House-training an adolescent dog

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House-training an adolescent dog

This is a discussion on House-training an adolescent dog within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi all, I'm new here but found you while searching exhaustively for answers about my specific situation... to no avail =) I'm really hoping you ...

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Old 02-20-2011, 04:29 PM
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House-training an adolescent dog

Hi all, I'm new here but found you while searching exhaustively for answers about my specific situation... to no avail =) I'm really hoping you can help! I apologize for the wall-of-text, I want you to have as much info as possible though.

My BF and I adopted a 5 month old female lab/pit mix from the shelter. We knew we'd have to teach her manners and un-learn a bunch of bad habits, but I'm seriously at my wits end here. There are other issues I'd love to ask about, but our #1 concern is potty training. We've had dogs before so I realize it will be some work, but we have no clue what to do about her specific behaviors. I never ever thought I'd say "I want to give our dog back" and I said it last night. It just shows me that I'm losing both my mind and my ability to be a strong leader with this, and I really need help.

To begin, here's what our typical schedule looks like:

6am - I wake up, get dressed, and take her out of her crate and immediately outdoors. She pees within the first 10 minutes, and rarely poops.
6:15am - We begin the walk. If she didn't poop first thing when I took her out, she will now poop within 15-30 minutes of being out and about.
7am - We're home and I let her circle the yard in case she'll pee again. She rarely does. Inside, she goes back in the crate. She's given her morning meal, and she stays in there so I can get ready for work.
8am - We go outside again. She pees now, and it's 50/50 whether or not she poops. Afterward, she goes back inside the crate and I leave for work (PS, she has toys in her crate and a water bottle)
11am-noon - My neighbor comes over to let her out and give her a short walk and playtime. It's 50/50 if she pees, and she never poops. Afterward, she goes back in the crate. (I'm beginning to think this may be an unnecessary outing)
3pm-3:30 - My BF gets home. He takes her out of her crate and immediately outside. She pees, and if she didn't poop a 2nd time in the morning, she does now. She goes back in the crate for another 15 mins-1/2 hour so he can unwind from work, and be attentive to her without any negative energy hanging over him. She then comes out of the crate, and my BF plays with her.
4:30pm - My BF takes her outside. It's 50/50 if she pees.
5pm-5:30 - I get home. I take her outside again, and it's 50/50 if she pees (depending on her 4:30 action).
5:30-7:30 - My BF and I both keep an eye on her while I prepare dinner. If she wants to play, she does so on her own. She's taken outside again, and it's 50/50 if she pees. She then goes back in her crate for her evening meal, and so my BF and I can eat without distraction.
7:30pm-7:45pm - We take her out of the crate, go outside, and she almost always pees. She never poops.
7:45-8pm - I play with her.
8pm - We begin the walk. Just like in the morning, she poops within 15-30 minutes.
9pm - We're back home, and I now read my school books, answer emails (etc) and my BF and I both keep an eye on her. Time permitting, I'll play with her again.
10pm - We go outside. She pees, and never poops. When we're inside again, we get ready for bed and she goes in her crate for the evening.

The problem is that despite our schedule here, she still pees ALL THE TIME anywhere she pleases. When we're home and she's out of her crate, we are quite literally ALWAYS watching her, and despite our eagle eyes, we rarely catch her doing it. When outside, she's a squatter, but when inside, she's a sitter. She's already learning basic commands (like sit/stay/etc), so it's very hard to notice when/if she's doing it and there's no warning to it at all.

I'll have her sit in the kitchen before I walk to her crate to give her dinner, and when she gets up, it's almost a guarantee that the floor is flooded (remember, she JUST went outside before dinner). My BF will toss her ball down the hallway, and mid-run she'll just stop and sit/pee. Rarely will we see her sniffing the ground. If she's sniffing AT ALL, I stop what I'm doing and go on red alert - if the sniffing continues for more than 5 seconds and/or she circles and/or her head does not lift up, I grab her leash and take her outside where it's 50/50 if she'll pee. She'll lay down with us watching a TV show and be just fine... when I get up and grab her leash to take her out, she'll sit and wait for me to come back, and when we walk towards the door, I'll see a pee spot where she was sitting. Sometimes, such as this morning, we'll take her out and she'll pee, and then she'll come back inside and pee again on the rug 10 minutes later.

