Please help with potty issue. - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Please help with potty issue.

Hi all,

We have been having a slowly escalating issue of potty training regression with Twinkle. She has been pooping in her crate in the night. This started a few months ago on a very sporadic basis, but it is becoming a regular occurrence now. Strangely enough, this happens only in the night and that too only pooping (Unfortunately Lola has also done it a couple of times now. I guess a learned behavior?)

During the day we rarely have issues and she will let us know in very subtle ways if she has to go out. Their last trip out is really late in the night, after 12. (my husband is a night owl), so we feel she really has no reason to go in the crate. The worst thing is she never lets us know that she needs to go. She used to before, then she started to wait till the alarm went off ( at 7.00 am) and now she doesn't make a peep, just sits in the crate waiting. Also, it's like she has absolutely no idea that pooping in the crate is not a done thing. She will bounce out of the crate, run to the door and as soon as the door is opened, she will rush out and do her morning business (Lola on the other hand if she messes up in the house, immediately will go skulk in a corner).
And yet to date,Twinkle has never peed in the crate or house, day or night.
Earlier, once they went into the crate, they would stay quietly till 8 in the morning when I used to take them out ( right after kids left for school) and they never soil led the crate.
On a related note, Twinkle is a very poor eater, so I used to put a bit of topping on her food and I thought maybe that is causing the tummy issues, but now with nothing other than her regular food,it is still the same. They eat wellness core for small breed grain free.and after googling, my husband insisted I feed them at 5 ( she used to eat much later, since she seemed more inclined to eat later in the night), but the change in time has made no difference.

Sorry this is so long winded, but if wanted to explain all the factors so you experienced people will have a better idea of what to suggest.

Please help. What are we doing wrong?

Last edited by AnnaM; 05-15-2014 at 02:39 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Hope someone can help me.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 06:16 PM
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I don't know that I can offer much help. How big is the crate? Do you think it might help to make it smaller for a period of time to help make it more unpleasant to go where she is sleeping?

Have you spoken to your vet about it? Maybe they can offer some suggestions.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for replying. I have contemplated making the crate smaller, but is fearful she would just go and sit on top of it. She is in full coat so you can imagine how that will be.

When this issue started, we did have her checked out and everything came back clear. The vet said that she must be having stomach issues, that's why she is not able to hold it. But her poop is totally normal, and to be honest all I am asking is for her to let me know when she needs to go. She never does that anymore

The strangest thing is she has no issues during the day. For instance, today I had to go out and when I came back and opened the crate, she ran out and did her business.

I guess I should bite the bullet and make the crate smaller and see how it goes.
Hope more people will chime in.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 07:39 PM
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I am no expert as I only have had our Hav for three weeks, but was a Maltese owner for 15 years.... I say try making the crate a little smaller- do it gradual so she won't get upset. Good luck!!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 09:10 AM
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I would never feed a dog as late as 5pm. But if you insist, then you just need to give them time to have a good BM or two before bed and that might mean a nice long walk around 10pm. Many factors can effect digestion and you can't really trust the fact that they have always done something a certain way.

I always tell my puppy owners to listen to their dogs. If they can't make the length of time that they are staying in the crate, then shorten that time. My guess is that they just need to go out a bit earlier than you are letting them out in the am.

Who knows why the change has occurred. Perhaps the time change with daylight triggering them to wake and have to go. Or perhaps someone is giving them extra treats late in the evening or maybe you aren't measuring their food as carefully. Havs are very small dogs and just a heaping cup versus a level cup of food could be the culprit.

Bottomline, what goes in must come out and if they are getting too much food they will have to go more often and vice versa. As long as they aren't sick, which you've said you checked that out with the vet then I'd guess the amount of food and timing of eating is the cause.

I hear what you are saying though about simply wanting them to let you know, but Havs can be particular about their habits and regardless of what you'd like them to do, I would do whatever necessary to stop them from pooping in the crate. And controlling the amount of food and the time of feeding and potting is the only way.

Karen Collins ~ Heartsong Havanese

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Karen for your reply. So when you say, 5.00 pm is too late, what would be an ideal time? Won't they be hungry by the time they go to bed? Actually I had been giving Twinkle a late dinner before as I felt she was a little more interested in food if given later in the evening. She is a very poor eater.

That's another worry. It is very difficult to get her to eat. She gets 1/3 cup in the morning and the same in the evening and it is like a struggle for her. I try to top off with some chicken or similar things, immediately she has loose stools. And one thing she loves is raw chicken, but that gives her the runs too. So I am not sure what to do. Should I just stick with it until her body is used to it?

Last night we left her crate open and left the crates in our bathroom with a fence up. Morning I woke up dreading the clean up, but the crate was clean( I think she spent the whole night outside the crate) and she hadn't pooped anywhere. I had left some newspaper in a corner which had a bit of pee smell, hoping she would do her business there. But there was nothing anywhere. So maybe that's the way to go? I would rather clean up the floor than having her get used to going in her crate.

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