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HELP! I'm desperate

July 23rd, 2004, 10:45 AM
Help! Here’s my problem. We bought a West Highland Terrier 3 years a go when he was 6 mos. We were living with my in-laws at the time and were waiting for our house to be built. Since we would be moving into a new subdivision with no grass and my wife was pregnant and wouldn’t be able to walk the dog to the park with a 1 ˝ year old, we decided to train him to go on paper in a bin. It worked great and he had very few accidents.

However, as soon as we moved to our new house and tried to keep him going in the bin, he avoided it completely. He would urinate around the bin and in other rooms, but NEVER in the bin. As soon as we got grass, we tried getting him to go outside. He seems to do most of his business outside, but still marks around the house. And he hasn’t figured out how to let me know he has to go. We reward him when he goes, but he still goes around the house.

He especially loves to urinate on things on the floor. If any piece of clothing is on the floor, you can bet that it has been urinated on. Even if a comforter from the bed is touching the ground, it will be urinated on. He is not neutered, will that change anything? We are desperate, we know we have made mistakes with him, but our kids love him and despite this HUGE problem, he is a great dog.

Can anyone give any advice please??

Lucky Rescue
July 23rd, 2004, 10:59 AM
I'm sure this dog is totally confused. First you taught him NOT to pee in the house, then you taught him it's perfectly o.k. TO pee in the house, and now it's not again. You can see why he is mixed up. ;)

Yes, it matters that he is not neutered. Intact dogs are more likely to mark in the house.

Get him neutered. Use something like Nature's Miracle to get the smell of urine out of the house.

When he recovers from the surgery, crate train him, if he is not already, and go back to basics with housetraining as though he is an untrained puppy. Take him out on leash, and praise him when he goes outside. Do not allow him access to the rest of the house until he is reliable. Keep him tied to you if he is loose in the house, and the second he looks as though he might pee - sniffing or circling - rush him outside.

You can also go to the pet store and get something called a "belly band". This is a piece of cloth that wraps around the dog's middle and covers his penis. When he goes to mark in the house, the urine will stay in the cloth and be very uncomfortable for him. This usually cures the marking.

But get him neutered first.

July 23rd, 2004, 01:00 PM
Yes the dog is very confused.

Who gave you the suggestion to train him to go on paper for so long?
It's going to be a hard habit to break but they are smart dogs. Terriers will learn quickly but have very distinct personalities and may try to do something to spite you.

NEVER ever yell at the dog for this, it's the worst thing you can do. NO scolding of any kind. Start taking him out more often and when he goes outside praise him and give him a treat that he really loves.

It's not the dogs fault, so if there are accidents....only blame yourselves unfortunately it was stupid to train him to do it indoors. Which you now know but can fix! :D

I had a westie myself lived for 16yrs,he's been gone a year now and I'd love to see pictures of yours!


July 24th, 2004, 12:17 PM
This dog is confused more than anything. Get him neutered and buy him a crate. Start from the begining. Have him in his crate when you can't watch him. If he starts to pee when you are watching him, pick him up and run him outside to his area. LR had some great training suggestions for you, too. :)

Cactus Flower
July 25th, 2004, 12:53 PM
I don't think anything you did was "stupid", but obviously you have made things a bit difficult for yourself and your pup. I'm sure it seemed to make sense at the time, right? This is a lesson learned that will help you in the future, I am sure. Anyway, with persistance and being consistant, you should be able to re-train your dog, especially after neutering. Neutering won't exactly act like a "reset" button, but with the added crate training that LuckyRescue suggested, it should be easier.
Just imagine how difficult it would be for you to be told that suddenly you can no longer use the toilet inside. I'm guessing you'd forget (I know I would!) quite often out of habit, and that it would be difficult to adjust to heading outdoors for relief. Keep this in mind and be patient. You can do it!
It might also help to put some of that shredded paper on the grass outside, to show him that's where he's supposed to go now.

July 25th, 2004, 12:57 PM
If he starts to pee when you are watching him, pick him up and run him outside to his area.

I disagree with this method. Wait until the dog is done...if you didn't catch it before it happened let the dog finish then take the dog outside.

Can't reinforce the neuter issue and pls show us some pics :D