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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have not had a dog in over 15 years. My wife found a lost chihuahua, 4lb 11oz, male, not fixed (yet). We have had him about 3 weeks now, he is oficially our per animal control since we were unable to find his owners. He is having house training issues. We can't seem to get him on a schedule. we take him outside at regular scheduled intervals, tell him to "go potty". we praise and pet him when he does it. He does not let us know when he needs to go out. He does not pee in the house as far as we can tell, but his pee schedule is random/hit or miss. He poops in the house, usually goes and hides, or does it at night. We can't seem to catch him in the act to train him. He is also overly submissive and wont listen. tail between his legs, roll over on his back and presents his stomach every time you pet him. I just tried to take him outside, he knows "come" but he wouldnt do it. I went to get him and he tried to run off, tail between his legs. I caught him and picked him up to take him out, not huring him at all, and he started yelping like he was being murdered. I set him by the door gently and told him "come" again and he came out, i praised and petted him for obeying. After I got him outside in the grass and all he would do was lay on his back in the grass. He peed on me while he was laying in his back. I tried to turn him over and told him to "go potty" and all i got was the "I'm being murdered" yelping even though I was not hurting him... incredibly frustrated, more than a little angry, had to put him in his kennel, please help!
 

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I'm sure there are people on here that are much more knowledgeable than me. However, I would first say immediately start crate training him as if he were a puppy. Taking him for basic obedience classes will probably help as will having him neutered. Best of luck.
 

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I'm sure there are people on here that are much more knowledgeable than me. However, I would first say immediately start crate training him as if he were a puppy. Taking him for basic obedience classes will probably help as will having him neutered. Best of luck.
I'm going to have to crate train him, we only have a pet carrier, no crate right now, but it is something. I also plan on talking to a dog trainer, but obedience classes i'm not sure about. Im worried if he gets trained but we don't use commands correctly and or interact with him properly he will unlearn his training. That said training the family and him at the same time seems like a daunting task. He will be getting fixed within the next month. we were not allowed to "alter" him for the first 2 weeks while we were fostering him for the pound. I didnt want to invest too much until he was officially ours, which is only 1 week now.
 

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I don't know if you have ever had a chihuahua but all I can say is please try not to take out your frustration on him. No yelling no aggressive body language or anything. Chihuahuas are freaks. It will take quite a while for him to learn. What i did was literally just sit out there for as long as it takes for them to go, and then act like its the best thing that you have ever seen. Treat training could work, but I don't know if you really want to start that lol.
All I can really say is give him LOTS of positive reinforcement, and a lot of patience.
 

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When he goes potty outside make it worth his while using some food that is super good. A tiny bit of cooked roast beef or a bit of hot dog.. something really rewarding.

Try not to lean over him (dogs find this threatening) (and yes.. Chihuahua so tiny and hard NOT to lean over).

Yes to the Crate. The carrier for now will work too.

Funny thing about dogs and training. Once they really KNOW a task, they don't easily UN-Know it. They may not respond if you don't ask correctly, but rarely do they totally "forget" their training. As for Recall.. when you take your dog out put him on a light long line and have GREAT food with you. Call him and whether he comes freely or you have to remind him with the long line, feed him when he gets to you and have a party. This makes recall a good thing and builds a bond with the dog.

Good luck.
 

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I would never take my frustration out on an animal :), most he gets is a stern "get down", "no", or "bad dog", and only if he gets caught in the act. He is learning other things, we got him to start sitting instead of jumping to try to get up on our laps. I'm trying to work on treat and clicker training, hoping to eventually go to just clicker. He is not very interested in treats though. Ended up crating him last night and let him out first thing in the morning, he did both pretty much right away, lots of praise and pets.
 

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When he goes potty outside make it worth his while using some food that is super good. A tiny bit of cooked roast beef or a bit of hot dog.. something really rewarding.

Try not to lean over him (dogs find this threatening) (and yes.. Chihuahua so tiny and hard NOT to lean over).

Yes to the Crate. The carrier for now will work too.

Funny thing about dogs and training. Once they really KNOW a task, they don't easily UN-Know it. They may not respond if you don't ask correctly, but rarely do they totally "forget" their training. As for Recall.. when you take your dog out put him on a light long line and have GREAT food with you. Call him and whether he comes freely or you have to remind him with the long line, feed him when he gets to you and have a party. This makes recall a good thing and builds a bond with the dog.

Good luck.
I'm still trying to find something he likes. He does not seems to care much about treats, we have tried table food and actual treats. he seems indifferent most of the time, like he is doing us a favor to eat it. He wont eat most dog treats, begging strips are the only thing he will eat, and again, he does not really seem to care about them much. I need to take some time and do training sessions with treats and the clicker instead of just as needed during the day.
 

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It sounds like you're trying to reward him with petting, but if he's shying away from hands and showing you submissive signals when you pet him, he's likely actually not enjoying it. So, essentially, petting and praise could actually be punishing him for doing the right thing, whether that's pottying or coming to you. Try really stinky treats he loves, and you may need to drop or toss them to him instead of bending over to hand them to him, just to avoid looming for the time being. As he gets used to you, learns you won't hurt him, and bonds, you may find praise and attention becoming more rewarding to him, but for now you're still scary strange giants that may do unpredictable things.

As for pottying in the house, it's very possible he was punished or yelled at for pooping inside in the past, which can absolutely create a dog that hides to do his business. Basically, when this happens some dogs will learn "pottying in front of people makes the scary thing happen" and not "pottying in the house makes the scary thing happen". Crate training is a really great way to address this, because you're basically making it impossible for him to sneak off to potty. But if and when you do find accidents, make very sure not to yell or act upset, just clean up with vinegar or an enzymatic cleaner for pet messes (so it doesn't smell like a toilet to your pup's nose) and try to adjust your management so it doesn't happen again.

