How to Train Your Rescue Dog to Pee Outside

Medium
1-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

If you’ve got a heart of gold and are looking to adopt a new dog, then you’ll be looking to get a rescue dog. Giving a dog in a rescue shelter a second chance is an extremely meaningful and rewarding experience, as you’ll be helping with the problem of overpopulation on the streets, and most importantly giving a dog a second chance that they may never have gotten without you. 

However, owning a rescue dog is certainly a challenge. Of course, every dog is an individual and some will be easier to train than others. But as rescue pups are generally not puppies and will likely have an unknown background, they may have been a street dog for a long time and as such will have likely picked up bad habits. As your four-legged friend won’t be used to toilet training, it will likely be necessary for you to teach them to pee outside.

Defining Tasks

Toilet training a rescue dog is very important for a range of reasons. Teaching him or her to pee outside is a form of obedience training and as such, if you successfully train them, they will respect you more and appreciate that they need to listen to your commands. Cleaning up pee is an unpleasant experience and if you train them to go outside you’ll save a lot of time and expense in not having to clear up after them or buy new items of furniture or clean the carpets. Urine contains a lot of harmful substances such as ammonia and it isn’t very hygienic for you or your family to be inhaling those fumes. Exposure can be detrimental to health if urine is not thoroughly cleaned and disinfected--another reason to get your pet to go outside. Also, cleaning up urine is an unpleasant experience and may result in you becoming frustrated with your pooch, without them knowing what they’ve done wrong. Therefore, training them to go outside can strengthen your bond.

This command can be quite difficult as your rescue dog is likely set in their ways, and although will hopefully only take a few days, it could take a couple weeks for them to learn.

Getting Started

To get going, you’ll definitely need a patient but determined attitude, as rescue dogs can be that bit trickier to train than a new puppy with no prior experience of the way the world works. Delicious treats as a reward for going in the correct place are important. Sort out what your pooch's favorites are, however, high-value treats such as chicken, sausage or cheese can be good, as they’re extra tasty to puppers. A crate is also a valuable tool for toilet training your pup, make sure the crate is the right size for your breed and weight of pooch. Finally, make sure you also get a hefty supply of potty training pads for your pooch, they should be readily available at your local pet store, they will ensure that the clear up is much easier for you and will help save your carpets from urine staining.

The Routine Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Be with your pooch
Take some time off from work if possible, or get a relative or a friend to be with your pooch in the first week at their new home, as you’ll want to establish a routine.
Step
2
Eight bathroom breaks per day
Taking him out more than he needs initially will ensure that your pooch's bladder is never so full that he needs to go inside.
Step
3
Time the breaks
Time the breaks so that they’re all roughly at the same time throughout the day, for example one before breakfast, after lunch, after dinner etc.
Step
4
Treats and praise
Give your pooch lots of treats and praise when he gets it right to let him know he’s been a really good boy. If you’re clicker training him, give him a click and a treat at the exact time he gets it right.
Step
5
Don't punish if you didn't see it
Don’t punish your pooch if he’s had an accident and you weren’t there to witness it. If you catch your dog in the act, give him a clap to get his attention and stop him, then take him outside so he knows this is where he’s supposed to go.
Recommend training method?

The Smell Association Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Clean up accidents ASAP
Make sure that if your pooch has an accident, you clean it up straight away with an antimicrobial disinfectant that gets rid of any remnants of the smell of urine. If any trace is left, your pooch will recognize the scent of his pee and want to go there again. Tip: stay away from ammonia-based disinfectants as these smell a bit like pee.
Step
2
Same urination station
Always take your pooch to the same spot outside, so that he knows that it becomes routine and he remembers this is where he likes to go.
Step
3
Leave soiled pads at the station
The scent of his old pee will encourage him to go in the same spot again, dogs are creatures of habit after all.
Step
4
Meet his needs
You’ll need to make sure you’re taking him out enough for his breed and size; you can’t blame him for having accidents if he’s not going out enough. Look up how much your type of pooch needs to go out and take him out double the amount to begin with to be on the safe side.
Step
5
Treat and praise away
Give your pooch lots of treats and tell him what a good boy he’s been when he gets it right. If he goes in the wrong place, try not to scare him by telling him off angrily, but disrupt his flow by making a loud noise and taking him outside to the correct place.
Recommend training method?

The Healthy & Happy Pup Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Vet visit
First things first, be sure to take your pooch to the vet, to rule out any problems he or she may have. For example if your pupper has a urinary tract infection or kidney disease (more likely in older dogs), they’ll be much more likely to pee inside as it hurts and they can’t hold it.
Step
2
Make him at home
Going to a new home is an exciting and frightening experience for new dogs, making them more likely to have accidents initially. Make your dog at home by giving him safe spaces. Also, you could buy a pheromone diffuser, which will remind them of when they were a pup and with their mom, which is likely to calm him down a bit.
Step
3
Use a crate
A crate can be a safe space for your pup and you can put toilet pads in the crate until he stops having accidents. Pooches don’t like to eliminate in the spaces they eat and rest in so they’re less likely to go in there.
Step
4
Let him out regularly
However, he will go in his crate if he can’t hold it, so make sure you let him out regularly. How often your dog will need to pee will depend on his breed and size, also on his health status, as if he has an issue with his kidneys he'll need to go more. Make sure the amount you take your pup out meets his needs.
Step
5
Reward him when he gets it right
Make sure you give him a tasty treat and lots of praise when your pooch gets it right.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ivy
Basset lab mix
9 Months
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
Ivy
Basset lab mix
9 Months

My puppy will not use the potty outside. I can stay outside all day and as soon as she comes back in she just pees wherever. We just put down new flooring and my hubby is not happy with her. I just don't know what to do... Please help!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christy, Some puppies who have been punished in the past for peeing inside will avoid going in front of you, regardless of where they are. Try taking her outside on a twenty or fifty foot leash, so that she can wander away from you safely, and go potty when she think that you are not looking, then when she goes praise her quietly and toss treats over to her. Tossing her treats should help her to warm up to going in front of you overtime. As she warms up, you can gradually get closer and closer to her while she pees, until you can use a normal leash again. The problem also might be an aversion to going outside, rather than an aversion to going in front of you. Something traumatic might have happened outside, she might be too distracted to go, or hates the wet ground or something similar. If that is the case, try taking her to different surfaces, such as grass, mulch, gravel, or leaves. She may hate going on grass, but be OK with going on gravel. Also go purchase a spray from your local pet store or online that is designed to encourage elimination. It's usually called something like "Go Here", "Hurry Spray", or "Training Spray", and can be found in the training or house breaking department. Right before you take her outside, spray the spray onto the area you want her to eliminate on, then take her over to the area quietly, and let her sniff the area, and wait patiently for her to circle around, sniff, and go. Also, make sure that you are cleaning up previous accidents with a cleaner containing enzymes that will break down the pee and poop enough to eliminate the smell well enough that she cannot smell it anymore. Cleaners that do not contain enzymes will not remove the smell enough for your dog to not smell it, and a smell left will encourage her to eliminate in the same area again. Also avoid any cleaners containing Ammonia because Ammonia smells like urine to a dog and will encourage elimination in that area. Last, look into crate training for house breaking. Overtime crate training will force her to eliminate outside by not giving her any freedom in the house until she goes outside, and by making the experience of eliminating outside pleasant again. Here is an article on how to teach that, all of the methods in this article can help, but the crate training will tackle the issue of not eliminating outside the quickest. Disregard that the article talks about pooing outside, it should work just as well for peeing outside too. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

I have the same issue except the advice won't work for my pup because he refuses to "wander" when outside. It is very frustrating and he has ruined our home with pee. We got him from a previous owner who instilled some extremely bad habits by irregular indoor-outdoor time and we are on the brink of asking her to take him back or bringing him to a shelter, which is something I normally wouldn't even consider. I have raised shelter dogs and pumps my whole life and had no issues training them before. I'm in desperate need of some advice.

