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HELP with house training Chihuahua

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Stephiib14, Jun 12, 2019.


  1. Stephiib14

    Stephiib14 PetForums Junior

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    Hi everyone.
    I've evidently been a bad owner
    I have two chihuahuas, one I've had from a pup who I'm having serious issues with, it's come to the point now where something has to change. I realistically can't afford a behaviourist and specialist training, so that's my last resort.

    Issue no 1.
    He poos in the house, ALL THE TIME. I came downstairs and he was pooping on the mat, next to the OPEN back door! (I swear this occasion he was purposefully being a jerk.) I show him and tell him he's bad and shut him out but I don't know what else to do?! Someone help!

    Issue no 2, THE BIG ISSUE
    My partner and this dog have a real passionate mutual hate. I know chihuahuas are one person dogs, but I've never known hatred like it, but the dog ran under the bed and my partner tried getting him out, this resulted in a nasty bite to the hand which got infected requiring antibiotics, so as you can imagine, the hating of the dog is fuelled.

    To add, my partner isn't unkind to the dog, in fact has climbed through brambles to rescue him for me, he just really doesn't like the dog at all, the fouling in the house makes this worse help me please before I have to spend my life savings on a dog trainer
     
  2. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    If you are scolding your dog for going in the house then the behaviour will worsen. Dogs only are toilet trained when barriers are used, and not doors kept open. So you need to go back to basics..let your dog out to toilet frequently. Give praise etc..

    Sounds very much like you do need behaviourist help on the next part though. Sounds very much that your dog is resource guarding. It can be an easy fix in some aspects done right but most people need special guidance.

    A chihuahua shouldn't be a one person kind of dog. Yeah possibly might like any other dog favour a person at times but in households should respond quite happily to all.
     
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  3. Chatcat

    Chatcat Guest

    You need to train him not to poo in the house - this means actually training him to think that inside the house is his den, and outside is where you poo. This won't come naturally, he doesn't know where the actual boundaries are. Google toilet training, or look it up on this forum.

    I'm not surprised your partner was bitten. Why did the dog run under the bed? Probably to get away from something giving him stress. This situation was always going to end in a bite - did your partner stick his hand under the bed and drag him out?

    You need to go back to basics with all the training. Think in terms of bonding, playing, learning to trust, etc, all the positive things. Google 'positive reinforcement'and 'stress ladder'. You don't really need a trainer if you are prepared to put in some time.
     
  4. Stephiib14

    Stephiib14 PetForums Junior

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    Oh I'm totally aware my partner was an idiot to stick his hand under the bed when he'd gone to hide, he'd once again pooped in the house... the doors aren't always open but with the hot weather it's going to happen, the dogs fine with everyone else, just not my partner, I don't get it, I think if my partner didn't hate the dog so much and would put work in with me it'd be easier but he really, really hates this dog, the other chihuahua gets on fine with him, I don't get it ahhh
     
  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Ok, first the toilet training. I am assuming this is not a change or new behaviour, which would first warrant a vet check to rule out medical rather than behavioural causes.

    If it is behavioural, be aware that an open door with free access to the garden is not good for toilet training because the dog doesn't learn there is any barrier or distinction between indoors and outdoors.

    So back to basics with toilet training. Toilet training happens when two things come together - the ABILITY to hold the toilet, along with the DESIRE to hold it in order to earn the reward for doing so.

    Ideally you want him to not be in a position where he needs to toilet before you have him outdoors, so that every toilet is outside - as far as possible, there will be accidents! So set him up to succeed by taking him out even more than he needs; for example every hour. When he toilets outdoors make a huge fuss (never mind the neighbours, act like outdoor toileting is the best thing you have ever seen) and reward him with a high value treat. Do that immediately, don't make him come to you for the treat so he is clear that it's for toileting and not for coming to you. The idea is that he wants to earn the treat enough to hold the toilet until he is outside. So be generous with the reward, maybe something new like roast chicken or frankfurter sausage that is only used for outside toilets .

