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Old 02-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #1
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frustrating problem toilet training one of my dogs

I have a frustrating problem toilet training one of my dogs.

To give some background. I have three dogs; a neutered male mongrel terrier 5 years old (Toby), a neutered male Labrador 2 years old (Max) and a fertile female Labrador 2 years old (Ivy) I have had all three from about 6 weeks old. First came Toby then Max and 4 days later Ivy. I have kept dogs all my adult life and I am now 50.

From an early age both Toby and Max were toilet trained but Ivy was very difficult. So far I have tried everything I know and even had a “dog psychologist” visit my home for advice.

She only messes during the night and then always in a particular spot in the kitchen away from her and the other’s baskets and it isn’t a result of a stomach upset. They are fed once a day in the morning, get a good walk about 07:00 and then another about 16:30 followed by a 22:00 visit outside on the patio. Whenever I witness Ivy messing outside I praise her.

The dog psychologist suggested it might be that the other two intimidated Ivy and we should try to build her confidence. We have done that to the best of our ability and she is now number two in the hierarchy.

As a variation on the same theme I started taking Toby out of the kitchen during the night and the messing stopped. On certain occasions when he was too wet to come upstairs he was left in the kitchen and Ivy messed again. Now however she messes every night even when Toby is not in the kitchen.

When I come down in the morning she knows she has done wrong as she stays in her basket. I always show her what she has done and smack her. On the odd occasion when she has not messed she bounds out of her basket to make a fuss of me and I give her a massive amount of praise.

All the dogs are equally well treated and, apart from this one problem, well behaved and obedient in all other respects.

She is a lovely dog and I love her and the other two but this problem is really getting to me. I don’t want to give her away so I would appreciate any advice that anyone can offer.
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:30 AM   #2
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Crate training might help

Is she crate trained? If not, you might try that because then she has her own space and will not feel intimidated. Also, more than likely she will not mess where she is living. A friend of mine has a dog that is fearful of her sisters because of her background before being rescued. Her crate helps her cope with her seemingly illogical fear of her sisters that love her very much.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:34 AM   #3
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We have a crate for her and have used it in the past but she has messed inside the crate which then makes cleaning her up quite a job. We have also tried covering the crate in blankets to make her more secure but to no effect on her behaviour.

If we put her in the crate during the day (when sometimes they can all be left for up to 8 hours) she stays clean. If we leave her out she is also clean. It’s just the night time.

I suggested to my wife last night that maybe I should try the crate in our bedroom. Then at least I will hear her disturbing and be able to put her out.

Any comments?
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:17 PM   #4
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I was wondering why your female is not spayed. Perhaps a visit to the vet is in order. She is unprotected from a couple of ailments due to not being spayed. Maybe she needs a little one on one attention re: repotty training after all this chaotic time in her life. I would be taking her out as late at night as you can and no food or water before bed. I have to feed my cocker mornings because she used to poop at night on the kitchen floor.
Since I changed her schedule that way, no more full bowel during the night.
If I am up in the middle of the night, I let her out quietly with no fuss and then I can sleep in without worrying about her needing to go early in the morning.

Jake - Rainbow Bridge 12/19/08

Adopted by: Casey the Cocker 8 yrs
and Tia the ShihTzu 6 months
in Peterborough ONT Canada
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:20 PM   #5
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The security of hierarchy is important

We sold a male puppy - Ziggy - at 12 weeks of age to a lovely family nearby. They already owned a 6 year old male of the same breed (Cavalier)and thought the relationship would settle down as Ziggy grew.

However, Ziggy was by far the most dominant of his litter and I believe he sensed the older dog’s relatively less dominant nature and their relationship was ‘uncomfortable’.

At 6 months, Ziggy started dirtying everywhere indoors, even his own bed, despite successful house training as a puppy. This lasted for three months and nothing the family could do solved the problem.
Eventually, in desperation, they asked me if I knew of anybody who would buy Ziggy from them as a 9 month old dog.
Instead, I took him back and after a few days with his 'old' dog family, where hierarchy was already solidly in place, he settled – he never dirtied indoors from the moment he came back to us.

