Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

I have a question I don't really know where to post. I just got a new foster yesterday. His name is Argus, and he's supposedly 2 years old. He is very sweet, and has wonderful wolf eyes. The main problem with him is that he is not properly house trained. How do you potty train an adult dog?

We took him out lots of times and he just doesn't pee. Took him on a long walk. Nothing. He DID poop in the yard. This morning my daughter was trying to get him to go downstairs, and he resisted, then peed in the hallway. He doesn't seem to understand any potty commands.

He slept all night in my daughter's bed, and had no accidents.

I know how to potty train a puppy, but I have NO idea, what to do in this case. Help!

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First, I love the look of him.  Then I would probably work him the very same way I would a pup.  If he is resisting snap a lead on him first thing when you get up (if he is going to sleep in your daughter's room she needs to take the lead with her when she goes to bed) and lead him out to the yard and make that his routine, he doesn't get the option of refusing.  I would keep plenty of tiny treats on hand to give him we he does go and tons of praise.  He is probably very smart, just hasn't been asked to use his brain for the right things.

First, thank you for fostering Argus and helping him to find a home. He is beautiful. 

When I adopted JD, he was 14 months old and potty trained. I brought him home on a Tuesday night, and he did not eliminate at all until late Thursday morning. Not indoors, not outdoors. Not in the yard and not on walks. I was frantic. 

I have since come to believe that he was very harshly punished for accidents as a puppy (he showed signs of having been hit with something like a rolled up newspaper) and was terrified of making a mistake. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to do or where he was supposed to do it. 

(To this day, he prefers to go potty on leash, on his walks, and will almost never poop in the yard. It's just his way.) 

I will also tell you that 50% of the doodle fosters I've had, all adults who were supposed to be housebroken, all had one pee accident in the house within the first few days they were here, and then never again. Same thing when they went to their forever homes.

I think Argus peed indoors this morning out of fear more than not being housebroken. ("What is going to happen to me now?" ) He may also not be used to stairs. 

It will take time for Argus to adjust and feel safe. Once he understands the rules and routine in this new place, once he knows who the players are, what to expect of them, and what is expected of him, he will probably settle into a potty routine and you may not have any more accidents in the house. Be sure to use a good odor neutralizer on the spot where he went so he doesn't return to it.

In the meantime, I agree that he needs to be treated as a puppy regarding housebreaking until he shows you otherwise. Establish a routine, and be very, very lavish with praise and treats when he "goes" in the appropriate place. But I wouldn't try to pull or drag him outdoors in the a.m. I'd try bouncing down the stairs as if the best thing in the world was waiting for me down there, while talking to Argus in an excited, enthusiastic voice. "Good morning, Argus! Let's go outside! What a good boy! Let's go see what kind of day we have here!" 

As much as possible, limit guests and visitors to the house for a few days, and try to stick to a regular schedule. It helps the dog feel safe when he knows what is coming next, lol. 

Good luck, and thank you again. 

I love Karen's advice!

Me, too. Thank you for being so helpful Karen. You are a star!

Wonderful advice!

Karen's advice is right on point! 

Thanks for being a foster momma!

I have no other advice, but wow, Argus is beautiful!  Thanks for being a foster mom!

Thank you, everyone! He IS beautiful but I can't keep him. He keeps attacking Nimbus and the last time was pretty bad. I can't risk him seriously hurting Nimbus. Either he doesn't like puppies or he just needs to be an only dog.

I'm sorry, Helga. I give you all the credit for trying, but some dogs just need to be "only" dogs. I hope cutie Angus finds the best forever home. 

Helga, thanks for fostering this guy. I know he was turned in to the shelter for peeing, but do we know if he has always done it or just began and why?  Did they get a new dog or child or does he have a UTI?  Clancy began to lift his leg inside the first morning but we stopped him immediately and felt it was because he had been in the shelter and had no other option there but to pee on the cement wall.  What we did with the adult  foster we had was confine him to our den then the den/kitchen area (tile floors) when we were with him and crate when we couldn't.   We used baby gates, baby corral and an ex-pen to block our areas.  We happen to have a doggie door which I think helped a lot. I would only do this if your fence is totally secure and the gate is kept locked at all times.  We took weeks to work on gradually increasing his areas.  We took him out like you would a puppy, but it is a bit harder because they can hold it longer so 'catching' them can be difficult.  There are also belly bands that you can buy or make that are bands that you put around the body - in the strategic place - with a disposable pad that you can use to 'save' your house.  The problem with this is that there is no teaching going on.   Love the pictures!



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