Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.

I posted on here a couple of months ago about our rescue. Since then, we've been very good at taking her out on a schedule (like we had been) and she's gotten much better about pooping outside. However, it still takes a lot of work and she still has to be coached into it. She's gotten much less reactive to neighbors, other dogs, cars, etc. though. We've made real progress on her barking at every. single. noise. and she's learning how to sit properly, comes when she is called, and has learned most of the house rules. All in all, it's been good. We love her and are glad we stuck with it.

However, the pooping in the house. It hasn't gotten better. It's still happening. She gets every opportunity to go out - EVERY opportunity - and when she asks to go out, we always take her up on it However, even with this, if she is left alone for 10 minutes even - she will poop in the house. Usually within 10 feet to where you are. She will just poop and then walk off like it was no big thing. 5 seconds later, you will turn the corner and she will have pooped. Sometimes it's 10 minutes after a long walk where she pooped outside. Nope, gotta poop inside, too!

It's incredibly frustrating because it's not getting better and my husband and I are still kind of annoyed because our other dog wants to be upstairs with us when we sleep but, right now, we have to leave them crated at night. We would like them both to be in our room and be trusted around the house but Chessie can't be left alone even for 5 minutes. The behavior usually happens in the morning when we are upstairs changing (right after a long walk) or when we get home (again, changing clothing after a long walk usually). We could stay out there for an hour and it wouldn't change the result if she's left alone. She's 2. An adult. Spayed.

Any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,071 Posts
Have you cleaned the areas where she pooped with an enzyme cleaner? Are you taking her for a walk or are you toilet training her? Are you treating her greatly when she goes outside? Dogs do need to be taught to go outside and you need to purposely make sure they know how great they are that they did that. Teaching a cue word "go make" as they do their business also gives them an idea of what is expected of them when you want them to relieve themselves.

Niot sure what other advice you were given but treating a dog with super high value items - treats, praise or toy will usually get them to do what you want. And by going out to potty vs going out for a walk she may get to know the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,145 Posts
Don't leave her alone or free to wander when she comes back in. Crate or tether her, and keep going back outside until she poops again, then huge party.

When Toast was wee, I wasn't supervising him well enough one day and he pooped under the dining room table. It took weeks to undo that. Because hey, the dining room table is for pooping under, right? You just have to watch them like a hawk and not let them practice it, there isn't really any big secret to it. Just time, effort, supervision, and consistency.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,367 Posts
I might of answered your first post.. My Major was conditioned from his first environment to poop inside .. No amount of time, or opportunity out side mattered, he would just wait till we were back in the house then right in front of you do the little circle to take a poop on the floor... All you can do is contain to a smaller area and right there with you visually supervise. Having him contained in one area for visual line of sight, when he circled I could jump and and say hey lets go outside to potty, distracting him from pooping in that moment and going outside.. Many of times he get out side and look at me like (what) and not poop... but some times he just had to go enough that he did start establishing his poop area in the back yard. at least 6 months. He just didn't get it, and what he thought was normal (pooping inside) was backwards no matter how diligent I was getting him outside. Wasn't the training, it was Major growing out of it and changing that pooping outside was normal.. Never black and white with all individual dogs,,, sometimes there is only "management" when I have a dog that needs my assistance, I just keep giving them assistance no matter how long it's needed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
This might be kind of a pain/inconvenient, but tethering her to you for a week or so, either leashed onto your hip or in the crate if not home removes all chances of her being unsupervised to pee without restricting the other dogs in the house. It gives you greater chance to "catch her" in the act if she's going to squat and pee in front of you, which you can clap/stomp your interrupter noise and rush outside, finish pottying, and treat/reward. This worked for a stubborn collie I once knew haha. A week or so of inconvenience may be worth it long term though!

With unpotty trained dogs/pups some people restrict water and only set it down every couple hours to help time their potty schedule. I would never have time for that lol but if you work at home it might be easier to coincide with your walks/routine :)

Maybe breaking routine by walking your route backwards or on different streets before you return to the normal potty spot can help stimulate her more/excitement/encourage her to go.

Good luck!! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks.

She has places she usually poops and does so outside 90% of the time. We've gotten that going. She gets light praise (too much praise actually seems to make it too stimulating for her and she freaks out). She also gets to be "free" and in our sight and play with toys after she comes home. The walk is usually extended at that point if the weather is good. She is learning "go poop", too. She comes when we call, is very responsive and able to be distracted from most reactive behavior. In short, she tends to be doing SO MUCH better outside and is far less distracted.

