Boxer Crazy

Behavior and Training => Housetraining => Topic started by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 10:49:22 AM

Title: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 10:49:22 AM
I'll start off by saying that Griff has never been as reliably house-trained as Bella was at his same age.  I feel like he's never learned to HOLD his pee.  When he was a puppy, I just let him out whenever he acted like he needed to go (and I trained him early-on to sit by the door when he needed to go out).  It seemed like it was every 20-30 minutes when he was young - but we avoided accidents that way. 

He was TERRIBLE to crate train, and I really don't think he ever truly got it.  He doesn't get crated very often due to me working from home, but he still pees in his crate sometimes (even though he hasn't had soft/absorbant bedding in there since he was a little puppy - he either had the bare crate tray or now he's got one of the cusioned pads I bought at ABC), especially if he's in there longer than 2-3 hours (the longest he's probably ever been in there was 6, and that is VERY rare).  Also - he has pretty bad separation anxiety when he's crated - if he's not crated WITH Bella, he freaks out, and if he's completely by himself (Bella's not crated with or beside him), he has gotten so bad that he's made himself bleed.  How the hell do you fix that?  I started crating him with Bella to calm him down in the first place (to let his histiocytoma heal a few months ago), but now it's just seems like it's made him worse.

When we lived in the apartment, he NEVER had poop accidents (aside from maybe the 2-3 he had during housetraining as a puppy).  He would have the occasional pee accident, but I take the blame for every single one of those, because it was always when I was too busy or something and ignored his signals that he had to go.  BUT - I still feel like he ought to be able to hold his pee a little longer...like with Bella, she will hold her pee when she has to go but can't (due to me not letting her out or her being crated), but with Griff, it's like if he has to pee - he pees (whether he can alert me to let him out or not, whether he's in his crate or not).

Now that we moved into the house, the accidents are happening a lot.  He's even lifted his leg a couple times  :brood:, and even pooped once.   :eek:  I know this is our fault - he doesn't know how to tell us he has to go.  He goes to the door that we go out of, but since we spend a lot of time in different rooms, he doesn't know how to tell us.  And it's not like we spend a lot of time not watching him - he peed right by the door this morning as I was walking over to let him out (we'd come straight downstairs from the bedroom, I was just a few steps behind him).  This was the first time I had caught him (to be able to correct him). 
Here is my plan to try to fix some of these problems:

- Restrict his access even further (we always try to keep him in the same room with us, but we are going to be more strict about it and start baby gating him more).

- Take him out more often.  At this point he's going out at least 3-4 times during my work day, but I'm going to try to increase it. 

- Bell train him.  It's not that I've ever been against bell-training, it's just that due to the way my previous living arrangements were set up, it just wasn't necessary because the doors we went out to potty were right in the middle of everything.  So now that there's a higher chance that I could be in a different room, we're gonna do the bell thing.  I am thinking this will help a lot.


Here are the ones I need a little more help with:

- How the heck do you teach a dog to hold his pee when he will just pee anywhere and any time (in the house, in the crate, etc).  I know that he KNOWS he's supposed to pee outside - but it's like he doesn't know he's supposed to hold it (or physically can't hold it?) if he can't go outside *right this second*.

- How do I fix his crate separation anxiety?  The easy answer would be to leave him out - but with all of the peeing, he can't be trusted to have free roam anywhere!


I didn't realize how bad these separation anxiety was until we moved here and had more room to set up both crates and started crating them separately again. The accidents in the old place were annoying, but not that frequent.  Here, it's like his issues have just gotten SO much worse.  I know it's going to take some adjustment in the new house to get the potty thing down....I'm just not sure what all I should be doing (in addition to what I'd listed above) to help make that happen.  And I'm just at a loss about the SA.
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Theresa on June 17, 2009, 10:54:44 AM
Wow...frustrating.  I think part of the accidents is the new house.  But I would set up a bell and bell train him so that you can hear him if he goes to the door and you're in another room. 

As for his crate/SA issue.  The DAP diffuser I got for Beas/thudnerstorms is supposed to help with that SA too.  Perhaps try that and also try leaving on the TV/radio for him?
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Missy/Precious mom on June 17, 2009, 10:56:06 AM
I am sorry you are having these problems.  Do you think a lot of it could be the anxiety of the new house?  I heard it can take about a month for them to get aclimated to a new environment.  I don't have a whole lot to offer other than the bell training and taking him out more often and keeping :fingerscrossed: that it is just getting used to the new house and he will settle down soon.
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 11:02:46 AM
I REALLY hope it is due to just not being settled in the house yet!  It's only been about 2.5 weeks since we moved in.  Maybe I'm overreacting...probably due to the amount of pee I've been having to clean up lately!   :dizzy2:

I will look into the DAP diffuser.
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Theresa on June 17, 2009, 11:08:06 AM
good luck.  Please keep us updated
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: boxer pal on June 17, 2009, 11:30:47 AM
I'll be interested to hear about any ideas on the crate issue too!  Rudy has similiar issues. 
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: BoxerPerson on June 17, 2009, 11:51:43 AM
Willie has crate issues too. As far as the DAP diffuser, it did NOT work for Silly Willie...
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Theresa on June 17, 2009, 11:53:55 AM
Willie has crate issues too. As far as the DAP diffuser, it did NOT work for Silly Willie...

I have it and started using it on Friday...but I cant say if it works...since we havent had any thunderstorms since then.  I hope it works for you Brandy
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 12:01:14 PM
Willie has crate issues too. As far as the DAP diffuser, it did NOT work for Silly Willie...

Yeah, I need to try a few things before I will buy a DAP diffuser.  I just need to go back and try to reinforce that the crate is a positive place before I take any more drastic measures.

