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Old 02-20-2008, 06:19 AM
Location: South Carolina
836 posts, read 2,990,462 times
Reputation: 675


Originally Posted by jheramish View Post
Hi, this is going to be kind of long but there's a lot of backstory. Please bear with me, I need help!
I have a three year old rottweiler/poodle mix. When I got him, my family lived in Long Island where we have a big backyard. He was never actually housebroken because we would just let him run around the backyard randomly. He would have accidents in the house sometimes but there were seldom consequences. I moved to the city a few months ago and brought my dog with me. I started a routine with him to walk him first thing in the morningn and at 10p before we settled in for the night. It was working well but then about two weeks into it my schedule at work changed so I could only do the night walk every other day. This didnt seem to cause too much of a change, he still had an accident once in a while but rarely. About six weeks ago I came down with bronchitis and pneumonia so I would walk him in the morning but by the time I got home in the afternoons I just couldnt make it up and down from my sixth floor walkup apt. My boyfriend would walk him when he was over at that time but this was sporadic. He's been having accidents increasingly since then. Its gotten to the point where I fully expect to find a mess when I get home from work everyday. When I do I take him over and I say "NO!! NO!!" and hit him (not overly hard) on the nose. I know you're only supposed to admonish them when you catch them in the act, but I can't think what else to do.

Can someone please suggest a way I can get him to stop going in the house while I'm gone - if I'm home all day he won't have an accident, even if he's only been walked in the morning. Evening walks are becoming less frequent so I know I'm partially to blame but it can't be helped. I've been trying to make up for it by taking him out for longer in the morning but I'm out of the house for at least 12 hours each day, sometimes 14 (work, gym, etc). Also is there a better way to get across to him that he can't go in the house if I come home and find an accident? I am open to anything at this point, even using newspaper or pads as long as it won't make my small apt smell like a kennel. I love my dog and I HATE how scared/sad he gets when he gets punished for having an accident and I surely don't want to send him to Long Island where I'll only see him every once in a while. Thank you, thank you thank you for any help
I have to agree with others on this.. Losing your patients with the dog is getting you no where and it will stay that way unless your attitude towards the dog stops. When you are punishing this animal your are not punishing it correctly..If your gone all day long and the dog uses the bathroom somewhere in the house and you come home hours later and slap the dog for something he did hours ago the dog is going to look at you like "what the hell?" To punish a dog you need to do it when you see them using the bathroom right then.. and hitting them in the nose isn't the answer.. rubbing his nose in the pee and yelling No at him and then put him outside or in a crate.. is one way of punishing a dog (but you have to do this when you see them doing it not hours after!!!).. don't hit him unless you have good reason for hitting him! This can make him mean like when a child sees the dog and wants to pet him they go to raise their hand he will bite, only because he thinks that person is going to hit them in the nose.. thats needs to STOP NOW!!!
It might be best if you crate train the dog.. or another thing you could do..is put the dog in a certain area of the house with his food/water/toys where there is no carpet...for the dog to stay during the day while your gone. This way he isn't running all over your house peeing. And YOU need to make some type of arrangement in your BUSY lifestyle so you can come home a few times a day to let this dog outside for his walks..so he doesn't get bored and chew your house up. Or just give the dog to someone who can take the time to spend with the animal and give him the care he needs.. and when you finally find the time in your life to spend with an animal then get one. Dogs need lots of love and attention if your going to have one. And us humans have to find the time in the day to give them attention and love or else you will have a very mean aggressive animal. Being a responsible dog owner is like being a responsible parent.. if you cant take care of a dog then you dont need one.. just like kids if you cant take care of your kids you dont need them!

