Help me help my dog: Potty training edition
June 14, 2014 1:31 PM Subscribe
I love my dog, but I am at the end of my rope. He's a sweet young chihuahua mix but can't seem to master potty training. I found him as a stray when he was about a year old. He was likely horribly abused: emaciated, terrified of people, cowered/shivered when approached, had never eaten out of a bowl, covered in ticks in a very urban area, and so on. He may have never lived inside. After three years, he's much rehabilitated but still struggles with house training.
posted by stillmoving to Pets & Animals (15 answers total)
The good: he is sweet, cuddly, and never has bitten or been aggressive. He has a great doggie personality. We love him.
But: he pees and poops in the house. He has ruined the hardwood floors in our rental apartment--this will cost thousands of dollars to fix, which I can't afford. Sometimes he's scared of his leash and won't go for walks, and hides underneath furniture. He will go for walks and not pee at all.
What we have tried: I've never yelled at him, rubbed his nose in the pee, or raised a hand (let alone hit him). We leave pee pads out for him, which he uses with mixed success. Sometimes pees on them, other times pees elsewhere. A routine schedule is not possible due to my irregular work hours, but he does go out a few times a day. I've tried treat training him when he potties outside, walking him longer, heaping praise on with each successful potty, etc., but nothing seems to help. We've even tried a dog walker, but the dog will hide under furniture when anyone comes and the dog walker can't get him out of the house. Sometimes he goes potty on command, so it doesn't seem like an issue of non-comprehension--so what gives?
We're hoping to move to a place with a yard, but live in an area with a really tight rental market and very few yards. I've also likely compromised this rental as a "good" rental reference, so I'm nervous about how we'll be perceived as applicants in future housing (or even if our current landlord will sue us for damages, as I imagine the floor refinishing will exceed the cost of our deposit). As much as I love the guy, I am struggling with the idea of dealing with the accidents and hiding for another 10+ years, and have thought about surrendering him. I don't want to do that, and never thought I would, but I'm really at the end of my rope.
Any thoughts, recommendations, experiences, etc. are greatly appreciated.