The funny thing is, he will go in and lay down in the crates while I'm working.  He'll sleep in those things for hours.  But if I shut the door and leave him is when he freaks out in there.   ::)
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Samsons Mom on June 17, 2009, 12:11:26 PM
give him time to settle in at the new house. samson was really off for about a month when i moved. he would NOT go in his kennel, and he would whine for days when he was in there. i think the bell training is a good idea. would it be possible to keep crating them together?
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 12:22:47 PM
give him time to settle in at the new house. samson was really off for about a month when i moved. he would NOT go in his kennel, and he would whine for days when he was in there. i think the bell training is a good idea. would it be possible to keep crating them together?

Yeah, I think he just needs some time and for me to go back to basics with him.  I can do that.


I am not sure how I feel about continuing crating them together - I hadn't meant for it to be a permanent thing.  I will probably keep doing it for a little while just because you guys brought up a good point that they are still settling in to the new place.  But there are a couple reasons why I don't really want to continue long-term:

- I think he needs to learn to be okay on his own.  What would happen to him if something suddenly happened to Bella?  Also, with both of them in agility he might need to stay in a crate if both classes are on the same night, or if they are both trialing and he needs to stay there between runs or while I'm running Bella.

- I feel like I'm punishing Bella because Griff has issues.  Honestly, I really believe I could giver her full roam of the whole house while I was gone (provided it was sufficiently puppy proofed - basically no newspaper, toilet paper or toilet paper/paper towel rolls in reach) and she would cause absolutely no problems.  She has been SUCH a good girl lately in nearly every aspect....so I really hate to have to make her continue staying in a crate on account of Griff.
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Samsons Mom on June 17, 2009, 12:26:44 PM
poor griffen. have you tried to make it dark in there? i had to cover sams kennel till he was 8mo old(then he started pulling the blanket inside ::) ) he also put one of my dirty pj shirts in there when im at work...sometimes i come home to find him cuddling with it.
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 12:32:51 PM
poor griffen. have you tried to make it dark in there? i had to cover sams kennel till he was 8mo old(then he started pulling the blanket inside ::) ) he also put one of my dirty pj shirts in there when im at work...sometimes i come home to find him cuddling with it.

Usually when I crate him, it's in the evening, and the window in the room is on the east side of the house, so it's pretty dark in here.  I can't cover his crate or put anything in it because he shreds and EATS bedding.  That's one of the reasons he doesn't have any bedding (the other one being that it soaks up pee and makes it easier to pee in the crate without having to lay in it).  He's a real PITA.   :smash:
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Eilene on June 17, 2009, 12:43:19 PM
Wow I was not expecting this..I have no suggestions but just to try to keep him close to you when you can not watch him...Does he have a bladder infection maybe...Maybe ask the vet what he thinks...Wonder if the new house is making him nervous..Maybe new scents in the new house...Not sure but something is not right...
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Patti on June 17, 2009, 01:29:01 PM
I think the bell will help a lot. Otis never knew how to let us know either, since he doesn't bark to go out. Hopefully fencing your yard eventually will help as well as he will spend more time outside.

Sorry Brandy! Good luck.
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 02:12:23 PM
Hopefully fencing your yard eventually will help as well as he will spend more time outside.

We are thinking the same thing....not sure when it's gonna happen as my dad is pretty busy with the farm right now.   :confused:
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: Samsons Mom on June 17, 2009, 03:41:07 PM
have you thought about getting a dog door?(once the fence is up)
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 06:46:56 PM
have you thought about getting a dog door?(once the fence is up)

No - I don't want my dogs be be going in and out unattended.  Too many things could happen if they're outside and I'm not at least partially watching them......one of them could get hurt, stung by a bee in the face, escaping, etc.  I just don't feel comfortable leaving them unattended like that.
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: BoxerWB on June 17, 2009, 07:00:23 PM
I'd probably do all the same things you are doing/going to do for Griff's issues. 

I'm not sure about the SA, but maybe agility classes will build his confidence (and that special "just me and mom - no Bella" time too) and help alleviate it a bit? Getting used to being apart certainly won't hurt.

Good luck and keep us posted!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long)
Post by: blynn03 on June 17, 2009, 07:05:48 PM
I'm not sure about the SA, but maybe agility classes will build his confidence (and that special "just me and mom - no Bella" time too) and help alleviate it a bit? Getting used to being apart certainly won't hurt.

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.  I think a little more alone time with me will be a good thing. 
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: blynn03 on June 23, 2009, 09:16:08 PM
Just thought I'd give a quick update....he hasn't had any accidents since that day that I first posted this thread.  I think a combination of me finally catching him to correct him, us being more strict about cutting down his access to the whole house and being more diligent about taking him out during the day have really helped.  I never did buy the bell...I'm going to see how he keeps progressing and if he doesn't keep doing better and better, I'll probably buy one.
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: boxer pal on June 23, 2009, 10:11:48 PM
That's so good to hear, Brandy!  Yay Griff!   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: Missy/Precious mom on June 23, 2009, 10:57:03 PM
Great news Brandy :thumbsup:  Keep up the good work Griff
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: Samsons Mom on June 24, 2009, 12:19:14 AM
keep up the good work. samson had an accident the other day :P
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: linz and ellie on June 24, 2009, 04:53:29 AM
Fingers crossed, Griff has got it  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: Eilene on June 24, 2009, 04:51:18 PM
 :thumbsup: Sounds good...
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: WildBeanerz on June 24, 2009, 04:52:57 PM
Sounds good! Guess you just needed to talk yourself through it. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Been having some issues with Griff. (VERY long) - Update.
Post by: Patti on June 24, 2009, 04:54:56 PM
Glad he's coming around!