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I have a teacup chihuahua, a cute tiny 2lb 4 year old that I couldn't love more. Since she was young, we trained her to go on pads in the house, since it's kinda pointless to walk a dog that small to do it's things. As of recently, she's been pretty bad though. 80% of the time she does her business on the pads, all the other times she does it where she's not supposed to. As a solution, my mom who has pretty archaic and old-fashioned views on dogs, and thinks they understand like we do decided to buy a little gate/fence and fence off her area when we're not with her (she has her kennel, bed, food, water & pad in a section of the basement). This brought on what I think is separation anxiety, as she continually cries and cries when she wants to be let out. We ignore her when we don't want her out, as to not let her crying control us. Yesterday, however, I came home to the most horrific sight. I go downstairs to let her out and bring her upstairs with me and I see a pool of blood by the fence, and parts of the fence bloodied up as well. She was biting the fence as to get out and just tore her mouth apart. Again, mind you this is a 2lb dog. I inspected her mouth and it wasn't anything serious from what I could tell, and I cleaned up the blood.

I need serious help. I don't even know where to start. It's a vicious cycle. We take out the fence, she does things where she's not supposed to, which frustrates us. We put the fence on, and we could come home one day to a dead dog from how bad she could hurt herself trying to get out. What can we do? On top of all this she is also a frequent eater of her own feces, which is really embarrassing when people handle her, and just overall unsanitary, and we have no idea how to stop that either.

If anyone can please help me and my family deal with this I would really appreciate it. I just want little coco to be a happy girl.. which she may or may not be right now.
 

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Kenneling is a good idea, but can her area be upstairs? It's scary for anyone to be alone in a basement, much less a bitty 2-pound dog. She might not get so scared if she can at least see you.

Try tethering her to you when you can't keep a super close eye on her, that way you can see when she's going to go potty and then you can rush her to the potty spot. What kinds of rewards do you give when she uses the right area? What do you do when she uses the wrong area?

I really don't like teaching dogs to potty indoors, even tiny dogs. But if you must, a litterbox or fake grass patch wuld probably be better than pads. Pads just look like any old thing lying on the floor--a box is more distinguishable.

As for poop-eating, sometimes this can be caused by a poor quality diet. What do you feed her? But some dogs just like to eat poop. There are products you can add to her food that will make her poop taste bad, or just pick up the poop as soon as she goes so she can't eat it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Kenneling is a good idea, but can her area be upstairs? It's scary for anyone to be alone in a basement, much less a bitty 2-pound dog. She might not get so scared if she can at least see you.

Try tethering her to you when you can't keep a super close eye on her, that way you can see when she's going to go potty and then you can rush her to the potty spot. What kinds of rewards do you give when she uses the right area? What do you do when she uses the wrong area?

I really don't like teaching dogs to potty indoors, even tiny dogs. But if you must, a litterbox or fake grass patch wuld probably be better than pads. Pads just look like any old thing lying on the floor--a box is more distinguishable.

As for poop-eating, sometimes this can be caused by a poor quality diet. What do you feed her? But some dogs just like to eat poop. There are products you can add to her food that will make her poop taste bad, or just pick up the poop as soon as she goes so she can't eat it.
I'll answer your questions in the order you asked them. Thanks a lot btw.

I don't think her area being upstairs is feasible. There's no room in the kitchen, and I don't think my mom would want her in the living room since when we have guests over she probably wouldn't want them to see a pad, a kennel, and 2 bowls in the living room. But I'll bring it up to my mom.

Since a lot of the time she goes potty on the pad we are not there to see it, we can't really reward her. When we were training her, we did a lot of good girls and treats. After we thought she got the hang of it, we kinda just stopped trying to praise her, but if we catch her doing it, we give lot's of good girls. Like I said, my mom has pretty old-fashioned views on dogs, and although she loves Coco like another daughter, when she sees accident's she calls coco over (who seems to know she did something wrong) yell at her by pointing at the accident, and then carry coco over to the pad and drops the poop on the pad with her. I tell her that Coco isn't human and she doesn't understand that, and she just replies by saying that even before she scolds her, she already has that guilty look on her face, so she must know she did something wrong.

I'll look into the letterbox and grass patches. Do you really think that would stop her from doing things elsewhere though?

As far as her diet we feed her royal canin adult chihuahua. If any small dog owners can recommend a better food then that'd be awesome. Keep in mind that the pebbles would have to be very small.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Coco has just now peed on my bed after I brought her upstairs to hang out with her.

It's really discomforting to know that only one person has replied to this. I understand that it's a complex question but I really don't want to give up on my dog and have her fenced in for the rest of her life. I need the help of people who have a ton more dog experience than me. Please help.
 

