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Potty training newly adopted dog


BC-Liz
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So this isn't my adopted dog but my friends and she's having issues. She,Talon, came from a shelter at about 10 months old, was likely born in one, never knew a home before my friends. So obviously she was not potty trained yet. They already have one dog (a Rottie, Kato) that they were successful in training and figured, no sweat.

 

So they've have Talon about a month and have done pretty well so far. She rarely has accidents but about every 5 days or so she'll have an accident in the house, this most recent time (yesterday) was on Kato's bed. When she told me that the "dominance" alarm went off in my head but she says the dog is not very dominant (btw my fiance and I think she is a BC/Lab mix...she definitely has lab at least). She says Talon usually licks Kato's face and rolls on her back to him and what not so yeah, that sounds like she's not being dominant...but then why would she pee on his bed? The other times she has accidents are when other dogs, not Kato are in the house. My friend thinks it's because she's playing and just forgets to ask to go out...but again it sounds to me like a domance thing. Like she's marking her house to the other dogs...but I'm no expert so I figured I'd consult the forum.

 

Any advice I can give my friend? Tips? Training? Your comments and advice are greatly appreciated!

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Personally, I'd forget about dominance.

 

If she is having accidents while playing with the other dogs, that may very well be excitement. If she's only been housetrained recently, it makes sense that she would have an accident when particularly excited.

 

I'd go back to Housetraining 101. Keep an eye on the dog when she is loose. If she is having accidents after playing with the dogs, take her outside immediately after she has played with the other dogs. If she is having accidents when the human is not home, keep her in a crate or other small space when unattended and take her right out upon returning home.

 

FWIW, I wouldn't think anything in particular about the accident on the bed after one time. I would clean it well and use Nature's Miracle and then restrict access to it (for the dog, obviously!) when not supervised for quite a while.

 

Based on what you wrote, to me it sounds like the dog really doesn't totally have the idea yet.

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I forget what book it was in, but it talked about dogs peeing on beds, the way she explained it was that dogs don't generalize well, so dog gets yelled at for peeing on floor with human in room, so to the dog there are two factors, peeing in room and peeing in front of human, both to be avoided at this point. Then dog pee's outside in front of human and gets praise and treats, so peeing outside in front of human is good...Dog is inside and needs to pee, peeing on floor in front of human is bad right, so lets try the bed or lets find a place without a human.....it has nothing to do with dominance, just a dog trying to figure out where it is okay to pee without getting corrected. The key is making peeing outside so rewarding to the dog, and peeing inside negative (or not letting it happen at all preferably).

 

hope that made sense, the book explained it better.

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I forget what book it was in, but it talked about dogs peeing on beds, the way she explained it was that dogs don't generalize well, so dog gets yelled at for peeing on floor with human in room, so to the dog there are two factors, peeing in room and peeing in front of human, both to be avoided at this point. Then dog pee's outside in front of human and gets praise and treats, so peeing outside in front of human is good...Dog is inside and needs to pee, peeing on floor in front of human is bad right, so lets try the bed or lets find a place without a human.....it has nothing to do with dominance, just a dog trying to figure out where it is okay to pee without getting corrected. The key is making peeing outside so rewarding to the dog, and peeing inside negative (or not letting it happen at all preferably).

 

hope that made sense, the book explained it better.

 

I generally agree with what you're saying, potty trained a few dogs in my day and that's pretty much how we did it. Outside pee = best thing imaginable. In the case of this dog she peed on the dog bed right in front of them. Pretty sure she knows better by this point b/c she typically doesn't mess in the house. They said she only does when other dogs are around and then this time on the bed randomly.

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I forget what book it was in, but it talked about dogs peeing on beds, the way she explained it was that dogs don't generalize well, so dog gets yelled at for peeing on floor with human in room, so to the dog there are two factors, peeing in room and peeing in front of human, both to be avoided at this point. Then dog pee's outside in front of human and gets praise and treats, so peeing outside in front of human is good...Dog is inside and needs to pee, peeing on floor in front of human is bad right, so lets try the bed or lets find a place without a human.....it has nothing to do with dominance, just a dog trying to figure out where it is okay to pee without getting corrected. The key is making peeing outside so rewarding to the dog, and peeing inside negative (or not letting it happen at all preferably).

