- Mrs. Panther
- 7 years ago
- Wedding: July 2011 - The Inn at Longshore
The potty-training process with our dog, Macy, is just not going well, and I’m at my wits’ end. She’s been to obedience training and does fairly well with almost everything else. We just can’t figure it out. Going to paste in some info I posted over dogforums.com … Please, for the love of God, someone … HELP?!
1.) Age Of Dog/Puppy: One year old
2.) Length Of Ownership: Five months
3.) Method Of House Training: Crate training, positive reinforcement, bell at door.
4.) Breed Of Dog/Puppy: Mutt — we were told she’s part Sheltie, part Cavalier King Charles spaniel, but we think she may also have some collie, chow or American Eskimo.
5.) Where Dog/Puppy Is Kept: She is in her crate from about 10:30am to 7pm.
6.) Where Accidents Occur: EVERYWHERE, except for her crate.
7.) How Long Its Gone On: The entire time we’ve had her, but the recent problems (pooping inside DAILY) have been occurring for a month or two.
8.) How Long Dog/Puppy Is Alone When It Occurs: Never. She is only alone when she’s in her crate during the day, and she doesn’t go in her crate.
9.) Whom Is The Primary Caregiver: My husband and I share duties, but I’m with her more.
10.) Any Background History That Might Be Relevant: She lived in a shelter from about 2-3 months old to about 5-6 months old. At the shelter, we’re told she was left alone for about 12 hours a day, and could not hold it that long, so she’d just pee/poop in her crate and they would clean it up when they could.
I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing (feeding on a schedule, taking her out on a schedule, supervising her VERY closely, etc.), but it only takes one split second for me to look away, and she’s pooping on the floor. I’m trying my very best, but I physically can’t watch her every single second. I keep her close to me, but she doesn’t seem to have any qualms about going right next to me. At first, we JUST used positive reinforcement, as most people will suggest, but it became very clear that while she knew going outside was best, she didn’t seem to get that going inside was bad. So, after a while, we’ve started scolding her when we catch her in the act. Can’t say that’s working, either.
The contradictions that I’m trying to understand:
-Macy’s main method of telling us that she has to go outside is to stand by the back door and stare at us until we take her out. She will also occasionally bark or cry. We figure this is a good sign. However, how is she supposed to tell us (in that way) if we’re keeping her with us at all times? How can she stand by the back door and bark if we’ve got her in the living room with us, for example? I look for sniffing and circling, but she doesn’t always do that.
-Because our main goal is for Macy to eventually tell us when she needs to go out, we take her out EVERY SINGLE TIME she asks. For consistency’s sake, it seems to be the best way to teach her, “If I ask to go outside, I’ll get taken outside, and then I can poop out there and get praise and treats.” Makes sense, right? The only problem is, she’s learned it too well, and is now asking to go outside constantly so that she can sniff acorns, search for squirrels, etc. She’s always on a leash and always with us, and we do NOT play with her out there if we’re on a potty break, but we certainly can’t stop her from sniffing around, which is what she wants to do. We’ve been told that a good way to combat this is to bring her back inside if she doesn’t seem to have to go. Unfortunately, she doesn’t always go right away, even if she IS out there for peeing/pooping, so we’ll end up bringing her back in and then she goes on the floor. How do we make sure that she knows potty trips are just for pottying?!
Sorry this is so long. We’re frustrated and confused, and desperately sick of cleaning up poop. It’s been five months! How long is this going to take?!