Finally had enough…

Oakley is a year and a half old now (time really flew) and I don't know if this is an issue but it has become one for me. Ever since being a puppy Oakley needs to get up once in the middle of the night to pee AND poop. He goes pee before bed (10:30) and many times refuses to poop no matter how long I walk him…and he goes pee and poop again at 7 or 8 am!

Problem with this is I have to walk him since I don't have a yard and he is the type of dog that prolongs walks for walks sake..if I try to keep him in bed I inevitably wake up to a poop and pee on the kitchen floor. Is it normal for some dogs to have less of a "hold time"? Is this something I'm going to have to put up with until I get a yard or is there something I can do like cutting of water at night? I get home at 6pm, immediately leash and walk him where we pee and poop and stay out for an hour or so. Come home to eat 1/4 cup, one hour later we go out to pee then out again before bed to get in another pee and hoping for a poop...then resting in bed until bedtime....he wakes up sometimes around between 3-4-AM but mostly at 6 to go. There are times I don't even hear he's gotten Out of bed. I get up at 7 or 8 depending on the day and we leash immediately to go out.

A little frustrating as I thought he'd outgrow this

I'm willing to do anything to try to get him reliable at night…I'll even leash him to me at night if I have to but I'd like to be realistic with my expectations. If in doing something wrong I'd like to know it, if some dogs are just like this then I'd like to know..

Id also like to know I'm not the only one walking their dogs at 3 or 4 in the morning practically crying for them to just "go"!!!! Lol (true story)

When at work I do - at home never…I work 9-6 four days a week..sometimes I come home at lunch and sometimes it's not possible. I hate having to crate him for that amount of time but he gets into stuff and has gotten very sick before, so I have to...when I can come home he pees immediately upon taking him outside but..never poops.

This sounds a bit unusual to me. All my Basenjis have had no problem holding it through the night, in fact they have all preferred to sleep in rather than get up when I do! The time you feed him could have some bearing, although if you work you probably don't have a lot of options. My guy eats breakfast, then a roller ball with kibble in it at lunch, and dinner around 4:30 - 5 p.m. He goes out for his last run sometime between 7 and 8, and he is good until whatever time he makes it downstairs in the morning, (sometimes as late as 8:30!) and even then all he needs is a pee. We go out later for a run in the field, and he poops, and usually another poop late afternoon or early evening…..

Oh, and water is always available. I never have withheld water from any dog.

My previous Basenjis were similar. The girls never wanted to get up before 8 or so. I used to clean half the barn, then come back to see if they were up yet! 🙂

Agree with eeeefarm. I usually walk mine for 1hr at around 4:30-5:30pm, then they eat and never have to go again until 6-8am (weekend). Weekdays we go for am walk at 4:45am because I leave at 6:15am. He stays loose in the house all day. What food are you feeding? Maybe a vet visit is due.

I seem to recall that when both of my dogs were younger that they wanted to get up in the middle of the night to go outside. But now, like most people said, they don't even want to think about getting out of a warm bed. In town I would get up around 4-5 to let them out then they would come back in and snuggle in bed. Now we have a doggy door and they can come and go as they please (though I know this is not an option for you). But now that they are both older and they have the doggy door to go in and out of, they RARELY go out in the middle of the night now. Not unless something wakes them up and they want to go investigate….like another dog barking.

If it helps:
7-8AM: immediately out to pee/poop, run
8:30ish: 3/4 cup Fromms (high quality food)
8:50AM: leave for work- in crate with animal planet on ( I'm a smuck I know!)
6PM ( at the latest): get home, immediately out to pee & hopefully poop ( today I was put for 1hr15min in the rain bc he refused to poop; I know he had to bc his bum turn outwardly pink(graphic,sorry)..but he stubbornly squeezes it in again to keep going
7PM (at the latest): 3/4cup Fromms
9:30PM: out for a quick 10/15 min walk and pee (97% chance of no pooping)
11:30PM: another 10/15min walk to pee (85% no poop)
*sometime in the night another pee and almost always a poop

He has done this all his life and I'm sure it's not health related unless due to his gastrointestinal sensitivities…I feel like this could be my fault! I house broke him by taking him out every three hours or so and I just fell into that routine..he doesn't ever tell me has to go, I just take him...could it be I never taught him that "feeling the urge" means go to the door so at night he just thinks well "mom isn't up so I guess I have to go on the floor or perhaps he's relying solely on our schedule rather than what his bodies telling him he has to do?? I just feel like maybe I'm the fault he has a weak bladder and bowel system...I never taught him to hold it and so when he gets full and heavy he just goes? Idk, I'm pulling at straws- if I need to retrain I'd like to know now while he's 18 mpnths and not four!

