Help!! I've Turned Retarted

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by bdale777, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. bdale777 New Member

    Ok, so he is 8 months old and he USED to be fully housetrained, but over the past few weeks he has become retarded and forgot how to use the bathroom outside!! Please help me figure out what's going on...

    Ever since that little Chihuahua from next door came into our yard when he was outside and he got to smell her (uhhh you know...she was in heat) he has become stupid to everything but that smell. All he wants to do when he is taken outside is smell everywhere she has been and lick it...(ewww) When I take him outside for a long walks sometimes he will go poo like he is supposed to, but most times he will wait till we get back inside to do his business, like last night literally not 2 min had passed when we got back inside and when I had my back turned he eliminated right in the middle of the living room...

    I take him out before I go to bed and sometimes I even take him when it is really late, like 11pm at night, I usually stay up till 2 or so and I will always take him out before bed, and long walks at night when it's dark. I am trying to figure out why he has resorted to this behavior. He is a wonderful dog and I know this is a fixable problem. The only thing I can think is that getting him neutered will help, but is it too late to fix the problem? I don't know when I will have the money to get his neutered...I also know that getting a crate will also help solve the problem, he has never been in a crate and I know he will HATE it at first, but I know that it will work.

    I have never had an intact male dog, always got them neutered before they were 6 months old, so I don't know what types of behaviors to expect. Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated as I love my dog, but if I can't get this behavior problem under control, I will be forced to get rid of him.

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    NEUTER NEUTER NEUTER. This may have been avoided had he been neutered before visiting the flirt from next door.

    As for him hating the crate---wrong. When trained correctly, dogs LOVE crates. It's a safe-haven for them. Dogs like small spaces. For the same reason, wolves have dens for themselves and their pups. The dog just has to adjust to being confined rather than having run of the roost. It's not a matter of not liking the crate itself, but a change of pace.

    Crates should only be big enough to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably. If it is too big, they will use one end as a restroom and one end as a bed. Lure him in with a treat(with the command "Kennel", "Crate", or "Go to bed", click, and allow him to leave, never closing the door. Continue until he does this consistently and then push the door to and immediately open it back up. Again continue until consistent. Now hold it for 2-3 seconds, then let him out, praising him because:
    1) He went in willingly
    2) You closed the door and he stayed quiet.
    3) You kept it closed and he was quiet.

    Continue until you can shut the door and take a few steps away. Progress in small steps until you can shut the door and duck around the corner for a second, then a few more, then be "gone" for a while with him in the crate.

    The crate-training method is an easy way for him to understand that the house is not an elimination place. Make sure you are using very strong, pet-specialized cleaners that also remove the smell. I would even at least consider shampooing the whole house.
    After he will enter the kennel and remain quiet and calm with you out of sight, immediately take him outside after a few minutes in the kennel. Take him to the same spot in your yard every time. If he doesn't eliminate himself within a few minutes, go back in. Play a little maybe, let him drink if he needs to, kennel him again if you'd like. Go back out in another few minutes and try again. When he eliminates outside, praise heavily and go back in. Keep a hawk eye on him inside, and pay attention for pre-elimination signs(sniffing, circling, etc) and if you see these signs, IMMEDIATELY go outside. Eventually you'll be able to stretch out your outside times so that he doesn't have to go out every few minutes. Once he's consistently going outside rather than inside, get a set schedule of when the two of you go out. For instance, maybe 8 in the morning(or whatever time you normally let him out), 12-1 in the afternoon, and 8-10 or whenever you are fixing to go to bed. Close him up for the night and let him sleep in the kennel, and first thing in the morning, go outside. Always let him out before bedtime. Remember to return to the same spot for elimination each time.

    Do not give him free choice of food. Maintain a set feeding schedule, and if he hasn't finished his food in 15-30 minutes or so(less for some dogs), put it away. If he has free choice food then his bowels will be full at random times during the day, whenever he decides to snack on his meal.
    And also...NEUTER!

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  3. xanny Well-Known Member

    Crate training really is a wonderful tool. I have had one lab puppy that hated his crate and would urinate as soon as he was put into it (I have no idea why) but anyway, here is what I did to get him over that. Once he was crate trained, housetraining was so much easier!!

    -Leave the crate open in a room you & the dog are frequently in
    -when the dog is looking, throw treats into the crate and let the dog go in and eat them without closing the crate door
    -when the dog isn't looking, throw treats into the back of the crate multiple times a day so that dog finds surprises (my dog started "checking" his crate for treats very frequently)
    -while the dog is looking, put treats into the crate and close the crate door before the dog goes into the crate
    -Before the dog losses interest in the treats, open the crate for him to go into it and close the door behind him
    -continue with steps that tx_cowgirl mentioned

    This is the only dog I have owned that hated crates, and this worked wonderfully for him. He absolutely loves them now and frequently takes naps in his crate on his own free will =) Good luck finding something that works with your dog.
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    If you make sure a crate is an enjoyable wonderful experience every time puppy enters he will always like it and find comfort in it. I never "put" any of my puppies in a crate, they are usually waiting at the door dying to go in b/c there's something wonderful and smelly to eat inside. Put puppy in crate with a good kong full of frozen goodies or a good safe edible chewie when you aren't leaving so crate does not equal leaving. Never for more than 3 hours with rarely emergency 4 max without a break for potty and exercise. All day while you are at work is too long for any dog.

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