Housetraining Shelter Dog

Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2012 10:24 am
We just adopted a 4 year old poodle maltese mix a week ago. He is 12lbs and very sweet. He stays all night in his crate (maybe 10 hrs) and keeps it clean. He does his business first thing in the morning and most times whenever we take him out, which is frequently.
The problem is,
1) He never asks to go out, and
2) He will mess in the house once a day.

We did catch him twice and tried to stop him, but he still never asks to go out and thinks nothing of going in the house.

Do we need to watch him every second when he is in the house? Hard to do with 4 year old twins in the house to distract us.

Knowing we will try to catch him in the act most times, is there anything else we can do? Does this behavior sound correctable?
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Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2012 10:34 am
It's probably very correctable, but you're going to have to put some time into this.

You need to really work on his schedule, i.e. not just take him out "often", but have a regimen - every two hours or whatever you determine. Don't let him have the run of the house yet. Keep him in a contained area - kitchen etc - with puppy pee pads or paper when you can't pay 100% attention to him. You have to learn his signals - and then teach him some that work for you.

The four year olds are old enough to assist with this. They can tell you when they see signs of the dog circling or squatting.

One week is a very short time for a dog to learn a new routine. Gotta remember that you're working with someone who is less than a year old (dogs often regress at least briefly when there is a change in their living situation).

The length of time the dog spent in the shelter, and what their previous living circumstances was like also impacts this.

(has he been checked out by a vet since you got him?)
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2012 11:21 am
A vet did examine him at the Shelter. Thanks for your help!
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2012 11:33 am
We got a shelter dog a few years back and it took us quite a while to house break her. Dogs usually enter the shelter because they're not house broken and the original owner hasn't done anything to teach them. Then they end up in the shelter where those poor things aren't walked that much and they learn to pee/defecate in their cages.

As ehbeth said, after only one week you cannot expect the dog to adapt
that fast. You have to be patient and re-train the dog anew. Go out every hour and just let him pee, the minute he did his business, be overly excited and tell him he's a good boy. Do walk him 3 times a day for long walks, but the hourly trip should be just as long as he pees.

Be patient with the little guy, he's so eager to please you, but just doesn't know how to yet. It's not easy to adjust to a new home, especially when there are 4 year old twins running around too.

I am so glad though that you took a shelter dog - you'll see, there
are the best and most grateful dogs to have. Good luck!!
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2012 11:45 am
CJane has a great point about the enthusiasm - letting the dog know that you're really happy when he does his business outside really does help.

It feels a bit silly at first but it works.

If this is your first time as a dog owner, I recommend getting a copy of Dogs for Dummies from the library - that book was a lifesaver for me when I brought home my first rescue dog.
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2012 12:46 pm
Thanks to both of you. Your advice is very encouraging!
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Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2012 04:34 pm
I agree with what has been said. Poor guy has been used to doing his business in his kennel so he will be quite unaccustomed to knowing the difference to where it is permissable or not. The praise outside is really important and with my three when house training I used this method. Not to tell them off when they had accidents but to praise them when they went outside. It certainly worked. I also think the idea of a pee pad for the odd accident is a good idea and something i did when i was out. I have read some gradually move the pee pad closer to the outside and then out but not sure if that works. Another thing you can try during this transition is to purchase a product to put on the pee pad that encourages dogs to use it. Cannot recall the name of this product but I purchased it when house training my three puppies. I am not sure if this would help you or not. Good luck perserverence and patience. as someone else said all dogs want to please their owners and just have to be helped a little to show them what is the right way.
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