Struggling with 'signs' that dog needs to go out

(24 Posts)
PengAly Tue 15-Jan-19 16:46:44

So you may remember my post from last week where we brought home a retired greyhound. We seem to have some sort of toilet accident each day since we have had him and we are now on day 11. Basically he KNOWS that outside is where he wee's and poo's- we have housetrained him and he always goes when we let him outside. But half the accidents seem to be our fault as he doesnt really give us any signals of needing to go out (or we are very oblivious first time dog owners!) Being a sighthound he loves just standing at the back door to look at squirrels so we cant use that as a signal. We have been slowly leaving him alone each day with today being for a full 4 hours and he didnt have a single accident while we were out but an hour after coming home and him going out for a wee, he started weeing in the house! Now that i think about it, he did quickly pace to the door, then me, and then wee but id only taken him for a wee an hour earlier so didnt think he would need one again so soon. Other accidents have been when we brought him home from a vet visit and it was quite stressful. We didnt let him out right away so he wee'd inside- again, should we have assumed his had a stressful time so would need a wee? Another time we were teaching him to go downstairs and he was too scared to go down so he just weed upstairs, this was first thing in the morning so i imagine our fault as he always needs a wee and poo first thing every morning. Yesterday he actually poo'd in the lounge because he always needs to go first thing in the morning but my DH brought him back inside after he wee'd but didnt keep him out long enough.
Now i feel like i am always on edge because unsure if he is giving us a sign or not! Please tell me it will get better or are we missing obvious signs? I feel like such an idiot because from reading other peoples' experience we shouldnt be having accidents anymore as he knows to go outside...but his signals just seem so subtle until i reflect back on it. Again, he never has an accident when we arent home. He knows to go outside. Its the signals we keep missing...and he doesnt have accidents by the door, he has them in the lounge near where he spends most the day. Other times has been him marking territory inside but we are working on that
Please help?

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TheHodgeoftheHedge Tue 15-Jan-19 16:53:15

"we have housetrained him"
Ok, not to sound like an arse but you categorically haven't if he's weeing and pooing in the house.
However, take comfort in that nearly every owner has been where you are. So, you go right back to basics. You literally take him out to do his business, on the hour EVERY hour. big praise and rewards every time he does his business outside.
Do you have a proper dog wee cleaner for the accidents inside? normal cleaners won't remove the enzymes that the dog can smell and that will help prevent remarking.
Sorry - I have to run into a meeting right now but will type more later.

sillysmiles Tue 15-Jan-19 16:53:18

First thing is to recognise is that all of the accidents are your fault not just some of them! And I don't mean that in a harsh way, but you've only had him 11 days, in the scheme of things that is still very new.
I don't believe in letting him out to go to the toilet - especially at this early stage. You need to be taking him out. You need to be with him so you can a) be certain that he has gone and b) reward the behaviour of going outside where you want.
If you take him out then you can see when he is actually needing to go. Initially try it as a routine and not based on his signals - so 30mins after eating or every few hours if you are home during the day so that you can see what his routine is.

Honestly, I think you are making life really hard on yourself by not going out with him and rewarding (lots of praise) for going outside. Also - training your dog to go on command is incredibly useful!

dudsville Tue 15-Jan-19 16:54:02

I had a dog that didn't give signs, she had one thing, a stare grunt. It was her wait of saying she wanted to go out, to eat, to get a drink, to go to bed, to go for a walk, impossible. We followed the old training rules and toileted when waking from sleep, when having got excited, when having eaten, etc., it took a little while but we gradually got to a place of no accidents. Persevere the night, for a short oeriod of time, i had her tethered to me Persevered I'd wake of she moved - obviously that only works when you let them sleep with you. Persevere!

Wolfiefan Tue 15-Jan-19 16:55:23

I would be treating him like a pup. Out every 30 mins. After eating, playing, drinking or on waking from sleep too. Take out on a lead. Use the word you want them to associate with peeing when they go. Praise when it happens.

BiteyShark Tue 15-Jan-19 17:00:13

Read up on toilet training for puppies and implement those techniques. Even with a rescue I would be doing that until I was absolutely sure he was toilet trained. When I take my adult dog to new houses I always take him outside frequently and give a command to pee and praise him so he knows where to go in the new place and he is fully toilet trained. Your rescue is new and obviously isn't trained yet so back to basics for as long as it takes.

