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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3026
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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I have a 7 month old female Bichon Frise who weighs 8 lbs.

Customer Question

I have a 7 month old female Bichon Frise who weighs 8 lbs. Sylvie is back on 2 meals a day of 60% Acana dry puppy kibble and 40% Raw Organic. We have an electric fence & she got zapped a couple of times because I forgot to take off her collar. She is traumatized. However, although, I am trying to take her to a particular place in the backyard it is not working well - yet!
Last night I fed Sylvie dinner & she did not have a bowel movement even after taking her out 3X - the last time at midnight. I finally decided at midnight that if I was going to be consistent, I needed to crate her & not to let her sleep with us or to have full run of the mudroom.
This morning, I took her out at 8:00 am. She did not want to get out of the crate. She has been to manner classes with clicker training and knows how to sit, stay, come, & down but she seems to be reverting to terrible two or adolescent behaviors. She pulls on the leash so I bought her an Easy Harness. I walked her with the harness last night and this morning, getting her out the front door was very difficult - I finally carried her, but once I had her on the sidewalk, she urinated and had a bowel movement. I then fed her breakfast. I took her out again about thirty minutes after eating and multiple times since then. I have had to re-crate her each time because she has not had a bowel movement.
If she has a bowel movement first thing in the morning how long should it take for her to digest the food & then have a bowel movement. I need advise on how to get her on a regular schedule of eating and eliminating outside - whether on the leash or in the backyard and suggestions on work with her.
P.S. Sylvie is doing better wearing the harness but she will not come to me when I stop when she starts pulling. I upped the value of the treats but it hasn't worked at all. I also cannot get her to come back as I was taught with the hand command, clicker & treat to a basic heel. I want her to feel & be successful. I stopped trying to take her to an area in the back yard because it just seemed that it was too much of a leap since she is used to be walked.
Please let me know in what order I should prioritize the issues regarding the housebreaking - in the back yard or on a walk and loose leash walking? I feel so badly for her in the crate and that she is afraid of me. She is definitely traumatized by electric fence.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have a couple questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible....

Do you walk her with a traditional leash and collar?

Do you make a big deal of trying to comfort her when you take her outside?

How does she act getting into the crate?

Why do you think she's afraid of you?

Is it just you and Sylvie in the house?

(and no rush answering these...I'm actually on my way out the door to a training client, but will be home and will reply to you in a couple hours.)