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Brody! You're supposed to do that outside.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Brody has developed a little problem and I am in need of advice from the "dog" people

For a week now, he has been pooping in one spot in the front living room. It has happened almost every day. We have been keeping up with his regular schedule on taking him outside. Last night I brought him out before I went to bed, as I always do. Then at about 1 am I heard his little feet walking down the hallway. He never gets out of bed at night, so I knew what he was up to. I got up and told him firmly "No! Brody", but it was too late. The thing is, he knows its bad because he slouches down towards the floor and puts his head down every time I see it in the living room. All I have to say is "Brody did you poopie on the floor?" and down his head goes.
I suspected that he may be doing this because we quit letting him sleep in our bed about a week or so ago. He has a nice doggie bed next to ours with his own blanket that he sleeps in. He loves his bed, of course not as much as sleeping with us, but he seems fine getting in it once he realizes he isn't sleeping with us.
Could he be upset with us and that explain the sudden change in behavior? How can I work with him to stop it? We have wood floors so it's not THAT big of a deal, but we do need to try and stop it.
post #2 of 10
I'll be interested to hear any responses as well Tanya, because Gils daughter has a yorkie (honey) and she does the same thing now and again. He's tried changing their food to dry and giving the dogs their meals at different times. At first it was working, but then it started again
post #3 of 10
The first thing to check when your dog starts exhibiting different toileting habits is something physiological. Dogs are almost as much creatures of habit as cats, and if there is a consistent, spontaneous change in an otherwise perfectly house trained dog, there is often an underlying health issue.

Occasionally there will be the odd accident, of course, but that is different to a recurring change. So a visit to the vet is your first step. I know how many times you've been to the vet with Brody, but it's best to be safe.

Secondly, yes, the change in his night time routine could have upset his night time potty habit. It's not so much that he's upset that he can't sleep with you anymore, because he technically is still sleeping with you, it's just a change in routine.

Thirdly, have you changed anything about his routine other than that? Have you been feeding him later or earlier than usual? A different type of food? Has he had any stressors? Does he get up at the same time each night?

Chester went through a stage recently where, at exactly 4.37am, every day (and I'm not kidding here) he started pacing around the house, desperate for a pee. He would pace and pace and pace and pace until I got up to let him out, whereupon the most incredibly huge pee would ensue, followed by a poop. then back in to bed. I didn't want him forming a new habit, and one night I was just so exhausted I didn't hear him. I woke up to a poop on the kitchen floor, but no indoor pee. It hasn't happened since.

I racked my brain and realised because of some changing work hours, we'd been feeding them much later in the evening. We went back to our old routine and it stopped.

Now, you say Brody always poops in exactly the same spot. He can smell it, it is familiar and he will keep going there. Simple cleaning won't be enough. A stronger deterrent specifically for cleaning animal smells will have to be what you use.

Don't punish him for it - a well trained dog in the house usually cannot help this kind of thing. I mean, it doesn't sound like you're punishing him anyway, but the fact that he can't hold it long enough until you can get up and let him out does point to a health problem.

I would take him to the vet first off, and to guard against habit forming after that, I would suggest closing your door one night so he can't get out, and see if he still needs to go. He might just sleep all night, or he might get up. If he gets up, of course, let him out, but see what happens.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
As always Sarah, THANK YOU for your wonderful advice I was hoping you would see my post

Brody is actully due for his annual vet visit soon... maybe I should just go ahead and bump up his appointment to get him in sooner, just in case.

I free feed Brody, so I need to pay more attention to when he is eating. He has been eating more lately though, I do know that. I don't know if you remember, but we have always struggled with getting him to eat. I ended up learning that he liked to eat off the floor instead of a bowl... So in the dining room we had a water bowl for Brody, on a placemat and then I just dumped his food straight onto the place mat. We still had trouble and I realized he would only eat if we were in that room. Well we don't spend much time in there, so in addition to that food, I put a bowl of food in the office (where we spend most of our time) and he began eating out of that. Recently, I moved his food bowl back to the dining room to try and see if he would eat, and he does! He eats more than he used to, which is good because he needed to gain a little weight. Do you think I should possibly try bringing his food up at a certain time each evening to prevent the night time accidents?

I don't really punish Brody... I don't have to. The poor little guy he cowers down so low when he thinks he is in trouble. I think this goes back to his previous home.

I will clean that area of the floor real good tonight with the enzyne cleaner I have for animal accidents. Honestly, I hadn't thought to use it because I didn't realize it would leave a smell that would attract him I have just been wiping the floor with All Purpose cleaner.

As far as my schedule, it hasn't been consistent these past several weeks because of my classes... but I am spending more time at home than I did before when I was working full time.

