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OK. My dog Snoopy is a very smart dog. He really is, but for some reason...after having him for about 4 years, he STILL wets on the floor...he does this basically just whenever I leave him. Now, it's not ALL THE TIME...but it happens. Like, one time I simply left the room and he peed a little. Today, we left the house for...maybe 3 hours and I came home to a stream on my bedroom floor...
3 hours? He should be able to hold it a little longer than that, right?!
I have 3 other dogs(one I'm boarding) and they do not have this problem. I'm even a really good trainer, but for some reason it's not clicking for Snoopy. I scold him and show him the mess, and you can tell he KNOWS he's done wrong if you simply point to the mess and say, "did you do that??"
Now this time, maybe I didn't let him out before we left...he has been in my room most of the day recovering because he has licked the base of his tail raw(but that's another thread altogether)

And advice or tips??
 

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I'm even a really good trainer
No - you're not a good trainer. You said so yourself...read on...

I scold him and show him the mess, and you can tell he KNOWS he's done wrong if you simply point to the mess and say, "did you do that??"
If you were a good trainer, then...

1. You'd know that scolding a dog after they've done something wrong that you haven't seen them do, is a waste of time.

2. Dogs don't know they've done anything wrong.

3. Are you hitting he dog, alpha-rolling, scruffing him or yelling at him? Your dog is very probably licking himself raw from nerves or fear.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Actually, I'm a very good trainer, but thanks for your input =]

no, I would never hit a dog...

yes, dogs DO know when they have done something wrong...dogs are not stupid.

Ok, now anyone have actual advice?

and he's not licking himself because of that, don't you dare accuse me of being a bad dog owner, you don't know me from anyone. The licking problem started a couple days ago...
 

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2. Dogs don't know they've done anything wrong.
I've heard this thrown around quite a bit, but I have to disagree. Prior to the idea of crating dogs while you were out, we had a GSD who liked to chew on the tassels around the kitchen rug. Some days he would, some days he wouldn't. On the days he did, he wouldn't be standing at the garage door doing a happy dance when we got home, he'd be sitting by the door to the yard. My mom used to ask him why he was sitting by the door to the yard, and he'd turn around and look directly at his soggy carpet tassel laying in the middle of the floor.

I personally wouldn't scold a puppy for messing in the house, but I don't think it's the end of the world if somebody does.

OK. My dog Snoopy is a very smart dog. He really is, but for some reason...after having him for about 4 years, he STILL wets on the floor...he does this basically just whenever I leave him. Now, it's not ALL THE TIME...but it happens. Like, one time I simply left the room and he peed a little. Today, we left the house for...maybe 3 hours and I came home to a stream on my bedroom floor...
3 hours? He should be able to hold it a little longer than that, right?!
Are you sure you're getting the scent out when you clean it up? Some dogs will just keep peeing in a spot that has odor from previous accidents. Is it peeing or marking?
 

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Thank you for the good response! lol. Right, dogs DO know when they have done something wrong. You can see it in their expression =/

As for the marking thing. Right, I've heard about that. When we had carpet, I would put vinegar if there was an accident. Again, I just wanna throw it out there, it doesn't happen too frequently at all amongst 4 dogs. Anyway, well like, we have nothing but hardwood flooring. I don't really think it's a marking thing.

Actually, come to think of it, I'm going to just try to get the dogs on a better schedule.

Oh, and I even praise the dogs EVERY TIME I see them pee outside...positive reinforcement, ya know? So I think it's my fault some times.
 

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When we had carpet, I would put vinegar if there was an accident. Again, I just wanna throw it out there, it doesn't happen too frequently at all amongst 4 dogs. Anyway, well like, we have nothing but hardwood flooring. I
Vinegar isn't good enough. It will take the odor out so that a human can't detect it, but other dogs will still know that spot has been peed on. Even on hardwood floors you still have very fine grooves that will retain the smell. For some dogs, that scent is all the excuse they need.
 

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Yeah, something like natures miracle or any kind of enzymatic cleaner will take care of the smell.

is your dog neutered? If not its likely he could be territorial marking, also what is his breed(s) as some breeds are more likely to have accidents (toy breeds) & those with small bladders. Also males can also be harder to house train esp if they are not neutered.
 

