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How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

I have a very small bachelor appartment and three-month-old alpha female chihuahua. She's very sweet and loveable, but for the past month now she's been doing her business in my bed. I have no bedroom and only a mattress on the floor, so restricting access when I'm away at work or school isn't really an option. Also, I don't have a crate, as I can't currently afford one. I have considered barricading her in the bathroom when I leave with her food and water, but there's no comfort in there and she's pad trained (using "trained" loosely) under the table in the main room. As well, I had a dog growing up we rescued from the SPCA and we think that he was locked in the bathroom by his previous owners as he was terrified of bathrooms and wouldn't enter one - and I don't really want to subject Harley to that.

I know that crate-training is probably the best way to go, but that's not really an option at the moment. She's recently stopped going on the rug, but has been peeing on my bed for a long time now (which I put down to a dominance thing - she's also now begun humping my teddy) but now when I'm out I find poo in my bed as well; tonight when I got home (to be fair, I'd been gone all day) there was one spot of pee and four different spots of poo in my bedding, and only once on the puppy pad.

I'm also reluctant to barricade her in the kitchen or bathroom because I'm technically not allowed dogs in my building and would rather not give the neighbours cause to complain if she cries all day. I've been using Nature's Miracle on my bedding at every instance, and I've been ignoring her steadfastly for a good long time while cleaning it up and after; but it doesn't seem to be doing anything overly helpful.

I love her to bits, but I've never had a puppy this young before and I'm at a bit of a loss. Anyone have any suggestions? Laundry in my building is $5/load and this is getting expensive...
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

First of all, ditch the alpha and submissive philosophy. It's been disproven every time and your bond will be so much better if you do.

She's peeing on your bed because It's a nice place to be. It's soft and holds smell nicely. Even if you can't smell it, she sure xan. You will need new bedding and to really scrub all over your mattress with an enzymatic cleanser. And, you need to teach her where you DO want her to go. If It's a party with treats and praise and toys when she goes outside, and nothing happens when she pees on the bed, she'll make the right choice for herself.

And, unless you are home 24/7, you need a crate. And you'll probably think.I'm really mean for saying this, but I care a lot more about that dogs safety than your feelings. Do I think that you love this dog? Yes. Do I think that you're capable of training this dog? Absolutely. But, if you can't afford a 100 dollar crate, you may need to reevaluate whether you're the best home for her. That $2,000 surgery to remove the impaction she got from chewing something she wasn't supposed to because she wasn't confined is gonna be a lot worse.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

You could try freecycle in your area, you could go on craigslist to find one, but you need a crate for this pup, if you are going to put her in the bathroom that is a fine solution but make sure she has a bed or blanket in there. You have electrical cords, and other unsafe things for a puppy in your apartment I am sure, she needs to be kept safe regardless of your hang up on keeping her confined.
You can also try getting a bed frame and on craiglist or freecycle and solve it that way, but it still leaves you with a pup in an unsafe area while your away.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

Agree, this is not "alpha female" stuff, this is a puppy who isn't housebroken and needs to be crate trained. A crate for a chihuahua costs like $30 at Petco. If you can't afford that, I think you should think about whether you can afford to own a dog, sorry. This is the cost of doing business. As others have said, it's not safe for a puppy to be left alone totally uncontained like that.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

You guys make some good points. I'm not getting defensive, I'd probably respond the same way coming new to this post. I'd just like to clarify that the reason I can't afford new things right now is because I also have an elderly rat suffering from bumblefoot and cancer at home and I'm trying to keep her comfortable with Metacam from a vet (the only exotics who will see her on the island) who's out for all she can steal. After numerous vet appointments for her this past few months I don't even have the $100 she wants to put her down - hence the intensive palliative care. I know this is part of life and something you have to plan for, I don't need lectures; I just felt that I should defend my position a little so you all didn't think I was an outright unfit owner.

I'll try keeping her in the kitchen whenever possible until I can find/afford a crate. Thanks for the pointers about the bedding.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

I'd just like to clarify that the reason I can't afford new things right now is because I also have an elderly rat suffering from bumblefoot and cancer at home and I'm trying to keep her comfortable with Metacam from a vet (the only exotics who will see her on the island) who's out for all she can steal. After numerous vet appointments for her this past few months I don't even have the $100 she wants to put her down - hence the intensive palliative care. I know this is part of life and something you have to plan for, I don't need lectures; I just felt that I should defend my position a little so you all didn't think I was an outright unfit owner.

