Housebreaking Issues - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Housebreaking Issues

Good morning! I'm hoping I can get some good advice here on a situation I have with housebreaking.

Ivy is currently 7 months old and I've had her since she was 8 weeks old. She was spayed 4 weeks ago but this issue hasn't changed in character since spaying and is the same before and after.

She is crate trained and in fact has never had a single accident in her crate even when she was a little puppy. She sleeps loose in the bedroom at night (door closed so she's confined to the room) and had a couple accidents in there when she was younger (because I didn't get up fast enough to let her out or on schedule, totally on me there) but hasn't had any for months and goes a good solid 8 to 9 hours in there at night with no issues.

However, she is not housebroken in the rest of the house. She was going (both defecating and urinating) on a spot of carpet in a corner near our stairs, so we ripped out the carpet (after copious spraying with Nature's Miracle didn't resolve the problem). She now chooses to urinate on the dining room floor (hardwood, again with copious spraying of enzymatics continues to urinate in the same area) and also has urinated in my daughter's bedroom on her bed and urinated and defecated in my sons' bedroom on their floor. She has also urinated on the pillow we keep for her in the living room, but this is rare and again seems to be a fault on my part of not moving fast enough.

When she is confined to the living room, she will whine/nose at me when she needs to go out and will go straight to the door when I let her out of the living room. She has urinated on her pillow only when confined to the living room and I didn't let her out as fast as she needed to go out. In the past she has also urinated on the couch but that was also rare and she hasn't done it in a couple months now.

When she has free run of the house, she will -never- come get me to go out. Not once has she nosed/whined at me or even come into the room to go "hey!" She will just wander off somewhere and go. If I see her start pacing, I will say "outside!" and meet her at the door to let her out. I don't actually always see her pacing though and my husband is terrible at even watching for "cues." This inevitably leads to accidents since she won't come get me when she's loose.

We've taken to keeping all the bedroom doors closed at all times, so she continues to urinate in the dining room and occasionally in the upstairs hallway (thank goodness for hardwood floors!). I almost never catch her doing this so I'm having a hard time indicating to her that it's unacceptable behavior. When I do catch her, I grab her by the collar to stop her and say "outside! outside!" and take her outside. She is always praised for going outside and even knows the command "go potty" to go outside on command.

She has been evaluated for UTI and doesn't have one which didn't surprise me since she's crate trained and housebroken in the bedroom. She has exhibited this same behavior for the entire time I've had her. She has been through Puppy K, Beginner OB, and we're currently taking Intermediate OB with a local trainer and she's a fast learner, so I'm not sure what the mental roadblock is here or what else I can try.

She has never been "punished" in any way for going in the house either when caught or not. She just gets told to go outside and then praised outside when she gets caught. When she doesn't get caught, well, not much I can do there to make an association with the behavior. This is obviously incredibly frustrating for me because I know she's a smart dog and there is seemingly nothing obvious about why she only "tells" me she needs to go outside when confined to the same room as me and otherwise chooses to just go wherever she feels like it in the house.

As an example, this morning she was lying on the floor behind me in the living room about an hour after we had gotten up (and she had already been outside so should not have had an emergent need to go regardless). She got up, walked the few steps into the dining room behind me and went on the floor, then came into the living and laid down, all very nonchalant lol. Out of habit, I got up to check the dining room after I realized she had "moved" and sure enough, there was the puddle. If I had had her confined to the living room with me, she instead would have gotten up and whined at me and I would have let her outside instead.

I'd love some insight, advice, tips, tricks, whatever! I keep reading about GSDs being "totally housebroken" in a matter of weeks and it's been 5 months! lol Is this just normal? Should I just keep doing what I'm doing and hope she "gets it" at some point soon? Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 07:40 AM
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she is consistenly 'going' in spots she's gone before, and probably will continue to do so unless you can get the 'scent' of it out of hardwood floors..which will be nearly impossible I would think.

If you can't keep her confined to the room your in where you have no issues, I'd keep her tethered to me at all times otherwise..It might not look attractive, but I'd throw a tarp over your hardwood floors (in the area she's been going),,just in case ..

I honestly don't know how you'll break her of the habit of going in spots she's already gone, unless you block her access to those areas and / or tether her to you or crate her when you can't supervise..

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 05:32 PM
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Make sure that you are using a proper cleaner to remove the smell too.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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I've been using Nature's Miracle. I read somewhere that vinegar might work too, so I guess I can try that as well as an enzymatic.

I hate to continue doing the tethering thing (I've been doing that) even though it works because I can't see it being a long-term solution. Every time she has a few good days while tethered and I let her loose again, same thing happens.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 12:58 AM
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My 4.5 month old puppy is doing the exact same thing and I have no idea why. Though, she will only go without warning when someone's home.
We can leave her for 5 hours free in the house and she can hold it no problem but as soon as someones home she will pee on the floor less than an hour after she's been out, no warning. If we have her confined, in her crate or the bedroom, or if she needs to poop, she lets us know.
She had a UTI as a puppy but it cleared up with antibiotics and she obviously has the capacity to hold it as she does so overnight and when we're at work.
I'd really appreciate some advice as well.
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