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Question
Posted by: anon | 2011/03/09

Potty training an adult chihuahua

The dog comes from my sister. She was never potty trained correctly. They couldnt have her anymore as she and the other chihuahua were fighting constantly. They also have a son that has basically terrorised the dog, being rough, perhaps hurting her deliberatly - this i can see has also made her a little crazy so to speak.

We got her on Monday night. The dog will only go to the toilet inside the home. Even though there is two doors leading out to the garden area and one has been open for her constantly. I took her out as much as i could but she wouldnt do a thing.

I still left the one door open but waking up in the morning she did a number 2 twice then that morning peed on the mat. Last night we were litterally out side the home as much as possible as we normally are. Have a beautfiul outside area. She still never went to the toilet.

I put her outside just before going to bed and then let her in. During the night she peed once then did a number 2. This morning peed on the mat area again. Then before leaving to work peed again on the new carpet that was installed on Tuesday.

Now i was pretty lenient about disciplining her before because she was still new etc, but after peeing on the new carpet i grabbed her, brushed her face in the pee and put her outside for 15 minutes by herself.

If anyone can help me with this?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Anon, it is unfortunately often more difficult to potty train an adult dog and requires lots of patience.

The most important principle, especially in an anxious dog, is never to beat a dog that messes in the house as they are not deliberately being disobedient but just do not know any better!

It is your responsibility to have her outside when she ‘needs to go’. So take her outside every time after she has slept, eaten or played . . . also during the night (for night time potty training it will help if you can keep her in an en suite bathroom so that she wakes you up if she needs to go).

I would also recommend that you take her outside a few times in quick succession, as a dog will often mess inside just after they have been outside for a while, so basically you want to break this ‘habit’.

Also take her to the same spot in the garden so that she gets use to the smells etc. If she has urinated in this spot before, the familiar smell will definitely help!

You can also use treats to ‘reward’ her if she did go outside! If you have loose carpets, it will be best to remove them until she is potty trained as dogs have a much stronger sense of smell and will smell the urine even if the carpet has been washed repeatedly!

Also do not use strong alkaline or acid detergents to clean as this can smell a lot like urine!

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.

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Our users say:
Posted by: anon | 2011/03/11

Last night one accident - said no loudly and put her outside to where she should go - during the night not one accident and today still no accident its going well! Thanks so much guys!

Reply to anon
Posted by: Chill | 2011/03/10

That''s cool, glad to hear it!

I forgot to mention yesterday (or whenever it was) that if the dog has only just arrived at your home, PLUS it sounds like she could be a bit traumatised, then even if she were fully housetrained she may well make a few ''mistakes'' in the beginning. We often forget that dogs don''t actually understand stuff like ''inside'' and ''outside'' - to them, it''s just ''here'' or ''there''. Also, if she doesn''t yet know your house/garden properly, it makes it difficult for her to plan where or when to go. All these things will become familiar to her, plus she''ll realise that you aren''t going to terrorise her so your housetraining job will become easier as she settles down.

It''s good to hear things are already improving.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: anon | 2011/03/10

Would just like to say i followed the advice and she is getting better!

Reply to anon
Posted by: Chill | 2011/03/09

I think it depends on how recent a mess it was - it serves no purpose at all to either praise or ''punish'' a dog for anything it did more than a minute or two ago - they simply don''t get the connection. If you catch her in the act, there''s nothing wrong with saying ''NO'' firmly, and taking her outside immediately.

This business of rubbing their noses in their own mess belongs to the dark ages. The only thing ever achieved by that is a neurotic dog who doesn''t trust anyone. Positive reinforcement - ie, praise - when she does her business in the right place, is the way to go.

One other thing: you''ll probably get sick and tired of the work involved in housetraining this dog. It IS quite hard work - you have to pay attention to what she''s doing pretty much all the time, so that you can intervene before she makes a mistake. But it''s well worth persevering, and if you do, you will be rewarded.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Schnoodle | 2011/03/09

We had an animal behaviourist come over and speak to us and she said that when this happens you must make NO big deal out of this. She may be doing it for attention in which case even shouting at her will give her " attention" . We were told to just clean it and pretend it never happened.

Reply to Schnoodle
Posted by: anon | 2011/03/09

But if the dog did make any mess what kind of action should i take?

Reply to anon
Posted by: anon | 2011/03/09

Thank you.

Reply to anon
Posted by: CyberVet | 2011/03/09

Hi Anon, it is unfortunately often more difficult to potty train an adult dog and requires lots of patience.

The most important principle, especially in an anxious dog, is never to beat a dog that messes in the house as they are not deliberately being disobedient but just do not know any better!

It is your responsibility to have her outside when she ‘needs to go’. So take her outside every time after she has slept, eaten or played . . . also during the night (for night time potty training it will help if you can keep her in an en suite bathroom so that she wakes you up if she needs to go).

I would also recommend that you take her outside a few times in quick succession, as a dog will often mess inside just after they have been outside for a while, so basically you want to break this ‘habit’.

Also take her to the same spot in the garden so that she gets use to the smells etc. If she has urinated in this spot before, the familiar smell will definitely help!

You can also use treats to ‘reward’ her if she did go outside! If you have loose carpets, it will be best to remove them until she is potty trained as dogs have a much stronger sense of smell and will smell the urine even if the carpet has been washed repeatedly!

Also do not use strong alkaline or acid detergents to clean as this can smell a lot like urine!

Reply to CyberVet

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