Last edited by wolfeyes; 02-20-2008 at 06:29 AM..
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:52 AM
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
22,602 posts, read 16,120,144 times
Reputation: 12657
This is a very unfortunate situation for both the OP and her dog. Why does someone bring a former house-and-yard dog with them from LI to NYC/Harlem? For company, protection, etc. I don't want to go home to an empty apartment or house either. Reality - this is a huge adjustment for both of them. Let me first say that I lived most of my 50+ years in NY/NJ apartments with dogs, sometimes just one, sometimes more than one. There is nothing wrong with living in an apartment with a dog. As I noted, they are great protection and they make any place feel like 'home'. As long they do get out and about regularly, living in an apartment is just fine. That being said, as other posters have noted, the most sensible remedy is to find a way to get that dog out more than once a day. Dogs don't like to 'mess' where they sleep and in a 400 sq. st. apt., there isn't much left over that isn't for sleeping. Mind you, the getting out is not just for taking care of business. The dog has to get more exercise and the OP needs to reduce some of the guilt she is obviously feeling. I know it is hard, but, there IS enough time in the day to get the dog out for 10-15 minutes at night. I wonder if there might be some fear of going out in the dark given where she is living (??) If that is the case, is there someone you could walk with? What ever you do, don't punish the dog, if the dog was able to hold it for 12 or so hours when you were sick, it was probably because it kept waiting for you to take it out. Dog time isn't like our time - if you are home, he has hope that maybe in the next 5 minutes she'll take me out. What a good dog. He obviously loves you and doesn't want you to be unhappy and you clearly need him in your life. Buy some pads (although he may not use them), try to get home a little earlier, maybe try to go home at lunch one or two days a week (I know the subway only takes 10 minutes at most from mid-town to Harlem), and make it up to him on the weekend. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:54 PM
4,126 posts, read 13,236,682 times
Reputation: 3746
I agree w/ the other posters here, fwiw, the dog shouldnt be punished for something he can't help, I doubt any of us could hold it for 12-14 hours in a day, also it's not good for his kidneys even if he could, it can cause infections etc - and punishing for an accident he had hours before isn't fair at all, they simply don't remember, he wants to please. Would not crate him as imo that's not the answer and confining that long w/o a break would simply be inhumane, he simply needs to be taken outside around lunchtime, maybe a dogwalker could would work with you on the price or hire a responsible school-age kid who could come in after school, walk him a bit and spend a little quality time w/ him for a reasonable fee, it c/b a win-win situation. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:45 PM
1,551 posts, read 1,784,873 times
Reputation: 257
Default um, wrong

Originally Posted by getalife View Post
We now live in a society where people feel the constant need to judge others. Many of these people seem to believe that they are superperfect. For example, when a parent taps a child on the buttocks in a supermarket, the superperfect parents judge that parent as abusive. It is only because current laws regarding discipline support this view and provide the superperfect with a louder voice. Yet, on the other hand, the less than perfect parent believes that this kind of discipline might help encourage their children to respect property and others. For instance, I find that nowadays children in public places are usually unruly: In restaurants, parents don't stop them from playing with the ketchup, from putting their feet in the chairs others have to use, and from running all over the place. This is disturbing. And parents don't correct them. There are both sides to every point of view I am sure.

With this person's dog situation, she might not trust anyone to enter her home to care for the dog. She simply requested a solution to her particular circumstances. And the majority suggested that she get rid of her dog. Would you have suggested that she get rid of her kids because she worked too much? No! I'm sure that someone answering this blog will mention as a rebuttal that you don't leave kids alone, you send them to daycare and therefore she needs daycare for her dog. If the weewee pads are a safe option, then why not suggest it instead of judging that person. You don't get rid of your kids because you work too many hours and because they are too expensive. You/the parent must deal with the shortcomings.

Some people have the luxury of staying at home while their kids grow. Others don't. Instead, they may have to work many hours just to pay for the day care. Can we fairly say that the stay-at-home mom is better than the working mom? It's a question for debate. The problem with superperfect people is that they believe everyone else is similarly situated with time, money, and resources. And when they are not, then these superperfect people suggest that the not-so-similarly-situated people not enjoy similar privileges.

If you thought she should not keep the dog, simply say: It seems like you don't have time, think about finding a different home. Don't judge! It is out of line to suggest that her intentions are warped. I don't think it is fair to call her neglectful or illogical. Using weewee pads is far from neglectful. If they were a source of neglect, why are they manufactured? They will allow the dog to relieve itself in the absence of a pet door or dog walker. How do you know that the dog wants to leave her home?

One of my friends has a dog and she works many hours. I can tell you that she is a dog lover to the bone. She doesn't have any kids and states that her dog is her child. She bakes homemade dog biscuits for her dog. She was so dedicated to her dogs of many years that when they died, she took several days off. During which time, she made a point to carry her dogs to the cremation sites to watch the process so that the ashes would be rightfully provided. She is the most loving person towards her animal that I know. Her work hours don't stop her from treating her current dog better than she treats herself. I don't judge her because she works a lot. No one else will support her if she doesn't work. Not everyone can afford the same services some of you suggest. But that doesn't mean they cannot own a dog, that the dog will be neglected or abused. Every person and circumstance is different. There is no objective way to raise a dog.

