Quick & dirty background: I adopted a dog who was abused from the time he was bought (6 weeks old) to the time he came to live with me (8 months old) he had been kept in a vari-kennel almost all day and rarely if ever taken outside for walks etc. He knew how to sit, and his name and that's it. He was also kicked in the head and ended up losing his eye. He has now been with me for 4 full months and I STILL can't get him to tell me when he has to go outside.

Damn dog KNOWS when he has to go, but do you think he'll go to the door and ring the bell or bark or DO anything?? No, he just calmly gets up and craps in the floor right behind me. Every single time I put him outside, I make him ring the bell, but he doesn't get the connection. I keep him in a big wire kennel when I'm gone during the day because he has separation anxiety and he can't hurt himself or my house when he's in the kennel, and every single day I come home to poo squished and smeared all over the bottom of the kennel, pee in his blankets (and usually squished poo as well) and generally a big nasty mess.
I really think he might have brain damage.
I'm seriously at my wit's end. Everytime I think he's finally getting the hang of it, he goes and makes a mess in the house this is the first time in
2.5 weeks that he's messed in the house, and he did it 5 minutes after I puthim out. He just refuses to go to the bathroom unless I'm standing there yelling at him, but I can leave him out there for 15 minutes, just until he gets the urge to go (it seems) and then when I let him in, he poops on my carpet.
So, any suggestions on how to train this dorky dog in a way that he might actually learn it in less than 4 months? Or, does anyone want a one-eyed, non-house-trained Maltese X??
Please reply to my email as well, as I don't check the groups very often. Thanks,
Melissa
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Wait! I had a dog that peed and pooped in her crate and everywhere else. I spent four months freaking out over it. Then I started to just take the dog out on a schedule. So, first it was, seriously, every twenty minutes. When she did her biz outside, it was as if she had cured cancer I gave her so much praise. Then, as time went by, I added five minutes or so, sometimes ten. It took a LOONG time but I found that I wasn't so angry when I followed the schedule because the dog didn't "go" inside.
As for the finally getting the hang of it thing, I dunno, I have a hard time sticking to diets and have to get back on track after what seems like success. Until about a year after the dog is full-proof, I say trust him in the house. Before that,
As far as the dog going inside right after you bring him in...a dog that hasn't "gone" outside is a loaded gun. Don't bring a loaded gun in the house.
As far as him not going unless you are yelling at him...well, that is what you trained him to do. My dog goes when I say go peepers or go poo. That is what I trained her to do. Nothing magical, just every time we went outside I said it and when she did it I said "good peepers" and "good poo" and gave her a treat. If you are happy after the dog goes which is after you have yelled at it, the dog is learning that if you yell and then it goes, you are happy. The dog wants you to be happy.
Sorry, I don't know how to send this to email. I hope you check this.
... He was also kicked in the head and ended up losing his eye.

Good on you for taking on the responsibility for this poor dog!
He has now been with me for 4 full months and I STILL can't get him to tell me when he has to go outside.

What are you waiting for? Try taking him outside when you think he has to go. When he goes, lots of praise.
Damn dog KNOWS when he has to go, but do you think he'll go to the door and ring the bell or bark or DO anything?? No, he just calmly gets up and craps in the floor right behind me.

Cool that he's calm about it - you scare the bejeezus out of me. Dogs aren't born knowing how to ring a bell, you have to train them to it. I've had house trained dogs for a long time and don't believe in the bell.
At this stage, take your dog out on a schedule - when he gets up, before he goes to sleep, after he eats, before and after play, every two hours otherwise. Lots of praise when he goes. This is working for me for an incorrigible puppy that I'm looking after a few days a week.
Every single time I put him outside, I make him ring the bell, but he doesn't get the connection.

Here's problem one: you have to accompany him outside and tell him when he does good. Thirty seconds later doesn't work.
I keep him in a big wire kennel when I'm gone during the day because he has separation anxiety and ... bottom of the kennel, pee in his blankets (and usually squished poo as well) and generally a big nasty mess.

A few things: He may be bored, exercise before you leave him will help with boredom and elimination. A break halfway through the day would be a good thing.
I really think he might have brain damage.

Unlikely. At this stage, even at 12 months old, you have to treat him as a puppy. Worse, he came to you totally untrained at 8 months and is used to defecating in enclosed spaces. You'll have to be vigilant and anticipate his needs, it's unlikely that he'll be using the bell any time soon.

Tether him to you with a short leash, crate him at night or when you're in the shower, and take him outside on a schedule. Praise him when he goes outside, neutrally pick him up and take him outside when he goes inside.
Please reply to my email as well, as I don't check the groups very often.

Don't munge your address if you want copies to private email.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Rocky,
I was reading one of your posts, and was curious as to why you don't believe in the bell? Thanks
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Rocky, I was reading one of your posts

Not very carefully, evidently.

Kate
and Storm the FCR
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I was reading one of your posts, and was curious as to why you don't believe in the bell?

I assume you meant to quote this from me: "Dogs aren't born knowing how to ring a bell, you have to train them to it. I've had house trained dogs for a long time and don't believe in the bell."
People who know me in real life may disagree with this, but: I'm smarter than my dogs. IMO, reliably housetraining a dog mostly involves learning their signals after putting them on a pee schedule while you get to know each other. (As opposed to expecting them to signal me when they have to do something which comes spontaneously, naturally, and usually without notice to them.)
The Mudi puppy that I'm helping train right now is a good example. At first, he seemed to have no signals. To tell you the truth, I can't explain why I now know when he needs to go outside, but I do, and it hasn't been long. Some of it has to do with the liver brownies he gets when he pees outside.

