Author Topic: Relieving Issues  (Read 876 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Punktestern

  • Loquacious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
  • The amazing bouncing ferret!
  • Location: San Rafael, CA
  • Mood: Vulcans have no moods
  • SDC interest: curious
Relieving Issues
« on: January 27, 2017, 07:52:52 PM »
So as of this past week, Cambrie has decided she has to poop while we're walking somewhere. No matter that she's pooped twice already in the morning, or that evening that she's already pooped three times. Doesn't matter.

I'd rather she didn't poop on walks. She is given opportunities to relieve and then 100 yards down the road, she'll decide she needs to poop, right then (and it's only a small 'nugget' or something.). Her schedule up until this past week was pretty regular - Once around 6AM/when we get up, once around 8-9AM, and then once after dinner. Now she's started this. We haven't been walking more, we haven't even really been doing more, I can't think why she'd suddenly have to go so often, and so insistently for such a 'small' amount.

Does anyone have any advice on what to do about it? I've tried circling her longer to relieve, she won't go and when she thinks she's done, she'll literally lie flat on the ground and not move if you try to get her to circle more. I'm getting really frustrated with her, because it's not exactly ideal to have your dog squat in the middle of a walk, especially while 'working'.

EDIT: Just wanted to add - This always happens outside. She has not shown any such need inside or in buildings, no matter how long we're walking. :- |
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 07:54:25 PM by Punktestern »
Canine Welfare/Training Technician - Guide Dogs for the Blind
Cambrie - Yellow Lab Female - Guide Dogs for the Blind - Completed Phase 8 of 8 - Waiting for a Match!
PM me for Holiday Cards!

Offline Kirsten

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 39451
  • Have a flufftastic day!
  • Location: Missouri, USA
  • Mood: Okay
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 08:16:48 PM »
I'd correct it.  There are places outside where it is not appropriate to just go when you please, such as a densely populated Renn Fest or amusement park.  She'll need to be able to hold it and go when and where she's told it is appropriate.

Start by teaching her a toileting cue, something that gives her permission to go.  Then encourage and praise all efforts to toilet after the cue and discourage/prevent/disrupt any effort without the toileting cue.  Also, make a distinction between heeling and sniff walks.  Stopping to poop or pee during heeling is a heeling error.  One cannot do both simultaneously, so if you've told her to heel and she chooses to poop instead, she has made a mistake.  Sniff walks (on a loose leash, where you give the general direction but the dog is free to sniff things and interact with the environment in your immediate vicinity) are pretty much an invitation to do what comes naturally (poop).  At least that's how I've explained it to my dogs.

So you're walking along, and you're watching her like a hawk because now you know she is experimenting with this idea of pooping when the mood strikes.  You're watching for the same signs you watched for when you were teaching her that pooping in the house was not an option.  And you react the same way:  anticipate, prevent, disrupt, and then hustle to an approved location and give permission, and praise for a deposit in the correct location.

If a dog really needs to go and the need is so powerful they can't stop it, they will poop while walking.  But that's not what you are experiencing.  You've given her ample opportunity to toilet so she doesn't have a lot of pressure on her bowels.  That means that if you hustle her very briskly, do some doodling or fast heeling, you should be able to prevent her from pooping at least until you can reach a place and tell her to go.  It doesn't have to be far, just far enough that she's forgotten about pooping for at least a few seconds and now it's your idea instead of hers.

You mentioned a schedule, which is great.  That's a powerful tool for controlling when her body feels pressure to go.  That means you generally don't have to watch as closely at times when you know she's not going to need to go.  Unfortunately, for a while though at least when you are outside you'll need to go back to watch like a hawk mode until she's had no errors for a month.  Then you can slowly slacken your watching to normal levels.

====

My sister is actually having the exact same problem, but for a different reason.  My mother allows her dog to poop a half dozen times or more per walk.  My sister walked her dog with my mother's dog and allowed it too because the old corgi insisted it was the rule.  Now, even without the corgi sis's dog is thinking multipoo is an option and he didn't used to.  He learned the behavior from observing the corgi.

