View Full Version : Doing Everything right so why??????

December 1st, 2008, 12:24 PM
Got this little guys as a pup. He has been crate trained. He is on a leash tied to my chair or other piece of furniture when he is not in his crate. The point is, he is never left alone as he poops and pees everywhere if he is not watched. He eats twice a day. He is taken out to the same spot everytime and praised when he goes. Most often with a treat. He gets two long walks a day. He goes potty when he is taken outside. He knows what "go potty" means. He seems to have no undersanding of where not to go even though he has been caught in the act, scolded, and taken out where he is suposed to go.
As soon as his rules are relaxed the least bit, it is as though he has never had a spot of training.
Last night he shit on our bed in the middle of the night (just imagine the drama waking up to shit on your pillow). Back in the crate for him.

Then this morning, going out for pee only. We came in for breakfast, and I took him upstairs with me for a shower as he stunk pretty bad. After the shower I called him over while I turned away for one second to tie my bathrobe, I turn back to see his pooping up a storm.

No warning ever. He goes in silence. He has been caught in the act many time and rushed outside to the right place. He is praised and given a treat and a walk as a reward. I am losing my mind. I do all the right things and STILL he goes. Right in front of me, like it is no big deal.

Everytime this happens it is back to the crate training and 100% supervision by umbilical cord. He cannot seem to grasp what to do each time I try to transition him from the very restrictive crate to more freedom. I want to trust him and he could be having ever so much fun if only he did not pee and poo wherever he happens to be at the moment. He has no guilt when he is caught in the act. It's as if he has no understanding that he has done something wrong.

I love him. He is so smart and funny. He knows sit, down, heel, drop it, stay, go get it, and the hand signals for these commands. I have read a ton of books and things are great except this one thing is driving our lives into misery. I KNOW he is no dummy. I am beginning to resent him I confess and find myself not wanting to give him any affection.

I could really use some help.

December 2nd, 2008, 02:05 PM
Well, it does sound like you've been doing most of the stuff you should be doing, so I can sure understand why you'd be frustrated!!

You may just have one of those dogs who takes a little longer to housebreak, so patience will certainly play a role in this... I'm sure you feel like you've been working on this forever, since it's been 3 long months, but at 5 months, many puppies still need a lot of supervision and help to do the right thing.

A couple of things I'd suggest changing... I wouldn't give treats as a reward for pottying outside. A lot of dogs are so anxious to get the treat that they don't finish up when they're outside, then they end up going back in with a fully belly or bladder, leading to accidents. I'd go just with praise and play or a walk instead.

Do you have the option of having a dog door? That might make for an easy solution to your problem, so let us know.

I'd suggest that you try keeping a written potty schedule (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/potty-schedule.htm) for a while... that helps a lot with troubleshooting when there are accidents in an otherwise solid housebreaking program. Check back in with us to let us know how it looks!

December 2nd, 2008, 03:17 PM
Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for getting back to me. Got up this morning to more poop in the kennel. He hid it under his bed. The kennel is the right size. So, I tied him to the oven door (he only weighs 6 pounds) told him to go to bed. He has a bed there. Then I went to clean up the kennel where he could not see me. I have always wondered, all the books say never let them see you pick up their poop or watch you clean the mess. I cannot help but think they know you are cleaning it up. Especially when they see you pick up their poop all the time for them outside.
At any rate, I cleaned it up came back, looked over at him (I can see him from here) and you know he didn't even get up but I saw he looked funny, sure enough he pooped and lay right on top to hide it. That was new. Now I feel very bad because all I can think is the only reason he did that was because he connects the ACT itself being bad. I really yelled at him on the poop on the pillow night.
Sigh. Another bath. dried him off and he sat on my lap while I did a lot of reading on your wonderful website. Then we went for a long walk and pooped in front of me no problem.
I cannot have a doggy door becuase the condo complex I live in, has a history of missing animals. We have 2 cats and they would love to get out all night and play.
I can do pooping peeing diary over the next couple of days I am home from work.
Our dog is never home alone between the teens and me except on Fridays 6 hours due to my work schedule. They are very good and onboard with the whole training thing.
Do you think it is his breed mix that makes this so hard? Malti/poodle/terrier? My friends with goldens and labs all say it was a cinch for them.
Thanks again for this site.