I'll try keeping her in the kitchen whenever possible until I can find/afford a crate. Thanks for the pointers about the bedding.
Very sorry to hear about your ratty :[ I'm nearing the point with my oldest boy that I will have to consider having him PTS and I just don't know how to even comprehend that.

Try looking on craigslist or in local papers for a used crate. You could likely get one in decent shape there.
I kept my chihuahua in our bathroom when he was a pup (my wallpaper is gone now, but...). We left him with a little water, some food, a potty pad, bed and lots of toys. Better loss of wallpaper than him getting hurt on something though.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

I've seen crates go for free on craigslist, especially when people are moving. Ask around, post a wanted ad on craigslist and paper ones in your neighbourhood. I bet you could find one really cheap with a little effort.

You're going to have to work hard on potty training as it is clear she is not housebroken at all. She isn't being dominant, she is just untrained.

There is a great sticky here about potty training, I would start there.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

Laundry in my building is $5/load and this is getting expensive...
By buying a crate, you will save $5/load in laundry cost.

For $5. you can also buy some cardboard boxes from WalMart.

For Craigslist, make it a habit of checking the ads first thing in the morning. First come, first served is the general rule on Craigslist. Use the poor student angle, you may get one for free. I have a large crate which I may give away or sell quite cheap on craigslist.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

Just to chime in on the crate on craigslist thing -- I sold a dog crate for a large dog (Up to 100 lbs size) for $40. It was in perfect shape - just taking up space. My NEW dog crate for my ~20lbs mutt was $40 (hence the price on the big one - just wanted to swap out). You could certainly get a smaller one pretty cheap new, and even cheaper used. A small plastic cat carrier type would work fine too, and people always seem to have those.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

I was gonna suggest looking for free ones too, but I see that's already been suggested.

I know you don't like the idea of confining her to the washroom, but you can get a baby gate for really cheap, and use that instead of closing the door so that she doesn't feel like she is in a closed box or whatever. I decided not to use a crate for my dog either, just because there are times when I am away from the house for more than 7 hrs and I don't want her to be trapped in there. I have a decent sized kennel for her, but I don't bother with putting it in there. One end of the bathroom has her doggy bed and a variety of toys/chews/ropes/Kongs as well as her food and water dish, and then at the very end, I was using pee pads when she was still using them.

This allows her to be in a safe place unsupervised, and it's only while you are away. When you are home you can supervise more closely and watch for signs that she needs to pee/poo and then put her on the pad or take her out, or whatever it is that she is supposed to do for potty when you are around.

I know it's hard to be totally into the idea of confinement. BEfore I got my puppy, I was trying to debate how I wanted to handle things. I figured maybe while I was gone in the day I could barricade the kitchen, but because she was a fairly small dog, the breeder suggested that the kitchen might be too big of a space, and hard to get her "paper trained" that way, and she was the one who suggested the bathroom with a baby gate. It was an awesome suggestion and I can go to work without worrying about what she's up to.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

It might also help, if you don't already do so, to let her out before bed. If this becomes a regular rutine and praise it is more likely to progress quicker. And it's ok to scold her a little when she does so she can see the consequences of both actions.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

And it's ok to scold her a little when she does so she can see the consequences of both actions.
Its really a bad idea... My dog was scolded for peeing in the house and instead of learning 'never pee in the house' he learned 'never let the human see you pee, it makes them really angry'. So now instead of alerting me when he has to go and asking to go outside he sneaks away and tries to hide his pee somewhere in the house.

OP, get a crate off Craigslist or Kijiji, for a dog her size you can probably pick one up for about 20$ and it will save you money on laundry in the long run.
 

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Re: How Can I Stop My Puppy from "Acting Out" by Urinating and Defecating on My Bed?

And it's ok to scold her a little when she does so she can see the consequences of both actions.
Dogs don't really work like that. You can't expect their brains to go 'oh, I peed INSIDE, so I'm in trouble. It'll more work like:

My dog was scolded for peeing in the house and instead of learning 'never pee in the house' he learned 'never let the human see you pee, it makes them really angry'. So now instead of alerting me when he has to go and asking to go outside he sneaks away and tries to hide his pee somewhere in the house.
They'll more often think they're in trouble for the action of pottying rather than pottying inside.
 
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