Housetraining a 20 month old rescue
I have a 20 month old neutered male rescue that has bonded with me nicely but came with problem behaviors. I am his third owner. He is a handful, very smart and responsive to training, but he tests a lot and I have to really stay on him.
I have owned many dogs for many years, but am a first time GSD owner, and now understand why some dogs should only go to "experienced GSD owners" and the specialized nature of GSD ownership. I feels pretty frustrated at times, but will not give up on this guy.
I took him to basic training and he did pretty well, he knows the basic heel (leash only), sit, down, stay, and does well with these--"off" is a work in progress but he is much better--only a problem when I first come home from work, when he is pretty spastic, but calms down quickly.
I use a prong collar and one of those short leather handles for correcting him as I was taught at the basic training class.
I have had him for 6 months or so. He seemed housetrained when I got him. We had him sleep in a cage at night but he whined and cried for at least an hour, sometimes through out the night. He had no problem going in a cage, seemed used to it, but just very upset being left alone.
One night, he completely destroyed the cage, bent the door and was able to squeeze out. He was a perfect gentleman the remainder of the night--no destruction, and no destruction since.
We decided to let him sleep in our bedroom and he has been fine and content, although he has woken us up at 3, 4 5 in the morning to go outside on occasion. He has stopped waking us up in the middle of the night for the moment, I think because we stopped letting him out so he just goes back to sleep.
The main issue now is he has recently taken to urinating in the house, but during the day, not overnight. Since we have another dog that is pretty sick at the moment, I assumed the accidents were from this other dog, but today I watched in horror as my GSD lifted his leg and did his business right in front of me without a hint of remorse! I rushed him outside of course, and cleaned up the mess with Natures Miracle.
I think I know the answer, that I need to treat him like a puppy with housetraining, take him out more, reward for going outside, etc., but wondered if I can get anyone's thoughts on the cage issue. He basically is a bit of a spoiled brat, whiner, when he doesn't get his way.
Thanks in advance.