 

hope that made sense, the book explained it better.

 

Carla may be thinking of an incident from "The Other End of the Leash". I've lent my copy to someone, so please forgive me if I err in some details. Dr. McConnell was evaluating a Chesapeake Bay Retriever whose owner had been told it had "dominance issues" as it ran into the owner's bedroom and peed on the owner's bed whenever the dog was told "NO!". She found the dog seemed to have a lovely temperament - no signs of aggressiveness at all on physical inspection, just wagged its tail and wanted to give kisses. So she asked about its potty training. Turns out the owner did as he'd been told - the first time the pup peed indoors, he shouted "NO!", descended on it, picked it up by the scruff of the neck, and gave it a good shake. The second time the pup peed indoors (a different place), he again shouted "NO!" and advanced on the pup, who immediately rolled onto its back and continued peeing (out of fear). The pup did vary the location in which it peed, but to no avail - every time it peed indoors, the human shouted "NO!" and descended on it. Eventually the pup realized that "NO!" was a command to pee indoors. He added the part about running into the owners room and jumping on its bed first to make a game of it. As soon as the owner started using "Wrong!" as a correction instead of "NO!", they were able to eliminate the behavior.

 

As Carla said - dogs don't generalize in the manner we might wish.

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dominance issues are harder to conquer imo.

 

If I were you I'd turn my "dominance alarm" off. Try to see things from the dog's pov instead of being tempted to label its behaviour in that way.

 

Scent marking, for example, isn't the preserve of the "dominant" dog. Plenty of worried and submissive dogs do it too. Surrounding themselves with their own scent can be comforting in times of stress.

 

This was written 20 years ago by Ian Dunbar but it still holds true -

 

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2001/macho.htm

 

Pam

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Carla may be thinking of an incident from "The Other End of the Leash". I've lent my copy to someone, so please forgive me if I err in some details. Dr. McConnell was evaluating a Chesapeake Bay Retriever whose owner had been told it had "dominance issues" as it ran into the owner's bedroom and peed on the owner's bed whenever the dog was told "NO!". She found the dog seemed to have a lovely temperament - no signs of aggressiveness at all on physical inspection, just wagged its tail and wanted to give kisses. So she asked about its potty training. Turns out the owner did as he'd been told - the first time the pup peed indoors, he shouted "NO!", descended on it, picked it up by the scruff of the neck, and gave it a good shake. The second time the pup peed indoors (a different place), he again shouted "NO!" and advanced on the pup, who immediately rolled onto its back and continued peeing (out of fear). The pup did vary the location in which it peed, but to no avail - every time it peed indoors, the human shouted "NO!" and descended on it. Eventually the pup realized that "NO!" was a command to pee indoors. He added the part about running into the owners room and jumping on its bed first to make a game of it. As soon as the owner started using "Wrong!" as a correction instead of "NO!", they were able to eliminate the behavior.

 

As Carla said - dogs don't generalize in the manner we might wish.

 

haha wow that was unfortunate for that person.

 

Ok, been talking to my friend again. Maybe this will help. Here's a typical situation that produces messes. Friends have neighbors over with a dog, Talon is very playful and friendly and plays with the new dog. Friend lets out Talon repeatedly to use the bathroom, she says every 15 mins, even if she's exagerating and it's actually more like 30 mins, that's still plenty. Talon does infact pee outside, praise ensues. Talon returns back inside, plays with the new dog some more, goes over to a corner, squats and pees again, and then returns to play. She typically does pee infront of her owners.

 

From hearing her story I want to suggest the umbilical training method. Where you tie the dogs leash to your belt or something so they don't leave your side. This way you can have quick correction of bad behavior, like peeing in a corner. I suggest this because watching her like a hawk doesn't seem to do enough good b/c she still manages to mess. Yes? No? Other suggestions?

