Ok, y'all know that I have adopted a stray, abused, forsaken beagle named Mercedes. (If you didn't before, you do now)
Ok this dog is the light of my life. I think I was supposed to find her because she is helping me through a difficult time, and I am trying to do the same for her. She still has a bad skin infection... she was on abx but I don't think they did the trick... she's scratched herself to bleeding on more than one occasion. I'm taking her back to the vet this morning. Leaving in a few minutes, actually.
That's not my question, though. My question is this.... this dog has obviously never been inside in her life (although she now loves the AC and has taken over the guest bedroom), she's still very afraid of people (except me, for the most part, unless I drop something or make a loud noise), and she has no idea that she should go to the bathroom outside. So my question is really about housetraining.
I have successfully housetrained many dogs, quickly.... AS PUPPIES. Generally by using crate training. I tried to crate train Mercy for about a week, but it wasn't working for either of us. She can't stand to be confined and I personally think its unfair to confine her. She's been in wide open spaces her whole life and I'm going to shove her into a metal crate? So I abandoned that.
Then I tried to gate her in the dining room and kitchen while I was gone at work so that if she had an accident it would be easier to clean up (linoleum). These are standard sized baby gates, she is a medium sized beagle (20#). She jumped the gate and was in the living room when I got home from work.
OK so now I've given in and she has free run of the house. I think she KNOWS she should go outside, because she usually has her accidents close to the sliding glass door that goes to the backyard. Its just that she can't vocalize that she needs to go out, I don't think she knows how. Or she's too scared.
I try to pay close attention to her behavior and let her out when she acts like she needs to go and anticipate her bathroom habits but its not always possible. I bought some puppy pads and put them in the hallway (her fave spot for #1) and in front of the door (her fave spot for #2) and she will go on them, but I'm afraid this isn't really teaching her to go OUTSIDE. I've even considered the idea of dog litter, but then I'd have 2 litterboxes to clean (I also have 2 cats).
Can anybody help? Do you have any ideas? Maybe I'm doing all the right things and its just going to take longer since she's so old (she's about 9), but I've had her for 6 weeks or so and it doesn't seem like she's making any progress.
I really want her to be comfortable in this house but I also can't shampoo the carpet every day.
If anyone has any words of wisdom, advice, encouragement, whatever, I'm all ears.