Guess what?  When I walk the corgi with Tardis everyone (but me) poops at the halfway point of the walk when I stop moving and let them sniffle around.  When I'm walking, I'm walking.  I don't stop.  I'm not going to stop to pick up half a dozen grape sized corgi poops one per stop.  I am a mean dog mommy.  One, possibly two poops are sufficient for a walk.  That said, I should remind you that physical exercise can stimulate the bowels.  So, for example, I can watch Tardis poop in the back yard, then pack up my stuff and his and head off for a half mile-ish walk to the church where I go for bible study and I'm pretty darned sure he's going to need to poop again before we reach the church.  This is not him being poop crazy.  It's a normal function of his body to feel some pressure to evacuate after physical activity.  The interesting thing is that you can predict pretty darned closely where the dog is going to feel the need to go.  I used to joke that Cole would carefully calculate the trash can rubicon, or just how far he needed to get from the trash can before I wouldn't turn back to chuck a poop bag and would instead carry the bag with us for the rest of the walk.  That need to poop would hit him within about 20 feet of the same distance just about every time, no matter where we were.  I don't think that is what is happening with your pup because this is a change in behavior, but it's worth mentioning just in case.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 08:20:10 PM by Kirsten »
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Punktestern

  • Loquacious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
  • The amazing bouncing ferret!
  • Location: San Rafael, CA
  • Mood: Vulcans have no moods
  • SDC interest: curious
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 09:14:14 AM »
Quote
Start by teaching her a toileting cue, something that gives her permission to go.  Then encourage and praise all efforts to toilet after the cue and discourage/prevent/disrupt any effort without the toileting cue.  Also, make a distinction between heeling and sniff walks.  Stopping to poop or pee during heeling is a heeling error.  One cannot do both simultaneously, so if you've told her to heel and she chooses to poop instead, she has made a mistake.  Sniff walks (on a loose leash, where you give the general direction but the dog is free to sniff things and interact with the environment in your immediate vicinity) are pretty much an invitation to do what comes naturally (poop).  At least that's how I've explained it to my dogs.

I do this. Sorry, I could have been more specific, but her 'opportunities to relieve' are where I specifically give her her cue (Okay - Cambrie, do your business). She also has a distinction between different walks - On her nylon leash or her long line she's allowed to sniff/roam/LLW, on her leather leash she's expected to 'heel' (and she seems to understand that bit).

Quote
So you're walking along, and you're watching her like a hawk because now you know she is experimenting with this idea of pooping when the mood strikes.  You're watching for the same signs you watched for when you were teaching her that pooping in the house was not an option.  And you react the same way:  anticipate, prevent, disrupt, and then hustle to an approved location and give permission, and praise for a deposit in the correct location.

If a dog really needs to go and the need is so powerful they can't stop it, they will poop while walking.  But that's not what you are experiencing.  You've given her ample opportunity to toilet so she doesn't have a lot of pressure on her bowels.  That means that if you hustle her very briskly, do some doodling or fast heeling, you should be able to prevent her from pooping at least until you can reach a place and tell her to go.  It doesn't have to be far, just far enough that she's forgotten about pooping for at least a few seconds and now it's your idea instead of hers.

I'll definitely do this. Thinking back, I think I was missing her first signal because it didn't seem related, but I was thinking about it overnight and she starts nudging at my hand.

Quote
You mentioned a schedule, which is great.  That's a powerful tool for controlling when her body feels pressure to go.  That means you generally don't have to watch as closely at times when you know she's not going to need to go.  Unfortunately, for a while though at least when you are outside you'll need to go back to watch like a hawk mode until she's had no errors for a month.  Then you can slowly slacken your watching to normal levels.

Schedules are great when they stick to them. :- P


Quote
My sister is actually having the exact same problem, but for a different reason.  My mother allows her dog to poop a half dozen times or more per walk.  My sister walked her dog with my mother's dog and allowed it too because the old corgi insisted it was the rule.  Now, even without the corgi sis's dog is thinking multipoo is an option and he didn't used to.  He learned the behavior from observing the corgi.

