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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My 7.5 year old,male cocker spaniel has house soiling

Customer Question

My 7.5 year old,male cocker spaniel has house soiling issues, both urinating and defacating. He does bathroom outside, but also doesn't think anything of going inside. I have gates up, but he does get around them and I am actually having a hardwood floor repaired for the 3rd time tomorrow due to him. I am at my wits end. I have taken him to training and a behaviorist but to no avail.
I have asked my vet as well as another in town about whether euthanasia was an option as it is getting worse as he gets older. They both said no they wouldn't do that with a dog that you. I just know that I can't deal with this for another 7 years.
I think he has anxiety and is not very happy.
Looking for some advice....thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jacustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

How often do you feed him and give him water?

Do you have any set time for feeding him?

How does he let you know that he needs to eliminate?

Does he tend to go in the same area all the time?

What do you clean the "accidents" up with and how do you go about the cleaning?

What methods have you tried to stop the behavior?

Does he have any health issues that you know of?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He gets fed 2x per day, once in the am and one in the pm. Water is always available. He sits at the door and scratches to go out, but sometimes just wants to go out and start barking! He does not outside, he dies more of that inside.I use Windex on my hardwood to clean and nature's miracle on carpeting.I have kept him crated or confined to 1 room. I use several gates.He doesn't have any health issues that I know of.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I had a huge long response typed when it disappeared. So I'll be sending pieces of the answer so you can read it. I'll let you know when it is time to rate.

There are several ways of training a dog. The quickest way is crate training. Here is a site that goes over a good method for doing this.

This is how I house train all my dogs. In addition, put a bell or other noise maker on the door low enough for the dog to reach. Each time you take the dog out, ring the bell. The dog will associate ringing the bell with going out and one day ring the bell to signal to you that she needs to go out. I know the dog scratches now but you might not always hear that, so the bell is a good choice for a dog to alert you to the need to go out.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

An alternate way of training in the house is leash your dog to you while you go about your daily activities and when you see him start to assume the positions for eliminating, give a short tug on the lead and firm no and take him to the door, ring the bell and take him outside. Go with him and reward him eliminating outside with hot dog slivers.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

You also need to be sure your new flooring is sealed well to avoid having any urine or fecal matter soaking into the material. Also use the enzymatic cleaner on any area of the flooring that he has elilminated on. Let is sit on the carpet for a long as the urine originally did. That helps break down the urine that actually causes the smell. We may not smell the odor, but a dog's nose is more sensitive and the remaining odor does draw a dog back to the same area to eliminate in the future. Removing the odor will help stop that.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

You can also keep feeding your dog on a schedule but also water him on a schedule if he doesn't have a kidney issue. Keep track of when you do and log when he defecates and urinates. You will see a pattern develop and use that pattern to ensure you are outside with him when he should need to go. If you won't be home, then move the feeding or drinking time to one where you will be home when the dog needs to eliminate. This actually works very well.

You can also as a last resort use a sod patch or diapers. You take a large pan like a kitty litter pan or even a baby swimming pool. You create a platform frame with wire on top. Place newspaper or other absorbent material such as wood shavings under the platform and place sod on top of the wire frame. Since it is grass, your dog will go on it. You can remove solids and can spray the urine so it moves through and down into the absorbent material underneath. This lets you use the same piece of sod for a while before needing to replace it. You do need to replace the material under the platform.

Diapers can help prevent accidents. I also need to add that some dogs develop disc problems later in life. Disc issues can lead to some loss of sensation in the rear of a dog leading to a loss of bowel and bladder control. An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases can even causes paralyses of the rear legs. You can read about this here:

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler

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