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Argent June 13th, 2016 11:26 PM

Behaviour Issue After Traumatic Event
I have a 6 month old Papillon that until recently has been very well behaved as far as a puppy goes. There was recently a large fire in the apartment building I live in and, while I did get him out with me, he has developed a few behavioral issues. While most of his chages I was prepared for (eg. barking and fear response to loud alarms) and are showing signs of improvement, there are 2 behaviours that I was not prepared for.
The main thing that changed is he now wants to carry a piece of poop with him EVERYWHERE. If you do not catch him before he comes inside he will bring in some from outside. If left alone he will wither poop inside to carry it around or break into the cat litter box to take cat poop to carry around. He does not try to eat it, only carry it. Then he wants to sleep with it like a child would a stuffed toy.
Should you get the poop away from him, he transitions into the 2nd big issue. If no poop is available and a bedroom door is open he will jump on a bed, urinate and then sleep either in or beside the urine. This does not happen in a pet bed, only on a human bed.
For the first 4months that I had him he has never dispalyed either of these behaviours. I expect that is it related to the stress from the fire. He was cleared by the vet for any health issues from the fire and smoke exposure. They suggested that it may be stress behaviour like puppy PTSD but did not have any real suggestions to fix the issue.
Has anyone come across an issue like this before or have any suggestions on how to resolve this?

Barkingdog June 14th, 2016 08:34 AM

Buy a toy that can be easily carry by your dog or find a nice stick and trade it for the poop ! If your dog like to play with balls get him a new ball to carry around.

hazelrunpack June 14th, 2016 10:18 PM

I think that's a good suggestion--to try to transfer his behavior from the poop to a toy of some sort. Also, is there some way to close off the litter box so the cat can get to it but the dog can't? That might at least eliminate the cat poop fascination...

Did the vet check him for urinary tract issues not related to the fire and smoke exposure? Does he urinate in the house in any other place than on the bed when he has access?

Argent June 14th, 2016 10:56 PM

I've tried using both favourite toys and new toys to try to direct the attention and replace the poop. Unfortunately it isn't working. I've moved the litter boxes to new areas and it has a door on it, so far he has managed to get into every place I move it to. Part of the issue is that he is 1/4 the size of my cats.

The vet checked him for UTIs. He doesn't urinate anywhere else that he shouldn't. It seems to be exclusive to the master bed and it is imediately followed by him sleeping in it.

Barkingdog June 15th, 2016 11:55 AM

You may have to clean out poop right the cat done if this is possible , or try buying littler box that has cover over so you dog can't get to the poop so easy .

Lynne&Co. June 15th, 2016 12:35 PM

This could be a difficult habit to break. Consistency and vigilance will hopefully pay off though just like when you originally house trained her.

My papillon will eat poop if it's available :yuck: so the only way I've been able to solve the problem is to ensure its never available. I pick up after her immediately so nothing is left lying around the yard. On walks I tug on her leash if she attempts to investigate any and at home I keep the litterbox high up out of her reach on an old table in the basement.

You may also consider a good walk after each meal so she can "empty" herself before she is free to roam the house. She can't pee or poop when she's "empty" which will hopefully help break the habit. Make sure she has a favourite toy or treat available to transfer that need to carry and cuddle something. :thumbs up

Any chance of a picture of your pup:lovestruck:

Longblades June 16th, 2016 09:06 AM

I know this is going to sound gross but what about putting a small piece of very hard, dried poop INSIDE a toy? I have an older cat with some issues and I sometimes find such little cigars, seemingly petrified like wood, about the house. It doesn't smell in the least, hmmm, so maybe it wouldn't work. Then maybe you could eventually transition to a toy with no poop? This is a wild guess as you can tell. Poor little pup. Anybody would be traumatized by a house fire.

Barkingdog June 16th, 2016 02:32 PM

a picture minus the poop ! :laughing:

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