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Old 08-13-2014, 10:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Housebroken versus Crate trained

Hi all! I hope I'm putting this in the right forum.
My two dogs over 6mos are solidly crate trained. But I don't trust either for more than an hour (the Chi, 1/2 hour) alone in the house with no supervision. My GS, I don't think would do it, the Chi, I don't trust.

I realize this is a forum for GSD's and I am asking about another breed. However, this is by far the best dog forum I've encountered and I'd rather hear from y'all than the crazy Chi people.

I'm moving my Chi to my dad's in Dec. tough decision, but I'm happy about it.
I would like him to be more trustworthy in the house when he's not being directly supervised (the dog, not my dad). He's great about going to his crate and will sleep there ttn, but if he's out, he'll sneak a poop. Again, the dog, not my dad.

Anything I can do to help solidify his house training so he's more than just crate trained? Give me your stories, your experience.

Thanks!!
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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House training is more than just pottying in the house. Most six month old dogs can get themselves in trouble with free reign in the house, chewing on cords or getting into the trash, etc. I hear that small dogs can be the dickens to house train, but I have no experience with them.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Toy dogs are notorious for being difficult to housebreak. They have a tendency to not give clear signals that they need to go outside.

If your chihuahua is sneaking off and pooping in the house, I'd start from scratch and treat him like a baby puppy. No more freedom until he is retrained to only go potty outside. Look up some threads on the forum about housebreaking a puppy, and use the same methods on your chihuahua. It's really easy to fall into the trap of not thinking of little dogs as "real" dogs, and we cut them way too much slack. I've had 4 Italian Greyhounds and a Yorkie, so I've been there.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My GSD pup (well 16 months old) is very much housetrained. Do I leave him unattended? Nope! Not for more than a couple of minutes at a time. I tried to leave him babygated in a hallway so he would have more room than in his crate, and he scratched a hole in the wall.

I also have a small dog. Knowing him, I have never left him with free run of the house as he's a marker. So he was crated up until he was about 12 years old. Now, at 14 1/2, I leave him loose in the bedroom while I'm away.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dogfaeries View Post
Toy dogs are notorious for being difficult to housebreak. They have a tendency to not give clear signals that they need to go outside.

If your chihuahua is sneaking off and pooping in the house, I'd start from scratch and treat him like a baby puppy. No more freedom until he is retrained to only go potty outside. Look up some threads on the forum about housebreaking a puppy, and use the same methods on your chihuahua. It's really easy to fall into the trap of not thinking of little dogs as "real" dogs, and we cut them way too much slack. I've had 4 Italian Greyhounds and a Yorkie, so I've been there.
I totally get you about treating them the same as larger breed dogs. I'm passionate about that. I expect the same from him as any other dog.

The difficulty is the stubbornness and need to express that they aren't happy. Like a cat that pees in the laundry. He's upset right now over a new puppy and he's not getting the attention he wants. He's getting appropriate attention, but he thinks he's the king of everything

He's perfectly trained with the crate. He will hold it all night long and he won't do it in front of me. It's purely behavioral. If he gets access to the other half of the house, he poops. I used to be able to leave him in the 'dog area' of the house and know that he wouldn't go in the house. Not anymore. If he's unsupervised, he goes.

So, where do I start with one that is already crate trained? Take away his freedom when he's not under my supervision? I'm cool with that, I'm just asking if that's what you meant. Should I tether him as was done in the beginning?

Thanks for the reply
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by selzer View Post
House training is more than just pottying in the house. Most six month old dogs can get themselves in trouble with free reign in the house, chewing on cords or getting into the trash, etc. I hear that small dogs can be the dickens to house train, but I have no experience with them.
I understand the concept of housetraining being about more than just pottying; I'm specifically asking about pottying. If that wasn't clear in my original post, I'm sorry.

I crate my dogs. I crate them when I'm gone, at night, and sometimes when I need to go in and out of the house freely, and if I'm sleeping. I do it for the same reasons as most - safety, security, and as a potty training tool.

He's fine with cords and such. I've never had a problem with that from him. The most trouble this particular dog will get into is sleeping on the couch where he's not suppsed to be without permission.

He'll continue to be crated with my dad; he's pretty much going to take over the same routine I have for the dog but with his personal tweaks. -Over time, if given too much freedom and not enough leadership, he will probably start to empty the garbage and generally do what he wants. he's the type that wants to do what HE wants to do and is a constant challenge. Hense the rehoming to my dad

The issue is not pooping in the house when not being directly supervised. I know that most will do this if given too much freedom. I just want to rein in the 'five minutes alone and I'm gonna poop cause I'm the boss' business. I'd like my dad to be able to leave him for more than a couple of minutes if he needs to without George pooping somewhere.

eta- He's 18 months, not six months
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Galathiel View Post
My GSD pup (well 16 months old) is very much housetrained. Do I leave him unattended? Nope! Not for more than a couple of minutes at a time. I tried to leave him babygated in a hallway so he would have more room than in his crate, and he scratched a hole in the wall.

I also have a small dog. Knowing him, I have never left him with free run of the house as he's a marker. So he was crated up until he was about 12 years old. Now, at 14 1/2, I leave him loose in the bedroom while I'm away.
WOW! Okay! I can see this may be a lifelong issue. I would trust my GSmix not to desecrate the hosue, but never the Chi. He's not a marker, but I've caught him once or twice trying that out. I can definitely see where if left unsupervised or given too much freedom, he'll go all out.

When you say you crated him for the 12 years, do you mean anytime he couldn't be under your supervision? Example- if I have something to do outside and they can't come, I may crate them. if I sleep during the day (insomnia), I crate them. I have half of the hosue gated off so they don't have full run. If I leave the house, even for a few minutes, I crate them. They're crated at night too, and if I need to haul groceries in and make several trips, I crate them.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think they are different. Crate trained means they don't go to the bathroom in the crate and it's used as a stepping stone to give them routine and understand that they have to go outside. House trained means they don't have accidents in the house, eat the house while unsupervised and can be trusted without supervision. The end goal in my house is them out of the crate permanently without issues whether I'm there or not. My youngest golden is a good example. He is crate trained, but if he gets bored out of the crate I can kiss my rugs goodbye. He is slowly getting the idea, but that is after he ate some expensive rugs
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think they are different. Crate trained means they don't go to the bathroom in the crate and it's used as a stepping stone to give them routine and understand that they have to go outside. House trained means they don't have accidents in the house, eat the house while unsupervised and can be trusted without supervision. The end goal in my house is them out of the crate permanently without issues whether I'm there or not. My youngest golden is a good example. He is crate trained, but if he gets bored out of the crate I can kiss my rugs goodbye. He is slowly getting the idea, but that is after he ate some expensive rugs
I can't say that I'm too concerned about ever having the Chi completely house trained. I don't think it will ever happen. I think he is hardwired to do certain things and messing the house is one of them- if unsupervised. He won't do it if I'm home and in another room or whatever. He'll hold it and go outside. But if I let him sleep in the bed, he'll get down and poop during the night; same if I leave for a couple of hours. It's definitely not an issue of holding it, he can hold it just fine in the crate for hours.

My faux GSD has a much higher propensity to actually become completely house trained, as does my pit/lab. Neither of them have the tendency to be passive aggressive like the Chi does.

My Chi is going to live with my dad in December and I'll be there for about 10 days with them to help adjust. I just want him to not have to put up gates in his 2-story house b/c George will wander upstairs and do his business. He's a butthead like that. At least I'll be there to help show my dad how to train him if he runs into trouble.
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