Is there any way to train Brody to wake me up when he has to use the bathroom? I only caught him last night because I happened to hear his toes on the wood floor.... He doesn't do anything to let us know he needs to go out. You know, he never really does. He hates going outside and we normally have to encourage him to go out and do his thing. Silly pup!
post #5 of 10
Hey there - sorry it's taken me a bit of time to reply.

Yep, there's a few things you can do to get him to wake you up when he needs to go. One thing that is fantastic and I've heard of this being used for both cats and dogs, is to install a little bell near the back door, and ring it every time he goes outside to potty - and only to potty. Don't ring it when he just goes outside for any other reason. After he gets used to the bell being associated with pottying, you can teach him how to ring it himself - usually batting with a paw is pretty easy to teach. Do you think something like that would wake you up? It wouldn't have to be that loud, but just a distinctive sound that you wouldn't normally hear would be enough to do it.

If you have to encourage him to go out, it could even be made into a game. You know, ring the bell, go potty, get a reward. I don't know of too many dogs who wouldn't learn quickly under those circumstances! Initially, you would ring the bell after he potties - so he learns to associate the bell with the action. Then you gradually `shape' the bell so that it indicates the need to go, instead of the going itself. It's a form of learning called operant conditioning - you remember Pavlov's dog? Exactly like that, and highly effective.

I would stop free-feeding also. If he's a fussy eater it's hard, but basically, he'll eat when he's hungry. Did you try putting his food down for 20 minutes, if it remains untouched it gets taken away and not put down again until the next meal time? This usually teaches fussy eaters pretty quickly that not eating what's put in front of them will result in not eating anything at all until next meal time!

Check with the vet as well, of course, but there's a couple of things that may be worth trying. Has it still been happening lately?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response, Sarah.
I started this thread on Friday, and there was an accident that afternoon, but none this weekend. We have reverted back to the old days of making a big deal of him pottying outside. You know the drill... praise him to the point it's embarrassing and then give him a doggy bone as a reward for going. We are paying attention the the times he goes out to keep it consistent as well. It's always been pretty consistent, but we are paying extra attention right now. I am going to make sure and head home at lunch time for the next few days also.
I thought of going back to confining him to his crate, but I don't think that's necessary at this point.
I like the idea of the bell, and it would wake me up. It's something to look in to!

The idea of not free feeding worries me... I will explain why. Brody isn't excited when I fill up his food bowl. He shows no interest in eating it right away. When he does eat, he only eats a few bites at a time. If I put his bowl down and pick it up 20 minutes later, he won't have eaten. His eating habits are so inconsistent, that as hard as I have tried, I can't pinpoint a time that he actually sits down and eats a "meal". Also, my mornings are a bit crazy right now. Some mornings I am up early, other mornings a little later. My schedule will change even more in the next few months. I worry about inconsistencies with that and his feeding time causing problems. Any suggestions? What do you think about free feeding during the days and picking his food up sometime in the late evening for the night?
post #7 of 10
I didn't see an age so I don't know if he is still a puppy or not. You might want to crate him at night for awhile until he gets back into a routine of holding it all night.

I'm not a fan of free feeding. It will take a little while for the dog to understand that if he doesn't eat within the first 20 minutes he will not get fed again until later. I feed my dogs twice a day, once in the morning then again at night. A dog that is use to free feeding will turn up his nose to the food at first because he's use to eating when he wants. Once he realizes that's not happening he will eat when the food is in front of him. A healthy dog will NOT starve himself and may be stubborn at first but you have to be patient...and more stubborn. By giving him food at certain times of the day there is less of a chance for pooping accidents. You might also want to pick up the water dish a couple of hours before bedtime.
post #8 of 10
oh Tanya, this must be so frusterating....poor little Brody.... if only he could just say "hey ma! I gotta go!" life would be easier.....I would guess picking up his food in the evening may be a good idea....I know that's the kinda stuff you do when potty training toddlers.... We never had any bedwetting with Jazzy (our daughter)....we would stop food & drink after say 6:30-7pm. If she was dying of thirst, we'd give her a sip. And we always made sure that she had to try to go potty before bedtime....
post #9 of 10
Any updates? Is Brody still having accidents?
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Any updates? Is Brody still having accidents?
Thanks for asking, Tricia

Brody is doing great... He hasn't had an accident in the house for a couple of weeks now. Our schedule has been a little off the last 2 weeks though. We have both had so much time off work because of the holidays that we have been spending ALOT of time at home with him. Tomorrow we both return to work and our schedules will be returning to normal. I plan to come home at lunch time each day to let him out. I want to ease him back into his normal routine.
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