moderndayjune avatar image

Potty Training Question from New Bulldog Owner

Hi there!

I'm new to the forum. My husband and I purchased an English Bulldog puppy about a month ago. He's 13 weeks old, and while he's adorable and we love him to pieces, he's just not seeming to get the whole concept of not going to the bathroom in his crate, or the house in general.

When we first brought him home he seemed to be making pretty good progress. He would sit/sniff next to the door if he wanted to go outside and we would take him out. He had a few accidents indoors, but it wasn't too bad. Then about a week after being home, we found out he had pneumonia and had to spend 48 hrs at the emergency clinic. Since coming home, he no longer sits by the door or provides any indication that he needs to go to the bathroom. We take him out every 1 1/2 hrs, as well as right after a nap, and before and after he gets put in his crate.

Unfortunately, he has also started peeing in his crate at night, too. Our vet told us to remove any blankets from the crate and to let him sleep on the plastic and that he would not go in there since there was nothing to absorb it. Not so. Yesterday he got TWO baths because he peed in the kennel and then just laid in it.

We're kind of at a loss for what to do. I don't know how to teach him to signal that he needs to go, and when he does go inside it's a small amount because he's being taken out so frequently. We're also rewarding (and using praise) when he goes outside, but it doesn't seem like that's reinforcing the postiive behavior.

I've heard that bulldogs can be especially stubborn and hard to train. Does anyone have feedback on anything else we can be doing? I know puppies will have accidents here and there, but to me it's unacceptable to have a dog that goes indoors ALL the time.

Céline and Angel Stella's picture

Not hard to train, it just takes time

Your pup is still VERY young and it's not surprising he's not house trained yet.  People often tend to think it happens overnight and it doesn't.  The general rule of thumb is that a pup can "hold it in" one hour for every month of age.  So at 13 weeks, he won't be able to hold it much longer than 3 hours.  4 hours at 4 months, 5 hours at 5 months, etc.  So, that's one thing to keep in mind.

The other thing is, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Bring him out frequently.  And when he pees or poops outside, make it like he's just discovered a million dollars in your back yard (yes, cheering, "good boy", "yaaaaaay").  He'll start to understand that he is pleasing you by doing this.  On the flip side, unless you actually catch him in the act of going in the house, there's no point in repremanding him since he's already forgotten all about what he did and won't understand why you're mad at him.  If you do catch him, give him a firm "no" and carry him outside to finish what he started.  Then cue the cheeering section when he does.  Never rub his nose in it, as some people do.  He won't understand and it will be really upsetting and probably take him a step back in his training.

Lastly, although it seems horrible (it almost killed me), take any padding you have out of his crate.  He won't like lying in a puddle and it will help with the training.

Best of luck with your new boy and be patient.  Potty training takes a while but he will eventually get it!!

 

Andy's picture

I started to take Kevin

out every hour and gave him treats etc when he did do toilets outside, hes 5 months and he will wait by the door to go out now

mrhig2004's picture

my ideas

I would first have the vet rule out a bladder infection. That could cause the whole problem.  My boy had crystals and bladder infection as a pup and I knew he should be checked because he was peeing inappropriately. Your pup peeing in the crate and lying in it is surely an alarm that he needs to be vet checked. They do NOT want to lie in pee, ever. The idea that bulldogs are hard to train is not true. They are easy to pee pee train as long as  it is done properly. They are smart and are easy to obedience train  as long as it is done properly. Without question they can be stubborn, but we love that about them.

If infection is ruled out, I would revert right back to as if he was 8 weeks old. Outside on the grass every hour and not 5 after. After sleeping, eating, drinking and whenever he sniffs the floor. Crate one hour for each month of age plus one hour. You pup could be crated 4 hours, but he should go all night and hold his pee. Hold back on water in the late evening and no water at night. Never do this if it is hot and your house has no air conditioning.

