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Daisy's Mom
18th October 2006, 05:59 PM
Daisy is doing pretty well on house training in general, and overall, we've been impressed with her on that since the day we brought her home. She's not quite 6 months old. However, she still has this thing where, if she can, she'll sneak off and poop on the floor in the living room when we aren't watching her. It's very frustrating. She does go to the door and even rings her little bell to go out at times, but if no one is in the room with her, she'll do it happily in the house. Even if I've had her out 10 minutes before and waited and waited on her to do her business.

I know we've become more relaxed about the constant supervision in recent weeks, and that has allowed this problem to develop. But the problem is that she is uncontainable in our house, except in her crate or in a small room with a solid door, like a bathroom or laundry room. I guess I could pop her into the laundry room and put a gate up in the doorway. What a pain to do every single time I need to walk out of the room for 30 seconds! I hate to put her into the crate each and every time I leave the room, even if it's just for a few minutes. She is in the crate while we are at work, and she goes in there very cheerfully with treats, but I don't want her to start to feel imprisoned in there. We just say "In crate," and she goes bounding in there and sits and waits for the treat she knows is coming. I've been so thrilled with her on that.

We have a very open floor plan downstairs, where the doorway openings are like 15-20 feet across, but we've jury-rigged a gate system (3 multi-section pieces that we put behind various pieces of furniture. Hideous and inconvenient for everyone else in the house as that is, it worked for a while at keeping her in the kitchen/family room area. That was a big factor in helping her house training. But now, she's such a leaper that she just leaps directly up onto the arm of the chair the gate is next to, and jumps down on the other side of the gate! She can literally leap vertically almost 3 feet! I don't know what to do. Although she (fortunately) doesn't know it, she could jump right over the gate directly.

I know everyone says use an X-pen, but there is literally no uncarpeted place in our house that would accommodate such a thing unless it's right directly in front of the front door. The gates we have look bad enough to anyone coming into our house, I'd hate to add even more clutter to it all with an x-pen we have to walk around.

It's kind of getting me down. I love her, but this is way harder than I ever dreamed. I guess I'll have to go back to Stage 1 where if I don't have her immediately with me, I put her in the crate. Bringing her with me from room to room is not easy either, because she will grab anything that isn't nailed down to chew on or run off with. So we would have to puppy-proof every room in the house. When I go into the office, there are boxes of papers on the floor, she immediately grabs something out and runs off. If I put her on my lap, she jumps onto the desk and starts walking around grabbing things. So you really can't get anything done but keep pulling her away from various things. And, to make matters worse, sometimes even when I'm in the room with her watching TV, she'll leap over the gate and do her business without me noticing. I think she may be half jack rabbit!

Any advice? At what age are they truly trustworthy? I dream of the day when we can leave her out of the crate when we're gone, but that seems about a million years away right now. Or at least give her the run of the house when we are at home! Right now, I'd be happy if I could go work on the computer for 5 minutes and not have a pile of poop in the living room when I come back! This has happened every day for the past week.

Karlin
18th October 2006, 06:13 PM
Advice:

You are giving her too much freedom before she is ready. This is your answer to your problem :) :


she still has this thing where, if she can, she'll sneak off and poop on the floor in the living room when we aren't watching her. It's very frustrating. She does go to the door and even rings her little bell to go out at times, but if no one is in the room with her, she'll do it happily in the house. Even if I've had her out 10 minutes before and waited and waited on her to do her business.

Crucial bits highlighted!!! That's the problem in a nutshell.

There's no point at all where she should NOT be watched, or in another room where she can't be seen. If she's been scolded before for going when you've caught her, she has partly learned too that pooping in front of you is not what you like. So it makes sense to her to poop where you don't see her. (BTW don't scold her for something done that you didn't see, as that will only really confuse her).

You've just made the mistake we all have -- believed she was ready for way more responsibility on her own than she is. Housetraining takes time, patience and consistency. Do NOT allow her into any room unsupervised until you know that she is safe for housetraining in that room -- eg, she has not had a mistake in at least two months in that room.

