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phuzzyday August 5th, 2009 11:50 PM

House Training in Unusual Circumstances
Hello everybody! I am new here!

I have a delightful wiener dog. :thumbs up She is about 18 pounds. Not fixed. When we first got her as a puppy, we lived in a new house, which had nothing but messy dirt around it, which was no place to let a dog go out to do her business. We eventually trained her to use a spot on the cement basement floor, which had a sheet of plastic and a pee-pad on it. That was OK, but then we moved.

We then moved to a townhouse which had a teeny yard behind it, however, we didn't have the commitment to really work with her to break her old training. The good news was, there still was a basement. The bad news was that she was terrified of it, and we ended up putting the pads on carpet upstairs between the bathroom and the bedroom. You could say she trained US to put them there. In the end, the carpet was so bad the professional carpet cleaner was even shocked a bit when we moved out. We should have really taken the opportunity to work HARD on her at that time to stop going in the hallway. Because the next move made it even more of a training challenge. That's where we are now.

Due to financial downturns, we had to move into an APARTMENT, which now allows dogs! Now, ideally, we should be able to walk her twice a day and have her go then, and if we COULD do that, she probably would tune in pretty quick. She's not shy about going in the grass during walk time. (She may just be marking her territory though.) However, we aren't able to walk her that often, and due to the convenience factor, we need to train her to go, on a pad, on the BALCONY, which is wood, but well coated with a layer of some kind of acrylic. We have been in the apartment for a week, and she is sticking with her pattern thus far, of going on a pad between the bathroom and the master bedroom. Now, I know how to tell a dog she did something WRONG, but how do I show her what is right? I want to use positive reinforcement, but as of yet, no action on the balcony. LOTS in the hallway. (Cleaning supplies locked and ready with an extractor on hand.) I have a couple ideas as to how to do it, but I thought I would ask the experts, since I need results as soon as possible! Winter gets dangerously cold here, and we need her to be used to going outside before it hits, so she won't second guess things in the cold, it will be automatic.

More information...
- When I bring her to my sisters place, (She has a male the same size. It's fun to watch them horse around endlessly. Doing my best not to make a wiener joke here...:laughing:), anyway, at her place, which has a beautiful, large, sealed in yard, which the dogs are let loose in every few hours, there is no issue. For days. She goes outside. (Or at least she doesn't go inside. I have seen her stop going at ALL for a couple days when my wife is away.)

- Our training efforts seem to have given her the idea that she should only go at night. Probably since we're not there to give her a scolding. So nothing at all during the day, but we wake up to a dirty pad. At least. (How does a wiener dog aim without a rear view camera anyhow?)

- She sleeps under our blankets. (I have read that it's almost a law for wiener dogs to have that privilege.)

- We have to limit our ideas to those which DON'T cause her to panic, like being locked out on the balcony alone for really long times, or locking her in a room alone. This makes a lot of noise which is bad for an apartment.

- I am nervous about removing the pad in the hallway, since, what if she DOES go.... But I am also nervous about putting one there, since, it's kind of like giving her permission! :wall:

- I guess this makes us look like bad pet owners. Our problems are not laziness related, or because of a lack of desire. My wife and I both suffer from debilitating and disabling health problems which make this all very hard. I KNOW that a good solution is going to require us to fight very hard. I think as a team we can fight this battle.

Thanks in advance to all the experts out there that can help us construct some good out of this pile ... of.. .. .. situation.


Bailey_ August 6th, 2009 11:25 AM

You've come to a great place for advice, there are lots of people here, many of whom have had house-training challanges in one form or another.

Environment changes alone can cause a bit of upheaval and confusion for a dog - especially when there is 'training' still involved in the process and I sympathize because I know how difficult it can be to attempt to house-train at this point in the process.

As far as getting her to go on the pad on the balcony, you really need to stick to your guns because otherwise it simply won't work. She's already beat you and your wife once before as far as 'where' she wants to pee, and that is a HUGE success for a dog. The first thing I'd reccomend is crating her at night, but at this point it would take a lot of consistancy and patience to do so. She's obviously used to having her run of the place and sleeping with both of you.
If you continue to let her sleep in your bed, is there any way that you can still monitor her progress through the night? The bottom line is that unless you are able to CONSTANTLY put her outside on the pee pad where you need/want her to use the washroom, she won't learn. Sure, she may still have accidents through this process but it's entirely up to you and your wife. If you really want things to change for your dog, you may even have to get up a few times through the night and throw her outside so she can pee on the pad.

I'd also reccomend NOT putting the pee pads down in the hallway. This will just confuse her further, and lead her to believe that you aren't serious about getting her to pee outside.
This is why I encourage you to crate her, or keep her confined to a safe area when you are not home. A dog allowed to roam that has not been trained to pee outside - just simply won't.

phuzzyday August 6th, 2009 06:27 PM

Thanks for making me feel welcome!

(I am in Lloydminster, I see you are in Alberta too. Close to us?)

I was thinking of crating her at night and focusing on that first pee in the morning for a start. Anyway, thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. I will try to put it into effect as closely as possible.


Bailey_ August 6th, 2009 06:32 PM

I'm in Calgary. We're neighbors!! :)

Good luck with everything and let us know how it goes. The crate should definitely deter her from peeing when you're unable to watch her and when you leave, but just be aware that since she's quite used to sleeping with you she won't enjoy the crate very much at all. DO NOT go to her when she's crying as she'll associate being let out, or your attention, with the fact that she cried/whined/barked.

If you're having any more problems there are lots of knowledgable people here to help. :thumbs up

cell August 6th, 2009 07:14 PM

Have you though about making a balcony box? get one of those under the bed storage boxes, pop some drainage holes on one side (usually balconies have a drainage slope away from the building so place them on that side) put some soil in the box and a few pieces of sod to cover the top. You would have to keep the sod watered to stop it from dying but its only outside the door so thats not too hard, and giving a it a water rinses the pee off the grass. You could also put a pebble layer and put like burlap or somthing down before adding the soil for better drainage.
This would keep with the theme of peeing OUTSIDE and prefferably on grass, most dogs try and keep it on the grass and don't like going on soild surfaces as much.
You could set that up and then add a ringing bell so that when she wants to go out to potty have a bell to ring with her nose to indicate to open the door.
This is the set up my dads GF for her little dog when she was in a apartment and it worked just fine :thumbs up

phuzzyday August 13th, 2009 09:17 AM

Results thus far - Wow!
Thought you guys might want an update!

So we crated her the first night, which she handled pretty well actually, and in the morning, we took her out to the balcony, and BAM. She went right away. First time ever. We layed on the praise pretty thick!
From that point there has been only two or three mistakes. And they were indeed due to our giving her the wrong chances. That's pretty awesome!
Now, we take her out at bedtime, and first thing in the morning, and she is going like clockwork! The expectation of her favorite treats certainly helps!
If she goes number 1 and 2 at bedtime, we don't always crate her, since she seems to only go a couple times in each 24 hour day. I think she has a huge bladder.

I am quite impressed. I had no idea she was so capable of learning. And she really loves the routine, because she KNOWS what to do to please us! It's all quite amazing!

Thanks so much for the help!!!
Now I have to figure out how to get more of her freeze-dried liver treats shipped to us here in Lloydminster... Time to call in a favor!


Bailey_ August 13th, 2009 12:57 PM

:thumbs up

Great news! Thanks for the update. Now we just need pictures of your dog!! :)

DoubleRR August 13th, 2009 08:58 PM

That's great, neighbour! [Not far, Wainwright here.] My little Lyric long haired dachshund is only 3 mths old, so is not allowed loose in the house. Glad you are doing so well!!

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