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2 Things - Reactivity & Crate pooping

November 9th, 2010, 03:46 PM
Two things, two suspects.

Suspect one is a 6 month old female Pomeranian, 10" and 7lbs. Female Pomeranian has been raised with other dogs and cats and is not reactive to them, the dog across the street, our Little Buddy the Papillon who escapes into our yard sometimes.

However, beginning I-don't-know-when and worsening now, she barks at dogs outside on leashes. It doesn't matter if she is on a leash or not, if they are, she barks at them. It started selectively (Otherwise, I'd know exactly when, I brushed off the first few incidents as flukes because my male occasionally surprise-barks at other dogs) and is now at almost everyone.

The other night we were walking and she EXPLODED, startling our group and a GSD across the street minding his own business with his owner. He did not respond, I scolded her and picked her up to carry her across the street, because she wasn't walking properly.

Today I put them both out on the front yard on their tie-outs, and someone was walking his large blond mix by. She stood on the porch with her head between the rungs and barked and howled loudly at the dog. I immediately brought her inside and scolded her. I then brought my male inside, because he had been quiet.

I do not abide barking dogs, but the only barking I had to deal with was when my male would bark from boredom in his crate. I've curbed that through a variety of ways, mainly figuring out how to keep him calm, comfortable, and happy while in his crate. I don't know how to deal with reactivity. I don't want to turn into the girl I saw the other day, yelling at her dog not to bark in an effort to forestall his barking. It didn't work.

Suspect two is a two and a half year old male Pomeranian, 14" and 10lbs. Male Pomeranian had a housetraining incident for several months. This has been curbed. He asks to go out and has not pooped or peed in the house in several weeks. The last incident was when he was let in and immediately ran and peed on the couch (Jumped on and squatted, not a drive-by leg-lift). I raised hell (I have a bad temper and had had a bad day) and his couch privileges were revoked for almost a month.

However, he has not been able to stand up to my plan of not letting him sleep out of his crate for fourteen days of no accidents in the house per each nightly accident. If he's not pooping in the house, though, where is he pooping, you ask? In his crate. Some nights I wake up and he has pooped. He has the same schedule every day and he doesn to do this every night, but about every 5/6 nights. It doesn't matter how late I let him out, how early I feed him, how many times he poops before he goes in, I will wake up to a mess in his crate that he is lying in.

His crate is actually two inches too short for him and, therefore, too small for him. However, he likes it that way. I can't really attribute the messing to thinking he can poop in one end and sleep in another, because he takes up the whole thing. He just poops and lies in it all night and cries at me in the morning to clean it up.

How can I curb this pooping behaviour?

How can I stop the barking behaviour in it's tracks?

November 9th, 2010, 04:17 PM
I do not abide barking dogs...

Expecting dogs not to bark is akin to expecting humans not to talk :shrug:. Do you know why your dog barks? Is it alert barking, fear barking, anxious "I want to meet that other dog" barking, etc? Depending on which, there are several ways to deal with it eg. desensitizing exercises, focus exercises, re-conditioning exercises and so on.

Here's a great place for you to's a wonderful book that will teach you what your dog is trying to communicate and how best to approach management. Barking, The Sound Of A Language by Turid Rugaas

Although this one is not so much a training book, it will also give you lots of insight as to why dogs do the things they do. Inside Of A Dog, What Dogs See, Smell, And Know by Alexandra Horowitz

If your male is asking for the door and only pooping in he crate every 5-6 nights, I wouldn't think of it as a behavioral problem rather than he just really needs to go right there and then. Does he give you any indication that he needs to go out in the middle of the night? Any whimpering, whining, barking?

November 9th, 2010, 08:08 PM
I mostly can't abide the barking dogs because Pomeranians are known as little yap machines. First, it's bad for a rental/home ownership to have a barking dog, it IS a nuisance, whether dogs are made to bark or not. It's not comparable to talking, because dogs verbalise far less than humans do, using their bodies to talk.

I think I've pinned it down, actually. A few weeks ago I think she went through another fear period, and she didn't meet any outside dogs during that time. I tried to convince her to meet a dog today that was friendly, with the owner's permission, and she stayed behind me and barked. After a few minutes she slowed down, put her head on me, tried to turn away and lie down and whined at me. The other dog just stood there and made no moves towards or away from her, it just looked very confused.

I'm thinking introducing her into a playgroup without leashes may help, but I need to get one together to do that. She doesn't seem to be actively afraid of the other dogs, she's just not sure what to make of them anymore. She's naturally a very verbal and somewhat antsy little dog, so it makes sense that she'd apply her loud voice as a tool in trying to get rid of something that makes her nervous.

J doesn't make any indication that he needs to poop at night. He usually just does it, then lies down in it and only whines when I get up. He's the amazing Dog Who Won't Ask, he didn't ask for anything, just took it when offered. I had to specifically teach him doorbell ringing (I couldn't count on him picking it up if the bell rang when the door opened, I had to teach him that HE had to ring the bell to make the door open) so he would learn to ask to go out that way. He will sit and starve/dry up if he isn't fed on time or there isn't water.

What's most odd about this reliable crate-pooping is that it wasn't there before I fixed his housetraining issue. He would occasionally poop in the crate if he was in there for too long without a potty break, but that was rare. Now that he's pooping outside during the day, he poops in his crate at night instead.