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juljanssen
February 2nd, 2008, 09:48 PM
I recently rescued three dogs. They are a smallish breed Coton de Tulears. I have one male and two females. They were in very bad shape when I got them and had to go through a lot of vet and grooming experiences. For this reason I did not try to housebreak them right away. They had been kept in an old chicken coop when I got them and had never really been trained at all. For the first 6 weeks the dogs were only allowed in the house when they were being held. Once they were all well I wanted them to get to live inside so I started potty training. First I crate trained them and because of their age that was pretty easy. They were all able to hold it overnight and during the day I would take them outside one at a time and bring them back in for a little one on one time. This seemed to work, but as soon as I let one of them wander they would squat. Next I bought a large pen and kept them in there when I could not be with them. They were still really good about never having an accident in the pen, but as soon as I try letting them loose in the house (after first taking them out) they go potty. Not right away. The weird thing is that I think the females mark. I have never seen this before. They have never pooped in the house, just pee???? What can I do next? By the way I do use an order remover to clean up so that they won't think it is OK to go later. If they have to be outside dogs that is OK. They are now very happy and healthy. Maybe my trying to make them house dogs is unreasonable. Oh, the females are 3 and 4 and the male is 2...or there abouts the vet says.

Rebecca
February 3rd, 2008, 12:02 AM
Sounds like you've got your hands full! Rescuing dogs three at a time isn't for the faint of heart... they're lucky they found you to be their new mom!

Of course, when dogs have a rough start, training can be a little more complicated. It sounds like you've done a lot of things right, so I'm sure it's discouraging to still have all this peeing going on! Do you catch them going potty or just find the after effects... and are they all doing it?

The first thing I'd recommend in a situation like this is dog door training, if that would be an option for you. It would allow them to take themselves outside any time they needed to go and it would save you a lot of work shuttling 3 dogs in and out for potty trips! You'd just have a dog door that leads to your yard or an outdoor dog run and an exercise pen right inside the dog door where the dogs would stay when they're not supervised. You'd gradually increase their indoor space once they got in the habit of taking themselves outside. Read our dog door training article (http://thehousebreakingbible.com/training/dog-door-training.htm) for complete instructions.

If the dog door isn't an option, let us know and we'll come up with something else!

It's unusual, but possible, to have female dogs who mark in the house. The thing that improves marking the most, in my opinion, is obedience training to build the dog's confidence, teach her her place in the household and minimize stress. That, along with appropriate correction when the dog is in the act of marking, can resolve most marking issues. You might find it helpful to read this article about housebreaking corrections (http://thehousebreakingbible.com/training/housebreaking-corrections.htm).

The pees in the house right after a successful potty trip outside may also occur when the dogs pee a bit outside, but don't quite finish up. This can be caused by the dogs becoming distracted or startled mid-pee, or they may just not have the patience to stay in one spot for a full pee, since they want to play together or go sniff around in the yard. This isn't an uncommon problem in multi-dog households where the dogs start to think going outside is party time instead of potty time!

If you suspect this might be happening, take the dogs out on-leash one at a time for potty trips whenever possible. Be sure you're in a quiet, distraction-free spot and stay there until you're convinced the dog has finished up.

Let us know if the dog door program sounds like it will work. Feel free to post updates or questions as you go along!