Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Sherry, from what you say above it sounds as if the pup was purchased from a pet shop or commercial breeder. Unfortunately often what happens in situations like this (if I am correct), is that the pup is confined to either a crate with its litter mates, or very small area and does not have sufficient space to use for a toilet. Dogs are naturally very clean animals and do not eliminate where they sleep or eat, unless no other option. Once this has become the 'norm', due to circumstances, it takes longer and more work to change the habit, but it can be done and I have worked with clients with pups as you describe and we have successfully changed the behaviour, but it does take longer.
What I would suggest you do is several things:-
1. Crate train the pup so that it can sleep in a crate at night. There is an article on crate training on my www.friendsofthedog.co.za website.
2. Start toilet training right from the beginning. I have put a link to a toilet training article on the Health 24 site for you to follow and really go overboard with praise and a treat when the dog does perform outside. Dogs do what works and if it is rewarded each and every time it performs outside by both praise and a treat, will be more likely to do this.
3. Use management in that the dog is never left alone in the house until the new toilet training has been achieved.
4. In addition to cleaning all areas with the 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water that you are already doing, when throughly cleaned, spray on some Citronella oil. this is the Citronella oil you get from a health shop or chemist and must be full strength.
5. If 'mistakes' do happen remember this has become a habit and it takes time to change and supervision - dont punish or shout at the dog. If you catch dog squatting, quickly pick it up (causes the spincter muscles to contract) and rush it outside and reward when finished. Dogs will perform a behaviour for attention, whether it be negative or positive.
Hopes this helps and have put the article link below. If you are still having problems please call in a professional to assist further, thanks Scotty
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.