Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes
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Thread: Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes

  1. #1
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    Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes

    Hi,

    I have a slightly funny (if you don't own the dog) and quite serious problem. Here we go...

    We have a dog, about 1.5 years old. She was raised from a puppy in a house with a doggy door and fenced backyard. About 6 months ago we moves to the city and no longer have a doggy door or fenced backyard. At first she had trouble adusting and had some accidents, then she came to the conclusion that the rug in the family room was her bathroom and did her business on it a couple times a day. We have two dogs, so at first we were unsure of which one it was, and then I started catching her. She was completely unashamed of what she was doing. She would look me in the eye and continue relieving herself.

    The dog in question has some "social" issues in the first place. She does not respond to a simple no. It's like she has no idea what that means. She seems to have a hard time detecting anger in people and other dogs. We thought it was just that she was a puppy and didn't get it, but a year and a half is a little old to still not understand the meaning of the word no.

    So we started grabbing her by the scruff when she started peeing or whatnot and dragging her outside, then congradulating her if she continued to go outside. I think what may have happened in her apparently not so brillent head is that she thought that going outside was a punishment, and that going to the bathroom is wrong. Also, at this time, she started barking at and chasing people that walked by the house if we let her outside without a leash, which we had always previously done. At that point, we would chase after her, grab her by the scruff, and scold her. The only thing I can think is that she started to associate going outside with getting in trouble.

    So now to the problem. She's scared to death to go outside. She refuses. We have to put her on a leash while she cowers, coax her outside, then wait somtimes a good 15 minutes for her to figure out that she is supposed to be peeing. When we walk her, she stops in the middle of the sidewalk and pees or poops right there. And if, which happens sometimes, we didn't have time to walk her and had forgot to take her out and stand with her for 15 minutes while she looks dumbly at us, she explodes. She holds it and refuses to go outside until she physically cannot hold it anymore, and then it just comes squirting out while shes laying down or whatnot.

    Does anyone have any insight as to what could possibly be wrong with this dog? We give her treats to lure her outside, we praise her when she goes outside, but it doesn't click. Could there be something physically wrong? Does anyone have any training suggestions?

    Oh and I forgot to add...she also pees small amounts in her sleep. A little puddle under her when she wakes up. We also blammed that on our other dog because she is getting old, but now we have the other dog on incontinence meds and the puppy still pees in her sleep.
    Last edited by Gastropoda; 08-08-2008 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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  3. #2
    Senior Member ara28's Avatar
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    Re: Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes

    IMO, I don't think that grabbing a dog by the scruff does any good. If you catch her peeing in the house pick her up (not by the scruff) she should stop peeing once you lift her off the ground and simply place her outside and praise praise praise for going outside. I'm assuming (I may be wrong though) that now she simply associates that if she starts to go potty she will be picked up by the scruff and dragged outside, which doesn't particularly sound fun to me. So maybe she just holds it because she associated pottying anywhere with being picked up by the scruff and dragged. Do you have a fence or was she just out loose when she started barking and chasing people? IMO if she starts chasing/barking at people just redirect her attention to something else, something positive maybe play fetch with her or something. My dog likes to try to run with people when he sees them running by so when I see a jogger coming I simply put him in a sit or a down, and keep his focus on me. I think its a great way to incorporate a bit of fun obedience training on the spot when there are distractions everywhere. And as someone mentioned to me once that its good to kind of have the mind set of defensive driving, but with your dog, so you don't set up your dog for failure.

    I wasn't trying to come off rude, so I hope it didn't sound that way.

    Oh, oh and you should use an enzyme cleaner, like Nature's miracle, to clean up everywhere she pottyied in the house so she doesn't think its ok for her to go there again. If you don't clean up with an enzyme cleaner and you just use regular cleaner then they can still smell their scent, whether you can or not, and they will think its an invitation for them to go there again.
    Last edited by ara28; 08-08-2008 at 03:32 PM.

