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Oliver’s Mom
Oliver’s Mom, Prof Trainer & Behavior Counselor
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 283
Experience:  20 yrs Trainer/Behavior/Rescue focus:dog/cat-human relationships;dog/cat behavior modification metho
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beagle: months old..crate trained..her kennel at all for 10 hours..pee

Customer Question

I have a female spayed beagle who is 8 months old. We have worked very hard at potty training and she was doing everything right for about five months, no messes in the house, now, for the last week she has taken 4 poops in the house, and peed about four times as well, she did not try and let us know and we were home for all of the times, she is crate trained while we are at work and does not mess her kennel at all for 10 hours every day and then we get home and take her outside to go pee and later find a mess on the floor. What could be wrong?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  brandon replied 11 years ago.
i have found that when we leave our dogs home for long periods of time while out that that will mess just because someone is not home to give them attention during the day. it is their way of getting back for being locked up all day and being by themselves.
Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.

 Hello "Customer"

At this age when a sudden change in housebreaking habits occurs, the first thing to rule out would be change of diet (her puppy food, additional treats, table scraps, etc).  Generally, if it was just peeing, I would lean towards an urinary tract infection.  However because she is peeing and pooping - could there be anything as suggested above or could she have gotten into something such as garbage, other animal poop, or ?

If you could answer the above along with the consistency of the poop (solid or loose?) it may be helpful for me to better assist -

I look forward to your reply,

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oliver’s Mom's Post: Actually yes, I took her to the vet about a month ago for an eye infection and he told me that she was ready to go on adult food, I tried the adult kind of the same brand (Nutramax)of puppy food I was giving her (the puppy food never gave her any problems) but she didn't seem to like the adult food, also she started puking bile every morning just once every morning for five days, I fasted her and gave her what the vet told me to, hamburger and rice, and then tried different food, she likes the new food a lot, and stopped puking since we started giving it to her but then the peeing and pooping started. The new food is store brand (Purina) whereas the old food was expensive (Nutramax). I never took her to the vet because the puking had stopped, I just thought it might be a bad bag of dog food, but now the behavior problems started with the peeing and pooping. The poop is hard, I can just pick it right up off the floor with hardly any left over on the carpet, I still clean it with Vinegar and water though so she doesn't smell it. She hasn't peed and pooped in the house for the last two days, but I'm still worried. Thank you so much for your help. She is a doll and a very well trained dog, housebreaking is the only problem that we continue to have with her besides the barking but she is a beagle and we're continuing to work with her on that.

Thanks again,
Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.
Thanks for your reply Leah -

In my opinion, 8 mos of age is a little young to switch over to adult food (for a Beagle I would suggest 12-14 months of age). 


Anyway - I do feel the switching of the food has caused the potty problems she is having.  For future reference, keep in mind that whenever you switch to a different food of any type, you should take up to one week's time to do so.  The method of switching food would be as so:  first day, feed her 90% "old" food and 10% of the 'new' food; day two - change the percentages of 80-20 - and so on until she is completely eating the new.  Dog's can have very sensitive stomachs to food changes so this will alleviate any gastric upset seen such as vomiting or potty problems.


Keep in mind there was a reason for her not to poop as much on the Nutramax puppy food.  Purina Dog Chow may be less expensive but you actually will pay more in the long run.  This is because lesser quality dog foods have a lot of 'fillers' in them and this in turn caused the dog to not only eat more - but poop more too!  She didn't 'seem to like' the Nutramax adult because adult food doesn't have as much protein/fat in it as puppy food does - so it is less tasty.  However, if you used the week method of switching foods described above along with having patience by not adding anything else to her food - I promise she will not starve herself and will eventually eat it as well as the puppy food.  If Nutramax is outside of your budget - there are other quality dog foods I hope you consider.  A great quality brand you can find in grocery stores or stores like Walmart is Purina ONE or Purina Pro Plan.  Iams is another great choice for you to consider.


I think the peeing has started simply because once she started pooping in the house - she decided she might as well pee there too and save the trip outside! Smile  I'm glad the last two days she's done well so you may be back on the right path!


