Yorkies crate trained for almost 9 weeks and potty outside great but go in house sometimes within 20 minutes.
by Barbara Hoffman
I have a 17 wk. old Yorkie brother and sister. They are in a larger metal crate in my kitchen and they potty outside really well. They go out sliding glass doors to the deck into a well lighted fenced in back yard and will now go by themselves which is a huge step toward our goal.
We left them with a trainer for 8 days four weeks ago and we write down every potty trip, meal and time. We are pleased with their progress except if we let them out in the enclosed kitchen to play with us for maybe 15-20 min., one or the other will inevitably pee and some times poo in the same places they did before they went to training.
We were using pads then and the yard. They wet on pads but also played with them, lay on them and chewed them to shreds. I had no small place to confine them with the pads plus dealing with two dogs.
We are watching their liquid content and if they have been playing in the back yard, we let them potty again just before they come in and they are still doing this. They make no sign to tell you they need to go out - I watch for this but we have increased the 2 hr. period in their crate to 3 and they are doing great again.
My last Yorkie was trained to outside and the pad in case we had to be gone but never crate trained. She was 9 moths when I got her and not house broken.
We want to start socializing them to the house but this is very disheartening - are we expecting too much too soon at 4 mths.?
I would say that overall your puppies are doing great for 4 months old, and you've obviously worked very hard and been very consistent with them which is wonderful.
Housebreaking is probably the most difficult task that most puppy owners face and it's not a smooth upward learning curve in most cases. Puppies are like children and they go through phases and stages, often in 'fits and starts', with the occasional regression. In the best case scenario where there's been consistent and positive housebreaking methods, most puppies can only be expected to be fairly reliable by around 6 months old, and smaller breeds often take longer due to their tiny bladders and sometimes more immature bladder/bowel control.
They are most likely eliminating in the kitchen because they are still able to detect their scent from previous soilings. Dogs have very sensitive noses and household cleaners etc. won't get rid of the smell as far as they're concerned. There are a whole range of products that are specifically designed for this purpose and I'd recommend checking out my Dog Urine Cleaning Products page as it has information and details on a selection of the best ones around. Even if you're already using an enzymatic cleaner, perhaps changing to a different one would help.
The biggest 'trick' when it comes to housebreaking a puppy is to prevent the accidents, as each time they do this it's reinforcing the behavior. Obviously you are making huge efforts in that direction, but you'll need to redouble those and watch these little guys like a hawk when they have free run of the kitchen. Scoop them up and take them outside at the first hint of squatting - break the cycle as it were.
You may find you need to use the crate more than you'd like for a little while in order to break this habit, but that's okay as it will only be for a short while and will speed up the whole process. Puppies are creatures of habit and they learn bad habits just as quickly (sometimes it seems MORE quickly) as good ones, it's vital to break this habit of eliminating indoors and give them a chance to 'forget' it while they're young like this.
I think that if you continue with the great work you're doing and follow these extra tips, your pups will show significant improvement in a couple of months. After that it will simply be a matter of time and maturity.
Hope this helps, I wish you the very best of luck with both of them, they're adorably cute!