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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings!

I am in need of assistance with a Basset Hound urination problem. We have an 18 year old young lady who moved in with us 3 months ago who is like a daughter to us. My wife and I worked youth ministry in our church for many years and she grew up there along with our son and daughter. Her parents went through a divorce and the dad is out of the picture and her mom remarried and moved out of state so she and her 6 year old Basset Hound “Gus” (Augustus Longfellow) moved in with us about 3 months ago. He is a loveable goofball of a dog and our Miniature Schnauzer loves him and they have a good time together and we all get a kick out of Gus. But I have to hose my patio off 2-5 times a day due to the urination of Gus. I have had dogs of different breeds for over 30 years and know how to train and work with dogs, but I have never ran into this kid of struggle. I work out of my home when I am not out in the field (I am a home appraiser by trade) so I work with Gus daily. Gus is house broken and I have worked with him to use our slope area for relieving himself. As long as someone walks outside with him, he automatically goes up in the slope area with no problems. But when he goes out by himself (we have a doggie door so the dogs have free roam inside and out) he will urinate on the brick support posts of the patio cover as well as the cinderblock planters. I have tried various things to spray/sprinkle on the area that he has been urinating on with no change in behavior. I have spoken to the folks at the pet store and done online research, but I have yet to come across anything that has worked. I have found that Basset Hounds are very stubborn and independent as well as a bit absent minded as they move into their “Mosey Mode” as I call it as he strolls around the property. If someone comes out the door when he is urinating, he quickly runs up to the slope area, so he knows where he is expected to go.

This is more than just a urination problem because if we cannot get him to change, then we are going to have to find another home for him and this is something that we don’t want to do for the young lady’s sake. We do a lot of ministry out of our home with various groups and events held here and our patio is used considerably for that. So the persistent urination and smell is not conducive for that. We do have a Basset Rescue in our area so we know that we will be able to find a good home for Gus, but I am out of options here. I am willing to do anything reasonable to try and keep Gus here with us, but we cannot continue to have the urination on the patio as it affects our ministry

Thanks for your help.
 

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If someone comes out the door when he is urinating, he quickly runs up to the slope area, so he knows where he is expected to go.


Quite the contray IF he knew where to go he would do so, What he knows is if he is on the patio and someone comes out he gets yelled at ...etc.


You did not mention a couple of thing that could have a profound impact.

1. Do free roaming neighbor dog, cat have access to the patio area ?

2. Does the problem occur regardless of weather condition or only when poor ie coldm rainning etx

3. What was the environment like before he came to live with you. Urban, was he expected to pee on concrete and asphalt. If so it is likely he has developed a substrate preference. That is he is accustom to the feel of concrete and asphalt under his feet when he goes. This is one critical aspect of house training developing in the dog a prefference for an aceptable substrate. This can easlily be a case in which what once was an acceptable substrate no longer is. The problem and diffculty with retraining a adult dog a new substrate preference is you have to overcome years of previous training. This mean it often takes longer to retrain than it did to train him the first time. The only way this can be accomplished is to prevent the dog from self reinforcing by peeing in an unacceptable location. That is if you have a dog door he must be constantly supervise or confined when that is not practical. He can not be allowed acess to the dog door on his own without supervision. It also help to change the dogs mind set to relate peeing on the slope with a positive reward. To do this the reward must be given while he is going not after he finishes. For basset food is general much more highly regarded than praise or pets and therefore more effective.



Housetraining
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mikey,

Thanks for the response.

The urinating is the same rain or shine and Gus has not shown any adversity to the colder weather with low's in the 40's and 50's at night and days between 60's and low 80's over the past 3 months. We live in So. Calif. in a suburban area in a tract home at the end of a culdesac with our yard fenced. So we have no other dogs that can come into our yard but do have dogs that live on the east side and rear on the south side on the other side of the fence. Due to the dogs, we do not have any cats roaming into the yards. We have a concrete and brick patio with wood cover with an ascending slope on both the rear (south) and west side with cinder block retaining walls. The slope is covered with ornamental grass as well a number of trees. Access to the slope is in the south east corner of the patio with pavers and wood steps in the ground making it easily accessible to the dogs and Gus has no issues getting up and down from the area and goes up there with our Schnauzer and visits through the fence with the neighbor dogs and roams around. We have considered closing the doggie door to the dogs during certain periods, but with our family rather active with kids doing work/school/church as well as my wife and I working and involved in a number of things, many times there can be long periods when the dogs are alone during the day so it is not feasible.