Guess what?  When I walk the corgi with Tardis everyone (but me) poops at the halfway point of the walk when I stop moving and let them sniffle around.  When I'm walking, I'm walking.  I don't stop.  I'm not going to stop to pick up half a dozen grape sized corgi poops one per stop.  I am a mean dog mommy.  One, possibly two poops are sufficient for a walk.  That said, I should remind you that physical exercise can stimulate the bowels.  So, for example, I can watch Tardis poop in the back yard, then pack up my stuff and his and head off for a half mile-ish walk to the church where I go for bible study and I'm pretty darned sure he's going to need to poop again before we reach the church.  This is not him being poop crazy.  It's a normal function of his body to feel some pressure to evacuate after physical activity.  The interesting thing is that you can predict pretty darned closely where the dog is going to feel the need to go.  I used to joke that Cole would carefully calculate the trash can rubicon, or just how far he needed to get from the trash can before I wouldn't turn back to chuck a poop bag and would instead carry the bag with us for the rest of the walk.  That need to poop would hit him within about 20 feet of the same distance just about every time, no matter where we were.  I don't think that is what is happening with your pup because this is a change in behavior, but it's worth mentioning just in case.

Thank you for sharing! It's nice to know that she's not the only dog who does it, and there's hope of fixing it. She's good otherwise, but I've been struggling with relieving issues since I got her (her urination has since been sorted out, but now this popped up).
Canine Welfare/Training Technician - Guide Dogs for the Blind
Cambrie - Yellow Lab Female - Guide Dogs for the Blind - Completed Phase 8 of 8 - Waiting for a Match!
PM me for Holiday Cards!

Offline Kirsten

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 39451
  • Have a flufftastic day!
  • Location: Missouri, USA
  • Mood: Okay
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 10:28:21 AM »
How old is she now?
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Punktestern

  • Loquacious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
  • The amazing bouncing ferret!
  • Location: San Rafael, CA
  • Mood: Vulcans have no moods
  • SDC interest: curious
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2017, 10:30:13 AM »
Eight and a half months.
Canine Welfare/Training Technician - Guide Dogs for the Blind
Cambrie - Yellow Lab Female - Guide Dogs for the Blind - Completed Phase 8 of 8 - Waiting for a Match!
PM me for Holiday Cards!

Offline Kirsten

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 39451
  • Have a flufftastic day!
  • Location: Missouri, USA
  • Mood: Okay
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2017, 12:24:25 PM »
Is she spayed yet?  I prefer waiting a bit longer but you're bound to the program's plan. Adolescent hormones could be a factor. They peak at about 10 months in intact dogs.

Would you consider her to be more confident or "cocky" than average?

I'm trying to think about what has changed to contribute to this. Could she be in heat?
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Punktestern

  • Loquacious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
  • The amazing bouncing ferret!
  • Location: San Rafael, CA
  • Mood: Vulcans have no moods
  • SDC interest: curious
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2017, 12:59:34 PM »
Is she spayed yet?  I prefer waiting a bit longer but you're bound to the program's plan. Adolescent hormones could be a factor. They peak at about 10 months in intact dogs.

Would you consider her to be more confident or "cocky" than average?

I'm trying to think about what has changed to contribute to this. Could she be in heat?

She is not spayed yet - She won't be spayed until she returns to GDB (at 14-16 months) unless something comes up, and it's definitely going to be after her first heat.

She's not super cocky, I'd almost say she's a touch less confident than average, or was as a puppy - We worked on it and she's about average now.

She might be going into heat? She's not showing other signs but I know it's coming for us eventually.

Sometimes I wonder if it's just a teenage 'testing' thing, but I'm not sure.
Canine Welfare/Training Technician - Guide Dogs for the Blind
Cambrie - Yellow Lab Female - Guide Dogs for the Blind - Completed Phase 8 of 8 - Waiting for a Match!
PM me for Holiday Cards!

Online Ariel

  • Scruffmaster Extraordinaire
  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 4430
  • Location: North Carolina, USA
  • Mood: Cynical
  • SDC interest: SD partner
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2017, 01:44:07 PM »
Regarding heats - Jubi was older than Cambrie, 11.5 months when she first came in, but she had very little swelling and just short of no discharge until about 3 weeks in. Her intact male best friend detected her early in (and they didn't see each other for a month after that!) but even still it took another 2 weeks before I noticed significant swelling and discharge. She didn't bleed until the last week, and she bled hard, but before that nothing, or nothing she didn't very secretively take care of anyway. Her biggest tells were a mild drop in confidence and her being a bit more clingy and sensitive than usual. About two weeks after her heat concluded she was back to her normal confident, happy go lucky self.
Jubilee - Service Dog - German Wirehaired Pointer
Jubi's FB page!
In Loving Memory of Service Dog Saxon (6/5/13-12/2/15)

