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jetcitywoman

Training A Dog To Pee In The Shower

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Lately Capri's been getting us up in the wee morning hours to be let outside. For years our routine is to put the dogs out for a potty break around 9 - 10pm just before bed so that they are good for the night until we get up at 6:30 when they get the first morning potty break. This works well, until lately. I suspect it's because she's getting old, she's eleven years old now.

 

So to allow us to sleep, I'm pondering the idea of training her that it's okay for her to go into our walk-in shower and pee there in the middle of the night. The shower floor is river-pebbles, so not very slippery, easy to clean and of course has a drain. Capri has always had a very particular potty habit - some dogs will hold it until their bladder bursts, she's not one of those dogs. We discovered a few years ago that she'll hold it as long as it's comfortable to do so, but then when it's urgent and nobody's around to let her out, she will squat and go. The "quirk" reason I know this is deliberate and not just lack of house training is that she always squats in front of our sliding glass door, facing out. It's as close to outside as she can get herself. We solved the problem (after we realized what was going on) by having mandatory potty breaks just before we leave the house in the morning and at lunchtime.

 

But now, given her willingness to solve her own problem, I think we can use that to train her to use our shower as a potty place during the night. The trick is... I don't know how to start. The shower is where we bathe the dogs, which she doesn't like, so she won't go in there without being pulled and cajoled. We can use treats and encouragement to teach her it's okay to walk in there, but how do we show her that it's okay to then pee?


Sharon, Capri, Loki, Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

 

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Maybe if you could catch some pee in a container when she goes outside, and then put that on the shower floor, the smell would help encourage her to pee in there?

 

Good luck, it sounds like a workable scheme if you can get past that first hurdle!


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I think you would have to have a very solid "go potty" command first. Do you leash walk or let out in the yard to potty? I would get her to the point that she will potty on command anywhere in the yard then move to surfaces requiring a little more difficulty, like the sidewalk or street or other unusual potty locations. Of course treating or praising for all successes. Once she will pee anywhere on command, I would try the shower. Do you have somewhere else you can bath her?


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Personally I would work on two things separately. First, the potty command seems like a great idea. Ours is "hurry up". You can work on that starting immediately, just head outside with the dogs when they go outside.

 

Second, I'd work to make the shower being a place where really great things happen. Get the tastiest food (cheeseburgers, bacon, cheese, lunch meat) and reward her for going into the shower several times a day.

 

I would make sure she's totally comfortable in the shower before you start combining the two. You don't want to overwhelm or confuse her. Once she's comfortable in the shower, you can then start taking her there when you know she has to go. Use the potty command, put her own pee in the shower so it smells like the bathroom to her, etc. But not until she's totally comfortable there.

Edited by gracegirl

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I would also find another place to bathe the dogs. I don't think she'll ever be comfortable going in there as long as she associates it with the dreaded bath. Otherwise, a great idea.

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Guest Amber

Things get a bit desperate with seniors, i remember both my oldies forgot their house training and used to just pee anywhere .

 

i think the shower thing is going to be difficult. Most dogs never set paw in bathrooms unless it's the dreaded bath .

 

It may be less convenient , but as she already does it by the patio door when desperate, if you put a few layers of pee pads down there , would she go there ? Hopefully the pee pads would contain everything and be easy to clean up? Or install a doggy door if she would be likely to be able to use it ... it could come in really handy.

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I would also find another place to bathe the dogs. I don't think she'll ever be comfortable going in there as long as she associates it with the dreaded bath. Otherwise, a great idea.

I agree with this. There is no way Ruby would set foot in the shower on her own. We have pick her up and push to get her in ours.

Maybe potty pads with her pee on them at first ? Good luck


Karen

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Why not just put a washable incontinence pad down where she pees in front of the door? I think it's going to be way more work than its worth and an uphill battle with the negative association she already has to get her to go in your shower though I like the idea.


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Guest KsFrets
Lately Capri's been getting us up in the wee morning hours to be let outside.

 

 

​Bless her precious heart for letting you know! What's wrong with getting up and letter her out? In a few years Capri will be gone, and you will be glad you did everything you could, to make her happy. Why confuse the crap out of her, by making her hold it to the breaking point, and then pee inside, when she knows she isn't supposed to? I'd been getting up with Magnus anywhere between midnight and 2am, every night. We actually got used to it. Bless his old heart, he never had an accident in the house. He's now gone (bone cancer) and I don't regret it at all. It got to be such a habit, that the other dogs still get me up in the middle of the night now. Much better than turning the house into a pee-pit. If they ask, I'm more than happy to let them out… and the pay off comes in the morning, especially weekends, because we can sleep in as long as we want, and the dogs graciously wait for us to get up.

