5 mo puppy, can't seem to potty outside. UPDATED IN BLUE - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-08-2013, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all! I appreciate any unconventional advice you may have!

 

I have done everything the books, training sites, trainers, her vet, dog-owning friends and family, and common sense tells me to do and yet our little pup still pees and poops inside way more often than she does outside. Here is what seems to stump everyone:

 

SHE PEES WHERE SHE SLEEPS

 

Including my son's bed. She rarely pees on walks (only done that once) and has never pooped on a walk. She seems to think that when I bring her back in after a potty break is the time and place to go. But she's very sneaky and I have a hard time catching her at it. My son is 2, also potty training and it's very difficult for me to keep my eyes on both of them at the same time.

 

I tried barricading her in the kitchen with the baby gate, but I have a cat hole in the gate for my elderly cats and she is still small enough to fit through, plus a few other issues as to why that didn't work. Long story short, trying to keep her in one space was a nightmare.

 

Crate training has also not gone well. She pees where she sleeps, as I've said, so pair that with her debilitating fear of her crate that I can't seem to make better and I've all but given up.

 

I'M LOOKING FOR UNCONVENTIONAL IDEAS

 

I've done everything that works on normal dogs in normal training situations. I didn't list them all bc I don't have time to write that novel today, but I'm worried about health issues there might be in raising my son in a house with an untrained dog. The vet has ruled out any health related issues with her being unable to train, but I do think there is an anxiety problem slowing down the progress.

 

I sah, and I really thought since I'm home with her all day I could easily get her trained.

 

That's my story.  Help?

 

UPDATE: At the vet's office she peed all over herself and slept in it (she was there overnight for spay) and since they finally saw what she does they decided it was enough of a concern to test her pee. They found some bacteria (could have been contaminated though) and some unusual and abundant proteins, so they put her on a cautionary antibiotics. She has finished her pills and has had a better few days. There have still been lots of mistakes, but she is going outside in the morning when I take her out, both poo and pee, and that is a huge improvement. I'm still following all the rules and suggestions for 'normal' dog training. She might be a slow learner, but until we get her pee retested to check the proteins again I won't really know for sure that there isn't a medical reason.

 

I am thankful for everyone's input on this!

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#2 of 8 Old 04-08-2013, 07:31 AM
 
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Have you had a vet check her out? Could be a UTI?


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#3 of 8 Old 04-08-2013, 07:36 AM
 
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Can I ask what breed of dog, where you got the dog, at what age?

 

I've owned and trained many dogs, some breeds were FAR more difficult to train than others... I know everyone says it's not the dog's fault, it's the owner's but I don't think that's entirely true. I've found female dogs to be more difficult to house train (one was still peeing in the house after 12 months) but by the end all of them were very reliable and it wasn't a lifelong issue. 

 

The first thing you have to identify is what motivates the dog... food, toys, love, etc. then make sure you never "punish" the dog for eliminating outside by withholding the reward. Some owners will unwittingly punish the dog by assuming the task is finished, turning around and coming back inside the house. To the dog this is a punishment. Try the opposite: stand still outside, don't engage her, just wait patiently until she eliminates (doing this right after a meal will speed up the process)... as soon as she finishes, give her what she loves, treats, hugs, running, chasing, etc. keep doing that over and over again until she gets it. 

 

The second thing to identify is why she is doing it in the house. Does she do it at times when no one is playing with her or paying attention to her? Dogs become experts when it comes to figuring out what gets them immediate attention. Chances are, when she poops or pees inside the house, someone immediately comes running to the puddle. She might take this as a game and actually SAVING her pee/poops for inside because she gets no attention for it outside. Try taking a look at everyone's behaviour around her and see if reversing everything might help.

 

I've found that in the long run, lots positive reinforcement creates a much better personality for a family pet. You have to remember to constantly praise dogs for behaviours you like so they know how to please you. Most dogs do thrive on their family's happiness (some are just asses and couldn't care less, I have one of those! lol) and it's just a matter of communicating to them what behaviours are desirable. If she's sleeping quietly on her bed out of the way (and you like that), reward her. Don't think that she's being quiet, out of your way, so you should leave her alone to get as much peace and quiet as you can... then the only time she'll be quiet and relax is when she's recharging between other annoying, attention-getting activities. 

