Author Topic: Time To Ask For Help...  (Read 4645 times)

Offline BrewMaster

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Time To Ask For Help...
« on: November 19, 2008, 09:28:25 am »
I have been around dogs my whole life but the honest truth is that I am not terribly dog smart.  I have learned from some mistakes and feel that I can really be a great owner for Brutus despite not knowing everything.  Still, I knew I would be hitting some road blocks from time to time, and here I am! 

Brutus has been sleeping in our kitchen at night as it seems to be the most safe place for him.  Each time we have left the gate open for him, he goes into the livingroom at some point during the night to use the bathroom, but then returns to his kitchen/den where it is safe and sound.  He does not whine to be let out and does not tell us when he has to go potty during the day or night.  I have assumed that he was not potty trained and was left outdoors all the time in his previous home.

So, a 1 1/2 to 2 year old 130 lb Brutus thinks the livingroom is his potty place which isn't too much fun for me since it's carpeted in there.  We let him out several times at night before bed and then my hubby lets him out first thing in the morning when he gets up (around 6am.)  Some of you may remember my last post - Brutus jumped the baby gate while we were on a day trip and had the runs all over the livingroom floor.  Last night in the middle of the night sometime, Brutus jumped the gate again and went poop on the carpet - still a bit runny from his upset tummy the other day but it wasn't a mass explosion, thank goodness.  This afternoon I went out front to rense off the pooper scooper, after using it to scoop grossness out of the carpet this morning from last nights episode.  Brutus saw that I had left the front door open and he jumped the gate and came out front.  He was so nervious/excited that I had left his sight that he peed as soon as I got him to casually follow me back into the house. 

Brutus has been really, really wound up after our leaving for that day trip, even though we came back the same night.  I'm wondering if the pooping in the livingroom behavior is related or if he is just getting comfortable enough to start showing off some of his new tricks (like jumping the gate or eating my socks for fun :D ).

So far we have just opted to completely ignore Brews behaviors, especially when he seems to get phobic.  I just let him have his panic attack without acknowledging that it's there and this has seemed to allow him to calm down quickly.  Still, we can't have Brutus using our livingroom as a toilet.  I have been praising him whenever he goes outside and make a big deal whenever I find him standing by the door even if he doesn't actually go potty when I let him out, and he likes this attention.  I'm just not sure what else to do.  We would love to have him sleep in the bedroom with us at night but to date he has been pretty spooked about being locked in the bedroom with us.  I feel really anxious about the idea of crating him at night though I'm not sure why.  I guess "caging" a dog is just a really odd concept for me, even when they seem to like it.  Thoughts, suggestions?     
-Anna
Brutus - 50% Pyrenees, 25% Irish Wolfhound, 25% St. Bernard

Penny - Welsh Corgi Mix

Peggy Sue - Blue & Gold Macaw

Benny & BatToo - Cockatoos

...And Flock!

Offline Apreston

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2008, 09:46:47 am »
Poor Brutus and poor you. All I can suggest is starting from the beginning. Back to Basics as they say! Praise and treats to go outside. Taking him out every 2 hours or what ever your schedual allows this will help him to understand the concept peeing/pooping outside is good and positive things happen ie praise and treats. Other than crating him that is really the only thing I can think of. Is there any other way to stop him from getting into the living room. Maybe he feels thats his comfort spot.
The other thing to is catching him the act. A loud stomp on the floor and a stern NO starled Titan enough he stopped peeing and we quickly took him outside he finished we praised and clapped and treated. It olny took a couple of times...my theory is if you dont catch them making the mistake how are they ever going to figure out that that kind of behaviour is wrong :) Good Luck!!

Modified to add: Brutus is soooooo cute and fluffy!!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 09:47:18 am by Apreston »

lookingfornewf

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 10:10:48 am »
I think you need either a crate or another baby gate or board or something to make sure he does not leave the kitchen at night since he doesn't make a mess in there right now.
When I first got Annie I was baby gating her in the kitchen especially when I was gone for longer, she had a crate too. She would run and sit in the crate when I got the baby gate out. She made the decision easy and at 8 yrs old still likes her crate. Clifford doesn't love his, but hold out a treat and say crate and he runs for it. I wasn't a fan to start with, but it has worked out well as we have taken the crates with us sometimes when we go to somebody's house for a couple of days. That way they still have their own secure home and I don't have to worry about anything being destroyed if we go out.

