July 23rd, 2008, 08:16 AM
I'm new here but in need of some definite help.
I have an 18week old Terrier-Shihtzu cross. She was doing very good with potty training. A few mistakes but for the most part we were very happy and we were thinking she would be fully house trained very soon. However, a week and a half ago she started going #1 and #2 anywhere she wants in the house. And I have no idea why (she used to only do it at the door). Also, her stool is a mixture of very very soft and hard samples, and it is the most vile smell. Last night she went #2 3 times on my floor! I have not changed her diet and the only change in her life has been my roomate has been on vacation, but I can't see that being the problem. Also, I'll take her outside and she willl refuse to go and then come inside and go to the bathroom.
I am crate training her but she goes to the bathroom in her crate anyways, so I'm unsure of what to do.
July 23rd, 2008, 08:58 AM
When you changed her diet did you gradually do it over a week by mixing in more and more of the new food each day. Sudden changes in their diet can cause a poop problem.
18 weeks isn't as old as it may seem in a small breed. Just in the last month (Abby is 7 months now) we are having no more surprises. Although if she is making mistakes in her crate I would be worried she's not getting out often enough or for a long enough outside stay. Abby would go out for a pee,, but usually if you waited long enough she would have a second one in the same outting.
My daughter came to visit and her dog would poop in the house when ever she left as a sign of retailiation for her leaving. This went of for a little while till she got use to my husband and I and realised she really wasn't being left alone. This breed becomes very attached to their owners,, as you have likly seen she/he is under your feet all the time.
July 23rd, 2008, 09:36 AM
House-breaking troubles are never fun!
What food are you feeding? Has she been vetted? How long is she left alone during the day? Are you training her with puppy pads?
It sounds like even before last week's big regression, she was still eliminating indoors quite often (by the door). Anytime your puppy has accidents in the house, it will make the training process harder/longer because there is no routine/standard. The fact the she is also eliminating in her crate is of concern and will make things more difficult.
The rules of housebreaking are quite simple - never leave your puppy unsupervised and have a schedule and stick to it. If your puppy is never alone (ie: always tethered to you or being closely monitored) then she cannot have accidents... And if you stick to a routine, it makes it almost impossible for her to eliminate indoors.
A couple of other things to try:
1. Always take your puppy to the same spot to eliminate - and make sure it is to eliminate. It's not social or sniffy time, its time to do your business or back inside. If she is too distracted to do her business, take her back inside but make sure she doesn't so her business. In a few minutes, take her back outside and give her the opportunity to eliminate.
2. Train pee/poop commands - whenever she does her business outside, reward with praise and a treat or toy. Once she is going reliably outdoors, add a "go potty" command - while it seems like an odd command it does have its uses (if your dog does any performance sport its almost a necessity but also if your dog ever has to stay at the vets, its also a huge help!).
Hounds and small/toy dogs are notoriously hard to housebreak... I find that small dogs have an especially hard time because their metabolism is so much faster that they do in fact need to eliminate quite often.
When I was housebreaking Dodger from 6-8 weeks, my schedule looked something like this:
7am - pee/poop break (this was NOT a walk, it was an elimination break)
7:15-7:30 - 1/4 of his daily meal
8am-10:30am - a long walk/some training - lots of time to eliminate and exercise
10:45am - elimination walk (all puppies will need to eliminate after exercise - even if they've only run around the house, be ready to take her for a walk - basically movement with puppies = pee/poop:laughing:)
I was at university at the time so my schedule changed daily - sometimes I left at 11:30am, othertimes I left at 1pm, 3pm or 7:30pm... If I was leaving at 11:30am, I'd take Dodger out for an elimination walk just before I left - around 11:15am. I'd leave him with a treat ball or kong or a dehydrated treat in my room (I didn't crate train). Had I been gone for 4+ hours, I probably would not leave him food unless I was using pee pads because it would be unfair to expect him to not have an accident after eating. I'd speed home and arrive by 2:30pm at which point it was straight outside for an elimination break.
After that he might have another 1/4 of his meal and then out for another long walk.
5pm - elimination break
8pm - elimination break
10-11pm - elimination break
These elimination breaks would always happen at different times and if he was sleeping or chewing, I would not take him out until he moved/got restless because the idea is to build up the bladder... So by 7-8weeks, he might go out at 5pm but be fine until the last walk of the evening. Its all about supervising your pet so you prevent accidents.
You are also going to have to re-crate train her if you want the crate to be part of your/her life. Generally, the best thing to do is put her in the crate right after she's done all of her business and slowly build up how long she stays in there. Since she has already eliminated in her crate, S-L-O-W-L-Y building her up is crucial.
Also, make sure you clean everywhere she has eliminated with an enzymatic cleaner, numerous time!!
If you are using puppy pads, get rid of them as soon as possible. They are very confusing to dogs and is IMO one of the biggest reasons why dogs are hard to housebreak.
July 23rd, 2008, 10:32 AM
She is using the same food that she used when we got her. I can’t remember the name off by hand, but the vet said it was her favourite brand and it was quite healthy. Plus we made sure that meat was the main ingredient. Plus a friend works at a pet store and this is the brand she recommends.
