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Discussion Starter #1
Yes, it's true my new rescue just went almost 17 hours without peeing or pooing. Background before question: Shelter rescue, ~2y/o M Brussels Griffon/Border Terrier mix, have had him almost 8 weeks. We just finished our first manners class and he seems to be doing well. He has been having some potty accidents in the house (pee and poo). My trainer suggested was to start right from the begining taking him out every hour and if he doesn't go, he gets popped into the crate. We are on day four. The second morning this happened and he went 16 hours but I got him out in time. This time, we were going every 5 minutes for the last hour. I popped him back in the crate and he peed. He has also pooped in the crate in the past. When we go out, we go to one spot in our yard. He is leashed and not tied out. We are out for 3 minutes and right back in. I can guarantee a poo if we go to his favorite spot way down the road or if we go somewhere in the car and get out he'll go immediately. I am not a new dog owner and have never had this problem with a dog and I've had several rescues over the years. I've even trained a dog to sneeze on command. Potty training should not be this difficult, should it? I'd welcome any suggestions. Thanks!
 

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My first guess is that this dog, in a previous home, was punished for having accidents. The owner thinks they are teaching the dog not to go in the house, but what the dog learns is "do not relieve yourself around humans." The pooping in the crate may happen because he feels safer or more private there. You might try the tethering method instead of the crate method if he continues to have accidents in there. I would guess that this dog would be very reluctant to go when connected to you with a three foot lead. Then when you take him outside, give him as much privacy as possible. Can you use a flexi lead to give him more distance? Do you have a fenced yard where he can be loose but you can watch from a hiding place? Only look at him out of the corner of your eye if you can't hide. Then when he does go, I would skip the praise for now. Just completely ignore it. The relief of going is reward in itself.

When you do need to crate him for a while and he hasn't gone, like before bed or leaving the house, for now I would give in and take him to his spot. Better that than to have an accident in the crate. That can turn into a nasty habit if it goes on for too long. Another thing you can do is to feed him in his crate. Just toss kibble all over the floor of the (clean!) crate. You want him to start thinking of the crate as a giant food bowl. Dogs hate to mess where they eat.

Another thing you can do, when you have a lot of time to dedicate to overcoming this problem, say a weekend, is to set him up so that he really really REALLY needs to go. To get him to pee on leash, make up something that will make him drink as much as possible. A can of dog food blended in with a quart of water or something like that. Then take him out frequently and keep him tethered to you inside all day long. You can do something similar with food. Friday night give him a really big especially tasty meal and add LOTS of fiber in the form of pumpkin. Half a cup should do it.

I would also give him longer than three minutes for now. He needs time to relax, he's obviously uptight about the issue. I'd even go outside with an I-pod, magazine, and a lawn chair. Wait him out, he'll go eventually. Each time he goes in the appropriate area it will get a little easier for him. Right now he thinks he's not supposed to for some reason.

Good luck!

P.S. if this does not work, there are a couple other things you can do as a last resort. Not pleasant but they work. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply. We made a visit to the vet today. He has a UTI with many crystals. We're working on diet change and antibiotics for now. Back to our old areas for potty. Behavioral changes will have to wait a couple of weeks to resume.
 
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