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Discussion Starter #1
We adopted our Chuhuahua two months ago at 8 months old. He was meant, in a lot of ways to be a Yin to our 2 year old Pit Bull's Yang. That so far, has been a success. Seemingly. However there are still a couple of trouble areas that, depending on time of day and what we're doing are increasingly frustrating. If we are in bed or on the couch watching TV and he doesn't feel like sitting and relaxing with us, he will get in our face and start nipping (and invasively licking as well). We have a Dog Repellent beeper, a spray bottle, admonishment, and simply pushing him away at our disposal. Those tactics last about as long as you'd expect them to. The attitude that comes with being a Chuhuahua is just in full force at these times. It'd be one things if we exercised one of those options and he went off and did something else...but he will just keep coming. None of it feels like it is registering long term (Nip+push away=bad, don't do it again does not seem to connect in his brain). At a year old, I'm starting to get a little concerned over behavior that he will just continue to do in the face of any attempted punishment or if he'll grow out of it. I'm largely concerned that he won't grow out of it because of the personality Chuhuahua's have.

Same goes for "accidents" as well. We have to watch him eat, otherwise he'll get distracted and follow us and our other dog will get a bonus meal. Once he's done eating, anytime in the following 10 minutes he usually has to potty. This morning, I decided to monitor him because he will go into another room and do his business. I swear I caught him as he was about to go on the door mat and I put him outside. 5 minutes later, nothing. Bring him back in and 5 minutes later he barely stops moving (I can hear his tag jingle) and I find poop. Not five feet from me. He knows we don't like it and that he's in trouble. I'll pick it up with a paper towel and shake it at him, I may push his face in it (though he eats it anyway, so who knows how well that actually works). He runs when he sees me with the paper towel ball in my hands. He knows. At least it looks like he does.

Every time we leave the house I go on a scavenger hunt to see if he has left any "presents". Are we doing something wrong? Is there something we should be doing that we are not? Much like the nipping, I just don't want this to become something he does in the coming years and I'm getting nervous that the longer he does this into his first two years, the hard this habit will be to break.

Admittedly, some of this was me venting. I tried to stay on track.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Chuhuahua was getting ready to poop in the house this morning. I went to grab him and he ran away under a couch. Coaxed him out and put him out. He didn't do anything. Come time for me to get ready for work, and he poops on the couch. Picks it apart like an owl pellet and brings a piece downstairs.

I don't know what to do or why he is just utterly determined to poop in the house, but for the time being he has earned a good 80 minutes or so outside in the morning. Even if he proceeds to eat his poop after he decides to go outside, he will at least be pooping outside.

I've spent the last year trying to train two different dogs. I know there are plenty of people who handle more than that daily. As someone with zero experience, I was very into it when we started. Figured after some research, work, and repetition, I could get the proper and desired behavior out of the dogs. Now, with my Pit growing up and more prey drive instincts kicking in (find the last post I started) and my Chuhuahua not understanding the concept of pottying outside, I'm getting ready to give up on my efforts and hire someone. It's too frustrating and putting forth some cash would not only help train my dogs better, but make my life easier.
 

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> The nipping sounds to me like play. I would keep a basket of toys and some treats next to the couch. When he starts acting up, tell him "off" and lure him off the couch with at treat. Praise, give the treat, then have him sit. Praise again, grab a toy, and get down on the floor and play with him. Over time, this will show him that if he comes and sits beside you, that alone will let you know he wants to play. As long as it works, it's what he'll do.

> For the potty training, pushing his nose in it or any other punishment simply won't work. You claim he knows it's wrong, but does he really? Or does he just know that you get angry when he goes to the bathroom? This will cause you trouble in two ways: 1) he'll stop going to the bathroom in front of you (even outside!) because he knows it makes you mad - which will bring potty training to a halt and lead to "presents" hidden around the house and 2) he'll eventually just assume that the act of going to the bathroom is "bad", but of course he can't help it, so he'll essentially shut down and just stop trying to do what you want - which alludes to #1.

