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Hi all,

I used to post here several years ago when we got our first GSD, but my username no longer works. Anyways, I am so frustrated with our second dog, a 5-year-old rescue GSD. We've had her for about 1.5 years and as soon as we got her it was obvious that she had never been house-trained (or at least not successfully). She had several accidents in the house before we started crate training her.

Well, over the last 1.5 years, she's done great with the crate. We gradually let her have more freedom in the house, so she is out during the day and only sleeps in the crate at night. I work at home so I let her outside every few hours during the day. I feel like I've done everything I can -- she has attended obedience training, I praise her EVERY time she pees outside, we developed a word that she understands for 'go potty' and I was pretty confident that she got the message.

Well, recently we decided that we'd like to wean her from the crate at night so she can sleep in the living room with our other GSD. We started her out sleeping in a confined area (our bedroom) and she did great. Then a few nights ago, we let her sleep in the living room with our other GSD (with the door open to our bedroom so she could still go in there). She was fine until last night, when I woke up to a huge pee stain on the carpet. (I always make sure she pees outside right before bed and she holds it in the crate, so I'm sure this isn't a 'holding it' problem.)

I just can't believe that after all this time she doesn't get that she is supposed to pee outside. I really don't know what else I'm supposed to do... is she just supposed to sleep in the crate for the rest of her life??? Now I don't trust her to be out and about during the day now that she has reestablished the peeing-in-the-house habit, so I feel like we are back to square one -- where we were over a year ago. Sorry this is so long, but I'm just so frustrated!! We are expecting our first child this year, and I would really like to solve this problem soon. I would also love to get this huge wire crate out of our kitchen at some point.

Thanks for any advice you have!
 

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(I always make sure she pees outside right before bed and she holds it in the crate, so I'm sure this isn't a 'holding it' problem.)
I would still bet that it was a "holding it" problem. Is water restricted after a certain time? At least an hour before the last potty of the night?

IMO, there are only 2 reason for dogs to pee in the house. 1- they weren't trained not to. 2- they simply cannot hold it. There could be a whole host of reasons why the can't hold it ranging from not enough chances to relieve themself to having a medical issue. Are you sure that she doesn't have a UTI or other medical reason for pottying in the house?

My adult (1 yr old) male rescue is restricted to my bedroom and the hallway at night because otherwise, he will sneak down to the water bowl and then need to potty at night and will relieve himself in the living room.

If you don't feel you can trust her in the living room, keep her in the bedroom or crated. There are worst things in the world then her having to sleep in her crate at night.
 

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Please have her checked out by a vet--it could be medical.
 

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Unless you are seeing other problems, it's probably not medical. UTI's generally bring reoccuring symptoms, not just peeing in the house once during the middle of the night right after she earns living room freedom.

Chances are this is a training issue. Some dogs just don't get as much freedom as others. All she's supposed to be doing at night is sleeping, she doesn't need "freedom." Sounds like the issue is more "don't want the crate in the house" than having an issue with her sleeping in it. If she were mine, she'd be back to sleeping in the crate.
 

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I would still bet that it was a "holding it" problem. Is water restricted after a certain time? At least an hour before the last potty of the night?

IMO, there are only 4 reason for dogs to pee in the house. 1- they weren't trained not to. 2- they simply cannot hold it. 3- intact male and another male peed there already. 4- meds have influenced the normal function of the body and the dog can't hold it as well or "see it coming"There could be a whole host of reasons why the can't hold it ranging from not enough chances to relieve themself to having a medical issue. Are you sure that she doesn't have a UTI or other medical reason for pottying in the house?

My adult (1 yr old) male rescue is restricted to my bedroom and the hallway at night because otherwise, he will sneak down to the water bowl and then need to potty at night and will relieve himself in the living room.

If you don't feel you can trust her in the living room, keep her in the bedroom or crated. There are worst things in the world then her having to sleep in her crate at night.
I added a few more reasons from my personal experience :)
 

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I added a few more reasons from my personal experience :)
Ok, #3 I didn't account for but that could also technically be a training issue (and a cleaning one :eek:). Marking is not allowed in the house! I had a male foster once that would mark EVERYTHING so I started telling him when and where he was allowed to mark - he caught on quickly.

#4 is still a matter of not being able to hold it - and I said the reason could be medical.
 

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Are you sure that she doesn't have a UTI or other medical reason for pottying in the house?
If she had a UTI, that would affect her ability to hold it in the crate just as much, wouldn't it? I'll ask my vet about it... she was just in there for a general health check-up and she's not showing any other signs of problems, but I'll look into it.

I haven't restricted her water... I never even thought about it because we don't do that with our other GSD (who has free range of the house all the time). I will try that too.
 

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Ok, #3 I didn't account for but that could also technically be a training issue (and a cleaning one :eek:). Marking is not allowed in the house! I had a male foster once that would mark EVERYTHING so I started telling him when and where he was allowed to mark - he caught on quickly.
Well, our other GSD is a male but he's neutered and has been house-trained for years, so he doesn't mark or pee in the house. That is one thing I'm sure about!
 

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Ok, #3 I didn't account for but that could also technically be a training issue (and a cleaning one :eek:). Marking is not allowed in the house! I had a male foster once that would mark EVERYTHING so I started telling him when and where he was allowed to mark - he caught on quickly.

#4 is still a matter of not being able to hold it - and I said the reason could be medical.
Well I broke it out simply because I've had some times where it seemed the dog didn't even know it needed to pee until it was peeing lol. There was no warning bark at the door or anything.

My male... he does not and would not ever mark in my house, but my mom has 2 males that mark a few spots, and he being the king of the castle he is, I have to watch him cause he'll remark despite knowing thats not cool. Between the battle of sexual instincts and training I expect to fail. I can barely keep my own in check lol.
 

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Unless you are seeing other problems, it's probably not medical. UTI's generally bring reoccuring symptoms, not just peeing in the house once during the middle of the night right after she earns living room freedom.
Well, the original post said she's had living room freedom and then randomly the pee stain showed up. So she was in the living room awhile (at least a few nights?) before it showed up.

I'm not saying it IS medical. But any time s strange behavior crops up, I think it's only fair to the dog to rule a medical issue out first. It doesn't sound like she's had a house accident in awhile.
 

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Sounds like in the crate or in the bedroom she didn't have access to a water bowl, but in your living room she did so it may be as simple as now her having access to it, she drank and then had to pee and couldn't hold it... Try taking up the bowl before bed and see if that changes things!
 

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We have a dog door so our dogs can come and go into the back yard as they please, day and night.
I would say take up the water in the evenings and just make sure you take both dogs out one last time before you retire every night. You are in charge of pee time for your dogs if they can't be.
One accident does not mean she unlearned everything you taught her and she was probably as upset about it as you were. They live their lives to please us.
 
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