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Need help getting rid of bad habits

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CitricPrincess
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Need help getting rid of bad habits

Postby CitricPrincess » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:42 pm

Hello, all! Anyone remember me? It's been a while. Life has been giving me issues and taking care of pets, combined with taking care of school, work, and various personal/life issues has taken priority over getting online and talking to people about pets.

However, I find myself in a bit of a problem, and I thought maybe some people on here would know a thing or two about what I should do.

So, here's the deal. I'm sure a number of you remember Renji (I introduced him to y'all Here), and I think I revealed that upon returning to college, I have moved to off-campus housing and brought along my pets as well as obtaining more. So here I am, alone with my critters, a full time student, and working the hours I can to try to collect a few dollars here and there so my parents don't have to pay for much and I can pay for what I can. Which is overall going well, except the more time I spend at work or school, the more time my animals have to spend home alone.

I have very low tolerance for extreme temperatures, regrettably, so as winter came in, my schedule with Ren changed from a few short-ish walks with one long walk in the evening to many short walks peppered between with stepping outside as much as I am home. Still, I noticed at some point he wasn't defecating as often That dog had always amazed us by his ability to get that in 2-3 times a walk, however he keeps that much in his 18 lbs. He'd always save it for walks, even in CO at my parents house when he got plenty of free roaming time in the yard, and was regrettably lucky to get a walk once or twice a week. However, he had been showing no other signs of ill health, and so I figured as he was now getting more walks, however short, it added up to not as much less as it seemed.

However, recently I have learned the truth- In a specific room of the house where I don't spend as much time, and it still has a number of tubs and boxes that are used for storage, I have found feces that are about certainly canine. Best I can figure, he's using that room when I'm not home. It took a bit of time to fully realize this, as he was hiding it when I could, and I'm not altogether surprised he chose that area as that is the room where the Cats' favorite litter box is.

So, how do I stop this behavior, anyone have any ideas? I can't really properly discipline/redirect this as he does it when I'm not present. Would it be a good idea to get some of those indoor potty-pads? Do I need to figure out a more successful bundle-up system and take him on long walks more often despite the cold and the many shorter walks he's getting? Something else I'm not thinking of? I can't just keep cleaning up after him and allow him to get away with the behavior prompting it to get worse...
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Need help getting rid of bad habits

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:31 am

Couldn't you put a pad down there so he can go. I'm sure he started due to not being able to get out when he had to. Why not let him have a place he can go since you can't be there to let him out?
CitricPrincess
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Re: Need help getting rid of bad habits

Postby CitricPrincess » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:59 pm

And here I disappeared for a while again. -sigh- So busy...

Anyways, a bit of an update- As the weather gets nicer, I've been able to take him out for longer walks. It seems to be more an issue of where than when, he insists on having walked so long, or so far from the apartment. Like explained in my first post, he doesn't care about 'when', really, he'd hold that in for days, even, if we didn't take him on a walk back at my parents', even though he was allowed free-run in the yard all his heart desired. Comes next winter, or at least next cold front, I'm gonna have to get better at bundling up, I guess. I'm jealous of the dog's fur...

I did start trying to get him to use pads, but training him in those is next to impossible. He doesn't even use a dog bed- If something is laying on the ground, he doesn't want to be on it, he'll step over and around it, but sees no point in having it under him- and truth be told, I don't know that we housebroke him so much to begin with. He just kinda... caught on, with the family's dog Aspen going outside and stuff, I don't remember any significant accidents even when we first brought him home. Which is amazing, as he was from a pet store inside a mall, and was expected just to go in his enclosure which was cleaned out regularly (I've probably mentioned many a time, he is the very fortunate benefactor of a probably bad decision, buying a dog from a pet store like that... Mom's declared that he's more of a rescue pet than my shelter-adopted cat, Wolverine)

But the problem does seem to be mostly solved. I have been spending much more time letting him out, I have also regained use in that room (It's technically my office, but sometimes I get home from a weekend trip and am too lazy to take my laptop all the way back to that room so I park in the living room for a while), and I haven't caught that behavior recently
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Elina
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Re: Need help getting rid of bad habits

Postby Elina » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:11 pm

How is he doing now? Still improving?

To prevent him wanting to keep going where he shouldn't you need to get rid of the smell so bio washing liquid is great for that, bio, hot water and a scrubbing brush.
If you can remind yourself to take him out/let him out at least every hour that should also help.

If he is free fed take food away 1h before bed time and take him out 30 mins after that so he can poop then give him the food back in the morning. Even better still would be set feeding times but I know that is not always the easiest but if you do that so long as you take him out for a short walk around 30 mins after meals for around 30 mins you should avoid accidents.
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CitricPrincess
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Re: Need help getting rid of bad habits

Postby CitricPrincess » Tue May 03, 2016 11:22 pm

Meant to reply here again previous.

It is improving, both within his behavior and mine. Every once and a while he makes a mess again, but for the most part we've got it figured out. He is free feed, but its mostly cause he only eats once a day in the evening, almost always its before we take our long walk for the day, by at least 30 mins, I wouldn't wanna wait any longer for the long walk, 'cause as it is it tends to get pretty late.

A self reminder every hour wouldn't really work, most of the time when he does make a mess its while I'm at work or class, gone for at least 2 hours at a time. I always take him out just before I leave and just after I get back, at the very least to let him empty his bladder.

I will try to clean that area of the carpet well. On the plus side I totes just got a spot bot, so I have reason/want to utilize it.

But I do think for the most part, me getting into a better habit, and him getting a more familiar/regular schedule, we have almost completely rid ourselves of that problem
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GitaBooks
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Re: Need help getting rid of bad habits

Postby GitaBooks » Fri May 06, 2016 11:58 am

I'm glad things are getting better. Our dogs are around 10 years of age and we've been working with them their whole lives and they still sometimes make a mess, particularly the girls (they have this thing about marking the back room whatever chance they get). Patience and persistence pay off in the end.

Best of luck! : )

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