Basically, she is simply way too young yet to be completely housetrained and every time she has gotten away with a poop has reinforced that she is allowed to go inside sometimes.

You need to back up, restrict her to a single room, and begin the process from scratch so you know she is under watch at all times and not allowed to run around in rooms where no one is or where you cannot reach her in a nanosecond and whisk her outside if she starts to go.

Also up her treat value for going outside to something she really loves. every single poop done outside gets a lovely treat of chicken, hotdog, liver, cheese, whatever it is that she is really crazy about. That treat is reserved ONLY for poops and she gets lavish, quiet praise when she goes too. Take her out on a lead if you need to verify she is going. Six months is very young just to let her out and guess that she has done her job.

If you don't own Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining, buy it. It was my housetraining bible and I referred back to it all the time for reassurance and advice.

You will get there but you need to let her have the time to learn in slow steps. Generally by 6 months most dogs will be having very few accidents if you've been very watchful. A really concentrated bit of working with her for the next 4 weeks should reverse the problem but you will need to be totally vigilant and focus on ONE room. In a month, introduce a second room. And so on.

Jaspar was 95% reliable by 6-7 months, and 99% reliable by one year. Very rarely there's an occasional accident and always my fault for not getting him out in time.

Lisa_T
18th October 2006, 06:14 PM
Holly wasn't truly reliable until she was a year old. Whilst never destructive (or part rabbit :) ) she could be a menace when I was trying to work on the laptop. In fact, the machine needed several keys replaced because she kept bouncing on them. I think six months is still young to expect her to be very reliable.

Even though Chloe has been great so far, I won't be leaving her unconfined until she's at least six months and possibly older. I think Holly was seven months- maybe older- before I was leaving her in the kitchen when I was out, and if I'm honest she would probably have been older- but she had the runs all over our makeshift crate setup, so it was actually easier to move herinto the kitchen permanently. By then Holly was totally reliable when I was out- but still accidents in the house. In fact, the week before Chloe came, Holly widdled in the house no fewer than three times- and for a couple of those times the back door was open! Thankfully, she's back to her normal trustworthiness now.

Patience. Patience, and more patience, I think. I don't know if it would work for you, but can you do something energetic with Daisy for a while, then crate her while you do something else, and so on? I know Chloe is three months younger, but I'm finding that system quite effective for her. Daisy is still a puppy- she needs lots of sleep, and truth is, if she's a wild little thing, no matter how much you love her you need times away from puppy madness too!

Cathy Moon
18th October 2006, 06:28 PM
Here are the freestanding pet gates we use in our house, which has an open floor plan and wide openings between rooms:
http://www.elitepetstore.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=2

People usually comment on how nice the gates look. Our gates are only 21 inches high (the new, taller gates were not available when we bought them), but India and Geordie have never jumped them. Chocky did at first when she used to get upset when we'd leave the house. She is very calm now, and has not jumped the gate in months! The pups seem to understand that we want them to stay in the kitchen, plus the kitchen floor has a smooth surface, so it is not conducive to jumping.

Also, for the first year of India and Geordie's life, we kept them in 36" tall x-pens in the kitchen when we were not supervising them. The kitchen at our old house was very small, so we removed the furniture from the breakfast nook and set the pens up in there.

Karlin
18th October 2006, 06:33 PM
Gosh those are nice! Just emailed that link to my mom. Do they ship flat-packed?

Cathy Moon
18th October 2006, 06:34 PM
Gosh those are nice! Just emailed that link to my mom. Do they ship flat-packed?

Yes, they do. They are really lovely, too.

Daisy's Mom
18th October 2006, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the advice. I will definitely try upping the ante somehow for the outside poops. She does poop outside most of the time, and we always give her her beloved liver treats. Maybe I'll try cheese or hotdogs. I've been trying to keep her off people food altogether, but maybe I should relax that rule for this situation. Sometimes I bring treats outside with me so I can reward her instantaneously, and sometimes I praise her lavishly outside and bring her right in and give them to her. However, if she sees me put one in my pocket before I take her out, she just goes nutso and won't even consider leaving my side long enough to poop. So I have to be sly about it.

