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Old 03-22-2014, 10:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 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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Old 03-22-2014, 11:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I really feel like I know this story, maybe the original owner is on this board? I know I read somewhere a person giving up a GSD cause the Aussie had a litter and fights were breaking out. Weird.

Either way, yes, she is in a hugely stressful state if flux. Her anxiety is high, she has no idea what happening.

Start by getting her used to her crate again. Just like you did tonight. I would move the crate though, to a more heavily trafficked area. GSD want to be with people. She probably feels very isolated and scared alone in the basement. No matter how nice it is.

Lots and lots of excersise. A tired dog is a good dog. I would also sign up for classes. It's a great way to bond and make her feel more secure in her new home.

Thank you for taking her in and doing your best.


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Old 03-22-2014, 11:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have posted about her before, so it was probably me Unless her owner decided that she wants her back. If so, great LOL But per our conversation last night, that was a definite no.

ETA: When I'm home, she is upstairs with me. She is only crated when I am gone at work and at night. I could move her crate upstairs, but we couldn't move it into our bedroom (not enough room) so I'm not sure how much difference that would make. She would be alone regardless, know what I mean?

Last edited by Zlata; 03-22-2014 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have to say this. I had a GSD once that was fine if I crated her while I was home, but if I left with her crated, she would do what yours did to that crate.

It is possible that she just needed to get out because of the gastrointestinal problem. It is also possible, weird maybe, but possible, that your dog has a problem with being crated when you are not home?

Instead of getting a new crate, I would probably get a 5x10 kennel from Tractor Supply Company. They are on sale for a couple of days for $249. They are six foot tall, and come in panels. You can put them together with an adjustable wrench.

I would restrict food for 24 hours to clean up the diarrhea, and then, hopefully go back to letting her out every couple of hours. Maybe after pottying a quick session with that ball. I would try to keep her right with you as much as possible, but I would kennel her if you leave rather than putting her in a small crate.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdsar View Post
I really feel like I know this story, maybe the original owner is on this board? I know I read somewhere a person giving up a GSD cause the Aussie had a litter and fights were breaking out. Weird.

Either way, yes, she is in a hugely stressful state if flux. Her anxiety is high, she has no idea what happening.

Start by getting her used to her crate again. Just like you did tonight. I would move the crate though, to a more heavily trafficked area. GSD want to be with people. She probably feels very isolated and scared alone in the basement. No matter how nice it is.

Lots and lots of excersise. A tired dog is a good dog. I would also sign up for classes. It's a great way to bond and make her feel more secure in her new home.

Thank you for taking her in and doing your best.


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I thought the same thing, I read this somewhere too can you put her in the kitchen with a gate? Everything sounds like stress and anxiety. She just needs to feel like she belongs somewhere.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I thought the same thing, I read this somewhere too can you put her in the kitchen with a gate? Everything sounds like stress and anxiety. She just needs to feel like she belongs somewhere.
I posted a few threads asking advice about us taking her on initially. We decided to give it a go... I don't quite regret it yet, but I admit that this is more than I bargained for.

I could keep her in the kitchen at night with a gate but then she will have accidents everywhere. That is my conundrum. She is either a. not solidly housetrained b. just very confused about where she is allowed to go or c. has a medical issue, perhaps? If I left her alone in the kitchen for even a few hours, I would come home to multiple accidents. I made the mistake of leaving her unattended in the living room for an hour and came to find two urine accidents on the carpet. That is why I started crating her as she will not soil her crate. But she is having issues with being crated... so now I'm stumped.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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check for uti

i think the crate thing could have been related to the diarrhea if she can lay there and chew a kong
i have dealt with true sa and they cant concentrate on anything for a moment except stress and getting out

rescue remedy may help as well as possibly one of those DAP diffusers or the spray
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