by Suella
(New Jersey)

From Suella... My dog is one of our two Chows. He is 3 years old and is out of control.

I used to be able to let him out and he would come right back in. He now will pee on the floors (which he never did), charge the doors to get out and run.

He was never so bad but at this point I don't know what to do. My other Chow is 13 and is such a good boy. I'm ready to find him new home. I have tried everything. He is out of control. PLEASE HELP!

Shannon Says...

Hi Suella,

It sounds like it's time to get some private training with a certified professional dog trainer in your area, who can target these problems.

Usually when I am working with a dog who used to be house trained and for some reason or another "regresses", we start over from the beginning.

This means that you'll want to keep an close eye on him at all times in the house. When you go out and at night, I recommend crating him to prevent any accidents or intentional peeing.

The crate should be large enough only for him to sit, lie down, and turn around in. Any bigger and he will pee in one corner and sleep in the other. 99% of dogs won't pee where they have to sleep.

Be sure to take time to properly introduce him to the crate, and make it a happy place for him to be. The crate is NOT to be used as punishment, otherwise he will hate it.

Toss a treat in, give him a command as he runs in to get the treat, and let him come right out again. Do this a few times, and then when he goes in for a treat, close the door for a few seconds, then let him out.

Slowly build up the time he spends in the crate in 5 minute increments. You can give him a bone, chew toy, or Kong with peanut butter in the crate to keep him busy, too.

A couple key points: don't ever push him into the crate - it will cause a negative association with it. Also, be sure to let him out when he is quiet, NOT if he is barking or scratching at the crate.

Set a timer for yourself when you are home. Take him outside on a leash to a designated "potty area" every hour on the hour, and say "Go pee" or another short command.

Praise him immediately if he goes outside. Don't wait until you come back inside to praise him, or he will not understand what the praise is for!

If he does pee in the house, don't yell or scold him - it won't help. You can clap your hands or say "Eh!" loudly to try to startle him so he stops, and then rush him outside to finish.

Soak up the urine with a new sponge, and take it (along with your dog) outside and wipe on the grass in his potty area. Let him sniff it on the grass outside!

Be sure to thoroughly clean the area he soiled with an enzyme-based cleaner. Don't use bleach, as the ammonia smell will trigger him to go again in that spot. If you find that he is peeing in his crate, take out any bedding until he learns not to.

This should help you with the peeing issue. I would get a trainer in your area to help you target the rushing doors, and working on a reliable recall and stay commands.

I also recommend my e-book on house training - it's really helpful for starting over.

Good luck!

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