Help with Housebreaking ~Please~

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Connorrm, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Capital District, NY
    So I adopted a pit bull mix in the beginning of September. She came from a high kill shelter in PA, and I'm not too sure about what else. She had a urinary tract infection in August, it was treated, had a slight reccurrance again, was treated.

    She's now been spayed, up to date on shots all that good stuff. However, when it comes to housebreaking it's like she doesn't get it. She will pee in her crate if it's not sectioned off (it now is, and she makes it through the night). However, during the day, she goes out every hour or so but in between that time if she gets the urge she'll just squat and pee.

    On average I'd say she pees 2-3 times a week in the house and poops 1 time every week (not counting diahrea or anything). She was born approximately 5/10/11 which makes her roughly 6.5 months old, almost 7 months. She weighs 31 pounds. And fed Blue Buffalo adult formula (vet insisted since she's pretty much done growing and her farts are RANK feels adult formula would be easier...may have to switch to a slightly more inferior food cause her farts clear rooms. She's a dainty eater so she's not gulping air).

    She is crated at night and when not at home. Any suggestions?
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2011
    the blue buffalo might be too rich for her. Is she loose in the house when you are home? I see that she is crated when you are gone. You can try leashing her to you when she is out of her crate. Treat her like a new puppy.

    Feed her, out to potty. leash her to you or put her in her crate. Take her out to potty every couple hours. When she isn't directly attached to you, in the crate, even if it's only going to be 5 minutes.

    Does she have a way that she tells you that she has to go out? You can hang a string of bells on the knob or beside the door and teach her to ring them when she wants out.
  3. Hunter0704

    Hunter0704 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2011
    Wentzville, MO
    When you are NOT HOME, she should always be in the crate. When you get home, immediately go to the crate and say "outside" and take her outside. After she potties, give her one treat. Don't go overboard with treats.
    At night, she should stay in the crate, at least until she is potty trained. Every time you go to take her outside, be sure to get her attention and say "outside". Before you go to bed at night, say "outside" and take her outside. Again, give her a treat after she potties. Bring her back inside and put her back into the kennel. Do not give her a treat if she doesn't potty. Just make sure if you have her in the kennel during the day when you are home, that you take her "outside" to potty at least every 3-4 hours and reward her each time. Eventually she will get the idea that she is to potty outside.

    I agree with the other BYCer, the food you are feeding is too rich for her...thus the diahhrea and perhaps the food is making her have to pee more than usual too. I can't believe your vet didn't say to change her food. Try Royal Canin. I feed it to my dogs and when I switched for a trial to Blue, one of my dogs started itching terribly...he is allergic to the food so I went back to Royal Canin.

    DO NOT FEED HER IN THE CRATE! If you are able to be home all day, don't leave water or food in the crate. When you are gone she will 99.9% of the time be sleeping anyway. Leave her water if you will be gone for a long period of time...but no food. Do you feed her once a day, twice a day? It takes some dogs a time after they eat before they have to do their I feed at my dinner time and by bedtime my boys have done their business a few times. If you feed in the morning and are not home, it is unfair for that dog to sit in a crate all day and not be able to potty...therefore, she will potty in her crate and be miserable sitting in it.

    I raised my labrador in a kennel from 8 weeks on until he was about 1 1/2 yrs old. By that time, I could leave him in the house alone all day and he never pottied or bothered anything in the house. Spend lots of time with her playing, running in the yard, playing on the floor in the house. Puppies love attention! She will come around takes a lot of work and time to teach a puppy/ just have to make the time if you want a good dog.
  4. pinkfoxfarm

    pinkfoxfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2011
    In LaLaLand
    royal canin is way overpriced for what it is...
    i do agree though that blue isnt agreeing wiht her and a different brand might be in might want to try a different protein source too (ie if shes on chicken based try lamb, ect) For the price i like kirklands (costco) and 4-health (tractor supply) both are 4 star foods with no corn, but not as rich as some of the super premums...
    the other option id suggest would be to go xcompletly grain free or look into going raw (raw typically cures gas problems)
    untill that though id suggest a 1/2 a teaspoon of chopped dried parsely to her meals twice a day, parsely is a natrual gas relivant and helps with the odor too (was told about it by a bulldog breder and it does work) (fresh parsely sworks too but you need more)

    in terms of the potty training issues, being shes a shelter dog shes probably beomce VERY VERY accustomed to pottying in her personal space (dirty dog syndrome) the fact that shes fine in the crate now youve partiioned it off however shows theres hope for her...
    right now she has too much freedom, your doign everything right in that your taking her out every hour and crating her when no supervised, but shes still having chance to have accidents...which says she has too muhc "space" too much room to make a mistake.

    in this case id DEFINATLY suggest her a little less territory, no chances to "sneak off' and squat before you realize that what shes doing, and gives you imediate control over the situation, and automatically makes you as the person shes tethered to MUCH more aware of what shes doing, when and her "signals"

    at 6 1/2 months and a pound pup shes going to have to re-learn everyhting she knows about potty habits and your goingto have to be incredibly persistent but it definatly sounds like your on the right track
  5. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Lots of good advice already.

    Really she is still a puppy, and since she was a shelter pup, you've got your work cut out for you. The good news is that she IS a pup and can still learn faster than an adult 2-3 year old dog with the same issues.

