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Cassie is a 7 month-old that we just adopted. (We've had her one week.) She's a very good girl already, mellow and loving. The housebreaking though is making all of us a little crazy. She is free in the house as long as we are home, which is most of the time. At night she sleeps in our room. Not in a crate but on her bed. Never a peep out of her all night long and no accidents. But during the day, anything goes.

She gets fed at 8 and 5. We thought that we could watch for when she pooped and that would give us a ballpark as to when to be REALLY watching in the house. But the thing is that she poops anywhere from 5 - 12 hours after eating. Sometimes she will poop again within 15 minutes of eating and sometimes she will hold it for hours. And it's odd, she doesn't drink water right after eating....she will go for hours with no water.

I jump up every time she goes to the door to keep the accidents to a minimum but bascially that means unless I crate her I can't relax for a second.

We are trying to figure out how to adapt our schedule to hers but it is hard. During the week I am up at 5 so I can take her out (she'll pee but may or may not poop) Then she wants to go back upstairs to bed with my husband (on her bed in the room) until he gets up at 7. They walk and eat and he often works from home. We feed her dinner at 5 but can't figure out what to consider last time out for her. Last night my husband stayed up with her and she didn't poop until 3:30 in the morning.

Any and all tips are greatly appreciated. Oh, she's on Leading Edge Salmon special skin in case that might make a difference.

Thanks!
 

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I use a doogy door and a crate. Also give her praise and treats every time she goes in the appropriate spot. Throughout the day Tessa goes in and out the doggy door freely to pee/poop/water. Every night before bedtime I take Tessa out and tell her to go pee. She does, and then I say let's go to bed, and she runs to our bedroom and gets in her crate. I'm not a pro, but I think you may want to start crating her throughout the day and as soon as you let her out, go directly to yard.

Good Luck
 

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when my boy was 9 weeks we took him out every hour or so. when we fed him he went out immediately. all through the night i took him out every two hours. i'm thinking start from scratch and take her out alot. after feeding wait maybe 15 minutes then out you go. retrain her. start all over. i don't think this will hurt. praise and treat when she goes outside. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I am treating her just like a very young pup but nothing happens. I take her out after she eats and no pee, no poop. Sometimes not for hours. We do give lots of praise and treats when she does well.
 

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I went through two stages of potty training with mya. As a young pup she was taken out every 1/2 hour(yes very tiring) and when she was about 5 months after she signald to go out side it went to about every hour or so. Then something flipped in her mind and she started going in the house. So for a few weeks I crated her, taking her directly outside every hour or so and that seemed to do the trick. Now at 11 mo she wanders the house and will go to all 3 doors to tell me she has to go outside. Patience and being very repetitive is the key to it. You may have to change the schedule from time to time to figure what works best.
 

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I kinda do what doggiedad does with my boys. They eat, they drink, wait 20-30 minutes, then out you go to the backyard. Sniffing is a good indicator the dog has to go out, trust me. Zeus still has his accidents every now and then, but now that we are really watching him closely and following what I just stated helped tremendously.
 

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I hate to say it but you are missing on the basics of housebreaking - dog has NO freedom in the house until she is reliable. She is either crated or tethered to you or confined to a room. So go back to that because every time EVERY TIME she craps in the house or pees in the house you have moved back about 7 giant steps (remember those from Mother May I?) in your housebreaking effort.

Now, for enhanced performance - WALK the DOG! Get your poop bag and your lead and take the dog for a walk. I've had some that would prefer to defecate AFTER excercise. That's still a way to optimize your chances even if the dog defecates without it. A vigorous play session will help, too. (Remember to give her an opportunity to releave herself after these sessions - walk around at home after the walk around the neighborhood, give a few minutes after play before coming inside.)

