the day, and switch to feeding them boiled chicken instead of kibble after around 5pm. This makes it less likely for them to need to go in the middle of the night.

      I also try to get my puppy to poop at least once in the evening. After some running-around type activity, she is usually ready to do her business.

      What do you do when she goes inside the house?

  124. Colleen says

    Hello, how are you? Hope everything is going well with the new puppy.

    Recently, Reptar has decided it is OK to go to the bathroom in the house. At first, it was just #2 but today I came home to find both. He has not be crated since the “incident” where he chipped his teeth and bled significantly from his mouth and nose trying to escape. He did wonderfully for almost 2 months having the house to himself. He is not chewing anything, just going potty. Those are the only environmental factors.

    We got him at 8 weeks and he had a few accidents but never really had to be potty trained so I don’t even know where to begin re-potty training an adult dog. Crating him during the day at this point is not an option. I watch him go to the bathroom in the morning so I think he is OK and won’t have to during the day, but to my surprise. Also, it is not every day. A few days a week generally. Any advice or insight on how to correct this? I saw him circling last night and immediately let him out (this happened a few times before bed) but I can’t be here to do this when I am not home.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Colleen,
      Great to hear from you! Things are going much better with puppy. Shiba Sephy has now accepted her and is actually having fun playing with her and serving as her chew toy. It is very good to see. I was worried for a while there that he was not going to enjoy a new addition to his pack.

      In terms of the pottying –
      1. A fixed eating schedule and fixed routine helps to keep the pottying schedule fixed as well.
      2. One thing I have noticed with my guys is that they get thirsty after eating bully sticks. They usually drink a whole lot after this and then have to go pee soon after.
      3. Putting in a doggy door is probably the easiest way to solve the problem. If that is not possible, then perhaps set up a potty area in the garage or similar area? That way there is a fixed area for him to go potty when he needs to. Also makes clean-up a lot easier.
      4. Shiba Sephy drinks a lot more during the hot weather, and during these times he actually deigns to pee in our backyard. Usually he waits until his walks to pee. When it is warmer, I take him out more to do his business. A dog walker can be helpful during these times.

      Hugs to Reptar! Glad to see that he is settling in to the new place. :)

  125. Sarah says

    Hello! We have a non neutered Shiba and we are clueless on how to get him to stop marking his territory in the house! We have had him for about 5 years now and we are unsure of his exact age… he was abused at the last place he lived and he also has a seizure disorder.

    He pees on the couch and on the doggy couch… on the corner of our bed and sometimes on the kitchen chair legs. He has done it right in front of me too!! We also have an English White Lab (who is a giant baby!) that has never marked his territory – he is neutered.

    I don’t know if it would be moot at this point to get him neutered. I have cleaned spots time and time again… and he still does it!! We are going to go out and get a kennel this weekend but I don’t know if that will help. He is a very independent little guy, very active and energetic also. He is very bossy and extremely dominating.

    Any suggestions, please?? We are willing to do anything at this point…


  126. Sarah says

    Hello! I am very grateful to have run across your website. We have an English White Lab (6 years old, neutered) and a Shiba Inu (Unknown years of age, non neutered, seizure disorder) that live at home with us. We love them both dearly! I just wanted to ask and see… Our Shiba started marking in the house about 8 months ago ( I know… long time! ) and at first, he had urinary stones. Got those taken care of but now, he seems to think it’s OK to pee in the house!

    It’s always on the same spot – corner of our bed (even when we are sleeping), both couches, and sometimes a kitchen chair leg. He is very dominant compared to our Lab, he always follows us around and has to know where we are at all times. He seems like he never sleeps! I know he was abused with previous owners, and that was about 6 years ago. I’m just baffled on what to do!!

    We are going to get a big fenced in area in our kitchen and have it set up for both of them when we are gone. I’m unsure what else to do! I feel like we have tried everything, except crating. I love him and I refuse to give him up to anyone else. Multiple owner dogs always have a tough time :(

    Let me know if you have any suggestions, VERY much appreciated :) Your website is beautiful and so are your dogs!


  127. Emme says

    I have a Shiba Inu male puppy and he peed and pooped in his crate the first week we had him (8 weeks). The Vet told us, when we went for first check-up after the Breeder that if there is TOO MUCH ROOM in the crate, they will treat it as a yard rather than a crate. We put a partition in the crate to make it just big enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down, and no accidents since. We keep him in crate between potty breaks and feed him in crate so he will like his crate. As he gets older, we will let him out more in between as he is a real chewer–he has lots of chew toys and frozen stuff in the crate, as he is teething.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Emme, Thanks for the really good advice and information. It is awesome that you are not only potty training, but also doing crate exercises during the puppy stage. That is when dogs absorb the most information.

      Hugs to your puppy. He is a very lucky Shiba! 😀

  128. nicole says

    well she has been doing great with not pottying in the house but still no luck on the crate. We put her in it at night and when we go to work or go out. We cant leave her loose because she chews on EVERYTHING.

    We keep her out in the garage because when we had her in the living room it made the house smell really bad. We have tried the sent removing spray and it didnt seem to phase her.

    Its been a while since we have noticed her pee as soon as we put her in and she goes in on her own now. We make sure to have her go potty before we put her in and during the day she is in it for about 4 hours at a time. we dont take her out at night anymore because even when we did she still went in the crate. I think we might try it again and see if it works better now. I think we are going to try and have her in the room with us at night for a week and see if that helps or not.

    She really is doing great at in the house. she cries at the door now andwe have learned all her signs. I think we have had only 1 accident and i think it was more to be a brat. I wouldnt share my hot dog with her and i think it made her mad cause she went behind the couch i was sitting on and peed and came right back layed down and gave me a take that look. :) I just hope we can get the kennel down soon. We have to bathe her constantly andf i know its not good for her skin.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Nicole,
      Glad to hear that things are going so well.

      I think we have had only 1 accident and i think it was more to be a brat. I wouldnt share my hot dog with her and i think it made her mad cause she went behind the couch i was sitting on and peed and came right back layed down and gave me a take that look.

      LOL – such a Shiba move. Shibas are great at finding out what annoys their owners most and then using that as a weapon.

      My Shiba did that with leash-biting on me, and then he switched to Shiba screaming on the dog walker. The thing that helped most for Sephy is to show him that when he did that – not only did he not get what he wanted in the first place (e.g. getting to the other dog, going somewhere he couldn’t) but he also lost something else that he valued. In his case, I quickly ended the walk and marched straight home. He stopped his leash-biting thing soon after 😀

      I think it is a great idea to teach her to go into the crate herself. Another thing that may help is to do crate training exercises when you are home and don’t have to leave. For example, put her in the crate for a very short time, with a really awesome food toy to work on. Then open the door after a very short while – before she even thinks about peeing. Repeat several times a day. Then you can slowly lengthen the time that she stays in the crate.

      This will teach her that going into the crate is a good and positive thing, and does not necessarily mean staying home alone.

  129. shibashake says

    Hi Nicole,

    You have a very lucky Shiba princess. I guess all Shibas are either Princes or Princesses – lol.

    With regards to the crate it could be –

    • She doesn’t know it is a non-potty area.
    • She doesn’t like to stay in it and knows that if she pees, she doesn’t have to go in.

    Does she go into the crate by herself and then pees right away? When does she go into the crate?

    I had many issues while crate training Sephy because it is so counter-intuitive. Usually I put Sephy in the crate when I need to leave him home alone – and he quickly figured that out. As a result, the crate became an indicator that we were going to leave, which stressed him out.

    I later discovered that putting him in the kitchen was better because I spent a lot of time with him in there while cooking, or just hanging out, and he didn’t associate that space with me leaving.

    How are things going with the potty training?

  130. nicole says

    after she pees in the crate she usually get put outside till we finish cleaning it out. Then a bath. Sometimes she stays outside for a while and sometimes she gets put right back in the crate after its clean. We keep trying different things. I do have to admit that we arent very consistant with what we do. It seems to be dependant on what we are doing at the moment and what kind of a mood we are in. I know we are doing something wrong were just trying to figure out what to try and stick with.