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I want to start this off by saying that this post is going to be largely an explanation of why you've been dealing with his accidents and with potty training him in entirely the wrong way. Based on your reaction to lisaj, I hope that you can listen to what I'm going to say (that I've backed up with sources and offered suggested reading for further information) and honestly consider it, even though you might have an initial gut reaction that makes you want to disregard the information I have to offer.

Secondly,

I personally wouldn't scold a puppy for messing in the house, but I don't think it's the end of the world if somebody does.
Is it "the end of the world"? Of course not! What it does do, however, is illustrate the OP's lack of knowledge about how dogs learn and how to properly apply corrections (if you choose to use them -- in housetraining they're completely unnecessary).

Okay, now let's address why what you've been doing hasn't worked.

HarajukuGoober said:
you can tell he KNOWS he's done wrong if you simply point to the mess and say, "did you do that??"
Up until a few years ago, I believed this, too! It's uncanny how much it looks that way, isn't it? Recent studies have been done, however, that indicate that this sort of behavior (called "appeasement behaviors" or "calming signals") isn't actually connected with any knowledge of wrongdoing or of even committing the act they're being scolded for in the first place.

First, read this article for an easy explanation of the phenomenon and study: http://www.registerstar.com/articles/2011/06/25/columnists/calling_all_dogs/doc4daf3339bd081942671129.txt

These two links describe it in a lot more detail: http://dogspies.blogspot.com/2011/03/is-denver-dog-really-guilty.html and http://dogspies.blogspot.com/2011/04/guilt-part-2-she-greeted-me-showing.html . Firehawk, that second link explains why your dog would greet you with guilty behavior.

Then look at these videos for some visual proof, if you're the kind of "i'll believe it when I see it" person (I am!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVQNc0zonzw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60B6xqsA9-w

If you're still in doubt, I challenge you to try the test on your own dog: Spill a little water on your floor and then scold your dog the same way you have been when you find a puddle in your house. See how his reaction compares to the same one he gives you when he looks like he understands he's done a bad thing.

Okay, moving on…

HarajukuGoober said:
I scold him and show him the mess
If you’re going to use corrections on your dog (scolding, saying “no!” or “bad dog!” or “ah ah!”), you need to know how to use them properly (if you don’t, they are ineffective and often make things worse – one of the potential pitfalls of using them). Dogs are very “in-the-moment” learners – if you want them to make the connection between your words/body language and their actions, you need to time them as close together as possible. In fact, that’s why Clicker Training and the concept of markers has become SO popular in dog training, because it allows trainers to more accurately pinpoint the behaviors they want to reward.

Here’s the association you’ve taught your dog by correcting him sometimes hours after he’s done the behavior you want to get rid of: “Pee present on the floor = ANGRY owner = dog gets punished”. The association you’ve been wanting him to learn is “PEEEING on the floor = ANGRY owner = dog gets punished”. You’ve given him no information about whether or not it’s acceptable to do the peeing in the first place because you haven’t been correcting the right action. In order for him to form the correct association, you’d need to catch him in the act of peeing and scold him. My recommendation for a book that does the best job (in my opinion) of explaining the theory of corrections in dog training and how to use them effectively is Excel-erated Learning by Dr. Pamela Reid.

BUT, I would NOT scold your dog when you catch him peeing, either. Here’s why: Even dumb dogs figure this out very fast, and Snoopy (adorable name, by the way) is very smart. They learn that peeing near you gets them punished, so instead they start to go off into corners or other rooms to pee or wait until you’ve left a room/the house. They aren’t actually learning that peeing in the house is bad, just that peeing anywhere you can see them in the house is bad. Based on your description of Snoopy's behavior, it actually seems like he's figured this out already (explains peeing when you leave the room or leave him alone).

All right, now you know why what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working. These are the methods that I use to potty train my dogs (and when I say “my dogs”, I’m largely talking about the foster dogs I take in who are usually adults, so Snoopy can definitely still learn!)

First: From this day on, Snoopy never has another accident in the house. This is called “errorless housetraining” and it’s valuable because it keeps the dog from making mistakes that set him back in his training and give him the opportunity to become confused about what’s expected of him. Here’s how it’s done:

1) Confinement to a Crate or small kennel when he’s home alone or you’re too busy to be giving him your full attention. Most dogs have a natural aversion to peeing where they sleep, which is why they choose to hold it instead of peeing in their crates. This will prevent him peeing while you’re gone.

