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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I got a 4 month old Pitbull who is pretty well potty trained for the most part. He will whine or bark at the door most of the time if he needs to go. The problem I'm having is that he has chosen a corner of the dining room as his own spot to take a crap whenever he wants (no warning to us that he needs to go, he just does it). I would like to know any kind of methods I could use to punish him for this without stuffing his nose in it or hitting him (since we don't believe in doing that)? I'm at a loss as to how to teach him it's not ok, but since putting his nose in it or hitting him is out of the question, I don't know what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

John
 

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First of all take away all house freedom. He should not have access to any place where you cannot catch him in the act. Correcting after the fact doesn't work because dogs live in the now and if you correct him after the fact he thinks he's being corrected for whatever he was doing at the time of the correction.

You need to thoroughly clean the dining room area with an enzyme cleaner, such as Nature's Miracle, to get rid of the odor at the molecular level.

When you are able to supervise him (remember no unsupervised freedom) keep a leash attached to his collar so that if you catch him in the act you can issue (1) a voice correction, and if a stronger correction is needed because he keeps repeating the act, you can issue a leash correction. When you correct him take him outside immediately to hopefully finish his business and if he does finish outside, praise him.

When unable to supervise him he should be confined, preferably in a crate or secure pen/dog-proofed room.

Now the best thing is to prevent the accidents in the first place by having him on a strict schedule for everything including food, water, play, pottybreaks, etc. And take up all food and water about 2 hours before bed. Scheduling water does not mean to give less, it just means to schedule when so that you have a better idea as to when you should take him outside for a potty break. Bytaking him you'll be sure he's done his business and it also gives you the opportunity to teach him to go on command.

Don't hit or put his nose in it. Both are really counterproductive.
 

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I like the advice Skelaki has given except for the leash correction..he's only four months old and leash corrections (if you are going to use corrections, which I don't) are only used when a dog already KNOWS what to do..your puppy (BABY) does not, yet.

Keep a chart, when the pup eats, drinks, has playtime, when he has a bowel movement, when he pees etc and whether it was an OUTSIDE pee or an accident. Make sure you are feeding him on a set schedule (2 or three times a day) and do not free feed him..this makes it very hard to anticipate his need to defecate.

No punishment is necessary, nor recommended.
Your pup has to EARN his freedom in the house through management on your part. If you cannot be ACTIVELY watching him or interacting with him he should be attached to you by a leash or in his crate. Set yourself a timer (related to the feeding chart) for every hour or so and take him out (on leash) pick a spot and when he crouches to go (either pee or poo) use your "cue" word..as soon as he is done reward him with a goodie and a good dog. If he doesn't go in five minutes or so take him back in and kennel him for another ten or fifteen minutes and then do it all again. If he goes and you reward him, then you can (if time allows) let him have some freedom in the kitchen or another small area with playtime or even for a little walk or play in the yard. If you teach him that none of this happens without "business" being done you will eventually have a dog that goes immediately upon going out. This is a real benefit when you are in a hurry or the weather is bad and you want to make it a short outside trip.

Puppies are often not considered fully housetrained until a year of age, some earlier and some later...if you set him up to succeed by anticipating his need to go, learning his signals (sniffing, circling) and taking him out RIGHT THEN he will not have the opportunity to have accidents in the house. The fewer accidents he has the faster the program will work. They have little concept of "inside/outside", it takes a while to learn this.

Puppies usually need to go: after sleep, a nap, before and after a playtime or training session, 20-30 minutes after a meal (refer to chart for working this out) and any other time they have been active or excited.

If an accident happens, bop YOURSELF over the head with a newspaper, clean up the mess with a good enzymatic cleaner and get back on schedule. Mistakes at this point are the fault of the human, not the pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for all your help, I did not know that a dog is not considered fully trained until around a year old. I really do understand the purpose of confining him to certain areas so it's easier for us to watch him, but we like him to be able to interact with everyone in the house so he's allowed to wander freely with the exceptions of the garage and bedrooms when no one's in them (at least one of us is always with him though). We do not believe in confining him to one or two rooms. He is kennel trained (he sleeps in it at night and naps in it during the day). Another thing I should point out is my wife and I smoke outside, so he goes out roughly every hour, perhaps even more often than that and when he poos in the house, there's no warning at all, it's seems to me like a territorial thing (although he no longer pees in the house, which is strange). Anyways, we'll keep working on it and again thank you for your advice.

John
 

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You are welcome. If you insist on his freedom in the house, which is your choice, then you will just have to accept that accidents are going to happen, clean them up and move on. Puppies don't poop territorially, they poop because they have to poop! LOL..if you have ever corrected him for it (even a mild correction in some dogs) often causes them to go find a "hidden" area to do it...they don't associate the pooing/peeing in the house as wrong, they just find doing it in front of their humans stressful..

If you keep a schedule you'll better be able to assess when he MAY need to go. You may find that he only poos in the corner at certain times of the day or when only certain people are around or events are happening.

Remember as well, that freedom also gives him access to things that may be dangerous if he decides he needs to chew..you will find when he hits adolescence this may turn into a real problem...so be sure to puppy proof above and beyond what you THINK is safe.

Good luck.
 
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