I am well aware that the occasional lack of supervision is the problem, as I said in my original post. I'm just saying that I am getting tired of constantly staring at her and I wish I could trust her to some minimal degree at this point. It just seems like a long time coming, you know? And I do have a life to lead and things to do. I knew there were going to be setbacks and it wasn't going to be a walk in the park, but it just gets old when all the work we've done so far seems at times like it didn't do anything.

Those gates do look really nice, but we would have to buy 3 of them just to get them to cover one doorway! ($420 -- ouch!) Plus, we'd have to somehow place them far enough away from the furniture (but still up against the walls on the side) so that she wouldn't just do what she does now -- jump from the chair arm over the gates. I guess I didn't anticipate having to rearrange my entire house and give up all relaxation, other duties, and all non-dog-watching activities for a year to get her trained! :D


Oh well, this, too, shall pass. Hopefully 6 months from now, I'll look back at this and laugh. If it's not better by then, I'll be posting from the insane asylum. (Do you think they'd let me bring Daisy with me?)

Cathy T
18th October 2006, 08:04 PM
Cathy - those gates are beautiful. But I also have the same problem in that the area I need to gate off is very very wide. We do have a puppy gate there that works...although not nearly as pretty as that. We are thinking about having something permanent put there. We close it every day and it might as well be part of the decor at this point!

One thing I did since I also have an open floor plan was to keep each on a lead until they were reliable. I'd put the lead on Jake and attach it to the doorknob, or the bottom of my chair, wherever so that he couldn't get more than a couple of feet away from me. He wasn't wild about it at first...tried to chew his way to freedom. But eventually caught on that that was the way it was going to be. This way he couldn't escape to another room to do his business. I also used an x-pen...a lot!! Yes, it was inconvenient but I knew it was a temporary thing.

When Shelby had her knee surgery we had an x-pen set up smack dab in the middle of the family room...talka bout an eye sore and inconvenient. But, again, I knew it was temporary.

Hang in there!

arasara
18th October 2006, 08:18 PM
Hello Daisy's mom,

What kind of schedule have you gotten Daisy on? The reason I ask is because when Kosmo was little he used to poop 4 times a day. When he got to be about 5 months he went 3 times, and when he turned about 7 months, now he goes twice. He gets his food at the same time every day, and has his poops at the same time every day. It's been very rewarding to keep a schedule with him as I know when he will have to go. Occasionally he will skip a poop, but he's usually right on target.

About the cookie thing, when I take Kos out if he sees I have cookies (I use them for recall and wait now instead of potty training) he will go crazy too and I will say "go potty for cookie" and he merrily runs around in circles until I get a squat, then he RUNS as fast as he can to the door, because he knows what's coming up.

Good luck with Daisy and pooping. As the others have said I never really let Kos out of my site when he was little. I did catch him pooping in the house but it only took twice of taking him outside in the middle of his duties for him to say enough of that and just go out. At first when he went I would pick him up and tell him how much of a good boy he was and give him tummy kisses - anything I could think of and he quickly caught on.

Good luck and let us know how it goes! :flwr:

GudrunTheRed
18th October 2006, 08:43 PM
I know everyone says use an X-pen, but there is literally no uncarpeted place in our house that would accommodate such a thing unless it's right directly in front of the front door. The gates we have look bad enough to anyone coming into our house, I'd hate to add even more clutter to it all with an x-pen we have to walk around.

Put a heavy vinyl shower curtain under the X-Pen to protect the floor and then put some old towels and a bed down for comfort. I have carpeting and the vinyl under the pen worked perfect for us.

Daisy's Mom
18th October 2006, 08:47 PM
She seemed to be going pretty steadily at 2 times a day for the past month or so, but lately it's been 3 times. The poops are not too soft or too hard. I know in the morning when we first go out, if she doesn't poop then, I watch her like a hawk because I know it's coming. Then she usually goes again some time in the evening. I always feel so relieved after she does it outside because I think "Whoo, now I don't have to worry about her doing it inside." But lately, she somehow "saves some up" or has extra or something because she leaves us our gift in the living room when no one is watching.