2) When you are home, watch him constantly. I’m not very good at this, because I’m SUPER easily distracted, so I do a couple things to make it easier. I get a 15-foot lead and “tether” him to my waist via a belt or the belt loops of my pants. This makes it easier to keep an eye on him (so he can’t run off into another room) and I’ve also found that I notice when the leash stops moving (when the dog may be squatting down to pee) and can more easily prevent the dog from peeing in the house.

3) Take your dog out every 2-3 hours, whether he looks like he has to go or not, and give him the opportunity to pee. Start associating a cue word with his peeing (it makes things easier, trust me). After he’s peed, praise him! You’ve been using praise, which is excellent, but since Snoopy’s been having trouble getting the concept, I would add treats to the exercise too so that the lesson is really cemented. It can’t hurt, and it will REALLY help makepeeing outside a WAY MORE FUN experience than peeing inside, so he’ll choose to hold it until he has the opportunity to go outside.


4) If your dog starts to pee while he’s tethered to you, interrupt him (a couple claps, a fast “comeonpuppyoutsideletsgo”, a “oh no puppy!”, whatever you want that gets him to pay attention to you and stop the peeing process) and RUN him outside. Give him the chance to pee there, and reward him if he does like in #3.

Rinse, repeat, it’s that simple. The concept is that you’re preventing him from ever having the opportunity to reinforce peeing inside while helping him learn that peeing outside is THE BEST THING EVER YAY.

Here are a few books that also talk about ways to housetrain dogs as well as provide a LOT of valuable information about dog behavior and training:

The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell
Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor
Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson

Whew. I hope this helps you!
 

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First, read this article for an easy explanation of the phenomenon and study: http://www.registerstar.com/articles/2011/06/25/columnists/calling_all_dogs/doc4daf3339bd081942671129.txt

These two links describe it in a lot more detail: http://dogspies.blogspot.com/2011/03/is-denver-dog-really-guilty.html and http://dogspies.blogspot.com/2011/04/guilt-part-2-she-greeted-me-showing.html . Firehawk, that second link explains why your dog would greet you with guilty behavior.
Thank you for the links - very interesting reading.
 

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You might want to try an enzyme cleaner that will neutralize the smell. Vinegar alone will not do it. There are several products out there that will do this. good luck. And to add to the debate of, do dogs know when they do something wrong, yes, they do. Science is finally catching up to what most of us realize that animals, dogs and cats in particular are very intelligent, they have feelings and emotions, they pout, become jealous, grieve, etc. Often times it is humans who are the "slow" ones when it comes to understanding the animal's intelligence. Oh, and yes, animals also have free will. ;>)
 

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Here's how this forum works.

When you ask for advice or opinions, you don't have accept the answers you get, though you'd often been wise to do exactly that.

You do NOT get to lash out when you don't like the advice you get.

You're right. We don't know you. Everything we know about you is from what you post and some of what you posted on this thread is just, plain wrong.

The sooner you get off your own high horse and accept that possibility, the sooner you'll be able to learn something here.
 

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Lindajoy>> I like what you said about free will, animals most certienly have free will... We may control their lives, but.
.. BUT they can still decide if they want to listen or not.
 

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You might want to try an enzyme cleaner that will neutralize the smell. Vinegar alone will not do it. There are several products out there that will do this. good luck. And to add to the debate of, do dogs know when they do something wrong, yes, they do. Science is finally catching up to what most of us realize that animals, dogs and cats in particular are very intelligent, they have feelings and emotions, they pout, become jealous, grieve, etc. Often times it is humans who are the "slow" ones when it comes to understanding the animal's intelligence. Oh, and yes, animals also have free will. ;>)
If you're going to spout this information and try to say that "Science" is catching up and supporting your ideas, please provide evidence. I don't know of ANY studies showing that dogs have feelings and emotions (though I think they do -- Science just hasn't said so) and I am POSITIVE there are no studies demonstrating that dogs pout, become jealous, and grieve. If you want to believe these things, excellent -- but please don't claim that "Science" agrees with you. ESPECIALLY when "science" tells us that dogs don't associate guilty behavior with knowing when they've done something wrong.
 

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Dear CricketLoops,
There are many beliefs, theories, studies, that reflect a belief or certain point of view, and are any of them the ultimate absolute truth? At this point in time we believe what we have read, studied, and observed, but is that all there is to learn? Am i an expert, heavens no, would not to profess to be. I didn't want to burden the above post with reams of information. However, since you want to know, i will give you some information to show why i made those statements. Are they the end all, most certainly not, life is an evolving process, and we would be wise to keep ourselves open to other theories or hypotheses. For the most part, mainstream public have very little awareness of what science is learning, we are about 15 years behind what science has learned and there is much on the horizon regarding many different subjects such as species intelligence, energetic medicine, quantum physics, etc.

