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Running out of ideas...

996 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Spicy1_VV
I really need some advice or help. We adopted Oscar our pit/lab mix about 3 years ago the rescue guessed he was about 2. I am a single mom and at the time only worked a few nights a week bartending so we would be outside all day with him and he would be wore out when it was time for me to go to work. A year and half ago I found myself with a really great work opportunity to better provide for my family him included. But the hours are much more demanding, so the attention he gets has of course gone down.
In turn his behavior has gotten out of control. He goes to the bathroom all over only my daughters room even when we are home and he was JUST outside for 25 min. Constantly. Her barbies, her laundry. I try and keep her door shut and remind her too but I’m a little outnumbered and stretched thin when I’m in the laundry room washing all the things he already peed on.

He doesn’t have a urinary infection I have had it checked so many times. I have tried crates(he eats/breaks them) I have a nanny cam I can talk to him while at work. But he creates so much work for me when I come home on top of homework, baths, dishes, laundry I planned on doing, paying bills. That by the time I’m done with the things I planned on doing + the additional work he has made for me there is now no time for him to play. And it just keeps getting worse. I don’t have a fenced in yard so I have to walk him or put him on a run in the yard and he mostly just gets put out on the run now because I do not have the time to take him for a run after work like I used too.

I hardly want to come home anymore, I know there will only be messes and after being at work for 10 hours I’m pretty crabby already. I’m sick of coming home after a long day to be miserable.
I don’t want to be that person who regimes my dog because I don’t have the time for him, but I’m beginning to feel selfish if I don’t.
He is such a sweet and loyal dog most the time, and to have this thought breaks my heart. But I know neither of us are living our best life like this.
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Can you kennel him outdoors while at work? Or can you have someone come and walk him while you are working, buy a dog box/ heavy duty crate and then have a sitter come to take him potty and for a walk on the days you have to work.
When you're home make sure you keep the room door closed, I know you've tried but it's what will need to be done more vigilant you avoid this. You can try putting a baby gate also, but I don't know how old your daughter is so might not be feasible.
Most likely, the dog has created a habit of going potty in your daughter's room, and because the dog is continuing to do it, the behavior is only getting worse. Clean up the spots with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle, which will eliminate the smell of the accident so the dog doesn't think its a good place to potty. And, of course, keep the door closed so he can no longer practice the behavior of going potty in that room. You can try putting a baby gate across the door that is spring loaded so it automatically swings closed if your daughter can't be trusted to close the door. If there is a hallway or something leading to your daughter's room, you can put a baby gate across that. Doesn't matter how you choose to do it, but preventing the dog from going in that spot is going to go a long way in eliminating the behavior.

Does he destroy anything while you're away at work? Or is it just the potty issues? A little refresher course on potty training 101 might be in order as well.

Some ideas to help stimulate him are puzzle toys. He can eat his meals out of them. You can spend 10-15 minutes teaching him tricks if you don't have time for walks. Working out the mind can be just as tiring as working the body! Consider getting a super long line and a harness, and you can play fetch or something that way while still being safe, because you can step on the line if he wants to take off. They sell 100ft lines on Amazon, I believe.
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I would prevent him from getting into your daughter's room like Lillith mentioned, and also go back to potty training 101. On leash outside until he potties; when he does, throw a party with awesome cookies and play his favourite game and only let him off the leash to romp after he's either peed or pooped. If he doesn't do his business within ~5 minutes of going outside, bring him right back inside and keep him confined or tethered to you so you can watch him, and then take him outside 30 minutes later, or when you notice him starting to make the motions of doing his business. It is much easier if he is able to be crated, but I understand that not all dogs have been taught to be comfortable being crated.

I don’t want to be that person who regimes my dog because I don’t have the time for him, but I’m beginning to feel selfish if I don’t.
I know how much stigma there is around being the person who rehomes their dog for "not having time" any more, but not all dogs can be happy in all situations, and people's circumstances change as they progress through life. I hear about way too many people trying to "make it work" when everyone is exhausted, miserable, and not having their needs met, and I don't think its fair for either of you to live the next 5-10 years being miserable. But I would also think about how your kid(s) would feel about him being gone from their lives.