Edited by KsFrets

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You may or may not know that George had an ongoing pee problem, and many a day I came home to a soggy belly band or carpet. Like your Capri, he ALWAYS went right near the slider (actually lifted his leg and peed on the glass). Instead of always stressing about it, I put down human incontinence pads where he was peeing anyway. Problem solved. I expect this would be a lot easier than convincing her to go in the shower! As long as you have a washer, the pads are very easy to deal with-machine wash, hang dry, but four of them and you always have one handy.


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i second neylasmom's suggestion. just tape a large black plastic bag under the pee pad or use a rubber backed bathmat or nonskid neoprene mat under the wee pad. i initially thought dog door inserted into the sliding door, much easier to teach a dog to use it. but the wee pads should work.

 

using food to lure her into the shower won't work since a dog generally doesn't eat where they pee. so, if she's getting great grub in the shower, why would she pee there?

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Okay, I'm inclined to agree with those who said that it's probably easier to continue the peeing by the back door rather than try to teach her that the shower is her new potty spot. We have already put a hard plastic chair mat there, with a towel on top to soak up the puddle. She doesn't have daytime "accidents" often anymore now that we're vigilant, but she did once or twice a month ago.

 

KsFrets, I understand what you're saying. When Ajax's bladder burst just after his spinal surgery and we brought him home, we took turns letting him out every hour or so around the clock until his bladder healed up. However, as an ongoing thing we can't do that. We both work full time, and have to get up at 6:30 to be at work on time, so getting up in the middle of the night every night just doesn't work for us. But we can give her her designated pee spot in front of the door.

Edited by jetcitywoman

Sharon, Capri, Loki, Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

 

Visit Sit. Stay Safe! by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

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I've had success training Brandi to use a large tray filled with kitty litter and covered with a towel where she goes anyhow. Poke eps things off the floor and is easy to clean up.

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Guest Lillypad

Have to admit I didn't read all the posts above. But this question reminded me of the "Pee in the Shower" campaign in Brazil. I think it is an excellent idea!!! and so do millions of Brazilians.. hee.hee.

 

 

Edited by Lillypad

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Guest Amber

​Bless her precious heart for letting you know! What's wrong with getting up and letter her out? In a few years Capri will be gone, and you will be glad you did everything you could, to make her happy. Why confuse the crap out of her, by making her hold it to the breaking point, and then pee inside, when she knows she isn't supposed to? I'd been getting up with Magnus anywhere between midnight and 2am, every night. We actually got used to it. Bless his old heart, he never had an accident in the house. He's now gone (bone cancer) and I don't regret it at all. It got to be such a habit, that the other dogs still get me up in the middle of the night now. Much better than turning the house into a pee-pit. If they ask, I'm more than happy to let them out and the pay off comes in the morning, especially weekends, because we can sleep in as long as we want, and the dogs graciously wait for us to get up.

not everyone can function with on going sleep deprivation. It depends on the individual.

 

Also if you are lucky enough to have a senior who goes on to age 13 or 14, chances are that they will go senile and incontinent. Even if they remember to wake you up, often they can't hold back the pee whilst you stumble out of bed to get them outside.

 

Then there's a problem if you have to go out to work.

I'm afraid my house did become a 'pee pit' , both my oldies went senile, both died age 14. They mostly peed on area rugs which could be disposed of, luckily no fitted carpets.

 

but what was the alternative? Have them put down because they forgot their house training ? Or kennel them outside?

 

No, it isn't pleasant having a large dog pee in your house, but sometimes there is no alternative

Edited by Amber

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This idea is freaking brilliant. Let us know if you can find a way to make it work!


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Guest KsFrets

Amber, I've been getting up in the night with children, foster children, and countless dogs, and cats (of all ages) for over 40 years. I've also been cleaning up pee and poo and puke for as long. Often there is no choice, but if there is, and maybe it's just me, but I'd rather get up, than clean up, especially when the animal is doing it's best to work with me. I worked full time too, it's all just part of having kids and pets. Whatever works I guess.

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Amber, I've been getting up in the night with children, foster children, and countless dogs, and cats (of all ages) for over 40 years. I've also been cleaning up pee and poo and puke for as long. Often there is no choice, but if there is, and maybe it's just me, but I'd rather get up, than clean up, especially when the animal is doing it's best to work with me. I worked full time too, it's all just part of having kids and pets. Whatever works I guess.

