apfcab36

Potty Aggression/Anxiety

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I have had Teddy for over a year now. I got him as a puppy. In the beginning, things were kind of rough and bumpy with the potty training, mainly my fault because at the time I was working a poop ton of hours and just did not have the time. A few months ago, I became a stay at home mom and thus began Mission Potty Train Teddy. Things were successful and for quite a few weeks we were accident free. He even started sleeping with my daughter in her bed. In the morning I was half expecting pee or poop somewhere but nothing. I was so proud!!

The other day it was raining. He has been in the rain before, but not like this. I mean it was POURING. He refused to go out in it. I made him walk around. I was outside soaking wet for 20 minutes waiting for him to go. Nothing. I bring him in and what does he do immediately? He pees on the floor. So I scolded him and put him in the crate (which he hasn't been in in ages. He comes everywhere with me and my daughter now) When it FINALLY stopped raining, I took him out again. I was outside for a FULL HOUR walking him everywhere. He had no interest in going. As soon as I brought him in, he peed again, right by my feet while still on the leash. I took him out a few hours later and after 30 minutes of walking he finally peed and pooped and I praised him like crazy.

But that was the last time he went outside. I take him out constantly. In the morning he is crying in his crate to go out. But i take him out and he does nothing. He walks, but he looks absolutely miserable. And when we stop, he's shaking. As soon as I bring him in, he pees and poops right by me while still on the leash. Today my husband witnessed it, and he is beyond mad. He knows the command "in" and knows that means go in the crate. Today when I took him off the leash after an unsuccessful potty session, he went behind his crate and peed and pooped right in front of us looking at me in the eye. I know this isn't the case but he looked SPITEFUL. 

He's living in the crate again, and I feel awful. My three-year-old is heartbroken and is constantly asking why Teddy can't come out and play with her. He also looks so pitiful in the crate.

I never yelled at him unless I caught him peeing in the house. When we are outside, I remain calm and soothing and keep saying "go potty" which before he knew what that meant. Now he just stares at me shaking. When we were out in the rain, I never yelled. 

I am at wits end with him! I don't want him living in the crate! But I feel helpless about this! Any advice pleaaaase????

teddy.jpg

I meant Potty REGRESSION in the title. 

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Well, honestly I thought I'd heard everything about potty issues but this is a new one! :lol_2:

A few questions --

How old is he now?

How old was he when you got him?

How long was the "rough and bumpy" potty training period?

Where do you walk him when you want him to do his business? Same place always -- does "walk him everywhere" mean around your yard or a three mile walk around the neighborhood? Have you tried a different area to see how he reacts?

You say you take him out " constantly." Define that in terms of minutes or hours between potty trips?

Have you ever tried taking him out for 10 or 15 minutes and if he doesn't do his business putting him in his crate for 15-30 minutes and then taking him out again? (It's probably not particularly helpful to stay outside with a dog for an hour waiting for him to take care of business. By that time he's very likely forgotten that the entire point of coming outside was to do his business. And that's what you're after when potty training--not just to get the dog to go but for the light bulb in his head to turn on so that he understands the whole concept of "this is the reason I come outside regularly--because my humans want my pee and poop to go out here.")

And a few comments, and I mean them in a gentle way --

You don't have to yell at a dog to make him fearful. Dogs are extremely astute at reading our emotions, even if we don't think we're expressing them. He knows you're upset and that very well may be the root of the problem. Or at least one of them.

"A few weeks" of pottying success in no way equals a house trained dog. A few months -- maybe. i personally don't consider a dog house trained until he's gone at least a full six months w/o a single accident.

Give us the answers to the above questions and we can provide some suggestions. My guess is that you need to go back to Housebreaking 101 and treat him like a brand new puppy you just brought home. And that suggestion really is for all of you -- it means you (and your DH) lower your expectations for pottying back down to 0 and start fresh. But your answers may change my thoughts on that, and of course someone else may have a totally different line of thinking.

Welcome to the forum!

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Welcome Ashley and Teddy, Teddy is adorable! I'm so sorry to hear that Teddy has regressed in his potty training and I agree with Pawz that you need to start from ground zero again on potty training.

His shaking seems he is afraid of something and he probably has picked up on the stress, they are so intune with us it isn't funny.. even if I try to not show my stress mine still know it and it affects them. They are very much pack animals and we are their pack, they need to be with us and I'm afraid keeping him in the crate all the time is only going to lead to more problems.. 

both of mine are rescues and I always do a potty refresher for them initially as it's a new environment. I keep them on a lead attached to my waist, they are always with me and I can be sure to know when they need to go. I also take them out every few hours, definitely after eating or sleeping/ napping. And of course the high praise and treats, always treats for going! Am not sure if it's possible for you to have Teddy on a lead for awhile but that may be worth a try?

and I totally understand about the rain, our Missy won't go out even if she 'thinks' she may get wet! Piper was found as a stray so she doesn't care about the rain but even she wouldn't go out in the downpours we've had lately! We set up an area on our covered deck with a potty pad and a grass box for them to go when it's bad weather. Not sure if it would help but maybe if you have an area you could try something like that it may help? Just a few thoughts!

