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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

Thank you so much for your advice regarding counter surfing. I just now push everything to the back and leave nothing to eat on the counters. I also got a squirt bottle and zapped him with it twice and that seems to work.

Anyhow, my new issue is Strider's piddling in the house. When we first brought him home 3+ weeks ago, I wasn't sure if he was truly housebroken so I bought him an EXTRA LARGE black wire crate. You could probably fit two of him in there.

My initial plan was to keep him in there while he sleeps and during the day for the first week, then gradually give him free reign of the kitchen. Now, he LOVES his crate. He never so much as even whimpers when he goes in there. He knows when we are getting ready for bed and he willingly walks in (usually around 9:30 p.m.) When I get up at 6:30 a.m., I immediately take him outside to potty...and it's a full on uriniation, not just marking his territory type deal. Then, he gets fed around 6:45 and we take him out again and then back in the crate until 4:00 when my son gets home to walk him.

Now, we've listened outside for a good long while to hear if he barks, whines, etc...which he does none of that. I leave him with his toys, his favorite blanket and a small nylabone chewable (sometimes other treats as well).

Ok, so now you have the background...Strider, initially, slept in his crate for the first 3 days, then we tried having him sleep with my 12 year old son. Which worked pretty well for the first week. But, then around 2:00 in the a.m., Strider would start pawing at my son's door wanting to get out. My son would try to ignore him, but it didn't work. So, I would bring him into my room and he'd continue to whine. Then he peed in my bathroom. And other random times, he will pee around the house...never in the same spot. We just took him to the vet -- no medical issues.

So we put him back into the crate at night because I can't have my 7th grader getting up every single night. Strider went happily back into the crate and sleeps there.

Sorry this is so long....LOL...so my issue is this: Strider is in the crate from 9:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. (which he sleeps the entire time - and I usally have to wake him up to take him out in the a.m.), then he goes right back in at 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. when my son gets home. Then back into the crate at 9:30. We take him on long, brisk, running walks to burn off energy and we enjoy him on the couch, pets, etc. But when I did the math today, it is more like 18 hours in the crate. :( I do feel bad about that, but with his random peeing (and one or two poops), I just don't trust him now. i want to give him reign of the kitchen at least where there's no carpet. Should we start with perhaps an hour while we are gone? Or one day to see what he does? And how will I know if he's truly housebroken because, truthfully, I'd love to give him free reign of the house if I could.

by the way, he's about 4 years old. thanks
 

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It's best to give him his freedom gradually. Limited area, close supervision at first. The point is to not give him the chance to make an error, until you are sure he is 100% clear on the concept. He CANNOT mess in the house if he is properly supervised, so if a mess does appear you need to take a rolled up newspaper and whack yourself with it. Then gradually increase the size of the area, the time he is unsupervised (not both at once). Once he's completely reliable while you are home, try a short period alone and see how he reacts.

It's quite possible that he feels more secure in the crate, and being loose on his own could be a stressor that causes him to pee.
 

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We have had Anabelle for 5 months and still have to give her treats for using the bathroom outside at least once every other day or she "forgets" and starts going inside again.

Have you considered a dog door if you have a secure fenced yard? Our dogs have free reign day and night and let themselves out through the dog door so we generally don't have to worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's best to give him his freedom gradually.
It's quite possible that he feels more secure in the crate, and being loose on his own could be a stressor that causes him to pee.
That's what I was thinking. He loves being in his crate...he never, ever protests. I thought his running back and forth from the kitchen to the sliding glass door or from my bedroom door to my bathroom door was an indication that he had to go. But then I'd take him out, he wouldn't go, then come right back in to running around. Then again, he may be burning off his own energy by running, but I'm constantly worried that his running means he has to go. LOL...

He has peed/pooped in plain view WHILE being supervised so I'm at a loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have you considered a dog door if you have a secure fenced yard?
Unfortunately, i don't have a fenced yard. We back up to the green belt and the city (Peachtree City, Georgia) has issues with fencing, etc. So we have to always have him on a leash.
 

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You can look into a petsitting/walking service or doggie day care which will give him more more opportunity for exercise.
 

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on space
On need to keep in mind actuivity creates pee. from Housetraining Your Puppy
A 12 wk puppy who is busy playing may need to urinate every 15-20 minutes, whereas a resting puppy might go for an hour, and a sleeping puppy can go 8 hours at night. Activity makes urine! Activity makes urine! Repeat this 10 times, slowly. This is a very important lesson for new puppy owners. [/url] the same is true of adult dogs.
When a dog is crate confined it ussually sleeps as such produces less urine so it can go longer time before needing to go. When the dog is more active it is going to need to pee more frequently. This may be part of the issue. You have two large streches of time in which the dog must hold it. A lit abit of activity during this time may produce just enough more urine that makes the needed duration impossible. If you can shorten the night time duration from 9 hrs to 8 hours you might have different results.

Strider, initially, slept in his crate for the first 3 days, then we tried having him sleep with my 12 year old son.
how did you make the transistion. You do not want to just move the dog to your sons room. The transition should work something like this. Dog in crate move to sons room for a couple week. In you go to bed after son then you can start to open the crate door after the dog is asleep and see what happens. If this goes well for a couple week you can try dog in crate but door remains open. Once and only once this is successful for some time can you try dog in sons room without crate.

For the day time you can do something similar Placeing the crate in a small room in which an accident is easily cleaned. plus the dog crate with the door open or removed. I however would not do so without making arrangement to have a dog walker come in once a day to take the dog out to reduce the time the dog must hold it. You can then slowly look at increasing time Dog walker comes progressively later in the day and adding more space. but never both at the same time.

thought his running back and forth from the kitchen to the sliding glass door or from my bedroom door to my bathroom door was an indication that he had to go.
This is often the gist of many housetraining accidents rather than the dog inability or understanding to hold it. It is not uncoomon for a dog to never find a relieable signal (cue) to use to indicate to the humans of the household it need to go. It is IMHO much better to teach the dog a signal to use. See the following two articles by combineing them both you can teach the dog to ring a bell as a signal it need to potty rather than simply a signal it need to go out i.e walk/play etc.

House Training: Ring My Bell!

Insights Into Puppy Mouthing
 

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He has peed/pooped in plain view WHILE being supervised so I'm at a loss.
Interrupt him and take him out, so that he is not successful at relieving himself outside and can be rewarded for going in the appropriate place. With observation and practice, you should start to be able to recognize the signs that he is about to go so that you can get him out BEFORE he starts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, this morning will be the true test. I left his crate door open with access to the kitchen. all food items have been put away and the doors to the cleaning supplies under the sink have been securely fastened. There's no way to turn on the stove burners (in case he accidentally hits them while counter surfing) because he needs to push and turn. I put the trash can in the middle of the dining room table with all the chairs pushed in.

I can't afford a dog walker every day (the cheapest I found was $16 per day and that's simply out of the question). Strider loves to sleep in his crate so we gave up on the idea of him sleeping in my son's room.

I hope there are no accidents today or I'll have to make his access area smaller.
 
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