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smileyzookie

Using a house as a bathroom

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Hi all!!!! It has been forever it seems since I was here. Let me recap who I am for those of you who dont remember or know.

 

I am Donna, I have a BC mix, Rivendell. She was left for dead in a fenced yard in the dead of winter and nearly died. We believe she has been abused, and she has extreme seperation anxiety. But despite all that she is the sweetest dog, incredibly loving, and I couldnt begin to ask for anything better. Until about 3 months ago.

 

When we got Riven in Feb 06, I was a housewife, and my husband worked a lot. We spent all our time together, we'd camp, ect and last year even began agility. My husband lost his job in February and I had to get one. So now roles reversed and my husband David is home with her a lot of times while I work. With her seperation anxiety, she would randomly tinkle in the house if we didnt take her out immediately before we left. But now she has taken to pooping in our room on MY clothes, peeing on my clothes ect, even if we have just taken her out. If I close the bedroom door, she will go in the living room. We made a vet appt, she is fine as far as health wise, we have checked the back yard for stuff and nothing, so I know its a behavioral issue. So this updates you to a few days ago. (Also I thought Id be tricky and exercise it out of her, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt.)

 

Curious to see what she does instead of doing her business, I watched her from inside when I let her out. She walked out onto the porch and laid down. Did not even attempt to go pee, didnt even walk off the porch!!! So I stepped outside and said "GO PEE" in my I mean business voice. She marches out into the yard and pees this enormous puddle then comes back. This senario has been repeating itself daily. Unless I phycially babysit her and tell her to pee she will hold it and wait till we leave. I thought I would be smart and put her in her crate when we leave. She pee'd all over herself. Partly from anxiety, and partly cause she's been holding it Im sure.

 

So, there you have it. I dont know what to do, why she is acting this way. Can a dog protest like this? We are seriously considering buying some sort of anxiety medication, but Im afraid to hurt her. I remembered someone saying theres a medicine that makes them seem ok, but actually they are still messed up inside, but too drugged to react? Anyone have a clue what I should do?

 

For those of you who remember Rohan and Arwen, they are just great. I made a new video of the three of them a few days ago if you'd like to see it.

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I had a dog who had extreme separation anxiety and peed every where if we were not in sight.

 

we tried a herbal remedy for this problem but it only helped mildly.

 

we sprayed something that dogs don't like in every place he peed ...he found other places :rolleyes:

 

we ended up taking him everywhere with us ..it toke about a year before he settled down and trusted us ....we still took him everywhere ( I also took him to work) but it gradually became better.

 

every time something came up that we knew was going to upset him we gave him "rescue remedy" before the event ...that was the biggest succes. it really helped ...so we kept using that.

 

a few drops in his drinking bowl on the day and then every 20 minutes before our seperation for about an hour ... it seemed to do the trick ...

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I wish I could take her to work, but I work the front desk of a hotel, so it really isnt an option. With summer coming, and no a/c in our car I would rather clean up pee than risk her getting sick in the car while my hubby job searches, or we shop ect.

 

The problem is that we can be gone 5 minutes and she will go. It doesnt have to be a big trip or anything. Hubby can just leave to take me to work, be back 10 min later and she'll have gone. The other day he walked into 2 HUGE piles of poo, and she had just been outside for like 30 minutes but never went.

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You might want to talk to vet/behaviourist, some one who does both because sometimes one or the other might not be able to suggest anything worth while, this would be your best option. I would also try desensitizing her to YOU leaving, it seems that you're the one that she is most bonded to and just doesn't know how to handle the situation at all. Start small like getting your jacket on and then not leaving (or whatever ques her to you going away), gradually working up to the fact that you step out the door and she can't see you for a couple of minutes. Since you already know she has SA, I would imagine this change in routine is pretty dramatic to her.

 

On a side note, I have also tried the rescue remedy and did not have much success, but I could not find out how much to use on the dog, so I was scared to give her too much, trying Dali's suggestion may just work after all. It does have AMAZING effects on people!!

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I forgot to say ...our dog was extremely happy to wait in the car ....I guess he felt we were always coming back to that ?????

So often he would sit in the car while we did our thing .... weather permitting .

never any accidents in the car ...

 

he had water, a snack and plenty of space ( we have a van) , he was very happy to wait ...and if t toke a long time we always made sure he got a short walk every hour or so ...

