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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Potty help?

Gumbo's driving me batty. He keeps going in the apartment, despite trips outside every 2-4 hrs. Tonight, for example, he'd been out 5 minutes prior and started to poop right in front of the TV Chris was watching. No warning, nothing.

I saw our behaviorist last week and he gave me a bunch of info on separation anxiety and barking which we're working on, but this is driving me nuts. I'm going to talk to him again tomorrow but I thought I'd ask for any suggestions.

His food is Wellness lamb/rice:
As Served Per Cup (percent per cup)
Protein: 22.6%
Fat: 16.2%
Fiber: 4.3%

And he gets fed twice a day. Once in the morning (around 10) and once in the evening (around 8-9).

I started 'bell training' him yesterday and having him ring a bell every time we go outside, hoping to at least get him to give us some indication he has to go. He hasn't caught on yet. Any other suggestions?

Stephanie

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 01:07 AM
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Is this a new thing Steph or has he never been great at the potty training?
If it is a new thing, that has started with his seperation anxiety, I'd talk to the behaviourist about it. Dogs can and will mark their territory with both urine and faeces. Nacho, with all his problems, would defeacate on every single walk, no matter what, in the same places.
Regardless of why he is starting you need to end it now! So you start from the beginning. When you bring a new puppy into the home they have to earn their rights to free roam the house right? Well I'd be blocking off areas for Gumbo. He is certainly getting out enough to go to the toilet and should be at least starting to understand the concept. Keep him in his crate...make sure he gets adequate exercise and give him a stuffed kong to keep him occupied in the crate but take him out every 2 hours to go to the toilet. Once he goes outside reward him inside, by allowing five minutes of play time inside the house, closely supervised. Then put him back in the crate. If it's a new thing he needs to learn that outside is the only place that is okay. If it is a new thing then it may only take a week before you decide that he is fully understanding that outside is for the toilet and you can slowly increase his area (move up to a pen, then one room, etc.) If it is a habit he has never broken then by giving him free roam of the house is too much for his brain to take in. He knows not to go in his crate, cause that's unpleasant for him, he needs to learn it is unpleasant to go in the house at all.
Unfortunately marking is more common in male dogs, and if it is cause he is marking then I'd be getting him neutered as soon as possible (I know most places won't do it until they are 6 months so have him booked for the day he turns 6 months old). The longer you leave that, the harder 'breaking the habit' will be.
What you are feeding him is fine. Try and determine how many hours after he eats he goes to the toilet. Maybe document his habits for a week, to see if you can see some sort of a pattern. My thoughts, if he has just started this up, is territory marking and going back to square one plus neutering will be the best way to stop it. If it's not a new thing and he has always been this way then you just need to wait for that light bulb to go off in his head, which shouldn't be too much longer!!!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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He was great up until probably a month ago. It's steadily getting worse. I wondered if it had to do with the separation anxiety too.

Stephanie

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 01:25 AM
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I'd say there is about a 90% chance it is all related. Did you mention it to the behaviourist last week? I know when mine came out for Nacho, I didn't think much of him defaecating on his walk but he had just start to urinate in my mum's house, obviously marking. Then he asked me if there was any time he went to the toilet and I said 'oh just on a walk' thinking it was normal until he asked me more questions. Nacho marked on his walk for months before he started at my mum's.
I'd still go back and start at the first step of potty training, at least until you get to speak the behaviourist, he may suggest something different...if he does can you let us know what he says. The bell training will be great for the future but if he only re-started a month ago then I don't think he has forgotten what to do at all. I think he knows perfectly well what he is doing, which is why he isn't warning you guys.

I also want to add that I'm not comparing Gumbo to Nacho at all. Nacho was one very messed up dog and he didn't stand a chance. I don't think that is the case for Gumbo at all!! I just learnt a lot from having Nacho that's all, I'm not just second guessing this stuff. I have lived with what you are going through, and i know how frustrating the whole thing is but you will get past it! I know you will! And then you become even more proud of your pooch!!!!

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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I mentioned it but it was only crate related at that point - it was rare that he actually went in the house. He'd only go in his crate if left more than 4-6 hrs. It didn't seem to be related to the anxiety because it wasn't every time. But he is crate defecating (however, he doesn't urinate). He did it this morning, in fact. And then twice in the apt. tonight. Two days ago he did it 10 minutes after I'd cleaned up a previous mess (still warm, couldn't have been that old). I do put him in another room so he doesn't see me cleaning it up, I don't know if that's right or wrong but thought I saw it mentioned somewhere.

The thing about the potty training is, when he was little we were taking him out after eating, naps, and about every 2-3 hrs or so. He rarely had accidents. This is just baffling me. He didn't start out just in the crate or just in an area so I'm not sure starting with that would be useful (or practical in a one bedroom apt. coupled with a barking problem).

The worst part is that Chris is getting really frustrated and doesn't have the patience I do. He's mentioned getting rid of him several times (out of the question) but he comes from the 'hit the dog with the newspaper and make him mind' mentality so I'm trying to be a little more understanding. (He doesn't do any of this with Gumbo, I've told him how detrimental that is ... it's just the mentality he grew up with.)

Stephanie

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 02:32 AM
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Hmmmm ...

I remember with Seamus that he would just go anywhere in the house--absolutely NO warning. And about three months after we had him, he started defecating in his crate. I posted about it, and I BELIEVE (though to this day am not certain) it was from his treats. But ultimately the defecation stopped when we started locking him into the kitchen at night. He held his bladder until the next morning like he used to. Perhaps he felt less stressed in the kitchen?

