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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gracie is 10 1/2 months old now and still not potty trained.

My yard isn't fenced, so I walk her to the very back of my yard where there is a woodsy area to go potty.

She is highly reactive to everything, including (but not limited to) barking dogs, neighbors' children playing, small forest animals, leaves blowing, etc. So much so that she will obsess about the noise or visual distraction and refuse to go potty - even if she had to go. I have actually seen her begin to go poop, hear a sound, and suck the poop back inside in order to focus on the sound.

When she does go poop, I praise her, give her a treat and make a big deal out of it. But very often I end up just getting frustrated and take her back inside because sometimes I don't have the time or patience to stand outside with her for 20 minutes (sometimes in the rain and snow)while she does nothing but freak out about some random sound she just heard.
She will then come inside and have an accident in the house.

I am so tired of this. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
 

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Sounds to me like you need to refresh your training.
That's the main issue I think here. Not trying to sound rude.
I'm interested to see what others say,on how to remedy this situation.
I have a dog who marks...And it's driving me nuts,so I know the feeling sorta.
How much training have you done? Bruno was always distracted,but after 2 training classes, he learned to focus on me.
 

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Mine know 'go potty'. I usually ask em if they need to go. If their ears perk up that's my answer. The commands help and they learned it from saying 'go potty' and good girl or boy as they were acually doing their business. Although it helps doing this while they are just puppies i would imagine you could teach it to any dog at e
any age. The goal is to get them to go on command. I think it helps them focus. Here is the first hand benefits- I have done quite a bit of traveling with my dogs in the last few months and we only stop for potty breaks when we stop for gas. I put leashes on, walk to a grassy spot say go potty and voilà :) you just have to get the pup to focus. I understand distractions as my boy is still very much a puppy but redirect as soon as the focus is lost and get to the goal. Lotsa praise every time. It'll get easier
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds to me like you need to refresh your training.
That's the main issue I think here. Not trying to sound rude.
I'm interested to see what others say,on how to remedy this situation.
I have a dog who marks...And it's driving me nuts,so I know the feeling sorta.
How much training have you done? Bruno was always distracted,but after 2 training classes, he learned to focus on me.
Strange, when I first read this post I could have swore you told me I did a bad job at socializing my dog, now your post says something totally different.

Gracie spent 4 months at a shelter before I adopted her. She is highly socialized and did very well in obedience class, does great on a leash in the park and around my neighborhood and gets compliments from total strangers saying how well behaved she is in public.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Becca, yes she goes in the house. Normally down in the basement on the concrete floor. My vet thinks she was used to going on the concrete at the shelter.
She does go outside as well, but not if she gets distracted.
Thanks

Edited to add: This has been an ongoing issue since the day I adopted her.
 

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Does she have a favorite toy that she goes nuts for? Or highly food moivated? Key is to have her focus on you and gettin her business done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She is very food motivated and I do treat her after she goes potty outside. She knows to expect it afterwords because she will sit in preparation of getting the treat she knows is coming.
 

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I changed what I originally said,cause I thought it over,and remembered Bruno at that age. he too was a shelter dog,and I got him at 10 months.
He was having almost the same issues,but I took him to training. and it stopped.
Just because you had them in training,doesn't mean you shouldn't brush up on it.
I do that constantly with Bruno.
(I think it's harder with male dogs,cause they like to mark.)
I agree with becca. Try and keep her focused. I have a "look at me" command. Bruno knows it to a T. Cause it involves his favorite treats.
So if he's distracted,all I have to do is say look at me,and I have his undivided attention.

My dog gets compliments all the time,that still doesn't mean he's fully trained.
Hell, Becca thought he was almost perfect,until I mentioned the FA.
There is a difference between public training and house training. My dog listens to me 100% of the time out in public,get him home,and it's a totally different story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Xiahko,

I do practice watch me with Gracie all the time (by the way she's a female :))
Normally when I treat her it's after the fact, maybe I need to treat her during the "act" LOL
 

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Do this for two weeks and your problem should be solved (knock on wood). Put the dog in a smaller sized kennel overnight. Feed and water it in the kennel in the morning. Wait about a half hour after it eats then bring it out to potty. Give the dog a good chance to go, but if it doesn't, bring it back in and kennel the dog. Take it back out about every hour until it goes outside. Hopefully it won't go in the kennel. Most dogs wont as long as it is small enough, and you don't put an absorbent pad in the bottom.

When the dog does go outside, let it run around the house for about an hour, then put it back in the kennel. The dog should be kenneled most of the day and night. Every time you let it out of the kennel it should have the opportunity to go to potty. Then if and only if it goes let it run around the house for a bit.
 

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one of the bad things with getting a dog from many shelters is that they do get used to doing thier "business" in the same area as where they stay, which is likely the concrete of thier kennel. while only the most unhousebroken dogs in shelters go in the area where they sleep, they will get used to going in the outer part part of thier kennel. some of the best house broke dogs loose thier training while staying in a shelter situation. especially when they are younger they are easy to get used to going on solid floor over dirt or grass.

i know it seems like a lot of time, and it will take a lot of patientce, keep to what you are doing. it is sometimes hard for dogs on a lead to do the number "2". it leaves them in a vonurable(spl?) situation and most dogs when on a lead feel they have to protect not only themselves but also the person at the other end. which is why your dog is so reactive to everything going on around her.
if you no longer have the time for waiting for a "two", maybe look into getting an outside kennel of some sort, or even an invisible fence, so that you are able to let your pup out in an area that they will be safely contained while you walk away and wait for business to be done.

good luck and don't give up on your dogger! i promise, all dogs would rather do thier business outside than where they come into sleep!!
 
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Do this for two weeks and your problem should be solved (knock on wood). Put the dog in a smaller sized kennel overnight. Feed and water it in the kennel in the morning. Wait about a half hour after it eats then bring it out to potty. Give the dog a good chance to go, but if it doesn't, bring it back in and kennel the dog. Take it back out about every hour until it goes outside. Hopefully it won't go in the kennel. Most dogs wont as long as it is small enough, and you don't put an absorbent pad in the bottom.

When the dog does go outside, let it run around the house for about an hour, then put it back in the kennel. The dog should be kenneled most of the day and night. Every time you let it out of the kennel it should have the opportunity to go to potty. Then if and only if it goes let it run around the house for a bit.
I agree with this .. If you have a wire crate you can get a divider only space enough room where the dog can stand up and turn around. The less room they have to move around the less space they have to go. And you would only be doing this until the dog gets used to using the bathroom outside and not in it's living area AKA the Crate/kennel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Chump, that's good advise. She is crated while I'm at work and at night, so I guess I felt bad crating her any more than that, but I guess if she doesn't go potty outside, then I will have to put her back in her crate.

Meg, what you said about leashed dogs having trouble going poo makes sense. I never thought about it like that before, but it seems like that might be what's going on w/ Gracie. There's not really any way I can take her out off leash, but at least I can try to understand her and why she acts so crazy sometimes.


I'm going to start bringing treats outside with me and giving her one if she breaks her focus from whatever is distracting her and giving her one immediately after she goes potty.
When she does get distracted outside, I get confused on if I should give the "leave it" or the "watch me" command to try to break her focus. Any thoughts?
 
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