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  1. #1

    must completely re-train new dog... I need suggestions!

    We just adopted an Australian cattle dog mix, and we were told by the foster mom that he was crate trained and housebroken. Not only is he NOT crate trained OR housebroken, but he barks like hell when we leave. Now, we have decided to give it a try, but whenever we put him in the crate (with an anti- bark collar on... we live in an apartment) he pees all over the place. He's doing ok with the bark collar (only a few barks here and there instead of non-stop barking for hours), but I need to find a way to make him stop peeing in the crate. He is about a year old, and he likes to chew, so letting him run free is not an option. We also can't put him in the kitchen because he's learned how to open the fridge (although I guess I could just duct tape it shut).

    Does this sound like a problem anyone else has had? Is there something that I can spray into the crate that will deter him from peeing in it? Will he eventually stop doing it, or will he get used to sleeping in his own filth? I really want to provide a good home for this little guy, but this really can’t go on for much longer or else the apartment manager is going to ask us to either get rid of the dog or leave. I just feel so stupid for believing everything the foster mom told me. :x

  2. #2
    Well, all I can say to you is that it sounds like you knew nothing about Australian Cattle Dogs before you got this one. Sob. I feel for you...but I suspect you did not do your homework. Did you read up on these dogs at all? Talk to other owners? They have great needs and an apartment is not really a very good plan. They are active, need a job, need something to do and are not dogs that can sit well in a crate or an apartment all day. They need plenty of exercise and plenty to do. This is a bred of dog that needed some research before you took it in.

    I admire and respect greatly your desire to help this dog, bercause no one would want to see it in a shelter where the next home can have just as many problems and before you know it, a sweet dog that really is only being very true to his nature, is passed from home to home to home and gets worse with each passing...because now on top of everything he also can not trust humans or the stability he needs.

    So my short answer to you is discouraging...but not hopeless. Your dog CAN be trained, and you can work with him but I think before we go into all of that you need to decide right now, and not in three months, if this is the dog for you.

    Are you able to provide him with plenty - PLENTY - of exercise? Not a walk or two a ay, but exercise...running, jumping and some daily stimulation. These guys are VERY smart and will need something to occupy their minds as well as their bodies. He will need toys and games and interaction with you. He'll not be a dog to lay at your feet while you watch TV, he'll be trying to talk you into taking him for a jog, or tossing a ball or a frisbee.

    So first things first - go on the internet and talk to other owners. Read up about this breed. Learn all you can. If you can make it work, and I really hope that you can, because he deserves it...then let's get down to getting started in helping you.

    But I suggest that you make that decision first after educating yourself on this breed. You can start with our own breed profile found here:

  3. #3

    please don't assume that I am ignorant.

    Ok, first of all, THIS is the reason that I do not usually post in forums like this. Yes, I did my homework, yes, I do have extensive knowledge of not only cattle dogs and shepherds in general, but many active dogs. He is not a hyper dog when I am home; actually, he is content to lay at my feet while I am on the computer or watching TV. He is not a big chewer, and I have only caught him trying to chew two things (a drumstick and a shoe) that he was not supposed to. He also happens to be missing a leg, which does not affect his mobility. I and my significant other are both avid runners and he goes for a run at least once a day. We are trying to teach him to fetch now. So exercise is not a problem. We have different schedules and the longest amoutn of time the dog spends alone is three hours.

    Please don't assume that I am a lazy, ignorant owner that doesn't care about the welfare of the dog; quite the contrary. I do not want him to have to sleep in his own urine, and I am looking for a way to keep him from being frightened when I am gone. Yes, I have tried the radio/TV, I have tried putting an old t-shirt that I have slept in in his crate with him.

    I think what I am basically asking is how long does a process like this take. I am NOT asking for criticism.

  4. #4
    Here is a very good book that would be worth the read:
    Sit Stay Fetch

    It will explain a lot about how to stop the barking, the chewing and tearing up - although at age 1 this behavior is also very normal. You might also consider doggie day care - I know it sounds absurd, but if you are working all day (and I do not know if this is the case) and he is crated all day, the time alone might just be toio much for him. With dog care you can drop him off, he can romp and play all day and then you can pick him up after work...I do not know if this is an option in your area but it is a wonderful solution to the issue.

    In regards to how to stop him from peeing in his large is the crate? When he pees, must he lie in it, or can he move away from it? How long is he in the crate at the longest? Is he crated at night (bedtime)? How often is he taken outside? Have you taken any steps to house break him - in other words, taking him out first thing, praising him like crazy when he goes to the bathroom and then back into the house...repeating this often and not using outside for play or anything but bathroom initially? This is a key element - to get him used to going outsiode to do his business...

    AS to how long it will take - it depends on teh dog. Some dogs can be house trained in a few weeks...others can take months. He might ALSO have an incontinence problem. One of my rotties urinated in her bed every night. Never in the house, ... only when she was sleeping. I am adept at house taining so it was really driving me quite mad. I could not figure out what the problem was....

    So we carted her off to the vet for a full examination. He owund up putting her on pills for incontinence. That was it. It was purley a medical condition. She might outgrow it, she might not, but she is down from three pills a day to one a day and we'll slowly wean her off it and see if it helps. It is quite possible that if the dog is ONLY urinating and NOT defecating that this is a problem that no amount of house training will help and simple medication MIGHT.

    Keep us posted...put your hackles down... we'll try to help....

  5. #5

    Most dogs after being adopted go through a adjustment they seem to forget what they knew. i had one that was nerotic for a bit but got better after a while and another that did some thing like yours and this to seemed to taper off in 4 months. In my opinon your dog will start to relax after 4 month even better in 6 and wonderful in 12. when she learns the routine of the house and starts to really get to know you. she will feel better and safe.

    A couple of questions: is she peeing in the creat or is she submitting because shes excited to see you? How wet is she? Most dogs dont go were they sleep like you know i am sure. i would also have the vet check for a UTI. Is it wet in the morning when she is in there longer? or in the 3 hours when you both are not home?

    It could also be the bark collar... she could be submitting to it when it shocks her? I think there is a reson she is peeing we just need to put the puzzle together and figure out what it is.

    We know you are taking her out, shes getting to play, and all basic needs are being met. Now we just need to find out why is she peeing? Are you sure its pee? I only ask because when my aussie is board he licks and he can get his bed (and mine) so wet!!!! Places they lick are legs, groin, feet and my aussie licks what ever the blanket, floor, ect...

    some things to think about, I hope i helped?

    like with most animals the best thing is time when all else fails time is what we have.



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