Please help with my 1 and a half year old pit mix

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Please help with my 1 and a half year old pit mix

This is a discussion on Please help with my 1 and a half year old pit mix within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; So to start I adopted my dog at 3 months old from the shelter. Since day 1 I have had issues with him and potty ...

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Old 03-08-2019, 02:15 AM
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Please help with my 1 and a half year old pit mix

So to start I adopted my dog at 3 months old from the shelter. Since day 1 I have had issues with him and potty training. He is a very dominate and stubborn dog. I go to work for 8 hours or more and I put him in his crate for that time. He used to go in his crate for a long time but hasnt in a while. To get to the point I have tried everything to get him to stop going in the house. To explain I walk him or let him out like 6 to 8 times a day. He will only go once and will basically empty his whole bladder that 1 time. If the walk is 30 mins or more he will let out a little bit or urine. I have tried rewarding him after he goes. Once back in the house if he has the urge to go he will. Even if I try to startle him to get him to stop mid urination he wont. I feel as though it is not marking because the urine in the house wont be little dribbles they are usually good size spots. He doesnt really try to hide and will sometimes go right in front of me and stare at me. He never lets me know in anyway he has to go. The only way I can tell is if he stops mid play and just kind of sits and stares into space. I have resorted to buying big reusable pee pads and for a while he would go on them inside but now hes back to peeing on the carpet or tile. He eats twice a day and I restrict his water to feedings or after playing. And take him out 5 to 30 mins after drinking water. Im super frustrated and I just feel so sad because I dont know what to do with him and feel like he wont ever stop going in the house.

Last edited by Mabelfigxo; 03-08-2019 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:38 AM
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Take him out very frequently and praise like crazy when he pees. That's really the only way to do it, but the more often he goes out, the less chances he has to pee in the house.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:11 PM
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Hi there. Sorry about your frustrating potty issues with your dog!

When you find a pee spot inside, what do you do? Do you scold him/punish him after the deed is already done? What about when you catch him in the act? What exactly do you do?

Can you keep a log or journal and chart when he pees inside? See if there is any consistent pattern or timing?

Does he pee inside his crate?

Is he peeing inside in the same spot or same room? Do you clean the area with good enzymatic cleaners? These cleaners break down the urine smell so he won't have the urge to pee again in the same spot.

I would NOT restrict his water. That can end up with your dog having some serious medical issues!

Have you run him by your vet to rule out medical issues like bladder infection or UTI?

By the way, your dog is not "being dominant" by any means. He simply hasn't learned from you what you really want him to do. Communication/ learning error, not dominance.

Good news? Fixable problem

Last edited by AthenaLove; 03-08-2019 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:31 PM
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So I currently live in a carpeted apartment and I do use enzyme cleaner. I am about to move to all hardwood apartment which is great. As for what I do when I catch him peeing I try to make a loud noise to get him to stop which never works so I usually grab him and take him right outside. I do yell no! Also. He does not pee in the crate. My vet actually recommended me restrict water to certain times of the day. His pee is usually clear or light yellow so I know he is getting plenty. I’m hoping big changes will be made when I move to my all hard wood so there will be no pee smell trapped deep in the carpet.
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:32 PM
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Also I say he is dominant because of his behavior in general. At parks he always tries to be in charge of other dogs. And when I tell him to do stuff he knows what I mean but still is stubborn.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:38 PM
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Try a gentler approach for better results with potty training

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Originally Posted by Mabelfigxo View Post
As for what I do when I catch him peeing I try to make a loud noise to get him to stop which never works so I usually grab him and take him right outside. I do yell no! Also..
Hi again. Thanks for posting more info about your situation.

I'm not so sure about making the loud noise in an attempt to stop him peeing midstream. Can you stop peeing once you start?? I sure can't. And a loud startling noise may just scare him, but not actually teach him what you'd like since he will be possibly startled or anxious or afraid. And same for yelling no!

Think about if it were teaching a (human) baby or toddler to to potty. Would you get much success if you yelled at the human baby? Probably not.

