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2 year old Hav female still pooping/peeing in the house
Old 04-21-2011, 03:58 PM   #1
sandydlc
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Exclamation 2 year old Hav female still pooping/peeing in the house

Hi everyone,

Sorry it's been so long since I've participated in this forum. I have a huge problem right now and I just don't know where to turn for help.

We have two dogs - Paco, 13 year-old long hair chihuahua (who is lately having life-threatening health issues) and Lucy, our 2 yo female havanese. Lucy is a fantastic dog. She is sweet and I'm able to take her to work with me every day and she doesn't have accidents at my office at all. (I do have a three room area blocked off by a baby gate so her access to the entire office is limited.)

From the time Lucy was a puppy she never barked to go outside. I am the one primarily responsible for her and I take her out on a regular basis. We also use poochie bells on our back door but she'll curiously only use them if we're in the same room. If we're not with her or if we get busy, she doesn't make any indication that she has to go, she'll just find a corner of the house and pee or poop. Often it will happen immediately after she's been outside. I've had a very hectic travel schedule for work lately and my daughters (18 & 20) live at home and take care of Lucy when I'm not there.

Within the last month, poor Paco has been having heart problems and about a week ago was put on a diuretic. He literally has zero bladder control when on the diuretic. I've purchased some doggy diapers and a belly band is on the way. We now keep him in his ex-pen with pee pads or in his kennel when not in diapers. Unfortunately before we determined that he had no control, he has been peeing in the family room in the same area on our new carpet!!

My husband had to stay home today with our son (11) who's sick. He called me a few minutes ago and was extremely frustrated because Lucy had pooped in the house just after being taken out, and while we were on the phone, she peed. He claims that I either figure out a way to get her trained, or she's gone. I really don't think he's serious about finding her another home but he *is* very serious about me resolving her potty training problems.

I'm beyond distraught. It's bad enough to be worrying about Paco's health (we almost lost him last week - but that's another story), but to still be dealing with Lucy's accidents after two years is just too much. I also believe that she "stress poops" when I'm not around. She's most bonded to me in the family, though she loves and gets along with everyone, including my husband. I know that she's capable of holding her pee and poop because she's crate-trained and sleeps in her crate at night and has zero accidents during the day at work. Her only time to have problems is at home, most often after I get home from work or a situation like today where family members are home.

For today, I told my husband to just crate her until I get home. I know she'll be fine and I'm sure my son will let her out to go outside but at least I know that she won't have any more accidents.

I'm at my wit's end regarding what to do about her training. If I'm home, she's about 95% accident free, but I can't control what happens when I'm not there or when we're traveling. My biggest worry is that although the kids try their hardest, there are still accidents and they're probably not cleaning them as effectively as I am. I'm worried that the carpet is really going to smell and without adequate cleaning, the dogs will never stop having accidents. With Lucy it's both pee and poop but lately it's been mostly poop which is somewhat of an improvement.

Is it normal for a 2 year old havanese female to still be having accidents? Do we start training all over again? Should I hire a trainer to work with us? I don't know what to do and I'm almost in tears just thinking about not being successful at getting her trained and being forced to give her up. I've never given away an animal and knowing that Paco only has a few months left to live I think it would destroy our kids to lose both dogs.

Sorry for the novel but I'm really at the end of my rope with the training. Any help/advice that you can give is much appreciated.

Thank you!!

Sandy
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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I have never had that problem with my dog, but I can say that I wonder if she is only copying your other dog. If it were me, I would contact a trainer. We are working with one now for other issues but you may get some insight into the problem. I am no expert, but that is what I would do.
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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Hi Sandy,

Sorry Paco is having such a rough time of it...poor guy.

I think the best approach with Lucy is to keep her in an ex pen with a pee pad unless she has recently done her business outside. I got a one year female Hav a few weeks ago that was not housebroken at all It took three weeks to get her trained. I take my dogs out when they wake up, at lunch, mid-afternoon, after dinner and before bed. If Zoey, my new girl, did not potty at these times, she went right back in her ex-pen and then I would take her out again 30 minutes to an hour later. Right now, if I am gone for a couple of hours, I let her have free run of the house with my boy. If I am gone longer than a couple hours, I put her in the ex-pen.

