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I forgot how stressful house training is (plus a little rant!)!

  1. #1
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    I forgot how stressful house training is (plus a little rant!)!

    I've been so lucky with the last few fosters I've had, I'd forgotten what it was like to have one that wasn't a little angel! I've now got a 6month old puppy (cute as anything) who was handed in due to his previous owner working such long hours, he was left alone for 9 hours a day, six days out of seven (grr). It is still beyond me why so many people who work full time, long hours think it's a good idea to buy a puppy when they don't have the time to give that dog what it needs without even researching how to care for the properly! If they did their research, I'm sure they'd think twice before going to a breeder for a young dog, as they'd know how much time and effort goes into raising them.



    Anyway, this dog has basically been picked up from a breeder at around 12 weeks old and left to his own devices. He has no basic training, no house training, next to no socialisation skills and has separation anxiety. When I met him, if I had to guess his age I would have guessed at 12/15 weeks based purely on his behaviour. He's obviously never experiences half of the things he's been exposed to in the past 48 hours since coming into foster (meeting my dog, a trip to the vets, meeting visitors to the house, the hoover, wind, passing traffic...I could go on).

    ANYWAY...the point to my post! Boy is house training proving tricky. I know it's patience, consistency, consistency, consistency but I'm close to tearing my hair out! I'm not crate training him, as he's not used to a crate and really, is too old to start now without stressing him out (and he's already stressed), plus he's not destructive in the least and e uses newspapers/puppy pads throughout the day and overnight to pee so there's no reason at all not to let him sleep out in the main living room with my dog (apart from him pooping anywhere and everywhere).

    My biggest frustration is that he waits until I pop out of the room to toilet, so I can't catch him in the act and tell him "no" and take him out into the garden to show him where to go. I'm trying waiting until he hasn't gone for a few hours, then taking him out waiting with him outside for him to go. So far, the longest I've been out with him is 56 minutes with no toilet! Then we come in, and 20 minutes later he goes!

    I suppose there's nothing for it but a deep breath, and we'll try again tomorrow!

  2. #2
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    Crate training can happen at any age and is a wonderful tool, especially in situation like this. If you don't have your eyes on him, he needs to be in the crate whether all night, while you are cooking, or for a two minute trip to the bathroom. Eventually the crate will become his safe spot and give him a sense of relaxation and security. Be sure to put it in a common area of the house so he can still see you. You could even put an old shirt in there that smells like you for comfort. It will take a while, but he will get used to it.

    I hate puppy pads, either you want your dog to crap in your house or you don't. It is very confusing for a dog for them to have pee pads inside to use and being told to pee outside.

    Are you free feeding or timed? Scheduled feeding will eliminate them pooping in the house if done properly.

  3. #3
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    It is disturbing how people who are gone all day at work, will leave a puppy at home alone, and expect him to feel secure and train himself. I've always dedicated at least a 2 week vacation to making a new pup feel at home and train him. Aside from that, hubby and I sometimes worked different shifts, so the dog wasn't totally alone day or night.

    I never liked puppy pads, but had great success with using newspapers in the house. That way, until the puppy had control of his bladder, it had an "okay" place to relieve himself. Never had a problem transitioning them from newspaper to back yard. Took the time and effort to bring them outside in the morning, regardless of weather, to do their business. I'd wake and get ready before they even knew they were about to awaken and walk about...perfect timing , in my experience, gained perfect results. Then, if I did have to leave the dog inside for hours at a time, they knew where to go.

    Goldfinch, maybe you could take him into the bathroom with you...chances are, that in itself, would keep him from getting the urge at that moment. It's a shame that baby was left alone for so long. He's been blessed to meet with you, and get a chance at a wonderful life. What type of breed is he?

  4. #4
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    If he was left alone, and never crate trained, then it sounds like he has been basically just going to the bathroom in the house all this time, most likely. The longer you leave him loose in your house overnite, the more he will be trained to use your carpet, as well.
    I have found it easier to teach a dog where he is supposed to go, than stop him from going where he is not supposed to go. I usually crate them, since they do not want to go in the crate, and then take them out to do their chores, repeating "do your chores" over and over.