December 2nd, 2008, 09:20 PM
No, I don't think it's a breed issue that's causing the problem. You might be interested in this page (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/forum/showthread.php?t=441), which is a response to a question about whether toy breeds are harder to train. And don't let your Lab and Golden owning friends make you feel like you're failing in your training... there are plenty of dogs that don't housebreak quickly and they can definitely be Labs or Goldens, believe me!

It sounds like your dog is confused and stressed at the moment, so I want you to read this (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/commandment2.htm), which discusses starting your dog with a clean slate and not being mad and frustrated during your training. It also talks a bit about those infamous friends and their easy-to-housebreak dogs!

I'd really like you to take a step back in your training and set your dog up for success as much as possible, which will mean close supervision, good scheduling, and confinement when you're unable to supervise. Remember that your dog isn't having accidents out of spite and that he needs you to help him... if you remember that he's messing up because he's confused, not because he's evil, things will go a lot more smoothly!

A couple more things... if you're worried about escapes/disappearances but would otherwise be able to have a dog door, you can have the dog door lead to a covered dog run outside. No big deal if you can't do it, but often dogs that have the kind of issues you describe do really well when they're able to learn to take themselves outside to potty instead of waiting for a human escort.

If you haven't already done it, I'd get the little beastie in for a vet check, too, just to make sure he's not having any health issues that are contributing to his housebreaking problems.

Hang in there!! :)

December 4th, 2008, 01:56 PM
Hi Rebecca,
I cannot afford a dog run.
Here is a bit of our schedule.
5pm ate
6pm walk peed and pooped
10:20pm peed
5am poop in kennel with dog laying in it
peed outside and then a bath
7:30am peed and ate
8am peed outside reward of mini walk and trying to get his poop going
9am peed
10:30 am short walk to the garbage pooped praised him, really excited high pitched "Good Boy"! and a rub. Nice long walk as a reward for pooping he peed on the walk
1:50pm peed
4:20pm fed him early hoping it would stop the pooping overnight
7:50pm peed and pooped lots of praise
5:45 am peed and pooped outside lots of praise
6:30am ate
Had to take the kids to school and go to the car shop. We were leaving at 7:30am and I asked my daughter to get his kennel from upstairs next to our bed and put it in our car. She came back from the car with poop all over her. Titch had pooped in the night and hid it under the towel and it got all over her as she carried it.
Cleaned it all up, put him in the kennel, dropped the kids off, went to the mechanics, walked him out side a bit, nothing.
We were there for 3 hours and he slept there most of the time on my lap.
Got home at 11am.
Short walk. nothing. Into the kennel he went, while I began picking up the
When to my surpise, close to where the the kennel is next to my bed, a pile of his poop! I can only think he did it as he was walking out the door of his keenel at 5:45am.
The room is very dark in the morning and we must have missed it.
I just want to cry. He just walks and poops at the same time now?
He does not have the runs. His poop is fully formed and very soft. He is eating Science Diet for puppies. My daughter pointed out that the frequency
of pooping started out after I starting mixing pan drippings from pot roasts and turkey in his food.
I am going to stop it and not feed him again today. See if that will stop him from pooping in the night.

But this will not stop him from never signaling he as to go. He gives no indication. He gives no warning what so ever and poops wherever he happens to be. He does not always to seem to be concerned with laying in his own poop. His kennel is just big enough for him to barely stand and turn round. I got this kennel 2 weeks ago because the other one was too big and he had made one half of it his sleeping area and one half his bathroom. He never pees inside his kennel or the house. It is just the pooping.
I have my long shift at work tomorrow and I just dread what I will find when I get home.
Okay, going to see if he will poop and take him for a walk either way.
I havbeen waiting to take him on his walks after he poops as reward for pooping but he is inconsistant so his walks are too. I no longer give him treats for pooping per your advice.
I am pretty discouraged.

December 4th, 2008, 09:20 PM
First, I'd do whatever you can to firm up those poops... he'll have a much harder time controlling them and you'll have a much harder time predicting them if they're soft. Diet changes can help, of course, but having the vet check a stool sample might be a good idea, too.

The poops in the crate seem to be a big problem... have you tried removing his blanket so he can't bury the poo? That seems to help, since some dogs find they can just bury the poo and be comfortably away from it to sleep. Also, be sure to read our article about preventing crate accidents (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/crate-accidents.htm).

You might also find this article on teaching your dog to bark to go outside (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/barking-training.htm)useful... though there are pros and cons to teaching a dog to do this, it sounds like it might help you with this little guy.

