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Bowel Problems??

May 19th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Hi, I have a dog who just turned 1-yr old and we are STILL fighting on proper potty triaining. His name is Potter and he is a Shephard and either a Corgi or Beagle mix. He looks like a Shepard but is the size and stance of a Corgi.

Here's our problem: He fights me to the end on potty training so this is a last resort. He will usually go outside when I take him but on the flipside he sees no problem with going in the house if I do not see him sitting by the door due to me being in another room, shower, etc. Whenever he has a bowel movement he walks back and forth for LITERALLY 15-20 minutes and will finally squat as though he cannot hold it any longer. I think I win these battles simply because I will "wait him out". However, I live in Ohio where it rains and snows a lot so this is another habit I'd like to try to break him of. I tried taking him outside and giving him 5-10 minutes to do his business and if he does not go I bring him in and he goes in the cage for 20 minutes. We repeat the process until he finally goes in his alloted time. (I live in an apartment so leaving him out in the yard is not an option.)

This worked great after about a week of going in his cage for the 20 minutes and then repeating the process outside. We finally got it to where he would go outside on the first try and would not be sent to his cage and I was SOOOO excited! This was going well for about 2-3 months and I thought I finally conquered the problem until recently.... Lately, his most recent ploy is I will take him outside, he'll urinate then walk for a few minutes, hunch over and PRETEND to have a bowel movement. I'm not kidding he really does. Then when I bring him inside within 15-20 minutes there an unpleasant surprise on my floor. At first I thought I was not giving him enough time outside to FULLY relieve himself and he had to go a bit more. Then I decided to check to see if he really went outside... he completes his ritual; walks around, hunches over, pretends to go, and kicks grass over it... only when I go to see how much he went THERE IS NOTHING THERE! I tried repeating the process of putting him in his cage only he will wait til he gets out and then go on my floor. Or after being sent to the cage 2-3 times after attempting to take him outside, he will just go in his cage.

So my question is this.... I have gotten him to urinate and he USED to have his bowel movement within the 10 minute time frame I have given him. How do I get him to stop "PRETENDING" to have a bowel movement just so he can go in my house? Does he maybe have a problem and cannot "go" on command? (If he has a problem I do not see why it was working before however) I have never heard of a dog doing this and neither has anyone else I have asked including my trainer. She said he was acting out because maybe he wanted more attention. Only, I work from home so he gets a lot of attention. He has even done this pretending ritual and then gone in the backseat of my car when I tried to take him for a ride! Please help me! I love the dog but I cannot have him continuing to have bowel movements in my house and car whenever he feels like it.

May 19th, 2004, 01:41 PM
That is so weird, dogs are so funny they kind of think they can do whatever and whenever they want. I am just wondering if you are not giving him long enough to go to the bathroom. I am not sure about him but not to many people I know can poop on command. When he does go outside you need to make sure that you give him a treat or somekind of reward and give him alot of praise. :D

May 19th, 2004, 01:45 PM

While I can't offer you advice on how to make him stop "pretending" I can say that as long as you are picking up his poop (like we all have to when walking them on public property), you will know if he has really pooped or not, thus, elimiating the surprise ;) .

I would also have him checked by a vet to make sure there is not something physical causing this.


Bill & Bob
May 19th, 2004, 01:46 PM
I've only met one dog that can poop on demand. My friend trained his dog from a puppy saying "job, job, job" when the dog pooped. Now the dog is about ten years old and all he has to do is open the door and say "go do your job" and the dog runs down the stairs and poops in the backyard.

Bob has to have at least 8 or 9 blocks behind him before he can go first thing in the morning. I would agree that they just can't get things going without a little activity first. I've walked Bob for an hour in the pouring rain before he went many times. I deemed it a better alternative than him dumping in the house. I'd suggest that you get him to run around a bit or go for a longer walk. Sometimes Bob won't go until he's gotten to the park and had a good run first, then he takes off to the corner of the field and does his business.

Lucky Rescue
May 19th, 2004, 02:08 PM
I live in Quebec where the winters are long and very harsh, and my dog also has to go back and forth on the end of leash about 10 times before she goes. Drives me mad.

About the "pretending" - he isn't constipated is he? Maybe he really can't go, but he "feels" he has? You say he was doing fine for awhile - maybe he has a physical problem now. Loss of housetraining can be a sign of a medical problem. I would get him checked by the vet before anything else.

What is his feeding schedule and what are you feeding him? Having meals at the same time every day helps you to know when he will need to go. In the meantime, do not give him any freedom in the house unless he has gone.

May 19th, 2004, 02:33 PM
If there isn't a medical problem with your dog it may be spite. Dogs are creatures of habit, they appreciate constants in their life. Patience goes along way with them also.
Try using vinegar to clean the areas in the house where he goes, dogs hate vinegar and this will remind him it is an unacceptable behavior. If he smells a spot where he has gone before this just tells him it's okay to do it, since he has before. The vinegar will remove the previous scents and remind him this is not good.
Also have a vet check. Sometimes the discomfort from a uti infection confuses them in what area needs elimination.
Since he goes so freely in your house it sounds to me he thinks this is the "norm".
I had a Chihuahua a few years back, "Mesquito". He was really Ciara'a dog. He was black & tan with a short tail, I called him a "mini" Rotti but that's another story. Any hoot I loved Mesquito, Ciara loved Mesquito and he loved Ciara, Mesquito despised me loving Ciara and would poop on the spot every time I even talked to Ciara! He pooped on my scrubs, car, house, shoes and even Ciara. He could conjure a poop in a heartbeat. No medical reason ...pure spite. Mesquito went to live with a vet friend of mine and is very happy as the only dog.
Just my .02 cents, stepping off of the soap box.

May 19th, 2004, 02:47 PM
The man training my dog also could make his doberman go to the bathroom on command,he would say ' Go hurry' and the dog would do it,pretty amazing..

May 19th, 2004, 11:53 PM
Thank you so much everyone for your prompt replies. I spoke to my neighbor and she thinks he may be doing it out of spite since he was not this bad before. We have tackled the potty training since day one which I KNEW would be a bit more difficult than the norm since he was a "pound puppy." But then after many many LONG patient months we had it nicked in the bud, or so it seemed. A lot of you seem surprised he will go on command, but I know his habits. LOL If he pees and runs to the house he is done, however, if he pees and then walks for a few more minutes I know he has to do the "other." LOL I can usually say hurry up and potty and he takes like 2 steps and squats to finish his business.

It never occured to me that he may be acting out because we are in the process of moving. I move in 8 days so the house is all out of whack... all of the furniture is in the living room, boxes are everywhere, etc. Does this seem legitimate that he is simply acting out because the mess and commotion is upseting him and this is his way of telling me that he does not like it? LOL My neighbor laughed and said "makes sense why he poops in the living room where everything is being moved too". If this happens to be the case and suggestions to make him STOP this annoying behavior. I mean literally, he "faked" it three times before FINALLY going and this was with me standing for a half hour in the pouring rain. I think he finally gave in cause he was tired of being wet. I rewarded him PROFUSELY however with a favorite rawhide bone of his for the good work of going outside. Also, any suggestions on how to keep him from going in the new apartment? I do not want his scent to get in there and have to start all over potty training with him thinking it is okay.

Thanks in advance for all of your advice and for all of the advice you have given me thus far. This is a great forum, I am sooooo happy I stumbled on it! LOL

P.S. At the risk of sounding like a COMPLETE idiot and asking for so much advice, is there a trick to keep him out of the litter box? This is also an annoying and GROSS habit he picked up within the last few weeks. And does eating the kitty litter hurt him in any way?

Lucky Rescue
May 20th, 2004, 09:20 AM
The only way to keep him out of the litterbox is to keep the box out of reach. If he eats clumping litter, it could cause problems.

May 20th, 2004, 04:49 PM
ya... instead of "pretending," i'd say he's either constipated or feels he's gotta get SOMETHING to come out in order for u to praise him.

don't visually monitor his every move when he supposed to go, he can sense it... perhaps there's stress there or the two of u have a battle... who's going to win the war? you and ur belief that he's supposed to go OUTSIDe, or him and his belief that if he doesnt have to go, he wont'?

eek, i'm confused...

i had this problem w chocolate, i gave him too much time to deficate, and he'd wait and wait... it wasnt constipation (he's fine, really), instead he would "pretend" to deficate until i praised him. that would mean that he was finished...

i visually (eye contact and all) monitored him too much, the boy needed to be left alone! lol.

i relaxed on when he had to go, and kept a mental log of when he'd typically be scheduled to go (like breakie and din-din :p )

try and see if that works... but i dont really see a need to stress so much (then again, i skimmed through these posts... and i dont know if this IS a medical condition :confused: )

May 20th, 2004, 10:13 PM
No, no medical problem that I am aware of. And its not that he is not going because he does not HAVE to go because he pretends to go and then after we go back in the house he goes THERE. LOL Actually I am thinking it was because of all the packing now because i have not packed in 3 days and he has not done it in 3 days.... go figure!!

Now a new question: Now that I think I know what the cause of it is how can I keep this from happening when i am UNpacking in the new apartment! Help!! Thanx!

May 20th, 2004, 11:07 PM
It takes time for a dogs bowels to move and work. Exercise brings it on...and if you don't stay out long enough, your dog may go inside if you cant get him out fast enough.

Dogs will usually go #2 the same time every day (2/3 times ugh)!

Be mindful of what times he's going and take him out around those same times. Sometimes a 'meal' will trigger the w/r #2 to go. So after breakfast out for a #2 and #1. Same after other meals.

Should be getting enough exercise (free running off lead ie play fetch) and proper foods as well.

Lucky Rescue
May 21st, 2004, 09:16 AM
Actually I am thinking it was because of all the packing now because i have not packed in 3 days and he has not done it in 3 days.... go figure!!

Ah, that could be a big part of it. All the upheaval and familiar things disappearing could be making him anxious, so he poops in the house to comfort himself. I know my animals got stressed to the max every time we moved.
Since your dog came from the pound, he may be more insecure than he would be if you had always had him.

May 21st, 2004, 04:19 PM
ya what LR says sounds about right.

Chocolate had that prob after I got him... and when we moved the first time. I had only had him for 3months, so he had a bit of anxiety in him.

with time and patience, he'll calm down. respect that, and comfort him... give him his space as well.

all things sound as tho they'd work out properly :)