Need some help with our dog

@emeraldisle (13145)
United States
January 17, 2007 7:41am CST
We've had our dog Lassie for four years now, she's about 5 and half years old. She's a wonderful collie that we love having. Over the years she's had her share of accidents in the house, we understand that happens. We clean it up and let her know she wasn't being good and then when she is good give her treats for when she does her business outside. The problem comes in lately, especially the last month, she is not doing her business outside but doing it in the living room. She could be outside for a few hours and then comes in and five minutes later she has made a mess in there. I'm talking piles and puddles. Now we live in Florida so it's not like there is snow out on the ground or anything like that where it's very cold for her. I can't figure it out. I have always had dogs that were indoor dogs who go outside to play, do their business but for the most part come in, sleep on the couch etc. I don't want to have to make her an all outdoor dog. That has never been my way with a pet but I am at my wits end. Does anyone have any suggestions on what could be causing this or how to get her to do her business outside once more?
2 people like this
9 responses
• United States
24 Jan 07
While she may be a bit old for it, try crate training her. There's a reason for her doing this so if you can truly rule out that there's a "mental" reason (new baby, move, new pet, etc.) then perhaps you should consult your vet.
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
24 Jan 07
She's been doing a bit better the last few days so maybe it was a depression and we didn't realize it. Going to keep my fingers crossed on it. I'm hoping she will continue to improve.
• United States
1 Feb 07
I was going to suggest crate training too. I have a Sheltie, and he was crate trained when I got him, making my life easier. I used to think that was rather cruel until I moved and didn't put his crate up, and he started taking up residence in a box that was turned over. Still, he didn't pee or poo in the house. Aren't herding dogs the greatest?
@Bee1955 (3886)
• United States
19 Jan 07
Have you changed or added something outside where she normally "goes"? New furniture, new landscaping, fertilizer, or flowers and/or plants that may repel dogs? Is there a new pet outside next door close to her 'bathroom' that may be worrying or irratating her? Check all these out first, then think about this - anyway she could be pregnant? If not, then I suggest a vet visit.
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
19 Jan 07
Nothing new outside or in the house. Nothing new with the neighbors either. No new animals being walked around the area so don't think that is the problem. No she shouldn't be pregnant.
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
19 Jan 07
Maybe there was another dog there before you lived there. Have you tired cleaning the carpet with a deep carpet cleaner and a shampoo designed to get rid of pet odors? Because now that she has been doing it there, it is like her spot that she is to go. I would hate for you to have to make her an outside dog. I have always wanted my dogs to be indoor dogs because I want them to be part of the family. How old is she? Is she fixed? I know my dog has had training issues when she was about to go into heat. As much as a month before going into heat she will act like a completely different dog!
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
19 Jan 07
We ripped up the carpeting and have just the original linolium down there. So far we've gone a day without accidents. She spent most fo the day before in the garage or outside, realize it's nice weather right now. Last night went without problem. Today she was in the house as well as garage and outside without problem. We'll see how it goes in the morning. We don't want to make her an all out door dog either. I never liked the thought of that so I'm hoping things are getting better. We've been giving her lots of attention after she's been outside and giving her treats so maybe some positive reinforcement was all she needed to get back on track. We believe she's 5 1/2 we got her 4 years ago and we were told she was a year and half then. She isn't fixed and it doesn't look like heat. She gets very depressed when she is going to have her heat. I never had a dog with PMS till her :)
• United States
17 Jan 07
Emerald, What has changed in the last month? Have you had a new addition to the home (new kitten, puppy, etc)? Have you taken her to the vet to find out if there is a medical problem? or to rule any medical problems out? Since we just passed the holiday season, were there many light displays outside your house? The best behavior modification treatment that I know of is "Avoidance". When you see the accident, hopefully it is very soon after it happened, take her to it, grab the scruff of her neck, tug, look her in the eyes, and with a firm voice tell her, "NO". At that point have absolutely no contact or interaction with her at all for at least 20-30 minutes. Right now, she is the Alpha Dog and you have to turn the situation around until she realizes that You are the Alpha Female in the house. I know that what I am going to say next will generate a lot of boos and hisses, but it worked for me. Martha Stewart had a professional dog trainer on her show one morning when I was watching. My chihuahua was totally running the house (when Charlie the cat was sleeping). She barked