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Question
Duke
Lab/Dane mix
5 Months
3 found helpful
Question
3 found helpful
Duke
Lab/Dane mix
5 Months

We just brought him home from a rescue. He has never been with a family and so has spent his life in a shelter. He won’t pee outside. Has had several accidents inside. 2 which have been while laying down. One being in his crate. We take him out every hour but he will not go pee outside. He pooped for the first time outside today. Not sure what to do to break a life time (only 5 mos but) habit.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kerri, It sounds like Duke is afraid of peeing outside because he has not experienced it before, or possibly he had a bad experience doing it once. Take a couple of days when you are home and not at work and it is nice outside, such as a weekend, and spend the entire day outside with him each day. If you can do this more than two days in a row, then that would work even better. While outside feed him all of his meals there and give him plenty of water to drink there. Play with him and get him excited, and make sure that he has shade if it is hot. Doing all of that should make him need to go potty. If your yard is not fenced in then purchase a long leash such as a thirty foot leash and attach it to him and allow him to wander several feet away from you whenever he wants to go potty. He might be afraid to go in your presence because he has been punished by someone for having accidents in the past. After he is comfortable peeing outside, then you can gradually decrease the amount of distance between you and him, until he will pee in your presence too. When he does eventually go, quietly praise him and toss him four treats, large enough for him to find in the yard, as a reward for going. Do this every time that you catch him using the bathroom outside. Overtime he should become more comfortable going outside. Once he is comfortable going outside, then you can use a typically potty training schedule and techniques to teach him to not go potty in the house. Because of his uncertain past do not punish him for having accidents in the house, instead distract him quickly if you see him begin to go potty inside and rush him outside to finish, but do your absolute best to prevent the accident in the first place after he is comfortable eliminating outside and can be taken outside frequently. Make sure that you clean up any accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. Only enzymes will break up the pee and poop enough for him to not be able to smell it still, and be attracted to eliminating in that same spot. Also if there is a particular type of material that he tends to have accidents on, and he does not tend to pee on another type of material, then once you get him over his fear of peeing outside, keep him confined to areas with the material that he does not pee on between his potty breaks. For example, if he is used to peeing on the hard floor of a shelter or crate, and has accidents on your kitchen's hardwood or linoleum floor but he does not pee on carpeted areas, then confine him to a carpeted area, or even better, find an old piece of carpeting or an old rug and use that on the floor of a room where he can stay when you are not able to completely supervise him, between his potty breaks outside. Be sure to give him interesting toys while he is in there, such as food stuffed Kongs, puzzle toys, wobble toys that he can tip over to dispense food, and chew toys, to remove any anxiety about being in that room and to prevent bad chewing habits. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Flaps
Tibetan spaniel mix
5 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Flaps
Tibetan spaniel mix
5 Years

I just adopted a rescue dog who is 5 years old but has only been trained to go on puppy pads (he previously spent his entire life inside). I want to train him to go outside. I tried to start him without pads in the house and just take him outside every couple of hours. He will poop outside when he needs to, but he will not pee. He went 24 hours without peeing and now has peed twice inside on the carpet after coming inside from long walks when he wouldn’t pee. I am ordering some pads so that hopefully he doesn’t soil the carpet again (I have used an enzyme cleaner), but I’m also afraid this will make it harder to get him to go outside. Should I take the pads outside with me to try to get him to go?

I should mention that I live on the 11th floor, so I can’t just rush him out the door if he is having an accident, I have to wait for the elevator. Also, he turns up his nose at treats, so I have just been using praise and a clicker.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, Congratulations on the new dog! Since Flaps is so used to using Pee Pads he probably views the grass and outside area as somewhere that he should not pee. Since he is refusing to pee outside after holding it for so long, take the pee pads with you outside and encourage him to go on there as if they were grass. Tell him to "Go Potty" when he is on the pee pads, and praise him for going on them when he does, but do not keep the pee pads available inside your home if he will go on them outside alright. You want to transition home from going potty inside to peeing outside, even if it is on pee pads outside at first. Continue to take him outside to pee on the pee pads very frequently so that he does not have an accident in the house when he cannot find one inside. When he is doing well peeing on the pee pads outside, then start putting grass and outdoor debris on the pee pad to get him used to that. Start with just a small handful of grass or dirt at first. Overtime, either gradually cover the pee pad more and more with outside debris like grass, until the pee pad is completely covered, or cut the pee pads smaller and smaller so that Flaps is peeing on the ground around it more and more. When you get to the point where the pee pad is totally covered with debris or is only an inch or two wide, then remove it entirely and tell him to "Go Potty" on just the normal ground. When you first tell him to "Go Potty" somewhere without the pee pad under him, make sure that it is in a location where you used to have the pee pad before because he will associate that location with peeing and be more likely to go. If he will poop on the normal ground without a pee pad alright right now, continue having him poop just on the ground when you can. If he poops on the pad after peeing that is fine too, but encourage pooping on the ground since he has already been doing that for you, to maintain that. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Salvador
Pomchi
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Salvador
Pomchi
5 Years

Hello! Background: Sal was flown up to MN from Puerto Rico last night. We believe he was a street dog. I live in an apartment building, and it takes a few to get to the grass. I also have a balcony.

Situation: He would not go potty outside last night on two walks. He would not this morning either, and when we returned indoors he peed on the carpet while tethered to me, and then again on the kitchen floor. Both times I had looked away for just a second! He is eating and drinking adequately. We spent the better half of the day smelling the things and giving him an opportunity to go outside, but he never did. We would be outside for an hour, go inside into the kennel for about 50 minutes, and head back outside. This last time on the way up he started to pee in the hallway, so I clapped and rushed him down a stairwell outside. He then seemed to forget about it and not go.