    As soon as they do even a little bit, I tell them "good boy !", so they know they have done a praiseworthy thing. Then, I take them back inside, after they are done, and WATCH them while they are running around. If they start sniffing the floor, back outside we go, and start the routine again. When I can't be watching them, they go back into the crate.
    Gradually, they get the idea of why they are outside, and will understand the command to do chores. Even though my Chipper is now an old dog, he still looks at me to make sure I am watching and waits for me to tell him he is a good boy when he does his chores.

    Your new puppy has possibly been scolded for going to the bathroom in the house, so he is now afraid for a human to see him do his chores. That is why he would not go, even though you waited an hour, and then as soon as you weren't looking, he went. Maybe you can take him outside, and then hide, and when he goes, then pet him and praise him, and he will start to get over his fear of being seen.
    Rescuing dogs can be a frustrating task, but he is young enough, he should come around fairly fast with good training from you.

  5. #5
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    Hi all, thanks for all the replies. Not really looking for too much advice just wanted a rant as it can be frustrating.

    NClady - I am aware crate training can happen at any age and is a useful tool that I have used, however I have a very stressed and unhappy 6 week old puppy who is not destructive at all and is trying to settle in a new environment after a difficult start in life. You can't just put a dog in a crate and say "he'll get used to it, it'll be his safe spot soon". You have to build it up to being his safe place before leaving him in there. Puppy pads/newspaper are a tried and tested method, and not confusing for a dog if used properly. Each has their own methods, but you do have to take into consideration the individual dog as well and bearing in mind I am a foster carer and I know this dog was left alone for long hours with newspaper left down for him, I can't just suddenly change what he's already learned - it has to be gradual. Puppy pads/newspaper is best used as Alpha says, to give a puppy a place he knows he can go as he doesn't have the bladder control to wait just yet. You then gradually move the pads towards the back door, and eventually outside. This method has never failed me. I don't free feed as this is a fast track to obesity, especially with two dogs in the house. Puppy eats twice a day and the bowl is removed when he's finished eating, he's then taken outside for a toilet 20/30 minutes later.

    Alpha - Sounds like I'm doing something pretty similar to what you would do, he is taken out to the garden regularly (despite weather) and we wait and wait. Last night he went toilet before bed in the garden, was clean over night and did a poop outside this morning progress! Taking him to the bathroom with me is a good idea, but he has separation anxiety so we have to be careful with how reliant he becomes on us - he needs to learn to be left for short periods too and I only have 2 weeks to do this in before he will hopefully be re-homed. He's a gorgeous teeny, tiny Yorkie cross - I'll try and get a pic up when I get home from work this afternoon. He's a sweetie and a lovely pup. He's had loads of applications already so he'll be homed soon

    HappyFlowerLady - thanks for the reply, I know most of what you've said already - however I don't agree with your first comment. As I've said in my first post, he's already trained (prior to coming to be) to use newspaper/puppy pads for pees, so he knows what to do there. I am doing what you've already said and am confident in my methods as they've never failed me in the year I've been fostering rescue dogs.

  6. #6
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    I thought you said he was 6 months not six weeks? At any rate. You were asking for advice, because obviously what you are doing isn't working. I gave you my tried and tested method for housebreaking dogs, which has allowed me to break any dog within a week. You have to change the environment if you want the dog to change. If he was left to his own devices in a home and allowed to pee in it that is what he will continue to do if the same environment is what he has now. All you have changed is someone being there. As far as the crate training goes, the only way to get him used to it is to put him in it. Start with feeding times and when you go to the bathroom, so they will be short pleasant experiences. You say your reason for not crating him is because he is not destructive, to me a dog peeing in my house is destructive and disgusting.

  7. #7
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    He is 6 months that was my mistake in my last post. What I am doing is working, but he's only been with me for two days!!!!, he was clean and dry all night last night, has not had an accident in the house yet today and has gone in the garden every time I've taken him out today. At no point in my post did I ask for advice, I was merely sharing my experience with what I thought was a forum of friendly, animal lovers - I did not expect to be criticised and patronised. I have owned rescue dogs for the past 24 years and have been fostering them for the past year and have not failed to house train a single one, but it is a frustrating period that requires patience and consistency. There is no one, 100% right away, as this situation proves as what I am doing is working for this puppy and it is not the way you do things. There is no need to be so harsh and condescending in your posts.

