Rescuing 8 year old cocker and know nothing!

Discussion in 'Looking For Advice' started by Bre, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. Bre

    Bre New Member

    I need a lot of help, please. In about 10 days, I am going to be taking in a family member's cocker spaniel, GB; the current situation is terrible, but my house is still less than ideal. He is almost 8 and and has lived with my family member since he was 6 months old. But now that family member is married, with two children and another dog.

    Due to all of these changes, he has taken to doing his business in the children's rooms, which causes lots of trouble, borderline abusive. Needless to say, he is my dog now, I'm picking him up on 10 days. But I live in a 3rd floor apartment and work out of town. I'm gone M-F from 7:30a-6p and simply can't afford a pet sitter or day care.

    I've done a lot of research, I really want to set him up well, and for potty success, and have formulated a plan of sorts- I will be able to walk him for at least 30 minutes every morning and evening and there's a dog park 3 miles away for exercise at least a couple of times a week. And I plan to take him to the vet to make sure it's not a medical issue; although I'm pretty sure it's behavioral.

    To work on the behavior, I hope to train him to use a potty mat on the outside patio to offer additional opportunities, especially during inclement weather or potty emergencies after he refuses to go during our walk (which is what's happening at his current place), and I hope he will use a potty mat in the bathroom since I'll be gone so long during the day and hate the thought of him having to hold it if he has to go, especially as he ages. My family member assured me he could go 10 1/2 hours but I can't fathom that to be the case. Plus, his poor bladder! He will be confined to the bathroom (decent sized) until I can trust that he knows how to use the potty pad and then he will have run of the house.

    In the next couple months I plan to buy a camera/speaker/treat dispenser so I can interact with him during breaks and lunch. I know this is not ideal- I have read online that potty pads are lazy and abusive but it seems like our best shot. Please, all constructive thoughts and ideas are welcome! Thank you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2017
  2. manuel

    manuel Administrator Staff Member

    I'm glad you've removed him from a potentially abusive environment but you certainly have a long road ahead of you. It may help reaching out to a local dog rescue for assistance--it can't hurt.

    Since he won't have access to the patio 24/7, I suggest designating his potty play inside next to the patio door. I'm sure he can be trained potty pads. I would potty train him exclusively in that spot and not out on the patio so he learns where to go. He probably can hold it for 10 hours but it's unreasonable to expect it. My wife is in the hospital so I'm taking care of our dog and I work 12 hour shifts. He's not having accidents but I've left the basement door open just in case.

    If you do confine him in the bathroom he may suffer sensory deprivation so try to add something to keep him stimulated (e.g. dog toys, radio, plants). Make sure the bathroom doesn't get to warm either.
  3. Polly

    Polly Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you so much for taking him in. Yes your situation is not ideal, but, it can work. Another suggestion would be an xpen. You can get them inexpensively online, it could be set up in a room
    that you could use while you are at work. If it's a larger one, you can set up the potty pads in there. with a doggy bed and toys for him, even a crate if he is crate trained.
    Be sure to keep a good enzyme cleaner on hand to use on spots if he makes a mistake.

    When you are home and you don't have him confined in "his space" keep him tethered to you with a leash, you can attach it to his collar and to your beltloop on your jeans. That way you can
    catch him if he wants to go where he isn't supposed to go and re-direct him to where you want him to go.

    Good luck.
    manuel likes this.
  4. Bre

    Bre New Member

    Thank you so much for your ideas! I hadn't thought of contacting my local rescue but will do so!

    I had similar reservations about the bathroom being too boring, I bought a kong treat ball and a stuffed toy, but hadn't thought about how stuffy it could get, even with the door open. Not good. I think I'll bail on it being the confinement room. I really like the xpen idea- looking into purchasing one today.

    Not confining to the bathroom and putting him near the patio door puts him solely on carpet, I've got cleaner, but I read with puppy training I should cover his whole area with pads and gradually reduce it to just one... is that a good way to go? Also, what are your thoughts on turf vs paper pads? He seems really, really smart and very loving; I hope a situation change helps his motivation to potty in the right place.

    I had thought about training him to go both inside his confinement area, on a pad, and outside on the patio, on a turf potty patch. Is that too much? Too many options? I just want to make sure he has everything he needs.

    Thanks again for your encouragement and ideas!
  5. manuel

    manuel Administrator Staff Member

    That's a good idea and what we've used in the past.
    Turf? You mean that litter box setup with plastic grass? I guess that would be your preference and consider the cost. Newspaper will work but you could also lay down absorbent pads (see link below) for less mess. Dynarex Disposable Underpad, 17 inches X 24 inches, 100 Count: Industrial & Scientific
    I would try one area first and work for success then the others.
    Bre likes this.
  6. Polly

    Polly Super Moderator Staff Member

    Try using something completely waterproof under the xPen, like a tarp you can get at Walmart.
    I use these when it's raining. The good thing about these pads is that the urine won't be noticeable to you after it's washed, but, it will be to him.
    And get him more toys if he is inclined to playing with toys.

    Wee-Wee Washables Pad, Large
    Bre likes this.
  7. Bre

    Bre New Member

    I love the tarp and wee wee pad idea! It's great that they're washable, I really like that.

    Ok, my new plan is to buy a crate and xpen that fit together and put it near the patio door. I will put down a tarp at first and use paper pads over that with the wee wee pad in the area I'll train him to use, gradually reducing the paper pads.

    And toys, I will get him lots more toys!
    Polly and manuel like this.

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