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 10:54:21 am »
Jake our pyr had horrible separation anxiety, when we got him.  After a year, it is almost gone.  He would start to pant and whine as soon as he thought we were leaving his sight.  He would jump the gate into the dining room and pee and poop all over the carpet and wood floor in the foyer.  We tried crating him and it only made it worse.  He ripped two long strips out of his back from separating a large enough opening in the top of the crate to squeeze out.  We came home to a bloody mess and I took the crate down and put it away.  It scared me to think, we could have come home to a dead dog.  My hubby raised the gate and we moved the table and chairs far enough away that he couldn't use them to jump up on.  The he learned to jump up on the counter and go through my shelves on the half wall, breaking everything on the shelves, in the process.  Hubby took wooden lattice, stained it to match the shelves, framed it in and used that as a backing on my shelves.  Jake can no longer get through and we have not come home to any messes in a month or so.  Out of my 4 dogs, the only one who has ever let me know that she needed to go out is ChiChi and she rarely does it.  The others just wait until they are let out.  Thank god we haven't been blessed with the "runs fairy" since I changed them all over to raw, last spring.  I don't know if they would let me know they needed to go out, or not.  I would opt for finding a way to securely contain him in the kitchen, or lock him in your bedroom and just let him whine, til he gets used to it. 
Kathy
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Offline FXgirl

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 11:26:20 am »
By locking him in your bedroom I'm assuming you close the door and maybe that is a cause of great stress for him.  Could you try putting the baby gate up instead and see if his stress lessens by not feeling so confined.  If closing him in, even if it's a big room, gives him anxiety I definitely wouldn't crate him.  Bring a chewie into the bedroom for him to enjoy while you read a book or watch T.V. in bed so he settles.

Could also be that he's not jumping the gate because he has to poop per se but that he's so worked up from being confined that he finally escapes and is relieving himself to make him feel better.  "Stress dumps."  He may just do best if you let him have the run of the house at night. 

You could also teach him to ring a bell to go out.

Some stuff to think about, anyway.

jesday

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 11:33:13 am »
Seems like half the battle is won by the fact that so far he doesn't go in what he considers his den, aka the kitchen. If there is some way to add to the baby gate or use something else he can't get over and take him out before bed as you are doing, my guess is he will hold it until morning. Especially if he can't get to the promised land.

Of course take him out first thing and again, as you are doing, lots of praise for going potty outside. Basically retraining where his potty place is. Do you use any of the enzyme products like Nature's Miracle when cleaning his messes? As long as he smells his potty, he will probably continue to think that's the place. So as much of the smell you can get out will help as well.

Poor Brewmeister. But from your first post to now it is obvious you are doing a wonderful job with him. Your instincts are good, so none of this worry that you aren't doing the best for him. :-*

Tonda

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 11:34:14 am »
I'm all about the crate, but if that doesn't work for him (or for you), I'd simply recommend putting in a door or UBER GATE of some kind between the kitchen and the living room. This is what my parents had to do at one point when we had a couch eating Newfie. Once Brutus has settled in/down a bit, he will likely get over this phase. It might also be helpful for him to have a dog door to the yard if thatís possible. Dog doors solve a multitude of issues.

Good luck with him. Just keep reminding yourself that you are a FABULOUS mom!!!

Offline Scootergirl

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2008, 12:34:20 pm »
I have two suggestions from opposite ends of the spectrum as I can relate to exactly what you are going through.

1st: don't be afraid of the crate. Don't let maxsmom's story about Jake scare you. Some dogs do react that way, but I've found that most take to the crate quite easily. They find it comforting to be in a secure space, like a fox in a den.

2nd: Kentucky was exhibiting the same kind of behavior when we moved from the house to the apartment. We crated her at night and when we were at work, but Aaron got to thinking that maybe we were crating her too much and she didn't feel like part of the "pack" because her crate was in the living room and when we went to bed at night she was still separated from us.  We started leaving the dogs out of the crate at night and...voila... no more overnight accidents. She may sleep on the floor in the bedroom, but usually she sleeps on the couch in the living room. However, she's uninhibitied and seems to also be bonding better because of it.

You also want to make sure you get some really good stain/smell remover like Simple Solution or Nature's Miracle or even rub in baking soda on the pee/poo spots and let it sit a day then vacuum it up so he is not just remarking because of the left behind scent, or thinking its OK to go there because of the residual odor.