Sometimes I feel like with house training, you make progress and then something happens that makes you go back and start over. With Seamus, we tried the whole taking him outside often/(try) to never let him potty inside, but it simply wasn't working. So, we resorted to paper training and it worked. Of course, it took a little longer, but I think it worked well with his 'surprise' accidents. It makes life a little less stressful if they suprise you by going on the paper in the corner rather than in front of the TV.

So, I would suggest some paper training ALONG WITH the routine you have already. My ordeal with Seamus sounds a lot like Gumbo's (the taking him out and then bringing him in only to have him use the bathroom in the house) and paper training Seamus helped immensely (and relieved some stress in the long run). Today the accidents we have are very minimal (I would say about 2 a month, and then it's usually because he gets excited and wees everywhere) and we don't use the paper anymore, but it was a helpful step in getting Seamus to go ONLY outside.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 05:59 AM
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Rowan had some good points Steph, but I think they will only work if it is truly accidents he is having. If he is doing it deliberately then free run + potty pads may not help. Does he bark if you are next to him while in the crate? If not could you possibly put him next to you in the loungeroom so he wasn't barking but you had control of his toilet situation?
I know different dogs go to the toilet differently, but I had a 12 week old puppy here that could hold on for 8 hours of a night time in his crate. He wouldn't defecate or urinate in it. If Gumbo is going in his crate I'd block it off, so that if he went in there he has to be on it. He'll only go if he is absolutely desperate. If you know it takes say two hours for his food to pass through his system, then make sure that he has eaten with plenty of time, so you know he has an empty bowel before you lock him in his smaller crate.
You might not have started with him not having free run of the apartment, but if he is doing it because he is marking you need to be tougher on it. I understand the barking will be a problem for you if he barks all the time (I'm not sure how that progress is going) and if it is then maybe attach him to his lead and have him near you guys (not sure how conflicting this is to the behaviourist suggestions for seperation anxiety) so you can catch him as soon as he does it. Such a tricky one, where is Linda when we need her
I understand with Chris's frustration. Alex is the exact same way. He is a lot better now but with Nacho he had no tolerance and is still learning with Biscuit but he knows not to hit them with newspaper etc. but he still isn't all that patient sometimes.
I've got to go to bed now but I'll have a look at Nacho's records tomorrow, see if there is anything about ways to stop him from marking at mum's place (I can't remember, he didn't get much of a life after and so we never bothered trying to stop that.) and I'll post on Friday, when I'm off work (Thursday for you).

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSbunny
Is this a new thing Steph or has he never been great at the potty training?
If it is a new thing, that has started with his seperation anxiety, I'd talk to the behaviourist about it. Dogs can and will mark their territory with both urine and faeces. Nacho, with all his problems, would defeacate on every single walk, no matter what, in the same places.
Regardless of why he is starting you need to end it now! So you start from the beginning. When you bring a new puppy into the home they have to earn their rights to free roam the house right? Well I'd be blocking off areas for Gumbo. He is certainly getting out enough to go to the toilet and should be at least starting to understand the concept. Keep him in his crate...make sure he gets adequate exercise and give him a stuffed kong to keep him occupied in the crate but take him out every 2 hours to go to the toilet. Once he goes outside reward him inside, by allowing five minutes of play time inside the house, closely supervised. Then put him back in the crate. If it's a new thing he needs to learn that outside is the only place that is okay. If it is a new thing then it may only take a week before you decide that he is fully understanding that outside is for the toilet and you can slowly increase his area (move up to a pen, then one room, etc.) If it is a habit he has never broken then by giving him free roam of the house is too much for his brain to take in. He knows not to go in his crate, cause that's unpleasant for him, he needs to learn it is unpleasant to go in the house at all.
Unfortunately marking is more common in male dogs, and if it is cause he is marking then I'd be getting him neutered as soon as possible (I know most places won't do it until they are 6 months so have him booked for the day he turns 6 months old). The longer you leave that, the harder 'breaking the habit' will be.
What you are feeding him is fine. Try and determine how many hours after he eats he goes to the toilet. Maybe document his habits for a week, to see if you can see some sort of a pattern. My thoughts, if he has just started this up, is territory marking and going back to square one plus neutering will be the best way to stop it. If it's not a new thing and he has always been this way then you just need to wait for that light bulb to go off in his head, which shouldn't be too much longer!!!
Steph, I like this info. I don't know if it is true, but I hear pugs are notoriously difficult to housebreak. Best to start from scratch at this point...just like he is an 8 week old puppy. Did the behaviourist come to your house? Sometimes this is the ONLY way to get to the root of the problem. Unknowingly your family may be sending mixed signals to Gumbo and she/he can help you out.

Brenda
Caretaker of 2 dobermans,, 1 schnauzer, 5 cats, 3 goats, 1 parrot, 1 bearded dragon lizard, 11 chinchillas.
Rest in peace, Cricket, Casey, Bella, Yank, Chloe and Bones.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2004, 06:31 AM
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P.S. Remind hubby that we give ourselves upwards of 3 years to "housebreak" our children, yet we expect pups to learn in a few months

Brenda
Caretaker of 2 dobermans,, 1 schnauzer, 5 cats, 3 goats, 1 parrot, 1 bearded dragon lizard, 11 chinchillas.
Rest in peace, Cricket, Casey, Bella, Yank, Chloe and Bones.
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