We NEVER let her out of our sight/off leash/uncrated when she hasn't just pooped. But we've been trying to give her more leeway when she's eliminated successfully outside. So, accidents are only happening even after a big poop and long walk (when we are trying to trust her more).

We're both just incredibly frustrated because it's been 3 months and we've had very little progress. We would like the dogs to be able to sleep in our room with us. Our other dog doesn't seem to understand why that still isn't happening. And I'd like to be able to be up in my office without putting both dogs away or putting a gate up or having a dog tethered to me. It makes dissertating really frustrating and hard. And since in the next couple of years, we will hopefully be having another kid (my husband has two kids from a prior marriage), it will be really hard to keep doing this. Again, that's probably 18-24 months away but my husband and I are worried it will never get better.

I'm used to dealing with some shelter dog issues. My other dog came from a shelter and had issues with marking in the house. He was also a submissive urinator (which he still does occassionally when new people are here or he's overwhelmed) but I saw a lot more progress. It wasn't fast AT ALL and it's taken us years (probably at least 2) to get to that point but there were signs it was getting better.

Housetraining was not something we wanted to put hours and hours into, which is why when the rescue and her foster mom (who'd had her for quite some time in a house with only a couple of her own dogs) stated she was house trained again and again and crate trained but had no recall, some issues with reactivity, etc. we figured she would be a good fit. We told them our situation and they thought it would be a really good fit. We could work on the reactivity and barking and recall. And honestly, those have gotten SO much better. She's clearly very well-adjusted now. But the rest... oh lordy. Nope. We both have jobs. My husband comes home and lets the dogs out, plays, and puts them back away at lunch. They get 4-5 walks a day. Get to go out whenever they ask as well when we are home. But we don't have a fenced in yard as we are still renting before we buy (hopefully very soon). We wanted to find a dog that worked for us. When we got her and realized a month into this it WAS NOT working, we took her back to basics like a puppy. But even with a puppy, we would have made more progress. I just would like life to eventually get back to normal. I don't feel like it's fair for her to constantly be tethered, confined, etc. I know I've been told it is but I feel as though we are failing her in some way. And, also, I feel as though it's quite stressful so I feel like we must be doing something wrong here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,367 Posts
I don't feel like it's fair for her to constantly be tethered, confined, etc.

I would re consider your position.......... (it's more harmful to the dogs sense of well being and security, for the daily frustration towards them in the household) then it is for everyone being happy and confident for them being confined to an area that they can make mistakes with no hard feelings over it... think about the vibe in your house it transfers to and through the humans and the animals..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I don't feel like it's fair for her to constantly be tethered, confined, etc.

I would re consider your position.......... (it's more harmful to the dogs sense of well being and security, for the daily frustration towards them in the household) then it is for everyone being happy and confident for them being confined to an area that they can make mistakes with no hard feelings over it... think about the vibe in your house it transfers to and through the humans and the animals..
I feel as though I can only argue for this so much longer before my husband gives up and thinks we are just incredibly cruel and not "made" for this. His previous dog experience came from helping me with my dog and having farm dogs that never had any rules, boundaries, and were allowed to "run free" which led to most of them being hit by cars. So, he thinks "locking her up" is cruel He now realizes the benefits of crate training but he thinks doing it for more than a couple of hours (even when it's for the benefit of a dog's safety) is a hard sell.

And I myself waiver because she gets faster and faster at pooping and gets quieter and quieter about it. Today, we were managing a situation in the kitchen after she'd just been outside and pooped. We were turned away, less than 5 feet from her and in clear view when she pooped. It was a small poop but it doesn't matter when it's being flung across your living room.

And I waiver because I feel as though this is ridiculous. I haven't been able to use my upstairs in 3 months when home alone without locking the dog up. Because upstairs is isolated, kind of weirdly organized, and covered in white carpet that doesn't clean well, I don't ever get to work in my office anymore when my husband is unable to stare at the dogs directly.

She's more work than either of my stepkids (who are still pretty young and require quite a bit of supervision still). I've never had a dog that was this complicated. And I'm not exactly new to dogs. I grew up with rescue dogs, helped with rescues, and have rarely felt like I was at my wits end and making no progress. There were things that were trying with my little chi mix. I definitely asked for advice, but we got through it and made progress. Nothing was completely solved in three months but with this dog, I feel like nothing moves forward.

