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Old 07-14-2008, 10:45 PM
 
3 posts, read 29,664 times
Reputation: 10

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My puppy is an eight month old Maltese. I have had him for a little over a month. Since I've had him, he has never relieved himself in his crate nor in the house. But yesterday he started ---in the crate and house(urinating and bowel movements). When he was out of his crate, he did not give me his usual warnings to go outside (scratching at the door, whining or staring at the door), he just relieved himself. I have not changed any routines (eating twice a day, schedule for taking outside). The only things I can think of is I had given him snacks throughout the day and given him ice (he likes ice). But today, I didn't give snacks nor ice and he still had two bowel movements episodes --one in the house and one in the crate. Also, he still went outside. What will cause a regression and what should I do? Thank you for any help.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:00 AM
 
7,081 posts, read 24,519,604 times
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How frequently is he walked? He might need more frequent walks. You might also want to make sure he doesn't have a urinary tract infection. One of my best friends, a vet, told me never to give my dog anything very cold as it tends to make dogs vomit - the last thing they need in hot weather - so I never give him ice.

If you think it's real regression (and at 8 months it's likely he just needs a refresher course), I'd start over from scratch. Here's my housetraining post. Follow it TO THE LETTER (including the bit about putting him on a leash and going out with him and the treats) and you'll have a trained dog:

Housetraining your dog (puppy or adult!)

The first thing you need to do is to remember that you’re trying to reinforce a new behavior. That means that the rewards for this behavior must be WONDERFUL. NOT crap from the store. Wonderful treats are poached chicken breast/turkey breast, cheese and steak. And you don’t have to use big pieces. Tiny pieces (about 3mm cubes) are just fine! I poach a whole turkey breast every few weeks, cut it into hunks when it’s cool enough to handle, wrap them well and store them in the freezer. When I need some, I’ll thaw a hunk overnight and cut off pieces and dice finely, storing them in a plastic bag in the fridge. One hunk will last about five days. Cheese is also popular, so variety is fine.

I carry these plastic bags in my jacket pockets in the winter and in a fanny pack in warmer weather. You HAVE to have these with you, or this method won’t work, because you need to reward as soon as the dog finishes pooping or peeing. It’s not going to work if the rewards are in the house.

Remember that you’re trying to change a very ingrained behavior. Some dogs like to feel certain things under their feet when they eliminate, like fabric, or newspaper. This is called a ‘substrate preference.’ What you’re trying to do is change this substrate preference, and to do that you have to make the treats SO wonderful that the dog will change this very well-entrenched behavior. Thus the chicken, cheese, steak.

I love clicker training, but this can be done without clickers. You just need a way to ‘mark’ the behavior you want to reinforce. Use the word ‘YESSSSS!!!!’ very enthusiastically – that works for some.

You’re going to need to GO OUTSIDE WITH your dog and the dog needs to be on a leash. Yes, even in winter. If you don’t reward IMMEDIATELY after the event (when dog immediately finishes pooping or peeing) and wait inside, the dog is going to be reinforced for coming inside, not for doing its business. So, leash up your dog. STAND IN ONE PLACE. Be boring. Bring a book or magazine for yourself.

Eventually, the dog will do what you’re waiting for. The NANOSECOND that the dog is finished, HAVE A PARTY – lots of loud, high-pitched praise, treats and running around. You want to make this memorable for your dog! You’ll find that once the first event is achieved, the others will come more quickly. Keep on treating (you don’t have to throw a party except for milestones – a milestone = if he only pooped outside but now peed, too, or something equivalent to that) until he’s good and used to peeing/pooping outside. Before you know it, you have a trained dog.

Regarding accidents in the house: NO SCOLDING. Just clean them up. If you scold you’ll get the dog to think it’s bad to pee or poop and he’ll do it in places you won’t see. Until you step in it. Invest in a big bottle of Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution and use it liberally on accidents.

With young puppies, remember they have little control of the muscle that holds the bladder closed. This is something they grow into. Just as it’s not expected that a human baby is toilet trained at six months, don’t expect much from a puppy. Patience, patience, patience!!!! The nervous system in a puppy has to mature, and it won’t have much control over the sphincter (closing muscle) at the neck of the bladder until six or seven months. The same goes for the anal sphincter. Until control is achieved, both of these muscles operate on reflex: there are stretch receptors in the bladder wall. When the bladder is full, it sends impulses to the spinal cord and these, in turn, send signals to the sphincter to open and the dog pees.