    I do like the thought on the pottying outside. She usually pees and runs right back to the door so we bring her in. now i think we will definatly try doing the play and exploration more and if she doesnt seem intrested in pottying just bring her back in.

    thanks for all your help. We are loving the breed. She fits into our family perfectly.

  131. nicole says

    i have a 3 almost 4 month old female shiba pup named jazmine. We have been trying to potty train her for about 2 months now with what seems like no luck. We reward her every time she goes outside but she still seems to love to go in the house. I live in North dakota and when we got her there was a few inches of snow on the ground so i dont think that helped in the beginning. but now the snow is long gone and the same problems are still there. We try and take her out at least once an hour if not more, but sometimes she doesnt go. she is a dog that is easily distracted and i think it causes her to forget she needs to potty. We have gotten the house accidents down for the most part but now the issue is in her crate. There are time when as soon as we put her in there she goes potty, before we even close the door! I swear she does it just to make the point of ok your going to have me in here im going to pee or poop then. I read that they dont usually like to potty where they live but we cant seem to get our to stop. any advise would be greatly appreciated. thank you


    • shibashake says

      Hi Nicole,

      “We have gotten the house accidents down for the most part but now the issue is in her crate.”

      Hmmm, there could be several reasons for this –

      • Try cleaning out the crate thoroughly with enzymatic pet cleaner to make sure that the smell is totally all gone.
      • She could have figured out that if she pee-ed in her crate, she doesn’t have to go in. What happens after she pees in her crate?
      • Also if you take her out and she doesn’t want to pee/poop then she comes right back in. Or else, she learns that once she pees she has to come back in but if she doesn’t she gets to stay outside and explore. Instead, play with her a bunch and let her stay out and explore after she has done her business. If there is no business, she goes back into the house.

      Let us know how it goes. Shibas are very smart and will learn to use whatever to push the boundaries if they can. :)

      Congrats on your new pup! They can be holy terrors when they are young but they grow up to be awesome Shibas.

  132. Colleen says

    He is a very lucky boy. A very spoiled little boy too. Check out some of his new pictures. I cant believe how quickly he is growing. When do they usually reach their full grown height?

    Unfortunately, I do not get to work from home. In my previous advertising position I was on the path to be able to do so however, when I took this new job, it was not an option.

    It is amazing what you can do with open source code. I generally work with native source code using HTML, ASP.NET and PHP languages. I haven’t done too much in the way of using a blogging platform. It is very intriguing yet intimidating, can’t wait to learn though!

  133. shibashake says

    Hi Colleen,

    Thanks so much for sharing what you did with us. That was very helpful and quite amazing.

    Reptar is a very lucky boy!

    I’m a Web Programmer. I develop and manage a NY State College website. Those websites you saw were mostly designed by designers and then I programmed them. Fortunately, design goes hand in hand so I guess I’m a designer by trade.

    That is very cool! Does this mean you get to work from home most of the time?

    Yeah I really got into WordPress about 6 months back and have been having a lot of fun with it since then. Do you usually use a blogging platform? or do you prefer to go HTML native?

    It is quite amazing what one can achieve nowadays with all the free PHP and Javascript code out there. Hurray for open-source! :)

  134. Anonymous says

    It took us awhile to determine that he had a change in his diet.

    At first we thought it was just an upset stomach because he showed no other signs of illness. He was not lethargic and he was eating and drinking like normal. Once he started having accidents on our bed and purposely going in his crate we took a urine sample to the vet. It came back with no sign of infection. As happy as I was Reptar was OK, it still did not explain the behavior so I could understand it. I did some research on the internet and all pointed to signs of either a UTI or neglect. This boy is hardly neglected and since his urine sample came back with no infection, we were back to square one.

    I went over and over his change in diet and environment. Trying to remember if he ate anything on a walk, in the house etc… It took me about 4 days to remember that I went grocery shopping (for Reptar) the day before his first incident. He had started eating some greenies, as well as some sweet potato chew thing. We stopped giving him both when we realized that’s what changed.

    We had no choice but to take this day by day. I watched him like a hawk. I am a light sleeper which helped in this situation because when he moves or makes a noise, I wake up. I would get up and let him out a few times every night during the night for about 5-7 days. This may seem like overkill to some but I believe it reinforced him that pottying outside is the right thing to do. He had one accident in the house after taking away the new food items and it took us a few days to get him back to his regular routine.

    I made sure I did not stress him out even more. Reptar is very senstive to stressors and reacts negatively. He knew he did wrong and the days I came home and he broke out of his crate, he was traumatized enough. I did not scold him for making a mistake in the house because I was never home to catch him in the act. Also, I did not force him to sleep in his crate, nor on the bed with us. He had to stay in the bedroom but was able to sleep where he felt most comfortable. This may not have been the best situation but being that I am a very light sleeper, even if he rolled over I woke up.

    Our biggest concern was that it wasnt medical. once that was ruled out, we went to behavior. We determined what caused the original accident and then the new behaviors that followed. we went back to basics which helped a great deal. Since then, he’s only had once accident in the house. During this time, I’ve formed a tighter closer bond with Reptar too! It’s been quite month- Just in time for level 2 obedience! Wish us luck! We also posted some new pictures too.

    Thanks again! Hope this helps.

    OH and to answer your question – I’m a Web Programmer. I develop and manage a NY State College website. Those websites you saw were mostly designed by designers and then I programmed them. Fortunately, design goes hand in hand so I guess I’m a designer by trade. :)

  135. shibashake says

    Awww – that is one super handsome boy! Reptar has awesome coloring and his ears are just too adorable. He definitely deserves lots of ice cubes :)

    I am happy he is feeling good again and super Kudos to you for getting him there so quickly. When you have some time, maybe you can list out some of the things you did – e.g., identified all recent changes (Greenie) and reverted things back to previous routine, etc.

    I think this would be very helpful for everyone.

    Btw. are you a web designer? The example sites on your main site look really good. The ice cream one made me want to go out and get some.

    Have a good weekend and definitely take more pictures! 😀

  136. Colleen says

    Reptar is doing much better! Still no accidents in the house and he seems to be back to normal! 5 days left on his meds. He says thank you for your support!

    If that doesn’t work you can see his “thank you” picture here. http://www.colleenrcallahan.com/photos/reptar.jpg

  137. shibashake says

    He is on day 4 of his antibiotics and is drinking plenty of water, with the help of ice cubes to make it fun. So far it’s been two days without any serious potty mistakes in the house. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all will be well when I go home today.

    I am so glad to hear that Reptar is getting back into his groove. Ice cubes are a great idea! When summer comes, I was also thinking of freezing water in a Kong for Sephy and Shania.

    This may be a silly question but there is no way to non-mark him for going inside if we don’t catch him in the act, right?

    Yeah it would only be when you catch him in the act. It is easiest to keep most areas closed off when he is alone. Sephy used to hang out in the kitchen and I put up a baby gate to create a small enclosure space for him there.

    Hugs to Reptar and give him an ice cube from me. :)

  138. Colleen says

    The few times that he went on the bedding (on our bed) we were sleeping, so were not able to tell if it was intentional or unintentional. When he urinated in his bed however, it was intentional. He jumped down off our our bed to urintate on his. Very strange behavior for him. That has been the only strange behavior. No other signs of illness or stress.

    When he busted out of his crate, both times, he went to the bathroom on the floor in two different rooms. Those rooms are generally closed off to him so I understand his need to mark that space. This may be a silly question but there is no way to non-mark him for going inside if we don’t catch him in the act, right?

    He is on day 4 of his antibiotics and is drinking plenty of water, with the help of ice cubes to make it fun. So far it’s been two days without any serious potty mistakes in the house. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all will be well when I go home today.

    The day before the first incident took place, we gave him a greenie (1/2) for the first time. We stopped giving him the greenies this past Friday night when we realized that this was the only change in his routine/diet. Perhaps his stomach cannot handle the greenies.

