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Old 06-29-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
467 posts, read 1,802,468 times
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I have a 1-1/2 year old, 30 lb. mix breed puppy. She's spayed, and I've had her since she was 7 weeks old. When we first got her, and up until she was about 1, we lived in a 6th floor walk-up in Manhattan. As you might imagine, potty training her wasn't as easy as bringing her out into the yard every hour on the dot. There was some laziness on our part for having to trek up an down the stairs so often. Because of this (or perhaps just because of her personality) she was never reliably potty trained, we believe.

She can hold it 12+ hours overnight, or 8+ hours in her crate, sometimes up to 6+ hours when out, but sometimes its 3, sometimes 4. Sometimes she goes weeks without having an accident in the apartment (we've since moved to a building with an elevator) or the hallway, sometimes it happens twice a day, sometimes a few times a week, etc. It's not reliable at all, unless she's in her crate.

One problem is that a year ago she presented a genetic deformity (bilateral valgus carpus deformity, for anyone who might know of that) in both of her legs. Since last October, she hasn't been allowed to run. In January, she got surgery on one leg, which required external fixators and zero exercise besides walks for about 15 weeks (8 weeks with the fixators on). Then in May, she had surgery on the other leg, and next Tuesday will hopefully get the fixators off, followed by perhaps another 4 weeks still of no running, but will be able to have unlimited walking.

My point in explaining all of that is that her lack of exercise has created quite an unstable dog, understandably, so maybe everything will be fixed when she is appropriately stimulated.

But one upsetting thing is that two days in a row, she peed on the couch. She has peed on the couch maybe once or twice before, but now it seems almost deliberate. I've no clue why she did it and I don't know how to stop it.

She doesn't have a bladder or urinary tract infection. We've tried wee-wee pads in the past and she doesn't use them, she lays in them.

Anyway, sorry for the rather long post, but I wanted to give you all of the information. So, I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas about what's going on or how to try to fix it. Or maybe just to wait another few weeks and see if the problem persists when she can get exercise.

Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,856 posts, read 63,056,995 times
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Some people have trained their dogs to use a litter box. I have always lived in houses so I can't help you with how, but you can google it.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:16 AM
 
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When dogs, all of a sudden, urinate where they're not supposed to (like the couch instead of where they usually have accidents), you should have her checked by her vet for a urinary tract infection. Especially in females, where it's much more common.
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:08 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
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You said she has had several operations...but you did not say what meds shes on. So I would say shes in too much pain to care where she goes or the meds. When she IS 100% treat her like a puppy & work with her. Dogs will not use pads unless they are told its ok. When she goes next times use a pad to wipe some up...then put it where you want her to go. & really Clean the apt they can smell pee when you cant so use a good product to nuturlize the oder. Put her in her crate & take her to the pad every hour until she actually uses the pad put her back in the crate. When she does use it praise her & let her play a bit...then start all over. Katie uses a tray froma a crate with paper. Shes a long corgi & just does not fit in even the largest doggie litter box....

Litter Boxes Aren't Just For Cats

Sounds like your girl has a lot on her plate with her legs & all. I think retraining & you forgetting about her potting outside will get you both on track. You have to pick up after her if she does go outside...lets face it its a lot easier just to let her do it inside & clean up after her.
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:25 AM
 
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Just as an addendum, once you've ruled out a UTI, you should start a refresher course on housetraining. I live in a NY apartment, as well, and it's easier to train the dog if you have her on a schedule, as many, MANY dogs don't signal that they need to go. This is a technique that's good for adult dogs, too: follow it TO THE LETTER, right down to the 'no scolding' and the kinds of treats needed and you'll have a trained dog.

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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Old 06-30-2008, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
467 posts, read 1,802,468 times
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I was just thinking the same thing, Viralmd, about putting her on a strict schedule. Once the cone is off her head, I am going to take her out every three hours, I think, haven't decided for sure, on the dot. I like your idea of treats, I always wish I had done that from the start. I'll do that.

Katie1 - She isn't on any meds. She had the surgery 7 weeks ago and at this point shouldn't be experiencing any discomfort. Actually, she was very good about only going outside immediately after the surgeries.
Like I said, wee wee pads don't work. I have the tray, I know how to use them, but she doesn't seem to understand the concept, and frankly I don't mind. I don't think dogs should be peeing in the house, they often don't know the difference between the pad and the floor. I think if you have a very small dog it's fine, but any larger no. I rather her go outside like most do.
I use Fantastik to clean up all pee, but I think maybe I should get an actual marketed ordorizer, maybe that'll work better? I know how that smell can linger even if we can't tell, I just always assumed Fantastik was doing the trick, maybe I was wrong all along!

I think the combination of those two things will help. When I take her to the vet next Tuesday I'll ask about potential UTI, but it'll require testing. She had puppy vaginitis (sp?) for months when she was younger, she had puss-like leakage out of that area, tried treating it with everything to no avail, and then around January it just stopped completely.

We've been having a lot of stormy weather and high humidity lately. She may be stressed out from that.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:12 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
13,648 posts, read 37,028,229 times
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Katies a Corgi & weighs in at 34 pounds. Yes she does know the difference in where shes to go. Even IF I have paper else were on the floor. So IF going outside gets the best of you or her please reconsider. Best of luck either way!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,200 posts, read 34,224,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canyontothesky View Post
I use Fantastik to clean up all pee, but I think maybe I should get an actual marketed ordorizer, maybe that'll work better? I know how that smell can linger even if we can't tell, I just always assumed Fantastik was doing the trick, maybe I was wrong all along!
That's something I was thinking too as I read your post - is the location being neutralized enough?

I've used the Woolite Pet Spray with good success, both for the cleaning aspect and the neutralizing.

Also, in the meantime, I'd suggest a layer of bath towels on your sofa covered with a layer of throws. This way, if your dog has another accident on the sofa, you can just peel off the layers and throw them in the wash.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:22 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 36,836,501 times
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It's a problem cleaning up with anything that has ammonia or ammonia-containing compounds, because, eventually it smells (to the dog) like urine.
That's why Nature's Miracle or Simple Solution work so well - no ammonia and they have enzymes that digest the nitrogenous compounds (of which ammonia is one).
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,478 posts, read 7,669,153 times
Reputation: 1938
You might want to try using disposable protective pads on your furniture--the ones with the blue plastic backing and the white unscented absorbent padding. You could also try using a female belly band when you can't directly monitor her. These are sold at pet supply stores and can be fitted to accommodate a sanitary pad. Neither of these options will resolve your problem, but they'll make it easier to deal with the results until you can modify her behavior.
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