It seems like he's on a pretty good schedule right now, so stick to it. About 5 minutes after he eats, take him outside on a leash and actually walk him around yourself until he goes. It could be 10 minutes, it could be 30. When he does go, loooooots of praise and treats. You must teach him what you want him to do, in order for him to do it.

The other component is habit. He needs to get into the habit of going to the bathroom outside, instead of inside. That means that you need to prevent accidents indoors. Tether him to you when you are at home and give frequent potty breaks (always walking him on a leash; it will keep him on task and stimulate him to go). When you can't watch him, crate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
> The nipping sounds to me like play. I would keep a basket of toys and some treats next to the couch. When he starts acting up, tell him "off" and lure him off the couch with at treat. Praise, give the treat, then have him sit. Praise again, grab a toy, and get down on the floor and play with him. Over time, this will show him that if he comes and sits beside you, that alone will let you know he wants to play. As long as it works, it's what he'll do.

> For the potty training, pushing his nose in it or any other punishment simply won't work. You claim he knows it's wrong, but does he really? Or does he just know that you get angry when he goes to the bathroom? This will cause you trouble in two ways: 1) he'll stop going to the bathroom in front of you (even outside!) because he knows it makes you mad - which will bring potty training to a halt and lead to "presents" hidden around the house and 2) he'll eventually just assume that the act of going to the bathroom is "bad", but of course he can't help it, so he'll essentially shut down and just stop trying to do what you want - which alludes to #1.

It seems like he's on a pretty good schedule right now, so stick to it. About 5 minutes after he eats, take him outside on a leash and actually walk him around yourself until he goes. It could be 10 minutes, it could be 30. When he does go, loooooots of praise and treats. You must teach him what you want him to do, in order for him to do it.

The other component is habit. He needs to get into the habit of going to the bathroom outside, instead of inside. That means that you need to prevent accidents indoors. Tether him to you when you are at home and give frequent potty breaks (always walking him on a leash; it will keep him on task and stimulate him to go). When you can't watch him, crate.
Coincidentally, last night I noticed him really take to one of the smaller (still half the size of him) bones. I put it on my finger to maintain control so he wouldn't lose it to the floor or couch cushion and start digging. He took to it like a baby to a pacifier, so I am with you on the play. I guess we were trying to discourage nipping us instead of curbing to what he is allowed to nip.

I say he knows it's bad because as soon as he knows I see it or I catch him walking away from the scene, he flees. I never thought about this discouraging him from going potty period.

I guess I'll put him on the leash after he eats in the morning and then again in the afternoon...or at least ask my wife to (she gets home before I do and feeds the dogs).

Should the potty breaks between dogs be separate for all of this? I think the Chuhuahua simply gets distracted so much by the environment (which is why I'll leash him now) and also by our Pit who knows the process by now. The other day, Alfred-the Pit very nearly pooped on Loki-the Chuhuahua's head because Loki was just so infatuated with it.

When you say "when you can't catch him, crate", do you mean to crate him while we're at work or should we just do it when we think he might have to poop after we leave (say we come home to feed them and then leave)?
 

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I would crate him or at least put him in a "safe" room anytime you're gone or cannot physically keep an eye on him. At least, for now. Once he's more reliable, you can start to give him more freedom.

Separate may work best, yes. Try to get him to go to the bathroom as soon as you go out, and then he can have outside playtime. It may take awhile at first, but he'll catch on eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So we have been trying to figure out when he poops for the last two days. I have put the leash on him and taken him into the backyard after each meal. He poops fine. Overnight however, he pooped. So I'm going to crate him tonight. The kicker though, is that this morning, after I brought him out to poop (and he did). He pooped again! Between about 30-60 minutes after he came in. That is the time in which we are getting ready for work and simply can't watch monitor him. Should I keep him outside or crate him or what?

My wife should be home in about 30 minutes and will check the house for poop to see if he had any more. Then I'll check when I get home at 5:30. He'll probably get crated when we leave the house though. It'll just be nice to have the timing and number of daily poops down so we can leave him out and know to be home by a certain time if we can.
 