How old are your kids? Are they old enough to start to help around the house, or maybe with the dog, even if it's just playing games with him in the house? They could hide treats for him to find, which is surprisingly tiring for a lot of dogs.
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You need a dog box. They are expensive.. most for a large dog run around $800 or more. They are heavy. They are usually made of aluminum. Dogs cannot break out of them. This will help you manage the dog so he can be truly house broken and you are not spending your time washing up after his messes. This is a large investment and one you may not be willing to make (and that is, quite honestly, fine).

An outdoor kennel with a dog house in it is another viable option BUT if you have a dog that is an escape artist, he will be out of most pet kennels and a kennel that will contain him will need a floor and a top and will cost almost as much as a dog box.

Rehoming a dog that is not working out is often filled with stigma and judgement. People are afraid of this (others judgement!) and I think that is really too bad. If you are unhappy and unable to keep up you can bet the dog is also unhappy. I think that recognizing this and rehoming a dog that is not working out is actually in everyone's best interest. It is far better than buying a dog house and chaining Fido outside for the rest of his days.
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I have a small 2 bedroom house there isn’t room for a big dog box, and I’m a single mom so that kind of investment isn’t even in the question.

I have used baby gates but he is part pit and has these muscular legs that make it real easy for him to jump over things. I’ve placed baby gates up off the ground some to try and block it and it that case he will just bulldoze underneath them.

I have done shock collars, nanny cam, rearranged and bought new items hoping those would be less tempting to pee on and it doesn’t matter.

I have been saving up money to purchase a bigger home with a bigger yard, but we are still about a year away from that. I think that’s the biggest reason I keep hanging on and trying to make it work hoping that once we get settled in a new place with a nice big yard he will calm down. And can be left outside on nice days with a garage or something to go into if he wants out of the sun or something. But like I said we aren’t there yet.

Honestly he’s my baby more so than the kids best friend. They have a chihuahua who is surprisingly great with the kids, and really great overall. It’s just this big one doesn’t want to adjust to the new life, and I would be the heart broken one to let him go, but I also know I’m spending more time punishing him than playing with him. Since our time is so limited and he seems so hell bent on screwing up daily. He doesn’t tear things apart, just pees on my daughters stuff. Anything of hers. She leaves shoes by the door they will be peed on.
I would do anything that I could afford reasonably to make this a better situation for all of us, cuz I really don’t wanna let him go. But there’s only one of me and I shouldn’t be treating my grown dog like a puppy and I can’t afford the time to do that right now anyways.
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Better to break your heart once than to continue this stressful relationship with this dog. I am reading your punishments and they all could be solved by a dog box (it is the same size as a dog crate.. only big enough to lay down in, turn around in and stand up in). However, the investment is significant.

If this dog LIKES to be with people and will bulldoze through gates or (worse) go under them, and you put him in a fenced yard with a garage, he is going to be out of that yard pretty quickly by going under the fence or over the fence unless you chain him up (and maybe that is the ultimate plan). A fence is a lot more money than a dog box if you need to put one up and then, if the dog is escaping over or under it, you are again, right where you are today in a different location.

BTW this peeing where he should not is not something you can train with a "shock collar." In fact, the more pressure you put on the dog for this behavior, the worse this it is likely to get.

I don't hesitate to say that I do use corrections and pressure when training a dog, but never for potty training or an issue like this.. and pressure has to be exactly applied at just the right time. A dog marking or peeing where it should not is not a behavior that can changed to peeing in a more appropriate location by the use of corrective pressure. If anything, the peeing will INCREASE and may actually expand to other parts of the house.
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They are expensive, but if you have been saving money it wild help in the meantime.


This one is about $500 but you can also find them used. I found one for $150 on Craigslist.

And I agree with the above, unless you have a good secure outdoor kennel set up or a proper chain set up the dog is likely to escape the fended yard when left unattented.
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