I'm wondering:
-should I be doing anything differently?
-should I carry him through the hallways?
-should I have taken him right to a puppy pad?
-when he pees in the apartment should I take him to a puppy pad or outside?
-is there a time frame in which I should try the chicken broth method if he hasn't gone potty outside?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nadine, It sounds like you did everything correctly. He may just need a different approach. Does he seem nervous while he is outside? Is he afraid of being on a leash? If he is nervous while outside he might be refusing to go because of that. It that's the case, then spend time outside with him every day with treat and toys getting him used to your neighborhood so that he will relax and sniff around while out there. Look into purchasing a spray designed to encourage peeing and pooping. It is usually called "Hurry Spray", "Puppy Training Spray", "Go Here" or something similar. Spray that on the area where you would like him to pee right before you lead him over to that spot. If he seems nervous while on the leash, then spend extra time getting him used to the leash. Try to follow him around and keep it loose as much as you can while keeping him safe. Every once in a while tug on it, wait until he stops fighting it if he resists, and then give him a treat. He should start to learn to come toward you when he feels tension on the leash and also to like the feeling of tension on the leash better. You can also try using regular a ten to twenty foot leash that is not retractable, and letting him wander around to sniff while you stand further away. Do not use a retractable leash on him while potty training right now either way. The tension on the leash could be the issue. Using the long leash is a good thing to try if you have somewhere where you can take him with enough space to do that. If he does not seem nervous about being outside or being on the leash, then he may not believe that it is alright to pee outside for some reason. Possibly because of other dogs in the area. Keep doing what you are doing but carry him down the stairs instead of having him walk until he is having less accidents. I normally advise against that but in his case he may pee on the way down if you do not. Walk him out the door before picking him up if he is not about to have an accident though, so that he will learn to walk over to the door himself when he has to pee. After you spray the pee encouragement spray on an area outside, if he does pee, then have several of his favorite treats with you and give him five of them, one at a time, while praising him. Do this so that he will be more likely to pee outside again next time and will learn that it is okay to go out there. If you do not wish to use Puppy Pads for the rest of his life, then do not use them now. Many dogs struggle with telling the difference between pee pads and carpet, rugs, and clothes. Once the pee pads are removed a lot of dogs begin peeing in other locations inside. Some even pee on other locations while the puppy pads are present. If you cannot get Salvador to pee outside following the above recommendations this coming week, then you may want to teach him to use a doggie toilet on the balcony temporarily. For this toilet use a litter box filled with cat litter or make your own grass toilet. You can make a grass toilet by placing a piece of grass sod in a large shallow plastic bin. If cat litter boxes are too small for him, then you can also use those types of plastic bins and fill one part of the way with cat litter to make your own litter box. Purchase an Exercise Pen and place the litter box or grass toilet in one end of the Exercise Pen and spray the toilet or litter box with the pee encouraging spray. Place Salvador in the Exercise Pen where the toilet is and leave him there until he pees or poops. Make sure that he has shade and water if it is hot. Take care not to let him overheat. Go far enough away that he does not feel like you will scold him if he has an accident, but close enough that you can still see when he goes potty. Right after he goes potty at some point, praise him and go over to him and give him several treats, one treat at a time, then let him out of the Exercise Pen. Do this for all of his potty trips. When he becomes more willing to go potty in there, then tell him "Go Potty" when you take him there. A litter box will be less smelly and messy to clean but the grass toilet will be better for training him to go potty outside and easier to transition away from. Continue to take him outside to go potty, even if he will not go yet, while you are teaching him to also go in the Exercise Pen toilet. If he does not go outside, then put him in the Exercise Pen until he goes. When he has learned to go in the Exercise Pen toilet, then take the piece of grass sod or liter box outside and take him to it outside and tell him to "Go Potty" there. Reward him if he does. When he will go potty there, then gradually decrease the size of the grass sod or deconstruct the litter box a bit at a time until the litter is just on the ground. Finally, there should be no litter or grass sod left and he should be going on the ground normally. If you feel confused about whether or not he is afraid of peeing outside or how to apply any of this, then I would recommend hiring a local trainer with good recommendations and showing that person this response and your question and seeking their help. They should be able to evaluate why is not willing to go potty outside and choose a good course of action. You can also try getting him used to being outside and used to a leash or a long leash first, and then move onto the Exercise Pen and grass toilet after if you are not sure where to start. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Marley
Australian Cattle Dog Mix
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Marley
Australian Cattle Dog Mix
1 Year

My girl has been out of the shelter for four weeks, but when leaving the apartment to go to the bathroom or for a walk she refuses to leave past the building door to the outside. She becomes extremely fearful only when she sees the outside. She has no trouble going in the backyard at my parents house, but has to be carried to the doggie encloser at my apartment. How can we work past this fear, so she can go potty and go for walks regularly?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Naeema, Work on generally building Marley's confidence in a variety of locations between your apartment entrance and where you take her to go potty. Grab several of her favorite toys, treats, people, dogs, or whatever else she enjoys and bring to several spots along the path between the apartment and bathroom. Spend time practicing tricks and giving her favorite treats, act silly and exciting, play games with her with the toys. Do this often so that she Will anticipate those areas being fun and not scary and her association with being outside will change. At first, practice in the furthest area she will walk to by herself. As she progresses, move the fun sessions farther and further away from the apartment toward the bathroom. If she will not progress, then you may need to carry her to the different spots at first and then play with her there. Start closer to the apartment and have her walk on her own and let the fun be a reward if she will walk a little bit though, then gradually go further as time passes with practice Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Blue
Siberian Husky
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Blue
Siberian Husky
9 Months

We just re homed a 9 month old Siberian Husky and we have had him for 3 days so far and he has yet to go to the bathroom outside , we take him on super long walks and to the park ect (because we don’t have a back yard) but we live right beside a park. And he still won’t go 😞 we even tried to have our yorkie also go when he was taken out and he saw sniffed and just didn’t care.
He will not go at all and will hold it all day long until he really has to go and than he will go in the house.
I talked to the owners before us , and she mentioned that he only went In their backyard , not even on walks ect that he would always wait until he returned home and was in the back yard ... what can I do for him? Because he’s perfect but I can’t have him relieving himself in the house when we were told her was house trained already.
Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cheyenne, Check out the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked below. Follow that method very strictly until he begins to go potty when you tell him to "Go Potty" outside. Do not skip giving him treats, giving him a very strict crate schedule for now, and purchasing a potty encouraging spray and spraying that in the yard. The combination of schedule, crate, spray, "Go Potty" command, and treats should all work together to help him go. Using the crate very strictly for a month or so, until he stops having accidents inside and goes potty outside consistently, should also prevent most accidents in your home in the meantime. Since he is older, instead of taking him outside every one-to-two-hours like the method describes, take him outside every four hours and then every hour after that if he does not go when you take him the first time. Repeat the trips outside every hour until he goes potty one of those times, then he can have up to two-and-a-half hours of freedom in your home if you are there to supervise, before going back into the crate until it is time to take him potty again after it has been four hours since he last peed outside. If he is still having accidents with that schedule or has an accident in the crate, then take him more often and give him thirty minutes less of freedom in the house after he pees outside before putting him back into the crate until it is time to take him again. Here the link to the article. Follow the "Crate Training" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside That method should force him to start using the bathroom outside fairly quickly, and the spray and the treats will help him to want to go there more again in the future. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

I am having a similar issue- I just took in a large 9 month old Labrador-golden retriever-poodle who had 0 obedience training. He never walked on a leash and was outside most of the time.
He will pee mostly to mark trees and bushes. Out of 5 nights he has slept in my house, he has pooped once and peed and pooped once in the middle of the night. My husband and I work full time so we haven't been able to crate train him properly and he refuses to go near the crate we got him!

