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Dog Training/3 year old house training problem.


Let me start by saying I'm sorry for how long this is. I have had Belle for about three years now, she was about four months old when I got her. She is a dachshund/Chihuahua mix, she is not spayed. She is great with the kids, cats, and my older (15yrs) dog, but I am at my wits end trying to house train this dog. I've never had such a problem training a dog before. I've got a fenced back yard which she won't got out into at all if it's dark, even with the light on. I went out and bought a large crate that she sleeps in because I can't trust her to not go in the house even though I don't go to bed until around midnight and my husband gets home about 2am from work. Never failed she would go in the house. I go outside with her and she just stands there, won't go into the yard even if I walk around. At this point I can hardly ever get her to go out at all. I open her cage and say come on lets go outside and she runs under my bed. If I pick her up and take her out she won't go potty, but as soon as I bring her in she goes on the floor. It used to be under the table or in the kids room where I wasn't, but now she'll go right in front of me. If I catch her and grab her to take her outside she pees all the way to the door. If I just leave her in the yard she barks and barks. I tried leaving her out for about an hour and she barked the entire time and still didn't go. Help! I don't want to break my kids heart by giving her up, but I also can't have a dog that's going potty all over my house. Thank you in advance for any help.

Holly, is Belle always afraid of being outside? Does she ever enjoy taking walks?  I'm wondering if the cause of her housetraining issues are really fear-based.  If that's the case, then those issues have to be addressed first.  She won't ever potty outside if she's too afraid to be out there.

Before releasing her from her crate in the morning, attach a leash or long lightweight line and take her out front (instead of the backyard).  Her bladder should be full.  Give her 3 minutes to urinate.  You should not interact with her in any way until she potties.  If she does, then praise and give a small treat.  If she doesn't, put her back in the crate and try again in a half hour.  

Limit her freedom in the house so she doesn't have free reign to pee wherever she wants to.  Close doors, put up baby gates, use her crate or exercise pen to confine her when you can't monitor 100% of the time.  

Keep a log of her potty events and set a timer so that someone takes her out at least every hour when you're home.

If she's too afraid to be outside, then I might suggest training her to eliminate in a doggie litter box type arrangement.  You can google these to find them.

Please let me know if you have follow-up comments or questions. I feel like I need more information to give further advice.

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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