How do I housetrain a terrified rescue puppy? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
Puppy Area * Do not advertise dogs for sale here*

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
aeh7581's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 6
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
How do I housetrain a terrified rescue puppy?

Hello all!

I'm new to the Havanese Forum. I've been reading all the helpful tips on having a new puppy, but I have a specific question and I hope you can help.

My husband and I adopted a new 6-month old puppy. She's a rescue and spent the first four or five months of her life in a puppy mill. As a result, she's terrified of humans and has no idea how to be on leash. We live in an apartment and letting her "out back" to a fenced yard isn't in the cards for us right now. If she's going potty outside, we're with her, and she's on leash.

I've tried for the last two days to take her outside and have her potty in our dog potty area. Not only does she spend that whole time trying to run away from me (tugging on the leash and whatnot), but she won't go to the bathroom - it's like we're too close. She also won't take treats from either one of us, so treating her (even if she did go, which she doesn't so far) isn't going well.

We're both wanting to be patient and not pressure her. We're just not sure how to get the potty training jump started when she's terrified of us! Needless to say, she's peed and pooped inside our apart,ment multiple times in an area where she can't see us. It's like she's waiting until she's finally out of sight and the second we're not looking, she goes.

Any tips? Thank you so much!
aeh7581 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 04:52 PM
Senior Member
 
Tom King's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Gaston, N.C.
Posts: 3,075
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 21 Times in 21 Posts
I'd start at the beginning, much like we do with puppies when they are 3 weeks old. Get an expen for her that she can't jump out of but you can easily reach and step into. Depending on the dog, a 24" should be enough. At her age, I'd get the large size Purina litter box simply because it has high sides and the litter won't get scattered out of it easily.

In the expen she needs to have just enough room for her bed and the litter box. The bed only should occupy enough room for her to lie down comfortably in but no more. The expen will need to be folded down to a 2x4 foot size and the extra space taken up by something like an upside down trashcan or something (I use a wooden box I made just the right size-this is our second stage setup but will be needed here).

This is just so that she learns that there is a proper place for pottying and can easily be converted to outside only later if you like. Praise her when you see her potty in her box.

Hopefully, pretty soon she will use the box rather than soil her bed. The biggest problem with being raised on a grate is that they never develop the habit to hold it. Once she is using the box, you can progress from there. We use "wood heater pellets" instead of the litter sold for dogs. Try not to get any that is mostly oak since it crumbles apart too easily and also has a smell from the tanins in it. We like best the pellets made from smooth grained hardwoods like aspen, maple, sweet gum, etc. Equine pine pellets also work, but they have a bit of a smell to them too.

Since she is not comfortable with you yet, the more you can ignore her when you are around and she is in the expen, the better it will be for her. If you sit near her pen even with your back to her and make no eye contact, she will gradually feel more and more comfortable with you. There is no timeline for this. Don't rush anything.

NO baby talk. Only talk in a normal voice. Walk normally, don't tiptoe around hunched over. Don't reach down for her, but come in with your hands below her chin level.

The most important time for her will be just you being there and being the one that feeds her. She needs for you to be the strong one. If you feel anxiety, she will too.

Keep us updated and good luck.

Last edited by Tom King; 11-09-2010 at 04:55 PM.
Tom King is offline  
post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Tom King's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Gaston, N.C.
Posts: 3,075
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 21 Times in 21 Posts
Especially in a case like this, the less you talk, the more she will listen.

Your biggest training tools are the Ignore and the Wait. Ignore unwanted behavior. When you start giving commands, give the command once and wait for the desired behavior Praising the Instant you get the desired behavior. No talking or moving while you are waiting.
Tom King is offline  
 
post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:19 PM
Dave T
 
davetgabby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 10,726
Submit Photo: 3
Photo Submissions 112 Times in 110 Posts
Welcome. good stuff Tom. Then I would unquestionably get in a behaviorist. A.S.A. P.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

Last edited by davetgabby; 11-09-2010 at 05:32 PM.
davetgabby is offline  
post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:22 PM
Joe Cool!
 
morriscsps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Metrowest Massachusetts
Posts: 2,059
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 9 Times in 9 Posts
Wow, you and your sweetie are heroes. The stories about puppy mill rescues are so sad.

Tom's advice sounds perfect. Poor little puppy. Besides being terrified, is she okay? healthy? What is her name? Any pics yet or do you think the flash will scare her? We understand.

good luck.

