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Training a Dog (1 Viewer)

ChiefD

Footballguy
So, I have had shelter dogs for the last 25 years or so.  This past Sunday we got our latest, and this one has me stumped.

Very sweet dog. One year old puppy. Supposedly a Black-Mouthed Cur.

We (and our vet) believe this dog has never lived in a house. Very timid. Has to learn a lot obviously. And we are pretty experienced dog owners.

But this dog will not go to the bathroom. We will take this thing on walks and 45 minutes later won't pee. At this moment this dog is about 8.5 hours since it's last pee. Doesn't seem to be a problem with taking dumps.

We will bring her back in, and if we let her loose in the house unattended, she will take a long, long piss on the carpet. Obviously this won't work. So clearly it's a behavioral issue. We've ruled out physical at this point. 

However, yesterday I took her out every couple of hours, she would pee, and everything was GREAT. But that was the only period where there was any consistency.  She is very treat motivated, so we are trying that of course, but she is being really, really stubborn about it.

I need some tips.  My wife works from home, and while she can exercise her and take her out during breaks during the day, she cannot take her for 45 minute walks 4 times a day. The kids are also trying to walk her too, but again - she will not have peed for 7 hours and they walk her for 45 minutes and she just won't go.

We've had her a week, but it's been really frustrating, as I've never seen this before. I mean, I understand potty training and watching for signals and such, but a dog that just refuses to pee is outside my pay grade.

I have never taken a dog back to the pound, but there is always a first time. I'm a patient man but we cannot function as family unless the dog can take a simple piss.

Any help? Thanks.

 

The Gator

Hey, watch this!
do you have a backyard fenced in?

I'd try putting here out back after your walk, give her water and monitor her. Once she pees, give her a treat and let her inside the house. 

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
do you have a backyard fenced in?

I'd try putting here out back after your walk, give her water and monitor her. Once she pees, give her a treat and let her inside the house. 
No fence. In the process of getting one installed. Had our last dog 12 years at this house without a fence.

The bolded is what we did yesterday. Our vet suggested getting a larger special treat for when she pees. So I would show her that treat to lead her outside. Walk around for 10 minutes and she would pee. Wala!  Let her in with lots of praise and such.

Did that 4 times yesterday with success. Today? Nope. Nada.

Maybe the treat needs to be as big as a sub sandwich.

 

Dezbelief

Footballguy
If the dog has never been an inside dog before he/she might not feel comfortable being watched while peeing. I would try the longest leash you have, take the dog somewhere it has peed before and turn your back to the dog and distance yourself as much as the leash will allow while still being slack. If you're around a corner or on the other side of a bush or tree even better. Good luck!

 

Dezbelief

Footballguy
I am 100% against "chaining" a dog, this might be the only time I ever suggest it, but after a long unsuccessful walk maybe chain her/him for a few minutes and watch from the window or video surveillance  

 

Rattle and Hum

Footballguy
Will she pee while in a crate? Hopefully not. My guess is she'll have to spend a lot of time in a crate until you get this worked out. Maybe she explores the house supervised for a short time after each successful outside event. Expand the free time as results permit. Also, shouldn't she have the same spot to go to in the yard rather than a walk each time? Get her used to going to the same area for piddle & praise. When we had a small young puppy we were taught to put the dog in a small area circled by chicken wire. Kids were allergic to that dog so we didn't get to play that seen out... lifetime ago so maybe there is better thoughts on the matter now.

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
Dezbelief said:
If the dog has never been an inside dog before he/she might not feel comfortable being watched while peeing. I would try the longest leash you have, take the dog somewhere it has peed before and turn your back to the dog and distance yourself as much as the leash will allow while still being slack. If you're around a corner or on the other side of a bush or tree even better. Good luck!
Yeah, I was thinking about that and also the fact this dog probably doesn't have a lot of experience actually going to the bathroom while on a leash.  So we took your advice and bought a retractable leash today to let her roam a bit. We will see if that helps.

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
Will she pee while in a crate? Hopefully not. My guess is she'll have to spend a lot of time in a crate until you get this worked out. Maybe she explores the house supervised for a short time after each successful outside event. Expand the free time as results permit. Also, shouldn't she have the same spot to go to in the yard rather than a walk each time? Get her used to going to the same area for piddle & praise. When we had a small young puppy we were taught to put the dog in a small area circled by chicken wire. Kids were allergic to that dog so we didn't get to play that seen out... lifetime ago so maybe there is better thoughts on the matter now.
The crate was an accidental discovery today. We were pretty worried about crate training her on the theory that she has spent a lot of her life in a kennel/shelter/crate.

But we started introducing it a few days ago and no accidents in there. As a matter of fact, after a morning of frustration today (which sparked the original post), we put her in the crate if she did not have a successful venture in pee-town.

