Potty problems with 4-year-old

  • I just acquired a 4-year-old named Zhara. She's been with her breeder/owner since birth and always had indoor and outdoor access (lived in a house). I was told that she was housebroken and, for the first week that I had her, she faithfully peed and pooped outside. Now in the second week, she has taken to pooping in the livingroom. She'll pee outside but won't poop.

    Because I'm working full-time, I have to leave her and Ziggy alone for most of the day, though a dogwalker does come by around 1:00 to take them outside.

    I've been rewarding her everytime she does go outside - a treat and lots of pets and praise.

    I hate the thought of crating her but am getting tired of coming home to piles on the livingroom carpet.



  • Maybe, at least for now, you need to have the walker also come a second time, earlier than 1 PM. On weekends or on days when you are at home have you noticed that there is a certain pattern to when she poops? Our 2 have a bit of a pattern. For instance, when they get up, they need to go out and pee. Then after they eat their morning meal, I know that they need to go out for a poop within the next 30 minutes or so. Maybe the walker isn't coming to walk her close enough to when she needs to poop and she just can't hold it.

    (Of course, this advice is coming from someone who is trying to figure out why one of her dogs likes to sneak down the hall to pee!! He's on an antibiotic. It doesn't seem like he is marking. I THINK he would just prefer to pee on my hardwood floor rather than the grass. And he knows that it is a no no so he sneaks down the hall to do it!)

    Good luck

  • Are you able to take them for a good walk in the morning or just out to pee and poop? While mine are in and out all day, they rarely poop in the yard. They're on a regular schedule too. First thing in the morning they go out and pee, then, after I've had coffee :-), get a long walk where they all poop. They get just a little bit for breakfast. I walk them later in the afternoon, before dinner and they clean themselves out again and don't go again until the next morning. We keep the same schedule 7 days a week.

    With you working it's hard to schedule your days and your weekends the same…maybe try to get it as close as possible with the time the dogwalker comes. Does the walker come in to see poop, or is she pooping between the time the sitter goes and you come home????

  • The schedule thing I think is kind of key. My two are basically on the same sort of schedule that Pat & Rivermoon's dogs are. Except I think mine start a little earlier (they're walking by 4:45am every morning). I work all day too, but I make sure I see them both poop before I leave for work and a half hour walk is key to making that happen. I work Monday - Thursday so Friday - Sunday, it is the same sort of schedule it just starts a little later in the morning (usually by 7am).

    Is there anyway you can be sure you see Zhara poop in the morning? That way I don't think she'd need to go again until night time.

  • Could it be a bit of seperation issues?
    More walking in the am would probably help.
    Good luck and hugs on your new family member.

  • Maybe she tries to tell you that she does not want to be allone the whole day. It could be kind of trying to "educate" you, to not let her be alone. Do you have another pet to accompany her during the day?


  • Yes, she does have a companion. Ziggy is 10 years old and fully housetrained.

    I have been sticking to a schedule:
    Go out for a quick pee first thing in the morning (Ziggy pees, Zhara occasionally does)
    Light breakfast for both
    Outside again around 9:30 (Ziggy pees, may poop; Zhara may pee)
    I go to work around 10:30
    They are not crated during the day, have the run of the apartment
    The walker comes at 1:00 (usually they both pee, generally Ziggy poops)
    I come home between 4:00-5:00 (lately to find the poop piles)
    Both dog get their main meal

    I know it's not a "need companionship" problem and don't think she really has separation anxiety issues. More an issue of being able to hold her bladder/bowels until she's taken outside.

  • Hmm, when and how often do you feed her? I once had the problem with Vega, that her digestion was "through" just at nights and she was not able to hold on until the next morning. I changed her feeding time to the evening and it stopped.


  • How about feeding one in the am and once in the pm…
    Maybe that will help get her system on a schedule.
    I feed my b's that way and we have several walkie with usually 2 poops a day, one in the am and one in the pm.

  • I have always feed morning and evening… if by chance you are free feeding that will add to your problem of trying to get her on a schedule.

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