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> Yorkie Troubles
r4chy
post 4th Apr 2017, 9:02 am
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Hi Everyone

I was wondering if anyone could offer some advice on training a Yorkshire Terrier.

A brief history.... Bernie is 3 years old and is quite a nervous dog, I have had him since he was a puppy, so I know nothing bad has ever happened to him, and his sister is exactly the same. If something upsets him he can get quite stressed sad.gif He will stress pant and dart about, often doing tight little circles, as if he is chasing his tail, before running off to hide for a second, and then dashing back.

The problem I have is that he still urinates in the house! We have a dog flap, which he happily uses, but then he will wee against the wall which is 3 feet away from the dog flap sad.gif He occasionally wees in other places around the house, but his favourite place is the corner by the dog flap!

We have tried everything... Ignoring it and just cleaning it up, using the doggies sprays to deter repeat weeing, telling him off, really praising him when he goes outside... I am at my wits end as I have a 12 month old baby daughter who is crawling and I'm worried we will miss cleaning it up and she will find it yikes.gif

My husband is all for 'getting rid' of Bernie, but I'm not a person who can rehome a dog just because they aren't doing what you want them to. The thought of him going to someone else makes me want to cry crying.gif

Any help/advice greatly appreciated.
Rach xx
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Dalsmum
post 6th Apr 2017, 5:09 pm
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Did you housetrain him as a puppy or has he always just pleased himself when he went outside to toilet?
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nikirushka
post 6th Apr 2017, 6:05 pm
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Have you ever had any help regarding his nervousness? That may be playing a big part in him marking indoors and not wanting to go outside.
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r4chy
post 7th Apr 2017, 12:53 pm
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We did house train him as a puppy, he used to always go outside, but I can't remember at what point he started doing it in the house. We have another dog that we have never had a problem with.

I haven't sought help for his nervousness, I didn't think that was something that you could treat. I have tried reassuring him and I've tried on other occasions to ignore his behaviour. Neither make any difference to how he is acting sad.gif
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nikirushka
post 7th Apr 2017, 1:11 pm
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I would definitely try and get some help for it. It is treatable - whether it is fixable is another matter but every effort should be made to improve it as it's not a pleasant way to live.

Generally speaking, there are 3 rules for treating a fearful dog (courtesy of Debbie Jacobs, who is outstanding at this stuff):

1. Keep them feeling safe. (this can mean background noise, hiding places, proximity to you, etc - whatever the individual needs)
2. Create or change associations with scary stuff so that the scary stuff becomes a reliable predictor of awesome stuff.
3. Train using good mechanics that set them up to be be successful and uses a high enough rate of reinforcement that they want to stay in the game. Have fun, your dog will.
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ceri1
post 7th Apr 2017, 2:31 pm
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I've seen it suggested before that having a dog flap doesn't help dogs learn the distinction between "In" and "out", as free access to everywhere makes it harder to know which places are OK for toileting.
Can you go back to basics and treat him like a puppy? take him out after eating/sleeping/playing/every 2 hours and praise and reward him for going outside.
I agree with Nikirushka that you can work on his confidence as well. If he is already a nervous dog, it's not going to help as your daughter crawls around and gets more mobile. He needs to have safe places and to feel relaxed in his own home.
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r4chy
post 11th Apr 2017, 8:53 am
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Thank you so much for your replies smile.gif

I have never tried to deal with his nervousness, but I do think it is a very good idea. I will make him a little hidey hole that he can escape to when he is feeling stressed, I'll also put a little radio in there (or somewhere close by) to give him some back ground noise. Thinking about it, in the past, there have been a couple of occasions where I have found him hiding in a wardrobe and under the baby's cot.

I've just googled Debbie Jacobs..... Think I'm going to do some homework! If it helps us help Bernie then it has got to be worth it. He is such a lovely dog, and he is great with the baby (something I was worried about). I would never leave him alone with her, I wouldn't leave her alone with any dog no matter how good, but he goes to her for cuddles, which I never thought he would.

I will try going back to basics with him regarding the toilet training, but the fact that he NEVER poos in the house makes me think this might not help. But hey ho anything is worth a try smile.gif

Thanks again for your help. I'm off to do some reading up yay.gif
xx
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woofgang
post 11th Apr 2017, 9:49 am
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I think that weeing and pooing can be seen as different in the dog’s mind, both as where its right to go and whether its a fear inducing experience.
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nikirushka
post 11th Apr 2017, 10:50 am
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The fact that he tends to wee in the same place, and by an exit point, suggests to me that it could be marking behaviour rather than a simple housetraining accident which (particularly in small breeds) can be a sign of anxiety, which is why I focused on that smile.gif
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visla222
post 11th Apr 2017, 11:49 am
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it's a good idea that treating the anxiety might in turn help treat the urinating in the house. I've read that treating dogs with a little bit of Skullcap (the herb) can help them become more chilled out individuals. I've not tried it out on my two, but perhaps something worth considering?

K x
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nikirushka
post 11th Apr 2017, 12:38 pm
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Usually it's given as skullcap and valerian, although personally I find valerian tincture to be more potent than either. Although overall, I don't find anything herbal to be strong enough for a really anxious dog.
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r4chy
post 11th Apr 2017, 1:39 pm
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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the advice.

I may give the herbal route a go - anything is worth trying ok.gif

He isn't anxious all of the time, he just has his moments, often for what I think is no reason. He gets stressed for the usual loud noises etc, but he also stresses if he hurts himself. Now every time he is stressing and I can't find an obvious cause I have to check him over top to toe just in case he's done something to himself!! He has ripped his claws over a dozen times, normally after chasing the ball on his walk! Each time is a trip to the vets, and all they normally do is pull them off!!!! yikes.gif He has them trimmed every 8 weeks at the dog groomers, so I know they aren't overly long! We are on first name terms at the vets lol.gif

I will give Debbie Jacobs website a good studying too, I'm going to order her book, but in the meantime I'll try and get some hints from the website.

Thanks everyone, we will have a brave Bernie soon biggrin.gif xxx
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nikirushka
post 12th Apr 2017, 8:19 am
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Do you mean his dew claws? If he's done it so many times then I'd be asking to have them removed permanently. Vets are reluctant to do it in an adult dog as it's essentially a minor amputation (unless they are the floppy, boneless kind but front dews rarely are) but if he's persistently damaging them, getting stressed about it and needing vet trips then I think it would be a good move.

Debbie has a group on facebook, if you're on there - Fearful Dogs - well worth a visit.
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r4chy
post 12th Apr 2017, 12:01 pm
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He has pulled both his dew claws and his normal claws,although it is mainly the claws on his paws. I think he's pulled the dew claw twice! We had is rear dew claws removed when he was castrated, but the vet wouldn't do his front ones because as you say they are attached. The last time it was his dew claw, and he managed to pull it just jumping around!

I even asked the vet if there was something wrong with his claws - were they particularly weak maybe, but they didn't seem to think so and they haven't offered us any advice sad.gif

I will search for Debbie's FB page now smile.gif

Thanks again! xx
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