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Old 08-03-2008, 01:00 AM
lsaders lsaders is offline
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Default Basenji; doesn't let us know when he has to *go* anymore. Help!

Hi, I'm new! This is redundant from my post in the newbies thread, but we have a 9-year-old basenji, Tana. We inherited him from our friends who were having twins (they already had an older daughter) and couldn't keep him.

Over the last three years we've had him, he's peed in the house on a pretty regular basis. Not daily or anything, but probably every couple of months. Sometimes in reaction to stuff going on around him. He gets quite anxious; we figured out his triggers (guests being in the house, mostly) and in the last year, we've put him on prozac after trying various behavioral methods and environmental changes. We think it's helped quite a bit, but there's still times when he pees in the house. I don't think it's a territorial thing. We've had him checked for diabetes, and fanconi's disease (not sure how common this is among other dog breeds, but it's a very common kidney disease in basenji's) and he's always come up negative.

He is crated at night and when we're not home, and sometimes when we are home, if we're just too busy. Anyone who knows basenjis, knows they're perpetual 2-year olds- you cannot leave them unsupervised.

Anyway, we monitor his water intake and try our best to time going out with that. But sometimes we get distracted and all of a sudden, he's standing in front of you peeing on the rug. Without any notice- he doesn't whine, he doesn't squirm or even look at you, just stands up and pees.

Oh, I should mention, we're in a second-story condo, so we have to take him out on walks- no doggie door he can come and go freely with, or even a backyard.

He used to consistently get our attention when he had to go out- he'd whine, or put a paw on your leg, something, but now, I'd say about 60% of the time, we get the timing right and take him out before he even "says" something; 25% of the time he tells us when he has to go, and the other 15% of the time, he just pees wherever he's standing.

Is there a way to get him to consistently tell us when he has to go? I know there are occasional accidents, but just not telling us seems like more than that.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2008, 10:53 AM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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I know that others here have different opinions, and might be able to advise you otherwise, but for ME, I have NEVER taught a dog to let me know when he needs to go outside. Most of the time I can tell by his body language that he has to go, but even that is not reliable 100% of the time.

I think this is your key:

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsaders View Post
But sometimes we get distracted and all of a sudden, he's standing in front of you peeing on the rug.
Instead of waiting on your dog to tell you, I think it's much more reliable, and makes you a more responsible leader in your dogs' eyes, to figure out a system so that YOU will tell yourself when your dog needs to go outside. I like to set a timer to the time when I know my dog will have to go, and drop everything when the timer goes off and take my dog outside.

And of course, I can't submit this without adding: older dogs (8+ years old) who develop potty training issues are usually suffering from a medical problem. You mentioned that you've had him checked for certain diseases, so I'm assuming that you told your vet about the problems and the vet did a full check-up. If I'm wrong, be sure and get that done. Many older dogs, particularly males, suffer from incontinence, which could also be a problem here.
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:20 PM
lsaders lsaders is offline
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LOL! Sorry, I'm just imagining putting one of those doggie diapers on him! I don't think that would go over well!

Like I said, most of the time, we do take him out before there's a problem or anything. I was just hoping this was a training issue that could be corrected. Next time he goes to the vet, I'll talk to him about the possibility of incontinence.
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:06 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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It IS a training issue.... just not in training your dog.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:43 PM
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Romy Romy is offline
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Have you ever tried hanging some bells from your doorknob that he can reach? Most dogs learn very quickly to ring the bell when they need out, and it's hard to ignore. Just thought that if the problem is on your end (spacing out when he's giving you subtle signs) it may help to give him a tool that allows him to communicate in a more obvious way.

A friend with an oblivious husband has found this works wonderfully. He can't ignore the annoying jingling forever, so the dog gets taken out. Before that he just ignored the whining dog pawing at the door until there was a big puddle on the mat.
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