What time(s) are you feeding and how much? I would never withhold water.

Have you had Oakley since a puppy? Has he ever had UTIs? I had a 7 year old who I rescued but had untreated UTIs because when they did an ultrasound they found out she had bladder scarring and cystitis. She could never hold her bladder for very long. The same week as being rescued she was diagnosed with Fanconi.

Jennifer

I've had oak since 10 weeks, never had a UTI, he had giardia as a pup and that coupled with having to find a food that didn't cause him diarrhea led us to Iams gastrointestinal sensitivity formula until I finally found Fromms which he does awesome on..never ever a UTI or any problems, he doesn't drink a lot and I don't think 3/4 cups twice a day is a lot..

Are there ways to strengthen the foundation of his housebreaking? Things I can do to start building on his weaknesses? Perhaps I should get those Poochie bells, but how do I get him to alert BECAUSe he has to o to the bathro and not just to go outside? At least I would hear the bells at night as prevent an in house accident ( I feel like that's a setback)…I can bring the clicker with me with treats on walks to better capture the words poop and pee rather than using a happy pleased tone repeating the phrases ( we've always clicker trained)? I'm willing to try everything and start back at 0 to build a new foundation of I have to, I just need pointers on a different way.

The fact that he has had issues with diarrhea is interesting, and possibly part of the problem. If he has a particularly sensitive digestive system that may account for the frequency. What else does he ingest besides his official meals? Treats, etc. Or does he get into anything on walks? Is he a stool eater (sorry, but it can result in more frequent defecation)?

It is possible to retrain bowels. He is currently in a habit, and perhaps you need to try to gradually stretch the time he must "hold it", but only if everything is O.K. physically.

We started out with taste of the wild as a pup but he had runny stools ( unbeknownst he also had giardia)…he was treated for the parasite and we stated natures variety but same thing, runny stools. The vet suggested the Iams sensativity formula and He did well but the ingredients were bad so I switched to Fromms. After so long of trying to keep him grain free I realized I should aim for grain reduced so I now mix a bag of Fromms grain free with a bag of grain version in order tO get a "grain reduced" diet which agrees much better for him... I brought this issue up at his physical and the vet ( specialized in behavior as well) said perhaps it was his bowels and bladder maturing and he would grow out of it as they got stronger...no UTI, no parasites...no inflammation...but now at 18 moths(yesterday) I am beginning to realize this is something I must modify because it's becoming a habit. His other deduction was, if it's not a matter of maturation then perhaps I don't have him trained very well because he saw no signs of something that would induce frequent releases such as his...I will get a second opinion but regardless Im starting to think I need to retrain his system

He gets Fromms training treats ( maybe up to 3 a day) and one 6" USA made Bully stick...I've limited treat variety months ago thinking i had to narrow down a possible issue there or overfeeding treats causing weird bowel schedules.... The issues predates and post date the addition of bulky sticks.. He doesn't so much as sniff at poop or eat things on walks (no grass, leaves twigs..mulch-nada)

Uhm, honestly, I can't imagine a healthy basenji wanting to go out at the wee dark hours when it's cold out. (okay, i know it's not cold out yet, but i think it will be in 4 months or so.)

Okay, as to what you can do, I know some people who have successfully trained dogs to potty with a verbal command. Clicker training, capturing the behavior, etc. THEN, in theory, you should be able to tell him what you want him to do when you take him out for "last call." You could also maybe slowly move the time you don't want to take him out. Either by 30-45 minutes each week (or even 10 minutes if needed), a little later each week. Clear as mud?

Also many dogs learn that if they hold it, they get to stay out longer. So they drag out the potty break while they sniff and play and we wait. Uh oh, so NOT what we meant to train them to do.

Eating oftentimes stimulates the bowels. I would feed him prior to going out on the evening walk. To me, 3/4 cups twice daily seems like a lot of food for a basenji; two signs of eating more than needed is large volume of stool or frequent BMs; I am not sure he is exhibiting frequent BMs in the proper sense since in truth he is not defecating the same number of times he is eating in a single day (in this case - twice daily BMs). If you feel he is in good condition (should be able to see and feel ribs easily with your fingertips without need to dig) I would perhaps feed him more of his meal in the am, less in the pm but always feed before the walk. If you feel he is in too good of condition, I would decrease his food consumption overall by 1/4 cup twice daily (to 1 cup daily) again feeding him before the evening walk to help stimulate the bowels.

