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spoonie
August 4th, 2008, 07:32 AM
I've just adopted two hound puppies that had been in a shelter cage with 2 other puppies for the last 4 weeks. The pups were in an extremely overpopulated shelter, and didn't really get much of an opportunity to go out or understand that whole "Don't poop where you eat" rule. I've never had problems housebreaking in the past, due to puppies having that cleanliness sort of ingrained in them.

How can I get past that sort of problem? Obviously, we're watching them like hawks, but we are both working full time, (my husband from home, and honestly, he's just not as adept in picking up puppy potty language as I am) and I'm not sure we can do crate training until we get them past the "I don't care if I'm entirely covered in poo" problem. I've got the puppies set to a schedule already, so we're definitely working on the timing issues. I'm just really wondering if it will be possible for them to get over that lack of caring??

Thanks for any advice!

Dana
August 4th, 2008, 11:27 AM
I think the trick at this point is getting them used to being clean again! I think you're right about waiting to crate them- they'll likely potty in their crates which is what you totally want to avoid.

In your other post I see that you have wee wee pads. Are you intending to use those forever or do you want the dogs to use your 2 acre yard (I am soooo jealous!)? If you don't want to use the potty pads forever, I would not recommend using them now.

You and your husband will need to be hyper-vigilant about supervision in the house so you can prevent or catch any mistakes and rush them outside. I would also recommend giving them a large fenced area outside for times when you can't supervise- that way they will only potty outside and we can avoid the possible issues with getting them to hold it. Does that sound like something you can do?

spoonie
August 4th, 2008, 12:02 PM
Mainly, we want the wee pads so that they are likely to go in a corner, rather than the middle of the floor where they start rolling around in it. *eyeroll* They've been covered in it so much that they honestly don't care at all if they're smack dab in the middle of a big pile of poo. We're not looking to keep them using them, and only using them for night times (don't even have them available except at night), since they are enclosed in a rather larger area than we'd normally give a puppy at that age.

We're probably not going to be able to do an outside unsupervised area (unless we steal the chicken run for the purpose from time to time). There's a lot of predators around our area, including coyotes and cougars who might like a tasty hound dog snack. And, yes, I am SO in love with our home and yard. It's so beautiful. The backyard is full of asparagus, grapes and berries growing wild, as well as huge trees and groves of pine. Buying so far out in the country, we got a FANTASTIC deal for our money.

We're definitely aiming for super-vigilant. The puppies are incredibly smart too, which will help a lot. Dobro and Sawyer picked up their names within a few hours. Hopefully as they have more room to play and a better, more scheduled lifestyle, they'll lose that unpleasant rolling around in the poo habit. Right now I just have to keep giving them baths and preventing the possibility I suppose. :biggrin:

Rebecca
August 4th, 2008, 06:49 PM
I'd recommend starting to use the crate now in a very controlled manner to get them in the habit of being in there without having accidents. Soon after a successful potty trip when they've peed and pooped and they're most likely empty, I'd put them in the crate for a very short period (even just 5 minutes would be fine for now) with some cushy bedding and something fantastically yummy to chew on. Give them something that's extra yummy that they only get to have when they're in the crate, like a pig ear or a kong toy stuffed with peanut butter or canned dog food.

This should help to change their minds about using the crate as a toilet by getting them out of the habit of pottying in there (by putting them in when they're empty) and by teaching them that it's a place to chew and eat, not poo and pee! Oh, that's another thing you can do... feed them their meals in the crate. If you do that for a while, most pups start to think of the crate as more of a kitchen than a bathroom! You can even do it with the crate door propped open at first so they can come and go as they please.

spoonie
August 5th, 2008, 05:50 AM
Oo. :) Good ideas. I'll definitely do that. We're always a bit loathe to put our new shelter dogs in crates for a little while anyhow, just because we want them to feel "free" here. (Silly, but, I think it helps them settle in more quickly usually. Timid dogs we go the opposite. Crates usually help in those cases.) After a little bit more of keeping the poo off, I think they'll probably be ok. They seem to be more avoidy of the piles outside and the accident they had early this morning. :laugh: I'm glad. More than one bath a day isn't really my cup of tea OR theirs. :biggrin:

Rebecca
August 5th, 2008, 10:21 AM
Glad they're already starting to avoid their poo... that's definitely a step in the right direction! Just be sure you guys supervise them as carefully as you can so you can stop them and scoot them outside if they try to make any mistakes in the house.

I can only imagine your relief at not having to do multiple daily baths... that would be a nightmare with two puppies!

Keep us updated on their progress!!

spoonie
August 5th, 2008, 12:31 PM
Thanks! We've discovered one reason they are having some difficulties. The trip to the vet today revealed Giardia! Yay for parasites! ;) They're starting Panacure tonight, for a nice long ten day schedule. :D

After that gets taken care of, we'll have it much easier! They are definitely going more frequently than normal puppies do.

Rebecca
August 5th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Oh, lordy. Giardia can be a real pain to deal with. You'll need to be extra-clean and careful... I had a client with two puppies that kept re-infecting each other. When I last spoke to them, they were on the 3rd vet and probably the 6th round of medication... and things hadn't been resolved yet! :eek:

I'd highly recommend doing some research online... there are some good articles about dealing with Giardia in multi-dog households that will give you tips on sanitation and prevention so everyone doesn't end up passing it back and forth!

spoonie
August 5th, 2008, 01:13 PM
Thanks very much! I will definitely do that. Lord knows all I need is FOUR dogs pooing in the house. :p

Dana
August 5th, 2008, 05:16 PM
You'll be the one who wants to move into the chicken coop temporarily :biggrin:

Glad the vet found it though- so many housebreaking issues end up being health related. A vet check is always a good idea with problem dogs.

spoonie
August 11th, 2008, 10:27 AM
Soooo.. not ONLY do my puppies have giardia... they've got awful bladder infections too! This can be put down as one of the most fun housebreaking attempts ever! :thumbup: :crying:

Rebecca
August 11th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Oh, that's just horrifying. :eek:

I really feel for you. Housebreaking a puppy is a lot of work. Housebreaking two puppies at the same time is a monumental challenge. Housebreaking two puppies with Giardia is a nightmare. Housebreaking two puppies with Giardia and a bladder infection should qualify you for sainthood!!

Just be sure you're still on top of them... although their medical issues will surely lead to some mishaps, don't be tempted to ease up on their housebreaking program, since it'll only get them into bad habits that will be hard to break later.

Poor beasties!! :(

Dana
August 11th, 2008, 09:50 PM
The only good news is that your luck is unlikely to get any worse :confused1:

At least you caught it. How did you find out?

spoonie
August 12th, 2008, 05:00 AM
Aww, I dunno about Sainthood. lol (I might take it though!) It's definitely not the funnest time I've ever had. But, you are certainly right about the luck, Dana... couldn't get much worse. (Except that Dobro is showing some symptoms of the puppy bone disorders! :eek: Fingers crossed on that one for sure. We're being really careful about his diet and exercise, but his joints just looks a little odd and he has some wandering lameness.)

And, we caught it because both puppies are squatting ALL the time, but when they go its only a few dribbles at a time. We've been having to take them out every 15-30 minutes because of the squatting and the diarrhea. My husband is at the end of his rope, honestly. He's home alone with them all day, and he's not particularly patient to begin with. :( He gets really mad that they behave like puppies. The puppies who ooze every few minutes thing is just too much for him. But, then of course he gets mad at me when I say I'll take care of it and them. (Men! Need way more training than puppies, I swear.)

Anyway, so with the excessive squatting, sounds like a UTI to me. Took in some samples and there ya have it. My poor puppies. :crying: The pups have just started their second 5 day course of panacur, so hopefully *fingers crossed* in a few days they will be aces across the board. Then to tackle that pesky recall problem my husband is ripping his hair out over. :biggrin: