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  1. #1

    is my dog un-housetrainable?????

    Two months ago I bought an 8 month old German Sheppard, female. She's my first female dog, ever. She would never pee in the house, and lets me know when she needs to go out. But when she has to poop she waits till I'm not paying attention (even just for two minutes) and goes in a corner. I have taken her out and stood in the yard for an hour with her, watched her poop in the yard, then brought her in and in ten minutes she will go again on the floor. This is the most frustrating thing I've ever dealt with. I don't want an outside dog, I got her because I wanted to share my house with her, but she can't be trusted. I've tried everything I can think of, and nothing works. I used to keep her kennel in my room, but she poops in it also, and she had to be moved to the garage. She's a very smart dog, and knows that she's doing bad. I've taken her to the vet even, and had a full workup done to eliminate any medical problems that might be causing this, she is perfectly healthy. What should I do now? I'm just short of putting her up for sale- I love her, but am tired of cleaning up poop!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    First you said she has a kennel. do you actually mean crate? if she is going in the crate then it's most likely to big.

    Second have you tried having her leashed to you all day. This way you can be there with her at all times and watch her. So she can't so sneaking off to a corner.

    Smart dogs are always the hardest to train. Don't give up. It is possible!
    Blessed Be

    Salem Witch Child

  3. #3
    aamy1077: I can't tell you what will work with your pup, but witchchilds'
    suggestion sounds like a good one to try. Just don't give up. Once the dog gets it, it will all be worth it, and you will be so proud of the two of you.

  4. #4
    I agree also. If you are using a crate for her, she needs enough room to lay down comfortably and switch positions but no more. With my Dane pup we bought a huge crate but then also bought the divider pannels to section off a small sleeping section for him. If they have enough room to comfortably go potty in their crate, then it should be assumed that they most likely will.

    I have never tried leashing a dog to me, but it is surely worth a try if it is possible for you to do.

    One other thing I wanted to ask. Does she usually soil in the same areas repeatedly?? If so, what are you cleaning the messes with? If your not already, you need to get a cleaner like Nature's Miracle or PetZyme and throughly clean every place she has messed. The usual household cleaners can not fully eliminate the smell left by "messes" and even if we can't smell it, the dogs can still smell it and will very likely keep returning to those places to potty. I have used both products and liked each of them.

    Good Luck to you and please hang in there. You can and will get this fixed it just may take some smart thinking and tons of patience :D Your doing good so far!!
    "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras

  5. #5
    Good on you for considering & ruling out medical issues - many people don't even think of this.

    I suspect the dog has been inadvertantly trained this way by previous owners. Perhaps that's why she was available to you at that age. While I agree she's probably smart - most dogs are - she doesn't "know that she's doing bad" in the way you probably perceive it. What she 'knows' is that she's doing her business & then getting in trouble. She obviously also knows that it's Wrong to do it in your presence. She may link the doing of poo with punishment, *if the punishment happens at the same time as the poo*, but it sounds like she's associated your presence with this too.

    Sounds like you're doing OK with taking her out. Just make sure you actively reward this, to encourage it more, as well as teaching her that it's not the act of doing her business, or doing it in your presence that is Bad. I'd be taking her out very regularly for a while, including at least once over night.

    The biggest issue is, she has learned that it's OK to poo inside when you're not around. Every single time she gets to do this, it is strengthening the behaviour - reinforcing her beleif that it's OK. It's not effective to punish her after the event. You need to catch her *before* it & reinforce her for going outside with you when she feels the need.

    So you have to FULLY supervise her when she is inside. This is why attaching her leash to you can be a good method. If you can't supervise her, put her outside, in a crate or in a 'sacrifice area' such as the laundry, that you're prepared to allow toileting in, at least until you train her that the rest of the house is out of bounds for it. The full supervision & putting her 'out' whenever you can't supervise may seem too hard, but in order to teach her, this is necessary.

    Once she's had a long history(at least a month or so) of never going in the house, then you can start letting her *beleive* she's unsupervised, in order to catch any 'sneaky' attempts. Remember you need to catch her before it happens. I'd be inclined to use something to startle or distract her, such as rattle or such, then without further ado(no punishment, especially not by you), take her out & reward her for going out with you. I'd be doing this 'sneaky' supervision consistently for quite some time after she has become consistent about going outside too.

    Another thing I'd be doing is either installing & teaching her to use a doggy door, or teaching her to give you a signal when she wants to go out. I taught my dogs to bark once at the door when they want in or out - sure beats teaching them to scratch at the door, which many people (inadvertant tho it may be) teach their dogs to do.

    Good luck! Remember consistency & repetition is the key. This behaviour, having already been taught 'wrongly' will be harder to change than initially teaching a puppy to be 'housebroken', but it will happen if you're consistent & persistent.



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