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teaching the concept of the doggie door

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have a nervous little dog. She is a loving, intelligent member of our family, but she pees and poops when left alone in the house. I know she knows it's a bad thing, because when we come home and she's done this, she looks guilty and then I know to look for the mess. Usually the mess is in front of the back door. When we are home she will go out and do her business out in the yard. She will ask to go out and knows to get down to business so we will let her back into the house.

 

So, I got a doggie door three days ago. It took 2 days for her to get used to going in and out but she's doing good with that now. However, she doesn't seem to understand that she's free to go out and pee/poop when she feels the urge to. When we leave her alone in the house she will stilll poop/pee in front of the door. She also will, when sent outside by command, wait to be invited back in before she comes in through the doggie door. Once she stayed out there for an hour before I finally invited her back in and she came in.

 

(She cannot tolerate the crate or the laundry room, and will paw until her paws bleed and shred her bedding, so we don't make her stay in the crate anymore.)

 

Any suggestions on how to get her to connect the dots??

post #2 of 9

first of all, your dog probably looks guilty when you come home to a mess because there is some sort of reaction from you. Dogs dont generalize, if she poops inside, hours later she is not going to connect any reaction on your part to her accident.

 

I dont recommend doggy doors for a number of reasons, #1 being the fact that any multitude of things can happen to a dog outside by itself. They can be stolen, poisoned or injured and you would not know if you are not home. Does she wear a collar? I know someone whose dog was left outside and died because their collar got caught on the fence, I also know people who have had dogs stolen and poisoned when left outside in a yard. Not worth the risk IMO. Rather I would suggest using puppy pads inside, put them where she goes when you are not home, they are easy to clean up and you can even get reusable ones.

 

What you describe when she is crated sounds like seperation anxiety, I would highly recommend doing some research on it, it could also explain why she is going in the house when you are not home. Do you exercise her before you leave? Leave her with any chews or something to entertain herself with?

 

Look into clicker training, it is very helpful and a scientifically proven way to train animals, you should be able to easily train your dog to use the door, and it will be very useful should your dog have SA.

 

http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/help-with-separation-anxiety.html

post #3 of 9

I agree with Starr about the doggie door - I would never leave my dog outside when I am not home, even for a short time. Even if none of those bad things happen, a dog left alone outside is more likely to bark and annoy the neighbors.

 

How long is she left alone in the house? It's possible she simply can't hold it for as long as you're gone. In that case, puppy pads are the way to go - especially since she goes in the same spot most of the time.

 

I'm sorry crate training didn't work for you - it was my first thought as I read the beginning of your post.

post #4 of 9

We have had wonderful results with our doggie door. I know they are not popular with all dog owners, but, ours has been wonderful for our family. Our two dogs go in and out at will, and, having the doggie door has been one of the factors in successfully housetraining our dogs. They do go outside when we're not home. We have a privacy fence and a secured yard and have never had a problem.

One of our dogs picked up on the door right away. Our other dog... not so quick. It took her almost two weeks to use it reliably. Give it some time.

I also wonder if the area your pup has been going is scented. There are some cleaners -  Natures Own is one - that eliminate dog pee odor. I've also read that vinegar works well. If the area she's been going has any remaining scent, she'll likely continue to go there.

Good luck!

post #5 of 9

Is your yard securely fenced?


We have a doggie door and it is wonderful but I close it even if I take a shower.  We've never let him have access when we're not home.

 

I suppose you could consider a small, fenced kennel outside but I think you need to address the underlying anxiety issues to really have any lasting behavior change.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

We got our dog third-hand and I suspect that the reason they got rid of her is her potty problem. We have a large back yard, 5 foot block fence, strong gate with concrete under it. There's no way she can get out (other dogs have tried when we had dogs before). She does not ever bark, not sure why, but she will howl when we encourage her to. 

 

Anyway, we just kept telling her to go "out" and then we would not invite her to come in. She figured out how to come back in on her own after awhile. Then that translated, I think, into her going out as needed. I have not yet seen her go out on her own, but there has not been any poo or pee in the house at all this week! Yeah! :-) 

 

I did also think maybe the pee areas were scented with her smell and had been mopping really good  with a "stinky" cleaning product, and that seems to make it less attractive.

 

Thanks for the tips and tricks! I'm so proud of her learning that. 

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrlamia View Post

first of all, your dog probably looks guilty when you come home to a mess because there is some sort of reaction from you. Dogs dont generalize, if she poops inside, hours later she is not going to connect any reaction on your part to her accident.

 

I dont recommend doggy doors for a number of reasons, #1 being the fact that any multitude of things can happen to a dog outside by itself. They can be stolen, poisoned or injured and you would not know if you are not home. Does she wear a collar? I know someone whose dog was left outside and died because their collar got caught on the fence, I also know people who have had dogs stolen and poisoned when left outside in a yard. Not worth the risk IMO. Rather I would suggest using puppy pads inside, put them where she goes when you are not home, they are easy to clean up and you can even get reusable ones.

 

What you describe when she is crated sounds like seperation anxiety, I would highly recommend doing some research on it, it could also explain why she is going in the house when you are not home. Do you exercise her before you leave? Leave her with any chews or something to entertain herself with?

 

Look into clicker training, it is very helpful and a scientifically proven way to train animals, you should be able to easily train your dog to use the door, and it will be very useful should your dog have SA.

 

http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/help-with-separation-anxiety.html


yeahthat.gif

 

I would work on actually teaching her to pee outside properly before going to the doggie door. Your dog most likely doesn't know what she's doing is wrong, otherwise she wouldn't be doing it. Scolding her for peeing inside well after she's done it is only going to teach her you don't like finding pee in the house (which may lead to her peeing in other "hidden" places like behind the couch), she's not going to connect your reaction to her actually fouling in the house because that's simply not how dogs think. Instead focus on praising her for peeing outside and ignore all the accidents in the house. Go outside with her so frequently that she doesn't have an opportunity to pee inside, and physically be with her outside so you can praise her when she goes. Letting her out on her own via doggie door won't teach her that she's doing the right thing because no one is there to praise her. You need to let her know exactly what it is you want her to be doing.

 

I second clicker training. Don't Shoot the Dog is a great book that really goes into how animals think and how to best react around them. The Other End of the Leash is also a great book and has lots about basic training.

 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
she totally has it down now! and I have always ignored her accidents. Please read my other reply. Shes a third hand dog.
post #9 of 9

third hand or not, they have the same ability to learn, I would seriously look into the seperation anxiety information, it is extremely common in dogs who have been rehomed.

Also, what kind of dog is she? my 40lb bulldogge can jump my 6 foot privacy fence...and both my dogs have dug holes that if i hadnt intervened could have led to a potential escape situation.

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