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Thread: I think I know the answer to this, but I'll ask anyways

  1. #1
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    I think I know the answer to this, but I'll ask anyways

    Subject: Rocky, a ten y/o lab mix

    Problem: After years of being house broken, he is lapsing and defecating indoors. This started last summer - it wa a very rare thing, but has become increasingly worse.

    I know the answer is crate training, but I was wondering if anyone has other insight. He can hold it overnight when we're sleeping, but if I leave the house during the day for what is getting to be any length of time, I come home to a mess. Today I was gone from 2:30 to 7 PM, and he couldn't hold it. 4 1/2 hours. Yesterday I left for about 3 hours he couldn't hold it. Yet he does fine overnight.

    He has been checked by the vet and she sees no reason why he can't hold it, she did reccommend we switch him to a senior food, we're trying that now.

    I am ususally home all the time, and I am here to let the dogs in and out when they please - I just can't leave Rocky alone, I think he panics when I am gone. Even if I let him out for 15-20 minutes before I plan to leave, he will go in the house.

    He is my SOs dog, and was not originally house trained by the crate method, my SO would leave the dogs in the basement - that is another choice avalable to me, the basement is finished but not carpeted. That wouldn't really be training him though - it would just be easier to clean up.

    I am at my wit's end. I don't know how this particular dog would adapt to crate training, I have used it with my dog Bandit and it worked wonders on him for house training, but Rocky is insecure and shy.

  2. #2
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    I want to add - he never pees indoors, just poops.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    It actually could be his food. My boss had a similar problem with her senior dacshund. He could hold it though the night, because of his feeding schedule, but during the day, he couldn't. He would even deficate in his small crate. They vet said it was partly due to stress but mostly due to his age. I would definately try a different food and see if in time, that helps. I don't know enough about crate training to offer any advice on that, but I would think it would be very hard on him at his age. But I could be wrong. The main thing may be to watch his feeding schedule. Feed him and see how long it takes him to go. Keep a record of it for several days. This is what my boss did, and with the new food and the adjusted feedings, Chance is doing great now.
    Hope this helps and good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    12,713
    When my toy poodle, Pumpkin, got older (he died at 17) he lost control of his bladder first rather than his bowels. It was almost the opposite of your problem. He couldn't get through the night without peeing and often I was awakened to the sound of him peeing by my bed at around 4:00 a.m. A delicate tummy, due to age may very well be the problem with Rocky and maybe, like your vet suggested, a change in food might help here. At least that's a place to start. As far as crate training goes, it is never too late to begin. My ex-daughter-in-law had a Peke that was about 4 years old and still was having accidents when she was gone from the house. I gave her a crate that I had used for one of my dogs and *Presto* he was holding it! Rocky may have some separation anxiety issues and I am really not familiar with how to help him with that, but there are lots of Pet Talkers who have dealt with this. Maybe they will chime in here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    indianapolis,indiana usa
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    I don't think you do know the answer & I don't either. If the
    vet has given Rocky a clean bill of health and you haven't
    changed food or feeding times, it would seem to to be an
    emotional/behavioral problem. This sounds like a question
    you should ask of a dog behaviorist. Healthy dogs don't
    suddenly start a new behavior, unless they are under stress
    of some kind. I would either seek a second opinion from another
    vet(health wise) or get in touch with a dog behaviorist about
    this problem. I don't think crating the dog will fix his problem.
    I hope you can find help for Rocky.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Thanks for all the advice. Funny thing is, Rocky is the youngest of our three dogs, but I am positive he is the one doing it. As soon as we get home, he is out the door running to go. And I have observed him when he is outdoors - he will poop multiple times over the course of an hour or two. He is just used to pooping a lot.

    I had to leave for an hour tonight so I tried something - I left the TV on. I usually leave it off, but I thought maybe it would make him think I wasn't going to be away long. He was fine, no mess. But then again, it was only an hour.

    My next step is a behaviorist, I seriously don't think it is a physical problem, he has always been a frequent pooper. It might be separation anxiety. We'll be trying the senior food too, we really should give it to all three dogs, but they have all been doing so well on regular food.

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