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Is a dog likely to poo/wee in its own garden?

(26 Posts)
KirstyJC Sat 10-Sep-11 12:56:38


I am trying to work out if it is possible for us to have a dog. If we did, then when I go back to work 3 days a week next year we would get someone to come in at least once a day (prob twice, depending on the dog) to check it, walk it if needed and generally make sure it is alright and provide some companionship.

NB - This isn't meant to be a thread about the viabililty of this so please no arguing! If we got a dog it would be a rescue and used to being left so if this wasn't possible then we simply wouldn't get one.

My question is that if we left it during the day, for a couple of hours at a time in between visits, would it need to wee/poo? Or would it be able to learn to do this on walks, which would obviously be at least once a day (or more, depending on the dog).

We have a proper spacious outbuilding where we would leave a bed, water, toys etc but still leave access to the garden.

DH is concerned that we would be coming home to a garden full of poo and I don't know if that is likely or not.


IceCreamCastles Sat 10-Sep-11 13:05:08

I know a few people who have trained their dogs not to poo in their own gardens but they don't have free access to it.

If the dog was being walked at least once a day you're unlikely to be coming home to a garden of poo - one or two at the most.

Some can be trained to only poo in a specific area - gravel or something.

btw - I'd be cautious of leaving a dog unattended with free access to the garden unless yours is super secure.

Pagwatch Sat 10-Sep-11 13:08:05

Yes. It will pooh if that is where it is able to.

But, whilst I know you want people not to discuss anything outside your specific question, I have to say I would never leave a dog unattended outside because it may well get nicked.

IceCreamCastles Sat 10-Sep-11 13:12:00

also, a rescue might not be fully housetrained (or might regress a bit with the stress of rehoming) so you might be bloody grateful that it poos in the garden rather than the house!

Lara2 Sat 10-Sep-11 13:19:38

If you pick it up everyday it won't be a huge problem. My 2 labs = 2 doggie bags of poo a day - hardly arduous.

KirstyJC Sat 10-Sep-11 13:38:24

I should have said we have a private enclosed walled garden that overlooks the back of the house, not the front at all- so it's unlikely to get nicked.

The only way in is through the side access which is 2 bolted doors through the side of next door's house (ie not able to climb over) or through nosey neighbour's garden (5 foot wall plus fence on top) or the back and other side walls (10 foot high). So I am not hugely concerned about theft, although I know it is still possible.

I know it is likely to have the occasional accident, especially at the start, and I am fine with that. I was thinking about the longer term really - we have young kids and they are likely to run out in to the garden and not look where they are going. for thought. If we get a rescue dog, am I right in thinking that the staff should know it quite well, and know its history so could advise on whether it's likely to be trained/open to being trained about pooing?

We could always leave in in the outbuilding with the door shut - this has wipe-clean floor - but I feel it would be nicer to have access to the outdoors. Although I suppose it would depend on what the dog was used to previously.

Tchootnika Sat 10-Sep-11 13:52:45

It should certainly be possible to find a dog who won't poo or wee in the garden, probably depends on the size of the garden (as well as the dog, of course), though. Also, a youngish, healthy dog who hasn't developed issues because of past experience should be capable of learning (not) to do this.

We have a rescued Staffy who is amazingly fastidious and doesn't like to relieve herself until she's far, far away from what she regards as 'civilisation'/home, but we didn't state this as a necessary characteristic before we adopted her, it's just how she is. That said, she's out and about a lot, so it's not as if she's sat around for hours needing a wee...

A good rescue centre will ask you lots of questions and you'll have the opportunity to ask them lots, too, so this should be something you can put to them.

coccyx Sat 10-Sep-11 14:21:46

poor dog

Pagwatch Sat 10-Sep-11 14:24:33

Oh good.

I worry about dogs getting nicked.

I caught a guy once who had walked up the side of the house and was petting my dog through the iron gate. Made me very vigilant ever since.

