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My mane is Dante and I have had dogs all my life. I have experienced lots of problems and trained them away but our current Dog is destroying our house and we love her so much we can't get rid of her.

Lexie is a cute little Shih Tzu With a fluffy brown and white coat. She is very energetic and usually doesn't bark unless I am playing with her or teasing her by attempting to take one of her toys. She is very stingy with her toys.

We have always had problems with her poddy training but that is what we were working on when this bigger problem arose. I think it has to do with the constant change of her living situation which was uncontrollable. It used to be Me, my mom, my stepdad, and a roommate or renter/tenant. Then when my stepdad got sick my big brother and uncle moved it to help while my stepdad was bedridden. Both my stepbrother and uncle were without jobs at the time so someone was home all the time. Lexie had the whole downstairs with no restrictions with the exception of upstairs when my mom was home.

My stepdad was her daddy he used to take her on walks 3 times a day. something that ended when he got sick. Lexie also has a best friend a full-grown Golden Retriever named Josh typically walking together whenever possible whenever she and my stepdad were on walks.

When my stepdad got sick Josh's owners volunteered to take her on walks with Josh which turned into her taking care of Lexie when thins hit rough patches. Sometimes she stayed with Josh and his owners over for a night.

My stepdad passed away in November just a few months ago and my stepbrother moved away as a result. My uncle started working so there was a little of a curve keeping track of lexie. She got out a few times and went directly to Josh's owners' house. A couple of times she was there for hours till we arrived looking for her without a call or a text letting us know where she was. When we arrived to look for her the owners would say they called or texted us hours ago but there were never any missed calls or texts from them earlier that day.

They tried lecturing me claiming that they are dog people and that when Lexie is over there are never any problems she goes to the restroom outside and doesn't tear up her house. They say they are dog pack people that is why Lexie comes to their home when she gets out. They claim we are not Dog Pack people which is why she runs away and goes there. I told them that Lexie goes over there because she knows her best friend lives here. Their response was "because we are dog pack, people.".

I am not going to paint Josh's owners in a bad light more than just to say we know they wouldn't mind keeping Lexie as their own. This has been apparent since before my stepdad got sick and grew more apparent through time progression to the present.

We are trying to poddy train lexie right now cause she poops and pees where ever she pleases. So when there is no one in the house with her we baby gate her in the living room/kitchen while we are gone. it started with her gnawing on the doorposts and floorboards in the area. Recently we cant keep her contained she has proven to be a Houdini god and finds a way out tearing up the doorposts and floorboards all over the house. We tried spaying everything in jaw range with anti teathing sprey but she still persists.

My Idea was to poddy train her by praise and reward. We put down pads everywhere and when she uses a pad we bring her to the spot where she did her business praise her and have her follow us to give her a treat. When she goes off the pad or somewhere she's not supposed to, we bring her to the spot where she does her business and verbally scold and place her in a place she isn't too keen to for a duration of time. We treat her the same throughout the day while we are home. I work at night. a job with long hours and on workdays, i am only home for maybe 9-10 hours a night. My mom works a regular 9-5 job, my uncle works 70 or more miles away so he sometimes is gone for days at a time. Roommate stays in his room almost all the time only coming out for necessities and to occasionally cook something.

I am well aware that over the last year and a half our living situation has changed dramatically several times and that has to affect Lexie as much or even more the rest of the family. I also know waiting four years to poddy train is also a big mistake but I couldn't train her cause she was my stepdad's dog, not mine. Now that he is gone we are stuck training a more mature dog which we are realizing now is a lot tougher.

My uncle does have an elderly Terrier Chihuahua named Sweetie. She goes everywhere my uncle goes and when they are home Lexie sleeps with them. Other nights Lexie sleeps with my mom or sometimes wines herself out of the room to sleep in the living room in her bed.

Getting rid of Lexie is not an option she is a part of our family. Family doesn't give up on each other.

We do need a little help though so any suggestions would be nice.

We want her to have the run of the house she just needs to be trined first.

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Sorry to hear about your stepfather. It sounds like last year was a very sad time for you.

It sounds like Lexie is very stressed and unhappy right now too. It's not unusual for dogs to have the occasional potty accident indoors, especially if nobody has enforced potty training. However, it NOT normal for an adult dog to chew on the doorposts and floor. They only do that when their emotional and exercise needs are not getting met.

You said your stepdad walked her three times a day, and then Josh's owner started walking her. Is she getting any walks at all now? Is anyone ever home with her now? How long is she left alone?

I don't think your potty training plan is going to work. First, it sounds like you are trying to use the pee or poop spot to explain to the dog what she did right or wrong. Dog's don't learn like that. You need to catch her in the act, while she is still squatting. Once she walks away it is too late. She is done thinking about the matter. To her it would be like someone scolding you for singing in the shower last week. "Huh? Was I singing; I don't remember.? I guess maybe? Do you think I'm a bad singer? Was it a bad song? Are you just mad because I took a shower very early? I'm so confused."

Second, one should never, ever scold a dog for pottying inside the house. Dogs don't understand why you are scolding them for doing something so natural to them. Very often they think the reason you are mad is because you saw them pottying, not because they went potty in the house. Their answer is to stop going potty when you can see them. They won't go potty when you walk them, or when you are with them in the yard. Instead they wait until you are out of the room and then go pee in the corner. Not a good result at all!

I think you should try to get her back on a schedule of regular walks and play time. Praise her each time she pees or poops on the grass in front of you. Give her a couple of really nice treats too. You should also use an enzymatic cleaner, something like Nature's Miracle or Simple Solution, to thoroughly scrub the floors where she has pottied. You want to remove all traces of the urine smell there.
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