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Question
Sissy
chihuahua mix
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
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Sissy
chihuahua mix
1 Year

I rescued a second dog as a companion to my now retired service dog. They play together really well, but we are having issues with feeding and potty training. Sissy was puppy pad trained, and she's a real chow-hound. She took to using the doggy door immediately and going potty outside, but she's started going inside the dog door, and running back upstairs if I follow her down to get her to go outside instead. I started putting potty pads down near the door, but then she'll go in the middle of the floor instead. Along with this frustrating regression, she peed in my bed the other night, so I kept her in the kitchen overnight (since she won't go into the kennel). As soon as I let her out this morning, she ran straight into my room and peed in my bed before I could take her downstairs. On top of that, my first dog has gotten scary skinny since she eats his food after finishing hers. I called a local behaviorist and the want hundreds of dollars to work with her, but I'm afraid the bedwetting is a dealbreaker.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Leslie, First of all, get both dogs used to eating at two designated times per day, typically morning and evening. Watch the dogs and discipline the younger dog if she attempts to eat your older dog's food. Your older dog will not stop her so you need to be the one to, and the food should not be left out all the time for free feeding. Feed the dogs in two separate areas of the kitchen while you are in there eating your own food, to supervise. Give both dogs fifteen minutes to eat, and whenever the younger dog tries to eat the older dog's food, get between her and the older dog's food, tell her "Out" firmly, and then walk toward her calmly but firmly until she gets out of the area. Repeat this until she stops trying to get to the food that meal. You are telling her with your body language to leave the food alone because it belongs to you. Since it's your food, which it is, you decide who gets to eat it, not her. After fifteen minutes, take both food bowls up whether they have eaten it or not. If you come home during the middle of the day, then lock the older dog in a room where the younger dog cannot get to him while he has fifteen minutes to attempt to eat. Feed both dogs again in the evening the same way that you did in the morning by supervising them on two separate ends of the kitchen. If you cannot supervise them one meal, then lock them in separate rooms or crates with their own food bowl for the fifteen minutes. Give the older dog extra food at night if he did not eat all of his other food earlier during the day when you put it down for fifteen minutes then. Sissy needs to be formally potty trained. She needs to be taken outside to go potty on a leash every four hours unless she is in a confined area where she will hold her pee. When you take her outside, tell her to "Go Potty", and when she goes give her three treats, one at a time. If she does not go, then confine her in a small space like an exercise pen or crate or attach her to yourself with a six or eight foot leash so that she cannot sneak off. Take her outside to try again in an hour, or sooner if she starts to act like she needs to go, sniffing, circling, trying to sneak off, or trying to get your attention. Repeat this every hour until she goes. Taking her outside on leash so that she has to focus on going potty, giving her treats to motivate her to go potty outside instead of inside, and keeping her on a schedule and confined or attached to you should help. Once she learns to go quickly while on the leash with you and is motivated to go potty outside because of the treats, then you can walk her over to the doggie door, tell her to "Go Potty", and watch her from the window while she goes potty outside. When she comes back in after going potty, then you can give her a treat, without having to go out with her. From there you can phase out the treats and always walking her to the doggie door. If you are not home during the day, then you will either need to crate train her so that she will hold it for eight hours without an accident or you will need to hire a dog walker to take her out mid-day and she will need to stay in an exercise pen while you are gone. You can give her a food stuffed kong that has been filled with dog food, soaked in water and mixed with a bit of peanut butter, and frozen to entertain her in the crate or exercise pen. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mousse
pit mix
4 Years
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Mousse
pit mix
4 Years

We just rescued Mousse about 4 days ago. We adopted her knowing she was a very anxious dog. She was extremely reclusive the first day but slowly came downstairs. Now she just likes being in the same room. Mousse will hold her pee and poop for over 12 sometimes 24 hours until shes about to burst then relives herself at night for us to clean up in the morning. She is terrified of being outside. She might have been tied up so walks are a no go. Keeping her outside for long periods of time is difficult since we don't have a fence and she pulls very strongly towards the door every couple minutes when she gets scarred.

Ive been taking her outside ever couple hours for about 20 minutes or so and give her treats to reinforce that outside is good. Sometimes she is too nervous to be interested in treats but has never relieved herself outside. We've been using "go here" spray but she is yet to find interest in that. She never potties inside in front of us. It's always at night or when were gone.

We feel at a loss. I work from home and feel like I can barely get anything done in between taking her out and cleaning up messes.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hillary, In your case, I would actually suggest training her to use a real grass pad inside of an exercise pen in your house right now, while you also work on getting her used to being outside in general, then transitioning her to peeing outside later on. I suggest using a real grass pad because you want her to get used to going potty on grass so that her training will transition to outside and she will not learn to pee on fabric type material, like pee pads, carpet, and rugs. I suggest the exercise pen because that will help her differentiate between the "bathroom" and the rest of the house, and it will make this process easier for you. You will need a strong, reinforced exercise pen for her. The type that's used at pet stores for training. There are a lot of options online. Just look for one that is very sturdy or that can be physically attached to the walls in a corner so that she cannot knock it over with her strength. Since you are also working on her socialization with you, set up the exercise pen in a room where you spend a lot of time, without carpeting, so that she can be in your presence. You can occasionally toss or hand feed treats to her while she is in the pen learning, after she has started peeing on the right spot, to help her with her fear of people. At first reserve treats for when she pees on the grass though, until she will do that regularly, then you can reward her at additional times to help with socialization too. When you are in the house and her bladder is empty and she is out of the exercise pen, then keep a zip lock bag of treats or her dog food if she likes it, in your pocket, and occasionally drop treats on the ground beside you as you move about. Later you can work on teaching her commands and making her work for that food to also build trust and respect, but that step will be a litter bit in the future. Check out the article that I have linked below for how to teach her to use the exercise pen and real grass pad. The article mentions litter box training, but in your case you can simply substitute the litter box for the grass pad. Only use one litter box because Mousse is larger and do not remove the exercise pen at any point, since you will be transition her to peeing outside and don't want to remove the exercise pen until she is potty trained to go outside, to discourage her from peeing inside at that point. Follow the "Exercise Pen" method from the article below. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Here is a link to a real grass toilet. Each one is advertised as lasting a couple of weeks. It might last a bit less with her size though. You will have to experiment. https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI You can also make your own grass pads by dividing up pieces of grass sod into sections and putting one section into a wide, shallow plastic bin. Continue to work on getting her used to being outside over the next couple of months, and then you can transition to regular potty training when she is not afraid of your yard. As she gets more used to being outside overtime, if she happens to pee outside while you are practicing overcoming her fears, then keep treats in your pocket and reward her a whole lot any time she happens to pee out there. That will help potty training go faster when you get ready to officially start outdoor potty training. Congratulations on the new dog! Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Katie
Running Walker Hound
4 Years
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Katie
Running Walker Hound
4 Years

