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Okay, I am going to try and be very thorough on the background of my dog so everyone that reads this knows exactly where I am coming from. This might be long, but I truly need some advice!
I am beyond frustrated with our dog. We have a 2 year old Male Gordon Setter. We got him as a puppy from a breeder. My husband and his family grew up breeding and raising these dogs and when we decided to get a puppy to keep our older American Bulldog company, he wanted to get a Gordon. I am a stay at home mom so a puppy was fine with me since I could spend the time housetraining. I have had dogs and trained many other dogs, mine and others included. This dog is impossible and I am at my wits end! I know Gordons can be a tough breed at times, but I can't get this one house broken! I have tried EVERYTHING! He has been to the vet numerous times and has gotten a clean bill of health. It took me a year and a half to get him to stop pooping in his crate, which he still will do here and there. He urinates in his crate and in the house. It is not marking behavior either...he literally just goes whenever he has the urge, and like I said, it is not any type of urinary tract/bladder infection, not incontinence, he has no parasites(which I had them check numerous times since he also was eating his feces if left unattended), they have done urinary tests and blood work...he is healthy and we've spent a small fortune coming to this conclusion(which is fine since he's part of our family). I have tried re-housebreaking him over and over using different techniques. I have changed his food to a high quality diet, I have put him on pro bios, I have worn this dog out with exercise and mental stimulation, regulated his feed and water schedual, and in the end...he still pees in the house and crate. What I did find is that when he did poop in his crate he would lay right in it. I never saw a dog like to lay in his own feces! Now he doesn't poop in his crate as often, but that happened until he was over a year and a half! When he urinates in his crate on his bedding, he lays right on top of it too! We have gone through many size crates trying to see if we could find a size that he would stop doing it in and NOPE...doesn't matter...small, he lays in it and still goes, larger same thing. The larger crate I used I just wanted to see if he would still lay in it if he had the room to get away from it and he did lay in it. This dog has been put outside on beautiful days for hours and not even an hour after being inside he will go to the bathroom inside. I have used many different cleaners to eliminate urine smells (cleaners-anything from store bought products made to eliminate urine, all natural homemade concoctions I researched online, along with regular everyday products just to try ANYTHING! And many different types, brands, etc.). I have hardwood floors so it's much easier to clean than carpet. I end up having to bathe this dog almost every day since he is covered in urine! Also, we recently had to put down our beautiful, senior American Bulldog so the Gordon has been the only dog. Though as I mentioned, this was a problem before and still continues. I am to the point where if I do not take this dog out every 20 minutes, he will go potty in the house (and sometimes he won't go, but I take him out just for "business" and then back in). I have also tried confining him to different rooms such as our laundry room and living room and he still urinates. It is consuming my life and all I do is clean floors and bedding! I hate to say it, but he is taking any kind of joy out of having a dog. Anyone have any advice???
 

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My advice is to keep your eyeballs on him all the time, tether him to you and make it impossible for him to get away from you to pee. Seriously, it's not fun or ideal and the fact that he will go in his crate makes it even harder, but preventing the mistakes in your house is probably going to be the start to getting anything done. It'll still consume your life for a good long while (though make sure you're using really good cleaners, getting down to the pad, and removing smell) but it'll at least save your floors and will get him off to a good start. Also jackpot/reward the HECK out of him when he goes outside, with the highest value treat you can lay your hands on. Use freaking steak if that's what it takes for him to understand 'this is good'.

Unfortunately, when you get a 'dirty' dog like this, it becomes a real pain as you're discovering and prevention and management (micromanagement) until it clicks in are about all you can do. Most housebreaking is about exploiting natural desire to keep their den clean (which he doesn't have) and making going outside a habit (which you can establish but is going to take time since going inside is a habit).
 

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Not the only pup that would lay in his poop.. Major GSD was a Nov litter, so they never potty trained them as pups, let them have the entire basement/closed garage area to potty in before coming home to me.. So he thought pooping inside was normal.. No matter how many times I take him outside he not potty, but come right back inside and do his little circle/sniffing around to potty in the house.. I just had to be there to see him and get him to follow me outside to potty and even then he would not go since I stopped him inside and we have to come back in just for him to go back in to circle/sniff to get him to race with me back to the door out to go potty and eventually he would.. His nick name for a very long time was Major poo poo ... it was a trying time working with him. but there was no other choice but to continue to work with him until he got it... Riding in the vehicle was the other thing with him do everything I could to get him to go potty prior to a car ride, with no luck getting him to potty,, Get him in the SUV and get 1/2 block from the house he would poop and lay in it ... Diaper bag with cleaning supply and wipes for Major always in the truck ... Your not alone if that helps at all.... I Know the stress of the vehicle set the poop evacuation off to understand why he was pooping within 1/2 block from the house, after spending 2 hours at home trying to get him to poop before we got in the truck :) He did turn out ok,, for some odd reason he absorbed all the training in an extreme way...that any time I was grooming him at home getting ready to take off for a local dog show,, he would poop several times lol and never had to poop or pee while at the show... Such a strange loveable dog... Am glad your dog is healthy. I would stay with your training, trying to keep the marked schedule and reward system going being mindful if changes need to be made.... Stress factor can play into elimination would think Gordans are excitable happy pleasing type of breed?
 

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Thank you so much for the advice! I am currently, and have previously, been tethering him to me at all times when he is loose in the house. Unfortunately, with even a very short leash, he still pees right next to me even when he has JUST been out. That is the only time I have been able to catch him in the act and I immediately remove him outside to "finish" and I put him in his crate for a time out. I have tried other ways of doing it as well, but this is what I am doing for the time being. As for treats and praise, my neighbors probably think I am crazy for what a good boy I make him out to be when he does go potty outside lol! Thanks again for your quick response.
 

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It is SOOO comforting to know that someone else knows where I am coming from and that there might be hope for my dog. He is one of the happiest dogs I know. He adores my kids! He loves my husband. He also LOVES being outside, and I think that is honestly a lot of his problem. He would rather be hanging out outside than on the couch most of the time. I will keep to the training and if anyone has any more advice, my ears are open!!! And yes, Gordon Setters are generally a very happy go lucky type of dog and they love to please. They definitely like to have a job especially since they are bird dogs. We play ball a couple times a day on our acre lot for at least an hour at a time. Plus we go for a few short walks (20 minutes or so) and obviously MANY potty breaks throughout the day. He has toys for inside and I try to give him some sort of new toy to play with every week whether it be a peanut butter filled kong, or a rope with treats he's got to figure out, or ice cubes(entertains him until they melt lol), etc. Thank you again for your support!
 
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