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Please Help With housebreaking
Old 01-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #1
Dilly53
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Please Help With housebreaking

I'm sorry to highjack your post but I need advice badly and I haven't been able to figure out how to start a new thread. Can someone help me?
Oliver is 2 years old this month. He still isn't house trained. There were periods of time where he would be good for almost a month and then I would find a dried up potty. He knows as soon as I look at it that he is responsible as he runs out the doggie door an hides. I have always been fairly gentle with him about this, but after 2 years I will have to admit to raising my voice. He is such a delicate and sensitive dog. As a puppy he was friendly and outgoing with people and dogs. That changed at about 1 year when he became very shy around anyone but me and very aggressive with other dogs. I have a 9 month old cocker spaniel and they are the best of buddies...playing and rough housing all day. I walk them 2 to 4 miles daily, and as mentioned he has a doggie door that is accessible at all times. I've tried everything I can think of....tying his leash to me for about a month, enclosing him in a doggie playpen, putting a gate up in the kitchen so he can't access the rest of the house. Nothing has worked, and he is peeing more often...several times a day. He's great at picking spots where I can't see it on the wood floors. Most of the time I don't find it until it's dried up. I never catch him in the act. He never poops, but I can't stand this much longer. He won't come near me unless I'm in bed because I have groomed him while on the couch, and I NEVER hurt him, but he won't be a lap dog for anything. I need to say I have had 12 dogs in my life....all housebroken within 2 weeks. But I never have had a Havenese, and wouldn't do this again for anything. I love him dearly and I'm afraid to find him another home because he may get abused. Can anyone help me? I really am desperate! Oh, he eats Science Diet small bites but also gets some of his brothers puppy food every day. I also add a little canned meat to his dry food. My back yard is getting badly burned and I can't figure out what to do as I thought only female dogs did that. So, Please help me figure out how to post, how to fix my dog, how to fix my yard and if you are really kind you can help me figure out my love life!!!

Dilly53
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:51 PM   #2
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My Hav kipper is also 2 and also not completely housebroken. We made huge progress when we got bells for the door so he could let us know he wanted to go out. You mentioned that he has a doggie door so he can go out whenever he wants. It may be him marking his territory from the cocker puppy, I know others will suggest a trainer/behaviorist so it would be something to look into.


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Old 01-10-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
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wow. you have a LOT going on here. Hopefully some of our 'experts' will chime in soon.

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Old 01-10-2013, 04:23 PM   #4
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Have you taken him to the vet to make sure it's not a UTI? That will make a dog pee more often.

The fact that he has a doggie door yet pees in the house is perplexing. When did you get the cocker puppy?

Have you tried crate training him? Just because he has a doggie door, doesn't mean he really knows what it's for. Maybe he forgets. I wouldn't call my Havanese (I got him about 10 months ago at 2 years old) is completely potty trained, but we are at a point where he does not mess in the house and he's earned the privilege of sleeping on the bed at night. But it took a lot of work to get there, and crate training has been the key thing. I went back to puppy basics and took him out after eating, sleeping, playing, and crated him if my eyes could not literally be on him. You mentioned that you find the spots when the deed has already been done - crate training will help because it will secure you dog when you cannot watch him.

Do you groom him yourself at home all of the time? I would suggest a designated spot for grooming like a grooming table or bathroom. When you are wanting to groom him, do NOT say things like: Are you ready? Who wants to look pretty? Come here, hey, come here, come over here, come here! - Just nonchalantly walk over and pick him up, take him over to the designated grooming area and groom him. When you are done, give him a treat and put him down. Either way, if your dog isn't really a lap dog, not much can change that. My Hav does not prefer to be in my lap, he prefers to lay down next to me. The only times he will be still in my lap is if we are in a new place and he feels a little nervous. I guess he feels more secure in my lap. Sometimes, even if he has the choice of sleeping on the bed, he will choose to sleep on the floor. Some Havs are more cuddly than others. I suspect with mine, he gets hot easily so prefers to not be in direct contact with too much body heat.

Another thing, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I would look into switching foods. Science Diet is not a good brand. I would go with a kibble that is grain-free. I would also stop adding canned food to his meals because that has more moisture and may add to his peeing. If you switch foods, do it very slowly to not upset his stomach. If you are not opposed to pre-made raw food, Nature's Variety is a great brand to try. I find that when my dogs are on raw food (whether pre-made or Prey Model Raw), they drink less water because the moisture content in the food is high. This means they pee less. I would also monitor the amount of water your Hav is drinking. I never leave water out all day. I will put it down, tell Louis to drink, then put it up. Note the time he drank, and take him out in 45 min to an hour. I don't let him have too much water right before bed. Everything is monitored. To some people this may seem like a lot of work, but well worth it to save myself from the frustration of pee in the house!

