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Thread: Pooping on carpet - it's getting very frustrating!!

  1. #1
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    Default Pooping on carpet - it's getting very frustrating!!

    Our 10 month old Cavalier keeps pooping on the carpet, he only does it down stairs in the basement, he's pretty much house broken, but he does this a couple times a week. We take him out side often, so it's not like he just can't hold it anymore. When he does it we tell him "no" and he knows he's done something wrong, but it doesn't seem to set in. My wife and I have just about had enough, don't know how much more of this we can take. Also, our house smells like pee in some areas, but I haven't found any wet spots on the carpets. Any advise?

    Thanks,
    Seanboy

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    you have my sympathy, it's such a helpless feeling when this happens.
    Here is a highly recommended book
    Shirlee Kalstone's How to Housebreak Your Dog in Seven Days
    CLICK
    It addresses training an older dog and relapsing dogs.

    I think you should get a black light and in the dark, take the light and move it around your carpet , pee will show up as bright spots. Then try drenching the rug in those areas with an enzyme pet mess cleaner such as Natures Miracle, follow the directions. As long as there is pee smell in your house, your dog will be getting the message that inside the house is a legitimate place to eliminate, even though you scold him each time. The smell of pee is like a mixed message to the dog, "yes it's ok to pee in here," even as he is told not to do it.

    Getting the smell out should be high urgent priority as otherwise the dog will keep going in the house, pee or poo, the smell says "do it here." Once the smell is removed, he will probably get used to going only outside. You will probably need to use a crate for a while. He can learn what you expect of him.


    [edit: fixed link]

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    Do you have a toilet routine and do you stick to it? do you reward after he has been? do you pop him out after waking, after feeding, after playing. Has something perhaps worried him outside so that he is fearful of going there? can you keep him out of the basement unless one of you is with him?

    At ten months alot is changing for him, he is now an adolescent with hormones etc now playing a part as well, perhaps some of this is also scent marking? is he a whole dog, is he an only dog?

    I hope you can sort something out, go back to the very basics and try again.

    Alison.

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    I'd buy the book above and restart housetraining from the beginning. As he is mostly housetrained this will be pretty easy -- but what has probably happened is that early on, he was allowed more freedom than his actual level of housetraining warranted. EG you probably thought he was better housetrained than he was and thus did not keep an eye on him at all times, 100% of the time, whether by having him on your lap, tethered to you on a lead, under your eye within arm's reach, or crated (or asleep). If he is going inside a couple of times a week this dog isn't yet housebroken so you will really need to be vigilant and go at this problem carefully. Generally a pup must be watched with this high level of vigilence until around 6-7 months of age and sometimes longer and even then pups only learn VERY slowly, on a room by room basis, that a given room is part of their no-wee/poop area. So others rooms should have been kept off limits til you were 100% certain he was fully housetrained for a room. Just because he was housetrained in say the kitchen doesn;t mean the rest of the house -- it will be a couple of months before you can housetrain a whole house (and still expect the occasional accident for a while).

    In general most pups need to be about 12 months before they are ever allowed to roam the house in rooms where you are not watching them otherwise they will (and I mean, WILL!) be going -- small wees that are not easy to see, and sometimes poops, the former in particular that you are unlikely to catch. This is why your house probably smells faintly of wee -- he has indeed been weeing inside and probably for months now. He has also found someplace he has housetrained himself to poop (basement) -- and the scent remains there for him to draw him back as the 'right' place unless you clean with special cleaners as noted above.

    The obvious question is: how is it that he is allowed into the basement and is able to poop there without anyone knowing? This is the crux of the problem for you and I think the answer to why you are having the problem -- he is still being given too much freedom in the house if he is doing this and he shouldn't have the chance to keep reinforcing his own 'chosen spots' by the fact that no human has been there at the time to get him outside.

    This isn't blaming you for anything as we have all been there -- especially with a small dog, it is easy to *think* the dog is housetrained, especially for first time dog owners or owners who had an especially easy dog to train in the past. This is the *number one mistake* dog owners make in housetraining -- thinking that because the dog hasn't had an accident in a week or two weeks, it is now housetrained and can be left to wander the house.