Surprisingly she was really chill in there. We waited an hour or so and tried again. No pee. Back in the crate. An hour or so later - back outside and success! So we rewarded her with treats, and then played ball with her outside the crate for a long while as a reward.

We then have spent the entire afternoon in the backyard to get her used to "her property". I started thinking she doesn't know enough yet of the sights and sounds of "her yard." She took a pee on her own back there, so that was good.

So maybe some baby steps today.  Sheesh.  :lol:

 

Dan Lambskin

Footballguy
Dezbelief said:
If the dog has never been an inside dog before he/she might not feel comfortable being watched while peeing. I would try the longest leash you have, take the dog somewhere it has peed before and turn your back to the dog and distance yourself as much as the leash will allow while still being slack. If you're around a corner or on the other side of a bush or tree even better. Good luck!


I am 100% against "chaining" a dog, this might be the only time I ever suggest it, but after a long unsuccessful walk maybe chain her/him for a few minutes and watch from the window or video surveillance  
 
also this all seems like solid advice 

 

seahawk 17

Footballguy
From my experience the easiest way to housebreaking a dog is they are either in a kennel or on a leash. As soon as you see signs they need to go take them outside and reward with a treat. Having them tied to you 24/7 sucks...but it prevents them from going into another room and peeing behind your back.

 

Shula-holic

Footballguy
We are going through something similar right now.  We have what we estimate is an 18 month old Aussie/Pyrenees mix.  He has some German Shepherd in there too, mostly looks Golden but he's not.  So this is a big dog, about 80-85 lbs depending on the day.  Shelter dog, overcrowded and had lived outside.  Nearest we can tell never house trained, maybe lived on a farm.  He had been neutered when animal control found him though.  But anyway, we thought we had the bathroom stuff fixed after catching him marking a sofa a couple times. 

However, we went on a vacation and left him with a trainer for a week.  While his other behaviors improved, we seem to have regressed on the bathroom.  It was never that smooth, he quit peeing in the yard after associating it with an electric fence.  We have since decided while that worked for our last dog, it doesn't work for him.  So he was going a lot when I went on walks with him.  The problem is I live in Alabama and it's brutally hot for a dog that doesn't seem to like the heat this time of year.  You have to walk him at the crack of dawn or at dusk to do it, and if you can't then you are out of luck.  Either way, that just isn't enough.

So we've noticed same as you he hasn't been going as much in the yard as we thought etc but leave him out there a bit inside the regular fence.  My youngest daughter has been staying in our downstairs guest room awhile now and hadn't been upstairs to her room in at least a week-10 days.  She came running out of there screaming today.  Apparently he has been using that room as his personal bathroom unbeknownst to us.  Four piles and some pee stains.  So straight to Home Depot to rent a carpet cleaner to get the germs and smell out, now we have stains to still work on.  Luckily her rug was 8 years old and these carpets are the old builder grade with the house from 14 years ago.  But still, not the day I had in mind.  When this happened today I immediately thought of this thread.

Anyway, I feel your pain.  I think he's had too much freedom.  He's going back in the crate anytime we leave home from now on and I told my daughters that all those bedroom doors are to stay closed.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Drunken Cowboy

Footballguy
No fence. In the process of getting one installed. Had our last dog 12 years at this house without a fence.

The bolded is what we did yesterday. Our vet suggested getting a larger special treat for when she pees. So I would show her that treat to lead her outside. Walk around for 10 minutes and she would pee. Wala!  Let her in with lots of praise and such.

Did that 4 times yesterday with success. Today? Nope. Nada.

Maybe the treat needs to be as big as a sub sandwich.
Buy some beef baby food. Best dog treats ever

 

Drunken Cowboy

Footballguy
We are going through something similar right now.  We have what we estimate is an 18 month old Aussie/Pyrenees mix.  He has some German Shepherd in there too, mostly looks Golden but he's not.  So this is a big dog, about 80-85 lbs depending on the day.  Shelter dog, overcrowded and had lived outside.  Nearest we can tell never house trained, maybe lived on a farm.  He had been neutered when animal control found him though.  But anyway, we thought we had the bathroom stuff fixed after catching him marking a sofa a couple times. 

However, we went on a vacation and left him with a trainer for a week.  While his other behaviors improved, we seem to have regressed on the bathroom.  It was never that smooth, he quit peeing in the yard after associating it with an electric fence.  We have since decided while that worked for our last dog, it doesn't work for him.  So he was going a lot when I went on walks with him.  The problem is I live in Alabama and it's brutally hot for a dog that doesn't seem to like the heat this time of year.  You have to walk him at the crack of dawn or at dusk to do it, and if you can't then you are out of luck.  Either way, that just isn't enough.

