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  #1  
Old 09-02-2004, 10:37 AM
attheendofmyleash attheendofmyleash is offline
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Exclamation House Training Rescue Dogs - Help!!

Hello. I am looking for advice to a behaviour problem. I live in Qatar in the Middle East, where, although dogs are tolerated, most of the population will not approach them. There is very little in the way of advice/shopping/care for dogs here.

About 4 months ago I took on two rescue dogs. Roger is a 10 month old Saluki-cross and Noodles is 2 year old Jack Russell *****.

Noodles has spent most of her life in a small cage and was rescued from a very bad pet shop, which was allowing most of its stock to die. She is having problems adjusting to housebreaking. She habitually goes in the same place on the floor (urine and faeces) and I am still trying to get her to associate going outside with going to the toilet. She will often go inside on the floor within minutes of being outside.

Roger was born into a pack of dogs which were allowed to run wild on a large compound. He is responding slightly better to housetraining but displays behaviour I am not familiar with such as eating/playing with his (and noodles) faeces and very short attention span. He will even pick up faeces and bring them back to his basket (which they share) and sleep with them.

Both dogs were paper trained and then when the paper was moved outside, they seemed to respond well. However, in the last few weeks they seemed to be regressing and ‘accidents’ have become a daily occurrence. Both dogs also show a propensity for scavenging. Anything (yuk!). I am proposing to try to curb this behaviour by muzzling them when out on walks as there is a lot for them to scavenge here (this is not the cleanest of countries)

I have been using the normal training techniques like regular walks outside (every 4-5 hours – I do not have a garden) praising and rewarding good behaviour and shoving the dogs outside when I catch them, but so far I am having very limited success. Both Dogs are very well natured and loving and appear to know when they have done wrong (ears back, submissive, etc). I have had rescue dogs before but never with problems as acute as this.

Please help!!
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2004, 02:50 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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Bless you for what you are doing.

As far as the housetraining goes, I think you're on the right track, moving the papers outside. When they regress, bring the papers back inside, but put them close to the door and just keep working on it.

The scavenging is probably largely a result of their former lives where they were undoubtedly hungry all the time. It might help to put a small amount of food in their dishes after they've eaten their regular meal. They need reassurance that they're not going to be starved again.

And there's always my own strange method that gets me plenty of odd looks: I talk to them. Face to face, quietly in a very soft voice and explain what I want them to do. I always make sure I tell them that I love them at the beginning of the conversation and again at the end, even if I'm having to scold them for something. It's even worked for me with cats. (lol)

Keep us posted. I think you're doing a wonderful thing.
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Old 09-02-2004, 04:18 PM
attheendofmyleash attheendofmyleash is offline
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Hello and thanks for the advice. It's hard work but I know it's all worth it in the end. I'll let you know how we get on.

TTFN
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Old 09-02-2004, 06:28 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee750il
Bless you for what you are doing.

As far as the housetraining goes, I think you're on the right track, moving the papers outside. When they regress, bring the papers back inside, but put them close to the door and just keep working on it.

The scavenging is probably largely a result of their former lives where they were undoubtedly hungry all the time. It might help to put a small amount of food in their dishes after they've eaten their regular meal. They need reassurance that they're not going to be starved again.

And there's always my own strange method that gets me plenty of odd looks: I talk to them. Face to face, quietly in a very soft voice and explain what I want them to do. I always make sure I tell them that I love them at the beginning of the conversation and again at the end, even if I'm having to scold them for something. It's even worked for me with cats. (lol)

Keep us posted. I think you're doing a wonderful thing.
Amen to that...

Another option as oposed to muzzling them when you take them for walks is a head halter, gentle leader, any of these will do. I'm not sure how avalible these are to you, but there great tools that allow the dog to pant, drink, eat treats you may give them, and at the same time allow you to pull up there heads so they can't eat whatever is on the ground. 'Leave it' is a great comand to teach for that purpose...
It makes it a little harder for you to teach Noodles not to go in the house because she was raised in a small cage where I'm assuming she relieved herself in all of the time. People play on dogs natural instinct not to 'mess' in their den; Noodles' probably doesn't have that 'instinct' very strong, but it sounds like you're doing a great job teaching her anyway.
You could try frequent small meals a day and slowly make their meals bigger, cutting them back to 4 times a day, 3 times a day... to however many meals a day you plan to feed them to 'wean' them off of scavenging.
Give them time, once they relize they can trust you and they won't go hungry again they'll come around ~ and you'll be glad you rescued them
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