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  1. #1

    Help with training a new rescued dog.

    Hello everyone, I'm new here, and hoping to get some good advice. My girlfriend and I recently got a 2 year old terrier mix from a shelter (unsure of the breed, but he is built exactly like our rat terrier, and is long haired in a 'benji' sort of way). Anyways, we got him from the shelter 2 days after he was dropped off. We saw pictures of his previous owners, who were elderly and in wheelchairs, and unable to care for him anymore. He is a very good natured dog, gets along wonderfully with our other dog (a 3 year old rat terrier), and our two cats. He has developed one small problem though... pooping in a spare bedroom...

    Its the oddest thing. No matter what we do, he always goes and poops on the floor in our spare bedroom. He always waits to pee until he is outside, but he won't poop out there. In fact, yesterday I took him out and we walked around our yard for maybe 25 minutes and as SOON as we go back inside, he makes a bee-line for the spare bedroom and does his business. Its odd.. I am sort of thinking that maybe the previous owners trained him to poo in a certain room or something since their mobility wasn't the greatest... I don't know.

    We also think he may have been abused because he shies away and submits like an abused dog does whenever we yell at him for pooing in the spare bedroom. I don't even want to think about swatting his bottom with a newspaper because I am afraid he might've been abused...

    Any suggestions on how we can re-train a dog that either wasn't trained, or really likes pooping in a room?

    Bill Garrett

  2. #2
    I am, by far, not a trainer. But I'll give you my advice on what I would do if I were in that situation.
    First of all, do you crate train him at all? (Here is some info on crate training.) If not, I'd recommend that you start working on it. Crate training is useful because, not only does it give your dog a place of his own, but when you need to lock him up (say, if you have people over to work on your home or you need to take your dog somewhere that requires a crate), he'll already be acclimated and comfortable.

    I would take any poops that he does in the house and put them in the back yard. Make sure that he sees and sniffs them next time you take him out. Does he usually poop at a certain time of the day? Like after you get home from work? I would take him outside and keep him out there for as long as you can. If he doesn't poop, bring him inside and put him in his crate. Wait maybe a half hour (maybe less in the beginning) then take him outside again.

    You should also associate a word or phrase or sound with his pooping. With my dog, I used to say "Go Potty" every time he'd poop. In the beginning, I'd say it as many times as I could while he was pooping, them I would praise him when he was done. It didn't take him long to pick it up, and now when I say it, he tucks his butt and lets it fly! :D

    Hopefully, he'll pick up quickly. In the meantime, I would definitely block off that bedroom where he usually has his accidents. You can either just shut the door, or buy a baby gate to keep him out. I've had to gate my dog out of rooms before, although I thought that baby gates were a little pricey for me, since I don't have a baby. So I took some of these grids that I used to make a guinea pig cage and used them to make a gate. Works pretty well!

    Hope it works out for you! How long have you had him?

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. We've had him for about 4 days now. He has pooped outside once or twice, and we do praise him for it. Its so odd. I crate trained my other dog when I first got her, and that worked wonderfully. I hadn't even thought of it, since I'm so used to having the dogs running around freely. I'll see if I can dig the old kennel out of storage.

    Bill Garrett

  4. #4
    Just an update. He went in the spare room again yesterday, so I did as suggested above, and it seemed to have SOME effect on him. He looked so pittiful until I let him out of his kennel. Then before bedtime last night, he actually went when I took him outside. I'm hoping he learned his lesson, and was just testing us or something, being in a new environment...

    Thanks again for the advice.

    Bill Garrett



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