In the stomach wall, there are also stretch receptors. So when the dog eats and the stomach is stretched, the impulses again go to the spinal cord, but this time the reflex, outgoing, nerve signals are sent to the anal sphincter, so the dog defecates. This operates in people, too – which is why some people rush to the ‘reading room’ after a meal – especially breakfast.
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:33 AM
 
Location: California
9,766 posts, read 24,102,155 times
Reputation: 21492
Is he acting normal in every other way? He could be sick.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:27 PM
 
3 posts, read 29,664 times
Reputation: 10
Default housebreaking regression

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
How frequently is he walked? He might need more frequent walks. You might also want to make sure he doesn't have a urinary tract infection. One of my best friends, a vet, told me never to give my dog anything very cold as it tends to make dogs vomit - the last thing they need in hot weather - so I never give him ice.

If you think it's real regression (and at 8 months it's likely he just needs a refresher course), I'd start over from scratch. Here's my housetraining post. Follow it TO THE LETTER (including the bit about putting him on a leash and going out with him and the treats) and you'll have a trained dog:

Housetraining your dog (puppy or adult!)

The first thing you need to do is to remember that you’re trying to reinforce a new behavior. That means that the rewards for this behavior must be WONDERFUL. NOT crap from the store. Wonderful treats are poached chicken breast/turkey breast, cheese and steak. And you don’t have to use big pieces. Tiny pieces (about 3mm cubes) are just fine! I poach a whole turkey breast every few weeks, cut it into hunks when it’s cool enough to handle, wrap them well and store them in the freezer. When I need some, I’ll thaw a hunk overnight and cut off pieces and dice finely, storing them in a plastic bag in the fridge. One hunk will last about five days. Cheese is also popular, so variety is fine.

I carry these plastic bags in my jacket pockets in the winter and in a fanny pack in warmer weather. You HAVE to have these with you, or this method won’t work, because you need to reward as soon as the dog finishes pooping or peeing. It’s not going to work if the rewards are in the house.

Remember that you’re trying to change a very ingrained behavior. Some dogs like to feel certain things under their feet when they eliminate, like fabric, or newspaper. This is called a ‘substrate preference.’ What you’re trying to do is change this substrate preference, and to do that you have to make the treats SO wonderful that the dog will change this very well-entrenched behavior. Thus the chicken, cheese, steak.

I love clicker training, but this can be done without clickers. You just need a way to ‘mark’ the behavior you want to reinforce. Use the word ‘YESSSSS!!!!’ very enthusiastically – that works for some.

You’re going to need to GO OUTSIDE WITH your dog and the dog needs to be on a leash. Yes, even in winter. If you don’t reward IMMEDIATELY after the event (when dog immediately finishes pooping or peeing) and wait inside, the dog is going to be reinforced for coming inside, not for doing its business. So, leash up your dog. STAND IN ONE PLACE. Be boring. Bring a book or magazine for yourself.

Eventually, the dog will do what you’re waiting for. The NANOSECOND that the dog is finished, HAVE A PARTY – lots of loud, high-pitched praise, treats and running around. You want to make this memorable for your dog! You’ll find that once the first event is achieved, the others will come more quickly. Keep on treating (you don’t have to throw a party except for milestones – a milestone = if he only pooped outside but now peed, too, or something equivalent to that) until he’s good and used to peeing/pooping outside. Before you know it, you have a trained dog.

Regarding accidents in the house: NO SCOLDING. Just clean them up. If you scold you’ll get the dog to think it’s bad to pee or poop and he’ll do it in places you won’t see. Until you step in it. Invest in a big bottle of Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution and use it liberally on accidents.

With young puppies, remember they have little control of the muscle that holds the bladder closed. This is something they grow into. Just as it’s not expected that a human baby is toilet trained at six months, don’t expect much from a puppy. Patience, patience, patience!!!! The nervous system in a puppy has to mature, and it won’t have much control over the sphincter (closing muscle) at the neck of the bladder until six or seven months. The same goes for the anal sphincter. Until control is achieved, both of these muscles operate on reflex: there are stretch receptors in the bladder wall. When the bladder is full, it sends impulses to the spinal cord and these, in turn, send signals to the sphincter to open and the dog pees.

In the stomach wall, there are also stretch receptors. So when the dog eats and the stomach is stretched, the impulses again go to the spinal cord, but this time the reflex, outgoing, nerve signals are sent to the anal sphincter, so the dog defecates. This operates in people, too – which is why some people rush to the ‘reading room’ after a meal – especially breakfast.

Thank you so much for your reply. We went to the vet today. The vet ran tests and thinks his colon might be irritated. He was treated and I pray he'll be back to normal soon. If I should have to re-train him after he's feeling better, I will also keep your suggestions in mind. Again thank you!
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:33 PM
 
3 posts, read 29,664 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyGirl1 View Post
Is he acting normal in every other way? He could be sick.

Thank you for your reply. We went to the vet this morning and he had tests ran and was treated. Prayfully, he'll be back to normal very soon.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:42 PM
 
Location: California
9,766 posts, read 24,102,155 times
Reputation: 21492
A trip to the vet is never wasted! So glad you've been able to pinpoint the cause. I'm betting he'll fall right back into his "good" habits quickly!
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