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Discussion Starter #1
So we're STILL working on Sam's potty training, he's had a lot of health problems and that's made it slow going. I'm getting him to pee outside on a regular basis, but getting him to poop just doesn't happen. I put a baby gate up so he couldn't go down the hallway and be sneaky in the spare bedroom which is where he always goes in. He kept whining and crying at the gate this evening so I took it down and followed him into the bedroom and he just gave me this look that said "Go away mom" so we went into the living room and he trailed back down the hall again a few minutes later, I gave him about 20 seconds then I walked down there and he was just in the position to go so I said "Hey lets go outside and go potty!" in a very happy voice and he jumped around me and ran to the door. We went outside for about ten minutes and still nothing. :( I think he's too shy to poop infront of me! :laugh:

I've never hollered at him or punished him for going in the house so I'm not sure why he's doing it.


Anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Exercise is a GREAT help in moving a fecal load into firing position.

Does Sam fetch?

At about the right time to potty, take him outside with the fetching object and throw it several times, maybe walk a bit, and throw it some more, etc. That will often promote pooping. If so, praise him highly, and give treats.

Also, whenever you see him get into pooping position (the stance, the tail up, the anal sphincter enlarging) reciting a mantra to him of, say, "Sam! Potty! Sam, Potty! Sam, Potty!...." can help establish a conditioned response through enough repetitions that, when you begin saying it again, it helps bring on the desired response.

BUT, from what I gather from reading this one post, it sounds like he's of the belief that the only proper place for him to poop is the spare bedroom and that pooping anywhere else would be impolite, gauche, unthinkable. Is that right?

Alternatively, you might initially go with the flow BUT put a covering of newspapers over a spot he has pooped in the spare room. Then put up the babygate as you described and when he signals it's time by starting to whine, let him go to that room. When there, and he starts taking the pooping stance, pick him up or drag him to be on the paper.

You should not try to interrupt the pooping in that room. Instead, try to harness the pooping to the paper in that room plus also to reciting your mantra for a week to 10 days.

At the end of that period, when he whines to go back in the spare room to poop, take him outside with some paper and a fetching toy.

Have him exercise a bit by fetching.

If he starts to poop on the grass, recite your mantra to encourage him and you're practically home free (that is, made a successful transition to pooping outside). Be sure to praise him mightily while he's pooping and give him a treat immediately after for about a week of pooping so there's no doubt in his mind that this is the New Family Approved Place for Sam to Poop.

It might be that he'd seek out the newspaperson on the ground. Fine. Go with that but just make the area of newspapers gradually smaller. Do the mantra, praise, and treat as above.

The fetching may produce pooping without the other parts being needed.

If it does not, what you'd be doing is taking an existing conditioned response (the place for me to poop is in the spare room) and adding to it a number of other stimuli (the paper, your verbal mantra). The spare room can't be moved outside but the newspaper on the floor and the mantra can. So you'd be transferring many of the cues to the place you desire him to use.
 

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Thank you so much Bob!! You've helped a lot with your mantra techniques, which is how I get him to go pee now! :D I just wasn't sure how to use the mantra with him with pooping because he won't do it in front of me!! We do run around and play a lot outside during potty time, and I know he has to go cause soon as we get back inside zoom to the back room. I think he thinks its his bathroom! :laugh: I was trying the walking potty technique but the one time he went for me he had this look of sure misery on his face and I probably made a few people look out their windows as I threw a party for that puppy when he pooped. (Course I picked it up in a little baggy and he looked at me like "uhh mom...what...are...you...doing..")

I will get some paper and put it down in that room for him, is it possible he'll revert back and pee on that paper too? I don't mind it if in 2 weeks time we get him completely broke and going outside...just wanting to know what to expect. :laugh:

Also when I pick up his messes in the house he has this look he does like he thinks he's in trouble, tail and head down, big soulful brown eyes looking up at me. I'm wondering if he hasn't picked that up from Lucky because sometimes with her anxiety she won't go outside then will go in the house at some point (few and in between anymore we're making progress WOOO HOOOO) and she always runs and hides when I find the mess.
 

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Please don't teach your puppy to poop in the house, that's just unnecessary extra steps BACKWARDS.

Don't let him out of your sight in the house, even if that means you tether him to you, and when you can't watch him put him in his crate. Bob is right about the exercise in that it usually helps to move things along. If he doesn't go outside, come in and put him in his crate and try again in 15-30 minutes. He'll get the hint eventually.
 

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There is a majority of people on JL who are opposed to training a dog to pee or potty in a designated place inside the house and who believe that outside on grass is the only acceptable place.

JL forums are lacking many?/any? of the many thousands of city Lab owners who live in high rise apartments and who therefore do not have grass easily accessible -- or even grass areas that are legal for their dogs to use.

Please don't teach your puppy to poop in the house, that's just unnecessary extra steps BACKWARDS.
This is NOT training the dog to pee and potty inside the house.

This dog, for whatever reasons, has already learned to do that. What I suggested was training the dog to potty in response to several cues that then can be moved outside and which will help Sam and owner more easily and quickly make that transition.

I used a Purina "Second Nature" potty tray to train Puff to pee and potty inside the house because it was inconvenient (too long a trip in the winter) to get her outside. We had not the slightest difficulty transitioning to P&P trips outside when the time came. I know others that have had similar experiences. I had another motivation in addition to not wanting to exit the kitchen through the sliding glass door to the backyard. I'm a sailor and Puff will go with me on my sailboat. The lakes we sail on have very little grass in their middles. And I don't want to have to get up at night, raise anchor, and find some legal dock attached to some legal grass where Puff can P or P. Having aboard her "Second Nature" potty tray will be a convenience to all concerned.