I'm sure our tiredness, stressed out behavior, and annoyance is showing but I just don't know what else to do. We are trying. And you simply can't have a dog either tethered to you constantly or have time to put a dog up the minute you need to give attention to something else like children, a pot on the stove about to boil over, or a problem with a dishwasher that's flooding your floor. There's pretty much no way to know when those things will happen either. And even though we try to tag team, there are inevitably moments we will both be needed. We try to put the dog away in those cases but it's rarely something you can do when a kid needs assistance because they take precedence. It's just not realistic. We need to at least get to the point where we can leave her for a few minutes at a time. I just want to ensure we will ever get there.

I'm mad as heck with this rescue, too. Because none of those I'd worked with would have flat out lined about potty training. If we thought there was a hole there or wouldn't know, it would have been made known. If the dog wasn't crate trained or housetrained that was disclosed. We asked some pretty specific questions about housetraining and got emphatic responses from a foster mom that had a fairly variable schedule and a rescue that was SURE she was housetrained and we could leave her to free-range during the day. I can't fathom how that was ever the case unless we are just terrible people who should not own dogs and that's bringing out the worst in us.

If there's something feasible we can do, we are more than willing to do it but we're already doing pretty much everything we can think of or read about and getting nowhere it seems...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,367 Posts
If a pup poops outside and then comes directly back inside and poops again, then the pup wasn't given enough time to finish what they needed. Nerves, stress, can cause a dog to loose their bowls or urine. Yes there could be a medical issue for them to go so frequently too... The wrong food could cause them to go often .. When I seen an older pup 5, 6, or 7 months old pooping 7 , 8 times a day on two meals... shouldn't happen !!!! wasn't the pups fault it was the foods fault. Your schedule and environment may be very different then the fosters for how potty training is going. If I'm not mistaken you don't have a fenced back yard because your renting. 6 people could raise my individual dogs and get 6 different experiences and out comes then I got raising them.

When you put a dog on high supervision and containment it doesn't mean that they mindlessly imprisoned.. In a split second when I need everyone to go to their boxes. Back to the house , back to the truck, to wait right where they are , don't move. all I have to do is say it.. I don't have to close their doors or go with them for them to wait to be released. Because I put them first during training.. let the water run over the sink a few more seconds, let the washing machine spin off balanced a few more second. let two other dogs scuffle a few more seconds.. while I put the dogs in a safe place and out of the way. It's a luxury now that it's a part of them to respond, but it was what was taught and me doing it with them to get where we are now.

No doubt it is sheer chaos for you and it's wearing you down.. Setting the dogs up to where they are safe and can't harm anything, and still get to be a part of the household, visually Having a routine that is the same every day that they can grow into. Having to be so one on one with an individual dog is the time to teach them all kinds of stuff while you are working through the potty training situation. All my little hot messes are my best dogs for having to spend so much quality time with them to get them through a situation that was hard for them, teaching them all kinds of other stuff for the time spent together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
I'm really sorry that you are struggling and frustrated. It's too bad that the foster person had a different experience with your dog. I feel very badly for everyone involved.

Your dog may have been successful in her foster home. It's possible that no one lied but that you are having a different outcome. I just took in a foster who was said to be impossible to housetrain and he was clean for the 4 days he spent with me. Not one accident. That doesn't mean that he will be clean in his next home. It just means that my set up and my level of supervision was enough.

In the end, housetraining comes down to management and supervision. Given your extended history of accidents, your dog is going to need a ton of supervision to turn things around. If she was with me, she would be crated when I knew I was going to be distracted and she would be confined to my kitchen during more normal periods of time. The only time she would have access to my living room or bed room would be when I knew I could watch her. If something came up while she was in those areas, I would either crate her, put her in the kitchen, or leash her and take her along. If I couldn't do those things, I would understand that I was risking my housetraining and extending the weeks needed to teach her to be clean. It stinks. It's difficult. But it's really the only solution.

If the solution is not one you can implement, that is not your fault since you were promised a housetrained dog. If you can't accommodate the training, then I think you are within your rights to return her. I am very sorry that you are going through this. In the end, management and supervision are the only way to turn a dog around. It doesn't take forever, but each dog is just a little different in what they need and in how long they need it.