You should also get your carpets cleaned because they are attracted to the smell.

Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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I agree with everything Debbie wrote. Go back to the beginning with crate/expen when you're not around to watch her like hawk. After a week or so of this - accident free, start slowly giving Lucy back her freedom to roam.

Sometimes if they can find a corner where no one's looking that's where they'll eliminate. Just be sure they don't have those corners/dark rooms. While my Hav is trained, I do limit the space he has (ie not the upstairs). At about 8 months old we had a set back after I boarded him for a week where he'd run upstairs to pee then come back and play. Solved that with a babygate and haven't looked back.

Good luck! You can get her under control. The crate is your friend.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:52 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone for your responses. I think the real challenge for our family is going to be getting buy-in and cooperation from all family members including my husband on Lucy's new rules.

I just spoke with our vet and she recommended just starting over with the housebreaking from scratch as you suggested. She also recommended a diffuser that has pheromones in it that are supposed to help calm dogs and make them less likely to mark or have nervous accidents. Her suspicion is that Lucy's accidents are more related to nervousness when I'm not around than anything else. She also suggested to run a quick urinalysis to make sure that she doesn't have an underlying infection.

The vet also said it's possible that Lucy just wasn't ever trained completely and that we need to just really reinforce her training for as long as it takes.

Time to call the carpet cleaning company!!

Sandy
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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Sandy, I just read your post. I too believe your pup was not completely house trained, they go through a time when they need constant reminders. I really feel for you, years ago I become the owner of two mill dogs (I still have one), not only were they not house trained, they were use to going in their crate and would go where they ate. It took a very long time, but along the way, I discovered the other members of the household, were not pulling their weight and were hiding it from me. I swear my DH would put newspapers all over the floor, turn on fox news and about 15 mins before I got home clean up!!!!! All the dogs needed at that point was someone to remind them to go out!!!! I was mad, upset, sad and at wits end. I had spent six months at home training and socializing these two dogs. In the end it took everyones effort, they had to understand it was no longer about the dogs, it was now about me!!!! Boy was I upset and mad at them all.

I told them how disapointed I was with all of them. We got a plan together that they all agreed they could live with. I did put tile throughout the downstairs, the carpet looked good but the pad could not be cleaned, the kitchen had hardwood it too was ruined, warped. I also put in a dog door to the patio. It took about a year until we felt they could be left on their own. My kids who are now in their 30's playful call it "The Year of The Mom Bitch" and it is a favorite holiday topic, I don't care, I call the year I discovered my perfect family had Cloven Feet.

I can tell you are really at wits end and overwhelmed. You need to get everyone on board. Keeping the dogs in an area where it is easy to clean is a must, just take baby steps and go slowly. Do not do more then anyone can handle at first, then increase what needs to be done. You need time to think and some rest, so you can make a fresh start. Dogs need to get it, sometimes we get lucky, and for some of us it takes lots of work. I hope you find a plan that you can live with soon.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Laughing Magpie View Post
Sandy, I just read your post. I too believe your pup was not completely house trained, they go through a time when they need constant reminders....

...I can tell you are really at wits end and overwhelmed. You need to get everyone on board. Keeping the dogs in an area where it is easy to clean is a must, just take baby steps and go slowly. Do not do more then anyone can handle at first, then increase what needs to be done. You need time to think and some rest, so you can make a fresh start. Dogs need to get it, sometimes we get lucky, and for some of us it takes lots of work. I hope you find a plan that you can live with soon.
Thank you so much for your post. I appreciate that you understand my frustration which made me feel hopeful that a solution is possible.

Last night while I made dinner and ate dinner with my son (everyone else was off doing their own thing!), I put Lucy in her kennel. She whined at first not understanding why she didn't have freedom but eventually she settled down. I understand how important it is to stick to your guns with crate training and not feel sorry for them no matter how cute and pathetic they will try to look. After I was done with the dishes, we took her outside and then - while I was able and available to watch her like a hawk - she hung out with us in the family room and then I brushed her before going to bed. Paco wore his diaper (poor thing) and we had NO accidents. Mornings are usually not an issue and I'm now at the office with Lucy sleeping peacefully by my door.