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I'll pick it up with a paper towel and shake it at him, I may push his face in it (though he eats it anyway, so who knows how well that actually works). He runs when he sees me with the paper towel ball in my hands. He knows. At least it looks like he does.
He's not running away out of guilt. Dogs don't really feel guilt like that; they respond to what has been taught to them. What you have taught your dog is that if he has an accident in the house, he's going to receive punishment. A dog will not understand what shaking a paper towel full of poop means. A dog's nose is also extremely sensitive to both smell and touch, so shoving their nose into their own excrement is actually painful for them. He's running away because you have made him afraid of you. Like has been said before, this can also lead to an aversion of going to the bathroom in general. Fortunately, this can be fixed.

As for eating poop, which isn't one of your major problems but still something you don't really want. Dogs can do that for many reasons, a big one being that he's not getting the nutrition he needs. You may need to look into what you're feeding him to make sure he's getting all of his nutritional requirements. My first Shepherd used to eat his own poop, so we fed him canned pumpkin and he hated the taste of his poop after that. This was back in the early 90s when good quality food was practically non-existent, and he was eating Iams. After we discovered good quality foods, none of our dogs ever ate their own excrement. Coincidence or correlation? It's a good shot either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good news: new poop between 9 and noon. I'll check again when I get home at around 5:30. I imagine we will crate him tonight to prevent an overnight poop. The second one in the morning is the real killer. I don't know how to plan for that whether I'm going to work or staying home...unless I need to bring him out right after feeding and then again an hour later? I'm really just trying to consolidate the trips and get him on a schedule.
@Larkspur...shaking the paper towel at him may not register, but it helps me cope! Does that count? He is now getting praise and treats for pooping outside.
 

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According to my wife, being in the crate never stopped loki from popping when we first got him. I brought him out on the leash for about 15 minutes at 8 last night and nothing. He went uncrated and pooped. We just went out for the after breakfast potty break and I'm waiting another 15 minutes to get the second one he apparently has. Since I don't see how to directly prevent the overnight poop, I'm going to shower with praise and provide treats for the ones outside. Maybe that'll help something click.

Anyone else have trouble getting a chihuahua to go the night without pooping? It really is the longest stretch of time without going out....
 

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Yes, the praise and treats will help. Be sure to do it at the exact moment he finishes. If you've ever clicker trained him, you can use that as it may be faster/easier to mark the behavior at the right moment with the clicker, then treat.

For the overnight, try taking him out in the middle of the night. It's not ideal, but eventually you'll be able to phase him off if it and sleep through the night...just right now, for whatever reason, he has to go.

I can't remember if you said - what time does he get his last meal?
 

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Your dog may not know that he is not supposed to poop in the house. Perhaps nobody taught him.

Have you cleaned all the places where he pooped with an enzymatic cleaner so that he is not attracted to those places by smell? Personally, I would not give him the chance to poop in the house again. I would crate when supervision is not possible. For times when I didn't want him crated, I would have him on a leash tied to my waist, so he couldn't sneak in another room.

When you have to go out, put him in a crate or exercise pen. Even if it doesn't stop him pooping, it limits the areas for you to clean.

Also, do you take him for walks? Walks are amazing for stimulating the elimination processes.;)

I agree with rewarding (with the nicest treats in the world) for going in the right places, no punishment when he goes elsewhere.

And stop being frustrated as that will make him more anxious, so more likely to need to go when you or he is least expecting it.
 

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Coincidentally, last night I noticed him really take to one of the smaller (still half the size of him) bones. I put it on my finger to maintain control so he wouldn't lose it to the floor or couch cushion and start digging. He took to it like a baby to a pacifier, so I am with you on the play. I guess we were trying to discourage nipping us instead of curbing to what he is allowed to nip.

I say he knows it's bad because as soon as he knows I see it or I catch him walking away from the scene, he flees. I never thought about this discouraging him from going potty period.