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#4 of 8 Old 04-09-2013, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep, I have. They suggested the same advice I found everywhere else.
 

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#5 of 8 Old 04-09-2013, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

Can I ask what breed of dog, where you got the dog, at what age?

 

I've owned and trained many dogs, some breeds were FAR more difficult to train than others... I know everyone says it's not the dog's fault, it's the owner's but I don't think that's entirely true. I've found female dogs to be more difficult to house train (one was still peeing in the house after 12 months) but by the end all of them were very reliable and it wasn't a lifelong issue. 

 

The first thing you have to identify is what motivates the dog... food, toys, love, etc. then make sure you never "punish" the dog for eliminating outside by withholding the reward. Some owners will unwittingly punish the dog by assuming the task is finished, turning around and coming back inside the house. To the dog this is a punishment. Try the opposite: stand still outside, don't engage her, just wait patiently until she eliminates (doing this right after a meal will speed up the process)... as soon as she finishes, give her what she loves, treats, hugs, running, chasing, etc. keep doing that over and over again until she gets it. 

 

The second thing to identify is why she is doing it in the house. Does she do it at times when no one is playing with her or paying attention to her? Dogs become experts when it comes to figuring out what gets them immediate attention. Chances are, when she poops or pees inside the house, someone immediately comes running to the puddle. She might take this as a game and actually SAVING her pee/poops for inside because she gets no attention for it outside. Try taking a look at everyone's behaviour around her and see if reversing everything might help.

 

I've found that in the long run, lots positive reinforcement creates a much better personality for a family pet. You have to remember to constantly praise dogs for behaviours you like so they know how to please you. Most dogs do thrive on their family's happiness (some are just asses and couldn't care less, I have one of those! lol) and it's just a matter of communicating to them what behaviours are desirable. If she's sleeping quietly on her bed out of the way (and you like that), reward her. Don't think that she's being quiet, out of your way, so you should leave her alone to get as much peace and quiet as you can... then the only time she'll be quiet and relax is when she's recharging between other annoying, attention-getting activities. 


You hit on some things I wasn't able to put in my original post.  I am not always able to stay outside with her during potty time (I have a 2 yo i can't leave alone for too long at a time, and weather doesn't always permit to take him outside too. If I get him dressed for outside, it's too late and she's peed already. If I do take my son out with the dog I can't get him back in without a huge melt down.), so I can't reward her every time. And usually its with hugs and praise bc treats make her sooooo excited she can't pay attention or calm down. It's possible she's going in the house for attention, but since she is sneaky about it and we don't usually find the puddle/pile until she's already walked away from it, it's not a very good plan.

 

Sometimes when she pees inside I find her still standing over the puddle shaking and unable to move with pee all over her legs. But most of the time I find puddles and she's already asleep on the couch or somewhere. And when she is unsuccessful outside and I bring her in I keep my eyes on her for as long as I can, but it never fails, as soon as I am distracted (which is unavoidable) she finds her spot and goes. So it really does seem like she saves it for the house sometimes!

 

She is a mutt, half husky-poo and her dad must have been a terrier of some sort. She's about 10 lbs now, her mom is 10 # fully grown. I know she'll stay pretty small. I have heard that what I have is a lethal combination and behavioral issues may be part of our lives together.

 

I want her to learn her potty routine for obvious reasons, but I also hate that she pees on my sons bed. I strip the bedding to wash that, but if the waterproof cover happened to not be in the right place (or in the wash already from the last time she peed) I spray puppy mess cleaner all over his mattress, which he later sleeps on. The cleaner makes us cough from all the chemicals, so I definitely don't want my son sleeping on that!

 

I have been trying to positively reinforce everything she does that I like, with hugs and treats and praise, but with an active toddler in the house I don't always get to her in time. I'm in over my head, and I know I need help.