I think part of it is that we do not have a fence and we take her out on a leash. She really prefers to go out unfettered, but she's a runner, so we just can't do that. At first, we could go out with her and trust her to stay close, but no more. So I think she kind of resents being put on the leash to do her business. I want to get a fence put up, and I guess I'll have to, but we got an estimate, and it was $8,000!!!!! Yikes! I've been putting it off, but I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and do it. We have really tight restrictions on fences in my neighborhood, too, both in terms of types of fence and offsets from the lot lines, so it kind of chops up our backyard where we have to put it, but I guess we'll do it.

Oh well, kids, sorry, you'll have to take out student loans when you go to college in 10 years, but Daisy will have a safe place to poop! icon_whistling

arasara
18th October 2006, 09:07 PM
Oh well, kids, sorry, you'll have to take out student loans when you go to college in 10 years, but Daisy will have a safe place to poop! icon_whistling

LOL that's too funny.. .. Sounds like something my parents would have said to me.

You must have a huge back yard.. 8 grand is crazy!

I also forgot to mention that I find Kosmo doesn't poop really unless his bowels have been stimulated. If he "saved some" he will get it out by the time we are back home. I've never ever let him go potty out of my site (rarely off leash either) since I've had him because I like to know when he's gone. Come to think of it, he might be scared to go without me there some day! lol I've just always been there.. I do know the "oh wow.. he's done it" relief very well though.

Do you just walk her in the yard or do you actually walk her when she goes poop? I know it helped for me to actually be walking. Kos usually goes after we've been walking for about 15 minutes. Good luck! :flwr:

Daisy's Mom
18th October 2006, 09:41 PM
It's funny, but Daisy has never pooped on an actual walk around the neighborhood, only in our own yard. Maybe she's too polite? :D

She walks around the yard in a zig zaggy pattern before she goes, unless she has to go really bad and then it's just run and go. I know I have just trusted her too much, too soon to tell us when she has to go out. We'll just have to take 2 steps back to what we were doing before this problem started up.

laurenlyn1
19th October 2006, 12:00 AM
I just had the same problem. Brady is almsot 6 months, and today i let him eat his breakfast while I was getting ready for work, and I thought to myself, alright where is he, because he is always by me and will come towards me when he's done eatting. So I looked downstairs and he wasn't done eatting yet. A few more minutes passes and I see a nice pile on the carpet along with him licking it off the floor. He probably got to eatting at least half of it by the time i could stop him. I was like he knew he did something bad so he had to clean up after himself or something. That is just nasty to eat that. :grnyuk: :yuk: He seems to be alright, but I will be keeping a closer eye on him for a while until I can trust him again.

Moviedust
19th October 2006, 01:07 AM
I know it is frustrating. This life-rearranging aspect is why a lot of people choose to get older dogs rather than puppies! It is a great deal of work. The puppy DOES require a rearranging of life and home. No doubt about it!

We have an open plan home, too. Since we added Willow to our home, we have returned to using the xpen when we are not home. Both Cedar and Willow go into the xpen like you describe Daisy going into her crate, but it gives them extra room. Plus they can be together and play a bit.

We generally leave our xpen up during the regular day so it is convenient, but when people come over, we fold it up and set it aside. Most people never even know it's there.

We also have a room that has a 7 ft opening that is separate from the main open plan. When Cedar was about Daisy's age, she had access to the main floor EXCEPT for this one room. It is carpeted (rest of house isnt) and it was out of sight. So of course when she wanted to poo inside, this room was her destination.

To limit her access to the main floor but NOT this room, we used two chairs and a fitted bedsheet to block it off. We spread the bedsheet taunt between the two chairs (the seat part was on the inside of the room, so Cedar couldnt jump up and over). It was easy to unhook or step over for people, but it was still effective keeping Cedar out. Plus, you can pick a sheet that you feel is more visually appealing (and you can always remove it when someone comes over, etc.).

Keep up the effort. 6 months is the time when the pups start to test you. They are like 14 year old kids--they think they are ready for more independence and give signs of being ready, but most parents know they are still too young to be completely autonomous.