We are the third owners of Katie. She is a Walking Runner Hound and was trained as a hunting dog but failed in the eyes of the hunter. She was rescued by a family who housed her in a barn for a year with the other farm animals. They wanted a better situation for Katie which is how we ended up adopting her. We have had her for three months. Mostly she is doing great but does have pee accidents a couple of times a week. She will come in from spending time outside and will pee in the room where she sleeps. We don't feel like we can trust her. If I am in the kitchen I am always checking on her in the other room to make sure she is content and not having an accident. I started by taking her out many times a day and having her pee and poop. She has a runner since we have not been able to fence in the yard yet. I feel she is capable of holding her pee. We are baffled at why she does this. It seems like it is when my husband is home with her and not so much on my watch. What do you think? Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kris, Katie is probably use to peeing in the barn so doesn't understand why she can't pee in the house. I highly suggest crate training her. I know that might feel discouraging but the confined space of a crate should encourage her natural desire to hold her pee, and help her get into the habit of peeing only outside when you take her. It will also give you a break when you cannot closely supervise her. When she is regularly peeing outside for at least two months, has not had any accidents inside for at least one month, and is generally doing well, then you can transition her to being attached to a leash to you when you are at home and willing to supervise her. She needs to be rewarded with treats when she does go potty outside, her accidents need to be cleaned up with a cleaner that contained enzymes, and she needs to be given less freedom (and treated like a puppy in this area right now). Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method and when she is doing better the "Tethering" method also if you would like. Since Katie is older, you can take her potty every three hours when you are at home (to give her lots of opportunities to be rewarded for peeing outside so that she will learn faster), and after she pees, she can be given 2 hours of freedom outside of the crate. After the two hours, put her back into the crate until it is time to take her again, so that she is never loose when her bladder is full at all. When you are not at home, at this age she should be able to hold it up to eight hours in the crate, but I suggest going no more than five-to-six while she is still learning how to hold her pee right now. Potty Training Article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Abbey
Redbone Coonhound
1 Year
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Abbey
Redbone Coonhound
1 Year

We adopted Abbey a couple days ago and picked her up from her foster home. They said that she was doing well with her potty training and the only accidents she would have is when she gets excited. The first night we got her, we took her outside a few times (after a lot of hesitation on her part) and she didn't pee or poop at all. We took her out again in the morning and she would not pee or poop. As soon as we got home and we were not in the room, she peed on the carpet. She held it for so long but wasn't showing any signs of discomfort. The second day I took her out and she was still very scared and hesitant to leave our place. She shakes and pulls hard to go back inside and I have to coax her with treats. We were out for a long time and she pooped a few blocks away from our apartment but no pee. I then took her to a park a couple hours later, and she pooped again but still would not pee, but she was more comfortable when we were away from our apartment. She finally peed after all day of holding it in my parents' backyard, not tethered to a leash. She had another accident in her crate again today after we left the house. But before this, I tried to take her out various times throughout the day around our apartment, bought a longer leash, and potty training spray to encourage her. None of this helped:( She seems so uncomfortable on the leash with me but we know she knows where to go pee. What should we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Zoe, It sounds like the issue is fear adjusting to her new home - and the accidents are simply a bi-product of that. She needs time outside in a calm area (an area where you can later take her to pee regularly). The long leash and potty training spray are great - keep using those even though it may seem like it's not helping right away. As much as possible, simply spend time with her outside on the long leash, letting her sniff around. If she will eat food or play with toys outside, drop large treats in the grass for her to hunt, toss her a toy a couple of feet away (within the distance of the length of her leash), play tug of war with her if she is interested, or stuff her favorite hollow chew toys with her dog food and a bit of real chicken, peanut butter (Avoid Xylitol sweetener - it's toxic), soft cheese, or liver paste. Let her sniff some options to see what she likes. If she isn't interested in playing or eating, simply sit in the grass calmly and read or do something relaxing and let her see you relax while she explores around you while on the long leash. If she wants treats, reward her for calmness and focus on you with them. She likely needs time, calmness and confidence from you, and opportunities to spend time in the places she is uncertain of without too much pressure or other people or animals around while she warms up. There are a lot of cars, people, other dog smells, other dogs, and overwhelming things outside of an apartment for a new dog. Help her ease into the transition gradually by giving her time to explore and adjust out there - instead of each time you go out just be for potty training and rushed. Letting her spend time outside the other day was great. Do more things like that. That should help but it will take practice. Once she is warmed up to the area outside the apartment, work on a strict crate training schedule, so that she is only free from the crate when her bladder is empty to avoid accidents. For right now, try to find areas to take her potty within walking distance, that are quiet and might have less smells and sights. As she gets used to the apartment, gradually work on going to areas closer to your own apartment that require less walking. Use the potty spray to continue encouraging her too. Tell her to "Go Potty" when you take her, even though she won't understand it right away. If she goes, give her four treats, one at a time. Even though she won't respond to the command right away, the more times she "happens to go potty after you say "Go Potty" and then is rewarded, the more she will learn what the command means, and eventually will know to go potty quickly when you tell her to "Go Potty" - making potty training easier then. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Murphy & Ollie
Shitzu & shitzu poodle
10 Years
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Question
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Murphy & Ollie
Shitzu & shitzu poodle
10 Years

At the risk of sounding like a big jerk, I am going to be honest and say we are not good pet owners. We are a family of 5. We have a hectic and an irregular schedule. We rescued Ollie and Murphy about 5 years ago. We were told thy were house broken, so we were surprised to find them peeing in the house. We don't have time to dedicate to training them correctly and feel it is time to say good-bye. The stress of constantly finding pee in the house even though they are caged up near a doggie door when we are not home is too much. Is it wrong to send them to a new home at this point. I want my home back. I am tired of the gates that we have up around the house that keeps them off the carpet. I feel like I am living in a jail. My dogs growing up were never like this, but we never had a rescue either.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lora, Only you can decide what is best for your family. If you do decide to give them up I suggest looking into foster rescues who will spend time preparing them for a new home and fitting them with the right person who is willing to work with them, knowing their needs, opposed to someone who adopts them without any information. Check out www.petfinder.com to locate some rescues in your area. Those that keep the dogs in their homes until they are placed with new families are considered foster rescues. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kramer
Labrador Retriever
9 Months
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Kramer
Labrador Retriever
9 Months

