We rescued a dog from the streets (a Yorkshire Terrier/Shih Tzu mix is our vet's best guess) who we've struggled with since taking her in. At first we experienced issues with her being protective of our dog who we've had (a Boston Terrier), but all initial behavioral patterns have ceased except her tendency to pee in the house when we're gone.

I strongly believe she simply has a small bladder, because at times we've come to realization the bed was wet, but her fur was as well, leading us to think she wet the bed unintentionally. However, there has been instances where we've taken her out and returned an hour later to find pee on the floor, so I'm sensing perhaps a separation anxiety. I will also note that she is especially attached to me and follows me everywhere I go, even if it's from the bedroom to the bathroom and straight back to the bedroom - she even wakes up to follow me.

Our other pet, the Boston Terrier, is a chewer, so we give her toys to satisfy her but if we forget to take the trash out before we leave she will get into it - and so Piper (the Yorkshire Terrier) has adopted the bad habit. Moreover, I believe Piper to be the one that has been chewing through laptop cords and phone charger cords - a behavior that seems evidently deriving from nervous or anxious behavior.

I need to know what to do to train her - and Steevie, the Boston, for that matter. I've been told negative reinforcement is not the way to train a pet, and that proved true when I potty trained Steevie. Piper is potty trained as well, but I can't tell if she has a small bladder or acts out (her vet said she's fine but I have yet to specifically ask about her bladder). We are thinking to put a diaper on Piper before bed but we can't go around the house, unplug all electronics and hide the cords every day before we leave for work - that's a bit much.

Both dogs are around 3 years old.

What should I do?

  • Well, have you read about crate training? It might sound radical/hard on the pets to crate them, but an untrained pet suffers far more if he causes too much trouble.
    – RSinohara
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 17:52
  • Positive reinforcement is more effective in general, but I find that it takes time and a certain skill to train while completely avoiding than negative reinforcement. But that takes us back to crate training.
    – RSinohara
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


My tip is to read about crate training and try to apply/adapt it to your situation.

It might be a great way to positively reinforce behavior: crate the dog, let him out from time to time (start with snmaller intervals). When you take him out, chances are he'll do his business. In such case, reward and let him free for a while. Repeat. If he doesn't go when taken out, crate him back.

Side benefits are that your dog will learn to hold it a little more. Also, having a dog used to a crate might proove useful if it ever has to spend some time at the vet. Some owners never crate, adding to the stress of a post-emergency situation.

About the other issues, there are tons of info you can find. My best advice is to be consistant.


I think the dog may be eating cords because it's teething? Try getting the dog something to chew on, like nylabones, rawhide, etc, and see if that helps any. You don't really know her true age, but around 3, I think it's still worth a shot.

  • 2
    Even if the dog isn't teething, dogs like having something to chew on; it helps to clean their teeth. Get several chew toys and scatter them around the house. That way, when the dog wants to chew, there will be a toy nearby.
    – mhwombat
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:40
  • Rawhide is the reason my nine-year-old doesn't need her teeth cleaned. Putting a dog under is always dangerous.
    – rlb.usa
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:56

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