- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


chocolate lab - housetraining at 3 years old

September 27th, 2006, 09:44 PM
I am new to this board but am very excited that I found it. I am housesitting my sisters' 3 years old spayed chocolate lab named Sugar. Sugar was in a freak accident in June '06 where she was riding in the back of the pickup, while leashed and was somehow "spooked" by something. She was dragged for quite a distance before the police stopped my sister to let her know what was happening. Sugars' fur and skin was scraped down to expose her intestines, she lost all padding on all paws and fur and skin from other areas of all 4 legs. She was hospitalized in intensive care (wonderful folks at Auburn University Vet School:thumbs up ) for over 3 months. She finally came home 2 weeks ago. Since returning home, she seems to have forgotten her housetraining:eek: . She will go outside to her designated spot as before, will use if I stand there with her, but will use inside - either the sun room where she is sometimes kenneled(per doctors' orders), or in my sisters' room. My sister has always worked a 12 hour day, so my sisters' work habit is not new to Sugar. I have always frequently visited, so she is "used" to me. Could the trauma of the accident be the reason for her regression and what can we do..Re-housetrain?? Also, Sugar can be VERY stubborn. Thanks for your replys and sorry for the long thread.

September 28th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Can you blame the dog !!! Don't you guys know how freakin dangerous it is to keep a dog in a pick up truck??? :mad:

September 28th, 2006, 01:00 PM
OMG the poor dog!!! Yet another example of why dogs should not be in the back of a pickup (unless one of those cages is put over it), and why you should always look in your mirrors to make sure things are ok! Poor poor dog!!!!

ok now to help...
it sounds like sugar's bladder control has decreased as a result of the "accident". I don't think there is anyway she can handle being left alone for 12 hours at a time (she probably could never really deal with it, but now that her baldder can't handle it, your sister is noticing this). I would say keep her offleash, but your sister NEEDS to come home during the day, or have someone come walk sugar so she can go pee. Sugar just recovered from a SERIOUS injury, and NEEDS more contact and time with people.

September 28th, 2006, 02:18 PM
First off, sorry to hear about the accident (btw, accidents are just that folks - not intentional so quit jumping on the OP). Secondly, a routine needs to be established, and given she's in recovery mode still (and likely will for the rest of her life), you'll need to go at this from a "starting over" standpoint. Yes, she likely has damage from the accident that will leave her unable to hold it for 12 hours, probably unable to hold it for 2, so setting up an area in the house where there are puppy pee pads (local pet supply should have em) for her to use is probably a good start. If she's used to you, then work with your sister on this - either via hiring a dog walker or both of you work out a schedule so one of you can take her outside to do her business at regular intervals throughout the day. My ex and I had this system with our dogs, and it worked out well since we lived 10 minutes from my job. Make sure that you're consistent and positive with her re-housetraining, it's essential since she's recovering from horrifying injuries that may have damaged her mentally and psychologically as well as physically. Good luck, please keep us posted on her recovery :pawprint:

doggy lover
September 28th, 2006, 03:07 PM
All I have to say is that accidents can be prevented and no dog should be expected to hold their bladder for 12 hours can you.

September 28th, 2006, 03:27 PM
Jawert1 is correct

There is zero reason to jump all over this newbie. This is flat out rude.

September 28th, 2006, 03:54 PM
Since the dog was in the hospital for so long, and was in such bad shape, her bladder muscles may have weakened so she isn't capable of holding like she used to even if she wanted to. I'd go back to basics, and slowly increase the amount of time she's expected to hold it until she's back to normal. It'll probably happen faster than it would with a pup, but I wouldn't expect it to be back to normal for a while.

September 28th, 2006, 09:09 PM
I agree, it's too early to expect miracles. I'd just bring her out much more often.

How long are you housesitting for?

I agree with Jawert- not only is this dog not the OP's dog, it's not like anybody has a time capsule to go back and change what happened. We have to help with the issue she is asking us to help with. Besides, truck or no truck, there are very few people in the world who would have paid for 3 months in intensive care, so IMO, this dog is in great hands, and will likely never ride in the back of a truck again. Live and learn.