Wishing you the very best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,145 Posts
The dog very well may have been house trained at the foster, I doubt they were lying. Dogs don't generalize all that well and often have regressions when changing environments. And at this stage there is probably so much tension and frustration over this issue that the dog is certainly picking up on, that I think it's likely she is stressed and learning to get faster at sneaking off and pooping out of sight. As your stress level escalates, so does hers.

Don't take this the wrong way, it's honestly not meant as a dig at you but more of an explanation. But when you say you're doing everything you can do and that has been recommended, but then also say that you were turned away with your attention occupied elsewhere when an accident occurred and that you can't tether or put up the dog if you can't pay attention to her, and your husband doesn't want to crate... then you're not actually fully instituting the advice you've been given. Add to that, your dog is making a habit of pooping in the house while also learning with every accident that pooping is stressful and not to poop in front of you because it upsets everyone, and she isn't completely supervised - it's not really a wonder that you're not making progress, that's a setup for failure for her.

There's no shame in not being able to effectively put into place the kind of management this dog needs, it's maybe not realistic for you and your family to tether, supervise, or crate the dog effectively to get the results you want. It's not a failure on your part so much as maybe not being realistic for you. But it's not really a failure of the methods or the dog, either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
We absolutely DO crate her most of the time we cannot supervise but how are we to ever see how she is doing if we can't gently increase the time she's "alone". And no, you can't avoid everything that happens in life. We are active people. We aren't used to having a dog that is crated 8 hours a day when we are home. That's just not "normal" for us.

I really sincerely do NOT believe most people have that ability. And considering the number of dogs my family has had experience with either through adoption or foster, I really don't think this behavior is normal.

FTR, she poops 2-3 times a day. Our walks are anywhere from 15-30 minutes. After that, she's really not able to focus much more. We do not have a yard we can just put her out in because we rent currently. The rescue knew that. It's not as if we did not disclose in GREAT detail the way our household runs, sit through TWO interviews, and drive a great distance to get her. We did all of the "right" and "expected" things to prevent that.

This morning, we weren't staring at her directly for 30 second - 1 minute. She pooped. It wasn't much but it was rapid. And I'm sorry but when I am at home, I am not able to effectively stare at a dog for every. single. minute. If she has just gone out on an especially LONG walk and we've been working on this for months I do expect some form of progress. I think it's crazy to put the blame on us for this. I know it isn't her "fault", technically, but I think people on here are crazy for saying we should crate her all the time when we are home or have her CONSTANTLY tethered to us. We have lives, too. And that's not fair. This is not what we expect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Nobody's saying that the dog will need to be tethered/crated forever, just until she understands that she can only poop outside. But if you can't or won't tether her to you whenever possible and crate her when she can't be tethered, then I agree that you should just take her back to the rescue, because nobody (you, the husband, or the dog) is happy with the current situation, and things are unlikely to change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,367 Posts
there is nothing wrong keeping the dog engaged with you while you are watching them, teathering them outside of the crate or the baby gated area. teach them how to be a helper,, down stay at your feet if your on the computer or on the phone. heeling to the kitchen to do some ob skills, watch me, down stay while you do what you need in the kitchen, what every chores you do through out the house. If you were at work the dog would be confined until you got home.... if your home.. perfect to have the dog work with you as you go along with your day.

j came to me as an extreme escape artist.. split second she slink out of the house over the gate down the road out into open range for rabbit hunting... 3 years of white on rice training with J... it did put my normal world as I knew it to a hault making her a priority for her own safety.. . she had crate time, baby gate area time and free time where I taught her jobs working with me, since yes I had to get stuff done during the day ... Smartest dog I have, 100% off leash for all the time we spent together. ..

it's not unreasonable when you look at what you could do with that time spent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
We work 8 hours a day. The dogs are crated in (generally) 3 hour increments with a break to play/potty. Their Dad lets them out on his lunch and really enjoys being able to do that. I commute 70 miles a day, so we can't stagger breaks to let them out more often. They are not free ranging at night. They are cordoned off to sleep and do not sleep with us in our bedroom. For 2 months, basically, we either tethered her or crated her. It was incredibly trying and we didn't have any accidents when we stuck to that.

If I haven't been clear, I apologize, but we have recently attempted to give her some more time to show us if she's progressed (in the past 10 days). We've had several accidents that are incredibly disheartening (just like we did before this regimen started). The regimen does not seem sustainable to us and my husband has genuine concerns about my abilities to do my dissertation work after work/on the weekends because he can't leave the house when I'm working and I don't feel comfortable working with her at might feet or tethered to me because I can't focus. I've been having to leave the house to get anything done, basically. It's been very hard on us and the more custody we get of his kids, the more stress that is going to put on it. We're assessing what can and cannot be done since mom moved kind of far out of state and it's a balancing act we were handling but it's just getting very very exhausting.