    But a dog can only learn what we are there to teach. It makes NO sense to the dog that it isn;t allowed to wee and poop in house, which is no different to it than the area outside its whelping box as a tiny puppy. The only way it learns is in small and conistent incerements, where the pup is never allowed the opportunity to make a mistake and praised and rewarded for going where we want. Note this is totally different from PUNISHING a dog for what WE perceive as a mistake. Punishing a dog during housetraining is totally counterproductive as it will just associate the punishment with 1) going when you are around or 2) going in that place. Hence scolding, slapping, putting the dog's nose in it, etc, just pushes the dog to go in secret in other rooms which it thinks must be the *right* thing to do. I don't know if this might have anything to do with his stealth wees and poops but think back over how you've tried to housetrain and whether maybe he got some wrong messages by mistake. We tend to think in human logic not dog logic -- we assume the dog can reason when it can't. It's not like talking to a small child. Related to this: saying NO after the fact is just totally confusing to him -- he has no idea why you are saying no and the 'guilty'look is not guilt but a mix of fear and uncerrtainty *because* he knows you are angry and cannot understand why. The only time you should ever say NO in housetraining is if you catch him actually *in the act* -- then quickly say no, scoop him up and carry him outside to finish, then praise and praise once he finishes outside where you want him to. Successful and swift housetraining is based on praise and reward for doing right, eg motivation -- not punishment -- eg fear. I am sure you are far more likely to work hard for your employer when offered the reward of a boonus rather than the punishment of docked pay for not meeting target. Exactly the same with a dog. And we all learn better when motivated positively rather than threatened.

    Do get the Kalstone book, which will be big help for you; it explains how to manage just this situation and gives all sorts of schedules and guuidance; and start from square one. Shut the doors in the house to limit his access to all rooms you cannot watch (especially the room where he is pooping! Simply blocking access is one of the best things you can do to get over that particular problem!). Keep him by you at all times or crate him when you can't to make sure he cannot go anywhere else. Thoroughly clean the basement area and consider that you may need to take up the carpet.

    If you are very consident you will probably resolve 90% of this problem within about 2-3 weeks -- but I'd keep the basement and other rooms off limits unless you are there with him. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Very good advice that alot of us can learn from ....thanks Karlin

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    Jake had developed a lovely little habit of going and pooping in the living room. That was a room we rarely used. So, I gated off that room for several months and cleaned the carpet really well. No more problems.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    hi

    that's great advice from karlin and the others----follow it carefully!

    indy started to do the same thing at about 10 months and we have had to start crate training again. yes---be sure that your dog is never ever uncrated without supervision. they are speedy little devils----indy has been known to sneak out and pee while i'm in the bathroom!

    cleaning the house with the right kind of pet cleaner is key!!! we've been doing a lot better since scouring the place because they find the strangest places to make tiny droplets that you could never find

    good luck!
    k
    Mom of Indiana Jones 'Indy' (Ruby male)

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    I got my puppy Charlie 12 days ago. He is an absolute blessing. Anyhow, Charlie has only had one accident in the house, and it was our fault for not realizing he needed to poop, after we just brought him in from his pee. He is being crate trained, and he always goes outside when we bring him out...even if it is just a little wee. After reading this post, I wonder if he is actually having a little wee here and there without us noticing? Although he is always in our sight, I have noticed the 'peeing' motion, but would swear that he didn't go. Something I will now keep a closer eye on. I might try to find a black light...

    Thanks for all the informative info!!! This has been such a big help for a new Cavy owner.

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    Don't feel bad, my Bentley is a year and a half and he still sneaks off to pee in the house, and poo as well. I blame it on myself though, I guess I just haven't been as diligent as I should have been. And when I was working full-time I really should have gated off one room for the dogs, but living in an apartment with a very open floor plan made that hard to do. Nature's Miracle has been a life-saver though! And now that I am not working right now, I am trying to re-train the little stinker. Hang in there, it will get better!
    ~Renee, Bentley & Bailey & Maddie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy T
    Jake had developed a lovely little habit of going and pooping in the living room. That was a room we rarely used. So, I gated off that room for several months and cleaned the carpet really well. No more problems.
    We had a similar experience with Chocolate. One year ago when she joined our family, she quickly noticed that we don't use our dining room. So I'd find pee spots on the carpeting in there. I cleaned the carpet and gated the room off. I'm amazed at how smart these cavs are!!
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

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