    If you take him out and he doesn't toilet after five minutes, bring him in but don't take your eyes off him. Any hint of a toilet inside, scoop him up and get him out fast. If he doesn't try to toilet indoors (great!) take him out a second time and repeat until you do get outside toilets. You need the outside toilet to happen SO that you can reward SO that he learns.

    If he has an accident inside don't react at all. If you get annoyed he may learn to fear your reaction and avoid you if he needs to toilet - the opposite of what you want. Dogs cant make the distinction between you being annoyed at him toileting, as opposed to toileting indoors. Take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not having taken him outside in time. Not when he is there though in case you scare him. Then clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace of smell that might attract him back to the spot. As he is actually performing the toilet you can introduce words he can associate with it (like 'do weewee' and 'busy busy') that later when he is reliably trained you can use these to tell him when you want him to toilet.

    Indoors if you see him circling or scratching the floor, that can sometimes precede toileting so get him out fast.

    Next the harder problem, your partner's relationship. I am assuming that when the dog ran under the bed he was anxious about something - maybe being picked up? Who knows, it doesnt really matter. So two things to work on here. First, you and your partner need to understand canine communication because without a shadow of a doubt, your dog will have given 'back off and leave me' signals long before the bite. The bad news is that having bitten, he may well bite again. Dogs give a series of signals that they are unhappy, but unfortunately most people don't recognise them because they can be quite subtle. To begin with there is often wide eyes, lip licking and yawning. There is also muscular tension in the body. Then the ones we sometimes do see - growl, snarl, nip then bite. If the early signals are not seen (or, in the dog's view, ignored) he won't bother with them because us stupid humans pay no attention anyway; so he may go straight to the bite. So it's important never to ignore the early signals. As a friend says, she would rather be told verbally to sod off than be smacked in the face with no apparent warning. Your dog is now in a place where he thinks his warnings won't be heeded so he may well bite again.

    So what can you do. First, get your partner to totally ignore him. No eye contact, nothing. Make sure your dog has a safe place to retreat to where he is never disturbed. After some weeks - and don't rush this - as your partner passes the dog he can drop (not toss) something lovely like chicken. Your dog might accept him but you also need to be prepared he might never bond.

    Finally, i would like to know why your partner was trying to get him from under the bed. Not in any way as a criticism but someone may have a suggestion how to prevent the situation from getting to the stage you were all in.
     
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  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Ok, i see you replied while i was typing the above that your partner was trying to get him because he had toileted. You really need to stop punishing him for this because it clearly is making him fear/mistrust/hate you. It's not his fault he hasnt been toilet trained. This stands out from your first post
    There is no point whatsoever in this - he doesn't understand why you are angry and as you have found out, it doesn't fix the problem and make him suddenly toilet trained. Follow my advice above and there is no point in shutting him out after the accident - you need to TAKE him out, BEFORE he toilets and wait with him.
     
  7. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    You could try one of these behaviourist , Their prices were reasonable when I checked them out a few years ago.
    https://capbt.org/findabehaviourist.php


    Why would your dog deliberately be a jerk , why would he want to be punished by you ? Seriously , you need to look at your training strategy .
    Was it raining? My litle chi hates the rain . I put a coat on her and go outside with her.

    One problem with telling a dog off is that a) they might not know why you are telling them off. b) if they associate the poo with you telling them off then they will avoid pooing in front of you and that makes toilet training very difficult.

    I doubt if your dog hates your partner , its more likely your dog ran under the bed because he is scared of him .
    I dont know about chi's being one persons dog , Ive not found this though some Chis can be nervous and easily scared and they tend to stick to the person they feel safe with.
     
    #7 kimthecat, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  8. Stephiib14

    Stephiib14 PetForums Junior

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    The part about the dog purposefully being a jerk was a joke lol,
    Thanks so much for advice above though, I'll speak to my partner, I know the dog is scared of my partner and that could be the root of it all
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Why do you think he is scared of your partner?

    And sorry, but that won't be the root of the indoor toileting. You need to tackle that as a separate issue.
     
