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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stats:
3 yo male. blue nose. 75 lbs. submissive. mellow. gentle giant. low confidence. recovering from severe separation anxiety. very bonded to humans/dogs. neutered.

Background:
Rescued my boy one year ago. He was two at the time. It was obvious he had never lived in a home. I trained him on everything, as you would a puppy. He had very severe separation anxiety that we have worked through. He can be home alone now with a dog walker during the day. Or he goes to doggy day care. He has a dog door but no yard rights if I am not home as he escapes and is usually found roaming the neighborhood.

Issue:
Potty training has been a nightmare. One year later and he is still having accidents. Always downstairs (the part of the house that is least occupied. We generally live on the upper level). He'll go for weeks with no accidents and then he starts up again. Today for instance, he was alone for 6.5 hours (which is generally the longest he is left alone) and I came home to #1 and #2. He got a 40 min walk before I left the house.
Yesterday, I was gone a work day and he had a dog walker midday (so 4 hours alone) and he had an accident.

I have tried everything. He gets walked more than most dogs I know. I am diligent about it, especially when I am leaving him home alone. I use Miracle Spray on the spots where he went to deter him from doing it again (anything stronger out there?). I don't punish him if I don't actually see him doing it. Maybe I should? Also, if I do catch him and I raise my voice he thinks it's a game and wags his tail.
I leave his blankets out downstairs in the hopes it will deter him from going #2 near them. Doesn't work either.

I think this is behavioral. He gets let out at 7:00pm for a potty break and then not again until the morning and no problems. Just when he's alone and feels like being a dick.

I need tricks and tips to get him to knock this off once and for all! Help!

Thanks,
Corinne
 

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You can try gating or closing off the stairs so he can't get down there. Honestly though, crating him would be your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I already tried both :(

He cannot stand a crate. Or being confined in any way. I think there is some trauma there.

I put a child's gate up but he knocks it down (again, confinement).

Any feedback on punishing him even though I haven't caught him in the act? Haven't done it yet, but maybe I should?
 

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Could it maybe be connected to his separation anxiety? Like he's so stressed or upset that he potties in the house? I ask because years ago when we adopted our male Great Dane he had separation anxiety also and would chew things up. Doc put him on anxiety/calming medicine and it that did the trick, just for him to realize calmly that he would be ok when we weren't home and only had to keep him on it for about 2 weeks, then took him off and he was fine, no more separation anxiety.
Hope you find a solution and please let us know how it's going.
 

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You have to crate train him before using the crate as containment. Use the search function at the top and search crate training.
Another option is a chain spot in the yard for the brief times that you have to leave him home alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I think it could be that. He had SEVERE separation anxiety when I got him. He had to be medicated for a short time. For the most part he's fine now (can only be left alone at home, not at another person's house such a dog sitter, etc.) but I think the accidents are a part of that.

I might try the CBD again (it worked well for a time, but ran out) and see if the accidents stop.

Thanks All!
 
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