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Riven isnt happy to wait or something. She BARKS loudly the entire time. When we come back she's panting up a storm and all worried. I wish we had a van that would be great.

 

If I had the money to talk to a behaviorist, I'd be there in a heartbeat. However with just me working we barely make enough to scrape by at the moment, I cant even do agility :rolleyes: And you are right that it is me she reacts to leaving the most, but recently she's been spending more time with my hubby, even if Im at home, so I figured she was getting used to him being around all the time. Now I just dont know.

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I understand the money situation, maybe check out amazon.com for these books by Patricia McConnell; "I'll be home soon" and "Cautious Canine", they are booklets and fairly cheap. I have Cautious Canine and it was a quick, painless and informative read!

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If I had the money to talk to a behaviorist, I'd be there in a heartbeat. However with just me working we barely make enough to scrape by at the moment, I cant even do agility :rolleyes: And you are right that it is me she reacts to leaving the most, but recently she's been spending more time with my hubby, even if Im at home, so I figured she was getting used to him being around all the time. Now I just dont know.

 

Donna,

First and foremost, don't trust her to go to the bathroom by herself. Take her outside, tell her to potty and be sure that she goes. Try taking her out before you do anything that signals you are getting ready to go - that may mean showering, putting on work clothes, etc. Then crate her. If she's had a supervised walk, she shouldn't have to eliminate in the crate even if she's fairly stressed. If she potties outside and still eliminates in the crate, you may want to talk to a vet and consider drug-therapy to use in conjunction with desensitization.

 

Pick up Patricia McConnell's booklet "I'll be Home Soon" which is available on her website at www.dogsbestfriendtraining.com or on amazon. It will only cost you $5 or 7 and it will describe the process of desensitizing a dog with separation anxiety far better than anyone could describe here (and it costs way less than a certified animal behaviorist!).

 

Good luck!

Lisa

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I would try taking her out before going anywhere and making sure she does her business, then praise her really well, stick her in a crate with a bone or biscuit or some such, and go do what you need to do. Be very matter of fact about the leaving part, don't feel guilty and such, she'll pick up on it. You need to actively make sure she empties before you crate her though, rather than just putting her out and hoping she'll do it. She's obviously decided on new places to potty.

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The things one of my behavior profs (vet behaviorist) suggests to all people with dogs w/ SA:

 

- Walk the dog *off of the property* at least several times per week

- pick up keys, get ready for work, etc. but don't leave at various times of days (devalues the "cues" these patterns have become)

- ignore the dog for 10-15 minutes before leaving and after coming home (makes the transition from people around to being alone easier; this includes letting her out to potty, so do that earlier)

- provide a treat dispensing toy, like a kong or busy buddy toy, before you leave and only give it to the dog when you are leaving

- uncrate if you are aren't already

 

The above items really helped my girl get over her apparent SA years ago. Maggie also seemed to benefit from Rescue Remedy and native american flute music. Other people I know have had luck with Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) and Anxiety Wraps.

 

The "I'll be home soon" book is good, but the protocol is almost impossible to do if both people have consistent duties outside the home. If you use the gradual desensitization protocol she recommends, the dog *must* be with someone at all times unless you're working on the protocol. Leaving the dog for periods above their comfort level can set you back greatly in the process.

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Were you the Alpha? Maybe your BC doesn't see your husband as the authority figure. (That's always been our problem). :rolleyes: Your routine has changed, and if you and your husband aren't together on discipline, etc., it may just be that she's feeling a lot of anxiety at having to take over the Alpha position with you gone. Do you or your husband scold her when you come home and find a mess? I'm sure you know that that just confuses the dog unless you catch them in the act. I agree with some of the other posts--go through the motions of leaving (getting dressed, etc.) but then don't leave. Border Collies pick up on our routines very quickly. I swear, Scooter knows if I'm going out by the clothes or shoes I have on, and when he hears the hairspray in the bathroom, he automatically heads for the crate! And of course, don't make a big deal out of leaving or coming home. Watch her for clues that might be setting her off. Good luck! I know it's frustrating, but it's probably frustrating for her too.

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I would recommend that you make sure to go out with Riven for potty breaks and make sure she does her thing.