We can recently adopted a 9 month old medium mixed breed named Kramer. He was very nervous when we first got him, but is really starting to open up in our house. We are currently trying to house break him and having a very hard time. We are taking him outside every few hours, and while we have had a few successes, the majority of the time he will pee right after we get inside. We often catch him mid-accident and rush him outside, but he doesn’t go. He can get nervous outside. The biggest issue is the fact we can’t spend much time outside - we live in the northeast and currently have lots of snow and ice. We’ve tried shoveling him a spot on the grass and bring him there each time to pee, but it’s not working. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kim, I highly suggest crate training him so that the only time that he is free in your home is when his bladder is empty right now. Once he gets used to the crate it can also give him a safe space to go to help him relax with the door open later. Also, where able try to provide him with an area to pee that is not covered in snow. The shoveled spot is a great start, continue that or something similar along with the crate training. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. Be sure to also follow the steps found there for teaching him the "Go Potty" command, rewarding him when he does go potty outside, and possibly using a potty encouraging spray to help him learn. If he seems really cold while outside you might want to get him used to wearing a dog jacket around his chest so that he can relax more instead of just trying to hurry back inside because of the weather. Since he is older, when you follow the "Crate Training" method you can take him potty every 3-4 hours instead of every 1 hour. After he goes potty outside, you can give him 2 hours of freedom before putting him back into the crate until the next potty trip - while his bladder fills backup since we want to avoid him being loose while his bladder isn't empty. The more accidents you can prevent inside, which equals more successes outside too, the quicker he will learn and earn more freedom in your home. Giving him a food-stuffed Kong in the crate can help him enjoy being in there also. Since he is older, When you need to leave your home for longer, he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for six hours (and longer once he is potty trained), but taking him more frequently when you are home will help the training go faster and make it more pleasant for him. If he has accidents with the two hours of freedom even though he pottied outside beforehand, then decrease the amount of freedom that you give him by thirty-minute increments before putting him back into the crate until the accidents stop between potty trips and crate time. Follow the Crate Training method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bayley
Pit bull
3 Years
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Bayley
Pit bull
3 Years

I've had my dog Bayley, almost two months now, adopter her from a shelter. I walk her every morning before work, and every evening when I get back, she usually pees and poops on both of those. However, when left in the house she will pee on the carpet, but will never poop in the house. Because of this, and frustration from my roommates, I have to leave her outside when I'm gone. Obviously I don't want to keep doing this. What can I do to get her to stop peeing in the house, or go out in the yard to pee on her own when I'm not around?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christopher, First, you need to stop the accidents from happening. I suggest crate training her. If you will be gone for longer than 8 hours between potty trips, then you will need to hire a dog walker to let her out during the day. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate Training method (since she is older she can go longer between potty trips): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside She will not learn to be potty trained as long as she is having regular accidents still though, so stopping those through confinement and supervision is the first step. Next, when you do take her potty, tell her to "Go Potty" and give her four small treats, one a time after she goes. Keep the treats somewhere convenient by the door where you will remember them on your way outside, but she can't reach them. Spend time teaching her HOW to go through the doggie door. Many dogs simply do not know they can go through, do not know where it is located, or are afraid to go through because it might hit them. Spend time every day luring her through the doggie door with treats and giving her the treats for attempting to go through and going through all the way. When she can go through it, then when you take her potty (she still needs to be taken everytime at this point), then have her go through the doggie door while you go through the normal door, then once she is outside tell her to "Go Potty" - which she should know by that point if you practice it beforehand, and reward with treats when she goes potty. When she initiates going outside to go potty by going through the doggie door on her own in between when you take her potty when you are home, then she might be ready to be given more freedom again. If she starts having accidents again, go back to crating her for longer again right away - she is not ready yet and needs more practice. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dahlia
Sheltie/beagle mix
2 Years
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Dahlia
Sheltie/beagle mix
2 Years

She is a rescue dog..we were told she was house broken. She wants to go out...she has picked a spot ahead likes. But she will go out several times and not use the bathroom. With persistence she will finally go. But she has had some accidents. Usually urine but today she did both. What can we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sherry, She probably needs a refresher course on potty training. Check out the "Crate Training" method from the article liked below. Because she is not a puppy when you are away she should be able to hold her bladder for 5-6 hours, and up to 8 once fully trained, when necessary. When you are home take her outside every 3 hours. If she does not go potty when you take her, bring her back inside, put her into the crate and try again in an hour. Repeat taking her outside every hour until she goes potty. When she does go potty, reward her with three small treats, one at a time, then give her 2-3 hours of supervised free time out of the crate before putting her back in the crate until the next potty trip. Decrease the amount of free time if she still has accidents during that time. Also, when you take her potty tell her to "Go Potty" and be sure to bring the treats with you as a reward. Clean up any accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes- because only enzymes remove the smell fully so that the dog will not be attracted to pee in that same spot. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside https://www.walmart.com/ip/Natures-Miracle-Stain-and-Odor-Remover-Trigger-Spray-24oz/576075856?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=3611&adid=22222222228158820046&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=269451593753&wl4=aud-566049426705:pla-448686025103&wl5=9010791&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=576075856&wl13=3611&veh=sem She may also need to be taught to alert you when she needs to go potty. If so you can teach her to ring a bell. Check out the article linked below. If he accidents are happening when it has been at least six hours since she last peed then the ability to alert you might be the issue. https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Betsy
Beagle
4 Years
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Betsy
Beagle
4 Years