I believe the stress of believing he should assume top dog status while still a very young dog was too much for him and manifested itself in bad behaviour of this kind. Relieved of the stress of potential or percieved ‘leadership’, he is now a beautiful, enthusiastic, well-behaved young dog – from whom I can never be parted again !

Last edited by chrisjonesxx : 05-03-2007 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:29 PM   #6
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I had amazing results with crate training and paper training. My older dogs went through a stage where they were going in the house at night, so I started pulling their water earlier and quit feeding them late. That took care of that issue. If there isn't a health issure involved in the cause of the accidents, I'm sure there's a way it can be fixed. It's just a matter of finding it. Good luck.

My dachshunds OWN me!

potty training ideas:
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:23 AM   #7
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[quote=Diver;1279]I have a frustrating problem toilet training one of my dogs.
When I come down in the morning she knows she has done wrong as she stays in her basket. I always show her what she has done and smack her. On the odd occasion when she has not messed she bounds out of her basket to make a fuss of me and I give her a massive amount of praise.

I am having a difficult time trying to figure out why in the world you (or anyone for that matter) would hit a dog. Would you "smack" a baby when it messed it's diaper? There is no difference. If you had an 'accident' in your pants, how would you react if someone in your household walked up to you and "smacked" you?
Your dog has multiple behavioral issues and it's because her 'pack' doesn't have a stable leader.
You are praising your dog for NOT having accidents and hitting her when she DOES. This is wrong. Please go to the blog I posted at the bottom of the page and read more about how to be a stable pack leader.
In the wild, wolves and wild dogs don't hit or smack or beat each other when one has a potty accident. They don't ridicule each other, bark at each other or bite the dog who accidentally peed near them. When the mother dog or wolf is in the den with her pups and the pups potty in their area, momma dog cleans it up without any fuss or anger. Do you think she gets mad at her babies and bites them? Of course not.
I am a professional dog trainer and I want to help Ivy become the best dog she can be but the problem is not Ivy, it's you. First of all, if a dog is having a difficult time with housebreaking, there are several things we as their owners must address. Ivy needs to be spayed first of all. You didn't state why you haven't sterilized her and I hope it isn't because you intend to breed her. There are too many unwanted dogs in the world as it is and millions of dogs are put to death each year because no one wants them.
Have your vet do a complete check up on Ivy and have her spayed. The next thing you want to do is to start all over with potty training. Forget what you did in the past. Put Ivy in a crate that is big enough for her to stand up, turn around in and lay down in but not too large so that she can potty in it. She is an adult now so she can hold her bladder longer than a pup can. A dog can hold it's bladder one hour for every month it is old, plus one.
When you take Ivy out to potty, don't make a big 'fan-fare' of getting her out of the crate. In fact, it's better not to say anything to her, just put her on a leash and take her outside. Give her time to do her 'business' and when she does, THEN praise her. Remember that potty time is NOT playtime so immediately after she potties, take her back inside. Again, don't say anything to her. No treats, nothing. You said you take Ivy for walks and that's good. Walking is the best way to 'bond' with your dog and it's a primal need for dogs to walk. If dogs don't release the pent-up energy they have, they will become bored, unstable and destructive. Instability in dogs creates behavior problems such as fearfulness, insecurity, aggression, and many other problems. If you want your dog to respect you and trust you, you first must learn how to be the calm, assertive pack leader ALL of your dogs need. Ivy doesn't respect you nor does she trust you because the lack of leadership you have provided. If you don't start practicing being a pack leader, you will never see a positive change in Ivy. In fact, her behavior will more than likely get worse. If you continue to hit her, don't be surprised if she turns on you one day and bites you in defense. If she does bite you, she's telling you that you have given her an unwarranted correction. When Ivy seems happy to see you, it isn't because she is happy. It's because she fears you. When you hit her for peeing on the floor, you are unwittingly telling her that peeing is a bad thing.
Please stop what you are doing this minute and start over with Ivy and please, please, do NOT lay a hard hand on a dog. There is no reason to do this and it's only going to set you back more than you realize.
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