What are we doing wrong? housetraining?

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Hears The Water, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Hears The Water

    Hears The Water Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi all. We have four dogs. The two oldest are sisters, Cookies and Misty. They are 4 years old. They are German Shorhair Pointer mixes. Then there is my girl, Emma, a 3 year old Black Lab. And then we have buttons, and he is the problem child. We got buttons a year and a half ago. One day in Early summer our neighbor asked us if the puppy she found at the edge of the road was ours. We said no, but we could take it to the pound for her. Well, John took one look at him and fell in love. He gave the pup to Bailey and he has been her dog ever since. Buttons is a terrier mix. He looks liek a Cairn Terrier but his tail curls over like a pug. Funny little guy. We worked on house breaking him just like the other dogs but it just has not taken. Now we are in our new house and I don't want this place to smell like a zoo like the last house we lived in. Buttons is marking the corners of walls and poops where ever he wants. He will either scratch at the front door every five minutes or so to go out and play or he will not do anything and just poop when ever he feels like it. We try to feed only once a day in the morning and let the dogs out about 10 minutes later but I swear to y'all we will bring the dogs in and within a minute of taking Buttons leash off he will go into the other room and mess. I understand that a large part of having a dog that is house broken is the humans learning to read the dog and having a routine, but I am at my wits end with this guy. I had a husky mix once before and y'all gave the advice that he was marking because he was confused who was the Alpha dog since the girls would not let him be. It is the same thing here. Misty is the one in charge. Buttons is also in love with one of our girls, Cookies. He hmmm....... shows her how much he loves her on her back leg as often as he can. I am planning on getting him neuterd as soon as my local place can get me in (we go to a once a month free spay and neuter mobile surgery place) but that could be Jan. or Feb. Is this caused by hormones, confusion over his place in the family or are we just missing something. I do have a Button's sized crate and would be fine in bringing it in if y'all think it would help. We did have the dogs crate trained but just didn't bring them in when we moved due to lack of space. Any and all advice would be appreceated.
    God bless you and yours
    Debbie
     
  2. T Lynn

    T Lynn Well-Known Member

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    I would try the crate. I had a shephard/husky mix and that was the only way that we got her house broken. She went into the crate at night, then outside first thing in the moring. She would not get free run of the house when she came in. She had to be with us. Then outside again. Back into the crate for a hour or so. Then back outside. And that is how it went all day. If she did not go when she went out then we would either keep her right with us in the house or put her in the crate. If we were not home then she was in the crate. It did not take her long to get house broken.

    Good luck with your dog.
     

  3. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

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    I second the crate Debbie! Get it out and get it busy!!

    We have a 8 mo black mouth cur... He is doing great housetraining because we use the crate method... He sometimes gets TIRED of being in his crate so much and it seems cruel, especially since we are home ALL day long and thinks he should be out 99%... but as soon as I give him too much freedom, he forgets and has an accident (its the puppy in him) Proud to say, he's only had about 4 accidents in 5 months being out 75%!!

    The kids know that if he doesn't do BOTH his businesses when he goes outside, then its RIGHT back in the crate until he gets the urge to go poop.. and then out he goes again... once its done, its a treat and restricted freedom (babygated areas he can play in)

    Since your dog is older, it may take a bit longer or he may fight it a bit... but you have to be strong... and ignore the HOWLING they will do in the crate... learn to tell the difference between "I WANT OUTTA HERE" and "I GOTTA GO PEE"!! Mine even talks back to me (he's one of the kids, ya know).. When he is having crate time, he is in the same room as we are - don't want to ISOLATE him .. but if he just WONT stop "talking back" while in his crate during school, I end up covering him with a blanket for "time out"... he quits giving me so much "lip" then and usually settles down for a nice nap! :)

    I'm sure someone can offer some advice as to how to help your older dog get used to the crate - (we started out in the crate at 3 months) Lots of good advice and k nowledge here! Good luck with Buttons!! :)
     
  4. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    Could be any number of things. IMO little dogs are usually worse about this than bigger dogs. At this age though he be able to hold it. The marking has nothing to do with ability to hold it. Neutering should help with the marking but there is also a product you can buy that is like a harness that goes around the belly keeping them from spraying it on the walls. There was a post on this not that long ago but I'm not even sure how to find it back. I'll try a search in a minute. Key words aren't coming to mind off hand. I'd haul him to the vet with a stool sample to rule out worms or other physical problems. The crate is certainly an excellent way to stop the problem. Few dogs will soil their bed unless they have to. If he soils the crate, it is likely a physical problem. He may hate the crate at first but he'll get used to it if you take it slowly. If YOU really hate a crate, lock him in a small, easy to clean room like a laundry room, bathroom or kitchen and start back with paper training. You could also try a litter box as someone suggested in another post. Walmart has simple baby gates that are about $12 each. We just had to replace our 18 yr old gate that broke so I'm familiar with gate pricing ;)

    Found it easy enough by searching for marking of all things ;)
    http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=106787&highlight=marking
     
  5. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    I'm voting crate too. And just like the others said, if he doesn't go while he's out then either leash him right next to you or back into the crate. I think I would leash him next to me rather than crate...that way you can reprimand him sharply if he starts to have an accident in the house...and praise him when he goes outside. Also, don't let him have free range in the house ever while in training. He will despise it but you have to get one over on him and be alpha.

