lola the 9mth rottie with housebreaking issues

by emma

Lola my rotti is 9 mths she still has accidents at night after being out all day, and can sometimes even do it when in the house if it's raining. i need help as i am getting frustrated.

I don't like what some folks do like rubbing her nose in it and things like that, and people have even suggested a muzzle when she does do it. she is a very well mannered dog still bounces a little, loves kids and babies, even the cat.

I've been told it could be because i treat her as one of the children so when i leave her she doing it for attention..

Hi Emma
If Lola has separation anxiety (ie gets very upset when you leave and cries/barks/howls/chews/pants/paces etc. etc.) then it's possible that she is doing this when you leave her because she's so upset and anxious that she can't control her bowels. Read this article on Separation Anxiety In Your Dog for more info. on this.

However, as you don't mention this sort of behavior this is probably not the case - and dogs DON'T eliminate indoors for attention or to 'spite' their owners or for any of the other silly reasons people think that they do! If Lola is still peeing/pooping indoors it's because she doesn't fully understand that it's not okay. She obviously has access to outdoors and is happy to eliminate there too, but she simply doesn't realize that doing her business out there is the only acceptable option.

You're totally right not to rub her nose in it (or, God forbid, but a muzzle on her - that's ridiculous) there's no way for her to connect that sort of correction with her elimination habits and all it will do is frighten her and make her anxious, which will make the situation worse.

Dogs are creatures of habit and in order for her to change this behavior (which is already a habit for her and so she doesn't actually give it much conscious thought), you need to prevent her from being able to have accidents indoors so that she effectively 'forgets' about that option and the habit is broken. The key to this is to use a crate and to supervise her closely whenever she's indoors and not crated.

At 9 months old she should have good bladder/bowel control and is unlikely to mess in her crate. You can learn more about crate training here... Crate Training A Puppy and the advice works for dogs of all ages, but obviously your Lola won't need to go out for a potty break every 30 mins!! It's truly the quickest and easiest way to housebreak a dog or pup of any age and isn't cruel or unkind at all.

It's very important to supervise her at all times when she's indoors and not crated though, because at the first sign that she needs to go you need to get her outside and praise her lavishly when she does her business there. This way if by any chance she does manage to begin to pee/poop indoors you will see her and be able to tell her "no" firmly (don't shout just be firm) and then direct her outside. This is clear cause-and-effect and dogs learn by repetition so repeating these actions consistently will teach her what you expect.

Lola simply needs to get into the habit of only eliminating outdoors, once she is doing that consistently she will become reliable about 'holding it' when indoors given time. Rottweilers are very intelligent and eager to please and once she understands what you want she'll try very hard to do it. If you hang a bell on the handle of the door that you use to take her outside, encourage her to touch it with her nose every time you go outside - smearing a little peanut butter on it helps with this :o) - and say 'potty outside'. Hopefully she will eventually go to the door and 'ring' the bell when she needs to go outdoors.

It sounds as though Lola is a great dog and that you've done a really good job of raising her so far. Housebreaking problems are definitely frustrating but if you follow the guidelines above I think you should be able to get this sorted out and everyone will be happier (including Lola who at this point, won't understand why you're mad at her when she 'goes' indoors)

I wish you the best of luck.

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