HELP! I have a 2-year-old Shih Tzu who is very well housetrained at our home, but goes without discretion inside other people's homes. This happened when we visited my boyfriend's parents' house a few weeks ago, and again when she stayed with friends over the weekend while we were out of town. In a few weeks, she will be staying with a cousin for three weeks while we are on vacation, and we want to know how we can prevent this problem from occurring again.At home, she normally uses a litter box (we live in a high-rise apartment without much greenery nearby), and aside from occasional minor mistakes (e.g., peeing right outside the box, or sticking the wrong end of her body into the box), she is fully housetrained. Although she uses the box most often, she also goes outside during her walks. However, like I've mentioned, she seems to forget all her housetraining whenever she visits other homes. She's a very outgoing and friendly dog, is familiar with the people whose houses she visits, and has been to their houses before.

When she's just staying with them while we're away, she doesn't display any signs of separation anxiety. Although she gets walked several times a day (the friend who was watching her over the weekend is a veterinarian, so she was in the best of hands), she still goes inside their houses. It seems like she just doesn't quite realize that she isn't supposed to eliminate freely in other people's homes.
We're wondering if this is a result of the fact that she's litterbox trained and we didn't bring her litter box with us when we took her to new environments. As a puppy, she was also somewhat difficult to housetrain, and it took over a year of regular mistakes before she became reliable at home.
Has anyone who has litter box trained his/her dog also had the same experience? Does anyone know what strategies we can use or suggest to the person who will be watching her while we're gone to make sure she doesn't forget her housetraining while she's away from home? This time, she will be staying at my cousin's house with her crate and litter box to help prevent accidents, but any specific advice or experience about how we can help her remember her housetraining manners away from home is much appreciated!
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HELP! I have a 2-year-old Shih Tzu who is very well housetrained at our home, but goes without discretion inside ... peeing right outside the box, or sticking the wrong end of her body into the box), she is fully housetrained.

Well, actually.. she isn't housetrained. This is the downside of paper (box, pad) training. They are still going in the house. Maybe in one spot in your house, but still IN THE HOUSE. They have not learned NEVER in the house.I do extended dogsitting (sometimes 6-9 months a year) for a paper trained dog, with papers in the basement. In her adulthood, those papers are more of an emergency contingency (and handy with a small dog in severe winter). But because of those papers, she never really learned to indicate a need to go outside. She would just quietly disappear to the basement and then come bombing back at full speed.

This particular dog is also a marker, so to her going for walks outside is all about sniffing and marking, not about taking this opportunity to empty out. We walk three times a day on a regular schedule and I monitor output as best I can. I've even been known to count leg lifts. She uses the papers very little with me and last year, with me in a new place without a basment, not at all.
I have to watch her like a hawk in other people's houses. And it is even worse if they have a dog which might have left some scent that "needs marking". She just does not have "never inside, only outside" concept locked in her brain.
Her owner is not as vigilant about anything, plus not much of a routine and the dog is totally unreliable in other homes. She is rather cavalier about it. I'm appalled.
If someone is going to be dogsitting, provide the litterbox and make sure the dog knows where it is. You wouldn't take a cat into someone's home without its box.
HELP! I have a 2-year-old Shih Tzu who is very well housetrained at our home, but goes without discretion inside ... that she's litterbox trained and we didn't bring her litter box with us when we took her to new environments.

How hard is it to bring her litterbox if that's what you've trained her to? I used to travel with a cat and always brough her litterbox - what's the difference? I think you're confusing your dog and not being an attentive houseguest.
If you're going to travel with her, you need to: bring her litter box (and a mat for under it, in case she "misses". Keep her with you 24/7 so you can take her out, supervise, her, etc. Confine her when you can't be watching her 24/7 (crate trained dogs are generally much more welcome houseguests).

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
How hard is it to bring her litterbox if that's what you've trained her to?

If it's not longterm, I'd suggest management rather than carting something about that the dog may not even associate with the new space.
I've looked after a number of pee-pad trained dogs and they have no problem with peeing outside when I figure that it's time for them to pee.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
HELP! I have a 2-year-old Shih Tzu who is very ... box with us when we took her to new environments.

How hard is it to bring her litterbox if that's what you've trained her to? I used to travel with a cat and always brough her litterbox - what's the difference? I think you're confusing your dog and not being an attentive houseguest.