If that's what you feel is best for you and your dogs, great, but you don't need to sound judgmental about people who choose to handle it differently. I don't function well when sleep deprived. It's better for ALL of my animals if I'm well rested. I also live in a 3rd floor condo so it's no small task to get a dog up and out in the middle of the night. Have I done it many many times? Yes. Will I do it many more times? Yes. When Zuri gets to the point where he just can't make it through the night anymore, will I have qualms about trying to work out a solution that doesn't involve me getting up? Absolutely not. I went through the constantly being woken up with accidents with Neyla and I know how much harder that made it for me to deal with a sick dog who needed my absolute best. When we finally worked out a solution that involved a homemade doggie diaper and an incontinence pad (ON my bed mind you so she should continue to sleep in bed with me), life was a lot better for both of us. Better to err on the side of being supportive than assume that your solution is best for everyone.


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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest Amber

I recall that with oscar he did get me up at least once a night, sometimes 2 or 3 x, i can't honestly remember now if it was always to go out and pee, i think often yes i did let him out the garden, but also his dementia just caused him to be restless at night.

 

i was like a zombie for about 6 months, my work really suffered, my time keeping was terrible. In another profession where it was more important to be on the ball, think i could have been fired. Bosses don't usually have any leeway or special leave for people caring for old, sick animals.

 

I wish now i had thought of some way back then to get better sleep. Even my vet remarked how awful it was to be woken all the time and tbh i think he was hinting that if i wanted oscar euthanized, he would do it (he had terrible arthritis as well and looking back i probably kept him going too long...in the end he died naturally).

 

Not many people i know do well being woken every night but some are just physically more able to cope.

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Females are especially easy to train to use a specific elimination place. If you decide to try your initial plan, it should work well if your shower is large enough for a Greyhound to enter and turn around easily. (It goes without saying that this would only be for a safe, flat shower without any bathtub. A bathtub is too dangerous for a dog.)

 

During initial training, an old crate bottom or similar tray could hold either a doggie training pad, plain tumbled playground mulch (no toxic cocoa mulch or dyed mulches), a layer of lawn sod, or whatever surface she's used to when doing business outside. (I'd add a mesh screen + drainage holes to the tray.) Pre-soak the material with her urine and praise her with wonderful treats when she walks inside the shower. Leash escort her to her new potty place when you know she needs to urinate, and tell her your usual verbal potty cue. Have a happy praise party when she eliminates. Rubber-backed mats should be provided on the bathroom floor leading to/from the shower prevent any slippage.

 

(I've taught many animals to use a specific potty with great success. Just a caution: It's possible Ajax might attempt to follow Capri's lead.)

 

Just a thought: If Capri hasn't had a urinalysis recently, that would be first on my list. (Two of our hounds are approaching 14 y.o. and can still hold urine overnight, but they do require more frequent outings during the daytime.) Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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HUH! You know, HeatherLee, we've had a few hard winters where I wished someone would invent something like a litterbox for dogs.... come to learn that they have! :lol

 

Thank you, we may give this a try!


Sharon, Capri, Loki, Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

 

Visit Sit. Stay Safe! by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

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There is medication for senior female incontinence that could help. 11 isn't "that" old. Many 11 year old can make it through the night. I'd consult the vet first.

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Guest HeatherLee

HUH! You know, HeatherLee, we've had a few hard winters where I wished someone would invent something like a litterbox for dogs.... come to learn that they have! :lol

 

Thank you, we may give this a try!

Sorry for the SUPER LATE reply .. hahah.. so what did you end up doing? I found this thread again bc I'm thinking about training one of mine to go in the shower. I'm moving to an apt that won't have a patio for a porch potty. Seems like a tub would be much easier to clean up and keep odor free than a doggy litter box. My Holly is potty trained but sometimes she just can't hold it all day when I'm at work. I try not be be gone for more than 9 hours but life is never that perfect and sometimes her poor bladder just can't hold it. Totally understandable.

 

Sounds silly but what about putting AstroTurf in the shower to lure her in combined with a kind of dogging stepping stool to get in and out to minimize injury? Thoughts?

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Why not just put a washable incontinence pad down where she pees in front of the door? I think it's going to be way more work than its worth and an uphill battle with the negative association she already has to get her to go in your shower though I like the idea.

This is what I do for Reba(except I use the disposable ones) and it works GREAT. If she has to go she will go on the potty pad-easy peezy-no mess-easy to clean-just throw it in the trash. Floor don't get wet as it has a plastic backing. I do tape it down so it stays put as she may inadvertently move it by walking on it if i don't. I never trained her to do it. I just started putting it down where she would go otherwise and she started using it herself right from the beginning!

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