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House training a puppy in winter

(84 Posts)
Mazgg Thu 07-Dec-23 10:14:03

I will be getting a dachshund puppy in a few weeks time. Last time I had a puppy it was summer and I was able to take her out into the garden regularly for toilet training and it was relatively easy.
Since then puppy pads have made their appearance. Has anyone trained their puppy to 'go' on the pad then made the transition to outdoors? I don't want to take her out in rain, cold or ice.

MayBee70 Thu 07-Dec-23 10:49:14

I would never use puppy pads. It just makes them think weeing in the house is acceptable. My current dog was a winter puppy and, as a whippet didn’t like cold wet weather but I do have a covered area in the garden from when I had indoor cats. However I did think about putting a gazebo up so she (and I) had a dry area to go into. And a security light outside is a good idea, too. I also used a crate when she was a puppy, too.

Joseann Thu 07-Dec-23 10:54:52

My Christmas pup was taken in the garden in the snow and got the message pretty quickly. I don't think they feel the cold, though I did make him a little coat from an old jumper!

Mazgg Thu 07-Dec-23 11:33:56

What a brilliant idea to put up a gazebo. I already have a heavy duty one bought for a family get together that is languishing in my shed.
This will be a project for the family before Dotty arrives.

MayBee70 Thu 07-Dec-23 11:47:32

I don’t think puppy will notice the cold and rain Mazgg, but you will. I get so cold at night waiting for my dog to sniff out the ‘right spot’. I sometimes take a hot water bottle out with me. Problem with having a little Dachshund will be if it snows and the snow is deeper than puppy! I bet Dachshunds are diggers! My Whippet literally dug up her toilet area ( which is fenced off from the rest of the garden): the good thing was that she did such a good job of it that it was perfect soil for re seeding. Winnie actually rings a bell to go out. I never thought I’d have a dog that did that although she does do it just to get attention, too. When my daughter had a Schnauzer puppy I bought her some Lilys Kitchen nighttime biscuits and it’s still part of her bedtime ritual. I gave up on them with my dog as they’re getting so expensive and her other treats cost me a fortune.

Juliet27 Thu 07-Dec-23 11:50:49

I had a puppy during the harsh 62/63 winter. When the snow eventually melted he’d search out remaining areas of it to tiddle on.

Joseann Thu 07-Dec-23 12:01:33

If you have a long training lead, you can stand in the kitchen, open the back door to go do business, then reel him back in. Like that you won't get cold or wet!

Juliet27 Thu 07-Dec-23 12:03:00

Yes, that’s my method too!!

MayBee70 Thu 07-Dec-23 12:09:14


If you have a long training lead, you can stand in the kitchen, open the back door to go do business, then reel him back in. Like that you won't get cold or wet!

Can’t do that with Whippets. They are renowned poo eaters. And they don’t seem to grow out of it, either sad

Juliet27 Thu 07-Dec-23 12:11:04

Dogs Behaving Badly yesterday showed Graham getting a dog out of the habit of poo eating.

MayBee70 Thu 07-Dec-23 12:15:41


Dogs Behaving Badly yesterday showed Graham getting a dog out of the habit of poo eating.

I bet it wasn’t a whippet! I will watch it, though. She might have stopped doing it now (she’s 5) but I still follow her around. She still spends most of her walks poo hunting, though. Her breeder said that Whippets are ‘self cleaning’.

Juliet27 Thu 07-Dec-23 12:18:55

I used to have a pair of pointers (actually pointer sisters!) and one would eat poo, then be sick and the other would eat that. Revolting!!

MayBee70 Thu 07-Dec-23 12:27:49

The joys of dog ownership. Never had it with my spaniels. It was a bit of a shock when I switched to Whippets which are, apart from that, the cleanest dogs ever: very little shedding, don’t walk in muddy puddles and have no body odour.

Joseann Thu 07-Dec-23 12:31:47



If you have a long training lead, you can stand in the kitchen, open the back door to go do business, then reel him back in. Like that you won't get cold or wet!

Can’t do that with Whippets. They are renowned poo eaters. And they don’t seem to grow out of it, either sad

Crunchy deep frozen lolly poo! 🤢

sodapop Thu 07-Dec-23 13:25:38

Be glad you don't live where I do Mazgg our garden is not attached to the house so we have to cross a road and go through the barn to get into the garden.
No easy way of house training in my experience, just constant repetition of going outside whatever the weather. I've only used training pads for an older dog with bladder problems, seems pointless for a puppy teaching the same thing twice over.

SheepyIzzy Thu 07-Dec-23 13:47:17

This reminds me of my beloved Pip, we got her November 2010, we started lambing December and if you recall, 2010 was the next really cold winter we had after the previous year. Mum was also more mobile, 7wk old pup, put out front door, told, "wee wee & a poo", she'd shoot to the little area that was hers, then run around to back of house to come in through a different door. When the cold weather came, we tried to get her to go out the back (enclosed area) where the old dog went, refused! When that dog died the following March, Pip went out the back, no problem. Then, a couple of months later, we decided to get another pup, (Flo), mum said she could go out the back with Pip, HA! Pip was like me, likes her privacy! REFUSED to go out the back for years, insisted instead of going out the front again (we even had a light put up for her!) She started going out the back again last year, we think for "safety" if that makes sense as a few days later we found out that she was blind due to SARDS. ( She coped better than us.) She died suddenly in April this year and I still can't get over it, she was my best friend.