 

Thanks everyone.

 

ETA: spelling, whooops.

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Talon does infact pee outside, praise ensues. Talon returns back inside, plays with the new dog some more, goes over to a corner, squats and pees again, and then returns to play. She typically does pee infront of her owners.

 

That still sounds like over-excitement to me.

 

Could play with new dogs in the house be curtailed for the time being? Maybe let her have a chance to get more settled first. Perhaps when a new dog comes over she could greet the new dog, then go outside to pee, and then come back in and go into another room or something. Later come out, greet, go out to pee, come back in and then go back to the other room. Gradually the time with the other dog could be increased as she shows more self control in the urinary department.

 

That would probably be my approach.

 

If possible - and I know with the weather right now it might not be - I would also set up more outdoor play time.

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Talon does infact pee outside, praise ensues. Talon returns back inside, plays with the new dog some more, goes over to a corner, squats and pees again, and then returns to play.

 

Maybe Talon isn't done pottying? In her excitement she may be going just enough to not feel the pressure anymore and get back to playing. Then once she's played a bit she realizes she still has to go. Our newest dog, Twig, used to do that. Once we started making sure she was outside long enough to actually be done we stopped having accidents in the house (she'd always go in front of us, too--she wasn't trying to hide or anything, she just still had to go and in her excitement to get back to playing she'd wait so long that she just couldn't hold it anymore). Also, our siberian husky always has to pee twice. If you let him outside and he pees once, and then you let him back in, he'll make a mess. If you wait until he's walked around a bit and pees again he's fine.

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^^This sounds like a very logical explanation ro me. In the evenings when he's loose in the house with me, I still have to take my pup out every 15-20 minutes. And yet he can hold it all night long (8 hours) or for a couple hours during the day if I go somewhere, take a nap, etc. It's the stimulation of playing that makes him need to go more often. I would guess that this young dog is anxious to get back in and continue playing and so doesn't empty all the way or just needs to go more often because of the activity. And yes, they will just stand right there in front of you and go. I also second Kristine's suggestion of more *outside* play time if at all possible.

 

Also, the probably know this, but make sure your friends are using a good enzymatic cleanser on the spots where Talon has made mistakes indoors.

 

j.

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Also, the probably know this, but make sure your friends are using a good enzymatic cleanser on the spots where Talon has made mistakes indoors.

 

j.

 

I've offered up our carpet cleaner too. I hope they are at least using something to take the scent out.

 

I was thinking that too, that she was excited and just wasn't going all the way. Gunnar has this issue still. He'll do the excited greeting pee (d@mn good aim too!) so you have to make sure he's peed at least three times before he can greet people. I'll pass the word on. Thanks everyone!

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Lots of great suggestions here. What sprung, (sprang? springed) out at me was that this is a youngish dog, who for 10 months went whenever and wherever she felt any urge. She's in or entering adolescence, she's been in a totally new to her environment for about 4 weeks, so she's starting to relax a bit and more of her own personality is showing.

 

I'd curtail the inside playing for at least a few weeks. Outside, great, inside is time for dogs to be calm. Her 'submission' around other dogs may be more anxiety than anything, especially as she was raised in a shelter. She really needs more time in this new home and consistency from her owners. Why are they letting her go to the corner at all? She should be re-directed and taken outside at any sign of heading for her pee spots.

 

Thank your friends for taking her in, and it looks like the votes are heavily on the side of more structure and more supervision and more time in her new home.

 

Ruth

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Hey Ruth,

I was thinking the same thing. For 10 months this dog no doubt had to potty in her living space. It may take her longer than the average non-shelter pup to learn that she shouldn't now potty in her living space. Her new owners are working against a habit that developed because Talon had no choice, so it's likely that they'll need more time and supervision to get the message to her clearly that pottying is now acceptable only outside.

 

J.

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