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I have “adopted” (I paid just under a grand for him) a 1.5 year old male spoo from a local breeder. He was one of many, many intact males the breeder had, and the lowest guy on the totem pole, so picked on frequently I think. He was very timid and skittish at the breeders, but has started to open up here with me. He is still shy with strangers, and afraid of every noise he hears, afraid of cars driving down the road, etc. He had never left the breeder’s property, walked on a leash, or ridden in a car when I took him. Today is day three in my house, and every day is an improvement. This morning, he was willing to play fetch even. And is usually stuck to my side like Velcro.

The trouble I am having and need the most help with is this- he was supposedly house trained...but I think it was more like he spent most of his time outside so just didn’t have much opportunity to go inside. And he is good when I watch him, BUT he goes in the house if I leave even for a few minutes. Anything from taking the trash out to driving my kid to school. It doesn’t matter if I leave him in the crate (he was never crate trained, so we are working on that) or loose in the house.

So I’ve tried taking him with me, but he can’t go with me everywhere AND he’s peed in my car out of what I assume is sheer terror of being in the car twice now. I have a normal sized car, so can’t confine him to a crate in the car. He didn’t pee in the car on the hour ride home from the breeders house to mine, but he did throw up.

I’m looking at diapers, but that would only mitigate the pee problem and do nothing for #2, and would only be a temporary solution to the real problem, which is probably separation anxiety, lack of early socialization and proper house breaking. Basically he was not set up for success. He is a sweet boy, and I have hope for the great personality I see glimpses of under the fear, but I am done cleaning up pee and poop every day - I could have gotten a weeks old puppy and had less of that to do.

Also fwiw this is not my first dog, just my first poodle, so I have experience house breaking a dog, though always from from puppy age. We go out for walks during the day, and offer potty outside about every 30 mins to an hour. So far he will only pee outside not #2 and only in the wee hours between 11:30 pm and 3:00 am when it is absolutely quiet out. He does get excited to go out, and has even asked to go out or done what looks like close enough to an ask to me, just has performance anxiety I guess. Help!


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How frustrating. It’s been over 30 years since I toilet trained our tpoo and she was so easy. I’m out of touch on the basics.

But I can offer two pieces of information. I brought home an older minipoo and those first few days she was scared. I saw changes daily, weekly and even after a few months in her personality for the positive as she learned the new routine.

Second, a dog may be perfectly house broken in their own home (the breeder’s home) but not anywhere else. He now has to learn that every inch of your home, including the basement or any other space is a not for potty or marking. And when you first take him out to new places such as someone else’s house that he can’t mark or potty inside there. Eventually he will learn he can only do it outside and he will be safe to take anywhere inside but that time is not now.

treat him like an 8 week old puppy. Limit his space and slowly enlarge so he understands every area inside the house is not for potty. Hopefully it won’t take long since he’s older and has a mature bladder.
 

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Exactly as Skylar said treat housebreaking this boy as though he was a baby dog. He will catch on. Supervise carefully and develop a schedule. I am sure he will appreciate the schedule from the perspective of learning to feel safe and relaxed in your home. Be patient and I am sure he will blossom into a great dog.
 

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Poodles are sensitive to change and it’s going to take him some time to get used to his new home and the family schedule. I agree with Skylar to keep him confined or even tethered to you in the house. Have a potty praise and treat party when he goes outside. Try not to get frustrated. It doesn’t sound like he had the best start in life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your help and advice. Today was a much better day. No accidents in the house after my frustrations this morning. I have been having a party when he goes outside, just not providing treats for that. I’ll add those in and see if that contract bird the good progress. Definitely using treats for the crate training, he made progress there today too. :)

He definitely is sensitive, which is going to make training a breeze once he gains some confidence.


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Not sure if I would allow him bed privileges, quite yet, but I do love his trusting head on your lap. Jolly him, reassure him through his fears and name those things, poodles have remarkable vocabulary potential. Take the long view to poodle perfect and celebrate your successes along the way. Like today!!!
 

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He looks fabulous on your bed - glad that is seems to be going better today. As I mentioned, it will be easier as he relaxes and starts to trust you and gets into his new routine.
 
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What a precious boy. Can only echo the advice others have given. Crate or tether, treat him like new puppy. With time and patience, I am sure you both will succeed.
 

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It takes time, persistence and patience. He is making progress. He will continue to do so. Give him time. It is early days yet.
Eric
 
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So happy to hear he is making progress....I knew he would, he's a poodle!

He sure is beautiful and looks like he's a good snuggler. With lots of patience, which I know you have, he will blossom in no time.

Congratulations! I am happy that you have each other. I hope we will hear more about your adventures together.
 

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What sweet pics of your handsome boy..........like everyone else has said, it's just a matter of time and patience and starting at step 1!!!! It sure looks like you are going to have a very deep bond with this lovable boy! Much happiness to you both!
 
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He's nakey, ha-ha! I love the way their warm bodies feel when you have that skin to skin contact. He is a handsome boy. When I got my first poodle I had to keep a drag line on her for a few days, or else, I couldn't catch her to bring her inside. It was a lot of work to get her to where she should have been as a young pup, and she was ten months old.. She was afraid of her own shadow; had to be dumped out of her crate. Anyhow, she turned out to be the best poodle ever; even became a therapy dog at eight years old. You'll do fine. Just give it time, and don't be afraid to ask for advice. You make get a dozen different solutions, but you can choose what works best for your situation. Good luck!
 

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4 standards ago, I also adopted an older male spoo and went through the same thing.

Even though Sonny had control of his bladder, he was also under a lot of stress and nerves would get the better of him.

Add to the problem that Sonny was an intact male that felt the need to mark his new home.

Don't worry, it all works out and a lot faster than with a pup. It did with Sonny and he turned into a wonderful dog, a perfect gentleman that would burst before he messed in the house. Your boy will get there too once he gets his feet under him.

Been a long time since I saw a totally shaved down spoo, it shows off how pretty he is. Yeap, he's a lap dog, spoo just don't understand that they are too big for laps, they feel it's theirs by right of being a poodle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
He's nakey, ha-ha! I love the way their warm bodies feel when you have that skin to skin contact. He is a handsome boy. When I got my first poodle I had to keep a drag line on her for a few days, or else, I couldn't catch her to bring her inside. It was a lot of work to get her to where she should have been as a young pup, and she was ten months old.. She was afraid of her own shadow; had to be dumped out of her crate. Anyhow, she turned out to be the best poodle ever; even became a therapy dog at eight years old. You'll do fine. Just give it time, and don't be afraid to ask for advice. You make get a dozen different solutions, but you can choose what works best for your situation. Good luck!


Thank you! We are slowly making progress. Tow steps forward and one step back.

Yeah, he looks a little silly, but his breeder kept him corded so I shaved him down and we are working on growing out hair for a German clip. I think they look very manly.


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As the others have already said...it will take time. You do have to treat him just like I am treating this 9 week old that I have. Its a few nights/days of no sleep, though for two nights now he slept without issue and only woke 1x to potty. I once took in a 2 year chihuahua that came from a hoarding situation, lived in a barn without human contact so even when i picked him up he pooped. He did learn though took time and patience. I had a strict feeding schedule, potty schedule, walk schedule. Of course there were eta times out too. It worked. Poodles are so smart and I think its great you basically rescued him and are giving him a chance at a life that he didn't have
 

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As you work with your new dog, I highly recommend the Look at That game. It gives your dog a reward for looking at something stimulating/scary/new/frightening/upsetting. It's a confidence builder for all dogs. Here's the best video I have found for how to play. You do not have to have a clicker, just say, yes.

 

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A good home.

Re-reading this post, it does look like his breeder could be less than ethical by the standards set here. There could well be a few other dogs with your boys problems or worse. They might not end up with a person like you, who will take the time and give the patience that you are. I hope for the best for them too and pray that they will be lucky enough to fine happy forever homes.:amen:

Eric.
 

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He's a cutie! And I agree, it doesn't sound like he had the greatest start. But it can all get better from here. :)

As a person with a fearful/undersocialized dog (the one that's not a poodle, but still), I just wanted to add that routine is VERY helpful in getting them to relax. A predictable schedule and environment go a long way to alleviating their general anxiety.

My guess would be that he chooses to potty when he feels the most safe, and he holds it when he doesn't. This is probably why you have a hard time getting him to go #2 outside - that's a vulnerable position for him, physically, and with all the new noises around he's not sure it's safe. And then when the house is empty and quiet and there's nobody around to surprise him, he decides that's a good time/place to relieve himself.

So with those two things in mind, I'd advise you to pick a consistent spot outside where you want him to go. Choose a place that's away from the road and not too near anything else distracting, that's quiet and secluded. Then take him there every time you take him for a potty break. If he goes there, give him amazing treats (even multiple treats! Make it a jackpot!). You may have to wait a bit for him to choose to go the first couple of times, but it'll get faster and faster as the habit becomes ingrained.

As he gets to know YOU and understands that you're a safe person, that will help him feel safer generally too. So keep being patient and gentle with him, and he'll figure it out. The "Look at That" game that Click-N-Treat posted is fantastic, too.

EDIT: And I'm sure you know this, but try not to punish him for pottying in the house, at least for now - he sounds like the type to just hide it from you if you do that.
 

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As you work with your new dog, I highly recommend the Look at That game. It gives your dog a reward for looking at something stimulating/scary/new/frightening/upsetting. It's a confidence builder for all dogs. Here's the best video I have found for how to play. You do not have to have a clicker, just say, yes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdraNF2hcgA


Very interesting, I will have to implement that!


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