Need to house train multiple dogs

Posted by Gary-Hickson
Jun 16, 2010
My wife loves dogs and has to rescue every stray that she finds. We are up to eleven. Yep eleven, and they are all in the house. Most of them are not fully house trained and have been using all areas of the house to poop and pee. Sometimes they will go when outside and sometimes not. I have been the material on the site and the forum. Do you think I can get them all house trained? Do you have any suggestions for me? Do I focus on one at a time? Or what? Thanks.
Posted by kjd
Jun 17, 2010
Wow, Gary, that is a lot of untrained dogs! Maybe your wife should look for a rescue group that could take some of those dogs off your hands?

In order to housetrain them, you will first have to clean the house of any residue of poop or pee -- and not just what YOU can see or smell; I'm sure your wife does that. You need a black light to show where the spots are and get rid of them.

If you have ten dogs housebroken and one that goes where it wants, the other dears are apt to cover whatever that dog does, so you need to housebreak them all. Follow the directions for housebreaking one dog -- simply adjust it for eleven.

Whew! Just thinking of the logistics of it exhausts me! I really think you should convince your wife to cut down to two or three dogs. Surely there are rescue groups where you live? I realize, in these economic times, that shelters are overwhelmed and often have to put down perfectly good pets in order to take in the next group. I'm not suggesting she drop some of the dogs off there, but that she search for rescue groups and explain her problem. If you were trying to re-home your one dog, you might meet with some objections (rescue groups are under-funded and under-staffed themselves), but I think you'd find them very open to helping you reduce your crowd.

Someone else on the forum may come up with a better idea. Whatever you decide, keep us informed.

Posted by Gary-Hickson
Jun 17, 2010
I've tried to get her to find other homes for some or take the them to the shelter for years but she is very tenderhearted and doesn't want to see them go. I have drawn the line and will continue to look for other homes for some.

One thing I'm considering is pulling up the carpet and putting down tile or linoleum as a method of getting rid of all the poop and pee instead of trying to clean. Do you that that would be more effective?

I will keep you posted with our progress.

Posted by Marvin
Jun 22, 2010
I have 3 dogs and only one of them keeps marking in the house, I can't even imagine having 11 dogs do that! One thing that works to get rid of the smell is using cleaners with Enzime, but the best thing would be removing the carpet and putting tiles or laminate, that would get rid of all the residue. My Frankie is housetrained, it took me only 2 days to houstrain him when I got him as a puppy but he just keeps marking in the house, even if he was just outside and just peed! Some dogs have that problem and Bichon Frise are known for that. I just put a diaper on him when I can't keep an eye on him but another solution would be to put him in a crate or confine him when I am not around. I am not sure how you can do that with 11 dogs but maybe you could have separate kennels to keep them in when you are not around...You and your wife are good people for helping these dogs, it takes alot of work and patience...I wish you all the best of luck and there should be more people like you in this world .
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jun 24, 2010
Hi Gary,

Thank you for being patient with those dogs and I understand that you guys are doing this because you love animals and try to save their lives.

I used to think that way too but I have now a different view on rescueing dogs after fostering number of dogs. I would like to share my thoughts here and I might sound too practical to you guys but please do not take personally:

First of all, I believe each dog deserves certain amount of attention and care from his/her owners. Having 11 dogs in one household doesn't sound to me that they are getting a fair share of attention and cares. Potty training and teaching them not to mark inside the house are one good example. If you had only 2 or 3 dogs, you would be able to train them effectively.

Also it would be hard to provide necessary medical cares, both physically and financially when the dogs get older or ill. By the way I bought pet medical insurance for my 3 dogs and 2 kittens and the premium is over $100/month. It is a big chunk of money for us but we don't want to think twice when any of our dogs/cats becomes in need of medical care.

The third reason is that I have learned that thinking I am the best mom for them in the world was wrong through fostering dogs/kittens. When you see a timid foster dog starts opening his heart to you and gets so attached to you, it is hard to let him go to someone else's home. In fact Gary wrote:

>I've tried to get her to find other homes for some or take the them to the shelter for years but she is very tenderhearted and doesn't want to see them go.

I realized that this feeling, which I used to have, is rather selfish. "I don't want to see them go" is your feeling, it is not standing the dog's point of view. Just imagine that each of those dogs finding his own person who loves and cares and gives him a lot of attention, and does all kinds of fun activities with him, gives him clear boundaries and rules of the house so that he can learn how to live with people in a harmony. He will soon get attached to the person/family. Remember he will be living many many more years. Wouldn't that be nice to provide him his own home, rather than giving him 1/11th cares and attention?

I would be very careful to choose shelters though. Some shelters don't keep dogs for a long time. I would rather find foster families or breed specific rescue groups.

I am fostering for an organization that consists of foster families. All of the dogs/cats in our organization live with foster families, in a home living environment. No dog/cat lives in a cage unless he/she is ill and getting medical care.

Please try to talk to your wife again and try to find foster homes for some of the 11 dogs.