House Training an Adult Dog?

Boxer lying on blanketI have a 8 year old Boxer. He's only been in my home for 2 years and I don't think that he was ever potty trained. He does great when I'm home, but I can leave him in the back yard for an hour, let him in and leave for 10 minutes and come home he will have peed and pooped all over the house. I tried using a crate and he took the door and the side panel clean off. Does anyone know what I can do to fix this?


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April 13, 20160 found this helpful

Boxers who've been rehomed from a happy home, or abused and then rehomed, tend to suffer separation anxiety and demonstrate it by two distinct behaviours - eliminating in the house, and chewing anything they can get their teeth into - furniture, doors, walls, floor coverings... The best thing to do is be patient (difficult, I know) because the dog is unfortunately at an age now where there are no real solutions. You can try creating a safe space - not the crate, or a room containing anything your Boxer can destroy, btw; use disposable tarpaulins to cover the floor in the safe space (these come on a roll in any DIY or big box paint department), these are relatively inexpensive, and make clean-ups fast and easy whilst protecting floors. Use one part of the room as an eating and sleeping area - no tarp, and the rest of the room with enough tarps laid down to cover the floor. Consider a radio playing softly - some Boxers like classical, others prefer talk radio.


Talk to your vet, he/she may have some suggestions (behaviour training, coping strategies).

I buried my ancient (14yo) Boxer in Feb 2007, he was the last of a long line of Boxers I raised in the US (I live in the UK now) as a breeder. I also did breed rescue - usually dogs the age your Boxer was when he came to live with you, I met through breed rescue needed rehoming to families/persons with the willingness and understanding (the probability the behaviours may never resolve) to cope with the separation anxiety behaviours in the way I outlined above.

Best luck, from the photo it's clear your Boxer is much loved and I wish you both the best coping with something he truly doesn't want to do but can't help doing when you leave the house even for a short time. If you can afford a dog-sitter and/or 'doggie day care', these dogs respond very well to either.

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