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Discussion Starter #1
My boyfriend's dog is a very human-submissive dog(she was adopted from a shelter, and we assume she has had previous abuse, either that or she was a stray). If she catches it in the air that you're mad, she will immediately crouch and pee. Even when I go to let the dogs out (I have them sit before they are let out) instead of sitting, she walks around the room nervously and pees and then BOLTS out the door when I open it. Honestly, she acts like a wild animal sometimes. Whenever she gets caught doing something bad (half the time it's BEFORE we even yell at her) she sprints in the other direction and pees. She particularly likes to run into our bedroom and pee on the bed. What's worse, is one time when I let the dogs out, and I had yelled at her for peeing (I know, it was a mistake on my end, but I kind of lost it because I'm getting really sick of cleaning up all the piss) and then she ran outside. But this time I couldn't get her to come back in. Instead she just ran back and forth along the back of the fenced in yard and would NOT let me come near her. She has done this a couple of times now, and the peeing in the house is getting worse. I know it's best to ignore it, but the problem is, is that she doesn't just pee randomly. She almost always pees when she knows we're upset with her about something. So THEN we have no way of correcting the bad behavior properly, because she just put us in a weird position by peeing. She's been spending more and more kennel time, which I know the kennel is supposed to be a 'good place.' And she honestly seems happier to be in there than to be anywhere else. So I KNOW this isn't correcting any problems. How should we discipline her in the future?
 

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Forget "correcting". Forget "discipline". Stop yelling. Don't be upset with her. You're scaring her and she doesn't trust you. You need to build trust. She needs to know you'll never do anything bad to her. I suspect that once trust is built, the peeing will stop. But it'll take time and tons of patience.
 

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Also, to minimize her chance of error and maximize her chance for success, she might need limited freedom in the house until she relaxes about pottying. Try crate training or set up a safe zone with a puppy playpen so when she is in the house she is less likely to pee there. Then, when you take her out to pee, don't go in until she goes, and reward her bigtime! Also, I agree that if she makes a mistake inside, ignore it. Nothing you can do and even letting on that you're frustrated will only make things worse! It should get better. :)
 

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Kirsten has some great advice! I have a dog who is exactly the same. She was rescued from an abusive situation and her former owners were going to shoot her if they didn't find someone to take her. I took her in and quickly found out that even looking at her would make her pee. She would pee everwhere, on my couch on my bed, everywhere. I finally got her trained to go in her kennel, which she loves! We have just been patient with her and if she pees inside, we just clean it up. She is finally mostly housetrained, but every now and then she will pee inside. Like today, she came and stood right beside me and peed on a basket of clean laundry. All while looking me in the eye. So yeah, it's difficult and I want to scream, but I know she will get better with time and patience. I take her out several times a day and she will not potty if I have her on a leash, so I have a small cable tie out that I hook her onto and she will go do her business. After that, she comes in and is fine. I just make sure to praise her a great deal when she does potty outside. Don't worry, it will get better!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Like I said, I know it's bad to let her know I'm mad. But what am I supposed to do when she does things like get into cat litter, and I actually CATCH her in the act? She leaves pieces of cat poop and litter all over! It's so aggravating. I've tried being super calm with her, and it doesn't work. She'll behave well when she wants to, but when she wants to do something bad she gets away with it because she just pees immediately and then runs away or gets put in her kennel(which, like I said, she's already kennel trained. And she absolutely loves being in the kennel. She likes it more than free-roaming in the house). So basically she isn't disciplined at all, for anything.

My dog on the other hand, responds exceptionally well to being told "NO!" and he isn't as intelligent as my boyfriends dog(as much as no dog mother wants to admit that). So I don't really fall for the "they're dogs and yelling doesn't get you anywhere." Should I maybe see a specialist about getting her dog-anxiety medication? Because she seriously does decide when it's time for her to trust me or not. Because there are times where she will get all up in my face and give me kisses, and other times she will avoid me completely. I guess I'm just more used to 'bully breeds' which she is not(I really didn't think that this has anything to do with it, but may it does). I mean, my last dog was a Staffy, and he was severely abused as a puppy (the sickos put a cigarette out on his face and left him totally scarred! Mentally AND physically!) and he was VERY aggressive(he bit multiple people). But I was able to turn him from a dog that was just chained up 24/7 and no one was able to get near him, to a dog that anyone could approach(as long as I was the one introducing him) and he was a big cuddle bug. She has no signs of aggression, so it shouldn't be so hard to train her. But she seems to ignore any positive OR negative reinforcement (when I let her outside and I have them sit, I now ignore her peeing completely. Which I've been doing for a while but she still does it anyways) and just responds to things the way she wants to with each individual occasion.
 

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Use management. Your dogs should never have the chance to do stuff that annoys you. I have NEVER been able to train a dog out of getting into the litterbox, so I keep the boxes in a room with a baby gate. Just forget about her "doing something bad" (purely a human thought), "getting away with it" or being "disciplined". These aren't useful thoughts in your relationship. And yelling isn't effective training.

