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  1. #1

    House Training Rescue Dogs - Help!!

    Hello. I am looking for advice to a behaviour problem. I live in Qatar in the Middle East, where, although dogs are tolerated, most of the population will not approach them. There is very little in the way of advice/shopping/care for dogs here.

    About 4 months ago I took on two rescue dogs. Roger is a 10 month old Saluki-cross and Noodles is 2 year old Jack Russell bitch.

    Noodles has spent most of her life in a small cage and was rescued from a very bad pet shop, which was allowing most of its stock to die. She is having problems adjusting to housebreaking. She habitually goes in the same place on the floor (urine and faeces) and I am still trying to get her to associate going outside with going to the toilet. She will often go inside on the floor within minutes of being outside.

    Roger was born into a pack of dogs which were allowed to run wild on a large compound. He is responding slightly better to housetraining but displays behaviour I am not familiar with such as eating/playing with his (and noodles) faeces and very short attention span. He will even pick up faeces and bring them back to his basket (which they share) and sleep with them.

    Both dogs were paper trained and then when the paper was moved outside, they seemed to respond well. However, in the last few weeks they seemed to be regressing and ‘accidents’ have become a daily occurrence. Both dogs also show a propensity for scavenging. Anything (yuk!). I am proposing to try to curb this behaviour by muzzling them when out on walks as there is a lot for them to scavenge here (this is not the cleanest of countries)

    I have been using the normal training techniques like regular walks outside (every 4-5 hours – I do not have a garden) praising and rewarding good behaviour and shoving the dogs outside when I catch them, but so far I am having very limited success. Both Dogs are very well natured and loving and appear to know when they have done wrong (ears back, submissive, etc). I have had rescue dogs before but never with problems as acute as this.

    Please help!!

  2. #2
    First of all, I'd like to commend you on helping these dogs. I hate to recommend crate training, if they already spent a lot of their lives shut in a the fact that puppy mill dogs (pet shop dogs) that live in cages often have no qualms about going right there in their crates, since that is where they had to go (another reason not to buy a dog at a pet shop in the US!).

    Let me think on this one for a few days. I am not sure a crate would help with the case of the one dog that spent it's life living in one. Usually dogs hate to go where they sleep...but this one is actually BRINGING feces to his crate and sleeping with them so it sure presents a much larger issue....

  3. #3
    Any advice you can offer willl be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.

  4. #4
    You said that they had been paper trained and took to it well.
    What did they do with teh feces then? Did they also use the paper for that and leave them ON the paper?
    Perhaps that was easier because you immediately cleaned that up after them?

  5. #5
    When I got Roger, he was paper trained. Noodles was not but got used to it reasonably quickly. The paper did get cleaned up but only as fast as I find new mess on the floor these days. If I find a mess, I clean it up. The problem is if it happens while I am out or during the night. I have recently modified their feeding schedule to se if this might have an effect. They are currently fed once a day at around 5 pm, just before an afternoon walk.

  6. #6
    I too would like to commend you on rescuing these guys. A few things I would try. I would also avoid a crate in this situation but containing them to an area of the house will be helpful. I would keep Noodles away from the area that she continually goes. I would also make sure you thoroughly clean that area with a non ammonia based cleaner to get the smell out. When they go out praise like crazy if they go. If you catch them going inside don't just throw them outside go out with them or they won't get the point. As for the scavenging....that probably has come natural to Roger to survive. This is probably going to be a hard habit to break. I would make sure he's had a good meal before taking him places that he can scavenge. I would also work on the "Leave It" command. He is still going to try to go for it but should leave it alone once the command is given. This will at least curb his eating issues. I would also apply this to the feces eating. Pack dogs often eat feces.....going back to when the wolves fed on entrails of deer etc to get whatever nutrients were still in them to survive. Roger probably experienced this as well. Best of luck to you.



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