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Canine Behavior/German Shepherd with little to no Hygiene.


So I moved into a new home and as a warming gift a coworker gave me a German Shepherd puppy from his aunts gsd litter. So I would have a guard/family dog.
Well training from sitting to rolling over was great. She is well mannered around my 2 year old son. Never nipped playfully at him or play rough with him.
Always protective but my problem is the potty training. She will literally pee or poop then lay down right on top of it without any problem. Doesn't matter where in her crate or out. Even outside with so much space to run and figure out where she'd like to go. She sometimes won't even bother standing up to pee. If she's been playing all day and finally resting.
I've tried many techniques. I take her out every hour to 2 hours.
Crate training to her on a leash inside and outside with me always next to her to treats and praises. Had Her Checked by a vet To See If She Had A Infection Or Anything other then her behavior.
Took her to a basic trainer.

And my ex even tried doing it the old fashioned way by telling her no and showing her what she did bad before sending her out side. Never hitting her though.

That was after both vet and trainer said she lacked her natural hygiene to be clean. He wanted to prove their ideas were wrong and his way will. It didn't.
She's currently 7 months going on 8. and yes I've owned and trained my previous dogs but never had this problem.
Where bathing is needed every single day sometimes twice a day. And use oatmeal shampoo the vet told me to use so mot to dry out her skin.

Any ideas how to train on teaching hygiene?
Trying everything to not to give up on her.

I have never heard any veterinarian give such a bad evaluation of a dog's incontinence problem and inability to learn house training.  FIND ANOTHER VET.  And the trainer...well, let me say no more about THAT.  Dump him/her.

A dog that urinates while lying down has an incontinence problem most likely caused by harm done to the bladder during spaying.  NO veterinarian is going to admit to that, not even the new one (because of the silence is golden among professionals rule).  Unfortunately, this particular bitch (from someone's Aunt, a total amateur "breeder") may have spent her early weeks in filthy conditions.  A bitch that has whelped (called a dam) needs a constantly pristine immediate "den" - a lot of work.  Such a bitch will, at first, stimulate urination and defecation in her puppies and then, when their eyes open, push them out of the "nest" into a surrounding area (well papered and kept immaculate) to urinate/defecate, thereby teaching the puppies to keep their immediate living space clean.  A dam who has none of the amenities provided by a caring and knowledgeable breeder may not be able to accomplish this (puppy mill dogs are notoriously difficult to house train, it can literally take months, even longer).  So puppies learn to lie in their own urine and feces but NOT urinate WHILE LYING DOWN.  

NEVER push a dog's nose into or near urine or feces, it only teaches the dog that urine and feces MAKE YOU ANGRY (even if you think you aren't presenting as angry) and the dog loses trust because this is counter to its culture.  Crate training needs to be eliminated: if this bitch is urinating while lying down, she is incontinent or suffering some serious behavioral abnormality that is the result of : COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION, or SERIOUS ORTHOPEDIC ISSUES.  The GSD is notorious for serious orthopedic issues.  The "squatting" required to urinate can cause severe pain in a dog with hip displasia and a puppy casually bred by someone who is not going for type and temperament has not done the screening necessary to disqualify breeding stock that present with it upon x-ray and observation by an orthopedic specialist.

Your bitch requires an experienced veterinarian who can observe gait for possible visible orthopedic problems, might want x-rays, and for that you need a veterinary behaviorist.  If you live within reasonable driving distance of a veterinary teaching college, call and make an appointment with a veterinary behaviorist.  Otherwise, see this:

If you are still unable to obtain one, Google Veterinary internists within a reasonable distance, or very large veterinary practice with specialists onboard.

Meanwhile: the dog cannot be allowed outdoors unless on leash.  If she is deliberately defecating and rolling in her own feces, this can be totally eliminated by a quick jog with a happy attitude for a few feet and a high value food reward (not dog food: hot dog chunk, fat free string cheese).  If she has chosen a specific place to urinate while lying down, feed her twice daily ON THAT SPOT.  If she defecates indoors, pick up house tab (she should wear this lightweight leash only when you are at home), pick up poop, calmly without eye contact or words take her outdoors to a specific place you have chosen in your yard for her to eliminate, put down the poop, act like a lunatic (i.e., say out loud "OH what wonderful poop!") bring dog back in.  Notify immediate neighbors so they won't send the paddy wagon LOLOL.

I want you to know three things:

1.  NO ONE should EVER give any dog or puppy to ANYONE for ANY REASON except that the recipient really wants that dog.  That woman was dumping her puppies and she didn't care where or to whom.

2.  YOU DO NOT WANT A GUARD DOG.  You want a dog that is happy to see EVERYONE and EVERYTHING, all the time, on or off your property : a friendly dog that will let just about anyone talk to her and even, if you allow it based upon your observation of the person, pet her.

GUARD DOGS end up with their owners needing to guard themselves from their dogs.  A stable, highly socialized, well trained (positive reinforcement only) dog of any breed, but certainly breed type such as GSD, is the BEST guard dog because when and if (God forbid) you or a family member is in SERIOUS JEOPARDY OF HARM that dog will ACT with no hesitation.

3.  If someone is intent upon entering your home, while you ARE AT HOME and knowing there is a LARGE DOG ON THE PREMISES, they will shoot the dog first.

The GSD is smart, easily trained, needs intellectual stimulation, calm and EXPERIENCED OWNERSHIP, heavy socialization and is a deterrent for creeps who want to get to your kids or get to your home to steal something fast and run.  NO DOG is any guaranty of safety when a psychopath or sociopath or someone high on drugs is involved.

Look for the veterinary specialist.  Confine the dog at night and when you are not at home IN THE KITCHEN with a comfortable bed and a Buster Cube (or other such round, rolling toys that dispense a portion of food when the dog noses it around).  NO CRATE, it's not helping; in fact, it's making things worse.

I'd appreciate if you'd use followup feature once you've had another veterinarian (an expert) put an "eye" on your bitch. Also, it is going to take enormous PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE AND KINDNESS to finally help this animal to understand WHAT YOU WANT.  If her urinary incontinence continues (and there is medication for this), doggie diapers help to limit it.  If you take her out too often, you're confusing her.  OUTSIDE means PEE or POOP right now unless you take her off your property to socialize her.  I have seen situations like this and it is resolvable.  

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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