Hi! We adopted a "former" hunting dog a week ago. I say "former" because we realized once a hunting dog - always a hunting dog. She was kept in a rabbit hutch outside and not socialized or housebroken. She ended up in a foster home for 10 months (7/2018 until we adopted her). Her foster mom did a great job with getting her closer to being housebroken. They did not have any rabbits in their area. We have a ton of rabbits. When we take her outside, she smells the rabbits and gets so distracted she will not go outside. She just cries and whines and yelps because she can smell the rabbits. We have a fenced in yard but keep her on a lead because she is a known escape artist. She pees and poops in the house even though she was just outside 10-15 minutes prior. She would pee outside the first few days but now she won't go outside. We do have another beagle that does her business outside so our yard is "marked" and there are places she can go. I thought about getting that "Out" spray that you put in the yard. However,we shouldn't need that because our other dog has done the marking, right? Betsy can not be confined to a cage because she has containment phobia. She has chewed her way out of plastic crates and fought her way out of wire crates - literally bent the wires open. She is a really loving dog. Very generous with the tail wags. Comes to you when you call her (in the house) and wants to sit on your lap all the time. She is so cuddly and affectionate to us. She is petrified of new people due to lack of socialization. I just want her to pee outside but her lack of focus is maddening.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Deb, You have several options here. The first option is a bit unusual but with her specific circumstances I suggest using the rabbit smell as a reward. Take a couple of days where someone can stay outside with her all day (this could take 8 hours but hopefully won't if done first thing in the morning). Take her outside first thing in the morning on a long leash, coiled up so that she only has the normal six feet of length. Walk her around the yard to sniff where your other dog has gone potty in a fifteen foot area (you can try the spray but you are correct that your other dog's marking probably does the same thing for her). Tell her to "Go Potty" every five minutes (you may be out there for a while). Keep her from being able to sniff for the rabbits outside of the fifteen foot area you will be taking her to. If she takes longer than 30-45 minutes to pee while walking her around that fifteen foot area, you can sit and simply hang out in that area after a while, but walk her around that area again every hour to remind her why you are there (you may want to bring a book and water). In between walking around keep things boring - no rabbit sniffing in other areas. A couple of things should happen. 1. She will eventually have to go potty - when she does (even if it takes hours), then as soon as she does, praise her enthusiastically, tell her "Go Sniff!" And uncoil the long leash to let her sniff around the yard where the rabbits have been. You are using the desire to smell rabbits as a motivation to go potty quickly in the future when you take her. She should learn that the quickest way to get to sniff for rabbits is to pee or poop lightening fast when you tell her to "Go Potty". 2. The fifteen foot area she is being walked in should start to get boring after staying in that same area for long enough. When it gets boring she is more likely to pee there. Your other options are: To tether her to yourself with a leash while inside (which you may still want to do), and take her potty every hour, keeping her in a fifteen foot area outside so that that area will become boring, then rewarding her with treats after she goes potty. To teach her to use a real grass pad inside or on an enclosed porch if you have one she can't escape out of. The article linked below mentions using a litter box, I suggest a real grass pad instead, but you can follow the rest of the steps. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad options: Fresh Patch: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI Porch Potty brand: http://www.porchpotty.com/Articles.asp?ID=274 If you decide to teach an indoor potty, I suggest using fresh Patch first since it's less expensive than porch potty, and transitioning to porch potty once she he has learned to pee on the grass indoors if you want to switch to porch potty at all - you can use fresh Patch long term too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mikey
Great Dane
4 Years
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Mikey
Great Dane
4 Years

We bought Mikey last year from a rescue shelter that rescued him from a puppy mill. He was starved, beaten, used for breeding, locked in a cement cage his whole life. We have had him for over a year and he is still HORRIFIED of us.

He likes us in his own way, (i.e. coming over to us to pet him, not staring at us on walks, letting us touch him) but he is still scared of us. He RARELY lets us walk up to him inside the house and NEVER allows us to get near him when he is outside. Sometimes he won't even come inside. there have been days where we leave the door open for him for hours on end and he just sits in the doorway. if he sees or hears someone coming he runs back out, tail tucked.

He loves walks. It is currently the only thing that makes him wag his tail. But if he is outside, it can be very hard to get him in to put the leash on. He will make the saddest sound when it's offered because he wants to come so badly but cannot bring himself the courage to come inside.

The greatest problem we have been having is house training. There have been MAYBE 10 days total where he has not peed or pooped in the house. in this case, someone has been there for the majority of the day.

Despite putting pee pads down, scolding him (not harshly because we don't want him to be scared of us even more) and more frequent potty breaks, it has not stopped. whenever something changes (my mom goes out of town, I go back to college, my brother leaves for his new job) he FREAKS OUT and all progress we made is shattered and its almost like it is back to day one.

After a year it has taken a toll on the wood and furniture of the house as well as our spirit. we don't know what to do and the damage he is causing is going to be extremely expensive to fix. We don't know what we can do to make life better for him and we are DESPERATE for suggestions.

I should note something that we believe is causing an issue with him. We have another great dane at home named Mini. We have had her for 8 years. for all 8 years she has been the sweetest dog we have ever owned. never snapping at anyone, playing with her toys 24/7, being so friendly and affectionate to all people and animals. for the first two weeks or so Mini and Mikey LOVED each other. Now, Mini HATES him. she snarls, snaps, and barks at him whenever he tries to enter a room she's already in. there have been times where if he walks past her she tries to bite him. we have no idea where this came from at all because in 8 years we had never seen it. I personally feel mini is a potential factor in his issue.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Thomas, Mini is likely slowing down the progress inside the house, but Mini's behavior may actually be in response to Mikey's nervousness. Dogs are often not tolerant of another dog acting so unbalanced, that is why fearful dogs tend to get picked on more than other dogs, which then makes the fearfulness worse. Honestly, you need a lot of professional help. I suggest looking up Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training and some of the confidence building exercises that he does, his structured obedience like heeling, place command and general obedience. The website linked below has links to YouTube, podcast and other free information. https://www.solidk9training.com/free-resources When you have him outside, if it's in a fenced in area, I suggest keeping a thirty foot drag leash (no handle and made to slide through the grass more easily) on him so that you can calmly approach him, step on the leash, get it tight, then reel him in. Reward him with a treat if he will take it when he gets to you. Be careful doing this not to get pulled over. Drop the leash if you have to and make sure the leash is pretty taught before you start reeling in so that the leash doesn't pop suddenly and pull you forward. It has to be done carefully but I actually suggest using a remote e-collar with vibration, paired with positive reinforcement to help interrupt his anxious state, give you an opportunity to reward him, and prevent injury because of his size. This has to be done extremely carefully on a low level and combined with a lot of repetition and positive reinforcement so seek professional help for the training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Walli
Silky Terrier
4 Years
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Walli
Silky Terrier
4 Years

We adopted this little man who has lived in a garden for four years he is not used to being in the the house and wee’s all the time. How should we train him to wee just outside and will he improve when he’s sterilised?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Pam, Neutering him will only help if he is marking, opposed to peeing to relieve himself. It will likely not solve the issue completely though, many neutered dogs still mark, but it might make that urge less strong so training is a bit easier - especially if you have another dog in the house. You will need to crate train him for potty training. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently than the method suggests. I suggest taking him potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if he has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip - at which time you will take him outside to go potty again. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-8 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. You want him to get into the habit of holding his bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever he feels the urge, and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he is marking, the crate will only be half the battle. During the 1.5 hours he is out of the crate between potty trips he will probably still try to pee to mark his scent - since the issue isn't needing to pee but wanting to "claim" things by peeing on them. To deal with that behavior, use the crate training method, but also keep him tethered to you while he is out of the crate between potty trips using a 6 or 8 foot leash. Have him wear a belly band - which is a sling/diaper for male dogs that catches urine, and when he tries to lift his leg to mark, clap your hands loudly three times. Use a cleaner than contains enzymes to remove the smell from any new or previous accidents - since lingering scent will only encourage more marking and only enzymes fully remove the smell. Look on the bottle for the word enzyme or enzymatic. Many (but not all) pet cleaners contain enzymes. The belly band will keep marking from being fun and successful for him and stop the spreading of the smell - which encourages more marking (and keep your things clean). Attaching him to yourself with the leash will keep him from sneaking off to pee uninterrupted, and clapping will make peeing unpleasant for him without it being too harsh. Reward him with treats when he potties outside so he understands that pottying outside in front of you is good, it's only inside where he shouldn't do it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Daisy
Mix
8 Months
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Daisy
Mix
8 Months

We just adopted Daisy from a shelter yesterday! We did not have a lot of information about her because she came from a shelter down south and we are in Minnesota. We did not know if she was potty trained or if she was a stray or a surrender to the shelter. She does know how to sit.

