Is a crate the only way to housebreak?

Jan 22, 2004
Hi, I'm new here...
I have two dogs, my oldest, Worf (8), is a well behaved , loveable border collie cross, a couple of months ago, I took in a little jack russell *****, Blackie(3), who was left on her own for days at a time and I was told she was house trained, apart from a couple of accidents per week, which I could handle.
The problem is she just does her mess everywhere in the house, which is making the carpets smell really bad despite constant disinfecting. My other dog sleeps on my bedroom floor at night, I feel mean making her sleep on her own in order to train her , especially as she is a very nervous little dog.
She goes out for walks with my other dog, she sometimes does her business outside, for which I praise her for. But sometimes, she'll come back indoors, and go and wee as soon as her lead is hung up!!!!When she does mess in the house, I usually tell her she's naughty and put her outside, hoping that eventually she will start to go the door if she needs to wee.
I know how to house break a puppy, surely there must be an easier way to train an adult dog than to keep her in a small confined area all the time.
I am at my wits end, so any advice would be most appreciated
Dec 20, 2003
Where the selas blooms
Jack Russells tend to be very intelligent - and can be extremely intransigent. It sounds like yours may be having some typical problems adjusting to losing her old, familiar home (no matter how unhappy she may have been there) and getting acclimated to a new one. My Mom kept a male JR for someone for a year and a half. He had a hard time at first, adjusting to a cat, a Rat Terrier and our blind Australian Shepherd, especially since he had been mistreated by someone in his previous household. He did the same thing for the first couple of months.

The most frustrating part of this problem with an adult dog is knowing that the dog knows not to go in the house, but for some reason chooses to do so.

Part of her behaviour may be marking her new territory. Terriers like to be in charge, as do Border Collies, but they can get a bit belligerent about the process. Blackie has lost her territory, and all the security that goes with belonging. Strangely enough, Blackie probably needs all the reassurance you can give her; lots of attention and play time, both with Worf (love the name!) and one on one with you. Frequent treats might help, not necessarily for any reward, but just to let her know you love her and she belongs. Worf should love that development, since you need to reinforce the idea of Blackie's new "family" by making sure Worf is present and gets treated, too, probably giving him his treat first.

For the time being, give less (not no) punishment and more reassurance a shot. It's hard sometimes, because the whole situation is so frustrating. And make sure your cleaning agent doesn't have any ammonia in it. Ammonia only reinforces the urine odor to your dog, making it seem okay to go in that spot. Try a citrus cleaner, or on carpet, one of the oxygen cleaners. And be thankful Jack Russells have little bladders!

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