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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Set Back-Help needed!

I'm hoping someone has some suggestions for me. sorry in advance for the long post but I don't want to leave out anything important.

Piper has been completely potty trained for over two years with no accidents and she goes outside only. We have always lived in apartment so she has been taken out on a leash for potty always. She is a poop eater but because she was on a leash for the most part, it was only a problem when visiting someone with a backyard.

About 3 months ago I bought a house with a fenced in back yard that Piper can now go out without a leash to potty. Well, unfortunately the poop eating became a problem. Even being out there with her, she would snatch it up and run around the side of the house to eat it before I could get to her. I would tell her NO! firmly, take her inside and wash her mouth out which she absolutely hated. After two months of watching her like a hawk, working with the leave it command, she will "leave it" if I am right there so I think I've got that problem somewhat under control but now we have a new problem.

Two weeks ago, I found poop reminants inside by the back door. I couldn't believe it, she never goes in the house. I thought it was a fluke, so I cleaned it up and didn't make a big deal of it. Last week, same thing and this time I showed it to her and said "NO!" firmly (which I know is not effective becuase I didn't catch her in the act) and then it happened again last night. Same place, right at the back door that leads to the back yard. The really puzzling thing is that I was home all three times and have no idea when she would have done it. She is almost always by my side, so she must be slipping away quickly and doing it???

I take her out to potty about every 3 hours and anytime she asks to go outside, I always take her. I work from home so I am here to take her out whenever she wants to go. I just don't understand what's going on. Did I screw up by scolding her for eating poop outside so now she wants to do it inside so I don't see?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I want to stop this before it becomes a bad habit.

Julie, Piper and Riley

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 02:53 PM
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Is it dark outside when she seems to go? I take Timmy out to pee and poo too, but he's been freaked out lately when it's dark outside, I think he smells something. He scratches to go out, but once he's out he sniff and wants to go back in. If she seems to be going at the same time all three times, why don't you put her in her crate for a while at that time for a few minutes and then take her out? I know when Timmy won't go and I know he has to, I put him in his crate for ten minutes or so and I try again. Now mind you Timmy is only 15 weeks old so I'm sure Piper is in a totally different league, just my two cents.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jabojenny View Post
Is it dark outside when she seems to go? I take Timmy out to pee and poo too, but he's been freaked out lately when it's dark outside, I think he smells something. He scratches to go out, but once he's out he sniff and wants to go back in. If she seems to be going at the same time all three times, why don't you put her in her crate for a while at that time for a few minutes and then take her out? I know when Timmy won't go and I know he has to, I put him in his crate for ten minutes or so and I try again. Now mind you Timmy is only 15 weeks old so I'm sure Piper is in a totally different league, just my two cents.
Thanks, I was actually wondering about this myself. I think it is always at night (one time I found the evidence in the morning but think I may have missed it the night before).Maybe she did hear or see an animal that scared her. She never had trouble going out in the dark before and she will go out to pee no problem but maybe they feel more vulnerable pooping?

Julie, Piper and Riley

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Last edited by Pipersmom; 02-16-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 04:28 PM
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Julie, that does sound logical. Sometimes my guys are hesitant to go in the backyard at night. You should put up more lighting back there so she feels safe. You also might want to have the vet check her out if the lights don't help

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 04:50 PM
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Moving to a new home is a big change. We had a big addition put on our house this year, and Kodi had a few "accidents" in the new part of the house... I don't think he fully recognized them as "house" yet. I just went back to what I would have done if her were a puppy. In the early evening (which is when the accidents happened) I gated him into the room with me (you could also tether him to you) until I was sure he had gone. I took him outside at the time he usually goes, or when he asked to go out. It only took a couple of weeks of this closer confinement for him to "get" that the new part of the house was also not an acceptable place to poop.<g>

It also may be different for her that you are "letting" her out now, rather than taking her out on leash. Even though we let Kodi loose outside with us during the day, at morning and evening "poop times" he is on leash. We've found there is much less fooling around and sniffing around. He knows that we are out there "on business" and gets down to work.<g>


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 05:05 PM
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Poop Thread! Poop is good! They love the stuff, not only their own but rabbit and cat pop are the best.

My only suggestion is to clean up the poo so there is nothing to eat and supervise while on potty patrol.



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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 05:34 PM
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never an easy solution to coprophagia. Normally any sudden change in the dogs housetraining should be checked out first with the vet. I'm guessing you might have to go back to escorting her out on leash again. Pain in the neck but it worked for you before. Yeah don't use any form of punishment after the fact. Sometimes a change in diet helps. Are you feeding kibble.?

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 06:54 PM
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You might want to have her checked out if she is eating poop, changes are she may have got some old poop or some other animal poop, they can get different types of worms as fleas and flys and other things think poop is prime for laying eggs and this has been a very mild winter.

I agree with the others that if it's not medical it could be change, we always have lights on in the back yard until we go to bed to keep the wild things out. We have so many baby bunnies this year my guys love their poop!!!!! Some dogs go with whatever others my Misty is one, like things to be pretty much the same.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:06 PM
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I definitely think there could be something to the notion she fears something outside. We live next door to three VERY yappy dogs. If they happen to be out when I take out Isabella, she fidgets and will pee, but takes her longer to get up the nerve . . .but never will she poo, no matter how badly she needs to go, until the parents of the yappy dogs finally call them inside

. . .on a side note, it was those yappy dogs that lead me to the Havanese breed, so I consider those dogs a blessing LOL




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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for these great suggestions. I was at a loss but now I have a gameplan. I am going to get some more lights for the yard this weekend.
She's on a pretty regular schedule and has to go potty at pretty much the same time every day so I will confine her if she doesn't and take her out until she does. I usually stand in the back doorway when she goes out but I took her out on the leash tonight and she did go pretty quickly.

I'll also check with the vet to make sure she didn't pick up anything with her nasty little habit.

Thanks again, sometimes it's hard to see things clearly when you're in it but all of this makes sense to me now.

Julie, Piper and Riley

My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton
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