Hang in there and keep us updated!

December 4th, 2008, 09:23 PM
Another thought... when overnight poop accidents are a problem, sometimes feeding late at night works. We usually recommend feeding well before bedtime, as you've been doing, so the pup can empty out before bed. Some dogs systems seem to take a little longer, though, so feeding close to bedtime allows them to be clean overnight and ready to go potty in the morning.

It may or may not work, but it's another thing to try if the other suggestions don't help.

December 5th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Hi Rebecca,
I read the articles, thanks.
Yesterday, I offered Titch his food at 3pm with out adding pan drippings to it or water and heating it up. Just his plain dry food. I left it out for 15-20 minutes. He refused to eat it. So, I took it away. By the way, I have been putting his food and water in the kennel.
I put the kennel by my bed again last night, and took his blanket away. This morning no poop in the kennel, yay! He almost did not make it out the door though. As soon as we were out, he started pooping. I do not think he could have held it any longer. His poop is still soft.
So, do you still think I should try feeding him late? I go to bed at 9pm. When you say late, how late are you thinking? Is 9pm too early?
This morning, he has refused to eat again. He is really picky and that is why I started trying to make his food more appetizing by adding stuff to it.
He is a very small dog, 6 pounds 9 oz. So I worry about him not getting enough food but on the other hand, I could be stern and just refuse to budge and let him eat when he finally gets hungry enough.
I will try and get him into the Vet today. I got called off work again. But I will have to wait until I can some poop from him. So it may have to wait till next week.
Barking to go out is probably not a good idea for us. With his personality, he would take it and run. We have had to work with him to stop barking. In fact, it is a real problem when a stranger come to the door or visits for the first time.
Can you explain about bell ringing?
But how would it work if I still do not think Titch understands when he has to poop, it is outside. How can I get him to the point where his little brain makes the connection?
Right now, he thinks wherever he is, at the time, is just fine to poop.

December 5th, 2008, 03:49 PM
Well, at least we had a clean night... yaaay! :thumbup:

I'd suggest calling your vet to ask what to do about the feeding situation. Generally, if you give just the dry food and pick it up a couple of times when they don't eat it, dogs get the idea that they better eat it while they have a chance and they'll start gobbling it up. However, small breed puppies can have blood sugar problems if they don't eat frequently enough, so I would NOT try this without the okay from your vet.

You might want to try mixing some plain white rice with his food... this should help to firm up the poops and might make the food interesting enough to eat.

I would make it a real priority to get him to the vet... the fact that he was obviously trying to hold it in his crate and he had to go desperately when he got outside makes me feel kinda sorry for the little guy!! Soft stools and housebreaking definitely don't mix!!

Here's a thread where we discuss how to do bell training (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76).

I wouldn't assume he thinks it's fine to go wherever he is... those soft stools might just be sneaking up on him and he's going before he has a chance to do anything about it! I'd get the squishy poop situation figured out, keep doing what you're doing, and maybe add in the bell or barking training. At some point, he'll most likely start to make the connection, it may just take a while.

December 7th, 2008, 08:24 AM
No more pooping in the kennel at night. Whoo Hoo!
I briefly spoke to the Vet who said it was the pan drippings I had been adding to his food that was causing the problem. He scolded me some...said it could also lead to pancreatitis, adding fat is a bad idea! My chagrin.
Since he hated his puppy food and I was almost out anyway, I changed brands. Well, he loves the new stuff. He only pooped 2 times yesterday and his stool is looking firmer.
I will take him and a poop sample to the Vet on Tuesday to check if there are any other problems. We just had a flea infestation, bombed the house and put Advantage on everyone. Perhaps he got some worms from biting and eating the fleas? I will also ask about how often to feed him.
In the meantime, we are still doing the umbilical and crate training, not letting him out of sight.
I will go and see about a bell on Tuesday as well.
Thank you so much for all your help. I was really beginning to get depressed and feeling hopeless about EVER housebreaking my dog. Now, I know it will take some time but I feel like I understand things better and that in time, it will work out.
I will check back in after we go to the Vet on Tuesday.

December 8th, 2008, 10:09 AM
Soooo happy to hear he's keeping his crate clean at night... fabulous!! :biggrin:

The fact that he's eating regularly and his stools are firming up should definitely help a lot. Let us know what the vet has to say...