The more often your pup pees in the house the more he will do it. He is confused now. Set him up for success. It is hard work, but will pay off in the long run. Keep your eye on him when out of the crate. If an accident happens it is not the pup`s fault, it is yours, because you need to watch him constantly or crate him.

Best of luck and enjoy your puppy.

__________________

mrhig2004's picture

BTW

My first bulldog never ever sat by the door or indicated in any way he needed to go out. My present bully Mr. Higgins sits by the door and grunts at me and gives me this pathetic look. My first one never lifted his leg in his life but Mr. Higgins wants to mark everything in the neighbourhood. Each dog is different. They are such funny characters.

__________________

karonelaine's picture

I would listen to Celine

NM

__________________

Karonelaine

hello

I have had a few of the same issues. Bruce is 8 months old and started peeing in his crate. I did change his food to a lower protein food because he had crystals in his urine..As well as one documented UTI. My house gets very busy and time flies because I have 5 kids to care for. I have decided to forget about the crate unless its bedtime or I have to leave the house. I now leash him to my belt loop and make him follow me about the house. In 3 days he has had 2 accidents and they were not in the crate. They also happened when he wasnt leashed to me. I have becomed very frusturated and rubbed his face in his pee and felt guilty after. The best advise I was given was patience and persistence ...Oh and I make sure to give him more water to make sure he wont get another UTI..GOOD LUCK for the both of us!!!!!

 

__________________

Happy married mom of 4 and first time mom to my fur baby BRUCE!!!!!!! HE WAS BORN 2/2/12!!!!

hello

I have had a few of the same issues. Bruce is 8 months old and started peeing in his crate. I did change his food to a lower protein food because he had crystals in his urine..As well as one documented UTI. My house gets very busy and time flies because I have 5 kids to care for. I have decided to forget about the crate unless its bedtime or I have to leave the house. I now leash him to my belt loop and make him follow me about the house. In 3 days he has had 2 accidents and they were not in the crate. They also happened when he wasnt leashed to me. I have becomed very frusturated and rubbed his face in his pee and felt guilty after. The best advise I was given was patience and persistence ...Oh and I make sure to give him more water to make sure he wont get another UTI..GOOD LUCK for the both of us!!!!!

 

__________________

Happy married mom of 4 and first time mom to my fur baby BRUCE!!!!!!! HE WAS BORN 2/2/12!!!!

grandedogg's picture

potty training

I am not an expert. Having said that when my bully was a pup I would watch him and when he squated to pee clap my hands and to no avail he would still pee. Trying to think of a way to get his attention I picked up one of those airhorns like you use in boats and at sporting events. I was able to spend all my time ( which is key ) watching him with the horn in my hand. I could tell by how he was acting when he was looking for a place to pee and when he started I hit the horn and he would stop. Then I would wisk him outside and he would pee and recieve alot of praise. He did not like the horn at all and I'm not exagerating only 3 times were needed and he started going to the door and barking.

__________________

Jeff in NC

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

His breeder

Let me ask if the breeder had started him on potty training?   What kind of potty training had been done before you got him?  How old was he when you got him?

Potty training starts as soon as the puppies begin to walk.  If your breeder didn't do this then the puppy learned he can potty anywhere he wants. 

You have to keep constant watch.  If you can't be with him...then he needs to be contained in his crate or an ex-pen.  How long is he in his crate when he wets?  You have to take him out at 1 or 2 am to potty.  He is too young to hold it all night.  I personally would rather wash a crib pad, blanket, etc.  then have to bath the puppy when he has an accident.  So you might want to rething the no bedding in the crate for a baby.  If he was an older dog that is already potty trained and reverts to pottying in his bed, then I would advise differently.

I have had bulldogs for 16 years and I have yet to have one that wasn't easily potty trained.  BUT all of my puppies had a start from great breeders with potty training before I got them at 9 weeks.   If they had an accident it was my fault for not seeing the signals...or not paying close enough attention.

He is a puppy....STILL!