(Closed) Potty training an abused puppy

posted 12 years ago in Pets
Post # 48
Member
1830 posts
Buzzing bee

If you can take him on a short walk in the morning, they often poop within a few minutes on walks, and that might help him get more used to pooping outside too.

Post # 49
Member
1139 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Ah.  I think you figured out what might be your biggest stumbling block.  If he’s afraid of the outdoors (and small wonder) he’s definitely going to prefer to go to the bathroom inside rather than go out there no matter the consequences. 

I think if I were you I would forget about housebreaking right now and just focus on getting him to realize that being outside is wonderful.  Does he show any interest in toys?  Or a particular treat or bone?  If you can, figure out what his highest value reward is and only give it to him outside.  Spend as much time out there with him as you can, like you have been playing in the evenings.  (And well done sticking out the 30 minutes until he peed, by the way! Next time wait a bit longer after he’s peed as they usually have to poo in the morning.)  My dog was SUPER food motivated so if it was him I would have fed all of his meals and given him lots of treats outside. 

Alfie did that same thing with his owner – peed before she could even get her shoes on – so that’s why I would be 100% ready to walk out the door before I let him out of his crate (which was near the door.  That also helped.) 

It sounds like you’re on the right track.  I think it’s just going to take a lot of time and patience.  Hopefully there’s a rescue that can help you out.  And I would definitely recommend turning that woman in!  She really needs to be stopped! 

Post # 50
Member
531 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 1998

We just got a puppy last week, but we both grew up with dogs and his parents both got puppies within the last 3 years and crate trained them. They helped us train our dog. He’s 11 weeks old (almost 12) and through crate training he has only had 5 accidents in 8 days. He does his business outside almost 90% of the time and each of the accidents were our fault – either for not watching him closely enough or for leaving him too long without a potty break.

In order to crate train your dog, he must be in his crate for a large portion of the day – probably 18+ hours at first. It’s not cruel, it is his home and his safe place and where he belongs when we can not supervise him fully. Our schedule on work days (Thurs, Fri, Sat) is generally this – we wake up, take him out to his potty place (he has a special spot in the yard just for potty) when he goes we throw him a little party and tell him he’s the best boy ever. Then we take a walk. If he doesn’t go he goes back in the crate for 10 minutes and we try again. After the walk he eats and drinks and plays supervised in the room for about 20 minutes. He goes back in the crate for 10 more minutes and the goes out to the potty place. Then he is placed back in his crate while we get ready for work. We take him out one last time right before we leave. My sister comes about 4 hours after this to take him out. Fiance comes home about 4 hours later and repeats the above. He gets a longer walk in the evening to tire him out and 2-3 play sessions each followed by a potty trip while we are home. He goes out right before bed too. Sometimes he needs to go out at about 4am and whines to let us know.

He is not potty trained yet and so he is NEVER allowed to be out of his crate unless he is 100% supervised. This approach is very time consuming and intensive, and will continue until he has made it about 2 months with 0 accidents.On non work days he goes out even more frequently.

This might be a really good method for your dog. The best way to teach him is through positive reinforcement and a lot of hard work. You will have to take him out ALL THE TIME at first since he’s been broken of his clean den instinct and watch him like a hawk when he’s not in the crate. He may need to go out ever hour or even more at first. Basically, you aren’t giving him a chance to have an accident. I wouldn’t suggest leaving him for as long as we leave Charlie – we know he can hold it for that long now, so you can up the ante once you see your dog is able to make it an hour or 2 without a potty break. If he has an accident and you see it happening (and if you’re doing this correctly, you should) shout NO! which should startle him into stopping and immediately grab him and take him outside. Talk softly to him to keep him calm when you get outside. Give him time – you know he has to go!! If he has an accident and you don’t actually catch him in the act, just clean it up and resolve to work harder next time. Scolding or hitting him after the fact does not work because dogs only associate scolding with what they are actually doing right that very second.

Once he goes outside for the first time, PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE! Throw him a puppy party! Eventually he will start to understand that going outside = good times and going inside = bad. You can use treats to reward him, but it’s not suggested as dogs sometimes get so excited about the food they will squeeze a little out to get the treat and then finish their business in the house.

I think the crate might be the best thing for him. He will feel more safe and secure with a special place all his own and you will be better able to supervise him and influence his behaviour.It sounds like a lot of work… it IS a lot of work. But it’ll be worth it when you have a pup who knows what’s expected of him.

Good luck and let us know how things turn out!

Post # 51
Member
1830 posts
Buzzing bee

I have to strongly disagree that 18+ hours in a crate for a puppy isn’t cruel.  It makes me want to cry. 

Post # 52
Member
531 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 1998

That’s why we don’t lock people in crates. He’s not alone for 18 hours a day. Just confined. He sleeps almost that much anyway. He’s only a baby. Do some research on the subject and you’ll see that most vets and experts recommend exactly this technique.

