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House Training

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by merlin17, Nov 13, 2018.


  1. merlin17

    merlin17 PetForums Newbie

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    I have an 18 month old blue merle border collie that we adopted from a farm after he was advertised as a failed sheepdog. When we got him the farmer told us that the working dogs he had never went inside the house and were not treated as pets, therefore living in kennels. We have had him for around 4 months now and all other training has been excellent and due to his intelligent breed, we have had no issues with any training apart from when he does his duty.

    He goes for 2/3 walks a day, usually lasting an hour each. He is well exercised and regularly poo's when on a walk. However, we do not have a garden, just a large back yard. We take him into the yard and give him access to the full back alley when he is outside but he still defecates inside the house, even after he has just been outside. I have tried numerous techniques but he continues to wait until we are upstairs to go the toilet on the floor. What advice would people give to help resolve this problem?
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Has he ever been told off for toileting? That can make them anxious about toileting in your presence - they think you are cross about them toileting, as opposed to toileting indoors, so they wait for, or create, an opportunity to toilet when you arent there. If he has an accident, try to not even roll your eyes - they can pick up on the smallest of gestures.

    I would go back to basics. Toilet training happens when he wants to hold his toilet enough to earn a fabulous reward. Get a new high value reward like chicken or frankfurter sausage that is only used for outside toilets - so when he toilets outside, immediately deliver several pieces of this fabulous reward. Several small pieces seem to carry more value than one piece of the equivalent size. Also make sure your timing is spot on so he gets it that the reward is for the toilet and not for anything else. Take him out often, wait with him - he will have to toilet eventually and when he does, be do a massive happy dance and reward heavily.
     
  3. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    As he is waiting til you go upstairs to defacate, i wonder if you could break this pattern by setting him up in position on a mat prior to going out of sight?

    So, put him into a down stay on the mat. Then reward if he is still on the mat when you return. You might need to build up time on the mat if he hasn't done this before.

    Then think about the substrate he prefers - i would have thought it was concrete if he was kennelled outdoors but it doesn't sound like it is if he won't go in your yard - which would cause me to wonder if he has been punished for going on hard surfaces when the previous owner was present.

    Is he toileting on carpet or laminate? It would be unusual for an outdoor dog to prefer carpet - if it is laminate and you do have a carpeted room, i would set him up in there on his mat. Most dogs will have a preferred substrate - often grass and will seek that out if possible.

    Some dogs will just go anywhere though!


    When he poops outside, if possible i would give lots of praise when he is in the act (just quiet, you don't want to put him off!) So something like 'busy busy' and then a food reward.

    If he can be crated when you go out of sight, that might also break the pattern. You might need to put soft bankets in the crate or a bit of carpet as, he could well be happy to poo on a hard metal or plastic base.

    Ignore any accidents, clear up fuss free. Say nothing to your dog and clean thoroughly with an odour neutraliser.

    You could also set up an area in your yard where you would prefer him to go - section off a small area and put a layer of leaves and grass in it - you could even put a poo of his in there (!) If he pees in your yard, praise and treat that too.



    It does sound though, as if he is getting lots of chance to poo outside and is squeezing this one out in your house when you go out of sight. He probably could hold that in til your next walk and maybe never need to go in your yard.


    To sum up, watch him like a hawk (if setting him up on mat/crate isn't working you will need to take him with you upstairs)

    Get a few accident free days under your belt and you will soon crack this im sure
     
    Lurcherlad, Cath49 and JoanneF like this.
  4. merlin17

    merlin17 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your replies, praising him when he is outside has done the trick. He no longer goes inside the house even when we are upstairs and has so far had complete dry nights! The only time he seems to have an accident when we leave him alone and go out. He is never on his own for long, an hour maximum if that. I think he may have separation anxiety as he was 1 of around 6 dogs when living with his previous owner and has never been alone.

    Is there anything I can do to help prevent this and make him feel more at ease when he is home alone?
     
  5. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    It is technically a seperation when you go upstairs and leave him downstairs - the fact that previously he always took that opportunity to mess and now isn't represents excellent and fast progress so don't go too fast.

    I would train some self settling skills - getting him to spend longer periods of time chewing kongs. Then, even when you go upstairs, pop a radio on and give him a well stuffed kong.

    See if you can stretch out the time upstairs to a full hour without him messing.
    When that is successful, pop a coat on and lift some keys before going upstairs. See if he copes with that.

    Then you can build to popping radio on, leaving kong, keys coat and just go out your front door and round the back.

    Don't acknowledge your dog when you get back in - make it low key, all completely normal.

    Once that is good, go out, start your car engine and maybe sit out for 5 mins.

    Build up slowly. Til there is no stress reaction at all.
     
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