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Thread: Toilet Training HELP

  1. #1

    Default Toilet Training HELP

    Hello there,

    Ok here is my problem. I have a 2 year old English Cocker Spaniel bitch. She has access to the outside via a doggy door in the laundry. Outside I have a patio area which is concreted and grass/gardens around that. She is very good with toilet training and will not go inside unless we accidently leave the door shut on her for quite some time.

    It also took no time at all to train her when she was a pup to use the door and go outside, however... when she was young, there was only a small area that was concreted and the rest was paved. We did not care about her going on the pavers (as we were going to renovated the garden at some point) and she didn't used to crap on the concrete.

    We have since added a new patio area and taken away the old pavers. Now what is happening is that she will only go on the concrete. I have tried everything to get her to go on the grass. The main problem is that she will not go if anyone is outside with her. She will also not go on the leash no matter how busting she is. I will tell you what I have tried...

    1. I hold some treats in my pocket and stand on the grass waiting for her to do her business. This does not work becuase she just sits next to me expectantly doing random tricks waiting for the treat.

    2. No treat. Stand on the grass and use positive affirmation and encouragement. Nothing. Will just sit down and stare at me. I have waited up to an hour and a half for her to go... nothing.

    3. Stand on the concrete. Taught her ... "on the grass" which she now knows to be... "sit on the egde of the grass and stare". Still nothing.

    4. I denied her access to outside for a complete day, then tried variants of the above. I could tell that she desperately wanted to go with the wobble bum walk she had. Still nothing. She would just sit down on the grass and stare at me.

    5. Fenced off the patio area for 3 months. She did go on the grass, but that meant that I was unable to access my backyard and was highly inconvenient. After 3 months of her going on the grass I thought she had got it... unfortunately not. When the fence came down the piles on the patio began once more.

    6. Bought some sort of "go to the toilet" perfume/pheremones. Sprayed around the grass and sprinkled biscuits for her to sniff out, find and eat. No effect. Useless.

    7. Bought citronella spray and sprayed the concrete area. No effect. I even tried pulling her to a terd, spraying the terd with citronella and spraying her with citronella and then shouting at her... nothing...

    8. Punishments ranging from shouting and foul language to quite hard physical reprimands. Nothing. In fact this has now made things worse as she is terrorfied that whenever I go outside she is going to either get shouted at or hit for new "mistakes" on the concrete.

    9. My wife has tried seeing as she wasn't doing it for me... still nothing.

    10. We have put bottles filled with wated all over the patio. Waste of time. There was just poo inbetween them all.

    She is a sweet little dog with no behavioural problems apart from this. I can't give her rewards because she doesn't do the appropriate behaviour and she doesn't understand what she is being punished for when I take her to the "mistakes".

    I am completely at my witts end. I don't know what else I can possibly do. Its clear that what I am doing at the moment is clearly not working. Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Toby

  2. #2
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    Good Lord, what a mess!!!

    Obviously you're at your wits end, but I feel very sorry for the poor confused dog.

    You have allowed her from a pup to go to the toilet on that area, and now suddenly she is expected to change. Please try to see this situation from your dog's point of view.

    The shouting and the hitting is just definately NOT ON. And yes, I can see that you realise it has caused far more damage, and is only going to make it harder to fix the problem. Please don't shout/yell at or hit your dog! And certainly don't drag her to her business, that's accomplishing nothing but the reverse of what you want.

    For the 3 months that you had the paved arae blocked off and she went on the grass, I wonder: Did you just think 'Oh great" and forget about it, or did you spend that 3 months praising her silly every time she went on the grass area?

    I also would not call this a behavioural problem - truly, she has been conditioned to do what she is doing IMO. Unfortunately.

    Toby, I'm sorry, but I don't have any quick-fix advice. I'm sure others here will have great advice and be able to help you.

    If it was me, I'd probably take her business (obviously not her urine) off the concrete area, and place them down in the yard where you would like her to go. When it becomes clear to you that yes, she has to go, let her run out; she'll snip around the concrete. Try enticing her (kindly - make her want to go with you!) over to the grass yard where the other poo is. If she gets the point at any stage, praise her like crazy.