I did actually mention that the litterbox will be going with her when she stays with my relative. We didn't bring it on earlier occasions because we were there with her and walking her every few hours (about 3-4 times a day), or the friend she was staying with over the weekend (who is also our veterinarian) walked her at least 3x a day and didn't think she would need the litterbox for a two-day stay.
How hard is it to bring her litterbox if that's what you've trained her to? I used to travel with a cat and always brough her litterbox - what's the difference? I think you're confusing your dog and not being an attentive houseguest.

I did actually mention that the litterbox will be going with her when she stays with my cousin. We didn't bring it on earlier occasions because we were either there with her and walking her every few hours (about 3-4 times a day), or the friend she was staying with over a weekend (who is also our veterinarian) walked her 3x a day and didn't think she would need the litterbox for a two-day stay. As another poster pointed out, I think she just doesn't realize that it is never okay to go inside EXCEPT in a litter box, so in new environments, she "lets it all out," so to speak.
I was asking if anyone had specific advice beyond "bring your litterbox" (which I've already admitted I realized and wasn't expected to be sniped on about) or similar experience and how they dealt with it.
Although we were mistaken in not bringing the litter box the first two times, we were horrified when she made mistakes in other people's homes, and trust me, insisted on taking care of all stains (and sending along big batches of apology cookies!).
I did actually mention that the litterbox will be going with her when she stays with my relative. We didn't ... veterinarian) walked her at least 3x a day and didn't think she would need the litterbox for a two-day stay.

I think it's a good idea to have the litterbox with her while she is gone. If that is what she is used to, it could be something that she will use at the other house. For the sake of those who are taking care of her, I would err on the side of giving them too many tools than too few. If they want to go with the plan that has worked for some here of just taking the dog out often and crating, tethering her in between outings as needed, they can leave the litter box off in the corner unused. But if that isn't working, they can see if the dog goes to her litter box and does better.It sounds like it might be helpful for your overall life circumstance to train your dog to go outside as well as in the litter box so she travels better. Start tethering her to you when she is in the house (attach a leash to her collar and the other end to you) so that whenever she needs to go out, you will see it. When she starts for the litter box, don't correct her, just lead her outside and give her praise and treats for going outside. If she learns that it is good to go outside and great things happen when she does, that will be a good start.

She will still think it is okay to go in a litter box, but at least there is a chance that she will also think to go outside if there is no litter box. As it is now, your friends taking her outside just seems like a walk where you can go if you feel like it, but has no significance as a place to want to go if you are in the house. You want it to be an exciting and good place to go so it sticks in her mind as place to seek out when she's gotta go. If she wants to make sure there is a human out there with her so she can get treats for going outside, so much the better as she will have motivation to come get someone when she's gotta go and try to lead them outside.

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
(and sending along big batches of apology cookies!).

Apology cookies are always a good thing!
Staying in other peoples' home can be challenging for a pet for a lot of reasons. The best advice I have is keep the dog with you 24/7. For the most part, that's what I've done (except in the case of my dogs being frequent visitors to a sister's house). I want to know what my dog(s) is doing, what someone is doing WITH them (like my adult cousin, who even with me right there, had no idea how to physically handle my 8 week old puppy and seemed to think it was the same as a cat).
I am a little (hah!) protective of my crew, and don't leave them with anyone in a strange house. It's just not foolproof enough for me. I'd rather take them along in the car with me than risk someone doing something stupid.

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
I was asking if anyone had specific advice beyond "bring your litterbox" (which I've already admitted I realized and wasn't expected to be sniped on about) or similar experience and how they dealt with it.

I think it's always a good idea to teach a dog to go potty on command. My command is "go potty" but use whatever you are comfortable with. My dogs have always at least pretended to go when I give them this command (running down the deck steps and then back up). So in addition to bringing the litter box, you could start using this command on walks once your dog is reliable with it. Also, watching your dog (tethering is good) just as you would a puppy is key to avoiding indoor accidents in new situations, just as other people have suggested.As a side note, the first time Roxy went to visit a certain friend's house (who has 3 dogs), she took a huge dump in the bedroom. It never occurred to me that she would do such a thing, but Roxy didn't know where outside was even though we had been in the backyard earlier (very, very big house). To complicate matters, there were old pet stains/odors in that room which confused her. I immediately took her outside and told her to go potty so she would know how to get there from the bedroom and I of course watched her like a hawk after that.

Now when we visit this friend, Roxy never has accidents. Similarly, the first time another friend's dog visited our house, he went in my bedroom and soaked my carpet with pee. Again, he didn't know where outside was and no one was watching him. Now he is completely trustworthy here. My point is that even the most reliable dogs can make mistakes if you don't watch them in new situations.

Lynne
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