I hope this helps?
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilly53 View Post
I'm sorry to highjack your post but I need advice badly and I haven't been able to figure out how to start a new thread. Can someone help me?
Oliver is 2 years old this month. He still isn't house trained. There were periods of time where he would be good for almost a month and then I would find a dried up potty. He knows as soon as I look at it that he is responsible as he runs out the doggie door an hides. I have always been fairly gentle with him about this, but after 2 years I will have to admit to raising my voice. He is such a delicate and sensitive dog. As a puppy he was friendly and outgoing with people and dogs. That changed at about 1 year when he became very shy around anyone but me and very aggressive with other dogs. I have a 9 month old cocker spaniel and they are the best of buddies...playing and rough housing all day. I walk them 2 to 4 miles daily, and as mentioned he has a doggie door that is accessible at all times. I've tried everything I can think of....tying his leash to me for about a month, enclosing him in a doggie playpen, putting a gate up in the kitchen so he can't access the rest of the house. Nothing has worked, and he is peeing more often...several times a day. He's great at picking spots where I can't see it on the wood floors. Most of the time I don't find it until it's dried up. I never catch him in the act. He never poops, but I can't stand this much longer. He won't come near me unless I'm in bed because I have groomed him while on the couch, and I NEVER hurt him, but he won't be a lap dog for anything. I need to say I have had 12 dogs in my life....all housebroken within 2 weeks. But I never have had a Havenese, and wouldn't do this again for anything. I love him dearly and I'm afraid to find him another home because he may get abused. Can anyone help me? I really am desperate! Oh, he eats Science Diet small bites but also gets some of his brothers puppy food every day. I also add a little canned meat to his dry food. My back yard is getting badly burned and I can't figure out what to do as I thought only female dogs did that. So, Please help me figure out how to post, how to fix my dog, how to fix my yard and if you are really kind you can help me figure out my love life!!!

Dilly53
First, yelling at a dog, or even "raising your voice", or even "DISCUSSING" an accident after the fact is TOTALLY USELESS. Your dog does not "know he's responsible". He only knows that when ever you see pee on the floor, you get angry, so he is throwing calming signals. The only time it EVER makes sense to (even verbally) correct a dog for eliminating in the house is if you can CATCH HIM IN THE ACT.

I'm sorry, but the reason your dog is still having accidents at 2 years of age is that you haven't trained him. You've let him have at least as much experience going wherever he wants as he has had going where YOU want. Simply tying him to your waist for a month after two years of going anywhere he wants is simply not going to get the job done. As far as I'm concerned, dog doors are great for trained dogs. They make it easier for the humans, and the dogs like them. If we had a fenced yard, I'd put one in in a minute!!! But they are NOT a potty training tool!!! Dogs do NOT learn where they are supposed to go, and more importantly, where they are NOT supposed to go just because there is a dog door available to them.

The only way you will get this dog trained is to go back to the beginning, and do what should have been done when he was a small puppy. He will need to be confined to a small space unless he can be CLOSELY supervised. "Close supervision" means EYES ON HIM every single second!!! If you can't do that, he needs to be back in either a crate or an ex-pen. Then you need to TAKE him outside (not let him out through a dog door) and stay there with him to make sure he pees or poops. If he does, have a huge "party" give him a TON of treat, presented one at a time, then he gets to come in and enjoy some SUPERVISED freedom. If he doesn't go, he goes back into the crate or ex-pen, and you try again in an hour. (you'd use a shorter time for a young puppy, but an adult dog should be able to hold it for an hour) As he shows that he can stay accident free in a small space, enlarge the space, either to the entire kitchen, or a larger ex-penned area with an easy to clean floor. SLOWLY increase the area you trust him in. If he makes a mistake, it is YOUR fault... don't get mad at him. Simply go back to the next smaller space where he was successful for a while. (in his case, several weeks)

We're not talking days or weeks to solve this problem... with a dog who has been allowed to eliminate where ever he wants for two years, progress toward freedom needs to be VERY slow. Err on the side of caution. The goal is NO accidents EVER, from now on! This is going to be harder, and take longer than training a puppy, because you are not just establishing GOOD habits, but trying to eradicate BAD habits that are firmly entrenched by now.

As far as the problems with socialization are concerned, all puppies are friendly, and people who want their dogs to remain outgoing and friendly as adults need to WORK at it, ESPECIALLY through adolescence. Obviously, you are far past the sensitive period for socialization, where work on these issues is the easiest. At this point, if you want your dog to respond more positively to strangers and other dogs, you are probably going to have to work with a trainer who is well versed in dealing with reactive dogs if you want to solve this part of the problem. It will be long slow work, and you may never have a dog who is TOTALLY comfortable with other people and dogs, but you should be able to get to the point that you don't have to worry about aggression, IF you are willing to work diligently on it.