Offline Punktestern

  • Loquacious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
  • The amazing bouncing ferret!
  • Location: San Rafael, CA
  • Mood: Vulcans have no moods
  • SDC interest: curious
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2017, 01:56:47 PM »
Regarding heats - Jubi was older than Cambrie, 11.5 months when she first came in, but she had very little swelling and just short of no discharge until about 3 weeks in. Her intact male best friend detected her early in (and they didn't see each other for a month after that!) but even still it took another 2 weeks before I noticed significant swelling and discharge. She didn't bleed until the last week, and she bled hard, but before that nothing, or nothing she didn't very secretively take care of anyway. Her biggest tells were a mild drop in confidence and her being a bit more clingy and sensitive than usual. About two weeks after her heat concluded she was back to her normal confident, happy go lucky self.

Hm, okay. She's my first puppy and it'll be the first heat I experience/have to watch for, I was under the impression it would be very noticeable from other raisers' stories, but I guess it might not be!

I know they can be super varied - I know GDB girls who've gone into heat at 7 months, but I also know one that hadn't gone in by the time she was recalled (14 months). They tell us after six months to keep an eye on it.

Once she does go in, I lose her for three weeks (we're close enough to GDB kennels that we can bring them back to be boarded - They're set up to keep them safe, and still exercise them/etc.).  :tongue2: So I don't know if that'd help or hurt with the relieving, with her in a kennel!
Canine Welfare/Training Technician - Guide Dogs for the Blind
Cambrie - Yellow Lab Female - Guide Dogs for the Blind - Completed Phase 8 of 8 - Waiting for a Match!
PM me for Holiday Cards!

Offline Kirsten

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 39451
  • Have a flufftastic day!
  • Location: Missouri, USA
  • Mood: Okay
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2017, 02:05:12 PM »
I think teenage behavior issues are not testing but hormone induced air headedness.  Their brains check out and nobody is home.  This is also related to "learning plateaus.

I agree with GDB on waiting to spay.  It's harder on you puppy raisers, but long term better for pup.  You get fewer issues with spay incontenence and you get stronger bones and musculature for life.

Some bitches will give no hints that they are going into season.  You might not even see a discharge because they're particular about keeping themselves clean.  Eight months is a prime time for the first heat.  I asked about that and about cockiness because sometimes poop isn't poop, it's a message.  That's my mother's corgi's problem.  He's marking with poop.  A girl coming into season might also want to advertise her status.  And a doggy (somewhat masculine) bitch might also want to mark with poop.

You can try the tissue test.  Wipe her vulva with a clean, white tissue to see if any pink comes off.  The vulva usuall swells during heat, so make note of what it looks like and watch for changes.  Maybe this is a placebo for the owner, but I've used it and I believe it helped:  giving chloraphyll tablets to bitches to somewhat reduce their odor during their heat.  I got mine from UPCO.com.

Maybe this is TMI, or unnecessary (you may already be aware), but just in case, I'll mention that the discharge is going to be a lot less than for a human.  Usually just a few drops here and there.  It's enough to leave stains on furniture.  Sanitary garments for her help to keep your home clean.  Extra caution is necessary when walking her during the three weeks or so that she'll be particularly interesting to intact males.  It's the middle week that she's receptive and fertile, but she'll be attractive all three weeks.  This can attract strays, and if more than one they may fight over her.  If you walk her in your own neighborhood they may follow her home and hang around.  She may threaten other dogs to bleep off (really she's saying firmly that she is not yet receptive, but it can look like aggression).  Males usually take it well and do not retaliate, but there's still a risk.  If she is clever, she may pull out the stops on opening things so double check door and crate security.  They are also capable of mating through the side of a crate, even an airline crate, so do not allow a male in the house even if they are crated.

When I have intact females in heat, I keep them in my own fenced yard or take them to a public park with an enforced leash rule to walk.  I don't walk them around my own neighborhood.  I NEVER let them off leash, no matter how well trained but that's a no-brainer.

But mostly I think you just need to communicate to her that what she's doing is not okay.  It doesn't mean you have to get angry or even necessarily punish physically.  I find with my dogs that "uh-uh" and a brisk walk are all that is needed in most cases to do that but my dogs already know what "uh-uh" means.  I think yours does too.  You just perhaps haven't though of this as a heeling error on her part.