OK say that doesn't work. Next step (no one likes this but here it is) talk to your vet about the proper amount of enema fluid for a dog the size of yours. Probably 1/4 an applicator of a standard human premix would be my guess. So your dog hasn't defecated and it is past time and you are trying to train "Poop now if you're going to poop in the next 8 hours" - You've been on your walk. You've played. The dog's had lots of excercise and an opportunity to perform.

Elevate the dogs hind quarters slightly (you can do this by positioning the dog on steps or over your knees), coat the tip of the applicator with a lubricant (KY jelly, vassaline), insert it in the rectum and apply. Your results will be soon and your dog will begin to get the idea that walk = defecate or being outside = defecate. I only had to use this once for a dog that was not defecating when we were on the road. (I first used it for a dog that was constipated after kenneling - vet told me that that would be what they would do if I brought her in - and said I might as well do it at home. You do need to be sure you are prepared for the result, You need to elevate the butt slightly.

[yeah yeah yeah, I know the board members don't like this 'hint.' It happens to be very effective when you have walked the dog for hours with no results or when you have a constipated dog.]

If this were a sudden relapse, you would want a vet visit. But it seems as though it is SOP for this gal so there is probably nothing physically wrong. You might want to have her checked out just in case.

Good luck. House training can be a major stumbling block for the dog/human relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all for the various pieces of advice.

A clarification - she is free in the room we are in. We can see her always. Sometimes she is tethered too. She gets 2-3 walks a day. I think she just has extemely long holding power for a young pup.
 

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Re: Housebreaking frustration - schedule isn't wor

Does she have accidents in the house? Has it happened a lot? That would definitely be a pain.
I wonder if her system will be more regular once you've had her for a while longer and when she's used to the food you're giving her...
 

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middleofnowhere - Thank you for your input but with all due respect, I wouldn't consider doing an enema on my dog unless she had really been blocked for a period of time. She is pooping several times a day, so blockage is not the problem.
 

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Re: Housebreaking frustration - schedule isn't wor

She's had two accidents but I can't blame her for them because we had forgotten to shut off my office door.


I think I'm just plain confused by her going for so many hours at night and then asking to go out all the time during the day but doing nothing. I know the one time I don't let her out, that will be the problem. :)

I will try to be more patient as she adjusts. thanks!
 

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Originally Posted By: SusanWritesmiddleofnowhere - Thank you for your input but with all due respect, I wouldn't consider doing an enema on my dog unless she had really been blocked for a period of time. She is pooping several times a day, so blockage is not the problem.
Susan,
You have just rescued her and had her a week right? It's pretty typical for rescues to take a while to get comfortable go potty at all, let alone in the appropriate place (outside
)
I would recommend crate training. This would help her with her transition into your home as well, giving her a safe place to unwind. I agree with other posters, she should either be tethered to you or in the crate.
Most importantly, the more she goes in the house, the more that behavior is reinforced. It should only take a week or two to have her comfortable and trained to go potty outside if you stick to the tethering and crate. It may seem a little demanding, but it will pay off in the end, and you will have a potty trained dog much quicker than the rate she is going now.
Housetraining is the most basic of training so I would really work to achieve this first step in your new adventure with your GSD.
It is important to remember that training is not always easy and can take a lot of time and effort, that we all know our great dogs definitely deserve! If it was easy we wouldn't be on this forum!
 