I do not want to rehome the dog if we can avoid it. We love the dog. We've put plenty of training in other areas into the dog with things like barking, reactivity, sit, stay, down, recall. She's a bit of an escape artist so that's also required some work. It's not that we haven't been willing to put the time in. We are just wondering when it is going to pay off. If it will be another couple of months, we can handle that. We can suck it up and deal. But if it's going to be a year or if it will never get better, my husband is worried about the amount of stress it is putting on me. I have OCD. Pooping on the floor is a big deal. I am working so so so hard on never being upset. Nothing has taught me more than having a dog that if you looked at him the wrong way he would flip over and pee. It required months of work, but we got there. I'm aware dogs feed off you but he says I've been incredibly patient. He has the patience of a saint. We are worn out.

And I'm terribly afraid that if she goes back she will not get adopted. She's a black dog. She needs tons of boundaries. She need regular brushing. She's not housebroken. And she requires a pretty competent handler on a leash in a situation where she's overstimulated. The leash issues and reactivity were why the rescue could not adopt her in the first place, supposedly, and why they were so thankful we took her. For me, that has been incredibly good bonding time for us and has really made me very happy. I would really, really miss her and my husband (the one who said he wanted her as "his" dog) would be heartbroken. So would the kids, I'm sure. She's a wonder with kids. But this potty thing is just not getting better and I don't know how and when we will ever see results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
It's unlikely to take a year. But consistency is going to be very important. The dog can't be given the opportunity to poop on the floor.

I remember when my dog was a puppy and I kept thinking, how will I know when he's housebroken? Sure, he's not having any accidents now and hasn't for a while, but is that because he actually understands that outside is his bathroom, or is it because I'm just really good at preventing accidents inside? I don't even remember when I finally decided that it was the former, but at a certain point it just happened. Once your dog stops even attempting to squat inside, then you can try giving more freedom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Okay, that makes me feel better.

I talked to my mom who is the queen of problem dogs. She thinks that we have been incredibly consistent for the past two months and that this may be a situation where she is pooping because we've been so incredibly consistent with tending to her and now that we think we are giving her space she thinks we are ignoring her and isn't sure how to read that. I mean, contrary to what some people think here based on my posts, up until the last 10 days we have done everything WITH her. It's become incredibly exhausting and now I know I will never, ever want to attachment parent a child (not that I ever did haha). Instead, she's basically saying crate her (same as everyone here) some more but that we should not be feeling bad about not having tethered to us every moment of the day. She says she'd never ever have time to do that and it doesn't make us bad pet parents. She doesn't think it's a change for her and it's also not sustainable to watch her as much as we have been (either for us or for her) so we are kidding ourselves if we think that is the answer.

The main thing, I guess is that she is getting her needs met, seems happy, and is not miserable. Right now, she's passed out on our sofa with our other dog.

The other thing my mom reminded my husband and I of is requiring them both to do the same this is also not likely sustainable. If one dog is cordoned off, the other does not need to be. I think we were not only worried a lot about Chessie this past week but also Willis because we honestly don't feel like we've been giving our old man enough time. Again, when you spend virtually every waking moment with one dog, other things tend to fail.

I think at this point we are going to go back to crating, putting her in a room with tile floor, and only letting her out when we have downtime. She clearly is no worse for wear. Maybe we will readdress this in a couple of months when we think she's doing okay. Thanks for the help. I know a lot of people on here probably think we aren't committed enough because we aren't with her 24/7 but we can't possibly be. We adopted a dog because we wanted a dog to have a life outside of a shelter or perpetual foster situation. We wanted a dog that had issues we could DEAL with that probably wasn't going to have many chances with another family, and we wanted something that would fit into our lives. That's why we don't want to give up yet and failure really is not an option we've talked about. I know a lot of people think it's all our fault but I can assure you until these past 10 days, we really have given it our all - probably so much we ran it into the ground thinking we COULD do it all. And when we thought maybe we had it working, we let up a bit. Clearly that hasn't worked. We will keep plugging away but we won't be spending as much time feeling guilty about it based on what people on here have said and what my mom has said.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top