My husband and I recently got a Doberman puppy.
We have been trying to potty train her and she will use the potty pads, but only randomly - she just leaves little bitty puddles around even after going to the bathroom already.
She will be in the middle of playing and just squat down, but only a little comes out.
Is this normal?
Answer From the Editors at Dog-Spoiling
You don't give the age of your puppy, but I'm assuming she must be quite young.
What you are seeing is quite normal in puppies because they haven't matured to the point where they are always aware of the need to urinate. Also, it takes time for them to gain control over their bladder.
The main thing is to rigidly stick to these basic rules of potty training:
Whether she needs to go or not, take her outside every two hours to the place you have selected for her eliminations. Make her aware that she is there to go potty by using the exact same verbal command that you have chosen for this action - something like "potty outside". Be sure to praise her when she goes.
Take her outside soon after meals.
Take her outside soon after play.
Take her outside after a nap.
Take her outside when she is showing recognizable signs that she is getting ready to go.
In other words, you want to give her every opportunity to go potty outside and be praised, so as to reduce the number of time she is scolded for a mistake.
But, if you catch her in the act of crouching down in the house to dribble, tell her "no" and take her outside right away - without anger - using the potty action trigger words. Even if she has nothing more to eliminate, this is to reinforce the idea that you want her to go potty outside.
Sticking with this routine is very important until you have clear indications that she is becoming aware of her need to go potty, has some control over her bladder, is recognizing the trigger words and knows that her eliminations should take place outside.
Some breeds seem to mature faster and catch on sooner to the potty routine which makes it hard to generalize about how long the potty training will take. This much I know, the effort put in by the owner at the beginning pays off long term!
If you are not using a crate for her potty training, you may want to consider one, particularly overnight, even though some trips outside will still be necessary while she is very young.
Puppies under 3 months old usually have to eliminate about 8 to 12 times a day and have very little bladder control.
Bearing in mind that a young puppy should only be left in the crate for short periods, a crate can really help to reinforce the potty routine and shorten the learning curve. If you leave one out during the day with a few of her safe toys inside, she will become attracted to it even if only out of curiosity at first.
Please refer to the two pages below for more information and try to be patient with the little guy. Remember, before you know it he will be a BIG guy and you'll want to be on good terms with him Potty Training Your DogCrate Training A Puppy