    We thank for your feedback, tips and support! Always very helpful. Reptar says thanks for the hugs!

  139. shibashake says

    Hello Colleen,

    I have been thinking about your question …

    Yesterday, while we were at work, he managed to push in the front of his crate and escape again and went to the bathroom in two different rooms in the house.

    Does Reptar only go on bedding or only on furniture? Or is there no pattern?

    When I first got Shania, Sephy started to urinate some on bedding as well. That was a marking behavior and he wanted to claim certain sleeping areas as his. I think it started because he wanted to cover up Shania’s scent as she was not potty trained and made some potty mistakes around the house.

    It is really difficult to get the smell totally out of bedding, and what worked best was to just store the bedding away in the garage until things settled down.

    Some things that may help –
    1. When you take Reptar out, try taking him to areas that smell like other dogs. This will encourage him to mark which will hopefully also make him drink more and reduce his desire to mark while inside the house. Sephy also sometimes forgets to drink or holds things in until he really really has to go. Taking him out on more frequent, but shorter walks in ‘smelly’ areas helped with both.

    2. Remove all previously marked bedding and make sure to clean any hard surfaces with enzymatic pet cleaners to get rid of all the smell. Important to also do that with his crate.

    3. Go back to potty training basics and non-mark him for going inside, and quickly take him out. Reward him if he continues to urinate outside. I just leave Sephy outside when I clean up his messes. Otherwise, he may decide to clean it up himself – 😮

    4. Because of the incident, he may now be stressed to be in a closed crate especially when he is alone. There are several possibilities –
    a) Get a neighbor or dog walker to come over and take him out for a short walk in the middle of the day.
    b) Dog day-care.
    c) Set him up in a dog-safe small room or enclosure with potty pads (Shiba Sephy likes shredding up potty pads so this may not work for some dogs). Put on the radio, music, or t.v. so that he has familiar people sounds around.


    Hope some of this helps. Hugs to Reptar!

  140. Colleen says


    You’ve been so helpful to my other questions, thank you. Reptar is almost 8 months old and was essentially potty trained when we got him at 9 weeks. He had a couple accidents in the first few weeks in his new home but after he made no mistakes in the house. He is crate trained and goes in his crate while we are at work. Last week he had a messy accident in his crate and busted out of it. He urinated in another room that is usually closed off to him. We didn’t catch him in the act so we couldn’t correct him for that but he knew he did wrong because when I came home and he greeted me at the door (when he was supposed to be in his crate) he looked very apologetic.

    Anyway, that night (he sometimes sleeps on the bed with us), he urinated on his blanket on our bed and then proceeded to go sleep in his crate the rest of the night. He did not wake us up to go to take him out to the bathroom like he usually does. Same thing happened the next night. We took a urine sample to the vet, it came back highly concentrated meaning he does not drink enough water, but no infection was present. He is on antibiotics for the urine concentration. Since the second night, Reptar has not been invited up to sleep on the bed and has been slept in his crate. He’s woken us up a few times to go out in the middle of the night. Reptar has never before had a problem during the night. after a few months old, he would sleep through the night without any problems.

    Yesterday, while we were at work, he managed to push in the front of his crate and escape again and went to the bathroom in two different rooms in the house. Minus the defecating, I was very proud of him for not destroying and ripping apart the house. He made a bed of his toys and bully sticks so we were able to see where he spent most of his day. However last night, he spent some time with us on the bed before sleep time, on his own he jumped down, went into his crate and urinated on his bed in his crate. No request to go out.

    I’m at wits end trying to determine if this is behavioral or medical. I know this was very long winded but felt that this started occurring once he had his accident in his crate last week. That has been the only change in his routine and environment. Perhaps that was his big stressor. If it is behavioral, what can we do to correct this situation?

    Again, I apologize for being so long winded.

  141. shibashake says

    Hello Meghann and Rocky!

    Yeah my Shiba has some separation anxiety. The key for my Shiba was to slowly get him into a routine and to stick to the routine. Even now if there are any deviations from the routine, he gets stressed.

    First I desensitized him to the ritual of me leaving. Then I got him used to me leaving for short periods of time. Once he got used to that, I slowly lengthened the alone time period.

    Here are some separation anxiety techniques that may help.

    Having a fixed routine helped the most. Getting a dog walker or daycare can also be helpful for those times when you get really busy.

    Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.

  142. Rocky's Meghann says

    Great website! My name is Meghann, and I am the proud human of a Shiba named Rocky. He’s just over one year (we have the same birthday…it was fate!). I hate leaving my bubba alone for long periods of time, but I have to work. As my schedule gets busier, I have decided to re-introduce the crate, and have to start training him all over again. I also think he has some separation anxiety issues, because no matter what he does outside before I leave, there is always a little spot of wee and sometimes a poo or two when I get back…even if I’ve been gone for an hour! Do you have any tips? I have tried all the treats, feeding him while in the crate, lots of praise, etc, and every time we take a step forward, we end up jumping 2 steps back…HELP! I love my lil Shiba so much, and just want him to be a happy healthy and ultimately MOSTLY good dog.

    Thanks for your help!


  143. Jyro-n-Ryssa says

    Thanks for the advice on Jyro, I will have to work on that. As far as the peeing on command, I will try the pads again, but for some reason they really like to chew them up and make a mess. These two little monsters feed off of each others company, and can tear a place up in no time. I agree with the stubbornness also. It is interesting, Jy and Ryssa are brother and sister, and like children, they are night and day difference. Jyro is laid back and loves praise, Ryssa is a princess and she puts off that vibe that she can make it on her own if we just let her. She is going to bow to no one! We love them both and don’t regret our decision about getting two of them, it is a challenge!!

    P.S. do you have any comment about the underground fence?

  144. Jyro-n-Ryssa says

    We are the new parents of not one but two Shiba pups, they are currently 7 months old. We have had zero troubles potty training the female (Ryssa), the male (Jyro) is another story. He does pretty good most of the time but when ever someone comes in the door, doesn’t matter who it is, he gets excited and wets all over. I think he knows he is doing it because he will make a nice little trail to the back door (that is were we always take him out to go). It dosn’t matter if he has just been out to go or if it has been an hour or so he still makes a nice little trail! We are moving to a new house in a couple of months and I want to get this problem under controll. I don’t want to ruin the carpet, and I don’t want to get rid of him. I also have another question. As stated earlier, we are moving to a new house. This new piece of property doesn’t have a fenced in yard like we currently have. I worked with the pups for a couple of weeks to get them used to going on a leash. It didn’t work out so well. On several occasions we walked half to three fourths of a mile just to get them to go. I don’t have time for that esp. in the morings. I was sure to take treats and give lots of praise but it didn’t get any better. We are going to put up a fence but it will take time. Do you recommend an underground fence? Any advice you have for us would be greatly appreciated!

  145. shibashake says

    “Jyro is laid back and loves praise, Ryssa is a princess and she puts off that vibe that she can make it on her own if we just let her.”

    That is very interesting. Many people have said that female Shibas are generally more stand-offish than male Shibas so what you say is further support of that theory.

    Except my male Shiba is very stand-offish as well – guess you just never can tell with a Shiba. :)

    Re underground fence – I am not a fan of hidden fences, especially for a Shiba Inu. Firstly, Shibas are very stubborn and often times they are willing to take some physical discomfort/pain if they really want to do something. That is why aversive techniques did not work well on my Shiba. The hidden fence uses the same concept. A Shiba will probably escape from a hidden fence.

    Secondly, hidden fences may have unwanted side effects. A Shiba may associate the pain with the people or dogs passing by, or even just with the environment. This may make him become either aggressive or fearful towards those objects. With a Shiba it will probably be the former.

    In my opinion they are too risky and not very effective, especially for Shibas.

  146. shibashake says

    Re pottying on command –

    My Shiba Inu doesn’t potty on command either and is extremely finicky about doing his business, especially pooping. My Siberian does the potty on command but I haven’t been able to train my Shiba to do it. Shibas’ and their stubborness :)

    My Shiba Inu does like to mark though – so he will very likely pee on spots where there is scent from other dogs. You could try taking them out in the neighborhood instead of the backyard and see how that goes. Just make sure they have all their shots before doing this.

