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Is it too late?

(12 Posts)
ellajayne Fri 12-Apr-13 17:12:02

I have an almost one year old Labrador who is gorgeous most of the time but has been going through a period of weeing and pooing in the house. She'll go outside then come in to do a poo. She was house trained at 16 weeks so I really don't know why she's being like this. This has gone on for a month with days of being great then not so great days.

Also she was good on the lead. She's walk three or four miles with only a little pulling. Her recall is still very good but everything else has just gone to pot. I just took her for a walk and after five minutes she almost pulled me over three times and we turned around and came home.

I can't figure what I've done wrong. Is it too late to train her again? She's perfectly fit and healthy after a bout of conjunctivitis a month or so ago, if that makes a difference?

BastardDog Fri 12-Apr-13 18:03:47

I think it might be a developmental stage whereby she's testing the boundaries. Think teenage. I don't think she's forgotten her training, but she might need reminding.

MumOfTheMoos Fri 12-Apr-13 18:17:16

Yep, 12 mths old, think teenager and remember this too will pass.

She'll go back to the well trained doggie, don't worry.

In the mean time just make sure she gets enough exercise to tire her out. At that point in our dogs life I went to working from home to out all day so our dog went into doggie daycare - spending time with other dogs wore her out and did her the world if good.

Also, go back to basics - no pulling on the lead, intense reward led training etc

Booboostoo Fri 12-Apr-13 23:33:18

She's a teenager and a dog's training needs to continue through-out their lives.

With the soiling it might be worth getting a vet to check her out and make sure there is no physical problem. If it's behavioural is there any particular reason she might be stressed? Adaptil collars/diffusers can help reduce anxiety but other than that go back to the beginning: take her out when she wakes up, after each meal and at least once an hour, if she has an accident don't react just clean it up really well and praise her for going to the toilet outside.

ellajayne Sat 13-Apr-13 00:57:27

Thanks for the replies.

No reason for her to be stressed as nothing has changed. I am a stay at home mum so I'm here all the time apart from school runs and errands, her routine is the same, her food is the same etc. No upheavals.

I'll take treats out on tomorrows walk and stop when she pulls etc again. I feel like people are staring at me awfully when she pulls and I'm flailing around just trying to get her to stop. She's pretty big so hard to control right now.

If the soiling continues I'll take her up to the vet. Do you think I should give it a few weeks or take her up to be on the safe side?

MumOfTheMoos Sat 13-Apr-13 07:21:58

You mentioned that she walks a good 3 or 4 miles on the lead (or use ex to before age was a teenager); do you let her off the lead at all?

Booboostoo Sat 13-Apr-13 07:36:07

Personally I prefer to discount a physical reason before I conclude it's behavioral, so I would go to the vet next week. A physical cause for both urinary and fecal incontinence is rare but you never know.

Don't feel self-conscious about other people! People who know dogs (and other animals) know that training is an on-going process and you have regressions and problems...everyone else, ignore them! Go back to really high value treats and be prepared to spend your walk correcting the pulling issue rather than actually walking.

ellajayne Sat 13-Apr-13 19:35:15

She walks a mile and a half to the park, runs off the lead around the park for about half an hour with good recall then back on the lead to walk home. We do that once a day. Is this enough exercise? Do you think she's regressing because she's bored?

I have an appointment on Tuesday with the vet to rule out physical issues.

Booboostoo Sun 14-Apr-13 09:27:18

I would be tempted to do a bit more exercise with her even if there is no connection with the toilet training problem. A young Lab will have a lot of energy and you want to direct it to appropriate activities.

Can you go on different walks? Doing the same walk can get a bit boring. Can you go to training classes? It helps keep their minds active. Some dogs enjoy agility or flyball for fun, is there anything like that near you?

ellajayne Sun 14-Apr-13 14:47:36

I can walk the extra mile to a different park with lots of hills for her to run down. Other than that it's just walking on pavements where it isn't safe to let her off the lead. I don't have a car to take her further out at the moment but hopefully this summer I'll get one so we can go further afield. I could take her on the bus but with the soiling issues I'm a bit wary, especially as she's not been on a bus before.

ellajayne Sun 14-Apr-13 14:49:03

As for puppy classes there is nothing in my local area. We take a frisbee out with us as she's really not interested in balls and if the mood takes her she'll play for a while. It's what we used to help her recall.

Booboostoo Sun 14-Apr-13 15:58:34

Trying to vary her walk will be worth it in terms of mental stimulation and you can always to a second, lead-only walk later in the day.

Try teaching her some new behaviours. She may love retreaving, or it may be fun to teach her to roll over or dance. Also with the good weather coming in it might be fun to get her a puddling pool for the garden.

If you do get a car it's well worth taking her to training classes.

One more thought: try NILIF. If the soiling is a confidence issue NILIF may well help. (Nothing In Life Is Free: ask your dog to perform a simple behaviour (like a 'sit' or 'down') before doing anything else, so ask for a sit before giving cuddles, ask for a down before putting a lead on, ask for a sit before openning the door to let the dog out).

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