  8. #8
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    I'm sorry that you took my post as condescending or rude. It was not my intention. It is very difficult to read tone over the Internet. I was only trying to help, because you said you were frustrated.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfinch7 View Post
    Alpha - Sounds like I'm doing something pretty similar to what you would do, he is taken out to the garden regularly (despite weather) and we wait and wait. Last night he went toilet before bed in the garden, was clean over night and did a poop outside this morning progress! He's a gorgeous teeny, tiny Yorkie cross - I'll try and get a pic up when I get home from work this afternoon. He's a sweetie and a lovely pup. He's had loads of applications already so he'll be homed soon
    Training puppies does take patience, and can be frustrating at times, even for those of us who have lots of experience in successfully potty training our dogs. It's been awhile since I had a little one, but I recall it was a lot of work, but it all paid off in the end. Knowing of all your experience with dogs, I knew you were just voicing your frustration, and I feel your pain. Glad you're making progress with the little guy.

    My first Standard Schnauzer puppy was bought in winter. So with him, especially in the early mornings when there was snow on the ground and a cold chill in the air, I kept him on a leash to do his business. I would sweetly tell him, "go ahead, hurry up", and he seemed to acknowledge that and quickly go potty. If I let him loose with me in the yard, there was too much sniffing around, or starting to play with something. With me half-awake, in my sweat pants and heavy down parka, I looked forward to praising him and getting back into the warm house.

  10. #10
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    It is such hard work, and can be frustrating but then when they start to respond and make progress it is so, so worthwhile! Hopefully we'll have him ready so that his forever family don't have too much of a hard time when they take him home, but it's inevitable that the change of environment and routine will cause a setback.

    I'm so glad we have some sunny weather at the minute, I admire your dedication but of course there's no choice - rain or shine (or snow!), it's got to be done! I was a sight at 6am this morning in my pjs, slippers & a jumper out in the yard telling this little scruff bag to "go pee". I tried taking him out on a lead as he too thinks it's play time when he goes out, but he's not yet used to walking on a lead so just sits down and looks me like "what now..." bless him! We'll work on walking on the lead as yet another separate thing for now I think.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfinch7 View Post
    I was a sight at 6am this morning in my pjs, slippers & a jumper out in the yard telling this little scruff bag to "go pee". I tried taking him out on a lead as he too thinks it's play time when he goes out, but he's not yet used to walking on a lead so just sits down and looks me like "what now..." bless him! We'll work on walking on the lead as yet another separate thing for now I think.
    No criticisms or advise here. I just had to laugh when you said you'd almost pull your hair out. LOL. I felt the same the first time we introduced the crate. The two dogs where howling the entire night. You'd think they were in pain or something. Fortunately, consistency does pay off. They now know that the crate is a special sleeping place that even at mid day, they come up there and get their much needed R&R.

    Anyway, your little Yorkie seems to be a handful but I am sure he is simply adjusting to the environment and the new rules. After all, dogs are too smart for their own good. We think we are molding them, but in fact, they're the one's who are willingly adjusting to our rules.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
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    Goldfinch, I am sorry that I came across as critical, and I certainly didn't mean it to be that way either. We ARE just a friendly bunch of animal-lovers here on this forum, and I think we could all feel your frustration, and simply wanted to help out if we could.
    My Chipper is a Yorkiepoo, so I can imagine what a little sweetheart this puppy must be, and I am very glad that he has people lined up to adopt him, where he can become a permanent family member.

  13. #13
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    I misinterpreted the tone of a few posts in my wound up state - I can now see that of course everyone meant their advice as friendly & of course you all have great tips and pointers. We are making progress with little puppy, he still has occasional accidents but it's getting better and better. He's a bright boy, and so, so cute. We're just waiting on his new families home check, so fingers crossed it's a pass so he can move onto his happy ever after next week

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