View Full Version : Meenah constantly wanting to go out.

20th May 2008, 08:21 PM
I had read that Cavaliers prefer to be near people and expected that my almost 6 month old Meenah would want to hang around with me, at least in the same room as me, while I work from home at my computer. She used to nap in the dog bed next to me as I worked and I'd take her out every couple of hours to go potty and then play for a few minutes. Also, we go to the bus stop in the morning and afternoon, plus a walk around noontime. She has been going to the door when she wants to go out, which is great and I do want to encourage that. This is her way of "asking" to go potty. But lately, she keeps asking to go out repeatedly, and not to pee. She just wants to play, which is fine. But the annoying thing is, she will come back to the door as if wanting to be let in and when I open the door, she just looks at me and then walks away a little and looks at me again, as if to ask me to come out and play too! As much as I'd like to, I have to work!

I have been getting so annoyed at her constantly going to the door to go out and play, then right back to the door to get me to join her, that I've been crating her when it gets too much. I wish she'd just play in the study or settle down in her bed. On the other hand, I feel like if she is going to the door I should let her out because I want to encourage her to do this for pottying.

Is this normal behavior for a Cavalier? Please forgive my ignorance as this is my first dog ever!

Mom of Jato
20th May 2008, 08:32 PM
Jato is doing the same thing, and he is almost 6 months old too. He is trained to go to the door when he needs to go potty, but he LOVES to be outside in the fenced yard and play- so I never know which it is that he wants. He thinks it's great fun to grab a wood chip from one of the flower beds, and then just run all around the yard with it. I NEVER leave him outside alone- I just walk around the yard and laugh at him playing. When I need to get some work done, I take him inside and crate him for a few hours- he then is tired and takes a big nap.

20th May 2008, 10:38 PM
You could also make a point of not always playing with her when you take her out. We do this with Holly. We make it random.. sometimes she's out to pee and play, other times we dont play. That way she only asks out when she needs to go to the toilet.

On the other hand, you could keep it structured... only play at a certain time, for a certain length of time, and thats it... all other walks are toilet visits.

Also bear in mind that she has trained you, rather than the other way about. Everytime she goes to the door, you let her out. It is a tricky one as you dont want her to stop letting you know she needs, but most of the time you should probably be able to judge whether or not it is likely that she actually needs the toilet, or if she's just pulling your leg! :rolleyes:;)

20th May 2008, 11:15 PM
Tucker, my 13 week old pup, also does this. He's discovered how fun it is to chase sticks and play with the other dogs outside. We have a doggy door, although I keep it closed when I need to get something done and can't go chasing him outside every five minutes. When its closed, he will jump and scratch and whine at the door, even if he doesn't have to go out. I've learned that if I grab a toy when he does this and play with him for a minute, he will usually give up and just play with the toy if he only wanted to go out to run around and if he really needs to go out to go to the bathroom, he will be right back at the door again after a minute. So that's what I've been doing when I've already taken him out 13 times in the past two hours and can't tell if he really needs to go out or not. Works for him because he's so young and easily distracted.

20th May 2008, 11:15 PM
Ashley has good points there. :thmbsup:

Also: while cavaliers do like to be close to you, that doesn't mean they just want to be close and sleep in a basket -- close tends to mean close interaction, and they will really want some activity too, especially puppies between 5-12 months and young adults.

How old is she? If she is just a puppy, she will want to do a lot more now that just sleep -- they sleep a lot when very young but an older puppy and young dog is very active with an active mind, busy developing coordination and muscles and brainpower -- she needs something to do. What do you have for her to do while inside? Toys? Kongs? Do you do a little fun basic obedience with her and work her brain a few times a day? (which will also tire her out).

