House Breaking a Rescue

Your step number 1 could turn into being a bigger problem in the future. He isn't being bad, you probably aren't reading his cues (pacing, whining, sniffing are all cues). If he becomes fearful that he is being bad or going to get in trouble, he'll end up going off in a corner or behind something where you won't see him…and that will be a much tougher problem to solve.

The best thing possible is to catch him in the act. If you catch him in the act peeing, make a noise (say "eh", drop a book, something like that...just don't yell at him) it will distract him and many times stop him in the act...immediately pick him up take him out and he will finish outside...praise him as he is going (potty, potty, good potty - or whatever word you want to use). Treat immediately after he is finished...if you treat say once he gets to the door, the connection will be "go to the door, get a treat". You want it to be "potty outside, get a treat". By using a word like potty, once he makes the association with the word, you'll say the word and he will start to sniff outside when you say it.

One thing I've also done, is if I catch one in the act, I've picked the dog up without saying a word (the shock of that stops them midstream) and immediately taken the dog outside (as I'm walking out the door I say outside) and they finish their business outside. In fact, I only ever had Brando (and Brando is intact) pee in the house once and I caught him, picked him up and brought him outside...he never did it again. I think it took 2 times of me picking Ruby up midstream and she never did it again. Ruby did it when she first got here (2 yrs old), and Brando did the same when he first got here (3 yrs old).

If he messes inside and you don't see it, you shouldn't do anything because he won't understand what he is being punished or reprimanded for. Also, I've been told that you shouldn't clean the mess up with the dog in the same room...that way he won't read the anger from you (that is how I've always handled it).

Until the problem is solved, you might want to also tether him to you so that he isn't out of your sight...certainly he shouldn't have the run of the house. Take him out more often to give him more of an opportunity to do it right. You might think 3 times is enough for him, but maybe right now he needs 5 or 10.

Oh, and as Kanaga said, routine seems to be best for dogs...and the problem is probably do to moving to a new home. I'm sure he can be retrained. Have you talked to his foster parent to find out about peeing in his previous home.

He doesn't get "punished" and when I say he doesn't realize he's being "bad", I just mean he doesn't realize going inside is a no-no. I don't equate telling him "no Billy, bad Billy" with punishment. I think you misunderstood me. He gets much more positive reinforcement than negative.
Sorry, but I found your first paragraph to be rather offensive.
One of the problems is that he doesn't give a signal. He just does it. I have a basenji already so I realize the cues.

Sorry, I meant no offense, but when I read that you said you said "no billy, bad billy" in a stern voice, I took that as a form of punishment. If he doesn't realize he's being bad, what good does what you are saying in a stern voice do. The words are words he doesn't understand so all he knows is that he is being spoken to in a different tone of voice and his people aren't happy. He isn't speaking your language yet.

Maybe I'm just not communicating effectively. I'm not angry with Billy. I'm not mad. I already love him a lot! When he does go inside and I don't see it, I pick it up without a word. Except to complain to Travis 🙂 But when he does it infront of me I do use a stern(er) voice than normal. Not angry or mad though. I just tell him no and take him out. It doesn't frighten him. If I shouldn't be telling him no, or use a different voice with him, that's what I'm here to learn, I guess. Please just know that I'm not making Billy "fearful".

There is nothing wrong with a correction when you catch them in the act of having an accident in the house…. however I would not stop to "paw the door with his paw"... I would just go directly outside. It is when they have have an accident and you don't catch them in the act that you can't or shouldn't do a correction.

That said, what was his story before you got him?

@renaultf1:

One thing I've also done, is if I catch one in the act, I've picked the dog up without saying a word (the shock of that stops them midstream) and immediately taken the dog outside (as I'm walking out the door I say outside) and they finish their business outside. In fact, I only ever had Brando (and Brando is intact) pee in the house once and I caught him, picked him up and brought him outside…he never did it again. I think it took 2 times of me picking Ruby up midstream and she never did it again. Ruby did it when she first got here (2 yrs old), and Brando did the same when he first got here (3 yrs old).

LOL, I always assumed this was true also, the picking them up would make them stop. Just want to weigh in on that…It's not necessarily so. I picked up my little one while he was peeing, he proceeded to spray everything, including my boyfriend and his computer!!! It was hysterical (to me, not to bf though.) However, the spraying that happened, and he just continued to pee until he was done, made cleanup a nightmare.

@EskiLovr:

LOL, I always assumed this was true also, the picking them up would make them stop. Just want to weigh in on that…It's not necessarily so. I picked up my little one while he was peeing, he proceeded to spray everything, including my boyfriend and his computer!!! It was hysterical (to me, not to bf though.) However, the spraying that happened, and he just continued to pee until he was done, made cleanup a nightmare.

Was he a puppy when it happened…
I'm wondering because so far I've been lucky with my 11 wk old b-girl and that hasn't happened (only had to do it once so far)...but I've wondered if it could. :D:D

Rescues might taken longer to adjust as others have said. Here's another idea…

When you are cleaning up, blot some of the urine up with a paper towel. The next time you take him out, put the papertowel (with the smell) in the place you want him to go. Hopefully he will start to associate that smell with "outside" or "potty", etc. This worked well with Lexi when she was a puppy. I always took her to a pinestraw bed... Now it's funny... we don't have pinestraw where we are, but if we travel, that's the first place she runs to to do her business!

There are a lot of different personalities on this forum. You'll get a variety of feedback. I have verbally reprimanded my dogs for going in the house and I would never say "they're fearful" now. You need to do what's right for you and what works for your particular dog. Each of my dogs is different. Miles needs to get a spanking every once in a while. Sorry people! I just don't think a tap on the butt is that bad. (I guess we could bring up that whole issue as it relates to kids, but that's a different tangent. I supposed you could try that noise Cesaer does where he hisses and pokes the dog in the chest...) Lexi you can just say something in a really disappointed voice and point at her and you can tell she is immediately sorry for whatever she's done.

Also, how long is it between potty times? Perhaps your dog isn't used to holding it that long? I'd try to increase how many breaks he gets until he starts to catch on. Good luck!

@tanza:

There is nothing wrong with a correction when you catch them in the act of having an accident in the house…. however I would not stop to "paw the door with his paw"... I would just go directly outside. It is when they have have an accident and you don't catch them in the act that you can't or shouldn't do a correction.

That said, what was his story before you got him?

Billy was picked up by animal control in Iowa with his bother, Wally. I guess the county they were in doesn't have a shelter so Billy and Wally were given 7 days before being euthanize. 😞 BRAT stepped in on day 6 and they were fostered with a super cool couple since November. Wally went to live with a family in Pennsylvania and Billy is with us and has become best buds with our B. He's fitting in very well around here. The only problem being all the poop and pee!! Shelby is joining in as well today. Sigh!! She pooped right in front of me which she hasn't done in a very long time! I'm hoping it's an adjustment period for them both and nothing more. haha.

Here's a video of Billy and Shelby meeting for the first time. The quality is not that great, sorry! It's the first time I've uploaded to youtube.

I think you need to go back to house training 101…. just like if they were pups... and it is an adjustment....

My question is however... what was he like in the foster home? How did they do with house training... or more like what did they do about house training...?

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