So, to me, the first step in housetraining is the ability to read your dog (a good idea in so many other situations, too). The second step is the reward factor. After your dog is reliably housetrained, then go for it - add bells and whistles. I'm lazy, so I prefer to move onto something else rather than teach my dogs to ring a bell when I can already interpret their need to go. They'd just take advantage of me and the bell anyway.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
I *do* take the dog out on a schedule. It's the same schedule every day, and I can't change it, because I have to work. And he gets praised and rewards (not treats as he doesn't like treats) when he does go outside. He knows the words: "go poo" & "go pee" because when I'm standing there, telling him to do it, he will, after about 15 minutes, and when I'm so sick of him that I want to throw him over my fence.
Obviously, I don't trust the dog in the house. He is kept on a leash most of the time partly because he will go downstairs and eat cat poop, but also because I don't trust him. That being said, I rarely attach the leash to anything, because if I'm in a different room than the one where his bell is, I want him to have the opportunity to go and ring it. Which he never does, so I don't know why I bother.
As for bringing a "loaded gun" in the house it's not always an option. He's a small dog, and even when I put a coat on him, there is only so much -20 weather he can stand. If he doesn't poo in the 5 minutes I can stand outside telling him to do it, when it's -20, then we both have to come in. In the mornings, I don't have an option; I can't leave him outside while I'm in the shower and when he refuses to go before I get in the shower, what am I supposed to do??
Yes, the dog wants me to be happy. That's fine. What you don't understand is that the dog is BRAIN DAMAGED and doesn't remember how to make me happy from one minute to the next. Plus he had no training (aka he learned bad habits) for the 8 months that I haven't had him, and I'm just really frustrated with trying to UN-learn him of those habits.
I just want to get rid of him, but I'm not willing to take him to the pound after spending so much money on him. He'll be euthanized and then I'll be REALLY *** off.
Thank you.
I do* take him out when I think he has to go. I take him out the second I get home from work, when I *know he has to go even though he's pooped and peed in his kennel. Then I take him for a walk about 20 minutes later. Then I take him out after I eat dinner. Then I put him out before I go to bed. All of this in a 4-5 hour time span. And almost every single day he will go pee outside and no matter how long I leave him out there, the second he comes in, he poops.He gets TONS of praise, lots of "good poop", clicks (he's partially clicker-trained) and when he is exceptionally good (goes on the first or second time I ask him), he gets extra food as a treat/reward. As for the bell, I don't expect him to know how to ring it, that's why I trained him to ring it. It hangs next to the one and only door that he ever goes out of when it's time for him to go to the bathroom.

I tell him to "ring the bell" and help him if he doesn't understand (which happens daily). Then, AND ONLY THEN, I'll praise him for ringing the bell and then promptly open the door and put him out, telling him to "go pee" or "go poop" and 99% of the time, going with him to tell him 100 more times. And when it's -20 and I can't stand to be out there, even with my coat on, and I give up after
5 minutes of telling him and we both go inside, then he poops on the floor.Or on days when I just get sick of him ignoring me and trying to figure out how to get past me to go in the house (when it's nice out), and let him in, he poops on the floor.
See above post regarding schedule. Do you think I haven't TRIED that??

See above post regarding accompanying him outside and praising him.
As for boredom & exercise. This is a dog that has severe separation anxiety. I can walk him for over an hour, during which time he pees until he has nothing left, and then tries to pee more, poops at least once, sometimes twice, and based on the size of him and the way he acts when we get home, until he's exhausted. Then if I go downstairs to put in a load of laundry (he can't get downstairs), he whines, barks, spins in circles and works himself into a frenzy because I'm not there.

If I go to the store to get groceries, or even if I go out to the car to get something, he works himself into a frenzy. If I'm gone more than 20 minutes, even AFTER an hour walk, he'll pee somewhere. Or better yet, poop and then track through it about 100 times covering himself and everything around him in crap. I've tried it all.

As for the break halfway through the day; it's not an option. I can't afford a dog-walker, I can't get home at lunch, and I don't know anyone who is willing to volunteer to take him out. Especially after they know him for more than 5 minutes and realize how retarded he is.

What part of "HE WAS KICKED IN THE HEAD" do you NOT understand?? I HAVE treated him like a puppy. I've also treated him like a new-born baby. Yes he is an adult, but let me tell you, I've taught my 8-year old CATS things faster than this damn dog. It took me a week to teach my cats to sit for their food. I've had this dog 4 months and I can't get him to do something as simple as NOT crapping in the house?? No, this is brain damage.
I have tried everything you suggested. I've BEEN trying it for 4 months, and he doesn't get it. I've tried things that I never thought would work, and my cats have learned a lot of things, but not the dog. He IS crated at night, right next to my bed. He'll whine when he has to poop at night, then when I get him outside, he'll refuse to poop. But he won't whine when he has to pee, he just pees on his blankets and lays in it.

And oh, my, look at that. He's been outside for 15 minutes, and he hasn't pooped. And in the time it takes me to let him in, walk across my house to the FRONT door, put on my shoes to take him for a walk, he'll have pooped on the carpet next to my door. In plain sight of me, knowing full well that he's going out in 2 minutes, he'll do it.
If you're such a genius, YOU take him for a month and see what YOU can teach him.
And my address is "munged" so I don't get spammed by auto-reply codes responding to keywords. Intelligent people can figure out what "at" means.
And THAT is why I don't believe in a dog that is food-trained.

If my dog GAVE any signals, it'd be a lot easier. However, he doesn't. He'll literally be sleeping on the floor behind me, get up and 2 seconds later poop right where he was laying. Most of the time he gets up and goes for a drink, and then the 1/10 times that he decides he has to poop, how am I supposed to know? I don't have time to get across a room, grab him and put him outside when it takes him about 2 seconds to poop.
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