    I'm sorry Toby that I can't offer anything else to help you. Best of luck.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    I feel very sorry for the poor confused dog.
    I know she's confused. Thats apparent. I can see when I discipline her that she is simply not getting it. But also she doesn't get the positive affirmation thing either. Its a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    For the 3 months that you had the paved arae blocked off and she went on the grass, I wonder: Did you just think 'Oh great" and forget about it, or did you spend that 3 months praising her silly every time she went on the grass area?
    Thats not half a bad idea. I will put this on the table as another avenue to persue. The only tricky thing is that she has access to the part of the garden thats fenced off via the doggy door. Thus I can't watch her all the time and the consistency will drop off. Perhaps I will need to let her out manually for the first week or so and praise every time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    If it was me, I'd probably take her business (obviously not her urine) off the concrete area, and place them down in the yard where you would like her to go. When it becomes clear to you that yes, she has to go, let her run out; she'll snip around the concrete. Try enticing her (kindly - make her want to go with you!) over to the grass yard where the other poo is. If she gets the point at any stage, praise her like crazy.
    I have tried this, but to no avail. Whenever she gets close to the area and sniffs, I praise her. But then she instantly becomes distracted by me... walks over, sits next to me and stares at me. Either I am distraction or my dog has the attention span of a nat.

    ------------------------------------------------

    My plan of attack at the moment is for the next couple of months be as playful and fun outside as possible with my dog with no reprimands for mistakes. I want her to be as relaxed and happy as possible so that, if by some miracle, she can start to poo/piddle in front of us.

    Then, and only then, do I think it is possible to start to be able to give rewards for the appropriate behaviours and training can start.

    Interestingly, she will sometimes (and very rarely might I add) go when I walk her on the leash. This is another avenue I am thinking of persuing. Rewarding with treats whenever she goes on the leash, lots of praise, etc. I just hope she is able to do that on the leash in the back yard.
    Last edited by Gonadium; 11-05-2009 at 02:21 PM.

  4. #4
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    Gonadium

    My dog likes to save her turds up for the ovals where we go for big walks. So you could try that.

    I have never scolded her or hit her for going anywhere. I did make a great cry of anguish, once, when she peed inside - in front of me - and this interrupted her flow and we were able to finish outside. She has only crapped inside when she's had a tummy upset and I've been out and not home to let her out. And I could hardly scold her for that.

    Any scolding that is after the fact is pointless. Scolding during the fact, and you risk her hiding from you when she needs to go or refusing to go when you are around. You may need to get someone who hasn't done any scolding, take over standing around in the back yard waiting for her to go.

    Frosty likes to go in long grass, so maybe letting a bit of your garden get a bit wild might help? She's always gone on the lawn or garden, never the concrete (except a couple of times when her aim has been off - her paws were on the lawn but her bum was over the concrete).

    I can tell at the ovals who scolds their dogs when they crap - because those dogs always go behind the owner and when the owner is not paying any attention to them. Frosty is quite happy to get a ways ahead of me - and crap right in front of me, which I praise her for, because 1. I've seen her, and 2. I know where it is to clean up.

    You could try feeding your dog where you don't want her to crap. And you could try making a bed for her there too. No dog likes to crap where it eats or sleeps.

    As a last resort, when you take the dog out for toilet - is it possible to block off the concrete at the time -like closing a (temporary) gate - otherwise, lead her out to where you want her to go, and guard the concrete with a pump action waterpistol. You do not need to make a direct hit on the dog, just close enough on the concrete to get her attention. And then tell her "off" and point and herd her to where you want her to go.

    Try not to stare directly at her, because clearly she's afraid of what you might do if she craps anywhere. Try putting her on the lawn and you standing at the edge of the concrete with your back to her. Use a mirror if you need to check to see if she's performed, and then praise & treat lavishly. Or stand a bit sideways so you can just see her in the corner of your eye but are not looking at her directly.