I guess I'll put him on the leash after he eats in the morning and then again in the afternoon...or at least ask my wife to (she gets home before I do and feeds the dogs).
Sounds like a stressed dog to me. I think I would be stressed if I those around me kept shouting at me and trying to catch me to punish me.
 

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Yes, the praise and treats will help. Be sure to do it at the exact moment he finishes. If you've ever clicker trained him, you can use that as it may be faster/easier to mark the behavior at the right moment with the clicker, then treat.

For the overnight, try taking him out in the middle of the night. It's not ideal, but eventually you'll be able to phase him off if it and sleep through the night...just right now, for whatever reason, he has to go.

I can't remember if you said - what time does he get his last meal?
Maybe...like you say, it's not ideal. I'd like to curb behavior during the day and hopefully avoid midnight potty break (especially because its going to be hitting the 40s and he likes to bark at the air...I don't want to wake the neighbors.

We try to make his last feeding time at around 4 pm. He has some grazing tendencies, so sometimes he ignores food. I'm tempted to have a meal get skipped if he doesn't take to it when we feed him so he figures out when feeding time is without hesitation (and hopefully that instills a bathroom scheduled)

Last night it appears that he did not poop, however, he could have eaten it. Rarely is it all gone when I've stumbled across it though.

Your dog may not know that he is not supposed to poop in the house. Perhaps nobody taught him.

Have you cleaned all the places where he pooped with an enzymatic cleaner so that he is not attracted to those places by smell? Personally, I would not give him the chance to poop in the house again. I would crate when supervision is not possible. For times when I didn't want him crated, I would have him on a leash tied to my waist, so he couldn't sneak in another room.

When you have to go out, put him in a crate or exercise pen. Even if it doesn't stop him pooping, it limits the areas for you to clean.

Also, do you take him for walks? Walks are amazing for stimulating the elimination processes.;)

I agree with rewarding (with the nicest treats in the world) for going in the right places, no punishment when he goes elsewhere.

And stop being frustrated as that will make him more anxious, so more likely to need to go when you or he is least expecting it.
I use orange clean on wood floors and Shout on the carpet to clean...even though it doesn't do much seeping into the carpet.

I've stopped being frustrated. Last night I found pieces peppered around the basement and just comforted him. Those were actually in addition to one I caught him leaving. I brought him and it outside to show him where it should be.

I have been taking him on a leash into the backyard to poop. When he has to go, he goes within 10 minutes...but that is not without me helping him to focus with some gentle leash tugs.

It's been about an hour since breakfast, so I'm going to take him out for a few minutes to see if he has anything (he pooped outside right after breakfast and was rewarded. This may seem early, but an early post here has him pooping twice in an hour...after being showered with praise the first time when we were outside).
 

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I use orange clean on wood floors and Shout on the carpet to clean...even though it doesn't do much seeping into the carpet.
You really need to switch to an enzymatic cleaner, which will hopefully kill the scent of the urine and poop. Even though your place may smell clean to you, your dog can still detect the odor of his own elimination.

I would recommend that you look for a product called "Nature's Miracle" in your local pet store. It comes in a spray bottle.
 

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You really need to switch to an enzymatic cleaner, which will hopefully kill the scent of the urine and poop. Even though your place may smell clean to you, your dog can still detect the odor of his own elimination.

I would recommend that you look for a product called "Nature's Miracle" in your local pet store. It comes in a spray bottle.
I'll see what I can do/find!

On the plus side, I've started to take him for a walk around the block around feeding time (if he eats we go after, if he doesn't we go before...THEN he eats). The last two walks, he has actually pooped twice. We'll see how he does today since he won't get out time after eating (for a few hours, anyway). I'm just happy the walk is as effective as it is.
 

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I suspect two things here, both related to the punishments he's been receiving.

1. He eats his poop to hide it from you because he has not learned that pooping inside is bad, he's learned that you seeing poop is bad. If he eats the poop, you don't see it.

2. He is afraid to poop in front of you, but he can't entirely stop pooping, so he poops just enough to reduce the urge to go, and then ends up having to finish up an hour or so later.

