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Condo Potty/Leash Advice
  • So I tried searching up but I didn't really find anything about my girl's scenario.

    We live in a condo, and for a while we had a fake grass potty on the balcony. It was great and convenient during the cold winter. Our girl Dachi is currently 5 months, the weather has been getting nicer so we decided to start teaching her to go outside/go on walks.

    Case #1
    She has gotten so accustomed to going to the balcony at her leisure that she doesn't see walks as a necessity to unload haha. We've gotten rid of the balcony potty and she still sits and whimpers in front of the balcony door when she needs to go.

    Should we be waiting for her to go to the front door? Is picking her up when she goes to the balcony prevent her from learning to signal at the front door?

    Case #2
    However, when she indicates to us that she needs to go, and we take out the harness/leash...she runs away. I don't think she dislikes going out. She meets people, plays with dogs, goes to dog parks. We recently found out that boiled chicken was able to keep her attention for loose-leash walking.

    I understand that it can take a while for puppies to get accustomed to it, and that most puppies would show more dislike for their leash/harness.

    Case #1 & #2 combined
    Often times, she'll whimper at the balcony door, then when we take out the harness she'll run and pick up a toy. Then when we don't pursue her anymore she goes back to whining at the balcony door, and repeat.

    Anyone have any insight on how to proceed?
  • JackStateJackState
    Posts: 122
    Let her whine at the porch door and take it as your signal to get the harness, but also introduce a new signal for the outer door--bells. We hang jingle bells off our doorknob which we potty trained Ichabod with. Take her paw and go through the motions of swatting the bells each time you take her downstairs for potty, and she'll make the connection eventually.

    You're temporarily screwed about letting her on the porch to just hang out, since she thinks it's a potty spot. I wouldn't let her out there unsupervised until she learns that outside is the new potty spot, and even then you're going to have some backsliding out there. Not really any snow down here, so I can't judge.

    My solution with Ichabod and his harness is just to catch him, even when he tries to distract me with play. Maybe someone will have a better tip.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1255
    I think this thread will be closed as it is very similar to many other puppy woes-threads.

    But I don't understand why you want to wait for her cues to go out. Just take her out for walks on regular intervals. At least morning, lunch, afternoon, evening.
    And in my opinion when you get a dog you have to be prepared to go out in all kinds of weather.

    Regarding the harness, a lot of dogs don't like the putting-on-part and will run away. I put on a collar with the leash first so my dog can't escape and then the harness.
  • @JackState We've already let her out on the balcony on several occasions without her prompt for her to investigate and confirm the potty is no longer there. There also have been times that she'd run to the front door because she's realizing that we're not responding to her by going to the balcony door.

    I will try what you suggested though!

    @Juni I don't want to be misunderstood as a dog owner who wants to skip out on responsibility. We already do take her every morning, I run home from work at lunch and again in the afternoon (she's crated while we're away). The balcony worked against us because before she had the luxury of going every hour or 30 minutes if she wished. As a result when we're home she doesn't feel the need to hold it even though we know she can hold it for at least 2-3 hrs. We get that it's part of the transition but we're just wondering if there were better ways to get her to learn.

    Also, we got her as a puppy in the dead of winter here, our condo doesn't have green space underneath our building it's two buildings walk away to the nearest patch of green. The breeder told us not to take them outside unless it was above zero degrees celcius. She had her puppy fur in the beginning, so it's not like we could've started walking her in her early months in below freezing temp. I apologize if I sound defensive but I like I said above, I don't think we went into getting Dachi with no preconceptions about what raising a dog entailed.

    Hmm, we took off her collar since we've been leaving the harness on due to her going so frequently, but the leash on the collar trick might be good. Especially now that she's walking much better we might not need the harness if it's a short distance :)
    Post edited by treetrooper at 2017-04-12 05:17:09
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1129
    I do the same as Juni and have to put on the collar and leash first before bringing out the harness. It seems super common for Shibas to not want to put on their harnesses haha. I use a martingale or limited slip collar for quick potty trips outside, usually. Also, my pup was born in November (of 2015), so I was often out in deep snow and temperature as low as -20f (close to -30c). :)) so I know the challenges of having to just keep trying even when it's super unpleasant lol! Of course we didn't stand around and wait patiently for 10 minutes when it was as cold as -20, but we still gave him the opportunity to potty with quick trips.

    I didn't wait for Ozzy to tell me he needed to go out until pretty recently. Even when he was like 8+ months (and we were traveling for a while), I made sure to take him out any time I thought he might need to, like after a meal or after some hard play or when waking up from a nap. Especially as a younger puppy, I took him out literally every 20 minutes and gave him the chance to go.

    If I were living in your situation, when my pup would go to the wrong door asking to go out, I would just put on his escape-proof collar and leash, ask him his cue phrase (which is just the classy and straightforward "wanna go outside?") and walk with him out the front door and outside and lead him around nearby, then come back in after 5-10 minutes if he didn't go and try again in 20 minutes whether he was asking or not. And of course we would also go on regular walks too. This winter was even more brutal than last year's, but we still bundled up and went on multiple daily walks regardless. I had to buy him boots and a he wore a coat out cus we spent a month over Christmas in a warm climate and he shed alllll of his undercoat and could not tolerate temperatures of -20 when we returned home.