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20 minutes ago, Missysmom said:

 

and I totally understand about the rain, our Missy won't go out even if she 'thinks' she may get wet! Piper was found as a stray so she doesn't care about the rain but even she wouldn't go out in the downpours we've had lately! We set up an area on our covered deck with a potty pad and a grass box for them to go when it's bad weather. Not sure if it would help but maybe if you have an area you could try something like that it may help? Just a few thoughts!

 

Confession -- I sometimes let Yogi "go" on our front porch if we're having long term heavy rain. His breeder was a show breeder who let her dogs out onto a concrete run. So he was always used to going on concrete. Our porch floor is concrete and it's long (except for the garage it runs the entire length of our house). I let him go on the end near the garage. If I'm feeling motivated I take the flower watering can and wash the area down afterwards. But I don't always do that. An occasional pee from one smalllish healthy dog doesn't cause any noticeable odor. It's not like the porch is closed in--it gets plenty of air flow from three sides. So no odor. Plus I'm sure plenty of wild critters visit (squirrels, chipmunks and birds during the day and who-knows-what at night) and probably many of them are using it as a toilet, too. :lol_2:

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I'm wondering if he has been affected by the bad experience - pouring rain, wet, cold, Mum's impatience, all combining to give him some bad associations.

they are so much more aware than we realise, and unconscious body language, tension on the lead, frustration, impatience, etc can leave a very lasting impression, no matter how we try and hide them.  Emotions like fear, anger and irritation are things they smell.

but you can create new positive associations to overlay the bad ones.  Fun, pleasant, exciting, enjoyable ones.

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Mine don't let wet feet period and refuses to go potty if it's real messy or wet and it's like that a lot here......back up plan is always have a available puppy pad to go on and that keeps us both happy.

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Thank you for the input! To answer your questions:

Teddy's birthday is November 7, 2015. He became part of our family on February 5, 2016. When I say I take him out constantly, I mean I take him out every hour or two, no more than two hours. As for walking everywhere, sometimes I do take him on walks all over our neighbor and we will walk roughly 2 miles. I live next to a fishing spot and a huge field, so if I'm not walking him around the neighborhood, that is where I take him. It's a huge field that lines the Delaware River and has bushes galore and geese he loves to chase. At times he still will chase the geese. I used to let him lead the walks, letting him sniff and explore where he wants (within reason like no one's backyard) I try that now, but he's just not having it. Last night I took him out before bed, and he did poop but he still wouldn't pee. This morning it took awhile but he did go pee. But you could just tell the whole time he was absolutely miserable. I did make sure to praise him like I have never praised him before and he loved that. If I stop walking, he stops walking and he sits by my legs like he's hiding. The rough and bumpy patches meant that I worked 12 hours a day and most of that he was in his crate, except when a friend or my husband came over to let him out. When I first became I stay at home mom, he had full reign of the house (except bedrooms) and while I did take him outside frequently, I never scolded him if he went inside. That went on for a few months. Like four? And for the next four months I was potty training him like he was a puppy. I did what friends with smaller dogs did. I kept him in a crate, letting him outside to go pee, and waited until he went, praised him like crazy, gave him a treat, and put him in the crate. Then a couple days later, he was on a leash either with me or tied to his crate. Then after a bit of that. I brought my baby gates back out and blocked off all the rooms only letting him have the living room. It was like that for the better part of the last couple months. He never had accidents and if he did, it was by the front door. When I noticed that, every time I saw him go to the front door, I figured that was his cue and took him out. Sure enough, he would go immediately and then come back inside. The last bit of freedom I gave him was letting him sleep in my daughter's bed. She always asked me if she could and I always had to tell her no. But my husband and I gave him a chance in her room. He was still fast asleep when checked on them in the morning. There were no accidents or nothing. That lasted about a week and then came that downpour of rain. It has literally scarred him from going outside. Sometimes I am frustrated when I take him out. I don't yell, but I know he can sense it. But like when we are on our walks, I am relaxed and fine. I'm back to basics with him, having him in the crate and taking him out like before. But maybe more frequent but shorter trips will work better? And keeping him on a leash with me, while before that worked, this time that is a no go. He literally pees on or next to my feet as soon as we come in.