Best of luck!
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Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 03:29:09 pm »
I know of some friends with gate jumping danes that finally had to double up baby gates one on top of the other to keep them from jumping over the single one.

Should work as long as it is a doorway there.  If not, then I would also opt for a crate or resort to putting him in a large bathroom.  I used to keep Gunther in our big laundry room when he outgrew his kennel until he could be trusted to be let loose in the kitchen....... and then eventually the house.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 04:41:27 pm by ZooCrew »

Offline BrewMaster

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2008, 04:39:12 pm »
Here is the entry way from our kitchen into our livingroom...a bit of a challenge...


-Anna
Brutus - 50% Pyrenees, 25% Irish Wolfhound, 25% St. Bernard

Penny - Welsh Corgi Mix

Peggy Sue - Blue & Gold Macaw

Benny & BatToo - Cockatoos

...And Flock!

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2008, 04:42:58 pm »
yeah, I kinda thought it might be like that.  ;)

i think it could be possible though to get one of those extendable gates.  the ones that extend to fill extra long doorways and attach that to the upper portion.  Just a thought.

Offline BrewMaster

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2008, 04:45:59 pm »
I wonder if he would still try to jump it if we blocked it with backwards facing chairs every night...making it too wide to jump, if you know what I'm saying.  I think the goal here is to eventually be able to allow brutus to roam where he wants to in the house.  The baby gate is intended to keep small children away from parrots and I do leave it propped open for Brutus when the kids do not have direct access to birdies. We wont have the baby gate forever, likely another year or so until our daughter can follow instructions.  In the meantime, I would like Brew to get to a point where he lets me know when he wants through the gate...just like the rest of us, LOL!
-Anna    
Brutus - 50% Pyrenees, 25% Irish Wolfhound, 25% St. Bernard

Penny - Welsh Corgi Mix

Peggy Sue - Blue & Gold Macaw

Benny & BatToo - Cockatoos

...And Flock!

Viking Lady

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2008, 06:25:22 pm »
I don't think I have an answer for you but I wanted to tell you that I "accidently" bought a taller baby gate. I bought a new one to replace an old one I gave away and it ended up being taller than the old one. I don't know how tall yours is but Luke, my pyr, doesn't jump it."I got it at WalMart and didn't know there were different heights. He is, however, trying to chew it up. Otherwise, it seems like you are doing all you can. I have to keep him outside alot. Still struggling myself.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 06:29:57 pm by Viking Lady »

Offline TINKSMOM

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2008, 06:13:50 am »
Have you tried treating him like a pup. Timing his food and water? I would put his food down, he has 15 minutes to eat and then it is back up. You can time his potty breaks by when he eats and maybe "beat him to the punch". I would alos regualte his water in take. No water after 6 or 7 and last potty break at 10. You can adjust this as he learns.

I would also recommend a better carpet cleaner, maybe professional. Dogs have a great sense of smell and he probably still recognizes this as an "OK" place to go. If you have not been able to "catch him in the act" then he hasn't been punished for it and may not know it is wrong???

I also am a firm believer in the crate system, but my sheter baby TINK could not and would not go in the crate. She destroyed it. Potty training was a breeze with her so I didn't push the issue.


Good Luck and I hope I helped.
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Offline FXgirl

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Re: Time To Ask For Help...
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2008, 07:22:49 am »
I don't see this as a house training issue if he's not using your carpets as a bathroom during the day when you are home.  If he's still going #2 outside, during the day when you are home(and not saving it up for nighttime) I would be leaning more towards anxiety issues.  I would seriously be reading up on separation anxiety as there are a few things that you've said that make me suspicious. 

Putting up a higher/wider gate would only save your carpets(potentially he is in danger of hurting himself).  I would instead be working on making him feel comfortable being home alone or even alone in another room while you sleep. 

I would take care using a crate with a dog who bolts or needs an escape route out of an uncomfortable situation.  You could set one up with the door always open and condition him into making that a secure spot to go to when he's freaked out but I would not lock him in so he doesn't feel cornered.  Not to mention a big dog like him shouldn't be locked in a crate for long periods of time anyway.

You obviously know him and the situation better than me or anyone else here and it's difficult to get the entire picture but if you haven't looked into separation anxiety it would be something to consider.