How to potty train a dog who has been outdoors' her entire life...

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Angel Lou

Everybody wants- to be a...DOG!- not a CAT
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 8:38am PST 
So, we finally got moved into our new place-that is pet friendly luckily. As I am up to 4 cats, 2 dogs, and 3 rats.(For those looking for an update, I did not have to re-home Angel and she is with me still.)

About a week ago, my fiance and I learned of a dog who was being neglected by her owners. She was tied outside-in all weather on a 4 foot chain no means of shelter. Got fed very little, and had unsanitary drinking water. On top of that her owners beat her, to the point she has a leg fracture as well as the guy was a nutcase and did unquestionable things to her, if you get what I mean.

After, learning of the situation this poor dog was in I could not just leave her there. I took her away from that horrid place and brought her home. Brought her to the vet got her on antibiotics and got her leg fixed up. She will be getting spayed as soon as she heals a bit. Best guess is she is about 11 months old, her breed is in questioning. We're thinking German Shepherd/ Blue Heeler cross possibly a Nordic breed and Border collie in there.

She is an absolute doll, but very timid and shy. There is no aggressive bone in her body, except I was told she kills chickens. Are biggest issue with her is that we are having a hard time potty training her. I don't know if it's because she is not used to her environment or what. I am just looking for some advice on how to get her potty trained, and how to basically show her the world isn't as bad as what she has been through. I will post some pictures as soon as I can.

Thank you everyone!
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 9:03am PST 
I have to admit I'm a little surprised she's going in the house. I'm right now fostering two dogs that used to live outside and one has gone inside when he was sick (he tried to chew the door to get out first) but otherwise no issues with either of them.

Both of my fosters are Rez dogs, ran in a pack of community dogs, are scared of being yelled at, people on the street, if I pick up something stick like, etc etc. But honestly came housetrained. Pant like crazy because they aren't used to heat though!! laugh out loud

I'd go back to treating her like a puppy. I usually use a babygate to limit how much of the house they get access to for the first few weeks and crate if I'm so much as having a shower or going downstairs to put on a load of laundry. Plus we go outside lots and I run around to get them moving! Movement makes them have to go!

One of the rescues had a guy that did unspeakable things to a dog as well and she ended up dying due to internal injuries. If she's seriously impossible to housetrain I'd have an ultrasound done to check for damage.

Until there's- none.....
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 9:30am PST 
Back to basics, all the way back. Can she be crated? Not in a bad way, in a the crate is a very happy place way. And X-Pen my work, but a crate would be better.

When not crated, tether her to you. If you can not 100% supervise her, she should be in a crate.

And you did a good thing.

Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 12:13pm PST 
Same here, Jewel.

Most dogs I've seen that live outside are used to going outside and usually reserve themselves to going outside.

If she's going because she has to (not from fear/submission) I would set up schedules to going out as often as you can. I'd go to the same general area every time she goes so that smells like the "potty" area and she becomes used to going there.

My other thought is that she may be marking too, since you have other dogs. If that's the case, then I'd say back to basics and do as Jewel suggested.

Edited by author Tue Dec 4, '12 12:14pm PST

Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 3:49pm PST 
Jackson was like this. I just treated him like a pup and took him out after eating, drinking, playing and every couple of hours for a walk round the block/yard. I praised him when he did the right thing.

When out I put him in the yard but you could also crate.

He learned in about a week. He had been outside all his life (3 years). Just gotta be vigilant.

I'm glad you still have Angel. smile
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 4:32pm PST 
I got Gus as an adult used to living in a kennel too . . .. she had a few peeing accidents early on and it didn't help that she needed steroids when I first got her, so she had to pee more.

But I took her out first thing in the morning, then after breakfast, then like Jackson said, every few hours and before bed.

I think it helped a lot that we took walks along the same places where she could go where she'd gone the day before--I think some females can be a little shyer about on other dogs' turf until they get comfortable feeling it's theirs too . . ..
Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 4:43pm PST 
Jax came from a horrid place that was filthy. There were originally 15 puppies in a chain-link fenced pen that was approximately 12x8 on a concrete slab. It looked like they never cleaned the mess, ever. They had no shelter. The people threw the food over the fence and the pups had to fight for their share. Jax was used to being very dirty. She had a horrible skin infection all over her belly from the urine and feces. So, when I brought her home, at around 4 months old, I was determined to make her a clean dog. I gave her a bath every day for 2 weeks until the stench on her finally faded away. I got her a crate that she could just barely move around in for when she wasn't supervised. I know that sounds a little cruel but, she caught on pretty quickly and I was able to put her in a larger crate. At first she just didn't know any better and messed all over her crate. I divided it in half with newspaper in the back and a blanket (bed) in the front. I took her out very often, like every 15 minutes to a half hour, depending on if she went to the bathroom or not. If she went, I made a huge deal out of it and gave her a really yummy treat. At night, I took her out on every commercial while I watched TV. After a few days, she started getting the hang of it. I could leave her loose longer and longer and she messed her crate less and less. She finally didn't mess her crate at all. I still didn't give her complete freedom in the house until she started to ask to go out. After that, she never had accident in the house again. I think she was so glad to be clean that she would rather explode than mess in the house. Hope that helps. Glad you took her in. That was awesome of you. With lots of patience, you will have a great dog, I did. Good Luck!

Member Since
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 7:10pm PST 
Have you ever considered crate training her? Maybe that would be one of the effective ways to get her potty trained without having to soil your house in different places.

Got food? I- can be bought ya- know....
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 8:28am PST 
With a timid dog, NILIF will help reinforce the positive behaviors you illicit from her. It is often recommended for bad behavior, but is a wonderful way of encouraging a fearful or timid dog to repeat behaviors you like.

I agree with crate or pen training, and tethering her to you when you are home.
You might want to bell train her so she can ask to go out when she needs to (in the long run).
Angel Lou

Everybody wants- to be a...DOG!- not a CAT
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 4:38pm PST 
Sorry, it took so long to reply-haven't had the chance to get on the computer and for some reason Dogster will not load on my smartphone shrug. Anyway, thank you everyone for the thoughts and suggestions. I went back to the basics with her, she is getting better. We also gated off the part of our house that has carpet, and she has been mainly staying in the entry way and kitchen at night.

I am happy that I can rescue her from a a bad situation. She sure is a handful though, that is for certain. The vet thinks that she is a Blue Heeler/ German Shepher cross possible some malamute. She has three very strong minded breeds combined in to one, she will be a bit a challange. Maybe, she'll keep me occupied for awhile and away from puppy fever? laugh out loud
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