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Discussion Starter #1
Since I got some good advice about my other foster, I'm going to throw this one at you.

-8 year old female maltese
-Ex-PM breeder
-4 years out of the puppy mill right into a vet clinic cage :doh:
-pee pad trained

Danbi has picked up a bad habit of peeing immediately after I leave the house. She will pee on anything she is near instead of going to the pad. In fact, she'll jump off the pad to pee on something else. At first she just did this when I took the other dogs out but now its any time I leave. My brother was staying over in a sleeping bag on the floor. I took the dogs out and she peed on him... whoops.

My pipe dream is to eventually housebreak her! [I hate, hate, HATE pee pads]

Since she is a mill dog, she has NO qualms about peeing on her bedding or laying in pee, so crating her is not really an option. I do have a pen that has her bed, dishes and a pad. I place her in this pen when I'm going out. It's a 50% chance whether she'll pee on her bed or the pad. I've started putting newspapers down for a bed because she's ruining everything else.

If I don't contain her, she was go hunting for other fabric to pee on, like my other dogs' beds or stray laundry that fell out of the hamper.

The trigger seems to be the electric ping on the door, not my actual exit. I ping the door and she immediately goes hunting. If I catch her peeing on the pad I run over to praise her and give her treats. Then I remove the pad.

The problem comes in when I either forget (this is a newish habit) or she decides to pee on the bed anyway. Or she does it after I've left for the day, which means she can basically marinate happily in her urine all day. It's quite gross because she's pretty much turned yellow, despite the many, many baths, and of course everything stinks.
 

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It sounds like she's not actually pee pad trained. If it were me, I'd toss the pads and go back to square one with house-training. Constant vigilance, keeping her on-leash at all times. The door pinging is something you could use to your advantage. Take her outside near the door, open and close it so it pings, and wait. Remember to have a potty party with her favorite treats when she goes.

When you're not home is trickier. You might want to think about making a natural turf potty (dirt and grass in a large pan), or buying one of those fake ones, then x-penning her with it. Since she likes peeing on soft things, you should make the turf the only thing in the pen -- no bed. She might not get it at first, but if you keep working on training her to go only outside on grass while you are home, I think she'll figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've had her for 3 months. The first 2 months she was 100% pad trained and ONLY went on the pads. At one point I had her going on the pads on a schedule hoping to eventually cover this into house breaking, but this has regressed too. Unfortunately, taking her outside has 2 obstacles.

#1 - she spent 8 years INSIDE NEVER GOING OUT. She is terrified to go out of my apartment. She completely freezes and shakes and drools. I've been working with her on this and she now will take tiny walks for maybe 30-60 seconds, but she's never attempted to potty outside, even when she had to go. She's too afraid to even think about peeing.
#2 - I live in a city with no grass or dirt near by. There is a park, but it's about a 15 minute walk away.

I did contemplate making a turf contraption (DIY - there are no potty patches here), but I am concerned about hygiene. I live in Korea, so the bathrooms are much different here. Hosing down the turf would be easy but drying it out... that's another matter. How easy are they to clean? Do they dry well?
 

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I think the DIY real turf ones aren't that easy to clean, so you have to replace the dirt and grass periodically. I haven't made one, I've just read about them. It might be easier to clean and dry if you put holes in the bottom, and had a second tray underneath it. Then I think it would last a lot longer, too. The pee could get flushed out when you water it. But you'd need a room with plenty of sunlight for the grass.

If you're considering a DIY fake turf potty (your post didn't specify) that might be easier to maintain, especially since you are living in an urban environment without free grass growing everywhere. I would look into the design of the commercially sold ones, and copy it. You could probably also learn a lot about how best to clean them from reading consumer reviews (like on amazon).

Why do you think she stopped using the pee pads?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I meant a fake one :) I live in a tiny studio apartment with no sunlight. Everything has to be collapsible or I wouldn't be able to cook in the "kitchen", where the dog pens are set up.