Correction worked the first time we caught her peeing inside, and that time was a squat. I yelled out "No! No!" and clapped my hands firmly to interrupt her, then grabbed her leash and took her outside to finish. Since then, she sits, and nothing makes her stop except a tactic I feel terrible about. I continue the clap/no while running right at her. That's the only thing that makes her stop what she's doing, as she has no other choice but to stop what she's doing and move or I'll bowl right over her. Otherwise, she'll just sit there calmly watching me while she finishes up. She never exhibits any of that "doggy shame" look that's so common when dogs are peeing or pooping (inside or outside).

When I'm taking her out, I use the phrase "potty outside" so she has the association with what we're about to do. I always make sure, 100% of the time, to praise her when she pees/poops outside so she's knows I'm happy with her. When she goes inside, we clean up the mess immediately so there's no time for a pee stain to set in - we blot until there's zero liquid left coming up on the towels, then use a carpet cleaner on the area to get rid of the smell. She'll pee anywhere and everywhere - there isn't a consistent place, so it doesn't seem like marking or "familiar pee smell".

She is absolutely, without a doubt, able to hold her bladder and bowels. She doesn't whine to be let out of her crate in the middle of the night, and never has an accident in it. She doesn't appear to have a UTI (I know it takes a urine sample to confirm), as she exhibits no signs of it (dehydration, straining, stinky pee, blood, pain, etc) other than frequent peeing. She almost never unleashes the dam and pees full-force, whether inside or outside - it's always these little puddles.

I've read that there may be incontinence issues as a result of spaying - the shelter spayed her young, at only a few months old, so maybe that's part of it? Perhaps she's getting excited (such as playtime) or showing submission (such as sitting at dinner)? Is this a simple issue of "she's a shelter dog and never learned the right way"? Maybe "she's still exhibiting puppy behavior" or "she just needs more training, she'll grow out of it"?

I love our little furbaby and I certainly don't want to give her up. I'll do whatever it takes to make sure we get this right, and I'm looking for specific trainers in my area to help with training us on how to train our dog =) But I feel like I'm losing my sanity with watching her like a hawk, taking her out every hour, and STILL having to clean up pee 5 times a day. The only thing I can think to do is continue what we're doing (which obviously isn't working) or leave her in her crate all the time (which isn't healthy for her). She does want to please, I can clearly see that, but it doesn't seem like she comprehends that when surrounded by walls/ceiling, you DON'T go - especially since, in a shelter, that's where you DO go and that was her first few months of life experience. Also, it seems like she's associating being excited and/or receiving praise and affection with peeing. I don't know how to address all of these issues all at the same time! I just don't get it, what are we doing wrong and what do we start doing to make it right?

Last edited by Nitya; 02-20-2011 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:34 PM
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You need to have a UTI and incontinence ruled out at your vet. Especially if she is sitting and urinating....I would do that asap
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:50 PM
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We're already planning to take a urine sample in to our vet, just to make sure it's not a UTI. I really don't think it's that, but we'd rather be safe than sorry.

Wouldn't incontinence show up in other ways also? She doesn't pee while she stands, walks, or is in her crate. She doesn't pee while at rest. When she wakes from a nap, she'll get up and there's no wet spot where she was laying. She doesn't pee while sitting at a corner waiting to cross at a stoplight, and she doesn't pee if she sits outside the bathroom watching me brush my hair or fix my makeup or something. When we're outside and she has to go, she squats just like any other female would.

When we're inside, she CAN sit and not pee. It's like the opposite, grammatically speaking. Sitting doesn't make her pee, but peeing makes her sit. I can count on it that if she's inside and feels the need to pee, she won't alert us, and she'll sit down to do it. That's what makes it seem to me like it's behavioral rather than physiological.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:21 AM
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Edit: Here is the crate training I was talking about haha whoops - http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...ning-faq-3974/

Well I am new here but definitely not new to the Pet Industry... I wanted to mention a few things you can try... as pawzaddict mentioned getting the dog tested for a UTI and incontinence is a great idea... I am assuming these will probably come back negative which in that case here are a few things you can try...

First off - Do you have a cage? I am assuming yes as most puppy owners do, what I and a lot of my customers at my actual brick and mortar store do is crate training... Basically what you do is you setup their crate and they sleep in it every night... This not only trains them to learn that they have to be in the crate during the day and when they get out they get to go outside... I personally use a product called Wee-Wee Pads "note their is other brands now for numerous different types brands etc..." Wee Wee pads have a pheromone in them that helps attract the dog so they have the urge to pee on the wee wee pad instead of on your floor... If the dog can't make it outside and they pee on the wee wee pad you don't punish them if they pee on the floor and not the wee wee pad you punish them.. By punish I mean you put their nose by the pee and tell them bad dog etc every person is different... Also when taking them outside as a pup you want to get it in their head that going outside is for POTTY not to play and not to just run around... Although we all know going outside is for playing etc when they are puppies they need to learn outside=bathroom inside=living quarters... With the crate training I am not sure how to exactly describe it as I will probably get it wrong.. You can google the exact specifics of crate training as I have not had to do it in about 8 years... "the boys are getting old haha"

