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Old 16-10-2013, 08:09   #1
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Stubborn Dog won't go Potty on Board

My husband and I and our dog have been living aboard for 4 months now. We are still having trouble getting our dog to consistently go potty aboard the boat. We have an astro turf pad that has been well seasoned but he still will hold it upwards of 36 hours before we get ashore! Recently we've also created a lawn for him out of sod on the boat but still no luck. We are planning to do the ARC Caribbean 1500 in a few weeks and don't want to put our dog in a position where he'll get sick by not going to the bathroom.

Does anyone have any additional tips on getting a dog to go potty on board?

If people have dogs that resisted going on board:
- do they eventually go? and is it consistent after they figure it out?
- will they make themselves sick or cause illness by not going?

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:36   #2
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

This probably will be of no help to you, and you may already be aware of it, but it is a natural instinct for dogs (some more than others) not to go potty in or near their "den" (where they sleep and eat). For them it's a sanitary (and probably security) thing. My dog will not even do his business anywhere near our house. I have to walk him about 1/4 mile away before he'll go.

The only thing I could suggest would be maybe putting the potty pad as far away as possible from where he normally spends his time.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:42   #3
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

I can see this would be a worry for you. It's common for dogs to hold their urine a long time.

There is a somewhat newer way of training animals that I don't know much about, but know someone who does. I'd suggest you give Tina Spriing at "Sit Happens" in Athens, Georgia, a call and discuss it with her, including what you've done, how you've done it, and get her notions about helpiing your pooch. If you need it, she might be able to make a referral in your area. Use my name. Another thought, maybe your vet could help you find someone who can help.

Good luck.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:48   #4
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Not on a boat, but we had two puppies that refused to go where we wanted them to in the yard at an old house. We found a product by natures miracle that has pheromones that trigger a dogs desire to potty where you spray it. This was after we tried "seasoning" the area we wanted them to go at. We sprayed the area, led them to it, they sniffed and both immediately went to the bathroom. We rewarded them with many treats and praise and continued to spray until we ran out of spray and continued the praise and treats. Soon, they wouldn't go anywhere else when we were at home.
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Old 16-10-2013, 09:13   #5
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

A friend had a large dog that refused to use the "sod box" they had made for him.

The lady suggested that the captain use it, as an example. From then on, the dog has used it happily. Probably has more to do with pheromones/territory marking than example, but it worked.

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Old 16-10-2013, 09:22   #6
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

My two cents. I have two small dogs that have been on the boat. I noticed that if I pee first they both go in the same spot (males).
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Old 16-10-2013, 09:24   #7
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

I have trained a dog to pee on command. Just walk him, wait until he just starts to lift his leg and say go pee. Then after a few times, give the command before he does anything and reward when he actually goes. Then perhaps on the boat you can give the command while at the sod.
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Old 16-10-2013, 09:45   #8
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

making a dog hold it for 36 hours is not a good thing. the books say they should go every 6 to 8 hours at most. perhaps you should leave the dog in a kennel.
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Old 16-10-2013, 09:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail
making a dog hold it for 36 hours is not a good thing. the books say they should go every 6 to 8 hours at most. perhaps you should leave the dog in a kennel.
6 to 8 hrs? My dog has freedom as in no leash, goes with me everywhere, etc. He goes once a day, but he is a large breed.
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Old 16-10-2013, 10:28   #10
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

Thanks for all the good advice. I think i'll make my husband help show him where to go. We do always say "go potty" every time he pees but on the boat he just looks at me confused when I say it. Thanks Ann for the tip about the trainer. I'll try her or someone local as we get more desperate!
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Old 16-10-2013, 10:40   #11
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

You could tell it a ghost story !
Gee I'm sorry but it's the Irish humour, don't mean to be offensive.
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Old 16-10-2013, 10:45   #12
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

Have you tried sailing away from shore far enough where he can not see shore?

My female Golden looks to the shore, looks at me, and looks back to the shore. I am still trying to get a 10 year old to use the deck of the boat.

When she was 3 months old, we drove across southwest, with only bathroom stops, and she refused to go on the gravel or dirt at numerous stops. We found a cvs with a potty plant with a spike of grass in the middle and she finally went.

Each dog is different and our female is very particular. Good luck.
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Old 16-10-2013, 10:59   #13
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Our schnauzer held on for 72 hours before going aboard. He didn't like it but did it, and only did it enough to hold himself over for land.
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Old 16-10-2013, 12:00   #14
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Re: Stubborn dog won't go potty on board

Before we took off, we had a similar problem, up to and including the 36 hours. We had a product called 'Pet Loo', and he didn't like it. We went and grabbed a piece of sod and left it at a friends house by some bushes near the sidewalk for a week to 'season' it with the entire area participating. It did the trick, we had the sod on the Pet Loo, no astro turf, then put the turf over the sod after a couple of weeks, then threw the turf over the side after another week or so. He then used it independently the rest of the trip. Sometimes he wouldn't leave the boat for weeks. Good luck!
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Old 16-10-2013, 12:01   #15
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My Jack Russell will hold it even past the point he starts leaking when he moves. I'm going to give the natures miracle spray a try.
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