She's going to go to a blind person.  That means it is particularly important that she not defecate without the command so that her future handler will be able to be responsible about bagging her poo sculptures.  A stealth poo could potentially get them a ticket or embarassment.  This is perhaps less of an issue for a sighted handler and more of an issue for a blind handler.  So I'd be firm and nip it in the bud.  Zero tolerance.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Punktestern

  • Loquacious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
  • The amazing bouncing ferret!
  • Location: San Rafael, CA
  • Mood: Vulcans have no moods
  • SDC interest: curious
Re: Relieving Issues
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2017, 02:28:48 PM »
I think teenage behavior issues are not testing but hormone induced air headedness.  Their brains check out and nobody is home.  This is also related to "learning plateaus.

I agree with GDB on waiting to spay.  It's harder on you puppy raisers, but long term better for pup.  You get fewer issues with spay incontenence and you get stronger bones and musculature for life.

Some bitches will give no hints that they are going into season.  You might not even see a discharge because they're particular about keeping themselves clean.  Eight months is a prime time for the first heat.  I asked about that and about cockiness because sometimes poop isn't poop, it's a message.  That's my mother's corgi's problem.  He's marking with poop.  A girl coming into season might also want to advertise her status.  And a doggy (somewhat masculine) bitch might also want to mark with poop.

You can try the tissue test.  Wipe her vulva with a clean, white tissue to see if any pink comes off.  The vulva usuall swells during heat, so make note of what it looks like and watch for changes.  Maybe this is a placebo for the owner, but I've used it and I believe it helped:  giving chloraphyll tablets to bitches to somewhat reduce their odor during their heat.  I got mine from UPCO.com.

I just tried that and no pink, and her vulva looks relatively normal for her, not swollen.

Quote
Maybe this is TMI, or unnecessary (you may already be aware), but just in case, I'll mention that the discharge is going to be a lot less than for a human.  Usually just a few drops here and there.  It's enough to leave stains on furniture.  Sanitary garments for her help to keep your home clean.  Extra caution is necessary when walking her during the three weeks or so that she'll be particularly interesting to intact males.  It's the middle week that she's receptive and fertile, but she'll be attractive all three weeks.  This can attract strays, and if more than one they may fight over her.  If you walk her in your own neighborhood they may follow her home and hang around.  She may threaten other dogs to bleep off (really she's saying firmly that she is not yet receptive, but it can look like aggression).  Males usually take it well and do not retaliate, but there's still a risk.  If she is clever, she may pull out the stops on opening things so double check door and crate security.  They are also capable of mating through the side of a crate, even an airline crate, so do not allow a male in the house even if they are crated.

When I have intact females in heat, I keep them in my own fenced yard or take them to a public park with an enforced leash rule to walk.  I don't walk them around my own neighborhood.  I NEVER let them off leash, no matter how well trained but that's a no-brainer.

Good to know, but like I said above, she won't be my problem once she does come into heat - She'll go back to San Rafael. They are very particular about what we get to do with them in heat (i.e. nothing - Absolutely no outings outside of the house or yard, yard only on leash and supervised by raiser), and it's a lot easier to let GDB handle it, they're set up for it. They really don't like accidental puppies. X- P

Quote
But mostly I think you just need to communicate to her that what she's doing is not okay.  It doesn't mean you have to get angry or even necessarily punish physically.  I find with my dogs that "uh-uh" and a brisk walk are all that is needed in most cases to do that but my dogs already know what "uh-uh" means.  I think yours does too.  You just perhaps haven't though of this as a heeling error on her part.

She's going to go to a blind person.  That means it is particularly important that she not defecate without the command so that her future handler will be able to be responsible about bagging her poo sculptures.  A stealth poo could potentially get them a ticket or embarassment.  This is perhaps less of an issue for a sighted handler and more of an issue for a blind handler.  So I'd be firm and nip it in the bud.  Zero tolerance.

You're very right, I hadn't thought of it as a heeling error - Just as a relieving error. And yes, that's why I wanted help right away on the issue to nip it in the bud. I'll be prepared for the next time she tries it on our walks!

Thank you so much for your advice, Kirsten (and Ariel on the heats!). I really appreciate you and your wisdom in everything.
Canine Welfare/Training Technician - Guide Dogs for the Blind
Cambrie - Yellow Lab Female - Guide Dogs for the Blind - Completed Phase 8 of 8 - Waiting for a Match!
PM me for Holiday Cards!