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how did AcuraJane miss the basics of house training? when we brought our boy home at 9 weeks he was in his crate at night or when we weren't home. when we brought him in the house for the first time i let roam around and then we went outside. we took him outside every 15 minutes or so. then we increased it to a 1/2 hour. during the night i took him outside every 2 hours. he had several accidents in the house but within two weeks he was house broken. so at 11 weeks old he was house broken. my boy is 14 months old now and every now and then he'll wake me in the middle of the night to go out. no, i don't make him hold it untill later. i figure if he has to go why not let him out?? we have to go in the middle of night sometimes so do the dogs. now there might be a better way to house train a dog but what i just told you really worked for us. my dog had full run of the house from day one. we watched him closely. i didn't leave him in a room alone. if he went into another room we would go and get him immediately. our house is small. it's a two bedroom rancher. by the second day our pup was home we figured out closing the bedroom doors would give him the hallway, the kitchen and living room to play in but it was easy to watch him. by 4 months old he was out his crate all of the time. then at 8 months he decided to eat the house and what ever he wanted in it so we had to crate him when we're not home.
Originally Posted By: middleofnowhereI hate to say it but you are missing on the basics of housebreaking - dog has NO freedom in the house until she is reliable. She is either crated or tethered to you or confined to a room. So go back to that because every time EVERY TIME she craps in the house or pees in the house you have moved back about 7 giant steps (remember those from Mother May I?) in your housebreaking effort.

Now, for enhanced performance - WALK the DOG! Get your poop bag and your lead and take the dog for a walk. I've had some that would prefer to defecate AFTER excercise. That's still a way to optimize your chances even if the dog defecates without it. A vigorous play session will help, too. (Remember to give her an opportunity to releave herself after these sessions - walk around at home after the walk around the neighborhood, give a few minutes after play before coming inside.)

OK say that doesn't work. Next step (no one likes this but here it is) talk to your vet about the proper amount of enema fluid for a dog the size of yours. Probably 1/4 an applicator of a standard human premix would be my guess. So your dog hasn't defecated and it is past time and you are trying to train "Poop now if you're going to poop in the next 8 hours" - You've been on your walk. You've played. The dog's had lots of excercise and an opportunity to perform.

Elevate the dogs hind quarters slightly (you can do this by positioning the dog on steps or over your knees), coat the tip of the applicator with a lubricant (KY jelly, vassaline), insert it in the rectum and apply. Your results will be soon and your dog will begin to get the idea that walk = defecate or being outside = defecate. I only had to use this once for a dog that was not defecating when we were on the road. (I first used it for a dog that was constipated after kenneling - vet told me that that would be what they would do if I brought her in - and said I might as well do it at home. You do need to be sure you are prepared for the result, You need to elevate the butt slightly.

[yeah yeah yeah, I know the board members don't like this 'hint.' It happens to be very effective when you have walked the dog for hours with no results or when you have a constipated dog.]

If this were a sudden relapse, you would want a vet visit. But it seems as though it is SOP for this gal so there is probably nothing physically wrong. You might want to have her checked out just in case.

Good luck. House training can be a major stumbling block for the dog/human relationship.
 

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Re: Housebreaking frustration - schedule isn't wor

Originally Posted By: SusanWritesShe's had two accidents but I can't blame her for them because we had forgotten to shut off my office door.
Heidi had two accidents the first week we got her (our fault for not letting her out enough), and she hasn't had any since (hopefully, you'll have the same experience
). When we first got her, we shut the door to her crate when she slept at night for about the first month. Now at night, we close off most of the doors except for the hallway and office, but she can be trusted to sleep in her crate with the door open.

Originally Posted By: SusanWritesI think I'm just plain confused by her going for so many hours at night and then asking to go out all the time during the day but doing nothing. I know the one time I don't let her out, that will be the problem. :)
Keeping Cassie in her crate all night with the door closed will at least let you get some sleep without having to keep putting her out. We feed Heidi twice a day at approximately the same times every day, but in the 10 months we've had her, I can safely say that there is no set schedule as to when she will relieve herself. She'll pee quite a bit throughout the day, and she'll go first thing when we let her out, and the last time in the evening we let her out. As far as pooping, she'll usually go one time in the morning, and then one more two more times throughout the day (the time varies, but usually it's when we're walking by someone's house and they're outside or 1/4 mile into a 3-4 mile hike
)

Not to hijack this thread or anything, but I'm curious as to how many dogs are really, really regular (as far as times when they go) and how many dogs are all over the map like Heidi is.

In any case, hang in there. It WILL get better!
 