I'm NOT at all opposed to training a dog to P&P outside the house on grass when that's convenient and makes sense.

I AM very much opposed to the view that outside on grass is the ONLY acceptable place for dogs to use.
 

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Can you not shut him outside and watch him from a window? aslong as your garden is fenced of course he may poop if he is desperate enough
 

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Discussion Starter #7
kaznalf said:
Can you not shut him outside and watch him from a window? aslong as your garden is fenced of course he may poop if he is desperate enough
Our yard isn't fenced in yet :( Will be this spring, we've been saving up for it. We do have a tie out that I use to help train them to NOT EXIT the yard. I have considered putting him out there and watching through a window, except our neighbors have a very animal aggressive pitt, and though they USUALLY have him leashed outside not always and their tie out they put him on is a joke and I am fearful that he would either be loose and take after Sam or break his chain and go after him.


We have tried walking him around and around and around, come back inside, crate and back out. He just does not want to poop in front of us. I don't know if he's afraid he will get in trouble or if like Bob suggested he thinks the ONLY place to poop is in the spare bedroom. I have vinegared the heck out of the carpet to remove any lingering smells.

Personally I don't think giving him a paper to go on in that room and them transitioning him outside is a step in the wrong direction. Anything is better than what we're going through right now.

Like I stated in the OP he's had a lot of health problems since we adopted him and potty training has been a tough issue with him. We are rejoicing that he is letting me know he has to go potty in the morning by sitting patiently by our sliding back door! That is a huge step for him.

My other two did not have this potty training issue and I did what JacknLabs had suggested for Sam, keeping a close eye on them and going out, repeat, repeat. Sam is just really different. I think he's just too much like SU! SU can't even go to the bathroom if he thinks somebody will even HEAR him peeing!! :laugh:


On another note When Lucky (my female who is spayed) goes pee and comes back inside Sam feels the need to lick her. I'm just curious as to why? He doesn't do it to Happy (my other male who is fixed) and Happy has never done it to Lucky. Sam has not been fixed yet because of the health problems he's been having, the vet wants to hold off on that.
 

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Intact boys lick pee...unfortunately, it's normal.

Try matching him. This is a technique used by handlers to make sure the dog is "empty" before going in the show ring. Get a book of matches-the ones you rip off. Rip one off, touch the tip to your tongue, lift tail and insert. You don't have to do a rectal examination, just push in as far as you can. The sulfur on the tip of the match is a bit of an irritant and most dogs will try to get it out (and poop) within a few moments. Praise like crazy when he goes.

You also might think about getting a flexi leash or long lead so he's able to get a little ways away from you. How old is he?
 

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I figured it was because he was intact.


He's 7.5 months old. He'll be 8 months on November the 11th. I have a 30ft lead I've used off and on with him, with the same results as the regular leash.
 

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I have vinegared the heck out of the carpet to remove any lingering smells.
You might try OTC Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). Cheaper than "Nature's Miracle" and, posters say, very effective.
 

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LuckyGirl said
Thank you so much Bob!! You've helped a lot with your mantra techniques, which is how I get him to go pee now! I just wasn't sure how to use the mantra with him with pooping because he won't do it in front of me!!
A few words discussing the difference between using "The Mantra Technique" for Peeing and Pooping.

I use a mantra of "Puff, Pee-pee! Puff, Pee-pee!" when I want her to pee. This now results in an immediate squat and pee

This is an effective technique BUT there's a considerable difference in the response of dogs to using it for peeing and pottying.

What the mantra does is serve as a Conditioned Stimulus (the mantra) to provoke the Unconditioned Response (peeing). Peeing usually occurs because the bladder is giving signals (Unconditioned Stimulus) to the brain that it's full and needs to be emptied.

Other stimuli can also give signals.

For instance, the more we are in need of tinkling, then the more that the sound of running water, or pumping gas, can increase our urgency to go. Those sounds are non-deliberate Conditioned Stimuli that have become associated (conditioned, learned) to go with tinkling.

Consistently using the mantra "Puff, pee-pee" is a way of adding a deliberate cue to serve the same purpose.

Dogs have great facility, sometimes a seemingly inexhaustible capacity to pee wherever they want to.

They "read" other dogs' "pee-mail" messages with their nose and make their replies.

Over and over.

So using the well-conditioned mantra, "Puff, Pee-pee" gives an almost immediate response.

Not so with my mantra, "Puff, Potty!"

Dogs can't poop over and over at will so it's much more difficult for them to poop on command.

Using the mantra for pottying helps along and sometimes finishes a process.

There has to be digesting food in the intestine. Food there is slowly passed through it by the peristaltic movement of the intestine (somewhat like an alternate squeezing and relaxing at an area to pass the digest on to a spot slightly closer to the exit). So it has to get from the intestines down to the colon (the vestibule of the intestines) and then out the rectum/anal sphincter.

When the colon signals to the dog's brain that it has full occupancy and the dog's brain judges that this is a suitable place, the dog assumes the pooping position and discharges the waste.

Using the mantra "Puff, Potty!" helps promote the peristalsis, helps get full enough occupancy of the colon to deserve evacuation but it's a much slower process.

As in a gun, a bullet has to be in the magazine, it has to be lifted into position, it has to be put into the firing chamber, the trigger has to be pulled and the firing pin smashed into the cartridge.

If the digest/bullet isn't already in proper final position, using the mantra will never result in the desired pottying but it can help the process along -- although we need to realize that this is a much slower process.
 
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