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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Still pooping in the house!

Hi, Jan.
Hope you are well. Luke and I are fine. The tripod, on the other hand, is less than perfect. Jan, he's 14 months old and he's still not housebroken. I don't know what to do. I walk him every 3 hours all day. He does, fortunately, sleep through the night. Even still, he poops in the house. He does not hang his head or otherwise seem to know he has done a bad thing. He's hyper and yippy, but that is improving. He does not yip as much since I put the chain collar on him and remind him with it not to yip. Jan, we stayed with friends over Thanksgiving and he was yippy and hyper. We're staying there for Christmas, without the tripod. He's not invited back.

Frustrated in Zillah,

Sorry that Sparky wasn't welcome at the Christmas visit. Let's help him get ready for a future visit, though. Tell your friends you're working on the problem and are making great headway. Now, to live up to those claims, let's try the following.

Sparky doesn't know he's not supposed to poop in the house. He really doesn't. He's done it a lot, and without reprimand at the very moment it's happening, so he doesn't have any reason to not continue it. He's in the habit now. So we simply have to break the habit.

Don't give him the chance to poop in the house for at least 3 weeks. That means absolutely no free run of the house. He MUST be under your watchful eye...OR crated...24 hours a day for the next 3 weeks. Put a drag leash on him to make him more manageable and easier to watch in the house. Treat the areas where he's soiled with Nature's Miracle. Continue taking him for walks...that's very good, because he needs that exercise AND an opportunity to poop somewhere besides in your house.

Take note of the times you think he's had his "accidents." There may be a pattern. If so, break the pattern. Feed at a different time, exercise at a different time, or whatever. Become aware of the times he usually has to "go," and take him out to do his business. If he doesn't "go" when you think he should, bring him back inside and either crate him for a few minutes or watch him carefully. Either way, you'll be denying him the chance to run off and poop in the house, and he'll be forced to hold it until you take him out again.

You have a terrier mix, and he's going to be high energy and yippy unless he's worn out. For that reason, you're probably right about him not being a therapy dog in the traditional sense, although he could still serve the purpose of inspiring amputees if you put together a cute routine of tricks or some other performance. This is a dog who can learn LOTS of tricks, and that will help tire him too.

Look for a cheap treadmill and teach him to use it. That'll help wear him down too. This is the time of year to buy one new on sale....or wait two months and there will be lots of them in the Penny Press!

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