September 28th, 2006, 10:03 PM
I appreciate the many feedbacks and I also realize that in a perfect world, this accident would not have happened. My sister is a critical care registered nurse and I am retired. I moved in with her temporarily when Sugar was released from the hospital, so that she would not have to recuperate alone. There is a severe shortage of nurses all over these United States for humans ( some of which may be the very people that the negative replies need for their family members or themselves). This is why I am here around the clock, leaving my husband to fend for himself because I know Sugar requires around the clock care. I can appreciate that there was some human error on my sisters' part in allowing Sugar in the back of the truck, but she was viewed often thru the rear view mirror. When my sister did not see her she assumed Sugar way lying down as she usually does. The leash used this time was not the normal one use, but was a little longer. MY sister accepts full responsibility for her part and is well over $10,000 for her care. I am writing this with tears in my eyes and hope the replies that were vicious in response will NEVER have to use the word NEVER in their vocabulary. I am thankful to those who gave advice as well as comfort..We are all humans, imperfections and all. God Bless:pray:

September 28th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Thank you so much for your understanding heart and you kind but firm words to keep the topic on tract. Sugar is our baby- thank you for understanding that.:love:

September 28th, 2006, 10:18 PM
I, too, would like to thank you for you response, advice and encouragement. When the critical care unit at the major hospital my sisters' city put all ccu,icu and sicu on 12 hour shifts, my sister had worked very hard to fime the feeding, watering and etc for Sugar, prior to the accident. Also after her 12 hour shift, she bonded and walked with Sugar. There were no accident problems, since every detailed was timed with Sugar in mind. Please, all readers, don't assume the Sugar is not very much loved and well taken of. She is a treasure. This particular part of the thread is not directed to Jawert 1, but this has all been traumatizing and very expensive, but my sister and myself would have taken second mortgages, if necessary. Again, thanks to all who recognized the pain in my heart and for the advice and comfort.

September 28th, 2006, 10:22 PM
I will be housesitting until Sugar is healed. My family in Atlanta understands this as we are all dog lovers and my husband is the best (but hopefully by the new year!!!) I do miss home. :o

September 29th, 2006, 10:03 AM
I'm glad to hear she's got round the clock care, and it's wonderful that your family accepts your absence as part of fulfilling a need for another family member. It's very clear that Sugar is much loved and very well cared for and you are all very close. That being said, please keep us posted on her recovery and progress, it's good to know that there are folks out there like yourself that will uproot in order to help, and that your sister is doing her best by the human race by being in nursing, and giving as much as she can. :pawprint:

September 29th, 2006, 10:55 AM
the devotion to sugar is heart warming, keep up the good work and with time and patience you should get there in the end, i hope you have`nt been put off using this board, please keep us updated on sugar :love:

September 29th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Just some advice . . . if your sister ever has to have Sugar in the back of the truck again (which I hope she doesn't, because I think it would be traumatic for the dog), then tie the dog in by TWO leashes . . . one tied to the left side of the truck bed, one tied to the right side of the truck bed, short enough so that the dog cannot physically reach the side of the truck. Just leave enough slack for the dog to be able to move around a little and lie down, but not enough that she can fall over the side.

I would start housetraining all over with frequent trips outside and lots of praise whenever she goes outside.

September 29th, 2006, 03:27 PM
Again, thanks to each and all for the encouraging and comforting words as well as the advice. I am starting on leash, since her time outside is limited to only "bathroom visits." She has another appointment on 10-05-06 as some of her wounds are still open but are pink and healthy.( She had to have several skin grafts). Maybe by the time the vet releases her for walks outside, she would have caught on to the re-training....keep your fingers crossed and thanks again!!:fingerscr

September 29th, 2006, 08:56 PM
Good plan to keep her on leash. She is probably restless and you don't want to set back all the great progress you've made by her getting hurt.
Something you might try, to burn some energy with her is teach her tricks like paw and touch (with her nose), ring the bell, etc Depending on her range of motion You might not be able to do all the little tricks but you can probably do a few and the mental stimulation will be great for her. (Check with the bet though just to be sure :confused: )

September 29th, 2006, 09:34 PM
I am so sorry to hear of Sugar's accident.... be patient with her, she will have to learn all over again and if her bladder is weak(er), then it will take time.

Thank you for stepping up and taking care of Sugar. No one should blame your sister for what happened. An accident is just accident.

If you get a chance, could you post a picture of Sugar???

September 30th, 2006, 01:10 PM
I'm sure Sugar has forgotten the routine that she was used to prior to the accident, likely she became used to a new routine while recouperating. She just needs some time to get back into the swing of things. The leash is a good idea, just so you can always watch and also because of her extensive recovery it is safer, who knows if something might catch her eye.

I suggest when you have to clean up an accident you should use a piece of newspaper to catch some of the scent, take it with you on one of your scheduled pee-breaks and put it down where you want her to go, it might be that her scent isn't as strong where she used to go anymore. I have an adult dog who isn't always consistant going outside, she used to be worse, I would take her out for a good half hour walk and she would hold it until she got home.:rolleyes: But just with a lot of patience and a good schedule we were able to get it to 98% consistancy.

Welcome to the board Multifaxd this is a great resource, you should also search on the board for 'recovery', there have been other dogs who have needed to stay mostly imobile for their recoveries after surgeries or what-not, and there were lots of great suggestions. good luck, I hope Sugar gets better soon.:love: