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Old 03-12-2010, 06:48 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,410,022 times
Reputation: 4849

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So I mentioned in another thread about our new pup having issues, but only when we are not home. He will pee and poop every single time we leave, but never in front of us. He also goes all over the furniture, but never in front of us. So, it's hard to correct an issue when he doesn't do it in front of us.

Today, I went out for maybe 20 minutes. My husband was home, in his office, though the dog had no idea. The second I walked out the door, he said he heard W jump on the couch. Sure enough, my H goes out of his office, and the dog is on the couch! He does not do this when we are home and was quite shocked to see my husband.

Both dogs get plenty of exercise, get daily runs/walks in the canyons, trips to the dog park and beach, and walks around the neighborhood. It doesn't matter if W poops 10 minutes before we leave, we are guaranteed to find pee and poop when we come back, even if it's 20 minutes later. We tried confining him to a small place, and he went everywhere and laid in it, which is double work for me...washing the floors and his body.

We are trying his crate tonight, though according to his previous owner, we will just come back to a dog covered in poop. What do we do in this situation? It is beyond frustrating and we have never had an issue with our first dog (who we got at 8 weeks). He's the prefect dog, was housebroken quickly and just a joy to be around. This new dog is like the devil when we are not home!

We now put inverted carpet runner on the couches, with the spikes facing up, and it seems to deter him from getting on the furniture. Now if we could get him to stop peeing/pooping all over the house, we'd be set. Some say it's a housebreaking issue, but how can it be when he does not go when we are home, even if it's been 4 hours since he last went? He will go every single time we leave, whether we're gone 20 minutes or 2 hours. What would you do in this situation? At this rate, it doesn't seem like he will ever be housebroken and we are bound to live in a place that smells like dog poop for the rest of his life. I found the rescue remedy we had, and never had to use with our first dog, and it did nothing for W, so that's out as well! Any and all ideas are very welcomed at this point.

 
Old 03-12-2010, 08:09 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Florida
1,439 posts, read 2,489,001 times
Reputation: 2165
Is this issue seperation anxiety? Or was he never housetrained before you got him? Or are you dealing with a bit of both?

If it is seperation anxiety you have to the walking in and out of the door thing. You know, where you initially just wait on the opposite side of the door and then progress to longer periods of time over the course of a month or two. Also, keep in mind he's just a new addition and he's probably not adjusted completely to your family yet, so he's going to have some nervousness.

I doubt you will be living in a house full of poop, lol. After all, he's not stupid or incontinent. Give him some time. Took at least 3 months for my dog to feel secure when I left the house when I first got her.
 
Old 03-12-2010, 08:27 PM
ZSP
 
Location: El Paso TX
1,568 posts, read 4,173,768 times
Reputation: 2424
I would guess separation anxiety too. Some dogs adjust to being re-homed easier than others. I'm confident, with time and patience, he'll be the good boy he's capable of being.

I have very little experience with SA but ironically, two of my dogs exhibit signs of it but crating the Lab and babygating one of the Bostons takes care of their issues. The Lab will cry and bark if not crated and Skylar, my 4 year old Boston, will find something (a magazine, book, throw rug) to have a party with....but babygated with my other Boston and Frenchie, she's fine...even with a magazine or book within her reach.

I know there are lots of good training articles out there for SA - if I can find one in particular, I'll post the link.

So, do you want to send Winston to me?
 
Old 03-12-2010, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,033,372 times
Reputation: 1908
I've seen rescue dogs exhibit similar behavior. In some cases, our information indicated that in their former homes these dogs were punished for housebreaking accidents. Our consulting trainer and our experienced volunteers felt that the dogs were probably confused about what was acceptable and they equated elimination with punishment, so as soon as no one was around they'd poop and pee. It's likely that these dogs were punished when they were caught eliminating inappropriately and punished after the fact, too. Because of this, they didn't know when it was safe to go. Once a response is conditioned in this way the dog can't figure out what to do on it's own. You have to start at the beginning by treating the dog as if it were a pup and initiating housetraining from the beginning. I've seen puppy mill dogs and dogs that came from situations where they were always kenneled or crated and have become used to living in their own waste. These dogs are also difficult to train because they have lost the natural tendency to avoid their own waste; crating them doesn't work well as a means to inhibit elimination.

