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I really need help with toilet training

(13 Posts)
Ginkgo Fri 03-May-19 20:58:02

We've had dog2 for nearly 1.5 years (she is 3 in a couple of weeks), and I still can't trust her at all.

Her previous owners did not walk her ever and kept her crated 90% of the time. We knew she wasn't toilet trained when we got her but didn't realise that we would still have problems all this time later.

She knows that she gets a treat if she goes to the loo outside.
She knows that she does not get a treat if she goes inside.
She very rarely wees in the house, its mainly poo (we had had her for a whole year the first time she did a wee in the house!).
Until an hour ago I would have said it only happens in the morning. She chose to go inside, the back door was open and the ground was dry so she had no reason to go inside.
She can go months and months without an incident (record is 7 months I think).
She never soils her crate.

I have done everything I can think of. She is crated overnight and when we are out, she is confined to the kitchen until she is walked, she is praised for going outside and if caught in the act inside she is put outside without any fuss. Soiled areas are properly cleaned. I've also spoken to the vet but that was unhelpful.

Does anyone have any advice? I've never had such trouble toilet training a dog before and the randomness of it is annoying me!


OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Fri 03-May-19 22:45:53

It sounds like this is really quite infrequent - you mention she's gone 7 months without an incident?

Is it possible she's just genuinely caught short from time rather than it being a training issue as such?

DDog is about the same age and a few days ago left a little bit of poo on my bed. I'm fairly convinced that he was very deeply asleep or too lazy to get up and a little bit slipped out. Similarly, a few months ago he drank a large quantity of swamp water on a walk and got caught short an hour or so after we got home and weed indoors.

Wolfiefan Fri 03-May-19 22:50:21

If she’s never been toilet trained that means you need to treat her like a pup. Take her out on a lead every half an hour, after drinking, eating, sleeping and playing too. Praise (no treat)when she goes.
Watch her like a hawk. It’s going to be really hard. You need to make sure she’s always outside when she needs to go.

adaline Sat 04-May-19 08:03:39

But you still haven't toiled trained her properly - you need to treat her like a puppy.

Toilet training means going back to absolute basics. Take her out regularly, loads of praise and fuss when she gets it right. You need to go out with her so when she goes, you're stood right there ready to give praise. If she shows signs of going indoors (circling, sniffing, pacing) take her out immediately.

I found a command word helped - we just used "toilet" whenever he went and now he knows when I let him out and say "toilet" he's to do his business and come back in.

Ignoring any accidents and cleaning them with proper enzyme remover will help - you can get it from pet shops.

Ginkgo Sat 04-May-19 09:04:25

AvocadosBeforeMortgages It is really infrequent and I am positive she is not caught short, she has too many opportunities to go outside.

Wolfiefan and adaline We have been treating her like a puppy for a year and a half, it is exhausting and hard work. We have changed our whole lives so she is watched all the time (or she is crated).

She gets praised instantly when she goes outside. She has a command to toilet and obeys it. She can even ask to go outside. She has never showed any signs of needing to go before she goes inside. Any accidents are ignored and cleaned with an enzyme remover.

She went 7 whole months without going in the house, I am positive that she knows to go outside but I haven't managed to teach her that she can't go inside whenever it suits her.

This method of toilet training (which is excellent and how I trained all my other dogs including dog1) isn't working with dog2 and I don't know why.

Thank you for the advice, it is nice to be reassured that we are doing everything right.

OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sat 04-May-19 09:18:27

As it is very infrequent, with many months between incidents, there's a part of me that wants to say she's well house trained but has the odd accident and the causes aren't readily identifiable or resolvable.

Despite the very occasional accident (once every 6 months?) that my DDog has I'd still regard him as being well house trained. I'd be really curious to hear if other MN dogs have the occasional accident too?

Reading this post makes me wonder what's normal for other dogs and about how much owner perception of what's a serious problem plays into it.

Ginkgo Sat 04-May-19 09:36:27

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Dog1 has not gone it the house since she was about 7 months old (she's nearly 4), although she did wee at a friends house at about 11 months old. Of my 2 previous dogs, 1 never went to the loo in the house (adult rescue) and the other only went when he was really ill and couldn't wait (rescued as a pup and had serious health issues) once he was toilet trained.

To me, a dog that is house trained is a dog that never goes in the house unless they can't help it (no one to let them out, illness, old age). It's interesting that we have different views on this, and makes me feel much better about dog2!

OP’s posts: |
fleshmarketclose Sat 04-May-19 09:54:38

We've had Bella ten months, I'd say she was house trained, in that time she has pooped in the house twice overnight so more often than your dog has. I assume it was because she was desperate to go and didn't think to wake me. She very thoughtfully does it on the hard floor going away from her bed and the carpet. I cleaned it up without comment because she looked anxious when I came down so she might have been told off in a previous home.

adaline Sat 04-May-19 11:01:02

It sounds like she just had an accident then, as opposed to her not being trained . Ours was perfect for months then peed on the bed even though he'd been outside seconds earlier hmm

Sometimes I think it just happens - I don't think there's any dog out there who's never had an accident inside at some point. I think it's just something you have to suck up as a pet owner!

OverFedStanley Sat 04-May-19 12:03:21

First a vet check

Do not treat when weeing outside just praise and a mad happy owner - treating tends to make the dog stop mid wee as they anticipate the treat and then they often come back indoors and finish off the wee!

I would also keep the door shut so there is a clear divide between indoors and outdoors but this would mean you giving the dog the opportunity to go out regularly.

Avocadoes I would not expect any of my dogs to wee inside (unless ill or elderly but no other reason but if ill they would let me know they wanted to go out). I have 6 dogs and can say that none of them have weed inside since being house trained. <Stares at 15 year old lab with nerve damage who is just surprised when poos appear behind him is the exception in our house> bless him

Ginkgo Sat 04-May-19 13:04:31

I honestly do not think she is having accidents, I believe she is making a choice as she is far more likely to go inside in poor weather. I honestly do not think she understands that she can't go inside.

OverFedStanley she has been checked over by the vets twice, other than concern for her eyesight she is perfectly healthy. The vet said that sometimes older dogs just never get it.

You are right about dogs anticipating treats but dog2 hasn't ever finished toileting inside if she started outside. Her main problem is pooing inside, she's only ever had a wee in the house twice. The first time took us by suprise as we had had her a year by then, she looked outside, saw it was raining and went to wee inside. The second time was an accident as I didn't get to the door quick enough so she went on the door mat.

OP’s posts: |
adaline Sun 05-May-19 08:25:27

Well I think considering she's gone months without an accident she must know that she's supposed to go outdoors - no?

Some dogs just never fully get it. As in, they're great 95% of time but sometimes they get caught short or don't realise they need to go until it's too late.

Mine also hates going out in the rain so I go and stand there with him until he goes! He knows now the quicker he toilets the quicker he can go back indoors but he doesn't have the choice of not going.

OverFedStanley Sun 05-May-19 08:41:59

If you have tried everything I guess then it depends on how much it worries you.

A poo indoors every 7 months or so, or being more vigilant and taking the dog outside and waiting until they poo outside every single time. Up to you really.

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