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So here's an update. Right after my last post, I decided to try quick walks more frequently. He peed and pooped within 5 minutes of being out there. It started to rain :rain:, not hard just yet, and that worried me but he seemed okay with it. I took him inside though because his job was done. And again I praised him like never before. I decided to try to leash approach again, so he did go outside today both times I took him. I just care bare to see him in his crate. His crate used to be a happy place he went to sleep at night, but now he looks miserable.It's big enough for him to walk around in, he has his bed, food, water, favorite toy, and bone (he LOVES his bones), but none of that matters. I feel like this time he thinks being in the crate in the day time it just a punishment he doesn't fully understand. So to bring the positive back into OUR lives, I'm letting him play, just on the leash (it's a 16 foot one so he's got a lot of room) He's happy, my daughter is happy, which makes me feel happier. :cheer: So fingers crossed and here's to hoping. 

I mean look how miserable he looks :crying:

teddy looks miserable.jpg

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Sounds like you're already making a positive difference!

Baby steps -- it's always in baby steps.

I personally think shorter more frequent trips outside will be the way to go, at least for the time being and if you can work it into your schedule. I know it can be challenging to work on house training a dog when you've got a baby, toddler or preschooler in the house. Been there done that!

But taking him out more frequently should work toward two goals -- The first one is that it of course gives him more opportunity to do his business in the right place and the second is that the more you can repeat his exposure to the outside in an upbeat, positive way the more quickly he should get over whatever fear he developed. It's like when you're working on obedience training -- a few short training sessions are almost always better than one long session. If he's food motivated I'd also get some really yummy, special treats that he only gets when he's outside. To begin with I'd treat him just for being outside, to help making the association with outside being a wonderfully good place. As he (hopefully) gets over his fear of outside you can then phase the treats back to where he's getting them when he does his business and then gradually you can phase them out completely.

Like Crystal and Vicki said, you probably want to work on a potty plan for rain. Many dogs do just fine using pee pads when the weather is bad but going outside when it's nice. Sounds like he'd be a prime candidate for putting a pee pad by the door when it's raining.

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53 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

 

Like Crystal and Vicki said, you probably want to work on a potty plan for rain. Many dogs do just fine using pee pads when the weather is bad but going outside when it's nice. Sounds like he'd be a prime candidate for putting a pee pad by the door when it's raining.

Glad I visted  your question and answers again as Pawz comments jogged my memory to a trick I learned when I got Abby at a year old and she was a outdoors dog that didn't know the first thing about a puppy pad or house training. She also would pee the floor at the front door every single time just like Teddie does.

What I did was blot a little bit of her pee onto a pad so it scented it then left it in her chosen spot she always squats at by the door....She clicked right on that was the place to go potty as I did like you and made a fool of myself telling her in a high voice how good she pee peed on paper while tapping the pad ( important to tap the pad and say pee pee on paper)  he  associates what your Happy over).....she loved the attention that she did something right that made me so happy. She had less and less accidents till it stopped full stop cause she liked the happy voice. 

So she continues to use the outside but very happy to use a pad (especially at night) that I keep down in the bathroom room out the way. She isn't confused by pads vs outside either....she accepted both easily. 

Her phobia at night time pee's stemmed from last years fireworks....scared her to death and she still won't pee outside once darkness has fell to this very day....so very likely Teddie has the same issue with the Thunder and Lightening down pours, he's frightened but with your constant reassurance nothing bad is going to happen it will get easier for him

Hope that helps in some small way

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:)

and (i have made this mistake!) make sure that the good part (fun/games/play/treats) happen after the toilet event.

so don't wait for the poo event, give a reward, take him inside and pop him into his crate.  Because if you do that, you are really just rewarding the event with going back into the crate. :(  try and make the best bit (walk/cuddles/playing with your daughter) happen immediately after the successful poo, and last for long enough that the crate isn't associated with the end of play.

what has happened with me, is that we all go outside for a last widdle before bed.  Now, I'm tired.  This is the last thing i do before going upstairs.  I am looking forward to that lovely moment when i lay my head on the pillow.  I'm not really interested in standing in the dark, in the cold and the wind and maybe rain, while two little monsters sniff every blasted leaf and twig.

not so the dogs. For them, going outside is interesting, sniffy, fascinating.  It is a vitally important final anti-cat patrol.  A chance to put in a massed pack show to impress any monsters, to mark their territory... And it all ends when they widdle.  Because as soon as they squat or cock, the boring human Mum goes inside and ends the fun. :(:(

so of course they delay the pee as long as possible.  Just like kids begging for 5 more minutes of a story...

nowadays, i use a slightly different technique. ;)

we all go out.  The sniffing.  The patrolling.  The endless investigations.  I wait until i have seen the required squatting but then i don't call them in.  Instead, i quietly go inside and clean the sink.  Fill the kettle ready for the morning.  Switch off lights.  Sit at the desk and turn off the computer...

and they gradually realise that Mum has disappeared. And she is shutting things down.  And she will be going upstairs any second, and if we don't go inside too, we may get left downstairs! :unsure: by ourselves. All night!

and suddenly they come blasting in through the cat flap and rush up to me asking to go to bed.

i'm not proud of myself when i say it took a long time to work this little routine out. At one time I used to have to chase Cato round while he teased me with toys.  And Tara used to absolutely refuse to come to the back door... But now, they want to come to me, so they dont get left behind. :) 

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So glad things are going better with Teddie! We all have to find just the right trick that works for us and our paws and it sounds like you're honing in on yours- hope the improvements keep on for you! Please keep us posted.