So we've noticed same as you he hasn't been going as much in the yard as we thought etc but leave him out there a bit inside the regular fence.  My youngest daughter has been staying in our downstairs guest room awhile now and hadn't been upstairs to her room in at least a week-10 days.  She came running out of there screaming today.  Apparently he has been using that room as his personal bathroom unbeknownst to us.  Four piles and some pee stains.  So straight to Home Depot to rent a carpet cleaner to get the germs and smell out, now we have stains to still work on.  Luckily her rug was 8 years old and these carpets are the old builder grade with the house from 14 years ago.  But still, not the day I had in mind.  When this happened today I immediately thought of this thread.

Anyway, I feel your pain.  I think he's had too much freedom.  He's going back in the crate anytime we leave home from now on and I told my daughters that all those bedroom doors are to stay closed.
Crates can be really helpful in house training 

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
Crates can be really helpful in house training 


Try and take the dog to the same spot to pee every time. Try and keep him there until he goes, praise and reward when he does.

Since you mentioned a vet, I assume you have ruled out any medical issues?
Yeah, no medical issues.

And things are much better this morning. Mainly due to the accidental crate discovery on Saturday.  We had her sleep all  night in her crate Saturday night and Sunday night.  So the routine is:

Wake up. Go outside. She's pee'd and pooped both mornings within about 10-15 minutes of going out. Come in and have breakfast. Play around a bit and we let her roam the main level of the house, and then spent most of the day outside. 

Now that we are in the work week, it's going to be the same. Wife takes her for a longer walk after she eats, and then she will be in her crate until my wife can take a work break. Then outside to do her business (hopefully) and keep that routine going every couple of hours. She feels comfortable in the crate so we are using that to our advantage.

 

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
Yeah you’re doing what you need to. The dog was probably never potty trained or was allowed (likely left unattended,) to pee wherever. 
 

I treat new dogs/puppies like an infant for the first three weeks while they’re with me. After that they’re all set and you just need to keep up whatever you taught them. They’re like clay to mold. I wish kids were as easy. 
 

During the three weeks I only hand feed them and constantly make them work.

They get at least 30 minutes off leash outside. 

Crates are great but should never be used as punishment. Early on the crate must be only big enough for the dog to sit up and turn around. They don’t like to pee/poop where they sleep/sit so they do well with them. 

 

Drunken Cowboy

Footballguy
Yeah you’re doing what you need to. The dog was probably never potty trained or was allowed (likely left unattended,) to pee wherever. 
 

I treat new dogs/puppies like an infant for the first three weeks while they’re with me. After that they’re all set and you just need to keep up whatever you taught them. They’re like clay to mold. I wish kids were as easy. 
 

During the three weeks I only hand feed them and constantly make them work.

They get at least 30 minutes off leash outside. 

Crates are great but should never be used as punishment. Early on the crate must be only big enough for the dog to sit up and turn around. They don’t like to pee/poop where they sleep/sit so they do well with them. 
I want to 2nd this. The crate should be a safe place the dog wants to go to. 

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
And now….regression.

Wife tried to take the dog out all day. Dog got spooked by everything: car doors, workers next door, people walking on the sidewalk….every little thing. Won’t even walk past the front yard. 
 

I get home and she finally goes out back and pisses. But not without stopping every few feet due to the wind. Or a dog barking a street over.

WTF.  

 

Drunken Cowboy

Footballguy
nirad3 said:
Our lil pup absolutely loves small slices of cheap hot dogs.  Probably not the most healthy of treat but when he needs to be crated, we feed him a few of those bad boys and he's a happy lil fella.
We do this some, but microwave them first

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
Update?

We just got a puppy. Actually my son who is still living at home for a time got the puppy. Rough couple of days but dog seems to be getting it.
Sadly we had to take her back. The aggressiveness towards my boys was a no-go for us. We have a toddler that lives next door, and our neighborhood has a ton of small kids that walk with their parents on the sidewalk in front of our house on a daily basis.

We are big outside people - we are always out there. And we just can't have a dog like that. Add to that the fact the dog just would not go to the bathroom - she needed a ton of professional help.

We heard from the shelter's behavioural specialist, and he was going to put her in a program to work on her issues. So she will be adoptable again soon. This whole deal with her crushed us - the last thing we wanted to do was have to take a dog back into that environment. But weirdly, this dog has likely been an institutional dog almost her whole life. So her comfort level was there for now.


The good news is we stumbled upon a family that had to re-home a dog that they took in as a stray that just showed up. They couldn't really keep her long term as they had another dog and a newborn, so we were able to adopt her. She's been a wonderful dog and is really the perfect dog for us. So it's been a whirlwind for the last month or so.
 

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