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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Based on observing my two dogs, a dachshund puppy and an adult lab, we've begun to wonder if their interactions with each other are influencing their bathroom habits in a negative way.

The puppy refuses to go outside unless a family member or the other dog accompanies her and then will either play or lay around nearby. She will sometimes go potty outside but it is very sporadic and inconsistent. We do reward her whenever we catch her but she has an accident in the house at least every other day, sometimes multiple times a day. Often times we'll go inside and she has an accident very shortly after being outside. If we put her out by herself she will sit at the door whining until someone lets her in or goes out with her, although we are trying to teach her whining at the door will not be rewarded.

The dachshund frequently herds the lab, nipping at her ears and barking/growing at her, to get her to go where she wants. She does this when they are let inside and let outside. We think because of this the lab's bathroom tendencies have deteriorated as I don't think she is a fan of being around the puppy constantly because of the puppy's behavior, especially regarding outside time. She was housebroken before we got the puppy but lately a few times a week she'll pee in the kitchen near the back door. Often times when the puppy wants to go out, the lab will not, and we have to coax her to go outside. The puppy knows to ring a bell when she wants to go outside and is mostly kennel trained. She will go in when we say 'kennel time' but will often cry for a while after we lock the kennel. The adult lab is fully kennel trained.

Is it possible their interactions are influencing one another to have accidents in the house based on what I've explained?

If so, what training recommendations do you have?
 

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Based on observing my two dogs, a dachshund puppy and an adult lab, we've begun to wonder if their interactions with each other are influencing their bathroom habits in a negative way.

The puppy refuses to go outside unless a family member or the other dog accompanies her and then will either play or lay around nearby. She will sometimes go potty outside but it is very sporadic and inconsistent. We do reward her whenever we catch her but she has an accident in the house at least every other day, sometimes multiple times a day. Often times we'll go inside and she has an accident very shortly after being outside. If we put her out by herself she will sit at the door whining until someone lets her in or goes out with her, although we are trying to teach her whining at the door will not be rewarded.

The dachshund frequently herds the lab, nipping at her ears and barking/growing at her, to get her to go where she wants. She does this when they are let inside and let outside. We think because of this the lab's bathroom tendencies have deteriorated as I don't think she is a fan of being around the puppy constantly because of the puppy's behavior, especially regarding outside time. She was housebroken before we got the puppy but lately a few times a week she'll pee in the kitchen near the back door. Often times when the puppy wants to go out, the lab will not, and we have to coax her to go outside. The puppy knows to ring a bell when she wants to go outside and is mostly kennel trained. She will go in when we say 'kennel time' but will often cry for a while after we lock the kennel. The adult lab is fully kennel trained.

Is it possible their interactions are influencing one another to have accidents in the house based on what I've explained?

If so, what training recommendations do you have?
Hi.

Puppy shouldn't be left alone outside at all, anyway, and certainly not left until she stops crying - that's not "teaching her that whining won't be rewarded" it's teaching there that whining is pointless because nobody comes whether she's whining or not. It's like a baby that stops crying when it's hungry or needs its nappy changed but is left until she stops because her parents "want to teach her that crying won't be rewarded." The need is still there, but trying to communicate that need is ignored, so the communication stops.

Nor should the lab have to constantly deal with a tiny terror that doesn't know when enough's enough and nips her ears and barks and growls at her, so if the lab doesn't want to go out with the puppy, you need to respect that and take her out separately. Look at it this way - would you be comfortable using the toilet if an unrelated, poorly managed toddler kept following you around - even into the bathroom - scratching or smacking your legs, using you as a canvas on which to draw, hanging off your legs, pulling you ear lobes or putting any and every available limb into their mouths? Or would you wait until the little monster was removed by its parents? ;)

Give the lab a safe place in which she can get away from the pup - make such a place a strict "No pup zone". Take them out separately so that the lab doesn't have to endure a little land shark every time she tries to toilet. Take the pup out and supervise - that way you're in a good position to catch every time she toilets where you want her to - and she won't have to whine to be let in because you're right there with her. ;)
 

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Agree. I see three things here - the toilet training the puppy, the kennel training the puppy, and the labrador accidents which I agree, are likely to stop if you stop the pup from annoying the lab as above.

For toilet training the pup, remember all indoor accidents are your fault for not having her outside at that moment she needs to toilet. So dobt let her out; take her, and stay right beside her so you can reward immediately she toilets. Toilet training happens when the ability to hold her toilet comes together with the desire to hold it in order to earn her reward for doing so. So the reward has to be immediate so it's clear that it is for toileting. So you have to be right there with her.

I'm not a fan of bells - they teach dogs you will let them out: not that you will let them out to toilet so you could end up as your dog's doorman. Far better to have a regular schedule, like every hour, to keep her bladder and bowel empty and easier to control. If she isn't having to wait until she needs, and tells you so, she is far less likely to have accidents.

Kennel training - don't leave her to cry, as LMMB says. The dogs that stop crying don't do so because they suddenly realise everything is ok, they do it because they have given up hope. It is an extreme example but in trauma victims, it's the silent ones who are most damaged. This article explains the science behind it.

Self Soothing & Cry It Out Are Neurologically Damaging Here Is Why - Simply Behaviour Dog Training Courses

I imagine kennel training is very similar to crate training, this is an excellent guide written by Emma Judson who is a behaviourist who specialises in separation anxiety.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello!

I may have been using the term puppy too lightly...She's about a year and a half old. I'm not sure if that influences what you said at all but I figured it was worth mentioning. I don't want you to think we leave a 4-month-old puppy outside and ignore its cries!

Thank you for all the advice. I'm glad to know you agree with our suspicions that the dachshund is annoying our lab and causing outside/bathroom avoidance. :)

I'm assuming then once the puppy is potty-trained then we can address the fact that she will not go outside alone?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All of which has been duly noted!

I am definitely aware that her accidents are reflective of my family and I's lack of schedule, training, and discipline and does not reflect on her. It's not her fault.

I think kennel training is synonymous with crate training. Prior to today, I had always been told you're supposed to let dogs whine it out and self-soothe when you kennel them but I guess it's time to unlearn that nasty mentality. Thank you for teaching me this.

I do have a follow-up question about kenneling though, does this change when the purpose or intent behind the kenneling is different? When we would all go to work and school she'd usually cry. :cry:

Also thank you for all the resources, I'll definitely give them a read tonight :)
 

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Your follow up question - no, the purpose of kennelling shouldn't matter. To your dog, it's the same, she is unhappy in her kennel and she doesn't know the different reasons why she might be there.

Sorry, I'm sure that wasn't the answer you were hoping for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It raises more questions, but I still thank you for answering my follow-up question. I can tell I've got some reading and learning ahead of me. :)
 
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