even when someone would knock on a door on TV, she demanded to be picked up and put on the couch or in the recliner where we were sitting instead of jumping up, along with some other nasty habits that we had just ignored until they were out of control. On the program they discussed that the way the mother dog would assume her Alpha status with her pups was to bite them on their upper lip. I was desperate and thought "If Martha can do it, so can I". The next time Chiquita misbehaved that is exactly what I did. I did not bite hard, but I did bite hard enough that she could feel it and know that she didn't like it. Since your dog is so much larger than mine, I don't know if you can do an actual "time out" with her. Occasionally she will have a relapse and forget some of her training. She will run and bark when someone comes into the house. That's not a bad thing, but to keep it up is. When she does this, I pick her up, firmly deposit her on the couch, grab her scruff with a bit of gentle force, look her in the eyes and say "NO". All of this has made her a much more socially appropriate dog. (Can you tell that I worked in the mental health field most of my life?)~Donna
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
17 Jan 07
Actually nothing has changed. We didn't put up decorations this year and even the neighbors only had a couple of things but nothing actually close to our house. Nothing outside or inside the house has changed in the past month. No new pets or kids. No change in our habits either, being out of the house more or sleeping at differen't times. Same thing day in, day out. Right now going to the vet is not possible, just don't have the money for it. I wish we did. I don't have money to go to the doctor, just thought I'd add that so you don't think I'm being insensitive to her needs just money for doctors is a luxury for us right now. We have tried the normal of showing her she did wrong, telling her no and bad dog. Not giving her any affection for a bit afterwards. Giving her rewards for when she does go outside and giving her lots of affection when she's behaving. Everything else she is well behaved. We don't have a problem with anything else with her just with doing her business in the house and that's only been recent. I don't know if I'd want to try and bite her lip, even gently. One she is much larger but also she has the very narrow beak and trying to get to the lip would not be easy. I'm starting to wonder if maybe she's going senile? Is that possible at only 5 1/2 years? Of course we have had her for 4 and we were told she was 1 1/2 when we got her but she could have been a bit older.
17 Jan 07
Does she circle when she is about to do her business? If so, move her towards the outside door as she is circling and then reward her, hopefully she will then go to the back door when she wants to do something and you can then transition her outside. I dont know what could be causing this, have you moved home recently? Or have you had new neigbours or something like that?
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
17 Jan 07
Thanks. No we normally have no clue she's done something until we smell it. No warning what so ever. That makes it so much harder to catch. I agree normally there are indications but not with her for the most part. That's it we haven't moved, no new neighbors, nothing has changed that I can think of in her enviroment. We don't use chemicals on the lawn and the weather is great right now. Cool to be comfortable and not hot like it is in the summer. We haven't even had much rain where I could say she doesn't want to get wet. That's why I'm cluelss. I'm hoping we can retrain her. She's such a wonderful dog normally. I just wish I knew what had caused her to suddenly reverse inside and outside.
17 Jan 07
On the alpha dog thing, I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he loves going after the seed on the floor around the parrots cage (which of course they deliberately drop to attract him!) one day I just couldnt get him to stop so I growled my very deepest and loudest growl I could manage and he was so surprised, he went and sulked in the kitchen for half and hour but it did stop him for a few days.
1 person likes this
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
17 Jan 07
Try to walk with your dog at least onece a day. Big dogs need to walk. When dog is outside along, to many things can grab her attention. I let my dogs out few times a day, but I always walk at night for at least 30 minuts.
1 person likes this
@ukchriss (2103)
8 Feb 07
I dont have a dog but found this dog loo online which may help http://www.thepetloo.com/ Also this site has cleaning products and ideas on training. http://lifesgreatproducts.com/store/html/Category-9-0.html Hope they help you
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
8 Feb 07
Thanks. I will check it out. She's been doing much better lately so not sure, maybe she was just going through a phase.
@moonmage (148)
• United States
24 Jan 07
It could be an emotional upset but because she's 5 1/2, it could easily be medical. She's not a young pup anymore, after all. I would call the vet and ask for suggestions. (Most will do that over the phone for no charge just because most pet owners cannot afford to take their pets to the vet for every little upset.) I know I have a female dog that just every once in a while gets upset internally and just has to go without any warning. It'll go on for a long time and then suddenly she'll just stop.