    As a short term solution you could also set up some pads in the garage or near the door in case they really need to potty. Most Shibas are very clean though and will try their best to hold it in until you come home.

    There are items – Pee Posts – that you can buy that supposedly encourage a dog to pee. It has some scent on it that will make a dog want to mark. I have never tried using these though. My guess would be that they would not be too effective with a Shiba – but you never know :)

    Hope this helps. Congrats on the new house :)

  147. shibashake says

    Hello Jyro and Ryssa – love the names! :)

    Sounds like Jyro is doing excitement urination. What you want to do is to keep greetings as low key as possible.

    Tell your visitors “no-talk, no-touch, and no eye-contact” – i.e. just ignore the dogs. The no eye contact is especially important because eye contact is attention to a dog and it will get them excited.

    Once Jyro is totally calm, then you can start giving him a little bit of attention – just start with the keys, then voice, then briefly with the touch. But as soon as he gets excited again you want to non-mark (ack-ack) and then ignore.

    You can get some friends to help you with training this. Practice the greeting outside so that you don’t have to clean up the mess.

    Here is a good link on excitement urination:


  148. Sarah says

    Hi, I just wanted to ask you how you trained your dogs not to run out of opened doors, Bear will sit before we go out and he sits before we go back inside but how do i stop him running out the back/front door as sometimes he does before i can get to the door to close it.

    Thanks again for all your wonderful tips helping me raise a wonderful good natured Husky……….Bear

  149. sarah says

    Hi Shibashake

    Since Bear has been on his new dry food he has been so much better at night, whine for about an hour then i take him out to the toilet just befor i’m ready to go to bed then he is fine sleeps through the night. Hooray!!! I tend to agre with you that Bear was that hungry he just stressed himself out over it, but he is doing well now.

    No i havn’t got a crate in the bedroom but have just bought another crate(canvas one) so he can sleep in the bedroom with us, i think he will settle alot better with us.

    How is Bear doing with his new food?

    GREAT…….GREAT…….GREAT, Bear has no diarrhea, he is more alert and plays more and it’s only his 3rd day on the food so things can only get better…..i hope….fingers crossed lol.

    The only thing i wanted to ask was when we took Bear for his walk last night it was really raining hard…but we still enjoyed it……but when we got home and i wiped his paws/coat down i notice his coat had a horrible smell to it, i can’t described the smell only that it was was horrid. Is it something to do with the rain? (his coat doesn’t smell too bad today) he has a shower every 2 weeks, he really enjoys this and looks like a drowned rat bless him. Is this horrid smell something i should be worried about? could it be because he has not been 100% with diet change etc and it coming through his coat? i don’t know what it is………any suggestions!!!

    Hi to you and you doggies….so cute

  150. Sarah says

    Hi Shibashake,

    Does Bear only howl when you are not there with him? or does he also howl when you are there with him?

    Bear only howls when i am NOT when i not in the same room as he is, even when my husband and/or daughter are with him he still sometimes cry’s out for short time,

    Do you put him in the crate during the day? Does he howl when he is in the crate during the day?

    During the day Bear will go into his crate off his own back……he take his favourite Teddy in with him, lays down or has a play but he will NOT fall a sleep in there he comes back out, lays on his cusion then falls a sleep.(The crate door is NOT closed during the day on him just at night, No howling while he is in there during the day.)

    The only time Bear whines is at meal times(we have a gate at the kitchen door)he can see me doing his meal and i’m assuming it’s because he getting excited about his food, but this is the only time he whines when i am around, when he is with me there is no whining, no howling no noise just a content little Bear (Only when i am there tho).

    How do i go a bout dealing with the separation anxiety? Bear has been the way he is with me since the day i picked him up and bought him home so it not something new, i have tried putting his food in his crate and shutting the door, soon as he finished i opened the door but each day the door stay closed a little longer and this worked, he slept in his crate all night(no howling) until his last bout of diarrhea and he was starved for 36 hrs(as told by the vet) that when it changed, thats when the howling started at night all night. Could it have been because he was so hungry that he howled for attention hoping to get something to eat ?

    I Have never opened the crate door when he has whined/howled he has to be quiet then i open the door and mark him *good boy* for being quiet, if he doesn’t stop the i non mark him and move out of site until he is quiet which can take a while, am i doing this all wrong? i do try different methods if one doesn’t work with him which has been working on everything else a part from crate training at night……..nothing working…..

    Thanks for your help


    P.s. I would ask the training teacher what her thought were but i am going to find another class as this one i was going to was a bit boring there was long pauses in between task and she really doesn’t seem interested in each puppy, she never interacts with any of the puppies only her own, is this how it;s done? am i expecting too much from these classes? i thought they would be different to what they are and all bear is interested in is one of the puppy’s(female) as the task they do he already does(apart from *Down*Command)sometimes without a command he just knows when to sit,stay come etc. What do you think?

    Thanks again Shibashake,

    Hope you and your dogs are well…….

  151. sarah says

    Hi Shibashake,

    Another night of no sleep, Bear howled all night again but i am worried he is stressing himself out even when i came to let him out at 6am i stood there for 5mins until he quietened down but he was like a dog possessed, he was going mad, it was quite frightning as i never have seen him like that, i just don’t understand why bear has changed about the crate, everything is the same, i forgot to mention before that he has had no diarrhea now for 2 days so it’s not because he needs the toilet as i have been taken him out during the night and all he does is a little pee(hardly worth the fuss), so i don’t think all the howling is him to pee. I am really at my witts end with night times with him. Ok …. so what if i keep him out the crate at night for a few days wont it make it harder for me to train him to use the crate at night again? I should say he goes into the crate during the day off his own back and is quite happy so i am really stumped with this, any suggestions as to how i can get some sleep at night ? with the lack of sleep i am loosing my patients which I DO NOT want to happen as bear is my baby but i need to sought something out as we can’t go on like this.

    Thanks for your advice a bout trying Orijen, yes you can get it here but not where i live (middle of Knowmans land lol), but as i have started the Annameat Puppy i will see how he gets on with it, i have look at the Orijen and compared them, they are virtually the same with same ingredients and all, thanks again.

    I have not given Bear any treats or any other treat for 4/5 days now, i will wait to see how he gets on with his new food before given him anything else.

    Yes training is going well and i think i enjoy it more than Bear does lol, although the last couple of days have been a struggle, he not interested in playing, training games nothing, do you think this is because he has had so many probs with diarrhea that it’s draining him? Bear has NOT lost any weight though, but only put on 1k in 17 days, how much weight should he be putting on weekly?

    Thanks again for all your help i really appriciate it and i know Bear does aswel.


  152. sarah says

    Hi me again,

    Bear had started puppy classes but had to stop them for a week due to his diarrhea back again……something in the dry food causing this so he is starting a new food today called Annamaet Ultra after being starved for 24 hrs bless him……have you heard of this food ? it from America? So i am hoping that finally once and for all Bear diarrhea will come to an end, fingers crossed hey…

    Anyway the problem i have is that Bear is Howling and crying all night…no let up…..from 10pm till 5.30am non stop, i take him out every hour just incase it was because he wanted the toilet….yes he went for a wee every time but my problem is that he poops in his crate inbetween the hourly treks outside, why is this? he had stopped pooping in his crate for 5 nights then started again, i am having to sleep downstairs again…my poor hubby bless him….. but in a seperate room, the howling is so loud that my neighbours are complaining, as you can appriciate he is doing this all night and it is finally getting me down, even tho i do not show it around Bear. I don’t know what to do anymore, i have tried so many things but he still howls all night and poops in his crate….and what a mess….yes the crate had been made smaller just enough for him to turn around in, he still pooped in it and because i made the divider out of wood and covered in material he has trashed it, now he has the whole crate so he can do his buisness at one end, until i can make another divider he’ll have the whole crate, HELP!!!! what else can i do?