As others have mentioned you need to take him out frequently. After every play, feed and sleep and stay with him so you can praise when he toilets. Make sure you use enzyme cleaners inside so any accidents don't encourage him to go there again.

PengAly Tue 15-Jan-19 17:28:57

Hi all, thank you for the advice, i am taking it on board. But we have been doing what you all are saying. We dont just let him out, one of us stays out with him and waits until he does his business and then we give him praise (he isnt food motivated so he get loads of strokes and good boys). We have been letting him out very frequently too, pretty much every hour, then every 2 hours and when we leave right before and right after we get back. Normal routine is first thing in the morning, directly after eating each mea as he likes a wee then and right before bed and of course throughout as mentioned above when we are home. When i say some is our fault I mean when he marked things- we didnt realise that would be an issue and are rectifying that now because he has only recently been castrated. I honestly don't want to sound like im disagreeing but this isnt due to our lack of housetraining him as he NEVER goes when we arent here or in the night. It is simply that we just miss his very subtle signs. All the advice you all have given me is what we are already doing. Just feel down that at times we seem to slip up noticing signs and would like advice on noticing subtle signs please.

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PengAly Tue 15-Jan-19 17:33:07

Also should say we do use a specfic pet stain cleaner eith enzymes- simple solution.
He is taken out after every meal, playtime, nap, and excersise whilst we are here. When we first got him we did the hourly thing

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BiteyShark Tue 15-Jan-19 17:33:44

I mentioned this on the puppy thread. When mine was young I would often miss his half hearted paw to indicate he wanted to go out unless I was staring at him. I bought some training bells and hung them on the door and within a day trained him to bash his nose to be let out. Once he was fully trained we got rid of the bells because he then knew he had to get my attention to let him out.

PengAly Tue 15-Jan-19 17:44:13

We thought about bells but as a greyhound not too sure itd work. Some examples of potential signs from him: quick walk to back door, then to me. And also restlessness. Thats it really. Problem is he loves just watching the back garden for birds and squirells so him standing but the door isnt really a sign in itself

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Stardustinmyeyes Tue 15-Jan-19 17:47:22

What a fabulous idea to use the bells, absolutely brilliant.

CMOTDibbler Tue 15-Jan-19 17:51:25

My foster lurcher puppies all learn to ring the bells on the door to go out. I just ring them every time I open the door to take them out to toilet (eleventy billion times a day), and they very soon get the idea. My adult dogs do it too

PengAly Tue 15-Jan-19 17:52:10

Greyhounds just seem quite lazy so not sure how to actually get him to do that?

Im really asking if fellow dog owners have dealt with subtle signs what they did? We have done all the house training techniques now and we do have a routine it is just about signals.

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PinkFluffyFairy Tue 15-Jan-19 18:22:33

I think you're right and you've missed the signs.

My dog sits next to me when he needs a wee. Took me a long while to figure that out. You'll get there. I think you're already aware of the signs he have that you missed so keep your eyes peeled and you'll be fine.

PengAly Tue 15-Jan-19 18:32:12

Thanks pinkfluffy! It doesnt help that he is a bit of a velcro dog so whenever we get up so does he and he is still getting used to the house so is always sniffing around. He alsi just leans his head over our laps and nudges us if he wants cuddles so again cant tell when does that for toilet or attention

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heidiwine Tue 15-Jan-19 18:34:36

Mine (whippet) goes to the back door and just stands staring. He also does this if there is a cat/squirrel/pigeon/butterfly in the garden.
Sometimes he will come and press his nose on me. He also does that when he doesn’t need to go out.
When he does need to go out he is restless and that’s my biggest clue (he’s a lazy bugger).
That said - I try to take him out more frequently than he needs. If I were you I would be taking him out every time you get back in after leaving him as that seems to be when it’s happening.
Bells would not work for me because I actually think my dogs too dim to realise that he needs to ring them (or that he even has the capacity to ring them). He would think ringing bells was beneath him and a human-only activity (akin to going out in the rain).
Good luck. You’ll crack it. You’ve only had him 11 days so everything must be very new for him and a combination of scary and exciting.