    Remember terriers are probably the HARDEST breed to train for anything. They are remarkably smart and stubborn. It's going to take a LOT of time and patience. You have to be smarter than him... In the end though, the training sticks and they are wonderful little dogs.
     
  6. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

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    He is not fixed!! Waiting until he is older is just asking for trouble, it is harder to train them once they are in the habit of marking. Get him fixed ASAP! You didn't mention if your females are fixed, if not, this could be the problem, too, although some males will mark even with spayed females.

    Use that crate! Just like everyone said, he needs some time to be alone, so he can learn to 'hold it' a little bit. If you know he can hold it for 30 minutes for sure, make him wait 35. If he can go an hour, make him wait an hour and 15 minutes. Drag it out a little so he can learn to hold it longer. Most dogs won't mess in their crate if they can help it. I wouldn't do that for more than a few hours, though. BUT you can keep him crated for say, 2 hours and then let him out (RIGHT OUT) to pee, then back in the crate for awhile if his problem is holding it til he gets inside. If he hasn't went, take him out again in half an hour to give him another chance. If he goes outside, praise him like crazy, so he understands that going outside is a good thing.

    Once you think he can be trusted for short periods, let him out, but don't push your luck AND don't EVER put him in the crate as soon as he has an accident in the house. He should go out instead, right away. You don't want him to view his crate as punishment.

    Good luck!

    DD
     
  7. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    He has been marking in the house for so long that it will take you quite a while to get him trained. You don't know his background. If he was kept in a cage or crate and forced to soil in it when he was a puppy, he never learned to keep his eating/playing area clean.

    You must REALLY clean his mark spots. Use white vinager. When you bring him out of the crate, on leash, walk him by his marks to see if he can still smell his mark. If possible, you can cover the mark with a piece of furniture. Also, divide his meals up and place a portion right on top of the places he messed in. You can put the food in a dish :sing: Have him eating in every spot he marked.

    His new routine will consist of being in the crate, leashed to you inside for brief times, and being outside. Now would be a good time to do some foundation work with him. Bring him outside, on leash, and to the area you want him to poop/pee in. The instant he starts to relieve himself, add a cue (hurry up, it's freezing, do your business,...). Have treat ready. As soon as he's finished, praise and give treat. You have only three seconds to give him the treat so he knows he's being rewarded for the potty business. Walk around the yard, patting your leg and calling to him so he follows you. You want him following you (you are the leader), so if he changes direction, you need to change direction so he is following you. Play with him.

    Never play with him except after he does his business in the proper place. Never treat him except for doing his business in the proper place. Good things happen to doggies when they pee outside.

    Clicker training will speed things up.
     
  8. Jack Parr

    Jack Parr Well-Known Member

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    I have read all of the above and noted the ideas presented.

    Here is the story, very short.

    Found two Bassets, siblings, about six? months old that were dumped off. Soft heart and now I/we have two Bassets. They are healthy though, shiney coats, no worms.

    I say about six months old because they still sleep against each other and play with each other. We never had Bassets so we don't have any idea of their growth/size rate.

    Of course they are not potty trained, AT ALL. We keep them in the kitchen, on a tile floor with liberal newspapering. Frequent trips out. Outside all day if the weather is OK, which it is not right now. They pee often. We restrict the water somewhat.

    Are there any particular problems about house training Bassets?

    The two dogs are up for adoption through a Basset rescue service located in New Orleans, LA but we will foster them until they are placed into, hopefully, a suitable home. Ours would probably be a suitable home but we are wanting to downsize our animal population, now two dogs + the Bassets, and six cats.
    We just buried an old old dog. We are not far from the burial business ourselves ;)

    The dogs will be spayed and neutered prior to release to their new home. For sure no puppy mills. :nono:

    Thanks for any help/ideas.

    Richard
     
  9. ForMyACDs

    ForMyACDs Well-Known Member

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    The #1 problem I see above is that they are allowed to potty on the newspaper in the kitchen. That's the trouble with newspaper training......it teaches the dog that it's OK to potty in the house! Why would you want to do that if the idea is NOT to potty in the house?