My purpose was not to "spout babble" but to perhaps start a conversation and open people up to the possibility of believing that animals are really more than what we humans have been led to believe. You are entitled to your opinions and you are following a particular line of science and reasoning, but based on my perceptions, interactions and readings of other's studies and observations, i do believe there is more depth to animals than mainstream science professes.

Because you asked, here is just one example, unfortunately i do not have the time to go thru all my files to list the various studies that have been conducted in the name of science, nor is it my intention to sway your belief, you will believe what you feel is your reality and i respect that.

There is a psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia who spoke at the American Psychological Association's 117th Annual Convention on the topic of "How Dogs Think" . Dr. Coren has authored more than a half-dozen books on dogs and dog behavior, he has also reviewed numerous studies that have concluded that dogs have the ability to solve complex problems and are more like humans and other higher primates than previously thought.

Coren studies have led him to believe that animals have "stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought."

According to several behavioral measures, Coren says dogs' mental abilities are close to a human child age 2 to 2.5 years.
Dr. Coren has stated that intelligence varies according to the dog's breed and is a determining factor in some of these differences. Dr. Coren says. "There are three types of dog intelligence: instinctive (what the dog is bred to do), adaptive (how well the dog learns from its environment to solve problems) and, working and obedience (the equivalent of 'school learning')."

I will just add a couple of more points from Dr. Coren to keep this from becoming longer. 1. language; the average dog can learn 165 words, including signals, and the "super dogs" (those in the top 20 percent of dog intelligence) can learn 250 words. He goes on to say that the upper limit of dogs' ability to learn language is partly based on a study of a border collie named Rico who showed knowledge of 200 spoken words and demonstrated 'fast-track learning,' which scientists believed to be found only in humans and language learning apes," Coren said. And we haven't even touched upon the telepathic communication that exists between man and dog.

2. Mathematics (i say this tongue n cheek), Dogs can also count up to four or five, and they have a basic understanding of arithmetic and will notice errors in simple computations, such as 1+1=1 or 1+1=3.

I end this post by paraphrasing a quote, that when i first heard it, I snickered, but as time goes by, i realize the wisdom in the statement.
"We do not even begin to know what we do not know". Thank you everyone for letting me speak my peace.
Namaste
 

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Hi Linda,

This is great information, and I am very familiar with Dr. Coren's work. I really am not making the argument that dogs aren't complex animals, and am unsure why you think I am.

My issue is with ascribing emotion to dogs in ways that end up hurting the dogs, because humans expect dogs to think and feel the same things we do. They expect dogs to interpret their world in a very human way. This makes it easier for them to justify punishment (often ineffective) of a dog. If a dog is capable of reasoning like a human, then it follows that he should get punished for his actions like a human. This makes people get frustrated with their dogs because "he KNOWS he's done wrong!" or "he gets in the trash just to spite me!" or "he's acting out because he's jealous of the new baby!"

All of these turn the dog from a dog into a willful child that needs harsher punishment to "get" it, which I think is crap. It's unfair to the dog, really, to ascribe to him our thoughts and emotions without proof, as he has his own.

Again, I invite you to share with me "ANY studies showing that dogs have feelings and emotions (though I think they do -- Science just hasn't said so) and I am POSITIVE there are no studies demonstrating that dogs pout, become jealous, and grieve."

The examples you gave were all studies describing things that can be measured, such as counting ability, learning ability, intelligence, etc.
 

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This thread is just silly. The OP is defending her housebreaking method, but has a 4 year old dog who pees in the house. Hello?

Whether dogs can learn not to mess the house when corrected hours later is irrelevant (I believe some can). Either your dog cannot learn by that method or you've failed utterly in training him that way. Fact is, it's a very poor way to train a dog. In the first place, it takes much longer. In the second place, the results are uncertain and inconsistent. In the third place, the dog is messing the house.

BTW, the view from up here on my high horse is most excellent.
 

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Haha you guys are funny!

In short do I think dogs are capable of some complex thought, yes, I do (I remember the program on Nat geo I think called "dog genius") but scolding hrs after the fact, even a small child would have probs putting that one together.
 
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