I've succeeded in retraining these dogs through constant vigilance. I generally tether the dog to me at all times so I can monitor behavior and get it outside as soon as there's an indication it has to eliminate.

I feed on a strict schedule, take the dog out immediately after and stay with it until it eliminates. Praise, reward, reinforce--you know the drill. I've even used a clicker and treats to reinforce the precise action I want. With food motivated dogs this can work well.

When I can't be around, I put down paper and keep the dog in a confined area. I use a soft fleece bellyband lined with a sanitary pad to absorb urine. (Bellybands are great. They keep the smell out of the environment, which helps. Dogs like to pee where they've peed before. Some dogs also find that the bellyband acts as a reminder NOT to pee when it's on.) If I find a mess when I return, I remove the dog to the outdoors or another room, clean up the mess and make no comment.

The key is to reward the behavior you want and ignore the behavior you don't want.

I've generally had good and reliable results within 4 to 6 weeks but that doesn't mean I trust the dog just yet. The key is to remain watchful. I don't give the dog unsupervised access to any room I'm not in until I am SURE they won't sneak off and pee somewhere. One formerly feral dog wasn't allowed out of my sight for 6 months. I wanted to make sure that the housebreaking habit was well ingrained.

It won't be easy and might not be a quick fix, but don't be discouraged. He'll learn.
 
Old 03-12-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,410,022 times
Reputation: 4849
He spent more time at our house than he did with his previous owner, which is why we have him in the first place. For the last 3 months, he'd be here for 5 days, go to him for 2, etc., until he finally agreed to give him up to us. In fact, he always listened and responded more to me than his previous owner. So it's not like he's not used to being here and he is better here than at his previous home, probably because we take our animals out to pee/poop on a regular basis and don't beat or yell at them if they have an accident in the house.

At his previous home, he'd be alone for pretty much the entire day, with little human contact. Now, he has another dog as company when we are gone. In fact, one of us is with the dogs pretty much all day long, for the exception of maybe 2 hrs max. It's not like we expect him to be home alone most of the time, we take very good care of him (them).

He also loves to eat poop and will then vomit that all over. We are just so glad to have hardwood floors at this place, because our old one had all carpets. Now that would truly be a disaster!

And ZSP, I'm tempted, but PC would be devastated! He's taken quite well to the little guy (except when W tries to mount him!)
 
Old 03-12-2010, 08:51 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,410,022 times
Reputation: 4849
Quote:
Originally Posted by leorah View Post
I've seen rescue dogs exhibit similar behavior. In some cases, our information indicated that in their former homes these dogs were punished for housebreaking accidents. Our consulting trainer and our experienced volunteers felt that the dogs were probably confused about what was acceptable and they equated elimination with punishment, so as soon as no one was around they'd poop and pee. It's likely that these dogs were punished when they were caught eliminating inappropriately and punished after the fact, too. Because of this, they didn't know when it was safe to go. Once a response is conditioned in this way the dog can't figure out what to do on it's own. You have to start at the beginning by treating the dog as if it were a pup and initiating housetraining from the beginning. I've seen puppy mill dogs and dogs that came from situations where they were always kenneled or crated and have become used to living in their own waste. These dogs are also difficult to train because they have lost the natural tendency to avoid their own waste; crating them doesn't work well as a means to inhibit elimination.

I've succeeded in retraining these dogs through constant vigilance. I generally tether the dog to me at all times so I can monitor behavior and get it outside as soon as there's an indication it has to eliminate.

I feed on a strict schedule, take the dog out immediately after and stay with it until it eliminates. Praise, reward, reinforce--you know the drill. I've even used a clicker and treats to reinforce the precise action I want. With food motivated dogs this can work well.

When I can't be around, I put down paper and keep the dog in a confined area. I use a soft fleece bellyband lined with a sanitary pad to absorb urine. (Bellybands are great. They keep the smell out of the environment, which helps. Dogs like to pee where they've peed before. Some dogs also find that the bellyband acts as a reminder NOT to pee when it's on.) If I find a mess when I return, I remove the dog to the outdoors or another room, clean up the mess and make no comment.

The key is to reward the behavior you want and ignore the behavior you don't want.

I've generally had good and reliable results within 4 to 6 weeks but that doesn't mean I trust the dog just yet. The key is to remain watchful. I don't give the dog unsupervised access to any room I'm not in until I am SURE they won't sneak off and pee somewhere. One formerly feral dog wasn't allowed out of my sight for 6 months. I wanted to make sure that the housebreaking habit was well ingrained.

It won't be easy and might not be a quick fix, but don't be discouraged. He'll learn.
Housebreaking is not the issue. As I said, he has not had an accident while one of us has been home since we got him. We take both dogs out pretty much every 2 hours, sometimes a little less frequently, during the day and no issues. W goes to bed around 9pm, and wakes up at 8am without issues, no accidents whatsoever. He'll even go to the door when he has to go when we are home and we let him out, so he knows where to go.

My problem is not catching him when I'm at home, because it doesn't happen when I'm home. The issue is we take him out, he poops and pees outside, then we go out for say an hour. We are guaranteed to come back to poop and pee all over the house, even though he just went out. This happens every single time, without fail. He is taken out just before we do go out, yet still goes in the house the second we leave, even if we are gone 20 minutes. If the issue was housebreaking and him peeing all over when we are home, it would be an easy one to fix. Not so much when this only happens when no one is at home.
 
Old 03-12-2010, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,033,372 times
Reputation: 1908
Lightweight plastic basket muzzles work wonders for poop eaters, by the way!
 
Old 03-12-2010, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,033,372 times
Reputation: 1908
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAK802 View Post
Housebreaking is not the issue. As I said, he has not had an accident while one of us has been home since we got him. We take both dogs out pretty much every 2 hours, sometimes a little less frequently, during the day and no issues. W goes to bed around 9pm, and wakes up at 8am without issues, no accidents whatsoever. He'll even go to the door when he has to go when we are home and we let him out, so he knows where to go.

My problem is not catching him when I'm at home, because it doesn't happen when I'm home. The issue is we take him out, he poops and pees outside, then we go out for say an hour. We are guaranteed to come back to poop and pee all over the house, even though he just went out. This happens every single time, without fail. He is taken out just before we do go out, yet still goes in the house the second we leave, even if we are gone 20 minutes. If the issue was housebreaking and him peeing all over when we are home, it would be an easy one to fix. Not so much when this only happens when no one is at home.
I still believe this is a learned behavior. Particularly if the previous owner yelled at or hit the dog when it had an accident. Any kind of attention, even negative attention, is still attention to a dog. Peeing and pooping equals attention. If the dog is anxious and sees you clean up his mess, that's attention. If he's reacting to your absence by misbehaving, he's seeking attention. Reinforcing appropriate behavior and desensitizing him to your absences will probably help. Patricia McConnell's book, "I'll Be Home Soon" is cheap and available on Amazon. It deals with separation anxiety and managing the associated behavioral issues.
 
Old 03-13-2010, 05:27 AM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 36,861,752 times
Reputation: 22101
MAK: re the Rescue Remedy...1) It takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs for it to take effect 2) I would increase the dosage. You can't overdose with that stuff!
 
Old 03-13-2010, 06:40 AM
 
4,130 posts, read 13,305,358 times
Reputation: 3773
In this case, I dont think a muzzle would prevent poop eating as the dog is a boston and they have pretty flat muzzles - the only thing that worked for us is scooping as soon as they poop, we always have to outside w/ them though but it's OK b/c I like to know who's doing what - she will generally listen if she's standing close by and we notice someone pooping (she likes it fresh from the spigot!) and we turn to get the pooper scooper but we have to be fast ("Don't you dare!") - in the dark, it's hard though (the area is lit but there are shadows).
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