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Thread: Is this adolecence?

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  1. #1
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    Default Is this adolecence?

    Okay, so in the last week (about 5 days) Brooklyn has just done a 180 with just about everything. First, she refuses to go to the bathroom when we take her outside (we have a courtyard with dirt in the back which she has happily gone on right when we go outside and I say "potty" for the past 7 months), so we spend SO much time going back and forth and her just looking at us, not going. Even when I know she has to go (i.e. has refused to go for 5+ hours) she won't, then she comes inside and will pee by the back door! Or, last night, she last went to the bathroom at 4, and it was finally midnight when my husband had to stop trying...it was raining, late and we had to get up at 6 am....and she just refused to go (at that point I knew she had to go, but she wouldnt). Then she came inside and went in her crate (huh?!). Yeah, her crate! This is VERY strange behavior by the way, we have had a perfect routine going for months now, she knows when it is time to go to bed, lights go down, we take her out, within 5 minutes we get a pee and poo and when we open the door she takes herself to her crate, gets a treat and plonks down for her sleep happy as a clam. But the last few nights, she just won't go to the bathroom...and I know she has to go. And last night going in her crate was so strange, she has never ever done this (she is 9 months now).

    On top of that, she is just resistant to going when we take her out back and it is driving me bonkers. I don't have all day to stand there and take her in and out and in and out. And, she never used to do this in the whole 9 months we have had her (even as a new puppy, she was brilliant). Also, she has started to just go to the bathroom on the concrete vs. the dirt (which she has gone on for her whole life). We have tried attaching a leash, doing the 15 minutes then inside again routine just like when she was little, but to no avail. It is so confusing. She will be standing on the dirt forever, not go, but then walk inside and go. Also the going on the concrete deck is a band new behavior, she always went straight to the dirt before.

    So I am confused. Is this adolescence? Is this misbehaving? Is there something I can do? Is there something I am doing wrong? Help!

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    Oh, and also to note...the weather has not been very nice here (rain), but even though I know she doesnt like it, she has never been this extreme in her response to something like rain.

    And one other thing, today when I left her for an hour, I popped her behind the baby gate like normal with a Kong, and when I walked away, she whined and barked. I know this is normal for some puppies, but she has never done this since she was 2-3 months old. Just noting it because that is another off behavior for her. She usually never makes a peep, just eats her kong and lays down happy as ever.

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    Ha, okay...one more thing in case this helps...

    ...she will go to the bathroom in the grass across the street if we walk her over there, almost every time. It is something to do with our house and the routine. Like I just went out back and stood with her for 30 minutes (again, knowing she hadnt gone for 5 hours). I have to leave for an appointment and wanting to pull my hair out, I just got her leash on, and my shoes and walked across the street and...bam, she went. So, if she had to go so bad, why is she avoiding our backyard when that is where she has been going for 9 months?

    Argh, as you can tell, I am pretty frustrated.

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    A lot of it sounds like adolescence. When Coco and I were doing the canine good citizen training, she was always so good at supervised separation. As she has gotten older (now 11 months old) she has started whining again when alone. Coco also had been great as a younger pup, but now she just is a little whiner!

    As far as the potty thing, check for a UTI. I thought my dog was just dumb or I was doing everything wrong and I would never house break her, turns out she had an infection and I felt so bad!

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    Thank Alisha...what are the signs of UTI? I mean, she does go (just not in our backyard) and the reason why she goes inside these times is because she is holding it for SO long (not for us not taking her out) but she just won't go outside, and even when I have her out there for ages, she won't go, then comes inside and like last night, went in her crate. So bizarre and strange behavior for her. And then just the choosing to not go on the dirt anymore (going on the cement instead or not at all) just had me so confused. She was so brilliant and it's like the light switch went off last weekend and I am not sure I can keep going in and out in and out in and out with no bathroom and still stay sane

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    Check for UTI, there can also abnormal ureters (funny angles, extra ones). My suspicion is that there is a medical problem of some sort. Adolescent behavior is testing boundaries (that devilish 'what if I do this!?' look), not soiling herself.

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    Agree, get her in to check for a UTI first. A common place for dogs with UTIs to choose to wee is somewhere soft like beds, carpets, grass...

    Adolescent behaviour isn't really 'misbehaviour' in any human sense, it is just hormones making them a lot more distracted and disinterested and forgetful (remember your teen years? Limits are tested for a range of reasons, but it isn't as if she is plotting how to be disruptive and difficult and to her, a place to pee is a place to pee). Again, Ian Dunbar is really good on this and there's lots in his book that I always recommend as well as on www.dogstardaily.com.