I think I'm going to have the family sit down tonight or tomorrow and put together a plan for zero accidents. If we can make it 2 weeks, I'll be able to call in the carpet cleaner and then I think I'll stick with the zero freedom plan for Lucy for 2-3 months and by then, I have to think that no potty accidents in the house will be ingrained in her.

Again - thank you to everyone for the support. Sometimes it's very helpful to discuss issues like this with others who have gone through similar challenges. I'll post again in a few weeks to update on Lucy's progress.

Sandy
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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Cleaning the carpet and getting rid of any odor is top priority. She can smell things we can not see or smell.....I would clean the carpet first and any area where there could of been any sign of past peeing and pooping.

Having your family on board if they are to help is also key. No one can be too lazy to watch her and see signals she is giving.

I would crate her and she would only be out when you or your family members are diligently watching her. It may seem mean,but it is only being firm and consistant. Without that--you have yourself in the situation you currently are. You can do it and so can she! I think 2-3 months may be pushing it a bit........maybe 6 months to a year,but she is worth it. It just has to be a top priority -not only for you but for your family.

quote referencing time: then I think I'll stick with the zero freedom plan for Lucy for 2-3 months and by then, I have to think that no potty accidents in the house will be ingrained in her
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:21 PM   #9
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My trainer also suggested that if there is a place they keep going back to, put a potted plant or something in that place. We had a spot on the tile that we used to keep a pee pad for Coach. I've since removed them all from the apartment and only use them on the balconys per my trainers advice. Well he kept going to that spot and peeing. i know it didn't smell, it was tile and i sprayed it down each time there was an accident, I think it was just where he had learned to go. So now there is a cardboard box there and so far so good.

Coach still whines at first when I leave the room when he is in a pen I set up in my office. I ignore him and he stops after a minute or two.

I like your plan, good luck.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Cleaning the carpet and getting rid of any odor is top priority. She can smell things we can not see or smell.....I would clean the carpet first and any area where there could of been any sign of past peeing and pooping.

Having your family on board if they are to help is also key. No one can be too lazy to watch her and see signals she is giving.

I would crate her and she would only be out when you or your family members are diligently watching her. It may seem mean,but it is only being firm and consistant. Without that--you have yourself in the situation you currently are. You can do it and so can she! I think 2-3 months may be pushing it a bit........maybe 6 months to a year,but she is worth it. It just has to be a top priority -not only for you but for your family.

quote referencing time: then I think I'll stick with the zero freedom plan for Lucy for 2-3 months and by then, I have to think that no potty accidents in the house will be ingrained in her
Well, I really can't get my carpets cleaned until I find a good solution for Paco who apparently now is mostly incontinent. He has an enlarged heart and has been put on diuretics. When on that medication, he pees without any control. The vet said it's like turning on a faucet, which is a very accurate description. I've tried doggie diapers but the ones I purchased were too small and his penis just pops right out the top. I figured out that if I put it on him sideways or just around his belly, it will actually hold and contain any small amount of urine before we can get him outside. We're taking him out about every 1/2 hour to every hour and the remainder of the time he's in the ex-pen with pee pads or his crate to sleep at night.

I purchased a belly band to try out with maxi pads to see if that's a better solution than the diapers because right now, I'm the only one who can get the diaper on correctly so that it doesn't leak which obviously is not a good long-term solution. Sadly the vet is only giving him another 6-14 months to live because of his heart condition, but as long as his worst problem is peeing and having to take medication, I'm willing to help him through his life as a senior dog. Once he starts suffering though, we'll have to make that tough choice.

Back to Lucy...after seeing how well she did last night and again today with no accidents, I do think that she's just so close but will need close vigilance for a few months to get her that last 5% closer to being fully house-trained.

Patience and her crate will be my best friends for a long while!!

Sandy
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