Anyhow, we got another pup in to keep the other company and the lady who we bought her off hinted she was housetrained! Wee & Poo in the house several times a day for weeks! When we asked the seller, "oh it doesn't matter!" She said. Bloody does ! Dog is NOW housetrained, no pads, pushed through flap to the area that was done 20 + years ago for dogs doodoo! Cleaned every time mutts go! But this pup still has accidents, but no longer does it out of spite (out, I would tell her, she'd squat in defiance! Been 12 + years since I've had pups and non have been as hardfaced as this little cretin!!) Saying that, she sleeps under the covers with me, first time she did it I thought there was a rat in the bed as it was crawling up my leg!

(I nickname her Little Black Rat, as she's a Chihuahua!)

Rosalyn69 Thu 07-Dec-23 13:50:19

Hard work and perseverance standing in wet soggy grass. I remember it well. I don’t think there’s any short cut. Stanley had a puppy pad for a couple of weeks but I found by taking him out regularly and making sure he did something avoided accidents.

MayBee70 Thu 07-Dec-23 13:57:11

My first two whippets arrived ready house trained. Not the third one. I was in despair for nine months and then, one day it just clicked and she’s been bomb proof ever since. I think puppies are like toddlers in that their bladder control varies. Thank goodness for Pets at Home Simple Solution Odour Destroyer.

dalrymple23 Thu 07-Dec-23 15:32:04

I also saw Graham's programme last night. Wish I had known. (It was a pug, by the way). My darling (now deceased) Labradoodle used to eat his poo too. One could never be fast enough to pick it up. My Retrievers never have done. However, one of their more disgusting habits is to throw up, then eat it! They have all done this.

Have spent a fortune on puppy pads. Waste of money.
They just end up as an in-between-meal snack! Just threw copies of The Telegraph over the floor (a broadsheet). Breeders tend to use newspaper for training.

Yes, you have to be vigilant but it is not always practical. My newest dog (a Flatcoat) is the only one I have had to/been able to crate train. I never liked them but as he was a WMD, it had to be done. The decimation was expensive!! Bless his cotton chewing socks. But they never poo or pee in their beds. If you are working, a crate is a godsend.

We use the word "busy" and put puppies out on an hourly basis until they get the message, then praise afterwards when they have done something. "Poo and pee" words are too 'soft' in pronunciation. A more positive word is needed, like "bizzy" (sic).

All dog owners know that they have disgusting habits!! We love them, anyway.

Gymstagran Thu 07-Dec-23 15:33:18

I wouldn't use puppy pads either. My granddaughters dog is nearly two and used the pads. She is still unreliable in other people houses. Embassingly so!

MayBee70 Thu 07-Dec-23 15:41:28

I always used to say to her ‘well, you’re not kissing me tonight’. I have several small terracotta flower pots outside and I cover the poo straight away so I can clear it up when it’s daytime. So I used to say ‘go potty’. However DH started saying to her in the evening ‘wee and a poo’ and she now goes out for him and does it. We have to be careful not to have poo conversations when there are people around eg if DH takes her for a walk on their return my first question is ‘ was it ok’ (she’s prone to having bad tums’.

Iam64 Thu 07-Dec-23 16:17:51

Don’t use puppy pads. How confusing to be expected to understand it’s ok to toilet indoors but you’re supposed to go outside
My lab came in December at 8 weeks. He was out on the hour, after every meal/long drink/sleep/running about playing and instantly if s/he starts circling and sniffing .
At first don’t speak, your pup will toilet within about ten mins (usually) instant praise and straight back indoors
Within about a week introduce your trigger word but only as the pup toilets. The idea is the pup associates the action with the word. Several days later yiu can say the word once and wait till he does, then praise even a sliver of sausage to reinforce this is good behaviour
My last three pups clean by 12 weeks
It’s demanding but it works. Don’t introduce play in the garden or s/he may get engrossed in that so delaying the toilet connection. Within a few weeks your pup will be asking to go out and you can play
Keep your wellies and a jacket / hat by the door x

SachaMac Thu 07-Dec-23 16:29:02

We have had several dogs over the years but haven’t used puppy pads. My current dog, a border terrier came to us in March and it was freezing cold & snowed during the first week but he was quite happy to go outside. I had an older dog at the time and I think the pup learnt a lot from him as he was house trained in no time.
I think it can also depend on the breed, my youngest DD has a Shih Tzus cross and she was very difficult to house train, we’ve heard it’s because they have small bladders.

25Avalon Thu 07-Dec-23 16:35:16

Puppy pads ok to start with until puppy started tearing them to shreds, some with plastic lining so not good. I used waterproof sheet in case of accident but best to run outsideus

Smileless2012 Thu 07-Dec-23 16:48:53

Puppy pads give mixed messages and result in confusion. Unfortunately Mazzg there's no alternative to taking your puppy out at very regular intervals regardless of the weather, and following Iams excellent advice. Good luck.