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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So to be clear, this is not my dog and the situation is a bit complicated.

I live in a large house with my family, then an apartment downstairs where my aunt and her kids live. At one point she took home a dog that was abandoned in some Walmart parking lot. They've had him for multiple years, and he looks like some sort of Pomeranian mix. Although they took care of him, they absolutely neglected to train him.

Now to further complicate things, my aunt went to the hospital and was in critical condition. She's in rehab now and we have no clue how long she'll be there. Her kids are 12 (twins) and do take care of his basic needs but they are not spending time with him at all, and have moved into my families floor of the house so they're only around him when feeding him etc.

So my mother wants to get rid of him because she doesn't think he's being given enough attention, and she's definitely right. However, with our life so hectic I don't think she's going to have the time to find a good home for him any time soon. I can't, because I'm only a teenager.

He's miserable, and I really want to help. Seeing as I can't find a better home for him, I want to try and improve his quality of life and maybe even train him, to make it easier to find a home. I have no idea where to start though. He's probably around 5(?) years old. He's aggressive and has bit me, my siblings, and mom before, and drew blood. He isn't properly potty trained and only goes on a pad inside, doesn't know any basic commands, runs away frequently, and there are probably other problems that I don't know about.

Where do I start?? I do have a dog, but I've had her since she was a puppy and since I was young, I wasn't the one responsible for most of the training. (I did go to obedience classes with my parents though, and remember some stuff)

My goals are to get him to stop peeing/pooping in the house, stop biting people, stop barking all the time (probably due to a lack of attention though? i plan on fixing that), and also to teach him some basic commands like sit, down, come. Stuff like that at least.

Where do I start training him? He has so many issues and doesn't know me well. I haven't trained an older dog before, and I feel really bad just leaving him. Sorry for this wall of text and thank you for reading!! If you know of anything I could do please tell me.
 

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Hi @Concord - welcome to DF!

Good for you for wanting to help the dog!

I have a few friends with Pom's and they are barkers. It's a trait of their breed, I think. It can certainly be helped with activity, though!

I don't have experience housebreaking an older dog. I crate trained my girl when she was a puppy and it was easy and reliable. When I was home, I tethered her to me and I got to know her signs for needing to go out.

Regarding basic obedience, I recommend Kikopup on YouTube. She has a bunch of videos and they are very simple to follow.

Good luck!
 

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I would start with exercising him more and see if that helps
Even small dogs need exercise and mental stimulation and can be nightmares without it
As far as housetraining, same as you would with a puppy (I think there is a sticky somewhere on here)
Older dogs can learn quickly!
Kudos to you for taking interest in the dog :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you! Is crate training a good idea? I think he has one. My mom's nervous to let him up into our house because he might bight my younger sister. Also I'm not sure if he'd attack my cat.

Do you guys have any tips for what to do if he's aggressive? I tried picking him up to move him and he immediately started growling. And what are good ways to exercise him?? How much should I walk him? Hes definitely overweight. Sorry for so many questions and thanks.
 

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Hi you brave youngster! I think it's fantastic that you want to do something for this dog.
You ask how you train an older dog; the simple answer is: with patience :)
I would start with training sit. I would train this at home and when walking the dog, which you should do as much as possible.
For housetraining; keep him in leash, look for signs that he needs to go outside to pee or poo, and bring him. When it's not possible to have him on leash, crate him. But be sure to let him out to potty often until he knows that this only is ok outside.
Training him not to be aggressive; you have him in leash and when he starts growling or showing other signs of aggression, pull him gently away and try to get him interested in something else. Be sure to praise him whenever he comes close to something he usually is aggressive towards IF he does not show aggression - it's the only way to teach him what is right.

The best of luck!! :)
 
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