I would also avoid picking him up whenever possible. Treat him like a 40lb dog, even though he's 4 lbs. Use a leash to gently guide him when you have to (no dragging ofc) - harnesses are really good for tiny dogs with delicate necks, but you may have to work up to one depending on how comfortable he is being handled. Lure with treats. Rig up ramps in spots if he can't get up and down stairs well (if possible, ofc). Essentially, lifting him is a bit like cornering a scared animal. You're taking away most of his ability to move freely and defend himself if he needs to. It makes a lot of dogs uncomfortable, and tiny dogs who are picked up a lot often have their "I don't like this" body language ignored until they escalate to snarling and biting. IMO, one of the main causes of the stereotype about little dogs being nasty and bitey.

Good on you for taking him in! He sounds like a sensitive soul, so just have patience while he gets to know you and starts to get more comfortable being part of your family.
 

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I'm going to hazard a guess that he may have been scolded in his previous home for having accidents in then house, and now you're dealing with the fallout. When dogs are scolded for going in the house, they start to think that going IN FRONT OF their owner is what is bad, not going in the house. So, the sneaking off where you can't see or going at night while you're in bed is what happens.

This also sounds like a very submissive dog who was probably harshly scolded or even abused for doing the wrong thing. I would be very, very gentle with him, no corrections, not even verbal. If he's rolling over on his back and peeing he obviously cannot enjoy training that way. I also would not pick him up, because clearly he THINKS you are going to hurt him, even if you really aren't. You have to take a step back and see this from the dog's perspective. You are big and scary and judging from his behavior, he has no real reason to trust humans when they ask him to do something.

First thing I would do, get some tasty treats, like hot dogs or tiny bits of cheese, and use those every time you want him to do something. When he potties in the correct spot, treat him and praise. When he comes to you, treat him. Sitting for attention? Treat him. ANYTHING good he does, treat him. This builds trust with you, and this makes you the Giver of All Good Things. He will learn that doing what you want is rewarding, and he will get what he wants doing what you want.

If he does something wrong...ignore it. If he gets into the trash, clean it up, and get a trash can that locks. Chewing on stuff? Pick it up and put it away or block it off. If you get angry, you need to walk away and calm down. If he is not doing what you've asked, he probably does not understand that command as well as you think he does, or he's scared.

As for the potty problems, start from square one. Supervise 100% of the time, and when you can't he is crated. When he goes in the correct spot, treat and praise. If he has an accident, ignore him and clean it up with an enzymatic cleaner like nature's miracle. If you catch him in the act, say something like "oops!" to interrupt (but not mean or threatening) and lure him outside with treats. I would usually say pick him up and rush him outside or use a slip lead, but clearly this scares the dog, so use treats. He's an adult, so I would think he can stop, move, and go again in another spot.

I know you also said somewhere that he doesn't seem that interested in treats, and I would hazard another guess that he's still rather frightened and uncertain. Give him time. You can also see if perhaps he likes toys more than treats and use those as his reward. Remember that even though YOU don't feel you are being threatening, THE DOG might feel otherwise. Something as simple as the set of your shoulders a dropped octave in your voice can be scary. I know it's really hard, I have a sensitive dog myself, but you do have to be careful or risk damaging your relationship or ruining training.
 

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The dog is afraid and lacking basic trust. I would set him up in an exercise pen with potty pads, or an indoor pen plus outdoor pen setup. But something that doesn't require you to touch him AT ALL. Any time your dog runs, flinches, or yelps, you are damaging the relationship. It doesn't matter if you don't think your actions are scary are harmful. The dog perceives it as such and you must always work from your dog's point of view. I would not use any punishment or scolding at all with this dog. He already seems hypersensitive to your movement and tone, and it will not help him learn.

Having the setup as described will negate any need to touch, pick up, or catch this dog. Then you can start building a trusting relationship over time. I would sit next to the pen, talk to him, and throw bits of his food in over the course of the day. It doesn't matter if he doesn't immediately eat the food. As long as he starts to see that you are a source of positive things, and that he does not feel pressured to interact.

Alternatively, having a confident and social dog in the household may also help your dog become more confident. Adding another dog is a lot more work though.
 

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You're going to need a lot of patience, clearly that dog was mistreated when he peed and pooped in the house before. I'm with everyone else, crate when you can't supervise, lots of praise and a tasty treat when he pees/poops outside, but I would personally complete ignore when he pees or poops outside (luring out with treats is a good idea, but he could get confused and associate treats with peeing inside too).

And crouch and get 'to his level' (as much as possible obviously, considering his size) every time you praise him, so you seem less threatening.
 

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Step one, regain his trust, build his trust of humans. Get some low cal, like Zukes Brand, training treats (3 calories each) and, randomly either call him to you or walk over to him and hand him one, nothing else, no petting, just give him a treat. Change it up with a chew, a toy he likes, whatever, just no touching the dog until he comes to you reliably and, isn't afraid when you approach him. Teach him good comes form trusting a human. Once you get that, then you can move on with potty training as if he were a puppy. By then, he will know he isn't going to be scolded for going in the house.

Also, use pads and, an enzymatic cleaner, teach him it's okay to go indoors on a pad for now, clean all accidents with the cleaner so that he learns to go to the pads. Pads aren't ideal but, it's going to make your life easier and, contain the mess to one location as you build his trust.
 
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