This is why punishment is so bad for dogs, because even if it does stop the behavior you don't like, it causes all kinds of ancillary problems down the road.

You should walk him when you know he has to poop. A nice, long walk. That should get him to fully empty his bowels. Praise and treat when he does go. Don't punish for anything from now on, because the results are just going to get worse.

You should also look at what you feed. If you're feeding a lot of corn and other fillers, he'll have to go more often. I'd look for a food that the first several ingredients are a named meat and try that. Acana, Canidae, Earthborn, Taste of the Wild, 4Health are a few at various price points to try.
 

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I suspect two things here, both related to the punishments he's been receiving.

1. He eats his poop to hide it from you because he has not learned that pooping inside is bad, he's learned that you seeing poop is bad. If he eats the poop, you don't see it.

2. He is afraid to poop in front of you, but he can't entirely stop pooping, so he poops just enough to reduce the urge to go, and then ends up having to finish up an hour or so later.

This is why punishment is so bad for dogs, because even if it does stop the behavior you don't like, it causes all kinds of ancillary problems down the road.

You should walk him when you know he has to poop. A nice, long walk. That should get him to fully empty his bowels. Praise and treat when he does go. Don't punish for anything from now on, because the results are just going to get worse.

You should also look at what you feed. If you're feeding a lot of corn and other fillers, he'll have to go more often. I'd look for a food that the first several ingredients are a named meat and try that. Acana, Canidae, Earthborn, Taste of the Wild, 4Health are a few at various price points to try.
The walks have shown a vast improvement. I'm pretty stunned that he has gone twice on both walks. I haven't even thoughts about treating him on the walks though. I should do that. I only always praised after he pooped in the yard and then gave treats when we went back inside. Honestly, I don't even have a problem with taking him for walks to poop (ask me again in 4 months). It gets the job done faster in the same amount of time that going in the yard does. He also doesn't pull nearly as bad as our Pit does. That may or may not have something to do with their ~55 lb wait difference....

The food he gets is the same gluten free food our Pit eats.
 

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. He also doesn't pull nearly as bad as our Pit does. That may or may not have something to do with their ~55 lb wait difference.....
This is unrelated to the original post, but it is important. He may be pulling just as hard, but you can't feel it because he is small. Certain small dog breeds are susceptible to tracheal collapse. If he is currently wearing a collar for walks, I would strongly suggest a harness instead, even if the leash is slightly taut, it can be a great strain on that tiny neck.
 

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Some dogs are just corprophages, it might have nothing to do with being punished. At some point they decided they liked it and once they do, eating it becomes self-rewarding behavior. We've had ourselves dogs that were never punished for doing a mess inside and would beeline to ANY poop they could find to eat it.

It was disgusting.
 

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This is unrelated to the original post, but it is important. He may be pulling just as hard, but you can't feel it because he is small. Certain small dog breeds are susceptible to tracheal collapse. If he is currently wearing a collar for walks, I would strongly suggest a harness instead, even if the leash is slightly taut, it can be a great strain on that tiny neck.
You are correct! We do actually have a harness for him. Since this started out in the yard where he didn't pull, I never migrated to the harness. That or, when I'm walking him at 7 am and I'm still waking up it's not something that occurs to me. I'll try to remember though! The harness hangs right next to the leash after all...

Some dogs are just corprophages, it might have nothing to do with being punished. At some point they decided they liked it and once they do, eating it becomes self-rewarding behavior. We've had ourselves dogs that were never punished for doing a mess inside and would beeline to ANY poop they could find to eat it.

It was disgusting.
You know, I always thought it was just a dog thing to do. Not that they all do it, but that it was a trait common to dogs. Our Pit I think may have done it out of boredom for a bit. I feel like I really noticed it during the winter (fewer things to sniff at and distract him?) He doesn't eat it as often any more.

They both sniff at and sometimes will try to eat nearly anything they find that passes their evidentially low sniff test standard. The little one also will go for the bigger one's poop. Or pee. There have been moments...such a strange dog...it's not like food and water are not constant!
 
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