messing in the house

Posted by Kath1968
Dec 27, 2009
hi there,

Our 20-month old rhodesian ridgeback pees and poos in the house. She knows she shouldn't do it and often eats the poo. She is perfectly capable of holding it and is so excited when we come home from work or get up in the morning and she's been clean and dry. She goes, at least for a pee, every time we let her out and she is walked two or three times a day and nearly always goes when she's out. However, doing her business in the house has got much worse over the last few days - we have been at home over Christmas and it seems to be every time we go out. Yesterday evening she had her tea and a walk. I then let her out in the garden a couple of hours later then went out to a neighbours. My husband arrived home 15 minutes later to two pees and a poo. Having mopped up, he also came out and we both arrived home a couple of hours after that to two poos (one of which had been eaten) and three pees. This morning, having left her downstairs in the kitchen last night, the kitchen floor was awash.
I don't think it's anything like a bladder infection - she can hold on when she wants to. It's as if she's doing it on purpose.

We were going to start going out of the house then coming back at varying times (30 seconds to a few hours later) to see if that would fool her into thinking it was OK for us to be out and that we'd be coming back anytime. Is this a good idea or will it make things worse?
When there's paper down she'll go on the paper and seems to think it's there for her to go on whether she needs to or not. I mop the floor with a pet neutraliser, oxy and/ or biological washing liquid - sometimes I'll mop three or four times in one go with a variety of stuff to get rid of any lingering smell - is there anything else I can try?
I've also tried feeding her where she's been but that doesn't seem to bother her and hasn't made any difference.

Re eating the poo - we tried adding in courgette to her food which did stop her for a while. They're now out of season - is there anything else we can add in to her food to put her off eating the poo? She also loves sheep, cow and horse muck when we're out walking and fox muck is a real treat. We do tell her off for this and try to distract her, but it's not always easy as she is so quick!

We are particularly frustrated because our last dog never went in the house at all and wouldn't go until she was outside - even when she was in boarding kennels - so this is really getting us down.

Any suggestions gratefully received!
Posted by kjd
Dec 27, 2009

I know you don't think this is a health issue, but I would still check with your vet. She isn't doing it on purpose. From what you say, I don't think it has to do with your leaving. Except that you aren't around to let her out when she needs to go when you aren't in the house. You write that she goes nearly every time you let her out. Tell that to your vet when you take her in for an examination.

As for holding it in when she wants to: It is one thing to hang on for a few minutes while you or your husband get the point and let her outside. It is another thing to need to go and have absolutely no idea when someone will be around to let her out.

Someone else on the forum might have some behavioral ideas, but, right now, I'd say there is something wrong and your vet is the way to go. (Don't stop with bladder infection. Remember, she is also defecating. Among other things, she might have worms. However, I'm no vet, so I'd let the vet make a diagnosis.)

BTW, has she been spayed? This may also be a hormonal problem.

You do not necessarily have to immediately take her to the vet. If your vet knows you and your dog, you can always call and ask for opinions over the phone. If the vet thinks she should come in for an examination, he will also have had some time to review her records and meet her with some informed thoughts.

Good luck, she sounds like a nice dog. Let us know how she does.

Posted by Kath1968
Dec 27, 2009
Hi kjd,

Thanks for that - we'll ring the vet. She was spayed about a year ago, so that's not the problem.

I've just been to let her out now, but she won't even poke her head out of the door - too cold! - and has sneaked back into her nice warm chair where she'll probably be quite happy to sleep until teatime!

We'll persevere, see what the vet says and let you know.

Thanks again.