Most learning is done quicker using positive reinforcement rather than loud corrections or punishment, I have found.

So instead, maybe try a different approach. If you catch pup in the act, go over to pup, and say "no, no let's go potty outside!" But do it in a caring gentle way. Then as you do this, lead your dog outside. And again say "we go potty outside."

Use lots of treats and praise anytime pup pees outside. I like to say Yes! the minute my Puma pup's butt goes down to ground and starts to pee outside.

Puma was a super picky potty dog. Never accidents inside, but she liked to take forever to pee outside. Very annoying since she comes to work with me and I don't have all day to wait for her to pick a perfect spot. But I kept up with the YES! marker and the treats/praise every time she pottied and now it is much better.

I crate trained her as a pup and took her outside every time I opened her crate. Very often throughout the day. She learned very quickly to potty outside.

Potty training and constant mess cleaning is no fun. I hope you guys get it all worked out soon
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:53 PM
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Also, can you keep your dog in a small enclosed room with a baby gate while you are home as you work on the potty training? So, put your dog in room or area. Give a chewie or toy or jar with peanut butter to lick on-- or you go in and play with him for a bit.

Then go let him out to try to potty after a bit. If he potties, then he gets free range of house for a bit. If no potty action, then back to his little room he goes until the next potty break. Rinse and repeat until he starts to really get the message that pottying outside= more freedom/privileges inside.

I would suggest using a crate, but since he is in that all day as you go to work, I would try the baby gated small room instead. And by the way, make sure the little room is not punishment at all, more like his private relaxation/playtime space. No negative correlation here, just a training tool for you guys as he is learning.

This may help. Basically retraining potty training!
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:04 PM
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Wow that’s a lot of sense. I definitely do scare him when I yell no. Thank you for the information. I actually have been making sure he is in my eye sight lately and making sure he is confined to one area
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:50 PM
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My old dog training brain vs. new dog training brain--better success with new brain!!

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Originally Posted by Mabelfigxo View Post
Wow that’s a lot of sense. I definitely do scare him when I yell no. Thank you for the information.
Oh, you are so welcome! I am glad I could help you and your dog!

I think so many of us grew up learning those old methods of potty training our dogs! Yell at them for messing up, put their face in it, paper to the nose. I know I was trained this way years ago. So hard to retrain our human brains, right??? I still have to wrestle with my old dog training brain vs my newer training brain on many occasions.

Here's a good example that happened to me that I'd like to share here:

Yesterday, my Puma pup stole one of my tshirts, took it outside and hid with it in her favorite secluded bushes. And then she proceeded to growl at me warning me to stay away... and leave her new found "treasure" alone.

Puma has RG resource guarding issues. (She came to me with RG issues at a very young age) My old brain wanted to yell at her and tell her NO!! NO PUMA!!!! Bad dog!! Give me my shirt right now!!

My new brain reminded me that NONE of this was personal, she has this issue (just like we humans have deep seated issues) and I need to work WITH her not AGAINST her. Nor do I want to cause her more insecurity or stress. Yelling at her won't help anything, it will only weaken our trust and bond. And it doesn't teach her what I'd like her to do!

So I did my new brain method that we use: I went to the kitchen, got small yummy food bites, and dropped them near her until she relaxed her body language. Then I asked her for a hand shake. If she can do this, I know this is her sign that her brain has "switched" back to her normal loving self --and the RG fear has subsided in that moment.

Then I got her favorite ball and threw it in the yard for her to fetch. She ran happily out of her secret hiding bush and went after the ball. This was both a distraction and reward for her. Then.... Puma gave me some kisses. (My reward!)

When she was busy with the ball I went and got my shirt back. Whew!

Problem de-escalated. Trust increased. Happy dog. Very happy dog mom.

Had I used my old brain, a bite may have occurred and our trust/bond certainly not increased in quality.

Moral of the story: Set our dogs up for success so they won't fail, and work with our dogs, not against them to teach them what we want them to do

Last edited by AthenaLove; 03-18-2019 at 06:57 PM.
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