Originally Posted by Lady of Z Lake
It's house training. He seems to go outside really well, but then we'll find he pees on a coat left on the floor (despite the MILLION times I tell my kids or dh that if it's on the floor, it'll likely get peed on!), or in a corner. (or poos, but less often than pee)
I know you said one issue, but chewing is really bad too.
I'm off to work now, so I won't be able to check back in for a while. Thanks for your support!!!
Oh-- and the pug's name is Bacio (kiss in Italian).
OK--well, I'm going to give you advice that I would not normally give, because ordinarily I'm contemplating the entire family involved in housetraining and we work on exclusive crate training. In this case, it's just you, so I can't go about this the ideal way.
This is the way we housetrain our litters of puppies when we have too many of them to individually train, and the way I leave it set up if I am going away for several hours and my husband can't deal with the dogs.
You say you have a door you can leave open, which is good. If not, I'd advise you to figure out a way to leave access to the yard open at least during the day. Ideally, you want the door to be coming from a place where people are--kitchen, living room, office--not the basement or garage. OK, now around the opening to that door, on the inside, you are going to put his pen (I assume you have an ex pen--if not, go buy one. They're not expensive). A typical ex pen will give him a generous space inside, probably 10 sq feet. If the pen is on carpet, put a drop cloth or tarp on the ground until he's trustworthy--but you shouldn't need it, because 10 sq ft is small enough that it should trigger his "keep my territory clean" instinct. Inside the pen put his bed, his water, chew toys, all his stuff.
So now he should have a "house" with access to the outside, but no access to the inside. But he can still see the inside, and the kids can see him. Encourage them to take him out and play with him inside the house, train him, etc. Nobody should isolate or ignore him. But as soon as they are done, back he goes in his house. He is NEVER unsupervised inside your house.
When you are home, try to make pottying outside very rewarding. Consider putting a patch of mulch or pine shavings in the area where he usually goes, because dogs love to pee on different textures (this also trains him to confine himself to that area, which is really good). Bring cookies outside and praise and treat him for peeing. Bring cookies in your pocket for walks. Every outside pee or poop is treated like he just won the Nobel Prize. Try to put a word with the action--not a word that you use for anything else! We use "piddle," others use "make it"--whatever.
When he has been ABSOLUTELY RELIABLE in his little house for two weeks, double the size. If you have another pen, use it, but otherwise use gates or whatever you can. You can portion off the room with the ex pen (rather than just making a loop of the pen) too. Definitely no bigger than 20 sq ft. Continue the routine. Again, in two weeks make it a little bigger. The goal is for him to be in one entire room by the end of the summer--NOT the whole house--and for him to have had zero accidents in weeks. What builds success in dogs is just that--success. If he breaks even once, make it smaller again. A habit has to form that gets his mind into the groove of "pee can only hit the ground outside."
If he's been consistently trained all summer, and if he is not allowed back in the whole house, by fall you SHOULD be able to shut that door during the day and have him signal you somehow that it needs to be open. Pugs are NOTORIOUSLY bad about house training, which is why it has to be so deliberate and slow. I would not allow him the run of the house for, honestly, another year or more. But that doesn't mean he can be ignored, which is why it's so important to make an effort to keep him part of the family during the training.
OK, the 4 am barking. He should be able to make it 6-8 hours by this age, no more. So don't expect him to get through an entire night--six hours would be what I would shoot for right now. Decide when he's "allowed" to get up--say 7 am. Somebody has to take him out to pee and poop at 1 am. Make this a VERY businesslike pee. NO playing. Walk without making eye contact until he pees, quietly praise, back inside. Now he goes in his crate.
And now, simply don't open it back up again. He will SCREAM. He will howl; he will carry on like you're killing him. But in that crate he must stay, with NO stimulation, until 7 am. Then at 7, without fanfare, you open the crate and take him straight out again.
The first night of this will be torture. The second night he will still yell. By the time a week has gone by, he should be sleeping through until 7. Once he's been quiet until 7 for a few days, you move the nighttime pee back by 30 minutes, to see if he can go six and a half hours. And so on. I would not push for longer than 8 hours, and even that may be a stretch. Six may be all you get right now. For every month older he gets, move it back 30 minutes and be firm about it. By the time he is 10 months old or so, he should be going 8 hours.