Anti-anxiety meds may help her to cope with life and should be considered. But making the home a secure place for her and using effective teaching methods are also necessary--meds alone can only do so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have to disagree. My dog was easily trained not to get into cat litter. He did it once, I yelled, and he never did it again. I can have him sit right next to it, leave the house, and come back and he still won't get into it. My mothers German Shepherd used to get into the trash and make a huge mess. Then one day(she had been given this idea from a dog trainer) she threw an empty pop can that had a couple pennies in it at him. It made lots of noise that apparently scared him. After that, you could actually put a steak on the floor, and set a pop can next to it, and he wouldn't go anywhere near it. It didn't hurt him what-so-ever, but it somehow made something click in his head.

I've never actually considered pet-anxiety medication until now. Even for my old Staffy, I didn't give him meds. I just worked with him relentlessly. But everything I try just doesn't seem to work(which, by the way we already have a gate for the cat litter, but she still manages to jump over it), and her getting into the cat litter starts this chain reaction of my cats then starting a pissing war with each other on the carpet because their litter and poop is on the floor, so they see that as an opening to start peeing all over the place. I feel like the only option is give her anti-anxiety medication and hope that it chills her out a little bit.
 

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I always think of meds as a last resort, but even they won't work alone.

You give the example of the dog wat whom a pop can was thrown.... THAT dog developed a lifelong fear of pop cans that thus prevented an umwanted behavior. Given the skittish nature of THIS dog, do you expect that sort of tactic to help, or make things worse? You need to consider the specific personality you are working with. My dog was also an adoptee from the shelter, and when we got him he was so scared of leashes and collars that on walks, he would just drop and shake wildly. And every time we would go toward him with his collar, he would panic and pee all over the floor. He is fine now... Just needed calmness and reassurance when he felt afraid, and lots of positive experiences with the collar and leash. Yelling at a fearful dog will, for sure, make things worse. Dogs don't understand right/wrong, only safe/unsafe (see Jean Donaldson). This dog need as many 'safe' experiences as possible in order to relax.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you Kirsten. That is some advice I can definitely take to mind. I know that she's different than my dog, or my moms German Shepherd. I was just at a loss of things to do, and I'll just keep doing what I've actually been doing recently. Which is just ignoring the bad behavior, and highly praising good behavior. Although she hasn't really made an improvement yet, I'll keep trying. So ultimately, I haven't learned anything new here. I guess I was just hoping someone out there would have some 'magic answer' to my problem.

Oh, one thing though, you say you gave your dog calm reassurance when he was shaking and afraid? We usually just ignore her when she shakes and pants(when she's panting, that means she's really really afraid) until it stops. I've always thought it would be bad to give her attention when she's like this, but for you it worked better than just ignoring it?
 

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there is a ton of good info on this forum, read through the other threads, there are MANY potty problems just like what you are describing. To me, you sound really emotionally involved, and you are expecting a lot out of a dog who cannot read your mind. And is not like your previous dogs. There is no magic, just try to be patient and consistent. I agree, she is scared of you. Dogs are smart, they know when you are yelling and trying to grab them that it is not a good idea to come to you. And the hard part is, it can only take one bad experience like this to get to the point where the dog is mistrustful and won't listen. I also agree with above, block off the littler box or whatever else, keep the dog in a safer area, close the bedroom door, manage, start from square one. it will be worth it. If you really think the dog was abused before, please give it a chance to have a safe and comfortable home, I think putting in the effort now will make a difference. If she is happy in the crate, and isn't peeing all over, I would let her have some time in there, even with the door open. This has got to be such a frustrating situation, I hope you can figure it out. If you haven't read "the othe rend of the leash" by Patricia McConnell, that is a good one to show how dogs interpret out behaviors, and especially body language. good luck with it.
 

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Nothing wrong with reassurance. Don't go overboard with an emotional outpouring of support, but calmly letting her know life is okay can help. And again, manage her so she has less opportunity to get in trouble. And, if you think it's more than yui can handle, try looking for a good behaviorist. It's impossible for any of us to know for sure exactly what is going on. :)
 

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Crazy thing just happened! I just let the dogs out, and I did something I have tried a couple of times, which is, as soon as they're in the mud room, I give Dakota (the dog involved in this situation) tons of attention and "good dog!" and had her 'jump up', which means 'put your front paws on my hip and say hello!' which she loves doing. I did all of this before I asked her to sit, which never ended well before. She would pee anyways before I even got a chance to ask her to sit. But! This time she actually just sat by the door which she definitely knows that's what I want from her, at proved to me just now that's what I want from her. But anyways, she didn't pee! It was awesome! Since that's always the sure-fire way for her to pee immediately, more than anything else. This gives me hope! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh, and despite the 'annoyance' I have with her sometimes, she sure is a cute little mutt-dog. I should post pictures of her on here, because she looks like a little teddy bear! So cute.
 

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Great! Keep at it and I bet both of you will be a lot more relaxed :) Anxiety and fear are tough to deal with, but certainly not impossible to change!
 

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You seem to be doing a good job, but you do need to stop yelling. Dogs don't understand english and all you are doing is making her associate yelling with peeing so she will go and hide away to pee.

What I would add is try to make yourself more rewarding.

Feed her her dinner by hand, a spoonfull at a time, and ask her to give behaviours for each spoonful. Sit, drop, spin, shake paws, beg, etc. This will make her realise that only good things come from you.
 
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