Part of the problem I do believe is Gus' previous environments where he had lived through out his life. He lived in a typical home for about 2 years with a concrete patio and grass and he urinated on the grass and not the concrete. After the divorce he lived in a mobile home that had a gated yard with grass and dirt for a few years and had issues urinating on the porch to the point that they had to rebuild it in order to remove the smell. He lived in a condo for about 3 months with a concrete patio and grass beyond, but would urinate on the concrete. He also lived for a few months in a more rural environment with no concrete but dirt and grass along with a few other dogs as well as some horses. So due to his previous environment(s) I am sure that he is a bit confused. But we have worked on this with Sondra, Gus's person, and he sleeps in her room at night with the door closed and when he whines in the morning she takes him outside and makes sure that he goes up on the slope. So the times that Gus urinates on the patio is typically during the day when people are not home.

Gus gets lots of verbal praise and petting when he goes up on the slope though we do not give him food as a reward. Like I said, I have dealt with dogs for 30 years and have dealt with potty training both indoors and out with a number of breeds. But dealing with Gus has been the most difficult I have encountered as he is the first Basset that I have dealt with and he is definetly a different animal.
 

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I know you said that you and your family are very busy but can't you make up a schedule where someone is available to take Gus out on a regular basis? How long is this dog left alone? Most dogs that are housebroken are able to hold themselves for a number of hours. Or is there some way that you can gate off most of the patio, leaving just enough room for him to walk through to the slope. When he does go on the slope, throw a party for him. I think it would be a real shame for you to give this young lady's dog to rescue for this problem and really, rescues are often overwhelmed.
 

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Blocking off the patio would be do-able but not practical as the span would be about 30' and would hinder other access. As for having people in the home during the day, some days we will have someone here all day or people in and out while other days everyone is out of the house by 7am and not back home until after 7pm, so it is a bit hit and miss. I am working with Gus using praise AND kibble as a treat when I take him out and will have Sondra and others do likewise. I also came across a suggestion to spray White Vinegar around the places where Gus urinates as Bassets dislike the vinegar more so than bleach or other over the counter substances. But since we are expecting some very heavy rain over the next few days, that will be something to look more into after the weather passes. So we will continue to work on Gus and see how things go.

Thanks for the response.
 

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If I might make a suggestion, use a treat that he doesn't normally get, something special for rewards. One thing that I like to use is dried out hot dogs that I cook in the microwave. Our dogs love them and they really get their attention.
For days when people are not available maybe you could have someone come in and walk the dogs instead of allowing them access to the dog door at least until you can solve the problem of Gus peeing on the concrete. Just a suggestion.
 

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It is going to be impossible to teach him the appropriate behavior if there are a number of time he is allowed to act inapropriately especial since the the act of peeing is self rewarding to most dogs. So every time he pee on the patio he is also rewarded. The best you can accomplish is a dog that goes up the slope when your home and pees on the patio when your gone. It is imparative to limit his access to the patio.

alternative include

Moving the dog door location so it exits to the slope area directly or via another area but the patio;s access can be block.
Keep in mind dog doors can just as easily be but trough side walls as they can through a door.

Us a crate or other method of confinement. For times of long abscenses hire a dogwalker/sitter neighbors kid to take gus out periodical during the day.

Have someone in the household take gus with them

Doggy day care or boarding for the day no one is home


No matter how consistent you are when home unless you break the cycle when your gone you can ever expect to fix the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the input. it is appreciated.

The doggie door is located in the sliding patio door. By structural design there is no other access point closer to the slope area on the house to where I could put a "through the wall" door. Even if there was, that is not an option as I am not willing to put a hole in the wall. Setting up a dog run on the side of the house is out due to our high heat that we have during the spring/summer and that our backyard is south facing. Crating is not an option either nor am I willing to pay for a service to come in or impose on a neighbor. We have to deal with this with our family to make sure that Gus gets taken out regularly while we are home and try to make sure that we get someone home during the day in between things. We also have to deal with Sondra's responsibility to take care of her dog and be part of the process and if she is willing to put in the time necessary to do so as I am currently handling the lion's share of it. So we will continue to work through things with Gus and see how much progress we can make. But there are limits to how much we can allow a pet to dictate things in the household and if we have to let him go we will get him a good home.
 
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