An adult dog easily needs about an hour of real activity daily to be sufficiently exercised and be willing to just poop out. A relaxing walk, or a few of them thru the day, isn't really going to do much in terms of tiring out a dog -- think of walking a toddler to the corner and back and hoping they'll just nap all day (we wish! :)). I have walked mine 5 miles and they were still as energetic at the end -- though they sleep well after! :lol: NB: Puppies should not be walked long distances at all but a good stretch of continuous play, not little bursts, will help really exercise them).

Crating wouldn't be my choice of management, for a lot of reasons (I don't crate them in the house when I am out, either; I confine them to a room of their own) -- especially with a young dog or puppy, I think it just shuts down all that needed puppy activity, like locking a small child into a small room. Maybe consider at least a puppy pen with a stuffed kong and fun toys inside?

21st May 2008, 09:56 AM
Sounds like she needs a doggy door so she can come & go as she pleases :p My little fellows spend the day running in and outside and I'd go nuts without that door.

21st May 2008, 02:10 PM
Thanks for the replies and suggestions!

Mom of Jato, that's pretty much what I've been doing too - crating Meenah for a couple of hours in the AM and again in the afternoon. I do let her play outside on her own when she really wants to stay out there, but not more than half an hour. Our yard is completely fenced in and I keep glancing out the window to check on her. She has a great time running back and forth and sniffing around. She has toys out there too. She doesn't necessarily want to be played with but wants the company. On the days my husband is home, he'll simply sit on the deck and read and she is happy as a clam. When my kids get home from school, they play with her outside but after a few minutes she wants to do her own thing and just wants their company.

Ashley, good points. She knows that if she stands in front of the door, I'll let her out. Not all of our potty outings have been followed by playtime. First thing in the morning, she wants to potty then come right in for snuggles. Her evening potty and last potty of the night are just quick outings. But the ones during the daytime we've always followed with a few minutes of play. I had read and been told that you are supposed to let them play after pottying because if you go right back inside, they'll start holding their pee in order to stay out longer and will have accidents inside the house. But your points are well taken and I will try to judge whether or not she really has to go, like if she's peed less than an hour ago.

ChristyB, that's a great idea about trying to distract with a toy. I will give that a try too.

Karlin, thanks for the clarifications. Meenah will be 6 months old on May 29. The breeder had told us that she will be very mellow like her mother, and we did notice that she is not as active as other puppies. Nevertheless, we've always engaged her in play outside and taken her for walks even if she doesn't want to go! As a matter of fact, yesterday when it was time to go for our noontime walk, she saw me putting on my sneakers and she turned around and layed down in her bed! Wouldn't even come to me when I called her! I had to go put the leash on her and then coax her out of bed! She has toys in each room that we spend the most time in - rubber chewing toys, kongs, sheepskin toys with squeekers, nylabones, balls. I take her to the busstop, which is almost a quarter mile each way, in the morning and afternoon. We do two or three training sessions every day, lasting 10 to 15 minutes each. We take daily noontime walks that have been 1 - 2 miles (building her up to my daily 4 mile walks), varying the routes we take. These are not strolls! These are brisk walks at an exercise pace. We play in the backyard with balls and frisbees. When I can take her in the car somewhere, we do that too so she can experience new people and places. I work fulltime and have three kids, but I give her as much attention and interaction as I can. Regarding the crating, I have tried putting Meenah in an ex-pen with a bowl of water and some toys. Her crate is actually inside it. But what she'll do is just curl up inside her crate! At this stage of the game, I feel that if I confine her to a whole room and not be there to watch her, she'll have an accident. It has been almost 5 weeks since she's had an accident but she is still young.

Caraline, thanks for the idea of a doggy door. We were thinking about it for when she is an adult. But would that work for a dog this young?

Overall, it sounds like Meenah isn't unusual. She is trying to talk to me in the only way she knows how - by body language and her actions. She wants to be outside a lot and wants me to be with her. I have to figure out how to communicate to her that I can't provide her with outdoor companionship as much as she wants me to. I'll try distracting with toys, not letting her out every single time she asks, confining her to the room her crate is in for short periods (so she doesn't have an accident), eventually a doggy door.