    Allowing them free run outside isn't teaching them either......they just potty at will while they're out there......something they continue to do when they come in the house because they didn't learn any different.

    Seriously consider some of the crating suggestions above regarding crate training.

    #1 rule of crate training - dog is in crate EVERY time you can't spend 100% of your attention on the dog

    #2 rule of crate training - if you see the dog having an accident hollar to distract them and take them outdoors immediately (praise when they potty outdoors). Do NOT scold them if they potty in the house......you'll only wind up with a dog that will NOT potty in front of you outdoors AND you'll wind up with a dog that hides to potty indoors. If there is an accident it's really YOUR fault.....you weren't watching.

    Good luck
     
  10. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    I second everything ForMyACDs said about the crate training! I just wanted to add that if you're not sure on the age of the pups look in their mouth. They lose their baby incisors at about 16-20 weeks of age and lose their baby canines between 5-6 months of age. So if they have their adult canines they are at least 6 months of age (after 6 months of age it's hard to age a dog based solely on teeth). Good luck with them!
     
  11. Hears The Water

    Hears The Water Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I wanted to thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. Buttons has been doing quite well. Only one accident in five days, and that was in part due to me forgetting to put him back in his crate after a brief play time. Another thing this is doing is making us all aware of the dogs schedules. We are more diligent about taking all the dogs out after they eat and every couple of hours or so. It is also making Bailey be more responsible for her dog. She is learning that she needs to take her dog out and how to praise him outside and she is also more willing to play with him inside too. I am also pretty sure that Buttons doesn't hate his crate, yesterday after a sucessful outing, he was playing in the house with us for a bit and just up and walked over to his crate and went in and layed down for a nap. I guess he feels at home in there. I hope that means we are doing something right! I do have a questions though, do we consider an outing a sucess if he poops and pees? He is not going to go poop every time. Here is what we have been doing. We take him out and if he pees he gets praise. If he poops too, he gets praise as well. When we bring him in, he goes back into the crate unless he has pooped and peed. Then we play with him for a bit and put him back in the crate. IF he only pees then we put him in the crate. I am now wondering if that is right. His initial problem was that he would poop on the floor and would mark places and sometimes pee on the floor. The worst time was first thing in the morning which has been eliminated (sorry for the pun!) by sleeping in his crate. So, what I am asking is: should I reward him for going pee outside by playing with him out of his crate? Oh yeah, btw, last night while he was out of his crate playing with us he went to the front door and whined and so Bailey took him out to his tree and he went! Yay! I think we may be getting the hang of this crate training thing! How would you use a clicker in all of this? I do have a clicker that I trained my lab with but she is very housebroke so I never thought to use it for that. I can't say enough how much I appreceate all of y'alls help!
    God bless you and yours
    Debbie
     
  12. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    As long as you're paying 100% attention to him, sure let him have some play time if he just pees.

    You could also try tethering him to you (or Bailey) with a leash so he can have more out of the crate time but yet he'll still confined (he's much less likely to have an accident if he's right there by you).
     
  13. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

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    Since you're getting a good idea of the dog's personal schedule, take note of when he usually poops. Is it first thing in the morning? Is it after a bit of a morning run? Is it midday or right before bed? (I think I read that it takes about 16 hours for food to move completely through a dog's digestive tract, so that can give you some idea.) Most people have a "poop schedule", and dogs will too. Once you know it, you can tailor your requirements and treats accordingly.

    I taught my german shepherd two different commands: "Go potty" to pee, and "Toilet" to poop. I mostly just use those as reminders, now, because she can get so excited that she forgets to do her business sometimes. When I know she needs to go, I remind her, "Toilet!" or "Go potty!" and she runs off into the woods to take care of it.
     
  14. Jack Parr

    Jack Parr Well-Known Member

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    I never really paid much attention to dog teeth. We have had dogs and cats pretty much continously since 1965. All were default dogs and cats. All were, and, are mixed breeds, except for a Dalmation. They are just companions and we take very good care of them until they die.

    This pair of Bassets have really sharp teeth, like needles, so I suppose they are the baby teeth. They are going to the Vet 4 Jan for spaying and neutering and I will ask the Vet about their approximate ages.

    Now I know more.

    Also thanks to all for the advice and tips. We decided to try the crate method. I really would like to have them trained at least somewhat which would help find them a suitable home, I'm sure.

    Richard
     
  15. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jack, have the dogs sit at the door before you open it. Keep them sitting until you open the door and tell them "out". Have them sit before you put their dinner dishes down and hold the sit until you release them. These manners make them more adoptable. Also, have them sit when they come up to you before you pet them. Dogs that sit nicely are dogs that are not jumping on people, which also makes them more adoptable.

    Kudos to you for fostering the puppes :angel: