winter came dog poops in house?

harriet07December 15, 2007

I have a collie dog who all of a sudden poops in the house? In the summer I always walk my dog at night and she does her business. Now that winter has come it is too cold to walk outside every night to let her go to the bathroom. I let her out in the yard and she seemed to be doing fine. No accidents and all of a sudden she starts pooping in house. I let her out 5-8 times a night she will pee come in and 5 min later poop on floor. She knows its wrong cause she runs and hides? Some days its not too cold but i didn't want to confuse her so i figured for the winter i would just stop walking her. Please if anyone has any suggestions on what to do or what I am doing wrong can you help me! Oh this is my first year with the dog at my house. She used to live at a personal care home that i worked at and when we closed I took her home. She never went for walks when she lived there and she never had accidents either.

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"She knows it's wrong..." thus she's doing it just to make you mad?

I don't think so. Whatever your reaction is afterwards is why she's running and hiding. It sound like this may be a medical issue worth of a vet visit if she is older than about 9 months and was reliably house trained. If not then it's time to reinforce where to potty by putting on the coat and the leash and standing there till she goes and rewarding immediatley for going in the right place. And confining or crating the dog to a small area if she hasn't recently pottied is the course of action normally taken with dogs that aren't reliable.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 9:32AM
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"Some days its not too cold but i didn't want to confuse her so i figured for the winter i would just stop walking her."

The dog isn't a bicycle to be put away 'for the winter.' They need exercise year round, and movement is what gets elimination going. Walk the dog! Why would you adopt a dog if you can only offer what she needs when it's warm out? Sorry if this sounds harsh but I don't have much sympathy for people who adopt dogs like they're seasonal accessories. Dogs need exercise and stimulation. So do people, but that's a topic for another forum.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 10:14AM
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Thanks for the pointers. I am not saying I don't want to walk my dog. Again I don't think walking your dog in below zero weather is a good thing to do. I have no problem walking my dog I just didn't want to confuse her if she go three days of walking and the next day ther is 10 feet of snow and below windshields. It's not safe to be out in that kind of harsh windshields. I was mainly asking if the dog would get confused not complaining about walking my dog. I love my animals and I sure am not lazy. 27 years old and excellent health. I exercise daily and in the winter i usually stay indoors and exercise do to the weather. Just wanted pointer on my dogs new behavior!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 12:45PM
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You don't have to take her for a long walk, but I think you not going out in the yard with her when she's out there is part of the problem. It's cold and she doesn't want to stay out any longer than she has too so she does a quick pee and runs back in.
When my dog goes out (we always go w/him) he will often poop first and in his excitement that he did so well :) he sometimes forgets to pee. I have to give the command and he'll run back and pee.

Take a treat, and use a command for her to go. I don't talk to my dog when he's outside to do his business (it distracts him) except to say, "do your business" and 'go tinkle" .

Do you have an area that is protected from snowfall, or does she have to go out in a foot or more of snow? Could be that she doesn't like snow or that her feet/legs are getting too chilled. It'd be nice if you could have a 'cleared' area just for her.

Lots of praise and a treat afterward and I think she'll learn to go quickly so she can get out of the cold and back in the house!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 1:28PM
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    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 8:47PM
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I think the poster is meaning to say "Windchills" LOL

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 8:59PM
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The fact that you were walking her and then stopped is the problem. She is probably attached to you and would rather quickly pee and then run inside to be with you, instead of being on her own in a yard when it's cold and snowy. Plus the reduced exercise is a problem.

We recently moved to a house, so our dogs don't get walks 3 times a day like they used to in an apartment. However I go out with them each time and throw a ball, stick, or even some snowballs for them, or we chase each other around the yard. It's interactive, fun, and good exercise for all of us. Plus, it keeps us warm. :) Could you go out in the yard and play with her? Will she fetch a toy or a frisbee? The exercise will stimulate her bowels so that she will poop and then you can come inside and warm up by the fire. :)

Oh, and don't worry about confusing her. If you can walk her on some days and not others that's fine. It will be better for her than not walking her at all. There are some days that things are extremely busy or DH or I are sick, and the dogs don't get the exercise they're used to. They cope for a day or two, as long as you get back to it when you can.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 9:39PM
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Where is it BELOW ZERO in the U.S. in early December? I don't blame the dog. Think about it from his perspective - his system is used to a certain routine, and all of a sudden the routine gets altered in a negative way (cold out, by himself, no exercise), but he is still expected to "perform".

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 11:28PM
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"Again I don't think walking your dog in below zero weather is a good thing to do."

I let her out 5-8 times a night she will pee come in and 5 min later poop on floor

What's the difference between a decent walk and letting her out 5 to 8 times for 5 minutes each. For the 25 minutes she's out there cummulatively, you could be walking her once. It isn't any warmer when she goes out by herself. She's either out walking with you, or out standing around. It's cold either way. But if she's moving (walking) she'll warm herself from the exercise just like you will.

My dogs have very little fat and fur and I have coats for them to wear when it's cold.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 12:17AM
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I bred and showed dogs for 14 years and have been a dog trainer for the last dozen after that. It's not at all unusual for young dogs to un-housebreak themselves when winter weather becomes severe. If you can't walk because it's really that cold, so be it. But the only way to approach this problem if you want to save your carpets -- not just for now but she's building bad habits -- is to take her back to square one and re-housebreak her.

That means don't send her out; take her out (miserable as that is for you, bundle up). Take a wee super yummy treat with you, use your potty words, and treat her and praise her like crazy... just as if she were a new puppy and knew nothing... just as you did at first. Your only other choice sure isn't pretty. You may end up with a dog who is never reliably housebroken. I'm sure that's not what you want.

