(what the books say…..
All dogs have a natural desire to not eliminate near their food or bedding. Therefore it is important, when housebreaking a puppy, to keep them crated and not allow them the run of the house when you first bring them home. Feed them regularly and take them outside to a specific area 20 minutes after they eat. Praise them as soon as they do their business. In this manner, your puppies will be housebroke before you know it.)
(And the way it really is….)
The first time I ever brought a dog crate into the house, my dogs looked at me like I had lost my mind. They quickly pointed out, once I had hopefully tossed a couple of them inside, that they had perfectly good bedrooms pretty much all over the house, so why would they need to sleep in THAT? I was just as quick to point out that they may want to sleep in this state- of- the- art cozy little dog room so they wouldn’t, while sleepwalking, mistake the tiled kitchen floor for the grass outside and do an Oopsie. Ignoring my sarcasm, Franny called for a vote and they all voted to take turns pissing on the dog crate.
Whoever was the first person to allege that housebreaking was a forgone conclusion if you just did this and that was either a dreamer or never owned Dachshunds. Or maybe any dogs at all, although if you took a survey of all Dachshund owners you would find the level of exasperation on the subject right off the charts compared to, say, German Shepard owners. (Franny laughs at this. She says German Shepards are such butt kissers they would hold it for a week and salute if you asked them to. I’m going to ignore that.) I always tell my new puppy owners that their new puppy is paper trained…what I can’t seem to get across is they are trained to MY paper in their oversized pen in MY house, and once they hit the floor in their new house all bets are off.
That’s because when they go to a new house, the puppy has no idea the same rules he learned in my house actually apply. Why would he? It’s a whole new planet to him, new smells,new people, new horizons, everything. Further more, if there is some spot in the house where a dog pissed or took a crap within the last 20 years, his little Incredible Sniffing Device will find it and he’ll annoint it anew. With…out…fail.
The only thing that works is getting your puppy to realize you really want him to eliminate outside. That this will make you mindlessly, cookie launching happy. Unfortunately, a young puppy with a full bladder doesn’t have your happiness in mind, and anyway, Dachshunds don’t much give a damn until they have been around you long enough to learn your happiness is important to theirs. This takes a boatload of treats.
Another barrier to housebreaking is the weather. Weiners feel about their paws the way you feel about your $500.00 wrench set. These are their tools. They really don’t even want you to touch them. And they certainly don’t want them left outside in the rain and snow. You boot your Weiner out the back door when it’s raining outside and they can literally do a u turn in mid air and fly right back in without their feet touching the ground. On snow days I can watch through the glass in the door as all 6 of them mill around taking a poop on the doormat. That’s just before my husband steps out to get more wood.
I almost have mine trained now. If it’s a pleasant morning and there isn’t too much dew on the grass, Mokie, who is the designated barker, will give a sharp warning shriek around 5 AM, which is the heart stopping signal for one of us to stumble out of bed and down the stairs–we have about 30 seconds to respond—and open the door. Of course, they take their time being persuaded to actually go out. Then throughout the day we open the door invitingly numerous times, just in case one of them has an urge. I think this just encourages that thing in Weiners where they like to watch you do repetitive moves, the way Labradors like to watch a ball get thrown over and over, and people are comforted to see the sun come up every morning. And, of course, anything that flatters them into thinking they’re really important just gets them doing whatever they can to make you do it again. Jumping up and opening a door and smilingly waving them through the minute they look at you cross-eyed sure fills the bill. So does listening to a grown man repeatedly use words like “Pee pee” and “Poo”.
Of course, if we go away for the day, we come back to a completely unsullied house. Nobody has an accident. Nobody even uses the newspapers or pee pads we lay out with more care than the Red Carpet on Oscar night. It’s like they require that personal invitation to go outside. I have to conclude that the only reason they ever take a dump in the house or pee on a rug is because they just want to see us run and open another door.