This superperfect attitude masks the real crisis in our country. The United States's status as a hegemony is currently at stake. Keeping their heads in the air helps the superperfect to believe that every thing is okay. In some other countries, people don't have dog walkers, but they still own dogs and work. What would you do if this recession caused you to lose some of the privileges that you currently enjoy? Would you get rid of your dog?
There may be no objective way to raise a dog, but there is certainly a way NOT to raise a dog. And that category would include "leaving the dog at home alone for 12-14 hours a day."
Perhaps people should try to be a little more patient and tolerant of the original poster's situation, but the facts are the facts. This person does not have time in her life for a dog. And it IS cruel to have a dog that is neglected in this fashion.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:23 PM
7,079 posts, read 34,416,174 times
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Please don't lose your patience.

Your dog ONLY wants to please you. The trick is communicating what it is you want.

I've developed this tutorial and many, MANY dog owners swear by it. But you have GOT to follow the instructions TO THE LETTER. And everyone in the household has to be consistent and do the same. Follow the instructions and you'll have a trained dog. The part about 'no scolding' is also VERY important. Follow these instructions and you'll have a trained dog. Not overnight, but eventually!

Housetraining your dog (puppy or adult!)

The first thing you need to do is to remember that you’re trying to reinforce a new behavior. That means that the rewards for this behavior must be WONDERFUL. NOT crap from the store. Wonderful treats are poached chicken breast/turkey breast, cheese and steak. And you don’t have to use big pieces. Tiny pieces (about 3mm cubes) are just fine! I poach a whole turkey breast every few weeks, cut it into hunks when it’s cool enough to handle, wrap them well and store them in the freezer. When I need some, I’ll thaw a hunk overnight and cut off pieces and dice finely, storing them in a plastic bag in the fridge. One hunk will last about five days. Cheese is also popular, so variety is fine.

I carry these plastic bags in my jacket pockets in the winter and in a fanny pack in warmer weather. You HAVE to have these with you, or this method won’t work, because you need to reward as soon as the dog finishes pooping or peeing. It’s not going to work if the rewards are in the house.

Remember that you’re trying to change a very ingrained behavior. Some dogs like to feel certain things under their feet when they eliminate, like fabric, or newspaper. This is called a ‘substrate preference.’ What you’re trying to do is change this substrate preference, and to do that you have to make the treats SO wonderful that the dog will change this very well-entrenched behavior. Thus the chicken, cheese, steak.

I love clicker training, but this can be done without clickers. You just need a way to ‘mark’ the behavior you want to reinforce. Use the word ‘YESSSSS!!!!’ very enthusiastically – that works for some.

You’re going to need to GO OUTSIDE WITH your dog and the dog needs to be on a leash. Yes, even in winter. If you don’t reward IMMEDIATELY after the event (when dog immediately finishes pooping or peeing) and wait inside, the dog is going to be reinforced for coming inside, not for doing its business. So, leash up your dog. STAND IN ONE PLACE. Be boring. Bring a book or magazine for yourself.

Eventually, the dog will do what you’re waiting for. The NANOSECOND that the dog is finished, HAVE A PARTY – lots of loud, high-pitched praise, treats and running around. You want to make this memorable for your dog! You’ll find that once the first event is achieved, the others will come more quickly. Keep on treating (you don’t have to throw a party except for milestones – a milestone = if he only pooped outside but now peed, too, or something equivalent to that) until he’s good and used to peeing/pooping outside. Before you know it, you have a trained dog.

Regarding accidents in the house: NO SCOLDING. Just clean them up. If you scold you’ll get the dog to think it’s bad to pee or poop and he’ll do it in places you won’t see. Until you step in it. Invest in a big bottle of Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution and use it liberally on accidents.

With young puppies, remember they have little control of the muscle that holds the bladder closed. This is something they grow into. Just as it’s not expected that a human baby is toilet trained at six months, don’t expect much from a puppy. Patience, patience, patience!!!! The nervous system in a puppy has to mature, and it won’t have much control over the sphincter (closing muscle) at the neck of the bladder until six or seven months. The same goes for the anal sphincter. Until control is achieved, both of these muscles operate on reflex: there are stretch receptors in the bladder wall. When the bladder is full, it sends impulses to the spinal cord and these, in turn, send signals to the sphincter to open and the dog pees.

In the stomach wall, there are also stretch receptors. So when the dog eats and the stomach is stretched, the impulses again go to the spinal cord, but this time the reflex, outgoing, nerve signals are sent to the anal sphincter, so the dog defecates. This operates in people, too – which is why some people rush to the ‘reading room’ after a meal – especially breakfast.
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