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Dog seems to have forgotten toilet training at night.

(9 Posts)
DidgeDoolittle Thu 14-May-15 12:41:58

I have a six year old westie. I have had her two years and she was a rescue dog. She had spent her whole life in a cage and had been used for breeding in a puppy farm. Obviously she was not toilet trained.
We decided to use a crate for training and it went very well. She got the hang of going out during the day and never messed at night.

After a year of this she started to fret and bark at night when she was put in her crate. We tried to persevere, but she continued to bark.

She is now in the kitchen at night and is quite happy. However, over the last six months she has started to mess more and more at night. She always goes outside last thing at night so that she can go to the loo. I've noticed that, if she can get away with it,she will just wait outside for a time and not actually go to the loo. So last night I waited until I saw her go and then let her back in.

About five minutes later I was upstairs and I could hear her scraping around like she been to the loo. I went down, and she had pooed.

Not sure how to deal with this. I have never had a dog before. She is a perfect dog in every other way, but it am at a lossover this. Any advice gratefully received.

DidgeDoolittle Thu 14-May-15 18:16:18


Bambinho Thu 14-May-15 18:26:17

Sorry I can't help but watching with interest for more experienced dog owners to come along. I have a fairly new greyhound who has messed a couple of times at night when not locked in his cage.

DidgeDoolittle Thu 14-May-15 21:05:37

Is there no one who can help?

KatharineClifton Thu 14-May-15 22:51:19

The rescue is there for lifelong support - have you asked them? I'm sorry I have no experience of this and don't know how to help :/

ludmiliana Fri 15-May-15 09:15:24

It might be a physical thing rather than a behavioural one. Have you changed her food recently? Started feeding her at different times? Sometimes dogs and owners can get into a body routine where they 'expect' food to go in, then come out, at certain times, and if the food is different and takes longer/not as long, and doesn't match the usual routine, accidents happen. My old dog spent a lot of time in a crate in her first home, and I suspect has never 'learned' housetraining; she just knows she'll be let outside at certain times, and will do a poo if one's imminent, but I'm not convinced she knows exactly what I want her to do out there, and does occasionally have accidents if I'm not vigilant.

Or maybe she's got a digestive problem? If she's been fine until now, and the food hasn't changed, I'd take her to the vets to rule out any issues.

WasWildatHeart Fri 15-May-15 20:27:13

Our border terrier started peeing at night at age of six, having always been dry so, on the basis that dogs dont mess their own space, we started using a soft crate for a few weeks. She was dry no probs so we took her out again and she has been fine since (touch wood).

A colleague tried this with his JRT who had messed every night for years and she has been fine too. Think he continues to use crate

Worth a go?

ludmiliana Fri 15-May-15 21:05:08

Do you think she has negative associations with the crate, if she spent a lot of time in it when she was being used as a breeding dog? I totally understand why you wouldn't want to cage her again if she's showing distress at being in one, but as wasWild says above, there are soft crates you can get which don't feel as 'cagey' - my dog sleeps in a big soft crate with a memory foam mattress and cosy cushions: it's more like a den than a cage.

Or, you might have to go back to basics and retrain the night time wee/poo, with cheese rewards when she does go, and not letting her back in until it's done. Maybe give her a very very short last walk, to get her bowels moving, so you can reward on cue?

Hope you can get it sorted out. Can the rescue advise? Poor little girl - ex-breeding dogs do have their own issues, but they so deserve their happy second home, and you sound like such a caring owner for her to have found.

DidgeDoolittle Sat 16-May-15 11:12:52

Thank you all.

We have decided to go back to basics. We wait outside with her until she's been to the loo and then give her a little reward. So far so good.

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