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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Using pee/poop to express onesself

I hope I caught your interest with the imaginative title. Here's the story that explains things:

Mucho has been very reliable with his potty training so far. He can hold it in like a champ, has never soiled the house while we're away and he has access to his potty pad, and in general we've relaxed our vigilance a bit (but still need to keep an eye on him to watch for his sign if the balcony door that leads to the potty pad is closed.

This has been the case for 2-3 weeks now. However, he has done something very curious 4 times now:

When we are home, but don't pay attention to him (for example, working on the laptop on the sofa, practicing guitar, cooking etc) we will "choose" not to go outside to his potty area and instead poop or pee in the kitchen. I put "choose" in quotes as I'm not really sure he does this on purpose, out of stress or as a way to make us get up (the stink does the trick!). He has pooped 3 times and today he peed while we were preparing lunch.

Perhaps related, he has acquired a bad habit of pooping on carpets where we visit. Once when we were having dinner (under the table, ew), once when he saw new carpets on place we've been many times. Unfortunately I've only caught him once and scooped him up mid-poop (ewww) and he didn't continue when taken outside. I actually saw him do the sniff around dance, and he didn't look stressed or anxious or anything.

I am really baffled - of course he's only just 4 months old so I don't expect him to be reliable, but this habit seems to be recent (only 2 weeks) and I want to break it off. He *does* know where the appropriate place is both at home and when visiting (we put a pad down everytime), so it looks like he chooses to go elsewhere.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 02:54 PM
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At 4 months, when you can not focus attention on him, Mucho needs to be confined to an expen or crate. Allowing him freedom when you can't watch him is giving him the opportunity to develop bad habits that may be difficult to break. Prevention of these accidents will help Mucho develop more reliable appropriate life long potty habits.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 03:59 PM
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^^ agreed.

You also might want to start putting Mucho on a timetable.

Eat at specific times of the day, poop and pee at specific times of the day.

Here's my schedule for Oreo.

8:30am wake up and go outside to pee, then come in and eat breakfast.

9:30am take him out to poop

3:30PM pee (optional, he can hold it in until night poop)

5:00pm eat dinner

6:30pm Nighttime poop outside

9:30pm pee (optional, he can hold it in until next morning)

Remember....always praise and give attention to him peeing/pooping outside

and...

Don't make a big fuss over him peeing and pooing inside (Just ignore like it never happened), you don't want him to learn that peeing/pooing inside = getting attention..good or bad.


Last edited by narci; 11-14-2013 at 04:01 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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We are using an ex-pen to confine him within a room. When I do want to focus elsewhere I crate him. The solution we found for his pooping in the kitchen was to seal it off - but sometimes we forget because it's an open space.

Narci, I'd love to put him on a schedule but when he scratches the balcony door to go out I've no idea if he wants to fool around or pee/poop, and I can't risk saying "no" because then he'll go inside.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 05:34 PM
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When Brody was little, he went anywhere from 4-8 times a day. He was a total poop making machine. His cues were really subtle (like looking at me) and it seems lots of Havanese are like that with the subtle cues, rather than obvious. His potty schedule (not necessarily a poop every time) when he was little, was upon waking, then again at 10, 12, 3, 5, 7 or 8, and 9 or 10. It was frequent. He ate 3 times a day (8, 12, and between 5 and 6). He pretty much needed to be watched like a hawk unless I knew he had just emptied himself of both. It gets better with time, but they really need to be watched closely as pups (or at least mine did).

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
Narci, I'd love to put him on a schedule but when he scratches the balcony door to go out I've no idea if he wants to fool around or pee/poop, and I can't risk saying "no" because then he'll go inside.
You'll have to 'teach' him that outside is for poop and pee.

Like misstray said, you need to watch for subtle signs.

If you take him out, be firm that it's meant for potty. Don't play with him and set a time limit. Example, if he doesn't do business within 5-10 minutes..back inside.

Remember to praise him a lot when he does do his business. We use to give Oreo a treat when he poop or peed.

Inside, you can do the same. When he poops or pees at the place you want him to...praise and reward him (High reward treat, might want to stick with a certain reward that's he LOVES as the only treat he'll get if he pees or poos in the right spot.) but you need to do it just as he finishes. No point in praising and treating when he's done it some time ago.

Once he know that he gets lots of praise and treats for doing something he will learn fast.

If he doesn't poop or pee in the right place, clean it up and ignore.

Most of all, you have to have a lot of patience. Training a dog isn't a one time affair. They learn by repeating over and over.

Of course this is only my opinion as this method has worked for me.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 06:10 PM
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Size the expen small enough (2x4 or 4x4) so that Mucho won't potty in it. Then when you can pay attention to him he can have more freedom but when your attention is needed elsewhere he can hang out in the expen.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 06:40 PM
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The title caught my attention.

I like writing my name in the snow.

John




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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your responses - however I feel I probably wasn't very clear with my original problem.

We practice confinement, in our own way. The house isn't very large, we give Mucho access to specific rooms and areas and he's been *extremely* well behaved. He can come and go for example in the bedroom (where we and he sleeps) and in the corridor (leading to the bedroom) and he hasn't once pooped there never. He also hasn't pooped in the living/dining room/office space for weeks now. He hasn't pooped inside at all when we are away, and we only found some pee in the house the first time we were gone for more than an hour.

I understand this could be just a phase and accidents may still loom around the corner, and this is why we still keep a very close eye on him. When I'm at home, I can always see him and if not will call him or go find him or confine him in the room with me.

I was just wondering if he poops/pees in the kitchen, under specific circumstances, to try and make us pay attention.

The kitchen is an open-space one directly connected to the living room/dining room/office space, but with no visual line of sight unless you walk there. When we brought him home he actually quite liked the area, he would hang around and play with a rug we had. But at some point, out of the blue, he pooped there 3 days in a row, under the same circumstances. He hasn't tried to do it anywhere else once we gated it off.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 09:57 AM
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It is EXTREMELY common for dogs who don't fully understand pottying to go to a secluded, out of sight area to elmininate. If your kitchen is not line of sight, that is probably EXACTLY why he is going there!

"Potty training" for at least the first year is all about establishing good habits and keeping bad habits from starting. There is no "willfulness" or "meaning" to what your puppy is doing. He just does not yet have a solid understanding of the "right" and "wrong" places to eliminate. He is still a VERY young puppy, and while a couple of weeks of success is GREAT, it is only a start... It is not yet a confirmed "habit". The others are right. You need to have greater supervision (meaning EYES ON!!!) or confine him to an area small enough that you KNOW he will be successful.

Sure it's fine to test his training in a larger area from time to time, but any time he has a set-back, you have to assume for a LONG time that you need to step back and increase the level of supervision/confinement. This will be true for a LONG time to come.


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