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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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! 😀

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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..

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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).

  26. 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. =)))

  27. 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. 😀

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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?

  37. 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!

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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! 😀

  41. 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,

  42. 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! 😀

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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!

  47. 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!

  48. 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 ?

  49. 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

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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!

  53. 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!

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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!!! 😀

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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!

  63. 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.

  64. 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?

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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. 😀

  72. 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.

  73. 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. 😀

  74. 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. 😀

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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!

  78. 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.

  79. 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

  80. 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.


  81. 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.

  82. 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?

  83. 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.

  84. 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!

  85. 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.

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