Get Your Dog Care Questions Answered by Experts
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Maggie today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.
Are her stools consistently formed and easily passed?
Can you look at this scoring chart and tell me which number resembles her stool the most? LINK HERE
Does she ever strain when passing stool outside?
Does she have her anal glands checked regularly?
Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.
Thank you for the reply.
If her stools are formed and if she exhibits elimination behavior problems with both urine and stool, it is likely then more a lapse in house training. These can occur in the adult dog and the key to correcting it is to go back to what you did to house train in the first place. In most cases, this means going back to going out with her on every elimination so that you can praise her at the moment she is standing up from a squat. It also means that when she is is inside, she is either confined (usually to a crate) or small area or she is being observed so that if she seeks a place in the house to eliminate, you will catch her before it happens.
As far as the punishment or negative reinforcement of any kind, unless you catch her in the act, telling her it is bad or making her face it only adds to the anxiety and is counterproductive. She know you are mad about it and cowers because of it, but once she walks away from it, she has no connection to how it got there. You could elicit the same response by putting a sample of her stool from the yard there yourself. She is reacting to your response. She is not upset that she had the accident, but upset because she knows stool is not supposed to be there and you will not be happy. It is much more effective to eliminate the opportunity to allow this to happen while working on reinforcing the correct behavior with lots of praise for going when you take her outside.
Be careful to control her eating times as well. Twice daily feeding (versus ad lib) as well as regular walks will help to keep her more regular and defecating at a more consistent time that can be scheduled better.
I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.
Here is a link with a few more ideas. LINK HERE
She is reacting to something she knows is not supposed to be there, but she is not associating that her actions are what caused that. She is not punishing herself, but reacting to something she knows is not supposed to happen. That is why she needs some guidance and reinforcement on the correct behavior and restriction from being able to get to the dining room.
How did you house train her in the first place? How did you let her know that she was doing the right thing? If you have always allowed her to have free access to the outside without giving her the reinforcement that is where she is expected to go, then she was never really housebroken. She has not learned the concept what is "her den". Most dogs will not soil in their den, but she is obviously not looking at the whole house as her den. That is where crate training helps little puppies to learn to respect their living space and as they get it, they slowly start to accept the whole house that way. It sounds like she respects your bedroom, but if she feels the need to go, the dining room is the same fair game as going outside. Once she sees it there, she realizes it is not supposed to be there, but she hasn't learned (or has forgotten)the concept of this is part of her "den" and needs to be kept clean. If she is confined to areas she does respect (bedroom, crate, etc) and not given the opportunity to soil in the dining room that will reinforce that. This has to be done at the same time that you are working on reinforcing the behavior you want by praising her for going outside. This has to be done consistently for a prolonged period. Even if she is not soiling in the house everyday, the reinforcement and confinement will help her to learn (or relearn) this concept.
I am sorry you feel I have not been helpful. I will opt out to give another expert a chance to give further input.
You are welcome.