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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my 11yr old son adopted a 2 yr old shitzhu that pee and poops anywhere in the house, she also peed on the bed once, lays down in the sofa and in the bed, i'm really getting fed up with this. i cant get a good nights sleep since the dog barks in the morning.
this is suppose to be the time where i want to sleep as long as i can and just relax and not do anything.

is it too late to train this dog to pee outside?
i have never owned a dog before, my son and my wife adopted this dog from the shelter while i was deployed overseas.
 

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It's never too late, but it's going to take patience and work. Does the dog have a crate? You might read about crate training as it relates to potty training, I think it would be useful for your case starting from scratch.

Basically you're going to have to treat this dog like a puppy for a while until it learns... Take her out frequently, treat and praise heavily when she goes outside. Don't yell when she goes inside, try to interrupt her and pick her up, take her outside, treat and praise when she goes. Eventually she'll figure out but it takes consistency. She has to be watched 100% of the time (or crated when you can't supervise her). Talk to your son and wife and get them on board - surely everyone in the house would prefer a dog who doesn't think the house is a toilet.
 

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it takes at least 2 months to housebreak a puppy...I don't know about a 2-year-old dog you'd think it'd go more quickly.

Do what murphydog says, the only reason a dog pees & poops indoors is cause she believes the floor is her toilet. You teach her otherwise by denying her the use of the floor, by constant supervision whenever she's loose inside. Clean the spots with an enzymatic cleaner (I use isopropyl alcohol), otherwise trace odors linger which only dogs can detect, marking the spot as a doggy bathroom. Punishment is ineffective, as she won't understand the difference between "don't pee here" and "don't pee at all anywhere ever," which will be really confusing.

Dogs need exercise and discipline -- a tired dog is a good dog. Training and walking onleash will expand her world, stimulate her mind, make her feel part of the team.
 

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It's not too late, but it does take work, patience, and consistency.

How long have you all had this dog? If your wife and son adopted it while you were deployed, that means they had it awhile when you were gone, and you've been back long enough to feel inconvenienced by it, so, it seems like it's been in your home awhile.

That just means that your wife, son, and dog have developed a routine already, and part of training it to have manners and be potty trained is setting up NEW routines. Changing routines takes lots of patience, because dogs don't learn overnight.

For potty training:
- Potty training is more about what YOU do than what the dog does.
- PREVENTING accidents is the key.
- You have to start as if you have a new puppy. Take the dog out every hour (not because he can't hold it longer, but because you are setting up a new routine and laying a foundation for what you want in the future. Taking him out so often will help PREVENT accidents.
- When you take him out, you have to differentiate between play/exercise time and potty time. Potty time should be boring. Take him out on a leash, say the same potty words each time, and give him lots of praise the instant he starts to pee/poop. After he's finished, give him a treat, while you're still outside.
- Supervise him super closely. Yes, it's a hassle to have to keep your eyes on the dog, but, if you PREVENT accidents by watching him, and rushing him out when it seems he has to go, you will have him potty trained faster.
Don't scold or punish accidents. When he's learning what you want, if you punish, it may end up making him afraid to pee/poop in front of you, or at all, which will cause problems when you take him out.
Really, it's all about prevention. The more you can prevent accidents and redirect him outside, the sooner he'll come to learn that outside is the place for peeing /pooping.

If you don't want her on the furniture, you have to teach the command "off", or something similar. You teach it to her as if it was a trick. Use a treat, point to the floor (when she's on the couch), look at the floor, when she gets down to get the treat, you praise her and say "good off!".
This takes practice, as if it was a trick, or command like "sit".
If the dog happens to be smart and decides to get up on the couch again, so that you will tell her "off" and she gets a another treat, try this: after she gets "off" when you tell her, give her a few other commands or activities. The more time/separation you put between her being on the couch, the less likely she'll try to get right back up so you'll say "off" again and she gets another treat. You want to take her mind off being on the couch.

And, if she isn't potty trained, don't allow her on the bed or couch unless you know she's just peed and pooped and is "empty".