 

Does your husband do any of the dog care like feeding, walking, training, play time, etc... without you around? Maybe he needs to do everything for Riven and you do nothing. You probably also need to not pay attention to Riven except on the rare occasion.

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Hi,

I am lucky enough to be able to take my herd of dogs with me wherever I go. This has helped for a good relationship with my dogs but because they are in public most of the time they must behave very well. I spend a lot of time working on basic training in spite of the fact they are trained, this has helped. BCForever makes a very good point. My youngest dog was very difficult to house train. Even at a year he still goes in the house. When I started his basic training it got better. I did not make the connection until I began to think that he may be trying to take over the pack so his basic training helped to put him in his place. He has tried to dominate my wife so she also works on his basic training and this seems to be helping. He is going from crazy puppy stage to starting to settle down.

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I can't tell you how many dogs I've had that required pawholding to remember to POTTY BEFORE YOU COME BACK INSIDE. The same dogs would never soil a kennel, potty just fine without instructions when out at work or around the farm, but when its the back yard...yowser, somebody please stay with me so I remember what to do! :rolleyes: (some stand at the backdoor and stake out the potential to get back in, or others..like Rose...just get busy playing and forget)

 

The first thing here is to make sure she goes when she's out. Otherwise she's crated. Do that for a month before you take any other steps.

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Hey Donna! It is so good to hear from you! I am sorry to hear about the unfortunate turn of events, I know how close you and Riven are.

 

Poor girl sounds like she is having a really hard time adjusting. When we got Poke in December from the rescue he had really bad seperation anxiety. It was getting to the point where I thought he would hurt himself. I talked with our vet and she reccomended medication. I was worried as well, but it made a world of difference. The meds made it so Poke could relax in his crate, and soon my smart boy realised that it was much more enjoyable to relax in his crate than to panic, and that there was nothing to be afraid of. Of course he would prefer we never leave him and Ceana, but he doesn't freak out any more.

 

I was also thinking that maybe a set schedule would be good for Riven, which I know has to be hard while hubby is job searching. It might help ease her into the transition if she knows what is coming next. It might also get her back in the habit of potty-ing outside. My dogs love their schedules to the point where they pretty much do the same thing everyday regardless if we are there, or only one of us is there, or not.

 

As to the potty on clothing, when Ceana use to have accidents (knock on wood) she always would find something to go upon. Twist, our 10wk foster, has the same perogative. If she has an accident she prefers to go on something that is on the floor rather than just the floor itself. Maybe it is not so much that the clothes are yours, but that there are clothes there when she happens to go. Are there more of your clothes in potty reach than hubbies?

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On top of what Erin said and what everyone said about staying with her to get her to potty, I'd suggest working on teaching her to potty on command. Go back to some of the basics of housebreaking but add a cue for pottying and reinforcers when she goes so you can get her going on a regular basis within 2 minutes. That way it is less stress for everyone to deal with the potty routine and you can use more of your morning time on FUN things with her.

 

Molly has to be REALLY desperate to go without us with her and only slightly less so to go without being told.

 

Also remember that all these changes have really rocked the boat for her and she's sensing everyone else's stress and worries. You need to take some time to let her know that it isn't her fault. Make sure to give her a chance to do something right every day so you can praise her for it.

 

My health has been the big issue here and we had a little while where everything changed and DH and I were both really stressed out. Molly was literally sick and we had her to the vet and everything. It finally occurred to us that everything going on could be the cause and the vet agreed when we tlaked to her about it.

 

Riven isn't used to having to go RIGHT NOW when sent out on her own. She's used to having you home and being outside when it suits her. Riven isn't used to communicating with your DH. She used to you and you get her. Riven is missing her old life and is probably as scared and confused as a little kid would be--if not worse because she can't even have a chance of having it explained to her.

 

I'd say try to give her as many familiar things as possible. If she's used to crating, crate her, but give her something that smells like you to keep her company. Your DH needs to put himself on a schedule for taking her out whenever he is home and he needs to do some work to bond with her an dbuild up a relationship of his own. Maybe a nice clicker training program so he gets a little respect and she learns to respond to basic commands from him? Of course he is busy with job searching and everything else, but 5-10 minutes a day will probably make a huge difference for Riven.

 

Good luck working everything out. I know how hard it is when life throws you a curve ball.

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