    Apart from this Bear is doing really well, his obedience is going well, he does as he is told MOST of the time lol we are getting there.

    Hope you can help….


    Hiya to you and your 2 loverly doggies……

  153. sarah says

    Hi Shibashake,

    Love the new pictures of your two loverly dogs…….so cute together.

    Bear is doing better, he now had all his injections but the last one caused him to get diarrhea again bless him, but he is now starting to get over it so should be back on his proper food soon.

    I have a question a bout feeding……..as he has been on chicken and rice and nothing else he has been getting his food in his bowl which he eats well, the problem comes when he has finished, you go to remove the bowl and he growls at me then tries to bite me…..he hasn’t succeeded yet…….Bear never used to do this before so i don’t know why he has started now, any ideas as to how i go a bout solving this please? Before long he will succeed in biting me but i want to put a stop to it before that happens.

    Bear has his first puppy class tonight so i am hoping we will enjoy it especially Bear, he will love playing with the other puppies……i hope lol.

    Thanks for your help and guidance with everything.



  154. Sarah says


    It’s 3.15am here and Bear is in his crate crying etc, he has been poops and wee he just will not settle i really don’t know what to do.

    Back garden is fully enclosed with a 6ft fence. I have stareted putting him outside if he misbehaves again after being non-marked.

    My husband is fine thanks for asking, he is worried about me with not sleeping etc but he helps on his days off(he’s a night worker)and does as much as he can. The good thing is Bear goes to him know and doesn’t bite him anymore

    Rules……Yes we have rules in place no jumping,no getting on furniture ect, no probs with this at the moment as he is non-marked if he breaks these rules.

    Food bag/cat basket……..i realised that Bear was trying to hump these things but was non-marked straight away.

    I have put Bear back on his chicken and rice diet, i am at the vets on Tuesday for his second lot of vaccinations so will have a word with him if it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

    All in all i think he is trying to push me to my limites, when he’s doing something he shouldn’t be doing he knows he doing wrong as he looks at you first then does the same thing he has been non-marked for.

    3.30am…….Bear is still howling in his crate so i am going to take him out to see if he needs the toilet and then ill put him back in his crate and go to bed before i fall down, i forgot what my bed looks and feels like ha ha

    Thanks, you are a great help.

    Speak soon

    Sarah xx

  155. Sarah says

    Hiya again,

    I’m really sorry if i’m being a pain in the you no what.

    Since my last email……well Bear has pooped and urinated inside,even tho i would have just got back in after taking him out for the 100th time(it feels like that at the mo:-(…). Bear is also try to urinate on the cat basket and on his food bag, he has never done this before but he hasn’t had the chance to actually do anything on them as i don’t let him out my sight. Do you know why he doing this? Is he trying to mark his territory?

    Diarrhea……I’m having a real problem with this, i thought it had cleared up but it hasn’t, i don’t know whether it could have been the small bit of peanut butter or cheesespread that i put in his Kong(it was a very small amount) it seems everything i try Bear gets diarrhea, is this normal? do you think i should carry on with his treats etc and hope the diarrhea will go once his tummy gets used to the treats etc.

    One more thing Bear will not go to the toilet in his usual place, for some reason he wants to go futher up, his spot is grass and it gets cleaned up straight after he done his buisness. Any suggestions as to why he is behaving this way please.

    Thankyou for your time and help i appreciate it.

    Sarah x

  156. Sarah says

    Hi Shibashak,

    Mmmmm yes my poor hubby, he not to bad but he getting a bit peaed off now bless him, can’t say i blame him tho, if it were the other way around i would be the same as we have not been apart in 14 years (only when he goes to work….night shift), now we are but i am hoping it will not be for much longer tho, fingers crossed…..Thanks for asking

    I am having a bad morning……i really felt like i was going backwards and just sat and cried……….

    Bear has been awake 2hrs and he has weeed on the carpet twice even tho i have took him out as soon as he woke up and then about every 20mins as he kept going to back door,……he didn’t always do anything but as soon as we got inside he went to his crate circled inside so i went to grab him to take him out……………TOO LATE……he pooped all in his crate(do you think this could be because it raining hard here today?), i don’t understand why he done this as he has now started going in his crate by himself and has a play so i thought i was getting somewhere……WRONG. Why would he do this in a place he likes and goes into to eat, sleep sometimes and play sometimes? HELP!!!!!!!!!!

    Bear went in his crate last night and i gave him a Dentist Teething Bone(don’t know if you have heard of these!), close the door…..Great he was settled…or so i thought, i slept on the settee next to the crate so he could see me and fell asleep…..(i was/am so tiered), he woke me clawring at the crate 20 mins after i’d fell a sleep, i waited as i was not going to let him out but he just went on and on clawring,howling etc so when he quietend down a bit i let him out……(i know big mistake but i am so tiered i needed some sleep) he layed next to me and fell a sleep….. typical. I really don’t know how to sort this!!

    As for his food i took your advice and made him work for it…..these kongs are ideal for that and he loved it.

    He does the sit command well as i use this when given his treats ect and when putting his harness on.

    Picture…….as soon as i have the time to upload the pics on my computor i will email you them as he does look cute bless him.

    As for obedience classes i am looking in to some but they cost so much so will have a shop around first to see what comes up.

    I really appriciate all your advise, i can’t thankyou enough.


    Sarah x

  157. Sarah says

    Morning Shibashake,

    I didn’t have room for his crate in the bedroom so i have been staying downstairs with Bear(my poor hubby). I started feeding him his meals in the crate and folling one of your links about crate training and it seems to be working although he is not sleeping in the crate, he sometimes goes in there for a sit which is a start i suppose but it will take time but he’ll get there.

    As for making him work/train…….i got no chance………he just will not play outside, i try taking him for morning and evening walks but he just not interested i have to drag him as he just lies down munching on grass….Bear thinks he a cow ha ha. When we are inside the house he goes crazy running around like he possesed, i have tried treats but it doesn’t work just gives him diarrhea, he is one lazy Husky……. Please what else can i try? I’m worried as he gets bigger Bear running round inside will be a nightmare, knocking everything off shelves etc.

    In the day Bear sleeps in kitchen most of the time but he sleeps next to or on his bag of dry food….he can’t get to it as it’s in a heavy nylon sack but i just wondered if this was normal and what should i do?…….I would move the sack but i have nowhere else to put it.

    How to i stop Bear from jumping up to his food bowl when i am trying to put it down for him? he nearly knocks it out my hand.

    Thanks for your time

    look forward to your reply


  158. shibashake says

    Re running out doors – Hmmmm … Siberians are very independent so you can never be 100% sure with them. I know that my girl will bolt out the door if she sees a squirrel or cat – no matter the training.

    My breeder trains her dogs not to bolt out of their crate by putting them back in their crate and not allowing them out for a time if they try to bolt. This is similar to the door manners that you are already practicing. One thing you can do is to practice the door manners more frequently. You don’t have to take Bear out for a walk, just bring him out, play with him briefly, and then back inside to practice door manners. In the meantime, you must carefully manage it so that Bear doesn’t get rewarded for bolting – i.e. he successfully gets out. If he gets out sometimes, he will just keep trying because he knows that if he tries hard enough, he will get what he wants.

    Again though – you can never be 100% sure of them. Instinct takes over and they are off. I only have the door open when I am right there to supervise.

  159. shibashake says

    Hi Sarah,

    I am so glad to hear that things are going so well with Bear – YAY! I knew you guys would get there given the enormous amount of effort you were putting into it! 😀

    I am no expert on the wet-dog smell, but supposedly it is caused by bacteria that grows in the dog’s fur. It is the wetness that encourages their growth – so the general consensus is to dry your dog with a dryer after baths.

    Another possibility is that it could be a result of food or skin allergies. However, since it only happened that one time, that seems less likely.