I'm beginning to wonder if she has some kind of anxiety connected with the door. I pushed the button and watched her (in full sight of her). The sound of the door really got her going in the pen, whining, circling and pawing to get out. The other two dogs know that the door means someone is going out [I cannot disable this noise sadly] but they don't act anxious about it, just curious. I'm hoping she's not heading towards SA. It's really common in puppymill dogs :(
 

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You should be able to get the fake turf potty there, online for sure. They are made to be hosed off and easy clean. I would put her in a small pen with just that on one side, and something like a kuranda bed to sleep on when not supervised - they're easy to clean and dry (you might want to have two so you can have one drying and a clean one to replace, if she pees on it it should drip right through).

I would not let her be loose in the apartment unsupervised, if you can't watch her she can have the bed or the potty for a while. When you're watching her, if she starts looking, get her attention and take her to the potty. It will take a lot of work to get her past it, but with that setup (you'd want a pee pad or something under the bed just in case) she should be sucessful.

For the noise of the door, you need to make it random and a cool thing. Have some good treats on hand, and each time the door sounds, grab a handful of treats and say 'yippee, treat time' and toss the treats for the dogs to get (assuming nobody is going to fight over them). If you can set off the noise without someone coming in/out, do that, so it's not so much of a trigger to them but more of a background noise (record it and have it go off several times an hour every hour for a week or so, in different volumes).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She pees on the pads when I am home still. That is, luckily, not a problem. I've been trying to get her to go back to how she was before (I'd tell her potty and put her on the pad and she'd go!). She's pretty resistant to this idea. Probably because she realizes there are two other dogs who HAVE to go out too, so she just waits.

Alas, my aim is not good enough to pitch treats clear across the apartment through a pen. I usually toss treats down when I leave for the dogs to find IN their pens and leaving something to chew. Free range treats is not a good idea with my other foster, who would probably bite another dog (or me if I was stupid enough to get in the way). But the recording is a good idea. I'm pretty sure my neighbors are like WTF, why does she keep opening/closing the door?!! Not to mention the lock's battery life.

Since she's not interested in the treats or bone when the door sounds, would wet food be a better solution? She's allergic to pretty much every food/treat I've tried, so I have to import special treats. I can't toss them around like candy due to expense :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, the good news is, she'd desensitizing to the electronic door sound nicely. Bad news is, she's transferred the anxiety to the sound of the door opening/closing.

The last two days I came home to a panting, whining, frantic mess of a dog. She's also starting to get super anxious at night. Pacing incessantly after I turn the lights out instead of settling in her bed (which is near my bed).

The whining and pacing are annoying, so she's now in the pen at night too. I hate to confine her so much, but clearly she can no longer be trusted out of it.

I have 2 major concerns and would like to tackle this quickly.

1. absolutely no barking dogs in my apartment - eviction grounds without warning
2. she has someone interested in adopting her. I want this adoption to be successful. Handing over a dog with budding SA into a new home is not a good idea.

I've always made my leaving a good thing - treat/bone time! I'm always low key on returns. I don't pay attention to any of the dogs until they're all calm. Nothing in my routine has changed recently. She's been pen-trained since I got her. Same food. I'm really concerned at how SUDDEN her blatant anxiety is.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As abruptly as this started, it "seemed" to end. She started using the pads again and would even do it before I left. The pacing and whining stopped. I took her to the vet and there were no medical issues. It was all good...

Until today. For no reason she has started peeing inappropriately again. Once on the bed and once on the newspaper protecting the floor from urine pawprints.

I'm pretty baffled.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not that I know of. She does this both when I take the other 2 out to potty (gone 2-5 minutes) and when I leave for the day. I usually have either NPR or white noise going on my computer (for MY sanity; I live in the city and get soooooo tired of all the noise pollution). The only other animals in the house are caged rodents and there are no other people.
 
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