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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Pooping in the snow

Weíve had some early snow this year and Iím really having trouble getting our puppy to poop in it. Right now he just pees and then licks the snow. I cleared a spot and it helped him pee, but he just sniffs around and never finds a place to poop - and then gets distracted and starts all the licking!

I havenít really been good about keeping up on the potty tray since he only goes out a few times a day now. He will still pee on command on it, but he doesnít really use it independently. Iíve never been able to get him to poop on the potty tray, only pee.

It seems pretty simple, just keep him contained and keep taking him out u til he goes. But he can hold it for a really, really long time and itís really cold, so in case there are any magic suggestions to help him remember faster, I thought Iíd ask!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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I should add, he is a winter puppy and is one year old, but last year we didn’t have snow until he’d been home for a while. It was really difficult to get him to go last year, and I don’t think we really resolved it - the snow just doesn’t stay deep most of the time, so there’s usually a grassy patch where he can go. Right now it’s quite deep and very early, which is unusual. He’s already had two poop only accidents inside since it started snowing last week, and since then I’ve been watching closely and intervened to get him outside just in time.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 10:33 AM
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I shovel paths in my yard leading to all their usual Ďpoopingí spots, and then clear a big area around . It may also help to collect a sample and place it in the area to remind them that this is the spot!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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I might have to shovel a bigger section compared to last year. He is definitely bigger, so maybe thatís the problem.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by EvaE1izabeth View Post
I might have to shovel a bigger section compared to last year. He is definitely bigger, so maybe thatís the problem.
This is our yard after a storm! LOL!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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This is our yard after a storm! LOL!
Look at those beautifully blown paths!

We only have 5Ē right now, but itís just enough to reach his belly and he sure has mixed feelings about it! He doesnít want his tummy to touch it, but he does want to explore it. I think if we had consistent snow like this heíd probably get used to it, but itís usually only a few times a year when we have so much that itís hard to keep a patch clear, and not until January. So I donít know if weíre in for another unusual winter or what!

How do you keep your 3 coats from becoming a snowy, tangled mess? It definitely wasnít like this last year, but maybe since heís blowing coat, if he goes out and comes in wet and I canít brush out his legs right away, they are completely tangled. Yesterday morning I combed him and when I got home in the late afternoon he was a wreck.

Is there any way to try and train him to poop on the indoor potty tray this late in the game? He has never pooped on it, but I also didnít push the issue because pee was good enough for me at the time. He has pooped in the vicinity of it before, but it was a small space so I was never sure if he missed the target or was stressed out (heís only done it when he was home alone).
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 10:52 AM
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Look at those beautifully blown paths!

We only have 5Ē right now, but itís just enough to reach his belly and he sure has mixed feelings about it! He doesnít want his tummy to touch it, but he does want to explore it. I think if we had consistent snow like this heíd probably get used to it, but itís usually only a few times a year when we have so much that itís hard to keep a patch clear, and not until January. So I donít know if weíre in for another unusual winter or what!

How do you keep your 3 coats from becoming a snowy, tangled mess? It definitely wasnít like this last year, but maybe since heís blowing coat, if he goes out and comes in wet and I canít brush out his legs right away, they are completely tangled. Yesterday morning I combed him and when I got home in the late afternoon he was a wreck.

Is there any way to try and train him to poop on the indoor potty tray this late in the game? He has never pooped on it, but I also didnít push the issue because pee was good enough for me at the time. He has pooped in the vicinity of it before, but it was a small space so I was never sure if he missed the target or was stressed out (heís only done it when he was home alone).
Dave Ēthe dog haterĒ got the ďbackyard snow blowerĒ just to make their paths. LOL!

They really donít get very snowy. They tend to stay on the paths, do their business, run a few laps and come in. It WAS different when they were puppies. Each of them went through a phase where the snow was a HUGE attraction. ...and I ďdefrostedĒ them by standing them in the sink in a warm water with conditioner in it, then towelling them dry. But as adults, they have better sense!

Sorry, but I donít know how to get an adult dog to use a potty, other than keeping them in a tiny expen, when the options are either a bed or the potty... and most people arenít willing to do that. (I donít know whether I would!)

Thatís why I try SO hard to encourage people to work on getting their puppies to accept and use an indoor potty in the beginning, and then to keep up their interest in it over time. SO many people are SO anxious to fade the use of an indoor potty, and ďteachĒ their pup to potty outside. I keep reminding people that the puppies ALWAYS learn to go outside eventually if given the opportunity. But, unfortunately, itís an uphill road! 😊. I just hope other (young) puppy owners read your situation and take it to heart! A toy breed dog who will use EITHER an indoor or outdoor potty option is by FAR the easiest to live with!


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, but I don’t know how to get an adult dog to use a potty, other than keeping them in a tiny expen, when the options are either a bed or the potty... and most people aren’t willing to do that. (I don’t know whether I would!)

That’s why I try SO hard to encourage people to work on getting their puppies to accept and use an indoor potty in the beginning, and then to keep up their interest in it over time. SO many people are SO anxious to fade the use of an indoor potty, and “teach” their pup to potty outside. I keep reminding people that the puppies ALWAYS learn to go outside eventually if given the opportunity. But, unfortunately, it’s an uphill road! ��. I just hope other (young) puppy owners read your situation and take it to heart! A toy breed dog who will use EITHER an indoor or outdoor potty option is by FAR the easiest to live with!
I’m really glad we did the indoor potty, I just wish I had persevered in trying to get him to poop on it. I just figured, he goes outside morning and night so why make an issue of it? Well, SNOW is why!

