I did it! At least I think, I (maybe) successfully potty trained a 4 month old puppy. Josie is whining at the door and getting my attention when she has to go. This morning I woke up at 6am from her whining in the bedroom. Josie was loose in the room, I saw her standing by the door and facing me. When I let her out, she bee-lined to the back door and starting jumping on it! She just might be potty trained. It's not something I want to push my luck on yet, I won't leave her alone uncrated or stop giving her frequent breaks, she's still a baby with a baby bladder. Anyway, I don't think potty training works like a switch where they are or they aren't, but I think Josie is headed in the right direction!
Potty training has usually been a daunting venture for me. I'm often doing it from the outside in, I have to tell dog owners how to do it and hope that they follow it to the letter. Any slip in management often leads to an accident and that feels like a training failure. Much of the time it feels like the management required for dogs with potty training problems is not getting done and the dogs get set up for failure. It takes a long time to form a routine though, for people too. My clients need to be more understanding towards their dogs about that fact, but I need to be more understanding towards my clients. It is truly a brutal task.
I want anyone struggling with potty training to know that a slip up here and there is not the end of the world! A "failure" is simply information to let you know where you are at in the training process. Next time you know to close the baby gate, or take the dog out for an extra break during the day. Not two weeks ago Josie was peeing right behind my office chair while I was working at the computer. Heck, she peed during a Zoom lesson I had last month on camera! The important thing to do is stay the course and try and build a new routine. Getting a puppy often means you will be going outside in your pajamas a few times a night.