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#6 of 8 Old 04-09-2013, 07:02 AM
 
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Having a puppy certainly can be overwhelming, especially with a toddler, but it does get easier it just takes time, consistency and perseverance. My suggestion is to leash her to you while inside, so that she is never far from you, and the minute you see her making moves to pee or poop, take her out immediately, once she has gone, make a big deal of how great that was. The shaking and being unable to move after eliminating inside sounds worrying, did you mention this to the vet? I am thinking she might be having seizures which is causing the eliminating. I hope not. What kind of food is she eating?


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"If you find from your own experience that something is a fact and it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority and base your reasoning on your own findings"~ Leonardo da Vinci

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#7 of 8 Old 04-09-2013, 07:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by imspikesmom View Post


You hit on some things I wasn't able to put in my original post.  I am not always able to stay outside with her during potty time (I have a 2 yo i can't leave alone for too long at a time, and weather doesn't always permit to take him outside too. If I get him dressed for outside, it's too late and she's peed already. If I do take my son out with the dog I can't get him back in without a huge melt down.), so I can't reward her every time. And usually its with hugs and praise bc treats make her sooooo excited she can't pay attention or calm down. It's possible she's going in the house for attention, but since she is sneaky about it and we don't usually find the puddle/pile until she's already walked away from it, it's not a very good plan.

 

Sometimes when she pees inside I find her still standing over the puddle shaking and unable to move with pee all over her legs. But most of the time I find puddles and she's already asleep on the couch or somewhere. And when she is unsuccessful outside and I bring her in I keep my eyes on her for as long as I can, but it never fails, as soon as I am distracted (which is unavoidable) she finds her spot and goes. So it really does seem like she saves it for the house sometimes!

 

She is a mutt, half husky-poo and her dad must have been a terrier of some sort. She's about 10 lbs now, her mom is 10 # fully grown. I know she'll stay pretty small. I have heard that what I have is a lethal combination and behavioral issues may be part of our lives together.

 

I want her to learn her potty routine for obvious reasons, but I also hate that she pees on my sons bed. I strip the bedding to wash that, but if the waterproof cover happened to not be in the right place (or in the wash already from the last time she peed) I spray puppy mess cleaner all over his mattress, which he later sleeps on. The cleaner makes us cough from all the chemicals, so I definitely don't want my son sleeping on that!

 

I have been trying to positively reinforce everything she does that I like, with hugs and treats and praise, but with an active toddler in the house I don't always get to her in time. I'm in over my head, and I know I need help.

I get that. I consider myself quite skillful when it comes to housebreaking dogs, but I'm not sure how great at it I would be with a 2 year old around either. Could you maybe put together a playyard for your son to drop him into so you can quickly take the puppy out? This is what I do, my dogs are housetrained now so I have to go out less frequently but I still don't like taking my son out when it's raining/snowing horizontally and it's below freezing. I keep only special things in there that he loves to play with, like catalogues, tupperware packed in boxes and an old laptop & digital camera which he is not normally allowed to play with. This keeps him immensely occupied if I need to do something quickly.  

You might also want to either put a baby gate up do restrict access to your son's room. My plan was to get one of those elevated Ikea beds once my son is older so the dogs stay out of it.

The good news is, if she is a small breed, she should be physically mature by 6-9 months old, which means if you crate train her, she should be able to hold her pee for a few hours. It IS possible to crate train a dog who pees where they sleep but it's pretty frustrating. Another solution would be to put her in a play yard when you're not watching her so at least the poo/pee doesn't get in her fur and you have a smaller area to clean up. As the weather warms up, it should make it easier to run outside with your son and linger around until she goes. 

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#8 of 8 Old 05-24-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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I am glad it is going better and the vet got to the bottom of the health issue.

 

I would say that I would not allow her access the your son's room if she is peeing on the bed.  Honestly, we never allowed our last dog (nor are we going to allow our new puppy) to go in the kid's rooms.  One of my kid has environment allergies (not dogs, but pollen and whatnot) and I just figure the dog will bring more of it in on his coat.  Also, by eliminating dog hair in 3 bedrooms - I have to vacuum less which leaves me more time for the dog and the kids.

 

Good luck! Again so glad you got some help from your vet!

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