The strong opinions against indoor potty is a tough one. It’s frustrating that a few of the puppy sites and books discourage it. An important distinction is that using puppy pads casually is not the same as indoor potty training. I think it’s everyone inexperienced person’s worst fear to start out potty training and end up teaching a dog to pee in all of the wrong places! But indoor potty training for our small dog was life changing, and it was shockingly easy. Once I understood how closely contained and supervised the puppy needed to be, it required very little work, just consistency. Havanese are just really smart!

I hope other people learn from my mistakes, but I also REALLY hope that one day you and the other indoor potty training pros here on the forum publish a real “how-to” book There is so little reliable information out there on this subject.
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Last edited by EvaE1izabeth; 12-04-2018 at 03:19 PM.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 04:38 PM
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Sorry, but I donít know how to get an adult dog to use a potty, other than keeping them in a tiny expen, when the options are either a bed or the potty... and most people arenít willing to do that. (I donít know whether I would!)

Thatís why I try SO hard to encourage people to work on getting their puppies to accept and use an indoor potty in the beginning, and then to keep up their interest in it over time. SO many people are SO anxious to fade the use of an indoor potty, and ďteachĒ their pup to potty outside. I keep reminding people that the puppies ALWAYS learn to go outside eventually if given the opportunity. But, unfortunately, itís an uphill road! 😊. I just hope other (young) puppy owners read your situation and take it to heart! A toy breed dog who will use EITHER an indoor or outdoor potty option is by FAR the easiest to live with!
I AGREE! and it does help to have someone encouraging puppy owners to keep up the indoor potty training. One of the reasons I decided on a Havanese is I learned they could be indoor potty trained. We have a condo in the mountains with no yard and there are no good places to walk a dog on a routine basis. Hiking is an occasional activity.

My puppy just turned 9-months and is indoor potty trained in certain rooms of the house. I was amazed at how simple it was to housebreak this dog. Patti was 3 months old when we got her. We put an ex-pen that opened into one entrance of a family-kitchen area and gated the other entrance. In the ex-pen was a potty tray, toys, food, water and bed. From day one she went to the potty tray. I don't think I've had more than 12 accidents the whole time we've been housebreaking her to an indoor potty tray.

We just took the ex-pen down but her potty tray, food, wafer bowel and toys are still there. I'll be slowing moving the potty tray until I get it into the TV room where the other potty tray ... where I'll then eliminate it.

Patti was confined to the family kitchen area until she was about 5 months-old. She slept in a crate at night in our bedroom. Around 5-months, I put her on a leash and started hanging out with her in our bedroom during the mornings while I was browsing, reading emails and newspapers on the computer. I'd periodically walk her on a leash to a potty tray in the bathroom next to the bedroom. After several weeks I took the leash off but kept my eye on her, again taking her to the potty tray in our bathroom. It was a relatively quick learning experience as she would go to the potty tray on her own.

Next came the TV room area which was gated off. I followed the same routine to train her as I did in the bedroom. Next to each potty tray I keep a bowel of water.

Patti was gated off in each room and not allowed to wonder around the house until a couple of weeks ago around 9 mons. I've taken most of the gates down and she can go from our bedroom, to the TV room, crossing over through the living room into the kitchen. All three rooms have potty trays and she uses them when she needs to go. When we see her " Do Her Job we still reward with treats.

She is gated off from the other rooms and is only allowed in those rooms under a watchful eye and a short period of time. In a few weeks we will have a fence installed and she'll be able to go outside through a doggie door, which is located in a utility room where I have a potty tray. That's when I'll train her on the other side of the house. Eventually, she'll go outside on her own but at night or when we leave the house, she'll be left in our bedroom with a potty tray and water. And, she'll use potty trays when we go to our condo the mountains in the summer. Eventually, I'll only have one potty tray in our bathroom area. Or that's the current plan.

It's really nice not have to walk her if I don't want to. And, she has an option when it's pouring rain outside, cold and snowy.

Karen suggested using Equine Pine Pellets in the trays. I do this. It eliminates odors and I don't have to change them out but a couple of times a week.

Sorry for such a long message ... but maybe it will help someone have the confidence to indoor housebreak their puppy.

I think, this only works for small dogs and cats. I would not want to indoor housebreak a large dog.
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Last edited by Mikki; 12-04-2018 at 04:46 PM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 06:10 PM
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Iím really glad we did the indoor potty, I just wish I had persevered in trying to get him to poop on it. I just figured, he goes outside morning and night so why make an issue of it? Well, SNOW is why!

The strong opinions against indoor potty is a tough one. Itís frustrating that a few of the puppy sites and books discourage it. An important distinction is that using puppy pads casually is not the same as indoor potty training. I think itís everyone inexperienced personís worst fear to start out potty training and end up teaching a dog to pee in all of the wrong places! But indoor potty training for our small dog was life changing, and it was shockingly easy. Once I understood how closely contained and supervised the puppy needed to be, it required very little work, just consistency. Havanese are just really smart!

I hope other people learn from my mistakes, but I also REALLY hope that one day you and the other indoor potty training pros here on the forum publish a real ďhow-toĒ book There is so little reliable information out there on this subject.
Tom King wrote a really good "how too" on puppy potty training a long time ago. It's in here somewhere... I'm just not very good at finding things! Pretty much everyone I know who does a really good job on indoor potty training uses the King's system... whether they realize that's where it started or not!


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