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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi! I have a three year old poodle/****zu rescue dog, Zoey. I've had her since October. She was a dream for about a month and a half and then went through a round of diarrhea which started a round of pooping in the house. After that was cleared up and the vet said she was fine, no intestinal problems, no worms, etc., He suggested sprinkling a little metamucil on her food to keep her regular but said this was behavioral, not medical.

I started a house re-training program. Regular feeding, walking, and treating when she pees outside or poops. She's crated about three hours a day and has worn a doggy diaper around the house when she's not crated to prevent her from going. She was doing really well - no accidents for two weeks so the diaper came off. Then two days ago she pooped on the carpet again. And today she pooped in her crate while I was at work (was in crate about 5 hours).

She will go on her walk, squeeze out a tiny doodee to get her treat and then let the rest hang out of her butt. Either I make her walk a couple of steps and it drops or she sucks it back in. This will go on for days before she drops a proper, full poop. She did the tiny doodee thing this morning and then did a well formed, full poop in her crate. Crate is the correct size according to guidelines.

I'm at a loss of what to do to get her to poop a full poop outside on her walk. She gets walked three times per day, minimum, sometimes more. Walks last anywhere from 5-10 minutes (morning) to 30 minutes (afternoon). She obviously doesn't need a long walk to go poop as she will crouch and start to poop within 5 minutes. She just doesn't finish the poop. Ideas? Should I not treat unless it's a full poop? Should I feed her once a day instead of twice? I'm at a loss here.
 

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It sounds like that bout of diarrhea made her afraid to poop in front of you -- thus the holding it back (but enough to get a treat -- lol!) When you are gone and she has the privacy of her crate, she goes just fine. Since you have only had her a few months she doesn't understand the rules of your home or may have had house-breaking issues way before you got her, considering her age. And I'm not so sure that diaper thing helped things much... The key, after you can regain her trust to go in front of you (or put her outside and let her go on her own -- or put her on a longer leash and allow her to do it behind a bush or something), is to get her on a regular schedule. It should be pretty easy for a 3 year old to maintain a schedule -- my pup is only a year old and I know exactly when he has to go out and what he will be doing, #1, #2 or both. :). Once on a schedule -- she should be able to hold it for 5 hours -- as long as she goes just before you leave. If she doesn't seem to get on a schedule, it may mean limiting her intake until you have her routine figured out. But I think you have to remember, she's had 3 years of unknown history -- rescuing an adult dog truly has its rewards, but also its challenges. She just needs a little time to get her confidence. all the best and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I'll try a longer leash and see if it helps. She won't stay in the backyard without me standing there and never poops in the backyard, always has to be a walk. But when we're on walks she does tend to glance up at me as she's going but I was thinking it was more to get a treat - like . . . "Can I get my treat now? Treat? Do you have a treat for me?" I try to look away and just stay neutral until she's done. Maybe she's nervous though.

What do you mean by limiting her intake? Like going down to feeding once per day instead of twice or feeding her less food?
 

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Limiting her intake, depending on hers and your schedule. For instance, if you go to work in the morning and you find out that her 'schedule' is within 2 hours of feeding, you may have to skip the breakfast for now -- only because you may not have 2 hours -- and you don't want to stress her out if you need to get to work -- because then she'll really hold it -- lol! If you have more time in the evening, then one meal should be fine, until you re-gain her trust and you have her schedule down pat. Be sure, however, that after she has had her meal that you limit her freedom of the house to only where you can see her! even if it means gates or moving furniture for awhile; because she may continue to want to hide from you if she has to go. Watch her constantly during that building of the confidence time -- never let her out of your sight; if she looks like she has to go, make it a happy time so she does not always associate pooping as a chore or being judged. dogs can be so silly -- I know. :) yeah -- I'd stop the treats -- just a 'good girl' and maybe a little play time, when she's done. Treats are fine for a young pup that does not understand the concept, but she understands what you want, but she may have some other things going on in her head. :) You know her best, of course, but I think I would not let her 'take her time' with her food -- if she is a grazer; at least until you two are on the same page again. I would give her a certain amount of time to eat her meal, then remove it. The only reason I say that is, again, to get her on a regular 'bowel schedule' -- if you allow her to graze, potentially she may have to go all night -- and there is more chance for the 'hiding thing'. good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you, Blujeans! I switched her to eating once a day in the morning since actually that's much more of a regular time for me and I normally have about an hour in the morning after I wake up before I leave the house, sometimes closer to 2-3 hours. She's a gobbler, so eats it all up quickly. I took her out about 20-30 minutes afterwards. I have a long lead leash, like the kind that you use to train a dog to "Come." I used it yesterday evening and today and she did almost full poops on all three walks - morning, afternoon, and evening. Success! She didn't go and hide but she definitely went farther away from me than she normally would on her regular leash. I also stopped treating her. Just gave her a "good dog" and a little petting afterwards and then lots of walking as a reward. I'm so glad I posted as I was so frustrated!

Also, just an fyi that she's almost always in my sight when indoors since the whole November diarrhea thing and then starting house re-training. She's sometimes leashed to me if I'm doing something and can't keep an eye on her. Or she's crated at that point. The poop on the carpet was so surprising since I'm pretty vigilant. She slipped away for 30 seconds, seriously. One of those moments where I was like, "Shoot! Where's Zoey!"

I read somewhere to expect house re-training to take 2 months minimum, so I'm committed to vigilance and trying things for quite a while. She's such a sweet and funny dog that she is worth the effort.
 

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This is great news, girllie! And that walking as a reward afterwards is probably 'just what the doctor ordered' -- definitely keep it up. :) good luck and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi! I just wanted to give an update. Zoey has not had any more accidents in the house and is doing full poops outside about 80% of the time. I've been super regular about the times I take her out and 30 min walks are the standard, closer to 45 mins in the afternoon. Good exercise for me and her! Yesterday, I was busy with the kids and 3:00 rolled around and then 3:15 . . . Zoey went and stood by the door!!! I was so excited!!!! And of course took her out immediately and praised her profusely for being such a smart dog.

Thank you so much for helping us out!
 

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Just seen this thread and glad you 80% got her going properly! house training can get a nightmare so sorry to hear how unwell she was before hand though
 
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