Rescue dog scared to toilet outside

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Tressie
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:32 pm

Rescue dog scared to toilet outside

Post by Tressie » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:24 am

I adopted a dog 3 weeks ago who comes from Greece. He was neutered when he arrived in Canada. He basically grew up in a shelter in Greece. He is getting along very well with my 3 year old English Shepherd and she is helping him to settle into his new life. He was extremely fearful and timid when he arrived to Canada and was fostered for 2 weeks before coming to me. He was completely house trained when I first got him and did his business in the backyard. However,I live in a rural area and a week ago the farmers in the area started using 'bird bangers', which are devices that go off randomly and sound like gun fire to scare birds from their crops. Unfortunately, they start as soon as its daylight and run until its pitch dark at night. They do not bother my English Shepherd, but my rescue dog is terrified of the sound. Its gotten to the point that he does not want to go outside during daylight hours, and so was only toileting at night, i.e., I'd take him out between midnight and 4:00 am. However, the past few days he stopped toileting outside and is having accidents indoors. I have put down puppy pads which he uses but they aren't enough to soak up his urine, even with extra newspapers and several puppy pads. Now my English Shepherd is also toileting indoors! So quite the mess when I get home from work. Note, I can walk him outside in the backyard for an hour during the night and he won't urinate, but goes indoors after about 20 minutes. I see the signs, take him out and he won't do anything outside no matter how long I walk him for. Its becoming a nightmare and not sure what to do. I am out of the house 10 hours during the day - too long to crate him. And no, I do not have anyone who can come in to take him out during the day, and besides he is very fearful. Dog walkers do not come as far as I live in the country. Note the first week he arrived he essentially stayed put in the crate with door open and didn't budge, so I fed him in the crate. I know he can hold it for up to 24 hours, because I couldn't get him out of the crate at first. Besides crating him for ten hours, which I really rather not do - any suggestions?

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JudyN
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Re: Rescue dog scared to toilet outside

Post by JudyN » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:22 am

I'm not an expert so would be more than happy for someone with more experience to disagree with me but sadly, I don't think you are the right home for this particular dog. Even well adjusted dogs with good backgrounds can be upset by loud bangs, and yours already has reason to be scared of many things.

Generally, helping a dog cope with stressful situations begins with removing them from the triggers altogether for a while, to allow the stress levels to settle down and the dog to become comfortable, and then introduce the triggers very gradually, staying within their comfort zone. This simply isn't possible for you, and every time the bird scarer goes off, your dog's stress levels will increase, and increase, and increase. You'll never be able to get him in a comfort zone where you could try to teach him that bird scarers are OK.

I'm sorry this isn't what you want to hear - like I say, I'll be very happy if someone can offer something more positive.
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Nettle
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Re: Rescue dog scared to toilet outside

Post by Nettle » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:36 am

I agree with JudyN. This is no fault of yours or the dog's, but it is an unfixable situation. Someone else can offer this dog a more suitable place to live, so take him back to the fosterer.


Given that any dog you have will have to be confined without hygiene breaks for 10 hours, I would respectfully suggest that you stick with your dog who can cope at this stage. Very young and very old dogs would not be able to manage, and a good many adult dogs with no issues could not either. Other dogs pottying in the house would be extremely stressful for your dog, and your first loyalty is to her.
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Tressie
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:32 pm

Re: Rescue dog scared to toilet outside

Post by Tressie » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:17 pm

Thank you both for your thoughtful feedback. In principle, I agree with what you are saying regarding triggers. Note, the sounds are outdoors, not heard inside the house.
However, I am moving out of this area and out of the province altogether to a small rural community in another province in a few weeks, where there are no bird bangers or other loud sounds.
I have continued to use the puppy pads and it is working so far to reduce his anxiety level and he has started toileting outside at night again. I am not crating him when I am at work, although he has access to the crate with the door open if he wants. He is otherwise settling in very well and has bonded with my other dog and takes her lead on many things. He is very bright and is learning some commands simply from watching her interaction with me.
I am not exposing him to the bird banger during daytime hours and he is becoming quite comfortable being outside at night.

Tressie
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:32 pm

Re: Rescue dog scared to toilet outside

Post by Tressie » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:32 pm

I just wanted to add that this is the fourth dog I have adopted and none of my other dogs ever had accidents indoors while I was at work. None of them were confined to a crate but were confined to a room.

I have also fostered dogs, and again none of them had issues with not pottying during the day while I was at work. The rescues I fostered for were aware that I worked during the day and how long I was gone. I do not take on very young or very old dogs because I do work during the day.

The house I am moving to will have a doggy door with access to a backyard. The house I am presently in does not have ready access outdoors.

Anyway, things are working out, the dogs have the option to use the puppy pads if they really need to go during the day while I am at work. Sometimes they use the puppy pads, and sometimes they don't.

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