OK, I''ve been trying a new technique for training for three days. Sam and Max are pretty well trained now. Occasional accidents, but only when I get busy and forget to take them out regularly. Joey, however, has had me stymied. I've been crating him, meaning that he stays in the crate except for potty breaks. But he was holding it and holding it and holding, and I would eventually feel cruel and let him out. Usually I would let him out to the deck where he would relieve himself. But I want him to go in the yard so I can quit washing the deck!!
Beginning on Friday, I've crated him completely until he pees without relenting. But I added another component to help me and him, too. I have a repeating timer, one that you set for whatever time, and when it goes off, it starts over again unless you turn it off. So I set it for an hour, and every time it goes off, we go outside. Thursday night I put them to bed around 10:00. Friday morning we started going out every hour. Every hour, every hour, every hour, staying out for fifteen or twenty minutes. HE DIDN'T PEE ALL DAY LONG!!! Finally at about 4:30 I caved again because I had to get ready to leave at 5:00, so I put him on the deck and within a couple minutes he peed a puddle that was about 18 inches across!! Geez, dog!!
I went to the pot luck, came home about 9:30 and put The Boys out again, in the back yard this time, and he peed another huge puddle!
Yesterday, Saturday, I repeated this process, but this time, he peed willingly about 2:00, then held it while I went to the reception at the Gallery, and peed again at 10:00. Both times outside. And today, roughly the same process, except he has been able stay out of the crate since about 11:00 to play with the other boys for a good part of the day because he is peeing outside.
Meanwhile, all three boys are getting accustomed to the timer. Every time it goes off now, all three run for the back door! Not the front door where they play on the deck, but the timer means "back door and potty." They don't always go every time, but they are going out without a problem. There has not been one accident in the house in three days, and they are even beginning to tell me if they need out in between by going to the door and either scratching or whining!!
Thank you, Dr. Pavlov!!!!