As far as not coming near you, it's not just the grooming that is an issue here. YOU have to work hard to develop a better relationship between the two of you... through play, treats and training. Remember, we're the ones with the bigger brains. It's up to us to figure out what our dogs are trying to tell us. Working on tricks together is a great way to do something fun with your dog. Take a class! You will both enjoy it! Some dogs, even our "velcro" Havanese, are just not "lap dogs". Each one is an individual, and you need to accept and love him for who he is. But you can certainly establish a close loving relationship with your dog if you are willing to work at it. If you want to read a really touching story about what can be done, even with a very damaged dog, take a look at this thread:

http://www.havaneseforum.com/showthr...2&goto=newpost

You don't have to read the whole thing... just read the first couple of pages and the last couple of pages. (though I bet you'll want to read the whole thing. )

As far as the grass is concerned, I can't help you there. Science Diet isn't a very good quality food, so I don't know whether that is part of the problem. But it's just not a problem I see in our yard. (OTOH, with 5+ acres, things are pretty spread out here) Sorry! Maybe someone else will have something to add on that front.

It may sound like I am picking on you, but I truly want to see you develop a better relationship with a dog that I suspect is a wonderful little guy, but is clearly badly misunderstood. Havanese are no harder than any other breed to train. In fact, the trainer I work with is constantly remarking on how fast Kodi learns. BUT - They need to be TAUGHT. They don't learn in a vacuum, any more than children do. If you aren't capable of embarking on a REALLY rigorous retraining program for your little man, I strong urge you to consider surrendering him to Havanese Rescue, where there are experienced Havanese foster homes that will be able to address his training needs and get him ready for a forever home. He would CERTAINLY not be abused in any way in Havanese Rescue!!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:18 PM   #6
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yeah you've got a lot going on . I have to agree with Karen. You've left things go too long. What troubles me most is your statement " He won't come near me unless I'm in bed because I have groomed him while on the couch, and I NEVER hurt him". It sounds like you have lost his trust. The time to get help with a trainer was ages ago , but it is still never too late. And that is what I recommend. If you want help finding one, email me privately.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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Thank you for all of your replies. I know I sounded a bit hysterical, as I had just cleaned up two spots. I have to say that I trained Oliver exactly as has been sugg ested. I started out with crate training and when he was able to make it through the night he was given the privilege of sleeping on the bed. He was confined in an x-pen all day and I took him out on a leash and trained him to go tinkle on command. After about 13 months he was allowed to be loose in the kitchen and family room area but the rest of the house was gated off. He would do very well with the doggie door for weeks on end until he would make a puddle in the house. This was going on long before my Cocker, Domino came on the scene. I had previously had an elderly cocker who had to be put down when Oliver was 18 months old. I got Domino, and he is called the wonder dog because I got him at 9 weeks and he has never had an accident since the first day and has never chewed on anything but his toys. I do try to have playtime with Oliver but his brother is always there, too, so I've been trying to get some time with him alone. I'll try changing the food and see if that helps. I've also got him confined to the kitchen again. I know many of you have had success with your Havs, but for me this has been a struggle. I do know how to train a dog with a doggie door and have never had a problem with my dogs using it. I guess Havs are just more sensitive, and I do see many requests from other owners regarding this issue. Thank you for your suggestions. I'll give them all a try.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
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If you never see your Hav peeing in the house, and only find dried up pee, how do you know it is always you Hav, and not the other dog as well. If your Hav has continues to have "accidents", he was never completely house trained. Every accident a dog is allowed to have, must be offset by MANY positive experiences.

There are many dogs of many breeds that are not properly trained. It is rarely the fault of the dog. It sounds like you really prefer Cockers, and that's absolutely fine. There is a breed for every person. But if that's the case, your little Hav would probably be better off in the hands of someone who appreciates the wonderful attributes of this very special breed.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #9
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It's not a breed specific problem. We have a house full of them without accidents. Any toy dog can be a problem if it did not develop the proper habits at an early age. Some of any toy dogs, especially if it came from a puppy mill, or even a sideline breeder, may become close to impossible to train.

I find Havanese to be the most intelligent, and easy to train, of any dogs I've ever encountered. I grew up with dogs, and am 62 years old now, so I've have had many dogs and all sorts of breeds. They do have to be trained though. They don't do anything simply because you want them to.

I always say they are easy to train for anyone who can pay attention. The problem is that paying attention is at a different level for every person.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:03 AM   #10
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I don't have any suggestion but hope things work out for you. I do hope you follow Dave's advice in getting a positive dog trainer.
I have 3 Havanese and they have never been destructive. They still have most of their toys from when they were wee pups. Their toys look brand new. They are all 100%housebroken and all use a doggy door. They are 8,7 and 6.
If your pup came from a pet store or puppy mill, it can be difficult to housebreaking them.
I feel bad that your dog is 2 years old and still confined. I hope you get help soon for his sake. It's not fair to the boy.
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