Good luck!

Cathy Moon
19th October 2006, 03:08 AM
Thanks for the advice. I will definitely try upping the ante somehow for the outside poops. She does poop outside most of the time, and we always give her her beloved liver treats. Maybe I'll try cheese or hotdogs. I've been trying to keep her off people food altogether, but maybe I should relax that rule for this situation. Sometimes I bring treats outside with me so I can reward her instantaneously, and sometimes I praise her lavishly outside and bring her right in and give them to her. However, if she sees me put one in my pocket before I take her out, she just goes nutso and won't even consider leaving my side long enough to poop. So I have to be sly about it.


If you treat her outside when she poops, she will make the poop outdoors/treat connection. :lol: If you take her in the house and treat her, she will think she's being treated for coming indoors.

judy
19th October 2006, 08:25 AM
...I did catch him pooping in the house but it only took twice of taking him outside in the middle of his duties for him to say enough of that and just go out. At first when he went I would pick him up and tell him how much of a good boy he was and give him tummy kisses - anything I could think of and he quickly caught on....

Being able to catch them in the act is the gold standard in correcting unwanted behavior, not always easy to do, but close supervision helps. If caught in the act, and shown what is expected (not scolded), they can learn much faster than if shown what is expected after the fact. They are not great at abstract thinking. :roll:

You have my sympathy for your barrier problem. I had Zack in an X pen in the kitchen, with his crate, blankets and toys inside the Xpen, it was 36 inches tall, and the kitchen table which hung over the crate and part of the X pen was 30" talll. Zack accepted this arrangement until one day we had a guest dog spend the night, and that apparently changed the equation and i dont' know if he was showing off for her, or trying to escape from her, or something else, but that night, he jumped out. I didn't see him, but later, he was in the pen and he did it right in front of me, he went straight up more than 30 inches to land right on the kitchen table. Pretty impressive, really. Quite the athlete. From the table, he could jump up on a shelf and then make it to freedom. He went back to not trying to escape after that phase, but to make sure, i found (with some difficulty) 48 inch high gates. Most of them are 36 inches or less, and those are not tall enough for Zack. The ones i got are made by Evenflo, but they aren't free standing.

You might be able to find someone to make you some inexpensive freestanding gates that are taller than she can jump, but of course, they can't be next to furniture. If you can't avoid that situation, then you need to do something like crating when not supervised or what Cathy T did.

Zack now (at one year old) has the run of the house all the time, but it was a gradual process. I think i could've trusted him more sooner but i wanted to err on the side of caution and be conservative. So, there weren't many opportunities for 'failure,' whether chewing or housetraining issues. Housetraining has really been mastered months ago, with one pee about a month and a half ago because i waited too long to let him out. I needed a little training there and he gave it to me. :sl*p:

There's still an occasional chew, once a month or so, again, part of my training, him showing me what sort of thing not to leave out when i leave.

I totally agree with the idea of exercise being something that makes all behavior management easier. If they have a lot of energy to burn, naturally they will tend to get into mischief. They don't mean to. They just have all that energy. I don't always find it easy to do this, but i believe in it, even though i don't always live up to doing it adequately, what with the work schedule and everything.

Maybe you can give Daisy a well supervised small area of the house and when she succeeds in just that area, give her some more freedom in the house, but still keep an eye on her (boy do i know what it feels like to drag myself out of my chair, or to reluctantly interrupt something i'm doing on the internet, etc, to go see what Zack is doing), and if she makes mistakes when she's not supervised for brief moments, tighten up her structure again. Give her just small gradual increases in freedom to see if she's ready, and if she's not, hang in there and keep an eye on her. I know it's wearisome at times. When she gets a sense that she's being watched over all the time, she will internalize your expectations.

I started leaving Zack alone free in the apartment for 10 minutes, and gradually increased it over time until he was free for 4 hours while i was at work. I can't remember now when i started doing it, probably when he was about 8 months because i remember leaving him in the kitchen when i went to work when he had just been neutered at 7 months.

Keep the faith. She'll mature. She is training you in what she needs from you in order for you to train her. :)