A way to keep him from learning pooping equsls the end of fun, always extend the walk for another 20 minutes or so after he defecates. Only exception is if it is raining and he wants to go in, then it becomes the opposite, he is rewarded with returning home only after he produces. Also-have you put his house training on command? If not, I would start teaching that, this will help those times when he is not concentrating on his duties.

Lastly, I would tether him to you at night so that he does not continue to exhibit bad behaviors. Do you have a balcony? It yes, pee pads on the porch for those late night excursions. Or you can, for a month or two, not for life - crate him at night so he relearns to hold his bladder/bowels until a more favorable time. Once you have reprogrammed him on this, then do the tether for a few months, then try it without either and see how he does.

Good luck.

Just a suggestion
I litter train all my basenjis
That way, I can be certain that if they have to go in the middle of the night
then they can use the litter box.
Makes life a lot easier in the wintertime also.
Get a large litter pan and fillwith wood shavings.
Easy to clean and on rainy days it's great too!

@Chealsie508:

6PM ( at the latest): get home, immediately out to pee & hopefully poop ( today I was put for 1hr15min in the rain bc he refused to poop; I know he had to bc his bum turn outwardly pink(graphic,sorry)..but he stubbornly squeezes it in again to keep going

Oh god, I thought I was the only one. Mine does this quite frequently. It seems he's almost doing it out of spite, simply on purpose. You know they have to go and and soon as you bring them in (after giving up), they'll just go anyways. Can be quite frustrating sometimes.

Sometimes he will literally stare at me and not move an inch. Letting me know he has the control of the situation… and it's true.

@Rocky1:

Just a suggestion
I litter train all my basenjis
That way, I can be certain that if they have to go in the middle of the night
then they can use the litter box.
Makes life a lot easier in the wintertime also.
Get a large litter pan and fillwith wood shavings.
Easy to clean and on rainy days it's great too!

It's tough to train a pup that's already been going outside, from my experience. After a brutal winter of consistent -10 thru -20F temps, I tried to litterbox train Kananga. He was just over 1 yrs at that point. He wouldn't budge. He knows outside is the proper place.

I like the suggestion of feeding him more in the am and less in the evening….I can reduce his food slightly without sacrificing healthy weight...I an also tether him to me at night..I wish I could crate oakly but if any of you remember Oakley had severe crate confinement/separation anxiety which has gotten better but he can't be in his crate while I'm home..it would cause him to regress, plus it wouldn't help. I think part of the problem is I housebroke him long before I could break him of messing his crate due to the anxiety...so I feel like in his mind he doesn't equate the house as a "NO GO" zone bc he still occasionally gets upset in his crate ( even of I'm five minutes late and will pee, it's rare though)...I have a font and a back porch and I
Def. thought of pee pads but I find hes either stubborn or mentally trained to go while walking..I hope to eventually do that as a backup (bad snow,rain). He does average three poops a day...one in the am, one after work and the one during the night...so if that's an indication of cutting back food then I'll do it. Oakley was litter trained by his breeder and we continued as a pup but he would only pee in it...so I quickly switched to outside. Kananga- trust me, I got in from our long stubborn battle at 715...I pushed off our last walk til 10:30ish and it was sill raining but I stayed out about 25minutes, brought the clicker an a treat this time and rewarded for peeing, no poop..but it was also raining so for him I didn't push it, he chased a bunny then in we came. I locked my bedroom door so he couldn't get out and now he's asleep. I'm goin to get up at 7 and try for a longer run...I'm really going to get stricter about winning the battles over not going "just because" and not because he doesn't have to go!

I've really been trying over the last year, ruling stuff out, following the doctor, being cautious about cause and effect- but he's still my little toddler that wants to follow his own schedule!

It is not at all hard totin an oder dog.
All you do at first is put th litterpan in a large crate
or in an x-pen.
You put the dog in there to do its business,then after a while it
will get the idea.
Been doing this for YEARS
36 YEARS TO BE EXACT.
Your b will get the idea.
At dog shows, the ex-pens all have shavings in them,the dogs
will use it by instinct.
Doesn't matter the age,I have trained them from as young as
4 weeks to over 13

Man, my keyboard is going crazy
Sorry for all the mistakes

When he won't get down to business, you could try "matching" him. Wouldn't want to do it as a regular thing, but I resort to it when I know my guy has to go and I need him to do it "now".

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