Hi. We adopted our second dog, Luna, at the end of January. We have sent her to training programs, followed up by additional classes. Commands are fine, but we can't get her to stop going to the bathroom in the house while we are at work. We have another dog, and he's completely housebroken (he wasn't ours for the first year, wehas to help out my sister), but he was gotten as a puppy and they were able to housebreak him. I don't know what Luna's background is, and she has stopped going to the bathroom inside while we're home, but when we're at work she has accidents, even after limiting water and putting her outside multiple times. Is there anything we can do? She doesn't like the crate, and doesn't care if she goes where she sleeps, so crating her isn't really an option, especially when our other dog doesn't need to be. Her lab work came back fine, so it's nothing to do with her health. Do you have any suggestions?
Hello Amber, Start by making sure that you are cleaning up any accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes. Other cleaners will leave behind the scent of the pee for dog's sensitive noses, and the smell will encourage her to pee or poop there again. Also, avoid any cleaners that contain Ammonia because Ammonia smells like urine to a dog. Ideally, someone would be home all day and be able to take her outside every hour and a half. If someone is home with her most days, then take her outside every hour and a half on a leash. When you take her outside, tell her to "Go Potty" in an encouraging tone. When she goes, give her five treats, one at a time. Do not skip the treats. If she does not go, then when you go back inside attach her to yourself with a leash and try again in forty-five minutes. If she goes, then give her supervised freedom in the house until the next potty trip. This is only the first part of the training. You need to motivate her to want to pee outside so that she will want to "save" her pee to get treats outside and to ensure that she is having zero accidents while you are at home to help break her general habit of going inside. If she is still peeing while you are gone, and chances are she will be, then purchase a fabric doggie diaper like the ones you use for dogs in heat. Place an absorbent pad inside and do what you need to do to get her to keep it on. You will need to have her wear it while you are at home at first to teach her not to chew on it. You also may need to set up a camera with an audio and go outside and spy on her and reprimand her for trying to take it off, either by talking to her over the camera or quickly going back inside to catch her in the act, at first. You can use a video baby monitor, video security camera, Gopro, or two devices with Skype or Facetime to watch her and catch her. Once she will keep the diaper on, then the diaper should help remind her and motivate her to hold her bladder until she develops a habit of holding it while you are gone. You can also use the camera trick to interrupt her while she is going potty while you are gone, instead of or in addition to the diaper trick. You will need to set aside a weekend to practice so that you can surprise her audibly and go back inside when you catch her at first. When you go back to work, you will need a camera that transmits over wifi so that you can view her and talk to her from far away while at work. Amcrest makes a camera for less than $100 that has audio and transmits over wifi, A device with Skype may also work but will be less reliable. You will need to confine her to one area of the house to be able to watch her while you do this. This scenario works far better when you are outside to come back inside and catch her right after because she will need someone to take her outside after her peeing attempt is interrupted, but at least she will learn that you are "always watching" which might help her transfer her training not to pee while you are at home to while you are gone also. The final option is to teach her to use the bathroom in a litter box or homemade real grass toilet and enclose her in an strong Exercise Pen with the toilet in one end, so that she has easy access to it and not access to other areas. You will need to do this until she develops a habit of going on the toilet area and she breaks the habit of going in other places inside the house. Make sure that you use a very durable exercise pen for this though, or even better, a small half bathroom type room with a strong, tall gate across the door. To teach her to use a litter box, check out the article that I have linked below and use the Exercise Pen method. You can make a real grass toilet out of a large, shallow plastic bin and a piece of sod. If you use the grass toilet, then simply follow the method but replace the litter box with the grass toilet. For future potty training, a grass toilet will be better than a litter box. Do not use Pee Pads though or the issue will likely get worse because they resemble fabric. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?