    You may also want to consider cutting down on the number of baths you give Bear. Bathing too often can cause too much of the dog’s natural oils to be washed off resulting in dry skin and a less healthy coat. Once a month should be plenty unless there are smell emergencies :)

    Brushing is actually a great way to remove regular dirt. Look into getting a Furminator – those brushes are awesome especially for double coated dogs like the Siberian Husky.

    I don’t give Shania traditional baths – she just soaks in her little wading pool when it is hot outside. Then she just dries naturally in the sun. I haven’t had an issue with the wet-dog smell so I don’t have much experience with this issue. Maybe my nose is just really insensitive :)

  160. shibashake says

    Hi Sarah – Sounds like you are doing a really good job with the crate training. The only thing I can think of is that when Bear got hungry, he got anxious, and then became even more stressed when he realized you were not there.

    Given the symptoms you describe I would also guess that the pooping inside the crate is from the stress of being away from you.

    Is Bear’s crate in your bedroom? Both my dogs like sleeping in the bedroom and it is actually a very good bonding exercise to let them do so. It shows them that they are part of the pack/family.

    I have an article on separation anxiety but it is mostly for during the day when you have to leave on errands.


    Re training class: What you say sounds very reasonable. In the classes that I went to, the instructor always used one of the class dogs to show the training techniques. In general, if you feel uncomfortable or unhappy with anything in the class, you should look for something else that better fits you and Bear. There are many dog trainers out there that are not all that great – so don’t take everything that they say as truth :) I learned this the hard way when I was starting out.

    How is Bear doing with his new food?

    Hugs to Bear – he is such a handsome boy!

  161. shibashake says

    Hi Sarah, Does Bear only howl when you are not there with him? or does he also howl when you are there with him?

    Do you put him in the crate during the day? Does he howl when he is in the crate during the day?

    It could be a separation anxiety issue – i.e. Bear wants to be close to you at all times and when you are not there he wants to know where you are.

    It could also just be a manipulation technique. If you had previously let Bear out when he was whining, then he may have learned that whining will get him out of the crate. If it doesn’t work he may continue to escalate his behavior to see if he gets any results.

    There could also be other reasons – e.g. having to go, having digestives issues, etc., but these are the common ones. How you deal with it will very much depend on the reason for his whining.

    If he whines when you are there, here is something you can try –

    1. When he starts whining, you non mark him (ack-ack), and move farther away from him. If he continues, you non-mark him again, and move still farther away and so on until you are out of his view.

    2. Then just ignore him. No talking, no looking, nothing until he stops whining.

    3. As soon as he stops – mark the behavior (Good boy) and start to approach him. If he starts to whine again, move away again. Whenever he whines, make sure you ignore him (no talk, no eye contact).

    This way he learns that whining drives you away, but being quiet brings you closer. You may want to try this out during the day first to see how he responds to it. Only do this for short sessions at a time so that you do not overly stress him. I would like to hear how he responds.

    Also ask your class instructor what she thinks. She gets to observe Bear in real time, so she may have a better idea of the source of this behavior.

    Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.

    Glad to hear things are going better with his diet. Once that gets fully resolved it will be easier to deal with the other issues. :)

  162. shibashake says

    My guess is that the pooping and howling is from the diarrhea. I think once you get that under control – things will improve significantly. You may want to postpone the crating at night until the diarrhea is gone. Sometimes moving around helps them to deal with digestive pain etc.

    For now, no treats or anything else either. Just go back to the chicken+rice, wait until the diarrhea goes away, then slowly introduce the Orijen into his diet.

    Do 1/4 Orijen and 3/4 chicken and rice for the first few days (3-4 days) and if that is good, then increase it to 1/2 Orijen, 1/2 chicken+rice. Wait another 3-4 days, then do 3/4 Orijen, 1/4 chicken+rice and so on.

    Hope this works out. Let me know how it goes. Glad to hear that obedience is working out well. You are almost there :)

  163. shibashake says

    Hello Sarah,

    Sorry to hear about the troubles. I looked into possible kibble brands, and found that Orijen actually sells in the UK.


    Orijen is a great brand. I have tried it out on both of my dogs and they did really well on it. It has also gotten a lot of good reviews from many other dog owners.

    I am guessing that you probably cannot get it at the regular grocery store. The grocery stores here don’t sell the better kibble brands either. I get mine from a local dog food/pet store. The Orijen site has a list of stores where you can get their product from.


    There are many crappy brands of dog food from the States so I would not use that as a criteria. Go for Orijen – I think you will be happy with the results. The ingredients in it are top notch.

    Let me know if I can be of further help in this. 

  164. shibashake says

    Hi Sarah, So glad to hear that Bear is doing well. He is such a cutie – gotta love those big ears 😀

    “the problem comes when he has finished, you go to remove the bowl and he growls at me then tries to bite me”

    Does he try to bite at you when you hand-feed him? If not, then I would hand feed him some of his food every day.

    Another thing to try is to just put a bit of his food in the bowl. Wait for him to finish, add a bit more, and repeat. For now, do not try to touch him or pet him while eating. Just use a spoon to let the food drop into the bowl – make sure not to put yourself in biting range.

    What you want to do is teach him to associate good things with you being around his food. You may also want to be sitting on a chair so that you are not looming over him. Only add food into his bowl when he is not showing any aggression, otherwise ignore him until he stops, then add food. You could also ask him for commands for each scoop – Sit, scoop; Sit, scoop.

    If you have the time, check out my article on food aggression. It has more ways on addressing this issue –


    Good luck in doggy class – let me know how it goes! :)

  165. shibashake says

    Re Rules: If Bear is marking around the house, then it could be a symptom of leadership issues.

    Some ways to determine if there are any leadership issues is to look at how Bear is responding to the current house rules and to look at how Bear responds to different people in the household (e.g. your husband). For example, my Shiba was a crazy little thing at first because I didn’t have enough house rules, and did not respond properly to him when he was breaking those house rules. He would also respond much better to my partner because I was not firm or consistent enough with him.

    Learning how to communicate with my Shiba was probably the thing that made the most difference. Two very important parts of that communication are consistency and timing. Make sure to always use the same mark and non-mark. Make sure to consistently enforce all house rules. Make sure to reward at the right time, and to take away rewards at the right time. <— not a lecture, more of a bad memory :)

    I had a difficult time with Shiba, but once I started really focusing on consistency and timing, things really improved for me. Whenever I rewarded him, I would think to myself, is this rewarding him for a good behavior? and whenever I took something away, I would ask myself, did he deserve this, or something else?

    Hope this makes sense. :)

  166. shibashake says

    Hi Sarah,

    Re howling in the crate: It is important that you do not let him out while he is whining. In general you want to wait until he stops whining and let him out then. You can also teach him the quiet command, during the day. Ring the doorbell, or do something else that you know will get him to start whining, then say quiet, together with a consistent hand gesture for the command. Wait until he stops whining, and as soon as he does that, mark the behavior, and reward him.

    Once you get his diarrhea under control, you probably want to be more strict about his crate practices. If you let him out while he is whining, then you are rewarding his whining behavior, and he will just keep on doing it.

  167. shibashake says

    Opps I also want to add that Siberians are very good at escaping – digging under or jumping over fences. So only put Bear in the backyard if it is totally secure with a high fence (at least 6 feet).

    In general, it is better to set up a time-out area inside the house. I use my laundry room. Just make sure there is nothing in there that he can destroy.

  168. shibashake says

    Sarah, I am so sorry to hear that. *HUGS* I think you need to take some little breaks from Bear. Do you have a fully enclosed backyard? or someone who can dogsit for you for a couple of hours?

    When I first got my Shiba Inu I got to burn-out stage too. Having breaks from him really helped me a lot, and ended up helping him too in the end.

    Ok, I think we need to fix each of the problems one by one and not try to do too much:

    1. Diarrhea – This is the most important one and should be fixed first. Get Bear back on chicken and rice and do not give him anything else. Once the diarrhea stops, get him back on his regular food but do not give him any treats or any additional food. Just keep the diarrhea away for now.

