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house training impossible

July 26th, 2007, 09:10 PM
I adopted a dog from a shelter on March 2nd. From what I can tell she was never house trained and she spent much of her life in a shelter. She had 14 puppies last April 2006. She's a very nice, friendly dog and is great with kids. Everyone in the neighborhood loves her - people say she is a Disney dog.

But - I have not been able to housetrain her. The shelter loaned me a crate and said it wouldn't take long. I read everything about crate training, called some places including a coonhound rescue ground and I have tried everything. She did go for 29 days with only one accident. Last Tuesday she stayed home alone for 6 hours with no problem. The next day she peed in the house, since then she has peed almost every day and yesterday even pooped in the house. I'm back to square one (crating when she's not outside or in sight) and today was ok.

The main problem is that she has absolutely no clue. When she's gotta go, she just goes. She still has no signal for going out. I have tried bells at the door, now I am bringing the bells with me and ringing them when she does something. She is very good at night and in the morning. I get up, shower, get dressed and exercise before we go for a 20 minute walk. I learned not to rush out with her because she has no interests in doing anything early in the morning. It's hard in the rain - I keep saying "do something" - the word I try using as a signal and she just looks at me - she knows I want something - she'll sit and look - "is this it" she'll even give me her paw. I always praise her when she does something, sometimes give her a treat.

What else can I do? She's ok with the crate and doesn't do anything in it, but would rather lounge around the house (she's a real couch potatoe) and I would like to move past this stage. Is there any hope?

July 27th, 2007, 11:55 AM
I have a foster who wasn't housetrained. It's been 6 months ,she is clean in the house now but only just started to ask for the door. The only advice I can give you is to make a big big deal when she does it outside : GOOD GIRL , GOOD PEE ! Or good poop ! And so on. Get outside with her often and don't go back into the house until she does her business. Reward with treats if you have to.

July 27th, 2007, 02:45 PM
cheese. thats what finally got Mister to understand. i would give him a tiny pinch of cheese.

we'd say "YAY!! good potty/peepee!!" while he is going and then when he is done right way give him soem cheese. now he usually goes pee when we ask him to.


Ford Girl
July 27th, 2007, 03:05 PM
Just some stuff we used:

Routine helps, out side right from crate and right from waking up and 20 minutes after eating, pull her water at night so she can make it thru the night! And treats for outside peeing! (MINE STARTED TO FAKE PEE FOR A TREAT, SNEAKY BUGGER Now she pees on command!)

One thing we were told was each time she lays down for a nap, crate her, so she can't wake up and wonder, if she's sleeping on the couch and you are in the kitchen doing dishes she may wake up and pee then come see you. If she's in her crate you are in control.

Use the same entrace all the time if you have more then one, use the same word each time..."wanna go outside"

I found saying GOOD GIRL while she was peeing she would stop for a treat cuz she knew GOOD GIRL meant treat, so we said go pee go pee go pee, and when she was done, we said good girl...

Block off rooms that she has no business being in, limit the access so she's close to the door when she gets the urge.

You can't get mad more then a few seconds after the fact, but if you catch her we were told to make a voice disapproving voice, clap our hands and bring her outside and stay there with her, but ignore her. That worked for us, but only if you catch her in the act. They have to know you disapprove but you dont want to scare the crap out of them.

And don't let them see you cleaning the mess up, put them outside or remove them from the space, clean it up with GOOD pet stain cleaner.

I found the mistakes she made in the house later on in training were our fault, you need to read the signs, even if they are small, a nudge, pacing, a circle, a glace...all we got until she found her bark was a glance, and we jumped...

Good luck, don't lose hope!! It will come! Keep us posted!

July 27th, 2007, 07:18 PM
Welcome to the sheilaross and thank you for adopting what sounds like a real sweetie (except for this completely solvable problem!) ~ I hope you've posted pix somehwere !

You've been given great advice. For me consistency in a well-established routine was/is key. Make sure that she does the deed before she gets any playtime or really ~ positive attention of any kind. Like the others I also use the "GO pee/poo, Go pee/poo" followed with BIG praise when the deed is done. If you have a yard, you may want to train her to use one spot in the yard or you may find greater success by letting her have access to the "fire hydrant gossip". :D

Unless there is a medical or physical (neuro or uro-genital) issue underlying the incontinence, all dogs know when they have to go. Figuring out the subtle signs is your job. When I say subtle, I really do mean subtle. When one of my dogs needs to go she will sit by or behind me ~ which is normal enough for her to do anyway ~ but her signal is a stare and one strong breath through her nose (not snorts or *ahems* just breathes strongly ).

Clean any inside accidents spots extremely well to remove all odour and marks. If you aren't witholding water at night and she can make it through the night and your morning routine, I doubt there is a physical problem but... you never know. If despite all the your efforts, she continues to be incontinent (and I assume there aren't any other animals peeing and therefore marking the house) seeing the Vet would be the next step to rule out neurological or uro-genital problems.

July 28th, 2007, 02:49 PM
Thanks - I've pretty much doing all that - it's just that it seems that she'll never show any signs. I've looked for them and taken her outside only to have her look at me like I'm crazy. She's very casual and very fast when she does go inside. She's been ok for the last 2 days but I'm crating her every time I leave the house and watching her when I'm inside. I know her "bad" times - a.m. between 9:00 and 10:00 and afternoon between 2:00 and 5:00.
She really surprised me the other day when she pooped in the house. She's only done that about 4 times since I got her.

I'll keep working with her. I'd like to get this solved before winter.


July 28th, 2007, 03:12 PM
I'll keep working with her. I'd like to get this solved before winter.


You will Mary, it just takes patience and understanding. Lots of praise when she does it outside.