  10. Stephiib14

    Stephiib14 PetForums Junior

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    My partner tells the dog off much more than I ever have done, because he is so small, I've always sort of been like "don't tell him off he's so tiny and cute" sort of thing which I swore I never would be when I had bigger dogs and never had any of these issues... I know it's down to me and not training him properly, it just didn't seem such an issue as it would have with a bigger dog so I ignored a lot
     
  11. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Absolutely does need tackling as a separate issue but it's going to get worse if they kept scalding, chase the dog and scaring the dog... He'll toilet more through anxiety and maybe hide now..so you may smell but not see...

    It's all a mess and I really don't care if life savings are used there is only so much help an internet forum and Google can give. At this stage a behaviourist really needs to look at these issues, why the dog is the way and really explain how you both can help and others.
     
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  12. Stephiib14

    Stephiib14 PetForums Junior

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    I fully accept any criticism, I've had to be brutally honest with myself because I know none of this would have happened had I not been as bad as I was, I got him when I was very depressed and have sort of used him as a crutch since and it's time I do right by the dog
     
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  13. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    perhaps give an indication it was a joke next time. You sounded angry and indignant at your dog so it was hard to tell.

    I adopted Libby when she was young and she had lived with lots of chi's and never been properly housed trained so I understand how frustrating it is to find poo and wee on the carpet . Im grateful shes not a big dog , small poos and wees are easier to clean up than Labrador sized ones!!

    With Libby , I went back to a puppy schedule, took her out in the garden at regular intervals and after meals etc.
    Fortunately she was happy to toilet in front of me but if she hadn't I would have given her more space.
    When she did a poop or wee , I would say "Do a wee , good girl," while she was in the act of weeing or pooing , in full flow so to speak and then immediately reward her after she had finished , I repeated this often so she made the connection between the act of weeing or pooing and getting a treat so she learnt that going outside was the place to toilet . Now she will toilet on request .

    It takes time and patience .
     
    #13 kimthecat, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  14. Stephiib14

    Stephiib14 PetForums Junior

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    I'll spend the money if it comes down to it, but I'd rather try myself first
     
  15. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Ok, tiny and cute is not really relevant. Remember (and ask your partner to remember) when you were learning to read, do maths, drive - anything. Did your teacher yell and punish you if you made a mistake? Hopefully no but how would that have affected your learning? Put yourself in your dog's position - his people are angry, shouty and scary and he doesn't really know why. Stop punishing him for what you don't want and start and training him and rewarding him for what you do want.
     
    #15 JoanneF, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  16. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for being honest .
    If your partner lives with you then its his responsibilty to help with training, not just yours.
    He must stop telling the dog off as he will undo any good work that you do .
    Positive reinforcement is the way to go for dogs of any size, Big dogs are sensitive too :)
     
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  17. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    I could sit here for hours typing, many of us could but the problem being is, why aren't really seeing your dog's actual behaviour.

    With any biting/snapping it really is best to have guidance from someone with you. They can see how you, your partner other interactions go etc the dogs actual behaviour and give full advice. They can observe you and correct, encourage, that's really what you need.

    Even with written instructions, interpretation can be lost in translation.

    Any person who attends training classes for anything, it's the owner of the dog that gets the critique, the observation, the gentle tips. It really helps attending classes or 1 to 1 sessions just for the basics. So as an owner, you are being taught how to move, interact with your dog.

    As I say, with biting then there really should only be one route to go.
     
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  18. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Yes, it concerns me too that this situation has been developing for some time and you don't appear to have a good understanding of training and canine behaviour - again, not said as a criticism but just an observation and my concern is that you make more mistakes and make the situation worse.
     
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  19. Stephiib14

    Stephiib14 PetForums Junior

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    I did have emojis but they disappeared kimthecat, I'm not at all angry with the dog I feel awful about this whole thing and know it's my fault, I know tiny and cute are not relevant, I'm going to sit and go through all your helpful replies with my partner when he is home, he's (understandably imo) a very frustrated man, he's going to have to just deal with it!
     
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  20. Stephiib14

    Stephiib14 PetForums Junior

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    The thing is I do but I've never treated this animal as a dog. Having been so depressed when I got him added to my. "oh it's okay he's so small it doesn't matter" attitude have led to a very big mess
     
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