As long as you mentioned the barking - I'll give you a 'two for one' answer!  Yes, Beagles are notorious barkers - this is true.  A few suggestions to help with the barking would be 1) Accept barking is a natural behavior and it cannot be eliminated or wiped from your dogs communication.  Many times pet owners fall into a trap thinking barking, chewing, digging can be completely stopped but this would be like asking us to completely stop smiling or laughing for the rest of our lives!  2) The natural behaviors become excessive from one main culprit - and that is lack of exercise.  For a pup her age and breed - she needs to have at least 30 minutes of aerobic style exercise twice each day.  If you have a doggy day care nearby - you may want to consider enrolling her a few times a week to help empty her 'full tank' of energy she wakes up with every morning.  3) The easiest way to control or manage her barking - to respond to your 'quiet' or 'enough' command is to actually teach her to bark on command!  A dog that learns how to bark (or speak) on command can be taught to 'quiet' on command much easier.


I wish you all the best and hope you have found this information helpful!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oliver’s Mom's Post: Thank you very much for the helpful information. I will definitely start to use the tips that you gave me. Just to give you an update she pooped again in the house last night after being good for two days. I came home from work, let her out of her kennel, gave her a treat and immediately put her on her leash outside to let her go potty for about five minutes(this is our normal routine), she went potty but didn't go poop, I told her to go poop twice, she still didn't, I asked if she was done, she ran up to the door, I let her inside. I was inside the house for about ten minutes changing out of my work clothes, she started playing with her ball by herself (normal) and then I got on the phone for about five minutes and looked over in the hallway and there was a small pile of poop, and then some smaller piles. I called her name, and she wouldn't come to me, and I couldn't find her. Finally after three calls she came. I know she knows what she is doing is "bad". Everytime she has done this she will run right up to us and jump on our lap, if, say, we are on the couch, and cuddle with us, more like bury her head in our arms. This time she didn't come to me. I just don't understand because I had just put her outside, it wasn't like she needed to go and we weren't paying attention to her, she never once let me know, and she had the opportunity to go ten minutes before, its like she is choosing to do it in the house. Am I wrong on this?
Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.
It is possible she received too much attention when she previously had these accidents!  Not that you meant to 'train' her to poop in the house, but what can happen is if we spend more time paying attention to negative or inappropriate behavior instead of positive or appropriate behavior, the dog will offer the wrong behaviors!  Example - say she pooped in the house and you caught her in the act.  Like any owner, you probably shouted "No! Don't do that! blah blah blah...Wink "  She's NOT thinking oops I pooped in the house - she's thinking more like "cool - look at all the attention I'm getting for pooping in the house!"  See how this can get the wrong results?  It's not that telling her "NO!" was incorrect - it's what you do immediately afterwards that makes the difference.  Whenever you discipline, you need to follow through by immediately showing her what behavior is correct.   So in this example it would go something like "NO! Bad girl!" - then taking her outside.  If you are lucky enough for her to potty again while you are with her outside, you would praise her like no tomorrow and reward her also.  Yet, like most dogs, once they poop they are good to go for several more hours.  So the best scenario is to make her succeed, not fail, when she's in the house.  You would do this by restricting her access to areas of the house you cannot supervise her; keep her tied to a leash and tie it to one of your belt loops so she has to go where you go (this has other great benefits in dog training too).  That way, if you see her acting like she has to go - you can immediately take her outside and be able to praise and reward her when she does go.
Another thing to keep in mind - dog's tend to live in the 'second' when it comes to what they are doing.  If she poops in the house, and you find it later (and later means anytime after 3 seconds) she cannot put two and two together if you bring her to it and discipline then.  All she knows is you are dragging her over to her poop because of some 'unknown' reason - but not because she made a mistake.  Keep this in mind for any time you find she was a naughty girl!

It's really easy for us to put human emotions or tendencies onto  our dogs characteristics, but they really don't have that abililty to 'feel' or 'reason' in their brain like we do.  So she may have appeared to feel bad or show remorse on what she did - but it's more likely she was reacting to your voice tone and body posture at that time.

Curing the poop problem is actually easier than curing a pee problem in the house.  The reason is dogs are very very regular.  If you feed her scheduled meals, to aid in her body keeping the regularity, and you actually wrote down the times of the day she poops, you'll be amazed how close to the minute how regular she will become!  Kind of weird keeping a poop journal but it works!  With regular meals of a quality food, limiting access to her surroundings during this housebreaking re-training, and using immediate timing in your discipline and praise - you should be in the clear within the next two weeks (at the most).

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