I adopted an adult, 4-year-old Jack Russel/Italian Greyhound mix a year ago. The previous owner would leave him locked in a small room all day at work, and the owner before that kept him outside all day. Needless to say, the dog is used to urinating and defecating wherever he happens to be when he feels the urge. This was not so much an issue at first: I lived right next to work, so I was able to take him out all through the day. He would always find other dogs' urine to pee over during walks to get it out of his system before feeling the urge to go inside. But now I've moved further away, and rather than crating or leaving the dog outside all day at work, I'd like to train him to use a dog door to go out in the backyard. I'm currently working remotely, so I have time to train the dog every day of the week.
Step 1 to that has been letting him at out the same cadence I took him for walks at my old place (waking up at 9 after being fed, noon, 4, 7 after being fed, and 11 before going to bed) and leaving him unsupervised in the fenced backyard for 10 minutes or so each time. He peed more often inside than outside, so after a few days I started crate training: I go outside with him, and if I don't see him pee, he goes in the crate for an hour & repeat until he does go to the bathroom outside. This worked & he fairly quickly figured out that if he goes in the crate, he needs to pee: at the beginning it might take several hours, but now as soon as I let him out of the crate, he pees outside.
After about a week of not having to use the crate, I switched over to unsupervised mode again & leave him alone outside for 10 minutes. Then that day or a few later he pees/poops inside even though he has ample opportunity to do it outside. I've repeated this regiment & failure several times now. How do I make sure the dog can go to the bathroom outside unsupervised?
Some additional information:
- It's never in the same spot
- When he goes inside, it's usually always between the 4 PM & 7 PM mark
- Most common is peeing, as he usually poops without fail after eating in the morning
- In the manual supervision phase, he usually pees in the morning. It was almost always at noon or 4 PM that he needed to be crated
- I had to put the crate outside, because otherwise he would just pee out of it onto the floor in the crate training phase (which makes me believe he prefers going inside)
- He doesn't go in front of me (inside)
- As a result, unlike other dogs that have toilet issues, he's never gone inside early in the morning or late at night (because I'm with him)
- He bugs me for dinner, but never to go to the bathroom