    Dogs also need regular positive reinforcement. Adolescence is a good time to make sure you are using high reward treats some of the time to reinforce the highly desired behaviour. I'd be using them *every time* for a dog that is forgetting where you want her to go. One thing she may be piking up is that if she doesn;t go, you pay lots and lots of attention to her trying to get her to go. It is really important for you not to be talking to her, encouraging her, looking at her or in *any way* making the association for her that she is successfully training you to give her attention simply for not peeing. This is the very same kind of behaviour as dogs that refuse to eat because they get owner attention. She is at the age and smart enough to have perhaps discovered this interesting connection where all she has to do is wait to pee inside or some other place to have you making her the centre of attention. It is very easy for owners to accidentally reinforce just the behaviour they do not want in this way, and grow increasingly frustrated by the dog's 'misbehaviour' when really the dog is very smart and simply training the owner! The dog gets blamed when it is the owner unintentionally 'training' exactly the behaviour they do not want and reinforcing it.

    BTW most dogs tend to prefer grass to dirt or pavement, especially females. Doesn't mean you have to use grass but there always seems to be a preference.

    If you do not want her to go on the pavement then be sure to introduce some management (eg block her from going there at least for a while, so she doesn't make mistakes) and also keep her on a lead and don't leave her to go in and out on her own with no one watching-- she really is actually very young to be reliably housetrained anyway or to reliably pick the same place to go, so in general it wouldn't be surprising she is making her own random choices if she is being left free rein to decide for herself, without supervision, where she gets to pee. She needs active engagement with you each time she goes out. But I do think there's likely more going on here than just a training or adolescence issue.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Thanks everyone and thanks Karlin for some additional thoughts to think about. I will pop her by the vet just to make sure today. I don't really have a feeling that it is medical as she is not "soiling" herself per say, it is just the issue with going in the back yard (so, if I took her to the grass across the street she goes in two seconds every time). So she won't go out back, and eventually goes inside because, well, the poor thing has to go! But yeah, any change in behavior is worth a trip to the vet, so off I go!

    I guess why I was so curious, is that she has always gone on the dirt in the backyard right away for her whole life, its just in the last week that she has done a 180 and seems really resistant to going out in the backyard. She has known the word "potty" for a while now, but when I say it in the past week, she just looks a men and then runs for a stick of to chew on something...that is why I thought it might be adolescence, testing me. But I never leave her unattended out there, I am always with her, and since this started we do use a leash. So she is not just given free reign and does have my full engagement when we are out. I will try to be less vocal/interactive too.

    It just gets really frustrating, why she decided to stop using the backyard. Like this morning I took her out back, and nothing (though after not going since 9 last night, I know she does have to go). Finally I had to leave the house so I just had to take her across the street and bam, instant poo and pee! So frustrating because we live on the top of a stacked duplex so there are lots of stairs going up and down and I dont mind taking her out front when we are going for a walk or to the park or for a good play outside, but I don't want to have to do it every time when we have a back yard right there for the quick potty breaks.

    I called our trainer too, and she gave me some good advice as well. I will rule out medical, and then move forward with the behavioral.

    Thanks guys!

  9. #9
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    Oh, my, how I feel for you! I just cleaned up a pile & a puddle (soaked into the carpet) an hour ago. It was probably my own fault because company dropped by and threw me off my own schedule and I just didn't notice how long it had been since Bentley was taken out. He hadn't done this for over 2 weeks. Before that it had been at least a month since he had pottied on the carpet. I was so happy and relaxed then, bam! it started again and lasted 4-5 days. I hope what he did this evening was a fluke. It's so horribly hot here in Missouri right now, nearing 100 degrees day in & day out and very dry, that it's very hard to take him outside when he just sniffs, pulls on the leash, tries to chase the cats, and all around drives me nuts. He has a very large dog pen outside but, just like his cage inside, he won't use it to potty! It's as big as the backyard in many city homes, so he shouldn't feel like he's "soiling his den." Who knows what they're thinking?

  10. #10
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    We have 4 dogs-- 2 female Cavaliers, 1 male Cavalier, and my new husband has a Bulldog. I find that the girls are so much harder than the boys when it comes to pottying. The boys go out, do their business, and that's that. the girls want to sniff around, lay down and lounge, investigate... and on and on. It drives me cuckoo!! And both girls are 4 years old. My parents have a male and female Cavalier and they find the same thing. Their male potties immediately, whereas the girl has her own agenda before pottying!

    One of my girls is doing almost the same thing as your Brooklyn-- I take her out in the back and she sniffs around, lays down, etc etc and won't pee!! I guess, even though she is 4, I need to go back to basics. If I take her on a leash in the front, she goes immediately, but when I let them out in the fenced backyard, she has started this crazy routine and won't potty.

    Good luck!
    Holly, Oliver, Rosalita, and Scarlett

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