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Thread: Please help! Senior rat terrier pees on carpet but poops outside

  1. Default Please help! Senior rat terrier pees on carpet but poops outside

    Hi there, thanks for this great resource.

    I'm a first-time foster mom to a senior (~11yo) female rat terrier who spent the last month in an animal shelter. She's very calm and gentle and otherwise well-behaved but she keeps peeing on our carpet. It's unclear from her history whether she was previously house trained, but her record says her previous owner had cancer and was unable to care for her and surrendered her. She has suspected deafness and has a skin infection and eye infection.

    We live in an apartment in a fairly busy neighbourhood and when I brought her home and took her out after her first feeding, she pooped out on the street but didn't pee. I took her for a walk after that for ~20min but still nothing. Then the moment we came home, she promptly peed on the carpet. I used many of the suggested techniques online: took her out 20 min after feeding, praised her when she pooped, said a sharp 'NO' and ran to the balcony when she peed, crated her at night in our bedroom and during the day when we were at work. I also thoroughly cleaned the carpet with a steam-vac and enzymatic cleaner for pets. Still, no luck. She pees in her crate on her blanket and then pushes the blanket away to one corner.

    I'm really concerned because I want to get this right with this sweet dog so that she gets adopted. My questions are:
    1) Is it possible that she was previously an indoor dog trained to pee on a pee mat and therefore is doing this?
    2) Is it then advisable to keep her as an indoor dog and purchase a pee mat? Or ...
    3) Should I continue to try to get her to pee outside? How do I do this? She really doesn't seem to like going out a lot. I think the traffic and noises startle her and she doesn't seem to be a terribly active dog. I also think that the numerous doors we need to go through to get outside might be confusing her.

    Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default

    Sorry to hear you're having trouble with your little foster beastie! I just love hearing that you're fostering a senior dog... they need all the help they can get to find new homes, so thanks for what you're doing!

    I'm not sure what to make of your situation... it's pretty unusual to have a dog that will poo outside but not pee. The fact that she'll poo outside leads me to believe she probably has some experience with going potty outside... I'm wondering if she might have been fully housebroken at one time, but maybe when her owner was ill, the trips outside became few and far between, forcing her to starting peeing inside. She probably still waited to go outside to poo, since she wouldn't need to poo as often as she'd need to pee. It's also possible she was indoor potty trained to go on pads or newspapers, but would hold her poo to go outside (many dogs seem to do that when they don't want to dirty up their pads and they have another place to go).

    I think my first move would be trying to get her to go on potty pads to see if it's familiar to her. In any case, you should use some kind of confinement when she's left alone (crate or a pen or bathroom with potty pads, etc.) and do VERY strict supervision with the puppy airlift and/or umbilical cord methods. This will prevent her from having accidents and allow you to encourage her to go in the right place.

    If you try the potty pads, let me know how it goes... if it doesn't seem to be doing the trick, we can discuss trying to get her to go outside only.

    Keep me posted!
    Rebecca
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