She has been to the vet for all her shots and the vet has said she is in great health.
I will admit she is home for a bit during the work week. We go home at lunch, so she’s home for 4.5hours, then I’m home for an hour, then she’s home alone again for about 3-4hours (depending on how work goes). She is with us pretty much all night long after that.
We are not using puppy pads.
The eliminating in the crate is bothersome to me cuz I’ve been told dogs won’t go in their crate (and it is just big enough for her to laydown and turn around in). Plus she can’t even make it 5 hours without having to go to the bathroom.
I will definitely keep my eye on her more, and she’ll be going out much more. However, she loves being outside. So we generally just leave the door open for her and she runs in and out when ever she wants. Should we stick her to more of a routine of when she gets to go out?
We do take her to the same spot, and for a while there she was doing very good that whenever I said “Better Go Now” she would 90% of the time go (unless she was too hyper or distracted).
I will definitely try taking her out more and just watch over her a bit better I guess, and just be more patient. I guess for some reason I thought she was getting close to potty trained so this set back is very discouraging.
What is bothering me is the change in her stood from normal/healthy stool to runny/hard stool (that happens in excess now)? I know someone told me when the stool starts to become loose to put rice in with their food? Is this a good idea to try?
July 23rd, 2008, 09:11 PM
Generally the rule of thumb with puppies is that they should never be expected to hold themselves longer than their age (sometimes you can add 1 hour to that)... So really, your puppy is holding herself for an appropriate amount of time...I wouldn't consider it a setback... Especially since some dogs struggle with housebreaking throughout their entire puppyhood!
It is true that most dogs will not go in their crate (most do not like soiling their living/sleeping quarters) - but as always they are exceptions to that rule... Or it could just have been a situation where she was too desperate to hold herself and then it started a snowball effect!
Seeing as she has already eliminated in her crate, it will be an uphill battle to get her to the point where she realizes that it is a place that is meant to be clean! The best thing to do is set her up for success. While I believe that puppy pads are confusing, I would rather leave a puppy in a play pen with let's say a litter box than leave a puppy in a crate when its likely that she will eliminate in it. Aside from being detrimental to the housebreaking, I wouldn't want my puppy sleeping in her mess.
I definately think that puppies should have a routine and until she is reliable, I wouldn't allow her free access to the outdoors... When you let her come and go as she pleases, you have no idea if/when she's doing her business. Once she is truly housebroken, coming and going won't be a problem.
While I do think that she needs more opportunities to go out, you have to walk a fine line because YES you want to set her up for success but you also want to make sure she is building up her bladder. So for instance, I would take her for a walk as soon as you get home, crate her for 15-30minutes and then outside again for an elimination break. Then keep your eye on her - if you know she tends to have accidents around the 4hr mark, make sure you take her out at the 3.5hr mark and slowly increase the amount of time you expect her to wait. Things should move along quite quickly once you stick to a routine!
Rice does bulk up the stool...you can also try canned PURE pumpkin (not the pie filler)... However, puppies/dogs can carry bacteria/virus/worms and still test negative - giardia is a perfect example... So if you do not notice an improvement in her stools, you may want her checked out again. Also, while its not common for dogs that young to develop allergies, it is also a possibility (food or seasonal/environmental)....
July 24th, 2008, 11:38 AM
Planning, cooperation, and great effort on the parts of all family members will soon begin to benefit everyone, including your puppy, as the potty training a puppy process begins to work.
Potty training a puppy can be a very trying experience depending on the temperament of your pup. But potty training a puppy is essential training, of course, that must be started before all other training.
Let’s begin the process of potty training a puppy or housebreaking your puppy. This takes time, commitment, and all family members’ cooperation. Supervision is the key to this process. You must always watch your puppy for signs that she/he has to go. These signs are sniffing at a particular spot, circling, and squatting. Squatting is usually too late.
You must also be aware of the most common times that your puppy will have to go to make potty training a puppy successful:
First thing in the morning and after a nap.
After eating or drinking.
After exercise, walking, or play.
Any time you see the signs mentioned above.
When you see the signs, you should make a short, sharp noise to get your puppy’s attention, get her/him to an appropriate spot (use the same spot each time), and use a training treat or praise when she completes her business. It is usually a good idea to start with training treats and later use praise.
It is also important to understand what not to do during the potty training a puppy process:
Never hit your puppy for going in the wrong place.
Never correct your puppy unless you see her going.
Never rub your puppy’s nose in her mistake.
It is a good thing to know not to use newspaper as a potty training a puppy area as it can stain your floors because it is not very absorbent. You can potty train a puppy to go in a particular spot in the house by using potty training a puppy pads instead of newspaper.
Some people like to use a crate during potty training a puppy because puppies usually won’t go in their crate, unless left too long. If the crate is too large, your puppy might sleep in one section and go in another.
So you can see that this will take some planning, cooperation, and great effort on the parts of all family members, but will soon begin to benefit everyone, including your puppy, as the potty training a puppy process begins to work.