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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let me preface... I am a well seasoned dog owner. I have had about 15 dogs in my life. I have house broken all but 2, very quickly. I know the normal routines.... take him to the same spot, crate him and take him outside.... keep him on a leash next to me, and take him outside.

He is now 22 months old. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. In fact, he is most likely the dumbest dog I have ever had. But at the same time, he is one of the most loved dogs I have ever had. He doesn't really do anything wrong ever - except poop in the house. He has been known to be perfect for about 10 days, and then he reverts to pooping in the house.

He will only poop off leash - you could wait forever to poop while he's on a leash; he's not going to. Good thing I have a fenced yard.

I have 2 other dogs who are perfectly house broken. One might think he would follow their lead?

Like I said, I know all of the "regular" house breaking techniques..... this one needs something more than that.


EDIT.... he's a rescue.... he looks like a German Sheppard, but with short legs, and a very furry, huge tail. I really have no idea what breed(s) he really is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are you able to catch him in the act of pooping? If not, does he have a routine as to what time in the day he will go?
I have never caught him. He does seem to go between 2pm and 4pm, but he gets put outside about 3 - 4x during that time. If he catches you watching him, he won't go.
 

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I can understand your frustration, especially since you have had positive experiences with other dogs. I personally think you just need keep on being patient and stay consistent. You are already doing most of the things I'm going to suggest, but I think it's just a matter of staying on top of that and establishing a good routine.

  • Keep your dog with you on a leash looped around your waist if you have to in order to not allow him out of your sight. Starting around the time he typically needs to go, take him out on a leash every 10-15 min and encourage him to go. If you can take him for a walk around the neighborhood, even better because the activity helps promote intestinal mobility. Your dog may not like to go on whilst a leash, but I get the feeling that if he really feels that "gotta go" urge, he's just going to do it. I personally find letting the dog move around in a loose circle around you, with you at the center of that circle helps promote the urgency to go. Because he's not used to this, he may very well not end up going until a few hours after his usual window because he can and will hold it. Any other time when you are not around to supervise him like a hawk, he goes back in the crate. Any time he starts showing behavior in the house like he wants to poo, such as sniffing the ground and circling, calmly take him out immediately and encourage him to go.
  • When he does poop outside (and you are out there with him holding the leash), as soon as he finishes his thing you want to be there with a lot of positive praise and possibly even high value treats to let him know that you are very pleased with what he just did.
  • As he get more consistent and you get better at identifying when he looks like he needs to go, you can try cuing him with a phrase like "go potty!" right before he goes so that he can associate the words with the action. This is possibly one of the most helpful things I've managed to teach my dog because it makes long road trips a lot easier. You can just cue him and he will know that's what you are encouraging him to do. You can also use this cuing approach with peeing too (e.g. "go pee!").
  • Establishing a consistent routine will be very helpful. Dogs tend to want to go shortly after they eat (typically ~15-30 min) and you can try taking advantage of that. I typically feed my dog twice a day and he consequently goes twice a day. He's at the point where he expects to be taken out for a walk after a meal and he knows he will be able to relieve himself then--very routine.
  • Adding more fiber to his diet (e.g. pumpkin/sweet potato puree mixed in with the food) can also make it easier for him to go, especially in the early training phases. With the increased bulk, he will feel a greater "urgency" and more likely to go, regardless being leashed or not.
  • Thoroughly clean up the spots where he does go in the house so that he does not smell his previous handy work as the smell will likely cue him to go in that spot again.
Honestly, I think you are on the right track (and you obviously have a lot of experience with dogs), you just have to stay consistent and establish a routine with him and not allowing him to poop in the house. He doesn't need to be smart, he just needs to know the routine. :) This process may very well make take months--but you just have to stick with it! Good luck!
 
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