    Luckily, puppies have to go allllll the time. So you'll have plenty of opportunitjes to take her out and praise a success, and she will definitely learn the new rules about where to potty. :) I also think it can be helpful to use a cue when they're potting. Like "go potty" or "hurry up."

    Best of luck. The potty training can be frustrating but in the future, you realize it kinda happens naturally as you allow them the opportunity to go, and it's nothing to fret over. :) she will get it!
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-04-12 05:36:37
  • @Lilikoi Thanks for all the stories and reassurance!

    I think another thing we encountered was that if we just took her for a walk without her signaling (but knowing she needed to go), she would go on the walk and not got potty at all. Then the moment we're back home she'll go to the balcony door :'D

    I'm assuming that she is super attached to the balcony since it's hers, quiet and secluded. Out on the main streets she shares greenspace with other dogs and can get easily distracted. Which seems to be a common woe amongst Shiba owners...their fussyness haha

    She just came down with diarrhea today. We've been taking her out almost every 30 min (it's like 3am here now). On the plus side, hopefully it will speed up her association and make her less picky :'D
    Post edited by treetrooper at 2017-04-12 06:46:13
  • JackStateJackState
    Posts: 122
    Oh yeah Ichabod loves his porch. Like, he will let us know (used to bark, now we have different bells on that door) if we forget to open it for him. He doesn't even insist because he wants to go outside, rather it's just in case his whimsy takes him out there later to people-watch or bask. Going to have to break his heart when it's summertime again and our AC bill skyrockets, though maybe he won't want to be out there in 80-100 °F weather anyway.

    Juni's right about scheduling. That's a big part I forgot about, even though really about the only time Ichabod has a reason to use his potty-bell is on the weekends when the schedule is off.
  • jaimeismejaimeisme
    Posts: 21
    I am a pretty new dog owner myself, but I had similar issues at the beginning, so maybe i can share my insight. Instead of balcony, my shiba, Mila, was used to pee pad and potty in the house from the beginning. so she absolutely refuse to potty outdoors. Same situation, she would wait till we go home to potty. Took me a week to train her to potty outside. In my experiences, its all about consistency and patience. I had a week off from school so I was able to take her out many times a day for the training. I would take her out let her sniff around and wait for her to potty. If she get distracted, I will nudge her and tell her 'go wee wee!'. after 15 mins, if she doesn't do it, we go back upstairs and I will put her in a crate, and take her down again in 30 mins. At the beginning, she would pee in her crate. Being a clean shiba, she didn't like that. Eventually, she learn the association that she either pee on herself or outside when I bring her out. I know the 'peeing on herself' is kinda mean, but she learn really quickly. Within a week, she learn to pee outside when I bring her out. The timing is also a key. I monitored her closely, so when she drink water, I will bring her out in an hour or so. Depending on how old your puppy is they can hold their bladder longer when they are older. In my opinion, it is best if you can bring them down regularly so they know that they will have a chance to potty outside, don't need to do it at home. I don't know about setting up a potty bell in the house, because my friend told me she did that and her dog abused that and kept ringing it even if he didn't have to go haha! But that depends on the personality of the dog as well.
    So this is my experiences. Hope it can give you some ideas :)
  • @jaimeisme Thanks for sharing your story too!

    Dachi was pretty much crate trained before we started taking her outside on walks only. She had her first accident in her crate again not long ago, and then again today... It's strange because we know she can hold it...I'm getting the feeling we've set her back again changing up her routine.

    Today I had only left for 30 minutes to grab my laptop from work. Maybe I need to crate her while I'm at home so she learns I'll take her out? She doesn't even try to go inside our place, especially when we're home. We haven't crate her while we're home for a long time now, not sure if that would just add more stress.
  • jaimeismejaimeisme
    Posts: 21
    You're welcome! :)
    Oh yea, she might need some adjustment time if you decide to crate her when you are not home. It's best to find a routine that most suit you both and sticking to it, he should adapt eventually! Mila was crate train when we got her too! But she still made a few accidents in the crate in the beginning. Sometimes they can hold it but they don't know they should hold it.
    For me, I always crate her when I am out simply because I don't trust her to roam free. She love to chew on shoes and tissues. So I didn't want to risk her getting in any trouble while I cannot supervise her. I used a playpen if I leave her alone for a longer time. Also I take her out right away to potty whenever I get home. So she knows that if she need to pee, she can wait till I am back. She's really good now, almost never make any mistake.
  • jaimeismejaimeisme
    Posts: 21
    @treetrooper, I just noticed you are from DT Toronto! I am as well! What a coincident! :)
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 355
    I totally dig that the Toronto (and area) Shiba owners that I know of all have black and tans. ;)
  • jaimeismejaimeisme
    Posts: 21
    @spacedogs yea!! so awesome! :D
  • jaimeisme said:

    @treetrooper, I just noticed you are from DT Toronto! I am as well! What a coincident! :)



    Whoah! What a coincidence! Hope to meet your girl around sometime :D
  • spacedogs said:

    I totally dig that the Toronto (and area) Shiba owners that I know of all have black and tans. ;)



    Hahah yes! We're inspiring all the other Shiba owners to get tri-colours :'D
  • It's been a few weeks since we started taking Dachi outside. She's learning to hold it in for much longer now. She has also become less fussy about where to go since she's realizing it's her only option. The last couple of days she has been going towards the front door instead of the balcony door. On the rare occasion she doesn't resist the leash. Still runs from the harness though haha

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