Over a year old and still housetraining?!

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ReamsFam's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-16

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So we've had petra for coming on 8 months now and she is about 13 months old.  after a rough start with her and our other dog, susie, they are getting along really well now...to the point we have to separate them throughout the day because their constant playing and barking at one another drive us nuts!  in general, petra is coming along but still very much a puppy with i think, standard puppy listening, chewing, attention span issues.  her training/commands are pretty good, sit/stay, lay down, come, heel, etc are solid for the most part.

BUT the real issue is her house training.  we take her out constantly...upwards of 8-10 times a day most days.  when not in her crate she has very little ability, or willingness, to hold it... she does give signals, she jogs around the room once or twice as a warning and then just unleashes if we don't catch her signals right away.  pee, poop, doesn't matter she just goes.  even if she just was outside and went either one/both.  

we've tried scolding her when we catch her and praising the hell out of her when she goes outside, we've tried ignoring it when she goes inside and then praising the hell out of her when she goes outside, we've used baby gates and closed doors to keep her within feet of us but that just makes it harder to catch her signals because there is less room for her to do her little jog.  

she has no problems holding it in her crate all night and for hours during the day on the rare occasions she's left alone for longer than an hour or so.  she is healthy and has no symptoms of any health problems as far as we can tell....  any ideas?!

jeshykai's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-02

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You think she has no symptoms, but have you done at the very least, a check to make sure she doesn't have a bladder infection?  Her needing to go out 8-10 times a day seems excessive to me, honestly.  My dogs go out 2 maybe 3 times a day if I choose, and could hold it just fine.  I have a dog door and let them have access outside most of the day I'm home so I don't have to get up and let them out when they want out.

How about switching how you want her to signal you she needs to go out.  Steve would go to the door and bump his nose on the doorknob, had I wanted I could've put a bell there and that'd been his signal.  My other dog does circles at my feet until I let him out.  The puppy just follows everyone out when they go out.. but I still make sure to take her out if I think she's been playing too long and got distracted.  She's fully potty trained, but I also don't want her to have a mistake because she's still young.

She is capable of holding her bathroom - both pee and poo - by her age, so it makes me wonder if there is something medically you can't see outwardly.  It couldn't hurt to check, it sounds like you're ready for a change to happen.  I'd switch to teaching her a signal and rewarding her with it.  Here is a great resource for you to look up: http://www.aspcabehavior.org/articles/87/Teaching-Your-Dog-to-Ask-to-Go-Out.aspx

Best of luck.  All in good time.  It took me 6 months to teach a rescue dog not to go in his crate or in the house.  Once he learned how to ask, and that waiting was worth it, he got it.