    And I repeat, you might need to get a different family member to take her out to the lawn for a while. And you have to wait as long as it takes - allow 30 minutes to an hour. Do be boring, avoid playing or talking to your dog until your dog has performed, and then you can say your toilet cue word (eg shitnapiss) and play, praise, treat. Use the cue word during/after the performance for the first month or so, and then you can say it before/during and immediately after. You can say good dog, in a nice high pitched friendly you mean it tone, for the dog being on the lawn, and uh uh when it heads for the concrete... and more "good dog" when you get what you want.

  5. #5
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    What about a paver hidden in the grass somewhere that isn't really visable? Then she can continue to poo on the paver but it's hidden by the grass.

    Or you could also try putting a command on the action and once she knows it, you can try moving her to the grass. That could take a while tho!!

    Maybe she's just scared shitless (pardon the pun!) of doing the wrong thing. You could try a Cesar Millan tactic - bring her to the designated area and use your calm assertive energy to communicate to her this is where you want her to go. If you get worked up/frustrated/angry she will sense this and cause her to clench. If you are relaxed she will be too.

    Keep at it, you'll succeed!
    Last edited by Yogibear; 11-05-2009 at 06:28 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    You may need to get someone who hasn't done any scolding, take over standing around in the back yard waiting for her to go.
    Good idea. I will save that one for later if all else fails. It won't be easy getting someone to do that for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    You could try feeding your dog where you don't want her to crap. And you could try making a bed for her there too. No dog likes to crap where it eats or sleeps.
    Unfortunately I already do that. I feed her in the laundry and I let her have free roam of the house at night. Much to my wife's dismay, I even let her sleep on the couch :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    As a last resort, when you take the dog out for toilet - is it possible to block off the concrete at the time -like closing a (temporary) gate - otherwise, lead her out to where you want her to go, and guard the concrete with a pump action waterpistol. You do not need to make a direct hit on the dog, just close enough on the concrete to get her attention. And then tell her "off" and point and herd her to where you want her to go.

    Try not to stare directly at her, because clearly she's afraid of what you might do if she craps anywhere. Try putting her on the lawn and you standing at the edge of the concrete with your back to her. Use a mirror if you need to check to see if she's performed, and then praise & treat lavishly. Or stand a bit sideways so you can just see her in the corner of your eye but are not looking at her directly.
    I like that for an idea. I will give that a go. Cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yogibear View Post
    What about a paver hidden in the grass somewhere that isn't really visable? Then she can continue to poo on the paver but it's hidden by the grass.
    That is a brilliant idea. I have a couple of pavers left that I could put in the middle of the grass. I am sure that will stir up some old memories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yogibear View Post
    If you get worked up/frustrated/angry she will sense this and cause her to clench. If you are relaxed she will be too.
    haha... easier said than done. But yes, I get your drift.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yogibear View Post
    Keep at it, you'll succeed!
    Cheers!!! And thanks to all who have made suggestions. I am definately taking them on board. I really want to get this sorted without having to go to drastic measures like hiring a dog whisperer or seeing a psychiatrist myself. Any other advice is welcome with open arms and appreciation.

    Thanks again all

  7. #7
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    Now look, I know this is going to sound totally stupid and pathetically radical, but I'm gonna spit it out anyway.

    How private is your back yard?
    You're a male. Easy to whip it out and take a pee, right.

    No, I'm not being smart. No, I'm not having a joke. I have actually heard of people doing this (and if I had ever done it I wouldn't bloody own up to it anyway!)

    If everything else you try fails, heck, give it a go. What have you got to lose, so long as nobody (neighbours etc) can see you, cause that wouldn't go down too well.

  8. #8
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    DA

    Using a bucket when you're inside somewhere more private and then pouring it around outside may also work, if the dog is inclined to mark over pee scents. My dog isn't so doesn't work for her, but diluted 1:10 with water, on the lawn or round the lemon tree is good for green leafy growth...

  9. #9
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    As most of you already know, I peed on the lawn with Pretty, but again, as most know, I am on farm. It sure helped toilet training her.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Di_dee1 View Post
    As most of you already know, I peed on the lawn with Pretty, but again, as most know, I am on farm. It sure helped toilet training her.
    See! It works!

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