    2. Leadership and rules in the house – It sounds like Bear may be marking. It is hard to say given that I am not there to observe, but peeing on his food and the cat basket certainly seems like marking behavior.

    My Shiba has done this twice, both times on bedding material, and when he does that, I non-mark him, and he gets banished to the backyard which he really dislikes. He doesn’t get to come in for a good long while.

    It is important to have certain rules around the house, and you must make sure that Bear follows those rules. If he does not, non-mark him, and temporarily take away something that he values, e.g. his freedom. When my Shiba misbehaves, he gets put in a time-out area which is boring and he gets absolutely no attention during this time. Don’t make time-outs too long – I start with 1 minute and then extend it as necessary.

    Some of my house rules: No getting on furniture, No biting/mouthing on people, No humping, No digging on carpets, No running out doorways.

    3. Take some time out for yourself. This is also very important. 😀

    Btw how does Bear act towards your husband?

  169. shibashake says

    Good to hear from you Sarah. Your poor husband – lol. How is he holding up through all this?

    Re sleeping downstairs: Have you switched Bear to a new diet? As soon as you get his diarrhea issues resolved, you probably want to try crating him at night again. If there is absolutely no space in your bedroom, you can try putting the crate outside your bedroom door and just leave the bedroom door open. My dogs really like being in the bedroom with us at night. The bedroom has a lot of people smells and I think it helps to make them feel safe.

    Re running around the house: My Siberian loves to hunt so she has a lot of fun hunting for lizards and such in our backyard. Because of her hunting instinct, I also play the flirt-pole with her which she also really enjoys.

    Bear is still really young – so the both of you just need to figure out what you like doing together :) You might consider enrolling Bear in a puppy obedience class. That way, you get some obedience training under your belt and Bear gets to drain some of his energy playing with other puppies.

    My Siberian also works for all of her food from toys and such so that could be another activity for Bear. Sometimes my Siberian gets a bit lazy and will not work on the food toys, but when she gets hungry enough, she will overcome her laziness :) The Buster Cube and Omega Paw ball are great for dispensing kibble.

    Re munching grass: Both my dogs like munching on grass from time to time. Grass eating could also be a result of his disgestive issues.

    Re sleeping on bag of food: Hmmm as long as he can’t get at the food himself, I don’t see a problem with it. That is so cute though! Get a picture and post it for me :)

    Re jumping on food bowl: It is really important to stop him from doing that. When he jumps on you, you want to non-mark him (ack, ack) and turn away from him. Only give him food when he is calm and not jumping.

    It would be even better to teach him the “Sit” command and ask him for a “Sit” before giving him any food. Another possibility is to have him wait for you outside the kitchen when you are preparing his food. If he tries to come in, non-mark him, and body block him so that he moves outside again. You will probably have to repeat these things many times initially until he learns what you want him to do.

    I don’t give either of my dogs food in a bowl. They usually have to do obedience commands for their food, or I use food for handling and grooming exercises. The rest of it goes into food toys.

  170. Sarah says

    Hi Shibashake,

    Well i made the area bigger and put down some pads taking your advice and he pooped on the floor(no weeing) and shreded the pads, what a sight to come down to lol, took him out for potty……nothing….let him play for a while before his breakfast and now he’s asleep at my feet and he not had his breakfast yet lol.

    When he poops on the floor/crate in the night do i tell him off when i come down or do i ignore him? I am not to sure what to do when this happens.

    As for the chicken and rice diet…….i have had Bear nearly 3wks now and he has been on this diet twice(due to having diarhea) so i tend to agree with you that it must be his dry food cause that when it starts, so we will try another….I’ll have that muck dry food i’ll be able to open a shop lol ha.

    How often did you take Shania out in the night when she was a pup? If i took Bear out everytime he made a noise i would be constantly outside.

    Bear has two Kongs and another on it’s way. I did put treats in them but because of the diarhea i stopped doing it but i still freeze one of them for him, to help sooth his gums, he gets bored with them very quick if i am not in the room with him and this is one of the habbits i am trying to break…. with no luck at the mo.

    Thanks for all your advice….some of the brand of food you have listed i haven’t heard off, are they American? I am in England…..

    Thanks again

  171. sarah says

    Hi Shibashake, Thankyou for your reply i really do appreciate it, oh and my puppies name is Bear, we named him this as he looks like a little fluffy teddy bear…….small ball of fluff lol.

    With regards to his food…….i am not sure of it’s name as i buy it loose but it was recommended by my vet, it’s dry food and contains everything a growing puppy needs, all his vitamins,minerals etc(not a cheap one). I feed him 3 times a day…7am…12noon…5pm and give him 70grammes each time(as recommended by vets), for the past couple of days i have been putting half boiled rice/half dry food as he has some diarrhea. He been poos 3 times today and went bout 5 times yesterday as the diarrhea was worst yesterday than today. I was thinking about trying him on another brand something like Bakers for puppies as this is a well known brand of dry food.

    I do try to give Bear lots of excercise but he just lays down after 5 mins, he a bit of a lazy pup, i have tried encouraging him to run and play with his toys which works for bout 5 mins then he lays down eating grass.

    When i put Bear in his crate at night he starts crying/howling as soon as i leave the room and continues for about half hour then he’ll quieten down for a little while then it starts again, at this time i take him out to go potty but 8/10 times he just wants to play and does nothing. So when he’s howling/crying i never know whether he wants to go toilet or he just wants me to give in to him. I have tried the pad at one end, his bed at the other and yes he uses the pad to toilet on but because i have left him in there on his own he shreds it and what a mess that is lol.

    He hates being anywhere i am not, if i go to the bathroom he cry’s he doesn’t like me leaving him for even a short period of time which i have to do sometimes as i have hospital appointments etc so can not take him with me, what else can i do?

    Bear sends you a big sloppy kiss hello……..

    Thanks for your help Shibashake…..

  172. Sarah says

    Hi, Hope you can help. I have a 11.5 week old Siberian Husky who i love to bits and am crate training him. He is potty trained outside during the day, he lets me know by sitting at the back door, when he goes outside i give him lots of praise and a treat for being a good boy, so i have no probs there but night time is a different matter all together. Before i put him to bed at 11pm i take him outside to go potty which he does, first couple of nights he was clean through the night but for the last 2 nights he has been pooing in his crate even though i take him out every 1.5 hrs, when i take him out he does go for wees but not poos hence he doing it in his crate. His crate is large but has been sectioned off so his space is limited(enough for him to be able to lie down and turn around which i was told by the vets). The thing is he doesn’t lay in his mess he fold his blanket over the lays on the tray so he is not near his mess, i really don’t know what else to try, will he stop doing this the more i keep taking him out during the night? or am i doing something wrong. I would be very grateful for any advice you can give me please. Thanks for your time.

    From first time Husky owner.

  173. shibashake says

    Re dog food:

    Yeah, the brands are American brands. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the brands in the U.K. But you want to look for:

    1. Grain-free kibble (they will usually have potatoes instead)

    2. Good source of proteins (named meat source)

    3. No chemical additives

    The Dog Food Project is a great site to get more information on what to look for on the dry food labels and ingredient list.


    Hope this helps.

  174. shibashake says

    Hi Sarah,

    Yikes! Sorry the pads didn’t work out. He may have gotten really stressed from being away from you. For now, it is probably best to keep him in the bedroom with you at night. Is there space in the bedroom to set up the enclosure and puppy pads? That way you can stop him from shredding the pads, and clean up quickly if he has to poop. Sibes are really strong chewers so I would leave something for him to chew on as well. With Shania, I used puppy pads that have an attractor scent on them, so that she is more likely to go on them. I also rewarded her for going on the pads, and put the pads in one of her favorite pee corners.

    “When he poops on the floor/crate in the night do i tell him off when i come down or do i ignore him? I am not to sure what to do when this happens”

    You definitely do not want to tell him off after the fact because he will not know what behavior was the wrong behavior. If you catch him in the act though, then you want to non-mark him (ack-ack), take him right out of the crate, and outside. Give him the “go potty” command. Remember to always praise and give him attention *if* he goes. If he does not, then just ignore him and bring him back with as little fuss as possible. No playing and no attention if he doesn’t go potty.

