We have a 6-year-old queensland heeler who lost her house training when we adopted a small, terrier-mix dog who was about 6 months old when we got her. The terrier was trained to paper, but I can't get her to go outside for her business. The queensland now stains our carpets, so we have 2 dogs who are staining. The queensland actually plays and wrestles with the terrier, although she is dominating and the terrier accepts that. We have our house up for sale & I can't keep the carpets clean. How can we get them both to go outside?
Type of Animal: queensland heeler
Age: 6 years
Name of Dog: Dottie
We put her out often, and she does go potty outside, but she wets and poops during the night, even though we let her out during the night.
The first thing that needs to be done is for the pup to have a quick trip to the vet to make sure that she doesn't have a medical condition that is causing her to have weak bladders such as a urinary tract infection. Most likely, however, they urinate indoors because they don't know the difference or they are marking their own territory within the house with their signature scents. Both male and female dogs will display marking behavior, especially if they have not been neutered or spayed.
If this were me, I'd start from the beginning and completely retrain the dog to solve this problem. I would establish a routine in which the dog is ushered outside as soon as she wakes up in the morning, after meals, after playtime, and before bed. I would praise the dog every time she does her business outside. If you catch the dog in the act inside, you can clap your hands loudly to startle and distract her long enough to grab her and take her outside. The minute she goes to the bathroom outside, give lots of praise and a treat.
Accidents will happen during the retraining process, but it's important to not become angry or frustrated. When you vent these types of emotions, training stops and your dog becomes fearful or confused. It's also futile and silly to punish the dog when she makes puddles or defecates in the house. All she'll learn to do is to do her business secretly or when the owner isn't around to catch her.
Another step I'd take is to completely and thoroughly clean all the carpeting with an enzyme based product that destroys the protein molecules in urine and feces rather than just covering the smell up. There are many cleanup products on the market that work this way..just make sure to not pick a product that contains ammonia, since it smells enough like urine to actually attract the dogs back to the scenes of their crimes.
I know it's frustrating to get dogs re-house-trained...but with a great deal of consistency and patience, you can get it done!
I hope this helps.
Will take the dogs to the vet, but the rest of info is not useful - that's what we've been trying to do. The terrier is so quick we can't catch her to put her outside. Even when we do, she smells around, doesn't go potty, and eventually does her business on the puppy paper. If no puppy paper down, she goes on the rug. The queensland doesn't go potty when we're around, so we can't catch her. I'm sure the terrier thinks she's supposed to go on the paper inside. I've even moved the paper to the lawn, but she ignores it like the plague. We have to have the carpet cleaner in about every 2 weeks, and he uses a pet strain remover each time. A friend suggested we move the puppy paper closer to the back door each time it is used. We did and the dog didn't use it.
Relist: Other.The answer doesn't help. Other than taking BOTH dogs to a vet to see if BOTH dogs have a bladder ailment, retraining an old dog when the pup is still using puppy paper doesn't seem viable.
I can understand your frustration, but I promise that this will work with both dogs. If you have a hard time catching the one dog while she's urinating in the house, you can allow her to trail a leash and that way when she sneaks off, you'll have a better chance of finding her and grabbing her.
It's hard to potty train multiple dogs, so focusing on the main dog...the dominant one is the best first step...the submissive ones will follow the alpha dog.
I don't know how we're going to train the older dog in the middle of the night or early morning when we're asleep. She doesn't go potty when we can see her. I don't know if that's the only answer, but it isn't going to work in this case unless one of us (we're 75 and 80 years old) stays up all night with the light on while they sleep. No point in pursuing this any further. Thanks for your suggestions.
My name isXXXXX have 35 yrs. Experience training, Obedience, behavior, Shelter & Rescue Dogs, Agility, CGC, Therapy work.
I recommend beginning to housebreak all over again, starting at the first step. Older dogs can learn and they learn quickly. I had a 10 year old Rescue Beagle in my Obedience Class, that graduated from Beginner class to Advanced. This rescue Beagle was not house trained since he was kept outside before the rescue and he learned not to potty in the house.
Now I will be honest this training is going to take some time and patience, but really is not as difficult as it sounds. It will be worth the time and effort.
Dogs learn by consistency, and repetition.
Step 1. Your dogs may no longer have free roam of the house even when you are home, areas that they tend to potty in should be gated off so they can no longer enter there. Example: if you are in the kitchen confine them to the kitchen etc. You have to catch the dog in the act in order to correct the problem.
2. Dottie and the new pup should be crate trained at night. (most dogs do not soil their sleeping space) or confine them to a smaller room with a gate. Laundry room or bathroom work great for this.
