We’ve been working on Dexter’s pooing and peeing in the house and he’s been doing great!! He’s only had a few accidents and those were totally MY fault.
Let me explain: Dexter’s former owner was never home and therefore Dexter pee’d and poo’d freely in the house. 🙁 Dexter had no regular eating schedule. A bowl of food was put down and he was allowed to graze all day … what I know about dogs (and humans for that matter) is if you put food in – poo comes out – so with no regular eating times and no regular walking/exercise … what is a lonely dog to do?
When we got him home to our house I knew that we had to get him on a poo schedule. That means eat at a certain time. Go out at a certain time. Pee and poo at a certain time. That way there is no room for error (and by error I mean pooping in the house).
We start the morning by taking Dexter (and Fergus) for a walk to the end of the block for a pee and a poop and then we come back into the house and get back into bed for a snuggle and I play a few Words With Friends games. 🙂
I make breakfast for the dogs and then I have to stand over Dex and watch him eat. Dexter is so used to grazing all day that he only eats a little bit of his breakfast and then he wants to play. I have to take him back and forth to his bowl 5-6 times until he finishes. I don’t think I’ll have to watch him forever once his body adjusts to the schedule. Last night he ate his entire dinner unsupervised so we are making progress.Â 🙂
After breakfast the boys nap while I get ready for the day. About an hour and a half after eating we go to the fenced area by my house for exercise time. This is where I chuck the ball and they run back and forth until they beg me to stop. It’s so fun watching Fergus and Dexter run after the ball … Dexter really brings out the competitive side of Fergus. He tries SO hard to get the ball before Dexter and poor Dexter is burdened with a height disadvantage. His legs are so short compared to Ferg.Â Then we come home and the boys hydrate and then fall into a deep nap while I go about my day.
I’ve been observing Dexter all week and have figured out his “I have to pee cues“. He sits up, stretches and then will walk around the house sniffing in the air like he smells something delicious cooking. It took a few accidents to figure out this is his “cue” but now that I know it … I immediately him outside for a pee and we haven’t had an accident since.Â 🙂
Dinner is made/eaten around 6:30pm and then around 10:30 we take the boys for a long walk around the neighbourhood for a late night constitution and then we all go to bed. Dexter is crate trained and he sleeps through the night in his crate. All I have to say is “CRATE TIME” and he goes running in and lays down. It’s adorable.
As for the “marking” in the house … this has been a tough one to break because you have to catch him in the act so you can stop the behaviour. It’s not a full on pee … but it’s a mark made with pee. Marking serves as a way to claim territory. Dogs live in a hierarchy and its his way of displaying where he is in the pecking order. At the former house he was top dog. He ran the show. Pee’d and poo’d wherever he wanted but now he lives in the Kramer House and he needs to learn that I AM THE TOP DOG!! 🙂
After observing his first couple of days in the house I realized that he “marked” as soon as we walked in the door from being outside so as soon as we come home I put his Belly Band diaper on (this saves me having to clean up accidents) and then I let him have free reign of the house (or so he thinks).
He wanders around the house sniffing and playing while I hide behind doors watching him and waiting for him to “mark”. As soon as he lifts his leg I loudly shake a can full of coins (the coin cans I have in my store work perfectly for this) and startle him. I’ve done it 4 times so far … and yesterday he didn’t mark at all. Today … so far … nothing.
I also used the coin can technique with the kitchen table. Dexter is always trying to jump up and check out what’s on the table. Whenever I notice him standing on his back feet trying to get on the table I shake the can to startle him. It works great for these kinds of behaviours. For the table I only had to do it twice … now he just sniffs at the table but keeps all 4 paws on the floor.
Dexter is SUCH a good boy. He’s so eager to please and is a real fast learner. I taught him to “shake a paw” the other night in about 20 minutes so I have no doubt in myÂ mind that this “marking” won’t last much longer.
Some of you had questions about his belly band diaper. It wraps around his belly (and penis) and on the inside I put an incontinent pad (not menstrual pad) as they absorb more liquid. I don’t think he needs to wear it all day (because the marking only happens when we come home from a walk) but I would rather set him up to succeed and I REALLY don’t want to clean pee out of my carpet so he’ll be wearing it for a while until I’m confident that the “marking” issue is resolved.Â 🙂
Any ideas what to do about dogs that mark when we are not home or when visiting someone elses house?
We use the belly bands but I hate them and if there’s pee in there for a couple hours it causes diaper rash!
They won’t do it when we are around but pretty consistently do it when we aren’t. It’s so frustrating.
Anyways, good work with Dexter! It’s amazing how much exercise can help!
You are doing such a great job with Dexter, Sarah! He is really lucky to have you to train him as you have been doing.
Miranda, crate your dog when you’re not home. He won’t feel so inclined to pee in such a small enclosure when he’s going to be in there for awhile.