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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel like I am putting myself under the guillotine for this one, so hold on to your seats, I suppose.

Me: 22 year old grad student living in a small city with barely 1 year old 40lb pit/shepard mix. I've had her for about 9 months. We just moved into a one bedroom apartment with no outside access from the apartment. My last apartment had a large fenced in backyard (oh, I miss thee) that was attached to my old kitchen. This apartment is also considerably smaller.

My vet suggested a squirt bottle since Laila was already trained to punish bad behavior. I have to say...the squirt bottle works like a charm but she HATES IT. She will not eat a treat after getting squirted and skirts around for a good 20 minutes. So long story short, I love squirt bottle, dog hates it...am I being mean for continuing its use?

Second problem: Yesterday and the day before Laila had a total of three accidents in the house. All three times she did it basically right in front of me. I take her out minimum 4 times a day. The first week this was fine but does this need to be upped? I am worried that this is a signal of behavior problems.

ALSO if anyone has any suggestions or tips for living with a medium-sized dog in a small apartment I would really really appreciate it.
 

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I really hate most vets.

Why would you want to do something that she hates so much? You already know it's not working, why are you still doing it?

Teach her what you want, not what you don't want.

When dogs move into new homes, they usually need to be re-potty trained, as if they were puppies. This isn't her den yet.
 

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Advice for large dog/small apt? Exercise, training and exercise. ;)

Dogs don't generalize very well, so what she "knew" in the old place doesn't always transfer over to the new place.

I would take a step back in the housetraining department and take her out on more frequent breaks. Maybe even up the reward by reserving some tasty treats to give her when she's successful outside. Basically you want to make outside the best/rewarding place for her to potty.

As for the squirt bottle, what are you squirting for? I am really not fan, in fact if you have to keep squirting her, then it's not working and borderline cruel if she hates it so much.
 

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I definitely agree with the above post, dogs don't always transfer house training knowledge from one place to another. I'd suggest you take the lapse in this new location as an opportunity to crate train her if you haven't already. If it really gets bad you could also resort to the umbilical chord method, put her on a leash, tie the leash to your belt, and don't let her out of your sight until she gets more comfortable with her new surroundings and knows that she shouldn't "go"in the new den. But personally, I would stop the squirt bottle thing, all that does is teach her to not go right in front of you.

As for owning a medium/large sized dog in a small apartment, I'm currently living in a 2 bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor with 3 other people and my lab/husky boy. My advice would be to find a good off leash dog park, and commit to going there at least once a day for an hour. Dog sports are also a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Such quick and lovely answers! Thank you all!


The squirt bottle was suggested for excessive barking. It does work, she stops barking but then acts like I just beat her down with a rod. Since I just started squirting a few days ago I can't tell if it is helping me with her behavior in the long run or if its a temporary fix.
 
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