( I think he was just petting my dog btw. But I hadn't realised how vulnerable my stupid, overly friendly dog was)

DogsBestFriend Sat 10-Sep-11 14:26:57

What do you mean by "outbuilding"? And why not leave him in the house? [genuine confusion]

A decent rescue will indeed have assessed the dog, trained him to some extent and will be able to answer all your questions. A decent one will also homecheck you so they will be able to spot any potential problems wrt house and garden and you'll be able to address them before pooch comes home. They'll also match you to the right dog and vice versa - they won't for example allow you to adopt the Lab you fell in love with if he has toilet training issues but may instead suggest the German Shepherd in his neighbouring kennel who they know to be perfect in this respect. (Moral - go with an open mind, you may come out with a different size, sex and breed of dog than you'd gone looking for but love him like nothing else for his perfection. smile ).

There's no issue or argument, btw, from this rescuer about your plans to get a dogwalker/sitter whilst you're at work, highly commendable and responsible of you. smile

Pagwatch Sat 10-Sep-11 14:32:03

Our dog stays in the house when we are out. He has a favourite chair now [sigh]
it is by the tv room window and when he hears me coming up the drive he peeks out like a curtain twitcher then tries to get off the chair and pretend he was actually asleep on the floor

DogsBestFriend Sat 10-Sep-11 14:39:44

grin Pag.

Mine don't bother, they sleep where they please and I just knacker myself with washing and hoovering!

OP, tbh, re poo in the garden - how much poo does your husband think that the average dog produces? If cleared up daily it's hardly worth thinking about, and remember a higher quality food, such as Fish4Dogs, will produce far less waste as it has no additives or colourings or bulking ingredients like your supermarket brand/Wagg/Pal or what have you. It'll be healthier for him too.

KirstyJC Sat 10-Sep-11 15:04:12

The outbuilding is a fully insulated room with windows, plumbing and heating, about 18 foot by 11 foot. I only thought there would be better than the house since I wouldn't leave the house door open but would leave the annex door open, to let the dog have the run of the outside. But if that doesn't matter then I could let it stay indoors - although I wouldn't want it to pinch my favourite seat - it took me ages to get the arse groove right in my chair!grin

I think DH remembers when we used to live somewhere with a small garden that we rarely used in the winter, and when we went out for the first time one spring it had about 30 cat poos in there.......not the most pleasant half hour I have ever spent!

And I have a totally open mind about the type of dog - if we go ahead with this we would take the dog we are recommended after the rescuers saw our home and matched us.

Pag - my Mum's dog did that too! She was a very fluffy golden retriever and Mum had dark chairs so we always knew but her look of complete innocence was brilliant!grin

clam Sat 10-Sep-11 15:42:27

My dog (puppy) refused point blank for a fair while to poo on walks. He'd save it up for when he got home - however, he never goes on the lawn, always disappears into the bushes and performs there out of sight. I confess we don't clear that up, as it's well-nigh impossible to find and what little any gardening done is always in thick gloves.

wildfig Sat 10-Sep-11 15:56:30

Most adult dogs don't poo more than a couple of times a day: mine go after breakfast, and then on their lunchtime walk, and nearly always in the same place. If you keep an eye on it, it shouldn't over run your garden - but could you gravel/fence off a corner of it and encourage the dog to go there?

DogsBestFriend Sat 10-Sep-11 16:26:20

Kirsty, putting aside my own feelings sad about keeping a dog in an outhouse when you're out, no matter how nice it is, I would warn against it for practical reasons of another sort.

A dog who moves from rescue to a new home is often a little insecure to begin with. perhaps frightened even and at best he will be mighty confused. To introduce him to a new home is one thing, to then not only go and leave him (YOU know it's only to work or Sainsbury's and that he's not abandoned, HE doesn't) but to take him out of the house he's just getting used to and associating with nice things like food, company, a comfy chair grin and so on may be a backwards step and far from constrcutive. Dogs like familiarity to feel secure and the outhouse idea might result in a stressed, worried pooch with associated separation anxiety problems.

KirstyJC Sat 10-Sep-11 16:31:44

Oh, OK DBF - I had honestly thought it would be preferable to leave it somewhere where it had access to outside - got that wrong then! (See, that's why I would ask advice from all of you - I know I haven't got a clue!blush)

I would have no problem at all with leaving it indoors - and if we did get one, it would be well before I go back to work so it would have time to (hopefully) acclimatise. I would also plan to get the person sitting in to come and visit whilst we are all here still to ensure they get on OK.

DogsBestFriend Sat 10-Sep-11 16:38:07

I reckon he's going to be a lucky dog, all told. smile

DrNortherner Sat 10-Sep-11 16:38:45

Well for a start, I wouldn't consider a dog pooing in the garden as having an 'accident'.