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First, I would take her to the vet and make sure she doesn't have a UTI or other health issue that may be making her go unexpectedly. Second, I would wash every spot she pees outside of the designated potty pad with an enzymatic cleaner to get rid of any residual smell that may be indicating to her that these areas are also potty spots. Third, I would go back to potty training 101 and treat her like a puppy with constant supervision and lots of praise when she goes in the right place. Tether her to you if you need to to keep your eye on her at all times. She shouldn't be able to wander off and go potty in the wrong spot. If she starts to go, gently startle to her to get her to stop and take her to the pad to finish. Then lots of treats and praise when she goes in the correct place.

Any harsh words, yelling or any use of force from your mom will only hinder her progress. The dog doesn't know that going potty on the floor or your bed is wrong just that your mom is mad. Even using corrections when you catch her in the act can sometimes backfire with the dog thinking that going potty "in front of humans" makes them angry rather than "going in the wrong spot." Reinforcing good behavior and managing her with supervision will be your best bet.

I don't really understand why she needs to use a pad in the house? If pad training isn't working you could transition her over to going outside. IMO all dogs need to go for walks and spend time outside for their mental and physical health.
 

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Have you taken the dog to the vet, so make sure nothing's medically wrong with her, such as a UTI?

I would try crating your dog in the room where you are. Crates for a dog that tiny won't take up very much room. Take the dog out every hour, after eating, after waking up, after playing; i.e. start over with house training. How long is she by herself? She seems to be craving attention. Isolating the dog down stairs is the worst punishment imaginable for a dog. They are historically pack animals and social creatures and need to be with their people. The behavior you're describing may be a cry for help. She doesn't know what else to do.

Punishing a dog for pooing/peeing on the floor after the fact, unless you catch her in the act, does no good. Tell your mom she's acting guilty b/c of the way your mom's yelling at her - she knows what's coming, and she's bracing herself.

There a lots of foods better than Royal Canin, which is mostly fillers. Some good ones that have small dog formulas are Wellness, Evo, Blue Buffalo, and Acana. I'm sure other people will chime in with their favorites. If you switch foods, do so slowly, so as not to cause stomach distress - over a 2-3 week period.
 

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Just not sure of your situation.

You have a basement but you have not mentioned a yard. Do you have any sort of yard or courtyard? Is there somewhere close where you can place a doggy loo, piece of fake grass or your pads?

I would be crate training her and taking her outside as soon as you get home. If she has chewed a wire fence then she may well also chew a wire crate so you would need to try a soft crate. Make sure you tie the zip so she can't use her feet to pull it down. When she does her business, lots of praise.

When you are home, tether her to you or a piece of furniture near you, and take her to your selected toilet spot often, probably at least hourly and certainly as soon as she wakes up from a snooze and after feeding. Take her to the spot and wait 5 minutes. If nothing happens move away and go back 5 minutes later, again just for 5 minutes.

Eating poop is more often than not a sign of a dietry problem. Our dogs will often go and find a spot of clay and eat that and we know we then need to add some dolemite to their meals. Check with your vet and see what they recommend as an additive.
 

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I agree, a vet visit is due. Why is it pointless to take a dog her size outside to potty?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just not sure of your situation.

You have a basement but you have not mentioned a yard. Do you have any sort of yard or courtyard? Is there somewhere close where you can place a doggy loo, piece of fake grass or your pads?

I would be crate training her and taking her outside as soon as you get home. If she has chewed a wire fence then she may well also chew a wire crate so you would need to try a soft crate. Make sure you tie the zip so she can't use her feet to pull it down. When she does her business, lots of praise.

When you are home, tether her to you or a piece of furniture near you, and take her to your selected toilet spot often, probably at least hourly and certainly as soon as she wakes up from a snooze and after feeding. Take her to the spot and wait 5 minutes. If nothing happens move away and go back 5 minutes later, again just for 5 minutes.

Eating poop is more often than not a sign of a dietry problem. Our dogs will often go and find a spot of clay and eat that and we know we then need to add some dolemite to their meals. Check with your vet and see what they recommend as an additive.
Are you insinuating that I should no longer keep the pads in the house? And should instead start making her go outside?

Also, she didn't exactly chew the wire part of the fence. The fence has a wood frame and that is what she chewed. She also paws at the corners of the fence which in turns leads to her scratching the corners of her paws
 

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Could you carry her up the stairs, since she's so tiny? We're not insinuating, just suggesting. Dogs naturally want to do their business away from their resting places. She'd probably like going outside to get some fresh air and a change of scenery, if nothing else. It's good for humans, too!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok here is my dilemma. It's been four years since we've trained her, so I'm a bit rusty on the potty training. Her crate and pad are downstairs. My room is upstairs, where I am most of the time. How should I go about potty training her? Should I bring the crate to my room, keep her crated and take her downstairs every hour or so to go potty? Should we keep her crated in the basement and go down and take her out? or vice versa with taking her outside. I can't have both the crate and pad in my room...
 
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