Can you throw a ball for her down a hallway in the house to give her some exercise when the weather is too cold for walks outside? You can also do a lot of good training in the winter indoors and put her through some "puppy pushups" which are drills of sit, down, and stand, with lots of praise and treats of course. Teach her to spin on cue, walk through your legs, heel around the house, etc.

Hang in there. It's not fun, but it's not uncommon. What you do about it now will make a big difference in the long run. You don't want her to get into the habit of going indoors. If you're having trouble watching her, either tie her to your belt on her leash, or put her in a safe place like an area gated off the carpet, or in her crate (for short periods, like when you're in the shower).

Hope this helps. Sorry, there are no shortcuts.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 8:43AM
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Yesterday when it was raining and cold we walked a half a mile indoors- that's a very boring 40 laps then I opened the door and they went out and immediately pottied.
You may have to improvise. We can easily do an hour and a half of exercise indoors but we have stairs and wide open spaces.

Still don't know what breed or the age of the dog.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 12:00PM
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Our shih tzus do not like going out if it is raining, they wear shoes and raincoats. One has revenge issues with me and will make a grunt statue if I don't do things her way. evil little furchild.

I think a good brisk walk would be good for her instead of multiple 5 minute breaks. Invest in some shoes and weather gear for her.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 3:24PM
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I just want to say thanks to you posters out there! I read this post earlier, as a Nor'easter storm raged outside my door thinking, "yeah, right - like I'm really gonna go for a walk in this." Then Tucker came over and whined and put his head on my lap, looking up at me with that sad little face that says "But it's Sunday - we ALWAYS play on Sundays!" And I thought about this post....and I felt a little guilty... so I bundled up in my snowboarding clothes and took the little fuzzy man out for a walk. We both feel much better now. :o)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 3:55PM
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Ah, what a great bunch of folks here!

It does matter what age and breed of dog. The larger breeds should not receive a bunch of repetitive stress on their joints as they are growing. This would also be true with a little dog whose breed predisposed them to patellar subluxation, of course. What you win is some peace in the house, and tired out kids and dogs. :-)

But an adult (over two years) sturdy dog is perfectly capable of fetching a ball up and down an indoor staircase, which is an excellent way to wear them out.

If you have kids (depending on their age/maturity) who are also antsy indoors in the cold weather, you can have them train your dog in ways that will wear them all out and save your sanity. Have them play a game where they take the dog down the stairs on a leash. They climb up the stairs. If the dog gets out in front of them, they have to go back to the bottom of the stairs. They can use treats, petting and praise. The first kid who can go from the bottom to the top of the stairs with the dog on a loose leash all the way (no jerking) wins. They can win a chance to choose the video, or an extra story at bedtime, an hour of mom or dad's undivided attention to fingerpaint or color, a chance to stay out an hour later on the weekend, or whatever you feel is appropriate.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 1:07AM
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I live in a severe winter climate area where we have already had quite a bit of snow and below zero temps. Yes, even the world's best housebroken dogs will try to avoid going or staying outside in this sort of weather, esp. without companionship. My dogs, who actually love (reasonably) cold weather and have quite a bit of wanderlust in their souls, will stand on the front stoop and refuse to go down the stairs to pee and poop unless I go out with them on very cold days. As soon as I bundle up and go out, they run down the stairs and do their business. Then we turn around and come right back in.

You don't have to walk your dog in sub-zero temps, but you do have to go outside and escort her to her pee/poop spot and stay out there with her until she's finished. Just don't leave her out there so long that she freezes, or she'll be even less inclined to go out there again.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 9:56AM
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Where is it BELOW ZERO in the U.S. in early December?

Well, North Dakota for one. Minnesota. Probably several other northern states. We have been down to 20 DEGREES BELOW ZERO this winter already. It is not unusual.

I agree with laurief - even if you can't do a full walk (and being familiar with very cold weather I do not blame you), still go out with her and watch her. I take my three out every night before bed, even if I'm already in my robe, walk them to their spot, tell them to "go potty", wait, watch, then back in for a treat. It is very seldom that one needs out during the night.

Winters are a challenge, especially for young and/or active dogs. Try to find ways to exercise your dog indoors also - hide and seek works very well, fetching balls up and down stairs, even just running in silly circles around the house. Also mental work - you can do obedience work even in a very small house, you can teach your dog new tricks. Just be sure the dog is getting both physical and mental stimulation even when it's too cold to go out for long.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 10:41AM
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My labs will go on the deck in really icy weather, so its not unusual for this to happen. When they were young we had to take them out on a leash in the front yard, tell them go potty. If they didn't go, they had to be crated and then we went out again in an hour, repeat until potty happened. We always took them out right after dinner. Now, they are good except going on the deck and they will hold it as long as they can in bad weather. I would suggest using the crate, taking her out, and even five minutes of a walk up the street. I know what you mean about cold...we get snow and ice and its not fun!! We also play fetch inside...

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Ah, pee and poop management. In California, we don't have to worry about cold, and not much rain. But when it does rain, my dog will fight going out. I have to use my stern voice and command him to go pee-pee and "hurry-up" - my euphemism for poopy. If he tries to run back toward home I will not budge and he knows what I want him to do. "Management" prevails against the 20-lb doxie!

Do you have a garage you can put newspaper down in if it's really too cold? That may be another option and I know folks who let their dogs do their potty in the garage when they are not home.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 7:27PM
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i am having this issue with my new bulldog pup.he was doing great til it rained and got cold.he is very cold natured and doesn't like his feet getting wet.he knows what he's doing cuz when i catch him he runs to the door.he doesn't poop in house but since it got cold he pees in kitchen floor;i guess that's better than on carpet.he is so cold natured,his little feet get like ice.i'm gonna have to put some socks and shoes on him.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 9:14PM
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they have those dog booties...

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 9:28PM
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