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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,

We have a dear little 3.5 year old miniature wire-haired dacshund named Nola.

The problem we have is that she seems to see the (finished) basement as her personal potty spot.

We have a baby gate at the top of the stairs and have been, for all this while, jumping over it to descend the stairs. This is getting old and will eventually become virtually impossible as we get older.

Nola is pretty darn good about upstairs. She consistently lets us know about her needs and does her thing after we let her out.

However, given the opportunity (and it happened this morning before work) she'll head downstairs to eliminate. This morning it was even after she had peed outside and indicated that she was done.

Of COURSE, when she's downstairs and being observed she will NOT eliminate downstairs, removing our ability to correct.

If anyone has had this problem and whipped it, please let me know.

My wife simply wants to install a permanent swing-out gate at the top of the stairs. I insist that there has to be SOME way to impress upon Nola that the basement is ALSO part of "her den" and shouldn't be soiled.
 

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The common method for something like this is an X-pen. Put the dog in a room in it's crate. Then re-arrange so the dog has a foot of the room that it can explore outside it's crate. The re-arrange so it has two feet (or three or four or whatever you're comfortable with). The idea is the area keeps expanding until the dog views the whole room as it's den. This is kind of difficult to do in a basement area though.

You've cleaned the spots with an enzyme cleaner I assume?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice.

You're spot-on about the difficulty of the basement.

We (me, wife, Nola) spend most of our time upstairs. I am the one who has "his" computer in the basement, so I do spend some time downstairs and, as a result, am subjected to the interminable "gate-hopping" when the gate is in place.

Nola's typical place is her "Gladys Cravitz" perch on the back of the couch so she can ensure that all those she can see out the window are toeing her mark. Don't think my wife would take kindly to banishing Nola to the basement in lieu of her perch. But maybe.....

And an absolute YES. Every spot gets enzyme.

Again, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hell, I'M not 100% in the rest of the house!

I cannot say 100%...

She has occasional weird episodes where she pees on the guest bed.

It is more, I believe, an issue of "I'll show you" because it is usually preceded by "acting out" behavior.

We've now keyed to that behavior and she hasn't done that, or anything else, for a couple of months.

Pooping...Yes, a definite 100% in the rest of the house...for years.
 

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Well you are certainly managing the behaviour, which is good, but I can see how the gate hopping is a pain (and possibly dangerous...I would be worried about toppling downwards!...oops..removing the hex there...). Here are a couple of thoughts:

What I would try is taking her down with you for some of your computer time, with a comfy bed to hang out on near your feet and leash her to the desk for "watching". When you leave, take her with you and take her outside for "business", timed properly (just after meals)you should be able to train her to hold it downstairs and when she goes outside reward her just like she was a puppy again. Do this regularly enough and use some good rewards and chew toys to keep her occupied and she may start to see the basement as more a place for time with Dad and less a place for deposits.

Regarding the peeing on the bed thing..is the "acting out" stress based or excitement based and do you use punishment (of any kind, even a firm STOP IT) during those episodes? It is possible that the marking on the bed is a stress reaction post punishment. In fact, if you have, in the past "corrected" her for pooping or peeing in the house the going out of sight to void can be part of a reaction to "poo plus mum/dad =bad things happen" as opposed to "going in the house=bad things happen" or the best result which is "going outside means AWESOME things happen!!!"..dogs are pretty darn literal that way.
 

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Well you are certainly managing the behaviour, which is good, but I can see how the gate hopping is a pain (and possibly dangerous...I would be worried about toppling downwards!...oops..removing the hex there...). Here are a couple of thoughts:

What I would try is taking her down with you for some of your computer time, with a comfy bed to hang out on near your feet and leash her to the desk for "watching". When you leave, take her with you and take her outside for "business", timed properly (just after meals)you should be able to train her to hold it downstairs and when she goes outside reward her just like she was a puppy again. Do this regularly enough and use some good rewards and chew toys to keep her occupied and she may start to see the basement as more a place for time with Dad and less a place for deposits.

Regarding the peeing on the bed thing..is the "acting out" stress based or excitement based and do you use punishment (of any kind, even a firm STOP IT) during those episodes? It is possible that the marking on the bed is a stress reaction post punishment. In fact, if you have, in the past "corrected" her for pooping or peeing in the house the going out of sight to void can be part of a reaction to "poo plus mum/dad =bad things happen" as opposed to "going in the house=bad things happen" or the best result which is "going outside means AWESOME things happen!!!"..dogs are pretty darn literal that way.

good post...I agree 100%.....you took the words out of my mouth.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all!

I'll get back to you after a consultation with Nola's mom.

I've even given her my ID and password and hope she'll log in and chime in with her insights.

HI HONEY!!!! (Waving and grinning cutely!)
 
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