  4. #3
    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes

    She was raised from a puppy in a house with a doggy door and fenced backyard. About 6 months ago we moves to the city and no longer have a doggy door or fenced backyard.
    Huge life change and tons of stress will cause behavioral problems

    The dog in question has some "social" issues in the first place. She does not respond to a simple no. It's like she has no idea what that means.
    Dogs DON'T know what 'NO' means.

    So we started grabbing her by the scruff when she started peeing or whatnot and dragging her outside
    you scared the snot out of her and caused her pain, instilling fear always causes more problems. You should have quetly picked her up and taken her to where you wanted her to go and rewarded heavily the instant she finished.

    she also pees small amounts in her sleep. A little puddle under her when she wakes up.
    Sounds like a UTI or spay incontinence.

    The rest is going to require a professional trainer or behaviorist to reverse the fear you've instilled in her.
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Re: Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes

    Not rude at all, I wouldn't be here if we had been doing everything right.

    So we don't have a fence, and she was loose when she started chasing people. She also recently started cowering when people come up to her, even people she knows. We used to be able to tie her up outside stores when we were running in, and she has been banned from our grocery store now because she "lunged" at someone walking in. She is deathly afraid of the vet, to the point where when he corners her, she starts growling. We took her to puppy school, and she was so afraid of the instructor that she only learned sit.

    I know and will admit that I know that grabbing by the scruff is not ideal, and I have personally never done it. I have a hard time even finding the scruff. My partner does it. The problem with lifting the dog is that I cannot, she is too big. I don't even know if my partner can do it.

    I will try more praise when she goes outside.

  6. #5
    Senior Member ara28's Avatar
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    Re: Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes

    I have a larger dog too (he's actually just medium sized, but I'm quite small), he weighs more than half my weight, so I'm not sure how I would pick him up if I needed to either, so I understand that, but I don't have any suggestions around that issue since I've never had to pick up my dog for any reason.

    As far as the vet goes maybe you should take her there one day when she doesn't need to actually be examined so that way she doesn't completely associate the vet with poking, prodding, pricking, etc... I just recently switched vets, haven't had an appointment there yet, but I did take my dog in to meet all the staff to make sure he liked them before we actually had an appointment. They petted him and gave him treats and when it was time to leave, he didn't want to. lol.

    And I don't have any advice on dealing with the people either, since I've also never had that problem with my dog, but I'd assume you just need to back up in training and go back to basics with introducing her to people. pay attention to how people approach her and try to figure out what it is that upsets her, maybe a type of movement, men, women, children, carts (since it was at a grocery store) and then go step by step teaching her to associate those things with positive things like treats, praise, etc.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes

    Not praise, TREATS, lots and LOTS as soon as her bottom comes off the ground from going potty. Be patient and calm when she's outside and start rewarding her for going out, when she approaches the door on her own, reward. You have to associate going outside with good things now to get her over this fear. It will take a while and it's going to take alot of hard work. You'll need high value, small treats, her favorite toys (getting her to play with you outside on leash can be a reward if that motivates her))

    Here's something to help you start her on getting over her fear it can be altered to help with her fear of peole as well.
    (Desensitizing A Dog To Inanimate Objects Or Noises)Desensitizing A Dog To Inanimate Objects Or Noises
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Senior Member blackrose's Avatar
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    Re: Dog will not go to the bathroom, holds it until she explodes

    Does she not have a collar? Granted, grabbing a dog by the collar isn't good either, but the only time I've ever needed to scruff a dog is when I need to control them and they aren't wearing a collar.

    All of the issues she is having, to me, seems to stem from fear. Any harsh words or physical contact will make it worse, not better. In fact, if you keep up with the scruff grabbing she may get defensive and bite.

    Start house training all over again. Treat her like you would a puppy. Crate her if you can't supervise her. Only let her loose when she is under strict supervision. Take her outside often. Make going outside fun. When she goes potty outside (on leash - I wouldn't let her run loose if I was you) have a party! Give her treats, praise, play a game of chase or tag or something. Act like she just won the lottery.

    As for her issues with other people....contact a behaviorist or reputable trainer.

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