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Re: Housebreaking frustration - schedule isn't wor

Thanks, Karin and hijack away! I'd be very interested in this info too.

Actually night is the least of our problems. Some people might not agree with what we do but she fell into the schedule easily and it works well for us so we are happy. I take her out before I go to bed around 9:30. She pees and sometimes poops. Then she goes into my husband's office with him until he comes to bed about 1am. He takes her out before he comes up. She is not in a crate at night. She's just in our room with the door closed. We have a bed for her up there and she went right to it the first night. She doesn't make a peep all night long. (Well, no peeps but a few of those wonderful GSD groans and sighs and tail thumps.) Her foster mom told us the same thing.

I get up at 5 for work and take her out right away. She runs out to pee, sometimes poop, then back to bed. I take a shower and leave for work and she sleeps another couple of hours until my husband gets up. They go for the first walk of the day, etc.

So night is covered. And the day will work out. Like everything else in my life, I am impatient but working on it. She will teach me patience. :)
 

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Re: Housebreaking frustration - schedule isn't wor

That sounds very similar to our schedule except that my husband is the one who goes off to work and I work at home.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that Heidi has this very bad habit of peeing over the pee of other dogs who have peed indoors. She never, ever pees inside, except over other dogs' pee stains (even if they've been cleaned up). The only times she has was when we've been at someone's house who has dogs that we know have "accidents" all over the house (ugh!) and occasionally, at places like Petsmart, which I'm sure has loads of places where dogs have peed. So that's something to be aware of... and to be sure and use that stuff that takes away the pee smell (I think it's called Nature's Miracle or something like that).
 

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Re: Housebreaking frustration - schedule isn't wor

I've been training my pup to go on command. When we go outside and get to the yard, I say, "Anubis, Do your business."

This started out as me saying "Do your business" whenever he was going potty on his own, and then giving him wild praise. He now knows that "Do your business" means go pee/go poop...its not play time, its go time.

If we go out in the yard and he just lays down, I give him the command, and he goes. Works great...glad I did it...glad he gets it.
 

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Re: Housebreaking frustration - schedule isn't wor

I agree with what some of the others have said in that it has only been a week. I find it takes 6 months for any animal of any kind to totally blend and to having the feeling like they are not the "new kid" anymore.

Crate training will teach her to hold it, and give her more control over her bladder and poop schedule. Walk her on your schedule, have her out for a bit playing or to hang out, then back in the crate. Slowly adding to the duration in which you have her out and about in the room with you. This way she can learn Mom walks me at 8, 12, 4, and 8 o'clock for example. It will take time for her to adapt to a schedule, especially where being a rescue and unfamiliar of her background, you have no idea if any house breaking habits have ever been expected of her....if she was surrendered to a shelter, probably not.

Super about keeping her in the same room as you, and treating her and giving her praise outside when she does go! And keeping eyes glued to her so when you do catch her making an accident, you can rush her outside and show her the right place to go!!

Chances are she has been allowed to potty where and whenever she felt like until moving in with you...it will just take time....

I look forward to updates!!!
 

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Re: Housebreaking frustration - schedule isn't wor

One other tip, make sure you go over wherever she has gone in the house with white vinegar or an enzyme based cleaner. These little buggers have an amazing nose and even if it looks clean, they can smell it and get the idea it is their potty spot. I agree with everyone that 1 week is a bit short to expect no accidents, I keep my fosters tethered to me for the first 2 unless they are obviously house trained and give me clear signals. My girl now is able to be left alone in the house without being crated and she is 2 and I have been working with her since she was 8 weeks. She has not had an accident in many months, and the last one I think was our fault. Anyway, if you tether her to you for a week, it doesnt matter if you forget to close a door. And crate train deffinately when you cannot have her tethered to you. It's only a short period of time and the payoff is well worth the extra caution now. Ava is 2 years old and we have had a total of 5 accidents in that time!! (outside her accidents in the kennel as a baby)
 
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