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Old May 20th, 2012, 10:48 AM
CMG CMG is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1
Little Miss 'Hold It' -- please help with difficult housetraining challenge!

I'm new to this forum, so hi everyone. I'd really appreciate any advice you may have here! I've fallen for a four year old rescue dog, a terrier mutt, that lived her whole life in horrific puppy mill conditions. She's mild tempered and sweet, and she's waiting in a rescue shelter for a home. I'm moving into a dog-friendly home the end of June. I really want to get her BUT the people at the shelter have warned me, the dog can't seem to be housetrained, and in fact, will 'hold it' on walks, even for hours, but then she'll do her business as soon as she gets back inside. They say she then cringes with shame about the business she's made.
I don't think it's impossible to housetrain her, but am I naive?! I'm researching and talking to people about housetraining, and I'd love to hear if anyone can give me advice, or has heard of something like this before.
Many many thanks in advance!
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Old May 20th, 2012, 11:53 AM
Mirela Mirela is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 224
Please don't give up on this girl; you CAN teach her, although it will take time and patience. Keep in mind that she lived in a small cage almost all her life and her brain has to "undo" years of having no other choice but to "go" in the cage.

I'm sure the shelter has started to work with her on house training but most likely she is one of the many dogs they care for and does not benefit from a lot of "one-on-one" time.

Once you bring her home and establish a routine it's going to be much less complicated for her to understand what she needs to do. It will take time, but with patience and lots of tasty treats she will "get it".

Don't expect overnight miracles and give her time to accept that her nightmare is over and will have a LIFE in your home.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 08:13 AM
Niall Niall is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ottawa, CA
Posts: 10
Lightbulb A suggestion....

Welcome to the forum, I'm new too!

The behaviour you are describing is typical of dogs that were raised in a puppy mill. They learn to do their business in their beds, the opposite of what they would naturally do because that is the only option they have. Once removed from the mill, they need us to teach them a better way.

I would take advantage of her desire to go in a confined area by setting up a safe place inside the house. This would be a location without carpets, large enough for moving around, laying down and to have a potty spot. You can try a litter box, or a bunch of newspapers. When she goes reward and give her access to the house again. Make sure she can get back here when 'needed' if you know what I mean. Watch, if she goes back and does her business reward, if you catch her doing her business anywhere else, try and get her back to the potty quickly and with out drama.

As she starts to learn to use the 'toilet' you can start taking the toilet outside when you know she needs to go. Reward like crazy for going outside, you may have to wait, and wait, and wait, but it will happen if the toilet is there. Scent is powerful. The last step is to clean, clean and clean some more to remove any traces of pee from inside. This will help to reduce the desire to go inside.

Good luck!
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housetraining, older dog, puppy mill, rescue dog

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