re-potty train a dog?
August 27, 2009 10:37 PM   Subscribe

Petfliter: How do I get a dog that was potty trained to be potty trained again?

My girlfriend and I found a very well behaved dog outside of our house two weeks ago and have been taking care of her since. She was potty trained for the first week or so and then we left her for a weekend (but not left alone) and came back to find her peeing on the bathroom floor when we'd go to bed at night. Since this dog was potty trained, does that mean we have to potty train her again? We've concluded that she has separation anxiety (she follows us around the house wherever we go, cries when she can't sleep with us. What do ya'll think we should do?

p.s. the dog is an approx. 12 month old red-nosed pitbull.
posted by defmute to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
Re-crate train?
posted by wongcorgi at 11:12 PM on August 27, 2009

Ideally you'd catch her in the act, take her outside to do it, and reward her with positive attention and/or treats when she does so.

Given that it sounds like it's happening while you sleep, perhaps a quick walk just before turning in so she can empty out her bladder more comprehensively is in order. You might find that something as simple as closing the bathroom door so she can't get in there is enough.

If you do manage to catch her in the act a commanding "no", then move her outside and reward her when she wees there should suffice. Don't ever do anything like rubbing her nose in it, at best she won't understand what you mean, at worst you'll give her a complex.

And do what you can to eradicate any smell of her wee in the bathroom as much as possible, cleaning with white vinegar should do the trick.

What have you done to find her owner? If nothing, what will you do if the owner tracks her down and retrieves her once you've grown attached? You'll be heart broken.
posted by The Monkey at 12:30 AM on August 28, 2009

When you found her did you take her to a vet? Even if you did you might need to take her again. There could be a medical reason that might need to be looked at.
posted by Elmore at 5:25 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

The peeing likely isn't a house training issue, so much as a separation issue.

Crate Training may not work in this situation - you're going to have to deal with the separation issues.

More here
posted by bitdamaged at 5:25 AM on August 28, 2009

This doesn't sound like a potty-training issue to me, but rather a separation anxiety issue. You need to address the separation anxiety. Dogs with SA can react in a variety of different ways when separated from their owners, from destructive behaviors (digging, chewing, etc.) to howling to urinating. The link bitdamaged provided is a good start for learning about SA and some basic techniques for dealing with it. You might also want to consult local dog trainers with experience in working with dogs with SA. Good luck!
posted by geeky at 7:13 AM on August 28, 2009

Seconding taking her to the vet. This is a classic UTI symptom. If you haven't yet, now is the time to do so. Female dogs are prone to UTI's.

If no UTI is found a solution may be to restrict water access two/three hours before bed and being religious about taking her out/letting her out to pee--and making SURE she pees--before going to bed.

Also, she doesn't have separation anxiety. She has normal dog behavior if she is following you around the house and whines because she can't sleep with you. Especially if she was abandoned/experienced rehoming only two weeks ago.
posted by hecho de la basura at 7:57 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thirding a vet visit. When my puppy was giving me fits about housebreaking it turned out that 90% of the problem was due to a UTI.
posted by workerant at 11:36 AM on August 28, 2009

She pees in the bathroom - the best possible place to pee as far as cleanup goes. Really sounds like either a UTI or that she's getting overexcited and not able to hold it (maybe stress about not being able to sleep in the bed with you?).

It's also possible that she needs a longer walk before bedtime.

(Ignore this if the bathroom is the only carpeted room in the house.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:52 PM on August 28, 2009

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