TTFN,
Pam

morriscsps is offline  
post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
aeh7581's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 6
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
This is a GREAT idea! It teaches her a place to potty without having to involve the leash - or us, since she doesn't seem to like us there. We'd like to transition to outside with the leash, but until she trusts us, I don't see that happening. One last question - how many hours per day should I leave her in the expen? It seems mean to put her in the expen and leave her until she's consistently using the box - it takes awhile, right? Then again, I'm a new owner and probably much more indulgent than necessary. Just wondering if this is a "bedtime and home alone" thing, or if she goes in and stays in until she's using the box.

Thanks again!
aeh7581 is offline  
post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:59 PM
Senior Member
 
Kathie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SE Georgia
Posts: 4,515
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 12 Times in 12 Posts
I wish I had been on the forum and had gotten Tom's advice when we got Abby. It sounds like what we "should" have done and had less turmoil during the process, too!

I think your puppy will feel that is her "safe place" and I would leave her there until she shows some signs of wanting to interact with you. It will be much harder for you than for her! When I got Abby I just wanted to hold her and play with her and she wouldn't have anything to do with us. If you can be patient while she's adjusting to a whole new environment and way of life then you will be rewarded - it just takes lots of time.

Kathie, Abby & McGee's Mom
Kathie is offline  
post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
aeh7581's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 6
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here's her picture. The one with the flash... she pretty much looks scared like that unless she's sleeping. We're taking name suggestions still -we have it narrowed down to a few (Cricket, Poppy, and Piper), but no winners yet.

She's healthy other than being emotionally jumbled. I just wish she could tell how much my husband and I love her already. Nothing to fear here!

Kathie! I need your experience - no one I know has a rescue and all the websites seem to be geared toward training a socialized puppy. Any ideas about what I should do with the leash training? Or anything else for that matter? Ha! I love that we saved a rescue, but it's a little overwhelming at first. Any wisdom to pass along would be greatly appreciated.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg scared.jpg (2.03 MB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg NoFlash.jpg (935.6 KB, 10 views)
aeh7581 is offline  
post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 06:30 PM
Senior Member
 
Tom King's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Gaston, N.C.
Posts: 3,075
Submit Photo: 0
Photo Submissions 21 Times in 21 Posts
She needs to stay in the expen any time you cannot watch her 100%. After she goes potty is the best time to let her out and is a great reward for doing it right. It sounds like she has been scolded for doing it wrong before, so anything negative from you is just going to make progress go backwards. You will get to understand each other as this time goes by.

The biggest problem is the expectation of owners to want the puppy to reason things out. At this point, reasoning is not even in the picture. Now it's all about establishing good habits. The first habit is to learn to hold it, even if it's just a few steps from the bed to the box. The steps can get gradually longer but it needs to be a progression from what works.

Remember that these dogs are not only very intelligent, but very much habit driven. Anything they do twice will become a habit. Your job is to set things up so she will not make the same mistake twice.
Tom King is offline  
post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 06:45 PM
Metrowest, MA
 
krandall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 23,470
Submit Photo: 6
Photo Submissions 296 Times in 294 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeh7581 View Post
This is a GREAT idea! It teaches her a place to potty without having to involve the leash - or us, since she doesn't seem to like us there. We'd like to transition to outside with the leash, but until she trusts us, I don't see that happening. One last question - how many hours per day should I leave her in the expen? It seems mean to put her in the expen and leave her until she's consistently using the box - it takes awhile, right? Then again, I'm a new owner and probably much more indulgent than necessary. Just wondering if this is a "bedtime and home alone" thing, or if she goes in and stays in until she's using the box.

Thanks again!
If she's that afraid of you, she will probably very quickly feel MUCH more comfortable in her pen than out... Remember, that's all she's used to. It's a big scary world out there! My guess is she's terrified loose in the apartment with these two big people that she doesn't trust yet.

Also, EVERY time you let her have an accident someplace else (which can't be avoided when she's loose at this point) you are setting back the time line on her being reliably house trained.

Edited to add:

Oops! Should have read to the end of the thread first!

With your patience and caring, she'll come around, but it will take some time with a scared, puppy mill puppy. She's lucky to have found you!


Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
(ARCHMX Starborn Kodak Moment CGC, NTD, BN, PCD, NA, NAJ, CDX-CCH, RE, RLV, RL1X3, RL2X4, RL3X3...
plus Starborn's Picture Perfect & Nauti Herd Compact Flash RN, CGC, NTD, SN-C, RL1)







Last edited by krandall; 11-09-2010 at 06:49 PM.
krandall is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome