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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
Zlata's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Sun Prairie, WI
Posts: 90
Issues with housetraining, destroying crate/separation anxiety?... Please help!

We recently took on a 5 year old female spayed working line GSD (we picked her up on Sunday.) She has spent the last 4 months in a large outdoor run as well as a garage. Her owner needed to rehome her ASAP because terrible fights were breaking out between the GSD and her Aussie who whelped a litter 4 months ago.

So, we took Angel into our home. We live in a residential area (Angel grew up on a farm.) Angel's owner assured us that she was housetrained, impeccably trained since Angel originally did some Schutzhund, yadda yadda.

We have another dog and keep them separate when we are not home because Angel is a little iffy with him (nothing too bad. She's just wary and unsure. I think she might warm up to him eventually.) We put Angel in our HUGE basement (it has windows with tons of natural light, so don't think dark, creepy, evil basement!) with her crate, a bed, tons of toys, etc. She had a few accidents, so I figured that she couldn't be trusted with that much space just yet. I decided to treat her like a puppy and go back to housetraining 101. I restricted her to a small ex-pen attached to her crate when we could not supervise her. When she went outside I gave her a lot of praise (she is NOT food motivated at all and will flat out ignore treats. She will, however, do ANYTHING for a ball, if that helps anyone give me some ideas on how to motivate her.)

Well, she started having accidents in the ex-pen. I figured that I would start crating her completely to help reinforce the potty training. She willingly hopped into her crate no problem for the past few nights. Well, tonight I went to go to dinner so I put her in her crate. I came home 2 hours later, and she completely mangled her crate to try to get out of it (she didn't.)

Once I let her out of the crate, she basically ran like the roadrunner past me outside where she had horrible, horrible diarrhea. I thought she was done so I brought her back inside the house and she peed right there on the kitchen floor. I cleaned it up, and then she had more diarrhea on the kitchen floor. *sigh* I wasn't angry and didn't scold her. I'm not sure if she's sick or worked herself up and made herself sick.

I gave her some Rescue Remedy tonight to try to help her calm down. I also mixed some probiotics with her food to try to help with her tummy issues. I fixed the crate the best that I could with a hammer and also secured it with high weight-bearing carabiners. I filled a Kong with goodies and gave her a bone to chew on in her crate. She was quiet and chewing on her Kong so I praised her before going back upstairs for the night.

Any tips/advice? I know these are HUGE changes for her. I KNOW she's stressed. I'm trying to keep her on a routine to help her adjust. I am also fully willing to admit that I might not be the best home for her. I work FT, so she is alone for a good chunk of the day. Dog daycare is NOT an option because she is not too keen on dogs right now. I am willing to work with a rescue to rehome her if that's what is best for her.

I also need to mention that her owner wants absolutely nothing to do with her. I took her on the condition of doing a 'trial run.' When Angel started to have some issues, I contacted her owner who basically went on a psychotic, loopy rant about me being a liar and how she wasn't taking Angel back (she does, however, want Angel's crate back... err... you can have it, lady, but it's duct taped ) Her owner already put her AKC registration information in the mail for me. She is done done done with her. I also tried to look for Angel's breeder but came up short. I am the only person Angel has right now, and I am committed to doing the best thing for her, whether that's doing whatever it takes to get her to adjust to my home or rehoming her to someone who is experienced with working line GSDs. I will also bring her to the vet to rule out any medical issues (she DOES drink a lot of water and has to urinate a lot... so I'm wondering if she does have an underlying issue or is just used to drinking a lot/urinating a lot because she used to be outside and could!)

TL;DR. I need advice on how to work with an older, high energy dog who has issues with potty training, is NOT treat/food motivated, and also freaks out in her crate sometimes but not all the time
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