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To all people experienced in dog training, I could really use some help with this floor wetter? Answered

I have two dogs. One is a mini poodle that behaves very well.  My other dog is an estimated 7-8-ish mostly puggy mix that we got much more recently.  She's the one we have trouble with.
I don't know what her life was like before we got her because she was found wandering the desert outside of the shelter we bought her from.  I know that its likely she was well cared for because she had incredibly soft fur and pure white teeth.  However, for the first couple months of having her she was extremely skittish.  If someone entered the room she'd bolt outside. (dog door)  Over the course of a several weeks I got her to trust me.  Since then I have confirmed that while she is a bit skittish she is a very loving and good dog by the standard of she wants to please.
Now for the specific problem.  She piddles on the floor, and quite often on anything cloth that has been left on the floor and most especially on anything soft in the rearmost areas of the house.  She started shortly after she arrived but seemed to stop when she got more used to the place and learned the use of the dog door.  Then she started again, just briefly, and stopped again.  She seems to have started again but with bigger puddles.  With previous dogs I always tried the traditional method of stick their nose in it swat them on the bum and take them outside to show them where they're supposed to do it and it always worked.
This is much more difficult with Ellen because of her reactions.  If I grab her collar she loses her mind.  She starts by dropping to the ground, giving me deadweight, and if I don't let go immediately she starts screaming like a banshee and twisting.  She is a small dog, maybe 25 pounds, but it's all muscle.  During one attempt to show her the site of her wrongdoing she twisted hard and managed to catch and break my finger.  I hold no grudge for this but as I don't want to repeat this I am asking for advice here.
Ask any questions, I'll try to answer.  I could really use some advice.


I would suggest start crate training (like canucksgirl) and restricting access to the whole house. You can look it up but basically you make the crate/kennel/pen their private safe place and then slowly extend that safe zone out through the whole house, or as much as you would like her to have access to. Dogs are very clean animals and will avoid making a mess in their private space if at all possible. This is why she prefers to make messes in the back of the house, it's probably away from where she spends most of her time. So instead of giving her access to the whole house immediately, slowly let her come into new areas and she will associate them as part of her den and will avoid making a mess in them.
If something really did traumatize her, moving her into a big, unfamiliar, indoor space with new smells and another dog probably isn't helping her feel comfortable either so this could help with the skittishness too.

It sounds like she's marking her territory. She may have been the only dog in her previous home, and is now in some competition with your other dog (or perhaps you) to exercise some dominance. You may want to read up on this, starting with this link. The method you were trying (by putting her nose in it) can work for puppies, but won't do much for an older dog. Its like someone getting mad at you for putting out your chotchkies in your house, essentially that's your way of saying "this is my house" (and for a dog, piddling on the floor is their way). I would suggest that you get her a kennel or a dog bed that is ONLY hers and not allow the other dog on or near it (to avoid the other dogs scent). She needs to know that something in the house is her domain, but the rest of the house is yours. That can be taught with some overall discipline and techniques noted in the link.

Thanks, reading in now. I am good with most dogs but it's tough finding a balance with her between 'I am dominant' and 'Don't run away I was only scratching an itch.' I would like to know what her previous owner did to make her so skittish.