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All it took was a little bit of a positive attitude and things are almost smooth again. I'm glad I reached out on here (and to a few fellow small dog owners on my facebook) I was at wit's end, pulling my hair out. Somebody said, "I'd give him away!" and while that is a quick fix, that is the WRONG fix. Not only would my daughter be absolutely devastated, but so would Teddy. Who wants to go to a shelter all because you didn't do something right and just couldn't figure out what it was. Things are far from perfect, but they are going well.

I stopped putting him in the crate during the day, only at night. Just that small gesture did SO MUCH for us. Putting him in the crate I feel made his anxiety sky rocket. Not only was he afraid of going outside, but putting him in the crate made him feel like he didn't belong with us and thus came on even more anxiety. I had him on the leash yesterday tied to the crate which gave him a decent amount of room to play. He was even still able to sit on my lap on the couch when my daughter tired him out.

Yesterday I started a job at a local restaurant for just a few hours a day, a couple days a week, to make a little extra summer fun cash for vacations and what not. My mom came to watch my daughter and Teddy. She wasn't aware of the issues with the potty training. When I came home he was roaming free through the house. It was the first thing I noticed when I came home and instantly panicked thinking I would find little surprises and puddles through the house. I told her what was going on, and she said, "Really? He's just been in here playing. I took him out while you were gone. He was running around marking all his spots and doing whatever business in addition to running around and exploring." I was pleased to hear that, but worried thought maybe his outside anxiety was associated with me. I took him outside myself right away expecting to see the scared, shaking pup I was getting so used to seeing. But he was running around all over the place chasing every little squirrel, cat, duck, bird, geese, blowing in the wind leaf, etc.he could see. And he did his business. 

I'm still not letting him sleep in my daughter's bed again just yet. I don't want to give him all his freedom back at once and overwhelm him. But when it was time for bed, he went into his crate his self (I always leave the door open because that is where I keep his food and water. If left in the kitchen my cats bully him a bit about it) and went to bed. 

Sometime soon my husband is suppose to put a fence up around our backyard. When that happens, I will definitely let him play out there at night before bed. 

And PipsMom that's a great idea about the blotting his pee on a pad! I tried using puppy pads on him when we first got them, but he would just rip them to shreds. He doesn't really bother with them anymore, but I had no idea how to train him how to use the pads. It's something I would love to do for him when it rains outside. Summer is coming and with that comes a lot of nasty storms. I don't want to go back to where we were a few days ago. And who wants to pee in the rain anyways?? I am going to try this approach and let you guys know how it goes!

Thank you everyone for all the advice!

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I have no experience with pee pads but did a home visit once with a woman who had 2 Doxies (and wanted to re-home them).  She used pee pads and put a softball sized rock on it which she said attracted them to the pad.  One was a male and you know how they love marking things they can lift their leg on - LOL

So glad you have worked this out. A pox on the one who said "I'd give him away"..........good thing she didn't have a child with a bed wetting problem.  I remember being at a dinner with several people and talked about my big male Boxer having a $3300 procedure (TPLO) to repair a torn cruciate ligament.  One of the men  said he'd take him in the backyard and shoot him.  GACK!!!!

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I am so thrilled to read his amazing come back and getting back to normal. It's shocking to think how many pups are sent to the pound shelters just because they had a moment ....it bears not to think about. Big hug for you and pat of the head for Teddie for a job well done  

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He's a great dog really! As for small breeds go, he is not yappy at all! (okay maybe sometimes but not really) He is great with my daughter, even when she's doing bad things like pulling his tail (which is always corrected) its just the potty training. oh and he hates baths lol. the rock thing sounds great maybe i'll put some little plants too lol! He loves kicking his leg up on them and peeing!! I'm thinking of buying him a raincoat for light rain. They look so darn cute in the pictures. I came home from my little shift today and both my daughter and Teddy both ran to me wanting me to hold them. He was there before she even realized I was home. That's a great feeling because I thought for sure he wasn't going to be the same with me anymore. It has been a rough couple of weeks. I'll have more posts on here about Teddy don't worry!! 

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12 hours ago, apfcab36 said:

. the rock thing sounds great maybe i'll put some little plants too lol! He loves kicking his leg up on them and peeing!!

Don't get too carried away with "landscaping the pee pad"  -  he may take up peeing on house plants!  LOL.

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