Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Considerate Canine: Potty Problems

Lowcountry Dog Magazine
by Cindy Carter

The Problem: We recently had company stay at our house, and our 3 year old Irish Jack pooped each day some place in the house. He got loads of attention (as he always does) so it's not like he took a back seat during any activities. I never caught him in the act so couldn't reprimand him! Help!! - Lisa

The Solution:

Hi Lisa,

My first thought; have your vet check him out to eliminate the possibility of a physical cause for the problem.

Some dogs are very sensitive to changes in the environment and their routine. It’s quite possible for dogs to have accidents due to stress caused by changes in the home, and visitors certainly fall into that category.

Several suggestions for the next time company is staying over.

*Offer more opportunities for potty breaks and reward him for eliminating in the right place and correct time.

*When you can’t supervise him, confine him in his crate.

*Keep his routine as normal as possible; feeding at the same time, etc.

*Make sure that he gets plenty of exercise.

*Spend some time helping him become comfortable with your visitors.

*If he exhibits any signs for anxiety, give him a break from the activity, especially if children are involved. Even dogs that are used to their own family's children may be a little concerned about visitors' kids.

Kudos to you for not falling into the punishing him after the fact trap. It’s much better to just clean it up, move forward and offer more opportunities the next time.

Cindy Carter, CPDT-KA
MIndful Manners Dog Training

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