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Hi all. I just adopted a fabulous german shepherd mix from the pound. She is VERY submissive and I think may have been abused (cowers sometimes when I pet her). I don't think she knows she's allowed to pee/poo. I've had her almost 24 hrs and she's only peed once, bigtime, on the pee pad. I've gone on soooo many walks, even taking the pee pad with me & putting it down on a spot outside. I've heard I should take her initially to the same spot every walk. But nothing happens so we walk around & around the neighborhood. I thought maybe she wanted grass so I took her to the park, but she just lays down on the grass. I just know she's going to explode in the apartment then she'll feel stressed and guilty. (...and I'll have a hell of a mess...?). I've read that I should make it a point not to let her have to poop inside. But I don't know what else to do other than go on major walks and be reassuring. Is there anything else I can do in terms of specific techniques? Halp! (thank you lots)
 

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As far as being "reassuring", don't hover. I would be silent and somewhat indifferent until that fateful moment arrives, ... then .. PRAISE LIKE CRAZY

You can try some slightly more strenuous excercise, like jogging, biking, or swimming.

If and only if all else fails, I might try something like the ol' handler's "matchstick trick" .... but only as a last resort, rather than see her mess inside.
 

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When you do praise, watch her. Don't go too overboard if she was abused, she may not realize you're happy if you get to loud and scare her.
 

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Bitches quite often don't like peeing or pooing in a strange place, and your home is still a strange place to her. Once she's settled with you and feels safe the problem will sort itself out, but until then I'd keep pee pads in the apartment and try and relax about it. If she feels your stress then she'll probably bottle it up even more!
 

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My german shepherd puppy (female, 6 mo) is very picky when we go to a city. She is reluctant to go where another dog has gone, and will sniff around forever, holding it until she finds virgin territory. I'm hoping she outgrows this.
 

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I can attest to female dogs not wanting to go right away. When I had a foster with me for a while, it was a good 36 hours before she went! She didn't soil in the house, just held it and held it til we thought she would burst! She did go eventually, but even for the next few days she was reluctant to go at all. After a week or so she was fine with the new area and was on more of a schedule.

Also, while I can't say for certain that your pup wasn't abused, a cowering dog is no guarantee that the dog was abused. I got my pup at 10 weeks old from a shelter who had had him for a few weeks themselves. At his age it was very unlikely that he was previously abused, but he still cowers from a lot of things. Sudden noises or strange people or objects looming over him make him uneasy. He's just a shy dog and that's one thing we've been working on. It will probably be something you'll have to get her used to as well. Just saying she might not have been abused. I know shelter dogs are more likely to be abused, but usually when someone comes across a shy dog they say "abused" and then treat the dog differently (sometimes less likely to really work toward change) Work towards overcoming her fears, don't just excuse them as abused, she'll be much happier in the end.
 

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My gray dog (Zoot) was like that when he and his buddy Dexter found me. I spent two very long afternoons in the back yard waiting him out, watching him surreptitiously. When he finally had no choice, he would go behind a tree, but I knew what was happening. I said, "Poo poo" or "pee pee" as appropriate, then when he was finished I immediately shoveled lots of hot dog bits into him. He was afraid to approach at first, so I tossed them. It was not long before he would respond to "poo poo" by galloping to the designated area and then running back for his treat , tail wagging, when he finished his business. Now he has no fear of going when I am around, and he does not go in the house if he can help it.
 

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I'm not sure if this would help or not, but if she seems to like the poddy pads, they have posts for the yard that have the same effect. They look like giant tent stakes, and smell a certain way that makes doggies want to go! I would assume that alone would not be enough, but perhaps a push in the right direction?

Also, seconding the person who suggested exercise. People run until they're pooped. Dogs run until they poop. I can always tell when my guy has to go when he does a certain run around the room. Also a thorough belly rub seems to help if I know he's gotta go, but can't. But that could totally be in my head!

Also, congratulations on your new family member! The first week, where you get to know them and they get to know you, can be a trying but oh so memorable time!
 

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I think you have been given some great advice here.. The key is just to be patient ...to praise her when she does the right thing...just stay calm when things are not going the way you think they should.

If the pup has been abused you dont want to give the poor puppy any reason to suspect you as someone who will get angry and take it out on her....so try to always remember to stay calm and peaceful ... If you can do this ..and praise her when she does the right thing ...then the rest will work out as you get used to each other

Best of Luck
Jessie
 

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She may have been punished for voiding in the past as well. Can you use a longer lead (not a flexi) but a 15 foot lead so that when you get to an area that would be appropriate for pee you can give her more lead and turn away a bit to see if it's having you too close that is causing the problem?
Just like with pups it is very important to "mark it" with a cue word or a good dog and then reward. I too recommend tossing a bit of GREAT food to her when she DOES go.
 

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I have had great success with the chanting method for getting my pup to go while out on a walk. It might be more difficult in your situation but if you quietly chant your chosen potty command when she is going to have to go soon or burst, or when she gives you the signs, then WHEN she HAS FINISHED say it slightly louder and shower with praise, being careful not to scare her you may find that eventually she will go on command. My pup would be waddling cross eyed on a walk before he would give in to his bladder..then I remembered the chanting I was doing at home and started chating on a walk...hey presto he wee'd. Once they get over their initial fear they seem to take to it pretty fast. I chant "Cato go pod go pod" works for me. Be careful not to erupt with delight as soon as she starts or she may stop mid pee :D
 
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