There really is no reason for a dog 6 mos. or 6 years to potty during the night. It may take a couple of nights of ignoring whining or barking, but they will soon learn that barking and whining will no longer work.
(For positive crate training see Website: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/crate_training.html)
Keep your dog's sleeping area as tight and as comfortable as possible. Keeping the area just large enough for sleep, turn around, there will be no space for potty.
Every morning, when the dogs wake up, take them to the regular potty place to do their business.
Choose one place in the yard. with your dog on a 6ft. leash stand in one spot until she potties.
Wait a reasonable amount of time, no potty, take her back in the confined area or crate wait 20 min to 30 min repeat.
You can take one dog out at a time as long as the other one is still confined.
Say "potty" if she goes give treat (tiny piece of meat or cheese works best) keep these treats for this training only it makes them more valuable.
3. No food No water after 7 or 8 pm. Take them both out on a leash just before bedtime. This prevents accidents from happening.
4. Accompany your dog on a leash when ever possible so that you can give her praise and a yummy treat for doing the right thing. It is even a plus if you can give her the potty command and have her go on cue. This is a real time saver.
TIP: Important: When a dog is just let outside without supervision or not on leash, we will have no idea if they did business out there or just sniffed and played and forgot to potty. Teaching your dog to potty on cue is a great time saver.
5. Praising her and treating her for doing the right thing is the best way to communicate to your dogs that outside is the place to go.
6. I am not sure what was used to clean the carpet, but household cleaners no matter how strong they are will not do the job. There are enzyme cleaners that attack the protein in the urine and will do a much better job of removing the odor so even the dog cannot smell it.
There are several at the pet stores. Natures Miracle is one that comes to mind.
7. This may also be caused by anxiety and not marking or both but, Never punish after the fact as this will cause dogs confusion and more anxiety.
Once she made the mistake she forgot about it.
The best solution is prevention by confinement.
The only time you can show your displeasure for urinating in the house is to catch one of them in the act. Then you can interrupt her with a vocal sound like EEEHHH,
I like this sound better than NO because it is more effective since the dog hears NO/KNOW too often. Then immediately escort her to the proper place to potty outside.
No more puppy pads inside the house this is confusing to both dogs.
Make sure that both dogs get plenty of exercise so they are good and tired at night.
I can't run around with my dog like I used to so I play alot of fetch with them to get my dogs exercise. They will sleep through the night if they are tired.
I want you to be 100% satisfied with my answer and I will be here to answer any further questions you may have concerning my suggestions. Thank You , Abbey
35+ years Training Dogs
Your answer is very thorough and I'm sure it's the professional opinion. However, we are not going to be able to follow your advice. First, I'm 75 and my husband is 80, and we both had brain surgery last year. Bending over is not an option, let alone chasing or trying to catch a little dog, even on a leash. The older one weighs 70 lbs. and we couldn't move her if we tried. Both getting a younger dog and having an overweight dog is our fault, but it exists and we have to deal with it. Second, we do not believe in crating. I realize that it's accepted and that the animals aren't supposed to mind. However, neither of our dogs have been crated and we don't believe any dog (or cat) is comfortable in a small, confined space. Therefore, that option is out. Third, we have no small space that we could pen each animal in. Our bathrooms are big, and our bedrooms are carpeted. We have an 8' arch from kitchen to living room, so gating it is not possible. Fourth, our animals sleep with us at night, and they would feel punished if we locked them up in a small pen, even if I could figure out how to do it.
In short, while I'm sure your advice is sound, we will not be following it. Our animals are too spoiled, and we're too old to change our ways. Thank you anyway.
Thank you for your response and giving me a little more insight to the difficulty training would cause.
I want you to know I understand. I have come up with a couple more alternative ideas. I really want to help.
1, Have a doggy door installed and teach them to go in and out. This only takes treats with one person on the outside and another to call the dog back inside. This should allow for free access to the yard. This should give the dogs free access to potty when ever they need to and avoid mistakes on the rug.
2. Make a doggy litter box. Doggy litter boxes can be purchased in pet stores or I have included a website that tell you how to make one.
I noticed in the web site that they use one of the plastic storage containers that fit under a bed so the sides are low enough for the dog to just step over.
You may even want to consider doing both. The larger dog may go outside more often and the small dog in the litter box.
Suggestion number 3. Would be to hire a local dog trainer to come to your home and help with the potty training. It should not take very long to get both dogs used to going outside again and they can even be taught to ring a bell to let you know they have to go out.
Many trainers will do house visits and charge by the visit or the hour or 1/2 hour. It may be worth it to have a clean rug.
4. They make doggy diapers. (found in pet stores) This may help for night time.
I hope this helps a little more. If I come up with something else I will let you know, I really would like to help you solve this. Abbey