PengAly Tue 15-Jan-19 18:53:53

@heidiwine thank you! Sounds very similar to our guy. He has a high prey drive so he is ALWAYS looking out windows. His daily routine is usually- look out front window, look out back door, repeat a few times, rest/nap, repeat. In between naps he likes to pace around and sniff/explore. He does loves being in the garden too so always seems to want to go out but he knows cats and squirrels are out there! So you can imagine how its impossible to tell when he needs to wee/poo- specially when we know he waits 4 hours when we arent home and is fine overnight. Usually1 he stands super close to us and lowers his head for attention which is adorable but again no idea when it means he wants to go. I took him out an hour ago and he hasnt drank or ate anything since so its hard to tell. I just feel down because before getting him i saw loads of people say that they had only 1 or 2 accidents on the first day with greyhounds and then never again so felt like we either were super clueless or just unlucky sad

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Iwantdaffodils Tue 15-Jan-19 23:08:47

I've had dogs for many years, none of them puppies, so after a day or two of getting used to things they were generally fine with our regular walks. Well, one used to wee because of separation anxiety but that's another issue.

I now have a lurcher and it took me years to realise when she wanted out. (She doesn't have a good bladder so needs out more often). She would wander over to me as if she wanted to be petted and then lie down again, but would wee later in another room or through the night. When I finally twigged, things improved a lot.

However, she also did a poo through the night sometimes, in spite of being taken for a walk and doing the necessary immediately before bed.
These night-time accidents have stopped completely since a change of food. I've tried a few over the years, grain-free, hypoallergenic etc, all good quality, but now she's on VET UK Canine Sensitivity and Intestinal Health and it's worked wonders. She doesn't even need to pee quite so often through the day. She never had diarrhoea so wasn't an obvious candidate for this food, but it works.

As far as greyhounds go, they do vary, because I knew one couple who took in two, and it did take a bit of time for them to be completely toilet trained.

billybagpuss Wed 16-Jan-19 07:43:50

I'll ditto what PP have said about training as a puppy and offering the opportunity every half hour or so.

It does sound like quite a few of your incidents are stress related, so that should improve as he gets more confident in you and his surroundings.

Hopefully you'll also find over time a routine will establish and that will help, its less than 2 weeks for you yet and must all be very scary for him. Billypup has a good 2 miles first thing (3 - 4 at weekends) where we get multiple wee's and usually a couple of poos, then another mile or so at lunch time, 1 wee and 1 poo. Then a wee wee walk at 3.30, very rarely a poo at that one then another relatively long walk at 6 and a last wee at 10. (never thought I'd be typing out my Ddogs toilet routine) But we are now confident that when she is well and not under the weather this works and she knows roughly when she gets to go out. She does whack the back door with her paw if she feels we are late.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Wed 16-Jan-19 07:47:48

We also use bells and it is so cute!

PengAly Wed 16-Jan-19 12:09:10

@billybagpuss i appreciate the advice but thats already what we have been doing. Its more so about reading his cues we are struggling with as he a very quiet and subtle greyhound.

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DogInATent Wed 16-Jan-19 12:40:23

Our Staffy just walks to the door and looks over her shoulder at us. She'll usually have been a bit fidgety and unsettled for a minute or so before ambling over to the door.

You need to get used to your dogs pee'n'poop routine, they're all slightly different. It takes time. But once you've got it sussed you'll pre-empt most of their needs.

Iwantdaffodils Wed 16-Jan-19 13:27:27

You're obviously taking him out a lot, but I'm not clear as to how much you're actually walking him? I've found that routine is essential to help new dogs settle. Up and out for a mile walk first thing, for example. I think that's what billybagpuss is getting at too.

If he's getting regular proper walks, he shouldn't need out so much inbetween, given that he is adult and can go four hours when you're out.

PengAly Wed 16-Jan-19 13:58:26

We are walking hime twice a day, morning and evening. 20 mins each- this has been reccomended as greyhounds dont particularly need much more and he doesnt seem to want to go much longer. He can hold it for 4 hours as we have left him alone that long and he he holds it over night too. He is a very lazy dog though

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