Housebreaking an Abused Dog

I recently took in an abused female, maybe a Bluetick, who had been running for a week in a high-traffic area with a collar, but no tags. 4 weeks later, after being treated for pneumonia, she had a litter of 7 pups.

I don't know whether Shekinah had ever been an inside dog before (this is a popular area for hunters) and we had just been making strides housebreaking her when the pups and motherhood intervened.

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A long intro to my current problem: Shekinah is now peeing on her/our bed (the pups are 9 weeks now and she's separated from them), settling into being an inside dog along with my Blue Heeler. Worse, maybe, she'll do this after having spent a long while outside. Having followed her around sometimes out there, I see that she's ever with her nose to the ground, but I almost never see her peeing.

I still have 6 of the pups and am trying to housebreak them too, but in a sequestered area. I'm losing my bearings, trying to cope with their mom's peeing also. Shekinah's been abused, as said and is easily scared, but trusts me. I try to be gentle with her, but that king-size comforter has been through my laundry 5x in the last week.

Oh, she'll pee in other places inside as well, but I don't understand the "where she sleeps" urination. I also don't understand why she fails to pee outside. I read through all the past postings here about this, but nothing is quite relevant. Please help?

By Nica from Big Bend, WV

February 25, 20110 found this helpful

Possibly her bladder is weakened and she can't seem to help it or just the overwhelming of motherhood is getting to her. Have you thought of Simple Solutions Washable doggie panties (amazon.com) sells them and they make them for both males/females; just insert half a Kotex pad in before putting on the dog. This helps some, but you will still need to check her often.

If you don't want to buy into this idea, try a boy or man's pair of undies and cut a hole in the backside for her tail. Insert a pad and she's ready to go. Since they come several in a package, you can buy a couple for the price of one Simple Solutions. TIP: Try putting a pair of family member's on her to see if you think it will even work. it'll help guide you toward the right size.

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February 25, 20110 found this helpful

I agree it may be a medical problem that would be easy to fix with just a pill once or twice a week. My dog has had leaky bladder syndrome for 11 years and used to wet on our bed. The pill (DES) took care of it immediately. Maybe having the pups affected her ability to hold urine. Once it is determined that the pills work (if that's the problem) you can get them much cheaper online (such as Drs. Foster & Smith). If it turns out to be a behavior problem, you may have to start over, just like you are doing with the puppies but I'm sure she is worth it. Good luck.

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February 26, 20110 found this helpful

You guys are great! Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Shekinah is a marvel, & I'm so please with the huge strides she's made so far. That she trusted me from the beginning, & is so sweet in general, after what I sense had been a life of neglect & perhaps active abuse for 1-1/2 yrs is just pretty amazing to me.

Sometimes it's the old adage: For every step forward, two back. So I'm as gentle with her as I can be, though I admit to losing some self-control in verbal corrections from time to time ... seldom, but still too much. She knows it's wrong, & piddles/poos inside anyway.

Here's what you guys -- as well as some other related threads here -- have suggested in terms of possible *proximate* causes & what to ask my vet:

*** DES for leaky bladder, if that's a post-litter problem?

*** Cystolamine for same?

*** Check into possible Cushing's Syndrome (had a Shih Tzu once w/ this lifelong disease)

*** Elavil/Amitriptylline for stress?

Anyone have (further) comments on any of this stuff, before I talk to the vet on Tuesday next week?

For my research, according to what I've read here, DAP is supposed to work something like Feliway spray/diffuser for calming cats. I've tried Feliway, but can't really tell if it made a difference at all for my felines.

Also I'll check into possible clicker training techniques, though I rarely catch Shekinah in the act.

Ah, I will also have her spayed. (Even though my male dog is neutered, I've just had an electronic fence installed for both, & other dogs of course can enter into that perimeter. BTW, Shekinah took to that surprisingly well. It's Ben I'm having a problem with in terms of his comprehension of how it works. He's afraid of even venturing near it.)

Thanks again, really! Please continue to help me on this, since I need as many suggestions as I can get. (My vet is non-communicative so it's hard to work w/ him, but he's all I have unless we want to drive 1+ hr to find another.)

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February 26, 20110 found this helpful

I would recommend doing some crate training with her. After checking out the medical issues already mentioned, she may be needing some sense of security. Having her own space that she can go to (as well as sleep in) might help. That is also a way to housetrain dogs.

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