Post # 53
Member
1830 posts
Buzzing bee

@SweetAdelineXO – I have done lots of reading and foster pups and older dogs constantly.  While I choose not to crate train, I don’t hate the practice except that I think it can be easily abused, which you are doing.  You have a growing baby who needs socialization and to use those little puppy muscles and senses to move and explore, even if it’s just a small area, and a crate is not doing that job.  If you need a safe place at least get him something bigger than a crate for such a long period of time. 

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/what-not-to-do-with-your-new-puppy/page1.aspx

One of the reasons we don’t crate our dogs is because most of the bad shelters and homes these dogs come from have horribly abused the crate system and they need to get resocialized and learn again.  Once they learn how to be a dog they usually don’t have any problem going in a crate on occasion.  But you are doing a horrible disservice to your dog by crating her/him for that length of time and really should talk to someone about it if you don’t believe me, it can do long lasting damage to a pup of that age. 

Post # 54
Member
531 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 1998

@troubled – the breeders association and the veterinarian both told us he should be crated aside from about 2 1/2 hours a day of excercise/feeding/potty time. They also said he should not be out for more than 20-30 minutes at a time.

I tend to believe the vet over you.

Post # 55
Member
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@SweetAdeline – I agree. Our puppy spent most of his time in his crate when we first got him, he basically slept the entire time. He’d be out for about 20 minutes, we’d play, and then he’d fall asleep. Now though, at 5 months, he definitely can’t be in there that long and needs a lot more attention!

Post # 56
Member
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Oh, just another note, if you crate train properly it isn’t even remotely inhumane or cruel. My puppy LOVES his crate and often goes in there all on his own. When we get home he’s sitting in there and doesn’t even come out right away from we open the door. I really doubt he thinks we’re cruel.

Post # 57
Member
1947 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Rosie Girl – PLEASE report this woman to whatever animal control/welfare/rescue orgainzation(s) govern your state.  It sounds like she is either a mill or a hoarder, and rescue needs to get involved.  I know you meant well by “saving” this puppy, but by giving her money, you have also lined her pockets so she can breed more, and other well-meaning people will do so trying to help the other puppies she produces.  She will not stop unless she is FORCED to stop.  I wondered where you had gotten a “Silver Lab” since there is no such thing according to the AKC and ethical lab breeders.

Post # 58
Member
1830 posts
Buzzing bee

Wow, I’m just beyond words XO.  I can’t believe Rosy got so much flak for giving a puppy a swat and you’re saying she’s caged for all but 2 1/2 hours of the day and I’m the only one who has a problem with that. 

We must have extremely different vets in my area but honestly I’m just in utter disbelief that any vet told you 2 1/2 hours out of the confinement was enough for a little puppy who are by nature social, interactive creatures..  I see too many dogs come through who are wrecks because of stuff like this.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against crate training and we use it on occasion but what you’re doing is not crate training to an 11-week old puppy, it’s more reminiscent of puppy mill treatment.

Post # 60
Member
531 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 1998

@troubled that’s a little ridiculous comparing crate training techniques with a puppy mill. He is not cooped up alone, he has many many opportunities to go out and explore, play, take walks and most of all go to the potty. He rarely cries and settles himself easily. We spend the majority of our time with him even when he is crated. We are being very diligent about this process and following the vet’s advice to a tee. He has very few accidents already and when he does he gets cleaned up, taken out and put back into a clean crate with new bedding. Not that I need to explain myself to you, but it seems that you don’t really grasp the process.

Dogs are not people and should not be treated as such. He is too young and too new to have the run of the house. As he gets older and begins to grasp the housebreaking process we will gradually decrease his time in the crate until eventually he is able to roam free whenever we’re home and just use his crate as a home base. It’s a lot of work, but it’s absolutely the right thing to do. I have a family with many well adjusted happy dogs and a sweet playful puppy who already behaves himself very well to prove it.

Post # 61
Member
1830 posts
Buzzing bee

@XO – I hope it works out for you and I know you have your dogs best interest at heart.  But I’m coming from a place where we take in many dogs where the crate system has been horribly abused so I’m a bit sensitive that it’s done properly and I really don’t think you’re doing it properly. 

I’m also a immunologist who has studied stress responses in animals.  One of our stress inducers is to put mice in basically a crate, they have access to food and water at regular intervals but are restrained on and off for eight hours of the day.  By restrained I mean put in a small area where they can basically stand up and turn around but other than that not walk around more than a few steps.  After a few days of this every stress hormone we measure is greatly elevated. 

Sure dogs are not people but they are sentient little beings who’s development is impacted by immobilization and stress.  And no the mice don’t fight going in the restraint after a few days, they know they’re not going to be hurt, but it doesn’t mean they’re not stressed.   Look up some of the papers on pubmed about restraint stress in mice….iand t’s only eight hours a day that they do it, not 20.

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