For barking, it may be to be let out, or it may be out of boredom. Dogs should be walked daily, at least once a day for 30-40 minutes. Playing in a yard isn't enough. A walk is also mentally stimulating, and being mentally stimulated is tiring, too. So, a walk is really twice the exercise, physical and mental.
Training will also tire her out.
 

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It should be easier. Puppies physically can't hold it reliably until 6 months, while an adult does have the requisite nerve development and muscle control. Just follow the tips above and have patience.

As for barking, barking is a self rewarding activity for one thing, and some dogs are just really vocal. If the dog is barking at stuff going on outside, I like to acknowledge the activity outside, actually go to the window or door and look outside, then say "thank you" to the dog to cue not barking. It seems to calm the dog when they see that you are aware of the activity, but don't find it worth paying attention to. To teach "thank you" as quiet, anytime the dog stops barking on their own, say "thank you" and treat immediately. Eventually, they get it.
 

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As for barking, barking is a self rewarding activity for one thing, and some dogs are just really vocal. If the dog is barking at stuff going on outside, I like to acknowledge the activity outside, actually go to the window or door and look outside, then say "thank you" to the dog to cue not barking. It seems to calm the dog when they see that you are aware of the activity, but don't find it worth paying attention to. To teach "thank you" as quiet, anytime the dog stops barking on their own, say "thank you" and treat immediately. Eventually, they get it.

This totally works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
we just bought a crate and put the dog in after feeding and walking her.
so this is how this works, we only take the dog out to potty outside in a leash every hr.

thank you for all the advices, you guys have been very helpful.
 

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So, the dog is in the crate at all times, UNLESS you're taking him out to potty? If so, this isn't really the best method, in my opinion. That's too much time in the crate for a 2 year old, if you are home. After the dog HAS peed/pooped, you could allow the dog to remain out of the crate for an hour or so, because she is "empty" and should have no accidents.
That would allow her to also learn the rules of the house, like not being allowed on furniture and such. If she's in the crate, you can't teach her that.
 

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yeah, that's not what we meant -- the crate is only there to keep her off the floor when nobody can watch her -- if that's the best you can do while housebreaking, she'll survive with no harm done, but it's not a very pleasant life for a dog, and not good for bonding. Without enough exercise, she might develop some anxiety which often comes with nervous habits you won't like too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, we will let her out for about an hour after she pee/poo.

next, she goes up the bed and the sofa, how do we teach her that she is not allowed in the furniture.
 

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The way to teach her she's not allowed on furniture:


- try to PREVENT her from getting on it in the first place by supervising her super closely. Don't yell at her when she gets close to the furniture, but just redirect her attention to something else. Like, call her name, throw her a toy, ask her to "sit" or "shake" or "lie down" or whatever.

- teach her "off" as if it was any other command, like "sit" or "shake". This means you have to practice it. SO, whenever you CAN'T prevent her from getting on the couch, use it as an opportunity to practice "off".

Here's how to teach "off" (the way we did, anyway): when she's on the furniture, you say off, and look at the floor. Lure her to the floor with a treat, if needed. Then, when she jumps down, say "good off!" and give her a treat.

Like I said, if you want her to learn "off" as a command, for those times you don't prevent her from getting up there in the first place, you have to PRACTICE it.

Now, if she's really smart, you may have to add a step or two. Smart dogs will realize that they get a treat for getting off the couch (at least when you're teaching it, after she learns it, and learns it good, you don't have to give her a treat anymore). So, say she's up on the couch, and you say "off", she gets off and gets a treat. She may decide to jump right back on the couch so you can say "off" AGAIN, and she can get another treat. To stop this, after she gets off the first time, and gets her treat, just ask her to do 3 or 4 other things, like "sit" or "down" or "shake" or play a game with her, play fetch whatever. Just anything to keep her from getting right back up on the couch. After doing a few extra tricks she will probably have forgotten about getting back on the couch for a second treat.
 
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