House Training Disaster

House Training Disaster

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Sam Basso
PHOENIX , AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
OR, if you are out of this area, inquire about a telephone or e-Lesson
Email: [email protected]

Here is a real letter I received. This is an example of how badly things can go with regard to house training, and why it is a good idea to hire me BEFORE things get this far gone:

Hey, Sam

I have a 1 year old Dachshund who we’ve not been able to house train. We purchased her from a pet store had have had her for 5 months. Initially we tried the crate method (which worked with our other dog) however she will eliminate inside the crate then move around until she is covered in feces and/or urine. Since we work during the day, when I’d get home, I’d be washing her and cleaning the crate daily. I was concerned that her skin would get irritated but I continued this for approx 3-4 weeks with no improvement (please note, I have a neighbor who is retired and would come here every day and let the dog out around noon but she’d still mess before I’d get home at 5).

We decided to put her in the bathroom, thinking she’d have more room, maybe she’d mess in the corner and it would be easier to clean up. She DID mess but made sure she ran through it over and over then she’d jump up on the door, the walls, toilet, tub: there would be feces everywhere. I tried this twice, the second time took me 2 hours to clean the room and it still smelled foul. We then decided we’d let her have access to a portion of the house that our other/older dog has so they could be together (which they like) and often this worked fine, if she pooped, she did not run through it but we were concerned about what kind of message she’s sending – its ok to poop in the house? But then she did other damage, chewed a large hole in the middle of the living room carpet, chewed a large hole in the wing back chair and pulled the stuffing out, chewed the legs of a wooden table in the living room, etc. She had plenty of toys, but apparently not as tasty or fun as the other items.

Since I cannot crate her with success, I’m decided to find her a new home where there will be someone with her full time. I’m hoping a homemaker or retired person. But before I do this, I wanted to e-mail you and see if there is ANY chance I can rehabilitate this dog with your help? and without spending a fortune on private consultations. I love this dog, she is so very sweet but I also have a child, and the amount of feces and urine in my carpet is appalling. Even though we clean it up and have had the carpets professionally cleaned, its repeated over and over and I cannot have my daughter living in this environment without concern for her health as she plays on this carpet. There is not one room not affected.

As long as I’ve suffered, and as many options as I’ve tried (my vet and a Saturday morning radio talk show on animal behavior have both consulted me with no luck) it seems hopeless to me, at least today.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration, if you think you might be able to help me, please let me know.


Many mistakes were made. Here is what went wrong:

The owners have waited too long to get help.

Dachshunds can be difficult to house train. Some breeds need extra vigilant care and a much more comprehensive training program to get them housetrained.

NEVER buy a dog from a pet store. These dogs are ALWAYS much more difficult to house train, since the conditions in pet stores are filthy and no one supervises the dogs properly. [That doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed, but it just makes it more work.] The dogs are forced to defecate where they sleep. Also, many dogs from pet stores come from puppy mills (farms that sell dogs in bulk, usually in the mid-west of the US, or even Mexico. These businesses are in it for the money, but aren’t committed to breeding high quality dogs, plus the care of the dogs is always very poor. When pups learn to sleep in filth, they will be very difficult to house train).

It is best to buy a puppy at 8 weeks of age, not at 7 months of age. In order to head off problems, you should immediately get some training and behavioral advice before, or when, you get an older puppy.

Never leave a dog in a crate for a period longer than the dog can hold its urine and poop.

This dog needs much more intelligent and thoughtful supervision. They won’t train themselves.

You can’t give freedom in the house, especially unsupervised freedom, to a dog that isn’t yet housetrained, or one that is still going through the puppy destructive chewing phase.

I suspect this dog also suffers from Separation Anxiety, which also needs to be addressed, and could be contributing to some of the defecation and urination problems. Many times when people are doing one thing wrong with the dog, they are doing other things wrong. All this should be addressed.

This dog doesn’t need a new home, but the owners need to put in the effort and care that the pet store should have been doing from day one. This dog is now in trouble, and it is our job to save this dog, not to pass this dog along to someone else.

The household is apparently getting filthy because of this problem. I wouldn’t want to live in this kind of condition either. Sometimes this kind of filth causes the second dog in the household, or even the cat, to start having house training problems as well.

Most trainers and vets (if you need a new vet, please contact me) don’t have a clue about dog training.

Here is a good example. She has consulted other trainers, and they can’t fix the problem. I am appalled at the poor quality of dog trainers out there.

This dog needs a house training plan that works with the owners work schedule. There is a way to do this. This issue should have been considered before the dog was purchased.

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