Hello My name is Vicki

4 weeks ago I took in a 1 year old shitzu and poodle mixed. Her name is Precious. I was told she was trained to the wee wee pad but she has only gone on the pad twice since I have had her. Other times she just does her business around the house. Usually in the same spots or close to the spots.

I have purchased Nature's Miracle to eliminate the smell of her pee and poop spots. I have also purchased a spray of which I spray on the wee wee pads which is suppose to attract her to the pad to do her business.

I recently found out that Precious came from a very violent home and was most likely abused as she is very nervous! She jumps at the slightest noise and sometimes she just goes into the bathroom and just sits there and shakes like a leaf with a very scared look in her eyes.

I always comfort her, but I tell her NO! NO! when she does her business around the house. Then I place her on the pad. I have even soaked the pad with her waste hoping that she would catch on to what I am trying to teach her.

Please help!

Patient with Precious
Hi Vicky,

Does she pee when you're home or when you're out or in both the cases? I assume she's not crate-trained, is she?

Anyway, the best way to get a dog potty-trained is to crate her. I'd suggest that you try a wire pen about 4ft by 4ft size to begin with. Put the wee-wee pad on one side of the crate, and her bed & water bowls on the other side. (I'd not recommend placing her food bowls there because I believe dogs should be fed 2-3 times a day depending on the age. This helps prevent possible food aggression problems, as well as 'reinforce' your role as the alpha-dog that controls the time when the other members of the pack eat.)
You may want to put the pad in a cat litter box so that Precious doesn't miss it. It is absolutely right that you scent the pad to attract her. Once Precious has learned to pee on the pad, make the pen larger little by little and eventually remove it at all, letting her walk in the entire house.

When you're at home, you'll have to watch her well. Try not to miss the moment when she begins to sniff around looking for a place to pee. Once you notice this, try to distract her and encourage her to follow you to the pad. It's better if you manage to make her walk there on her own feet. Dogs learn much quicker like that. You can use a 4-6 foot long leash to gently tug and lead her to the pad. However, it's still OK if at first you simply pick her up and carry to the toilet. When she's in the litter box / on the pad, repeat "Go potty", "Go pee", "Pee time" or whatever phrase you want to use as the command. Repeat that until she has peed. After this, praise her immensely saying "Good potty!" or "Good pee!" or "Good /the command you choose/" in a very happy and delighted voice. Let her know you're really happy with what she's just done. Give her some more attention such as playing her favourite game.

Since she was abused in the past, you should never use force to 'tell' her she's done something wrong, this will only make her fear worse. Praise, patience and persistence should be the main training principles. Precious is still young and I believe she'll learn quickly.

You may also want to read these threads:

Dog urinating all over the place
Dog peeing inside
Toilet training

Good luck!

Raphael's advice is excellent. The only thing I would add is that once you have convinced her that the pee pad is where you want her to pee, then you're going to have to begin working on getting her to then pee outside.

What I have found to be very effective is to build a shallow box with a water-proof liner. Fill it with a bit of soil and plant some grass seed in it to make it as much like your backyard as possible. Once the grass has grown, lay the pee pad on top of it, and gradually move it off the grass while at the same time gradually moving the box closer to the door you wish her to use to go outside.

It's going to take some time and a lot of patience to effectively work with a previously abused dog, but with lots of love, she will eventually come around. Good luck!
RaphaelSince she was abused in the past, you should never use force to 'tell' her she's done something wrong, this will only make her fear worse. Praise, patience and persistence should be the main training principles.
I think it isn't only about abused dogs. Positive reinforcement is always better than force, for any dog. That's the way to go if you want to train a dog (or even a cat sometimes).
Yes, I've never said anything different. With an abused dog, however, it's highly important to realize this like never before.
 JustaBrat's reply was promoted to an answer.