    There are two key things to consider when housebreaking an older pup or adult. First: pretend this is an 8 week old puppy (after all that is how she is behaving in housebreaking, right?). Getting into that frame of mind will take pressure off both of you. You won't get so frustrated and so she'll have an owner with a more open mind. Your dog didn't have a "normal" housebreaking when she was a puppy. No shame in starting a real housebreaking schedule now -- it is the ONLY way you will housebreak her [​IMG]

    Second, consistency is key. Write down times, every two hours, for her to go outside. have to go with her. Every single time, just as with a puppy. Two reasons to go out with your dog: 1) you can make completely sure you know she is going potty, both defacating and urinating, 2) you can be there to praise the heck outta her for her good effort (bring a food reward!!!!! and your very happy praise). She may really not think going potty outside is that significant, but by rewarding her for pottying outside you are making a very positive association with it. Make a command you use before you go out with her "want to go outside??" or something like that. She will start to know what is about to come and you'll see her beahvior get excited. That is the first step to her telling YOU down the road that she has to go potty. Then when outside, take her to a spot, let her sniff and as she starts to squat tell her "go potty" or something similar. This is you putting a potty command in place. Both these verbal cues are very important.

    As I was saying. Schedule this for every two hours. Another important thing that others mentioned is if she has not gone potty in the past hour and you are not supervising her she should be in the crate -- no exceptions. When you make exceptions to this rule they make mistakes and after all her potty mistakes really become the owners mistake.

    To make supervising easier put her on leash and let her drag it around the house and if you are getting close to the two hour mark make sure you have the leash in hand so she cannot sneak off into another room. If you do this very consistently for six weeks you'll have a much more reliable dog on your hands. Don't forget the cueing to go outside and the cue to go potty and praise!!!!! Later when she is housebroken you can ask her "do you want to go out" and if she has to pee she'll tell you very clearly that it was a wonderful idea [​IMG] And even more important, later on, if you forget to put her out, she should start the cue herself by getting excited, staring at your or whining and going to the door.
  6. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    Housetraining How To.....

    House Training

    House training your dog is simple if you follow a few basic rules.

    1) The puppy must have NO time unsupervised in your home. NONE. If you are not directly watching the puppy, it should be in the crate, or outside in a safe area. You MUST watch the puppy at ALL times when loose in the house. Use baby gates, crates, or tie the leash to your belt.

    2) The puppy should sleep inside the crate by your bedside. This way you can hear if the puppy should happen to need to go out during the night.

    3) You must go WITH the puppy outside for ALL trips for elimination. You must have treats with you. When the puppy is urinating, say "GO PEE PEE" in a nice praise tone of voice the entire time. DO NOT USE THE CUE WORDS UNTIL THE PUPPY IS ACTUALLY ELIMINATING for the first 14 days. When she is finished, pop the treat into her mouth at once, and praise praise praise. This should be something she gets at no other time, like tiny pieces of string cheese or boiled chicken. Same for defecation. Say "GO POOP" while she is going, and food reward and praise afterwards. You must observe and reward ALL outdoor potty time.

    4) Keep a schedule. Feed at the same time, and walk outside at the same times. If your pup is older than 12 weeks, she needs at least 4 trips outdoors each day, and 5 is probably better. Pup needs to go out at wake up time, lunch time, 4-5 PM, after dinner or any other meals, and before bed. Younger puppies may need to go out MUCH more often.

    5) Use a key word each time you go out. I say "Let's go out!!" in a happy tone of voice each time I'm opening the door to go out with the dog.

    6) If you catch the puppy IN THE ACT of eliminating in your house, CLAP YOUR HANDS, say AH AH, OUTSIDE!! And immediately rush her outside. If she finishes there, do your usual food reward and praise.

    The keys to getting your dog reliably housetrained are:

    SUPERVISION: NO loose time in the house if you are not watching. NOT ONE SECOND. This is VERY important.

    REWARDS: ALL outdoor elimination MUST be observed and rewarded. If you only do this ONE thing, your puppy will get housetrained.

    PATIENCE: Anger and punishment have no place in dog training. Elimination is a natural and pleasurable experience for your dog. You can teach her to not soil your house, but punishment will NOT help. It will only teach the dog to hide when she needs to eliminate.

    After 14 days, most dogs will understand the cue word, and will relieve themselves on command. Keep rewarding after elimination for at least 60 days.

    If you have applied these techniques carefully for 4 weeks and you are still finding spots or piles after the fact, it's time for stronger measures. Roll up a newspaper and fasten both ends with a rubber band. Keep it handy. The very next time you find a spot or a pile that the dog has left behind, whip out that newspaper, and hit YOURSELF over the head firmly several times as you repeat "I FORGOT TO WATCH MY PUPPY".

    Works every time.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  7. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    The only significant thing I have to add to the very good house training rules Redyre Rotties and Jaimie_Dog_Trainer have given, is to be sure and leave zero time between opening the crate door and getting your dog outside. No happy greetings, no romp around the house and certainly no rewards until elimination has occurred when and where you want it to. Sometimes this means carrying your dog or leashing your dog at first until she understands business first, fun second.
  8. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Capital District, NY
    Wow, great advice guys! Thank you so much!

    She's been quite the challenge to say the least. Other than the housebreaking issue, she's great. She doesn't chew on anything not given to her, she doesn't bark, she doesn't jump all over everyone (she gets excited to see them but waits for acknowledgement), and she's a love bug.

    I did do the keeping track before of what/when she did outside. I have that down pat which is why pooping is much less frequent. I'll try something else with regards to food. And the vet did say that if the adult formula made her fart it was time to find something else.
  9. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:When did the gas issue start? I am wondering since she had two UTI's and she was on antibiotics twice the gas issue might be flora/fauna imbalance within her digestive system -- it is worth getting some probiotics and using it to find out. I know a lot of dogs (and people) will get diarrhea and gas after antibiotics kill off both harmful and benificial bacteria. It is very common!!!!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  10. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    I use a supplement from Nature's Farmacy called "Digestive Enhancer". I would bet this would help a LOT with your gas issues. I also use gas x for the occasional problem.

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