Depending on what you feed your dog, it should, do on average approx 2 poos per day. It may do them on walks, it may poo in the garden, in fact, if you own a dog it more than likely will poo in your garden at some point. It will get diarrhea and sometimes it will vomit! Dogs do this.......

Also, a rescue centre will not be happy to rehome a dog to a family who plan on leaving it alone for 3 full days. You may need to rethink this. I'm not saying this is bad, just they don't ilke it.

FWIW we rehomed a rescued lab 3 years ago and he is in the yard when we go out (6 fooot wall and fence) he has a kennel and is absolutely fine.

DogsBestFriend Sat 10-Sep-11 16:55:08

DrNortherner, rescue will generally be ok with the OP working as she's planning to have someone come in to the dog, walk him etc. It would be a different matter if she were going to leave him alone from 9 til 5 each day, agreed, but that's not the case here.

KirstyJC Sat 10-Sep-11 16:58:36

Thanks DBF - I hope so. If we couldn't give it a happy life I wouldn't get one! I have wanteda dog for over 20 years but it is only now I am finally going to be part time that I am even considering it.

DrN - I didn't mean pooing in garden is an accident - I meant accidents in the house when it first moved in and was still getting settled. And I can cope with occasional diahorrhea/vomitting - I have three kids so I'm used to explosions from various orifices!grin

I certainly don't plan to leave it alone all day - there are several people in our village who do dog walking/sitting etc, not to mention my Dad is retired and lives a 15 min drive away, so could be emergency cover - like when we ended up in A&E for 4 hours last Xmas Eve. Also we get on well with several of our neighbours who are retired as well, one of whom has 2 dogs herself.

I agree we may not be able to get one yet, as we have 3 children - 2 under 3 - so we would need a dog that is comfortable with that. That really narrows down our options so I am aware we might need to leave it a few years.

You have all helped to clarify things, so thanks to all of you. I think the next step is to visit the local rescue centre for a chat and see where we go from there. smile

Tchootnika Sat 10-Sep-11 18:01:43

Kirsty - you sound great, I hope it all goes very, very well.
I may be stating the obvious, here, but please be aware that dogs are very, very social animals, leaving a dog alone for more than about 4 hours is pushing it a bit.
Has just struck me also, though, if the dog is going to be hanging out in the (comfy, warm) outhouse, and it's not somewhere the family spend time in regularly, then you might want to leave a piece of clothing/blanket there that's nice and smelly with familiar smells of family. Dogs love this, it helps them feel all warm and secure.

KirstyJC Sat 10-Sep-11 19:00:50

Hi Tchootnika - I think I have worked out that with 2 visits a day from the sitter it shouldn't be more than 3 hours alone at one time. Less in a few years when our eldest starts secondary school as he would be at home earlier than us on the days we work - so then it would only be a couple of hours.

I think I have decided it will be left indoors in the house - I really thought outhouse would be better but since it seems otherwise that is fine. We have a study area off the sitting room which is the perfect spot for a doggy bed and it can get out of the way of the kids there too. However, there might be times for whatever reason that we need to move it outside temporarily, or for holidays when it might be in kennels or at Dad's house, so that's a useful tip about clothing, thank

Thinking about Mum's dog, another reason not to leave it alone is what they get up to - we had to go out for longer than we anticipated one time and the dog was left in the kitchen/diner. When we got back, she had licked the butter dish completely clean (yuk) and also taken a single bite out of every nectarine in the fruit bowl. Not eaten much of them, just one single little doggy bite out of each one. It was priceless! grin

higgle Sat 10-Sep-11 23:53:01

Your dog will be fine in the house if he/she is let out lunchtime - I have had 4 dogs now with that regime. My present dog ( rescue Staffie) is also very fastidious and prefers to poo on his walks, am and pm. He occasionaly goes in the garden, if you pick it up as soon as you see it is there you should not have a problem.

diddl Mon 12-Sep-11 12:57:21

Well surely it´ll only poo in the garden if it hasn´t done one on a walk?

Dogs can go quite a while between poos-although I would say tend to wee at every opportunity!

Yesterday ours wouldn´t go out for his afternoon walk so wasn´t walked from 11am until 8pm!

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