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terrified foster dog

December 27th, 2006, 03:00 PM
I am currently fostering a dog for a breed organization. She is afraid of everything. After 2 weeks she is o.k. with me. I think she was crated for most of the time with her owners. My main problem right now is that she gives no signal that she needs to go out. I take her out every 2 hours and she just wanders around. I walk her 3 times a day. She can come in from outside and poop on the carpet 5 minutes later. She has lots of problems but this one is a killer. I watch her like a hawk, even take her out through the night and still accidents. It is almost as if this is a surprise to her. Any help from others who have solved similar situations would be greatly appreciated.

December 27th, 2006, 03:54 PM
How old is this dog? Has she been examined by a vet for any health problems? Are her feeding times consistent? If so, you could track when she poops and how many times so you know about when to expect it. If she's on a consistent schedule, this should not be too difficult. Praise her and treat her when she goes outside immediately after she goes. My puppy was doing this same thing for several months, on occasion anyway. He was also scared of everything at first, but I think his main issue was just immaturity. He would get distracted and forget to go outside but once comfortable and inside he'd remember he had to go. The later accidents happened when there was some amount of stress in the house and I was ignoring him for some reason (like I was busy packing to go on a trip for instance). When your dog is in the yard do you go out with her? I would do that and if she goes, praise the heck out of her and reward her. You can also teach her to go on command. Repeat the command while she is going are as you see her get ready to go. Eventually she'll associate the command with going to the bathroom. Good luck!

December 27th, 2006, 04:16 PM
When I get fosters that are not housebroken yet, I litterally tye them to my pants. I simply attach a 6ft rope or their leash to my waist and that way I can watch them at all times. If I see them start to want to pee or start to smell around, I say ' Outside" and then bring the dog with me outdoors. If has worked for every dog that I have fostered. I have fostered over 50 dogs/pups and I am now considered the expert with our rescue in housebreaking difficult dogs. But attaching the dog to you is the fastes way I can think of to housebreak your foster.
Good Luck!

December 27th, 2006, 05:20 PM
I agree with both Kristin and Fosterpat ~ when Declan came home to me he was certainly housetrained but had become so accustomed to being outside all the time it took him awhile to figure out the "rules" (ie. Noooooooooooo....not on Mummy's new chair !?!?!:D ). Don't lose hope ~ you'll get there !

December 27th, 2006, 06:23 PM
I agree with what the others have said, and, consistency is your biggest ally.

December 27th, 2006, 08:39 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. Sara is 2 years old and very afraid of anything new. Connecting her to me is a good idea but she pulls away so hard she almost knocks me down. Every noise terrifies her (e. g. a drawer closing). She urinates about once every 24 hours although she drinks water often and defecates about every 36 hours so it is hard to anticipate. I always in the past have taught a cue word to get a dog to go, by with her?
Thanks again we will keep trying.

December 27th, 2006, 09:15 PM
Wow, she is holding it for a long time! I wonder if she associates going with bad things (like being scolded). My dog was scared of everything just a few months ago, he would not go potty on walks but only in the backyard. He was just a pup though and has gotten over most of his fears with socialization. He only started going when on walks when he had to, when I was on a vacation with him, so no backyard. Still, I praise him whenever he goes while we're walking just so he knows it's ok and it's a good thing. If your foster dog is scared of everything it may be she only feels comfortable in the house and this is the only time she can relax and go potty, unfortunately for you. If she needs to go on walks for exercise, great, but she probably will be more comfortable going in the yard,especially if it is fenced in, so you may want to stick to the yard for training to go potty outside. Go out with her and spend time with her in the yard, just hanging out, making her comfortable out there. Praise her everytime she goes and treat her with something she really likes (cheese?) when she goes. This dog sounds very traumatized, perhaps someone can suggest some ways to help with that? I wouldn't be surprised if once she becomes less fearful, the housebreaking issue will resolve.

December 27th, 2006, 11:22 PM
When she does go, do you make it a super positive experience? That always helps... Every load and pee is a miracle! :)

December 27th, 2006, 11:52 PM
When we first got our 2 year old collie, she refused to go on leash. She held it for a good 12-13 hours until I got her home to where she could go in the fence off leash. I took her out everytime though and would stand there waiting for her to go. I crossed my arms and looked up at the sky and pretended like she wasn't there watching out of the corner of my eye. As soon as I saw her going I praised and praised and praised. She FINALLY went in my presence, but it took lots of patience, praise and persistance. We've had her a month now and she is still hesitant to go potty on leash. And if your pup is food motivated, a treat is always helpful. I don't know if this helps or not, but good luck!

December 28th, 2006, 07:57 AM
When she does go poop put it outside where you wwould like her to go, with pee if in the house sop up with paper towel and put outside as well , she now has an area with her smell m you will probably have to circle her around that area.

With my greyhound fosters I used to babygate them in a room with me so I could catch them in the act of trying to pee or poop and firmly say no(not yelling) and take them outside immediately when I could not supervise I put them in a crate, when they did go outside I "gently and quietly" praised to much excitement in praising can startle or worry some dogs and have a reverse effect instead

Dogs acting terrified is not really unusual, their whole world as they know it has been turned upside down, they are in a strange place surrounded by strange people, who may have different rules and they do not know what is expected of them or even where the appropriate place is to pee and poop, and some simply get very overwelmed by all the changes, developing a daily routine helps them understand what is going to happen next and eases the transition .

December 28th, 2006, 09:11 AM
Having her tied to you will also help her fears. Right now her reaction to everything is to flee - being connected to you will stop her from fleeing and force her to face her fears. This will be excellent for her.

I don't know how long you are going to have her but as her housebreaking gets better and she is able to calm down, it will then be important for her to learn how to be successful on her own. So there will need to be balance in her world as time goes by. What I mean by that is we are potentially setting her up for SA if she gets overly bonded to you and we want to make sure we aren't doing that. If she seems too clingy then we are going to have to make sure that she learns how to be away from you aswell.

Tying her to you but not touching you at all times will be important. Some dogs will overbond and now you just have a whole new set of problems. So if she is tied to you - sometimes encourage her to be 6 inches to a foot away from you. She can learn to feel safe at a small distance from you and you can reach over to pet her but just don't have her velcroed to your side. There are always good times for cuddling but also times for learning to be on her own.