    “How often did you take Shania out in the night when she was a pup? If i took Bear out everytime he made a noise i would be constantly outside.”

    Shania wasn’t too bad. I took her out maybe 3-4 times in the beginning, but once she understood that she didn’t get play or attention on those short trips, she stopped making a fuss. You don’t want to give them play, scratches, or attention during those times or they will just keep doing it.

    Bear sounds like he is extremely attached to you. This is going to be really tough, but you may want to slowly cut down on the attention you give him during the day. It is fine to let him follow you around, etc. that is actually a very good thing, but just cut down on the attention that you give him.

    I would also make Bear work for all of his food – either through training or through interactive toys. Interactive toys are great because it will give Bear something to do by himself. Here are some possibilities:


    Also, playing with puppy friends is also a good way to get a Sibe to drain some of their energy. Just make sure the puppies are up to date on shots.

  175. shibashake says

    Re: exercise and crating:

    Hi Sarah, it really sounds like you have done a lot of research and provide an exceptional environment for Bear. He is a very lucky pup.

    With the exercise in the evening, I was hoping that it would get him to poop before sleep time. However, if he is having diarrhea, then the exercise is probably not the issue.

    When Shania was a pup, she would sometimes complain in her crate as well. What helped some was to leave a frozen Kong and some safe chew toys in there for her to work on.

    Also, I tended to err on the safe side and took her out every time she made noise. I took her right out (on a lead), led her to her favorite spot, and gave her the go potty command. Then I would wait for a few minutes. If she didn’t want to go, I brought her right back in and put her in her crate without any special playing, attention, or cuddling time. If she actually had to go, then I would praise her, treat her, and play with her for a bit before putting her back into her crate. This way she understands that making noise will only get her a boring potty trip with no playing time and no special attention or cuddling.

    I really think that the poop thing is more a dietary issue though, so I think that fixing that will hopefully fix the crate pooping.

    Once you have the pooping under control, then I would ignore all the whining.

    Also, sometimes Shania whines at night because it is too hot for her. To keep her cool in the summer, I give her a water bed, an ice plastic bottle in a sock, and have a fan blowing at her crate.

    Hope this helps. Please let me know how it goes.

  176. shibashake says

    Hi Sarah and Bear,

    Re food: Hmmm, I would definitely try another brand. What worked best for my pup ultimately was putting her on a grain-free kibble. The only thing you have to look out for there, is the protein content. Initially, you don’t want to give them too much protein, but once they are adult, you can switch them to a high-protein kibble. For puppies, my breeder uses Natural Balance with potatoes and duck. It is a special allergy formula. I started out with Solid Gold for puppies which has slightly higher protein, but it also has some grains. Once Shania got older I switched her to Innova EVO (high protein and grain free). Both my dogs are on chicken EVO. Some other good brands I have tried: Orijen, Nature’s Variety Instinct, and Wellness CORE.

    For more on dog diets:


    If Bear is having bad diarrhea, you can try switching him onto a boiled chicken and boiled rice only diet. Do this for several days until the diarrhea clears up (may take 3-4 days) then you can reintroduce a new kibble into his diet. Start with 1/4 for 3-4 days, 1/2 for 3-4 days, 3/4 for 3-4 days before going all full.

    Shania also had some really bad diarrhea initially, and the boiled chicken diet worked out for us. We finally discovered that it was the oats in her kibble that she was allergic to.

  177. shibashake says

    Hi Sarah, Congratulations on getting a Sibe puppy. They really are very sweet and amazing dogs. Here are some things that may help:

    1. What type of dog food are you using? And how many times does your puppy poop? And is the poop normal, or more like diarrhea? It could be that the puppy is having some digestive/allergy issues with his food. Sibes have very sensitive stomachs and tend to be allergic to many things, especially any kind of grains. My Sibe is allergic to wheat, oat, and any kind of fish products.

    2. Try only feeding puppy at fixed times during the day and do not give him any food after about 5 pm.

    3. Exercise will frequently encourage dogs to poop, so you could have a play session or walk with him in the evening. He is still rather young, and has not had all of his shots yet, so only take him to very clean areas (free of other dog’s poop).

    4. At night when he has to go, does he make any noise to let you know?

    5. A short term solution would be to put him in an enclosure (instead of a crate) at night, and to put his bed and some puppy pads (as far away from the bed as possible) in the enclosure. In this way, he can poop on the pads if he needs to and he is not forming a habit of pooping in his crate. Puppies have very small bowels, and so have a much harder time holding it in. Once he matures, you can try the crate again.

    Let me know how it goes and if I can be of further help. Hugs and kisses to your puppy! What is his name btw?

  178. shibashake says

    Hi Antoinette,

    Some of the things my Siberian taught me that may help:

    1. She usually had to potty when she woke up and after about 10-15 minutes of heavy activity with my other dog. So take your girl out every time right after she wakes up, and soon after she has had heavy activity. This may be pretty frequent initially. I usually erred on the side of greater frequency. In the first few weeks I would take my girl out between 5-10 times per day.

    2. She was happy to potty on command if she got rewarded well for it. So get some really good treats that she only gets for pottying, take her out when she is most likely to pee, take her to her favourite pee spot, and when you see her start to show signs of wanting to pee, say “go potty”. When she does, mark her “Good girl”, and treat her very well with many good treats and affection. Also play some fun games with her before bringing her in. In this way you associate treats and playing with pottying outside which will make her prefer to do it outside because she gets good stuff for it.

    3. When you take her outside, give her a few minutes to do her business. If she doesn’t need to, bring her back inside.

    4. If she looks like she is going to potty inside (e.g. starts circling), or if she has already started to potty, you want to non-mark her to let her know that it is an undesired behavior (No, or ack-ack). Then just take her outside. If she continues to potty outside, then mark her (Yes, or good girl) and reward her as you would usually. Play with her briefly, then leave her outside, while you come back in to clean up the stuff.

    5. When you are not around to supervise, it is best to put her in a crate so that she will not make any mistakes while on her own. Puppies, however, have very small bladders and cannot physically hold it in for more than 2-3 hours so it is important to let her out every 2-3 hours (other than night-time).

    With consistency, she will quickly learn that potty outside = desirable behavior with good stuff and happy play time. Nowadays, my girl will go wait by the door when she needs to go, and come running back to me to claim her reward. :)

    Good luck. Hope this helps.

  179. Antoinette D. Motley says

    HI. I Have a new yorshire terrier. She is 16 weeks old. I have a male who is One year and one month. The girl is new. She pretty much potties wherever she wants. My boy does not. I take her outside for a stretch of time and when we come back inside she pees. i dont understand what im doing wrong. Please help

  180. shibashake says

    Hmmm, based on what you described, it sounds like he may be marking. My male Shiba Inu is a very clean dog, and was very easy to potty train. However, he has pee-ed inside the house 2-3 times after he was potty trained. All those times was on bedding.

    Here are some things to try:

    1. Try to take him out for walks frequently. It can just be 20 minute short neighborhood walks. Frequency is important so he can do his marking outside and be less likely to do it inside the house.

    2. He is getting older and may be trying to assert his dominance wrt. your other dogs and to you as well. Make sure you show him that you are in charge by doing obedience exercises and following the NILIF program. I.e. he has to do something for you first before he gets anything in return, including food, walks, opening the door, etc.

    3. Watch out for signs that he is about to mark, e.g. intense smelling, smelling furniture, etc. When he does that, non-mark him (No), and make him move away from the furniture by using body blocking. It is important to catch him before he marks.

    4. Don’t allow him to get on beds or any other furniture. This will make him more likely to want to own that piece of furniture.

    5. If he does mark, non-mark him (No), and put him on a time-out. Make sure there is nothing in the timeout room that he can mark. Make sure to clean out the mark areas with a non-ammonia based pet cleaner solution.

    Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

  181. Marcia says


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