Make sure that when your animal does pee outside you are rewarding them... Rewards don't have to be in the form of a biscuit etc... I actually tell people not to use treats as a reward for going potty because every time your dog goes outside they will think they are owed a treat when they come back in later on.. (at one point my lab was going outside and coming back in in two seconds thinking she tricked me to get a treat haha)

These are just a few different things you can try... I may be wrong and I may be right... This is just from experience in running and working alongside my uncle for 19 years in his Pet Supply shop and helping customers.. Crate training seems to be the big one that works for most people... This is obviously as long as your pup doesn't have any type of infection etc...

PS I would love to see a few pictures of him...

Last edited by Mischief; 02-22-2011 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:58 PM
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Hi everyone, I just wanted to update you on our situation (which no longer seems to be appropriate for "training" but should probably be in "health")... it's physiological after all!

We've ruled out a UTI, and it's looking less and less likely to be incontinence as a result of spaying. The meds we've tried have had zero effect and, in fact, things seemed to have gotten worse! Remember what I said about not peeing in all those situations? Well, now she does in all of them... poor girl can't even keep her crate dry all night anymore. During the night, we've been getting up in 4 hour intervals, and she makes it through the first 4 hours without incident and potties outside. But at the next shift (3-4 hours later), her blankets/towels are soaked. We keep her in a doggy diaper when she's out of the crate, and she's sporadic... sometimes she'll only leak a little bit between her hourly potty breaks, and other times, she'll soak right through it.

We're taking her (LeeLoo in my pics, by the way) to the vet for X-rays and a dye study to see if we can find out what's causing it. It's definitely incontinence, but now it's just figuring out WHY. I've researched a number of causes, but am just wondering if anyone has specific tips/questions/advice for things I should be sure to ask my vet about.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:54 PM
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I don't have any advice but I just wanted to say I really hope you can find out what's causing this and help the poor girl be able to atleast keep her bed dry. Best of luck and let us know how it goes
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:37 PM
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Thanks Esme!

After 2 days of poking, prodding, Xrays, and sedation, we're only marginally closer to the cause. My vet found an extra hole in her urethra area, and when he went to continue with diagnostics, couldn't finish the procedure. He was catheterizing her to inject dye for more Xrays, and wasn't able to get them insert fully into either hole. The first set of Xrays was able to show that her kidneys and bladder are fine though, so at least there's that.

We're now going to see a specialist, a vet whose licensed in Internal Medicine and can perform surgery if needed. We don't know at this point what the extra hole is, if it's genetic or a result of being nicked during her spaying. We don't even know 100% if that's the cause of her incontinence or something else entirely.

Keep your fingers cross that this new vet will be able to figure out what's wrong! Our poor furbaby hasn't had the quality of life she deserves for a few months now, and it's weighing on all of us =(

Last edited by Nitya; 03-27-2011 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:51 PM
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Thanks for the update and I'm happy to hear that atleast your one step closer to figuring out what's causing her incontinence. I will def. be keeping my fingers crossed. I really hope that this new vet will be able find the answer to whatever is causing this and fix whatever it is. I'm sure it must be hard on all of you but I'm sure your girl really appreciates you doing every thing you can to help her.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:53 PM
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Thanks so much for the update! We all hope you find the cause and can get her fixed up!
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:27 PM
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Hi Tess, Esme, and the rest of the DF members =)

We went to the specialist who, based on symptoms and records and partial Xrays from our normal vet, was almost certain that our LeeLoo has an ectopic ureter. She performed a CT scan and ultrasound and... NOTHING! Nothing at all! Her urinary system is free of stones, and other than a slightly displaced left ureter, all is normal! The cause of the mysterious second hole couldn't be seen, and her sphincter muscles are functioning fine. The next step is yet MORE procedures that may or may not get us to the bottom of this and provide a diagnosis. A few friends are keeping their fingers crossed that this is still just a behavioral thing - maybe she's just an excitable, hyper puppy who doesn't know how to control herself and will grow out of it. I'd like to think that, I really would, but there's the very clear incontinence symptoms, plus that mystery opening in her vagina =(

Well, this has grown into a much bigger issue than anticipated! I'm going to move this all over to the Health forum in hopes others have had similar issues and can give some medical advice. Thanks so much for your support here!
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