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Thread: How do you house train a mentally redarded dog?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    How do you house train a mentally redarded dog?

    Hi, I'm pretty sure my dog is mentally retarded. We got him from a no-kill pound who said he is about 4 years old. They also said that the people they "Liberated" him from someone kept him on a wire(Not a chain, a wire) which got ingrown, and later had to be surgically removed from, his neck. He got a scar thats at least an inch deep on the front of his neck, and there is a marking of where it had been on the back of his neck too. Also, when I call him, he will sometimes look around, or stop for a second and then go off in another direction, untill I call him a second, or even third time. But the biggest problem is, he doesn't seem to understand that pooping on the carpet is a bad thing. I've tried looking around, but the only thing I could find about training mentally retarded dogs was this post on this forum, which is how I found you guys in the first place. Please help.

  2. #2
    Couch Potato Senior Dog Member+Senior Dog Moderator Dax's Avatar
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    Firstly your dog isn't mentally retarded - he's was abused. It sounds like his life was terrible so he obviously is going to have some issues.

    Best advise is to start from scratch. Kennel or Crate him when you can't supervise him, tie him to your belt so he can wander off and do his business. Praise like crazy for doing his stuff outside, startle or scold (verbal only) for going inside.

    It might be a longer process but he can learn. Praise works 10x faster than punishment so using a crate/kennel will give you more chances at praise. Take him outside at least once an hour at first so you can catch the act to praise and be sure to stay outside with him.

    Based on his history, this could take months to fully set in.

  3. #3
    Senior Dog Member+ mara's Avatar
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    Dax is so right. This dog will be emotionally traumatized from his horrible abuse in the past. I definately don't think he is mentally retarded.
    HASTA LA VIZSLA, BABY!!
    Dash Jan 28/05-Oct 08/10

  4. #4
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    here, here - the poor thing is used to being an outside dog, so is accustomed to going anywhere, anywhen. He does not sound retarded at all, merely untrained. Lots of patience and love and praise will reward you with a great dog. And crate training really works.
    Welcome to the forum!

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    Count the Cotons Senior Dog Moderator Moo's Avatar
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    I agree with all above. I don't think he is retarded. I think he is untrained and abused.

    You call him, and he doesn't come? Merely means that he doesn't yet understand the word "come", or maybe even his name yet.
    ♫ Come and knock on our door.... ♪

  6. #6
    Senior Dog Member+ mara's Avatar
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    Another thought---maybe right off base---is the pups hearing OK?
    HASTA LA VIZSLA, BABY!!
    Dash Jan 28/05-Oct 08/10

  7. #7
    Pom Mom Senior Dog Member+ Deb's Tiny Dogs's Avatar
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    Patience, love and consistency will take you where you need to go (and crate training). Some obedience school for you both wouldn't hurt. Just make sure it's one based on positive reinforement. No yelling or hitting, which would only traumatize him more. Good Luck and welcome!
    Forever my boys, Bogey and Miko. All my love till we meet again.

  8. #8
    Senior Dog Member+ eXile's Avatar
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    To me, it sounds like more of a training issue. Its obvious he didnt have the greatest time living with his previous owner.

    For anyone who knows, can dogs actually be mentally retarded? If so, are there some signs you can see physically? Sounds like a stupid question but we are on the subject and I dont recall ever seeing a mentally retarded dog.

    When I say mentally retarded (I believe the term now is develop mentally delayed) I dont mean a handicap issue like missing a leg or anything. I mean mentally.
    I'm a superhero with no powers or motivation. - eXile

  9. #9
    Senior Dog Member Chopper's Avatar
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    Hes not retarted. Thats kinda mean to say about him. He just doesnt understand. He'll get it. some dogs just take longer to learn than others. Plus sounds like hes had a rough life. Training is good but be patient and cut the poor guy some slack

  10. #10
    Senior Dog Member msmkm's Avatar
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    I agree with the above posts. Your dog is not "mentally retared". Not knowing how you are dealing with him when he does something you don't like makes it a bit hard to give you concrete suggestions. If you are yelling or hitting him, you will accomplish little other than causing him to fear you. Praise when he does what you want will go a long way. Opportunity training will also help. If he comes to you, use the word come and give him lots of praise. Do the same thing when he sits, looks at you, lays down etc.

    To help with the pooping on the carpet, keep him in a confined space when you are not with him. You should also get a good enzyme cleanner to clean the spots he's pooped on, so he doesn't smell the odor. Don't yell at him, rub his nose it etc. Doing this usually doesn't correct the problem, it will cause him to make sure he is out of you site when he poops.

    I would keep a leash on him both inside and outside until his behaviour improves. It gives you more control. If you ask him to come and he doesn't you can pick up the leash and bring him to you. You can also pick it up and take him outside when he starts to squatt.

    I've had two dogs who suffered some type of abuse prior to my getting them, consitency and paitence are needed. If you do both and praise for good behaviour, you will end up with a dog who trusts and respects you.

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