Anyway, she refuses to go to the bathroom outside. We have brought her outside multiple times during the day and for long periods of time. At first when she was going outside she was hesitant, but now she walks right out the door. She has multiple chances to go to the bathroom outside. When we bring her back inside, she will go in a corner and pee. I have tried making a noise and stop her while she is peeing but by the time I get out there with her, she does not go anymore. Is there a reason that she is wanting to pee in the corner? I have sprayed the areas where she has had accidents with enzyme spray. I am worried that she will get an infection from holding it for so long. Do you think that she would go in a corner outside? I am desperate for answers! Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chelsea, One of two things is most likely going on: 1. She was pee pad trained or allowed to have constant accidents in the house in the past so she associates that with pottying instead of outside. Or 2. She is too nervous or excited/distracted while outside to focus on pottying, then goes in the house when she comes back inside because due to a lack of previous potty training from her old owners she doesn't see pottying outside vs. inside as any different. With either scenario you will do mostly the same things. I suggest following the crate training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Continue using a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take her potty less frequently. I suggest taking her potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while her bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. When you have to go off she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while she is getting used to it and longer once she is accustomed to the crate. Only have her wait that long when you are not home though, take her out about every 3 hours while home. You want her to get into the habit of holder her bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever she feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If she is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. It is extremely important that you follow the method's tips. You need to take her potty on a leash (you can let her out into a fenced in yard without it later in life after she is potty trained - but this probably won't work unless you take her on a leash to keep her focused. Teach her the "Go Potty" command and reward with treats when she goes. Strictly limit her freedom to only times when her bladder is empty - the first 1-2 hours after she has pottied outside - the accidents need to mostly stop before the rest will catch on. If she still seems nervous about being outside, spend a lot of time with her outside playing and relaxing just to desensitize her to it outside of times when you need to go potty - when she is less fearful and less excited because being outside is more normal - it should be easier for her to focus on pottying out there and not take as long. Finally, once she is doing really well you can also use the Tethering method from the article I linked above in combination with the Crate Training method if you want to give her more freedom, but wait until she isn't having regular accidents anymore before doing that. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Yogi
Australian Cattle Dog
5 Months
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Question
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Yogi
Australian Cattle Dog
5 Months

Adopted Yogi one week ago (Texas Heeler from Oklahoma). He's good in his crate and will hold his pee in his crate-- for hours and hours and hours. He doesn't seem to know it's a bad idea to pee in the house and will do this less than 15 minutes after having been outside. It happens when he's not getting attention and happens multiple times a day despite many walks, not getting negative attention for peeing indoors, and getting a treat every time he pees and poops outdoors. Seems that he may have not been indoors except for being crated when he was in foster care. Any tips for helping him learn not to pee in the house? Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anne, First, when you take him potty, tell him to "go Potty", then give the treat after he goes. Be sure that you are taking him potty outside on a leash and he is actually finishing going while outside - if you suspect he didn't finish, tell him to "Go potty" again and slowly walk him around again to help him go - giving another treat if he finishes. Many puppies will rush and not completely finish and need to be slowed down to focus more on it. Teaching "Go Potty" can help a puppy remember what they are out there for. Second, while inside and not in a crate - because he just pottied outside, keep pup attached to you on a leash during the potty training process. Pup should either be outside, crated, or attached to you with a leash right now. Only off leash outside if the area is fenced (a long leash is also good if you don't have a fence). Crate Training method and Tethering method - combine both: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Peeing so soon could also be marking territory (a bit early for that but possible) or submissive/excited peeing. Keeping pup tethered to you will help you tell if that's the issue - pup will be less likely to have accidents with you close by if the issue is potty training. If the issue is marking, you can have pup wear a belly band inside - which is like a male dog diaper, that just covers his private area to catch urine. The belly band will keep things cleaner during training and also prevent further spread of scent - which encourages more marking and creates a cycle. When pup goes to mark - while attached to you with the leash, clap your hands a couple of times to interrupt pup and quickly take pup outside. You don't have to act mad or scary, you just want to surprise pup, then reward for pottying outside instead. If the peeing is excited or submissive peeing, pay attention to when pup does it. Is he excited or nervous? This type of peeing is often outgrown and the best way to deal with it now is to try to anticipate when it might happen and manage those times - such as only playing exciting games with pup outside, taking pup potty right before someone else gets home, having people ignore pup for 10 minutes when they first get home, and not getting pup too worked up through excited tones of voices, lots of touch, or silly movements except while outside - those exciting things are good, just do them outside. If you can prevent the majority or accidents inside through management, most puppies will outgrow the behavior with age if it hasn't become habitual inside before then. Outgrowing it will take a bit of time, so be patient. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lola
German Shepherd
14 Weeks
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Question
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Lola
German Shepherd
14 Weeks

We adopted lola a week ago, and we are having trouble getting her to go to pee outside, she's been pooping outside, but won't pee. She pees in the house when she's excited, or scared or laying down, but we can have her outside playing, then bring her back in, and she pees. I've been cleaning up her accidents with an enzyme cleaner. She usually refuses to go in the grass to play or pee, at most she'll pee on the deck. We've never had a puppy, and we're trying to be patient, we try to encourage her with treats and praise, even when she goes on the deck, but I'm not sure what else to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
461 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Follow it very carefully. This method essentially ensures that the only time pup is free in your home is when their bladder is empty - switching the habit of peeing inside to peeing outside because they are only given two options - pee in a crate (which goes against a dog's natural instincts if you make the crate the right size, don't leave them in it so long they can't help but pee, and don't put anything absorbent in it) OR pee outside. Since most puppies have an instinct to keep such a small space clean, a pup will normally try to hold their bladder whenever they are in a crate and will eventually go potty when taken outside - if pup doesn't go when you take them, return him to the crate for 30 minutes, then try again after 30 minutes. Repeating this process until pup finally goes potty outside. As puppy learn the Go Potty command and becomes comfortable going potty outside, it should become easier to get pup to go potty the first time you take him outside. Stick to it. After peeing outside, Pup then earns freedom in the house for 45 minutes - after 45 minutes of freedom, pup is put back into the crate while their bladder is filling up again - until they go potty outside again; this ensures pup isn't free while needing to pee. Repeat the cycle throughout the day until peeing outside and keeping the house clean becomes a long-term habit in a couple of months. The more carefully you follow the method, the sooner a puppy is typically trained. Keep the end goal in mind to help you be structured and willing to limit freedom now - to ensure pup becomes trustworthy in the house and can have tons of freedom later. This is also a great time to give pup part of his meals in dog-food stuffed Kongs - to teach good chewing habits, quietness, self-soothing, and self-entertaining while in the crate. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Free PDF puppy e-book download - AFTER You Get Your Puppy www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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