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So here's the case:

Around christmas, my family welcomed a new cockapoo puppy in addition to our other cockapoo. The two dogs got along beautifully, the little one was catching on to housetraining, and seemed like a perfect fit.

A couple of weeks after we considered him housebroken, we let him roam the house during the day with the other dog, and they seemed to be doing well.

After a little bit, the little one started deficating in the house when the family left for the day, so we decided to revert back to the crate.

This was going well as well, until the other day when he had the runs in the cage (likely not his fault, seemed like he was sick).

He is about 6-7 months old now, and should have this down pat, but just tonight when they were being taken up to bed, I closed the bedroom door behind me, both dogs following closely; I smelled something odd, and when I turned around, the little one was deficating on the floor RIGHT BEHIND ME.

Keep in mind, he was not sick, it was solid and healthy.

I yelled at him, shoved his nose in it, and took him outside by the scruff of the neck.

Before bed, he didn't do ANYTHING to indicate he had to go, and he definitely knows the rules by now.



Does anyone have any clue why he's doing this? Is he stubborn, or just stupid?


Both dogs get walked daily, and lots of attention from the family, and the little one is not agressive or bad natured in any way. Lately, it just seems like all we do is clean up after him, and we can't keep this up!
 

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I yelled at him, shoved his nose in it, and took him outside by the scruff of the neck.
Wow..

Please understand that this "method" only teaches your dog that going is wrong to do in front of you. It does not teach him that it is to be done outside. It teaches him to make sure you don't catch him having an accident--not the proper place to go.

For whatever reason, your puppy is having accidents. Unless it's medical, I'd say it's pointless to try and argue why and who or what is at fault, etc. What you can do now is go back to square one and never let him out of your sight and take him out the instant he squats or sniffs around in preparation to go. Praise him like crazy for going outside, and when he does have accidents and you can't get him outside in time.. Don't punish him. He likely won't understand why.

Additionally, I don't think there's such thing as a "stupid" dog. There are poorly trained dogs, and dogs that are very independent, but no dog that does not WANT to learn.
 

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I yelled at him, shoved his nose in it, and took him outside by the scruff of the neck.

Before bed, he didn't do ANYTHING to indicate he had to go, and he definitely knows the rules by now.

Does anyone have any clue why he's doing this? Is he stubborn, or just stupid?

What I can say for sure is that he's not associated the scruffing and nose rubbing with the act (which is not unusual - these methods often fail for housebreaking), which makes it ineffective. IMO, pee/poop is an instinctive behavior, and it's hard to punish an instinctive behavior - especially after he's "self-rewarded" by removing the urge/discomfort from needing to go.


Both dogs get walked daily, and lots of attention from the family, and the little one is not agressive or bad natured in any way. Lately, it just seems like all we do is clean up after him, and we can't keep this up!
I would continue with the housebreaking techniques you got him to the point where he 'seemed' housebroken.

Also, how are you cleaning up the messes? Are you using cleaning that kills scent (and I mean at the level a dog can detect - not just what the humans in the house can smell)?

This is important as well because you don't want the scent getting on the area as it will just draw him back there - thinking that's "his spot/area".
 

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You got part of the housetraining right...crating and more supervision is needed.
The rubbing his nose in it, yelling and scruff shakes are way off base and will make things much worse. Your timing for potty breaks obviously needs work as he needed to go before going to bed....and no, he does not know the rules otherwise it wouldn't have happened.....unles someone didn't give him enough time when he was outside.
You made no mention of praising/rewarding/reinforcing for going potty outside and I certainly hope you've doing that.
When you catch him in the act, clap your hands,.say Outside! and make him walk quickly to the potty area to finish where you praise for going in the right spot.
 

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I agree wholeheartedly with what the others have pointed out. Your puppy isn't stupid, he simply needs continued supervison, and to be crated when you can't supervise. At 6-7 months, he IS still a puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the imput, everyone, much appreciated.


The thing is that he definitely knows the routine, and we have been consistent with rewarding him when he goes to the door, or when he does his business outside. What I'm thinking the problem is, is that he's relying too much on our older dog to tell us when they both have to go outside, and that maybe he's just lazy that way, or doesn't understand that he can have to do his business without Ben? I've never even heard so much as a bark come out of this little guy outside from playing with the other one, so maybe he just doesn't know how to tell us on his own? We have praised him at the door et cetera, should we just keep doing that?

(Granted, we did forget to put them out for a final bathroom break, but he definitely knows that the house is not the place to do that.)

Can you teach a dog to whine, or paw at the door? Haha.

Also, our method before was to praise him for going to the door, outside, et cetera, and if he DID have an accident, I would physically take it outside, and let him sniff if there to show him that this is where it belongs. Is this okay?
 

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Can you teach a dog to whine, or paw at the door? Haha.
YES! And the best tool you might want to use is the bell trick. I taught it to my pup very easily.

Basically what we did was affix a large bell to the door casing around the door. Every time we took Rufus out to pee, he first had to touch his nose on the bell and make it ring. Lots of praise and treats were given when he did this. Then we went outside. Once he used the bathroom, even MORE praise and treats.

Our dog learned this in about a week of consistant training. It helped us immensely when knowing when he has to go out to pee or poo...it's even to the point now that we can predict the hours he has to go every day (usually 7am, 12pm and 6pm!)
 

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Personally, I found an older, trained dog to be a tremendous help in house-training a pup.

When we were training Molly, Esther went out with her every time (which included multiple night-time trips initially.) She "demonstrated" the reason for the trips and Molly caught on very quickly. And Esther tolerated no playtime during these night trips. I think she was as anxious to get back to bed as I was.

I'm not a fan of bells or barking or scratching or whining to go outside. I think part of our job is to set a reasonable schedule (for feeding and potty breaks) and stick to it. Some people are very happy with the bells but, the two dogs I've had that were bell-trained abused the bell (and us) by ringing it every time they wanted our attention.
 

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As for my opinion, I have to say that I believe that there are smart and stupid animals. Not that bendergoose's puppy is stupid.
 

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if he DID have an accident, I would physically take it outside, and let him sniff if there to show him that this is where it belongs. Is this okay?
The better approach is to make the dog 'walk the route' to the potty area. That should be done before he has the chance to completely eliminate in the house.
If you've been taking both of them out at the same time, try taking the problem child alone for awhile. Ideally, you want the dog to litterally lead the way to that area.....make it 'his' idea that he needs to go out now.....not just following your lead. You do that by herding him in the right direction.
A reliable potty schedule is certainly the best way to go for all concerned but, that often means tweaking/adjusting on a daily basis. You want them to go pretty much at your convenience but, you also want them to let you know if they have to go out sooner.
 
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