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House Training

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by LizzieG90, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. LizzieG90

    LizzieG90 PetForums Newbie

    Oct 22, 2020
    Likes Received:
    I rehomed a unneutered spaniel about 4 months ago. It took a couple of weeks of house training back to basics before we stopped having accidents in the house, but after that all was well. A few weeks ago we spent some time with my parents and their bitch. There were definitely some competition for top dog and both dogs had accidents in the house during that time (they were marking). Since we got back home, about 75% of the time I come downstairs to a poop in the living room. Sometimes there is a wee too, not always, and mostly the wee appears to be marking as its small and/or has been up the curtains. I’ve read that dogs don’t generally mark with poop so I’m at a loss why this is happening.

    He can clearly hold all night as he is only 3 and we had no problems before this and haven’t changed his routine. I’m feeding him his last meal at about 5pm, followed by a 45 minute walk at about 5.30. On that walk without fail he does at least 1-2 poos. He’s let out into the garden last thing at night but only ever does a wee (with lots of encouragement). I’m being careful to restrict how many treats he gets now on his evening walk and I’ve stopped giving him a chew when I have my dinner.

    We’re told not to rub their noses in it so when he messes he gets told ‘no’ and is essentially ignored for an hour and obviously I praise and reward him lord when he poops on walks. I can’t shut him in a smaller space at night as he has isolation anxiety, so he sleeps in the living room but has free access to my room. The problem is he has no inclination to tell me when he does need to go out. Having spoken to the vet, he’s now booked in to be neutered in a few weeks time in case it is marking, but is there anything obvious that I’m missing?!
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Feb 1, 2016
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    If you are finding a poo, which has presumably been done sometime in the night, saying 'no' sternly and ignoring him does absolutely nothing other than making you unapproachable in the mornings. He has no idea why you are behaving like this.

    And definitely don't rub his nose in it, or even get cross if you catch him actually performing his toilet - all that will do is make him reluctant to toilet when you are around and he will wait until you are not there, or sneak off, so you don't see him - dogs can't tell the difference between you being cross at them for toileting as opposed to toileting indoors.

    I'd suggest you set your alarm for overnight, a time before you think he is toileting, and take him out. Praise and reward when he does. Over the next few weeks, you can start pushing the time a little later until it is morning. The idea is he learns to anticipate being taken out and holds on for that, while gradually holding for longer and longer.

    You could also make his last meal later, so he is able to hold his toilet for later.
    O2.0 and LittleMow like this.
  3. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

    Oct 27, 2018
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    That certainly isn’t going to help. See it from his point of view: you come downstairs to his great joy (no doubt) and - for no obvious reason as far as he’s aware - he is told ‘no’ and then is ignored - for an hour!
    ‘No’ is just a noise to him; it means nothing, but no doubt he can tell you’re angry...he just doesn’t know why. You run the risk of making him confused and nervous in my opinion - and that won’t help the toileting. He suffers ‘isolation anxiety’ (I presume you mean separation anxiety) and I suspect it’s that which is making him go to the toilet. Punishing him is not the answer (though I’m pleased you’re NOT rubbing his nose in it - an abhorrent concept if ever there was one.)
    I’m not sure that praising him when he goes on his walks will achieve anything. Really, the only answer is to go back to toilet training - get up in the night and let him out. If/when he goes, you need to praise him and/or treat him - make it obvious you’re pleased, that this is the best thing you’ve ever seen. But the key is that you need to be right there besides him so he gets the reward immediately and associates it with going outside. If he goes inside, do not punish him - he is not doing it deliberately. Just clean it up and behave as if everything is normal - no anger, no frustration. Use enzymatic cleaner. You could have him sleep in your bedroom temporarily and then as he starts getting restless and needing to ‘go’ you will hopefully be woken up and be able to get him out.

    EDIT: cross-posted with JoanneF (again! :D)
    Sarah H, O2.0 and JoanneF like this.
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