Hey, all! Question again, with a bit of a backstory.
When we first got Bruno, Brian (my husband) insisted that when we take him out to potty, we keep him in one area (basically the leash radius) on a grassy patch by the apartment building. Well, I had and still have the day walking and potty shifts, and he has the night shift in taking Bruno out. Whenever I would take him out as a pup, I just felt bad because often he wouldn’t pee or poop if not allowed to sniff around, so I would always cave in and let him explore till he found just the perfect place to pee and poop. Sometimes it took forever, still does sometimes. So, Brian says I “broke” the dog and insists that next time we get a new dog we stick to just one small patch so that the future dog learns that that place is the toilet and that he/she needs to go as soon as he/she gets there. I’m hoping that by then we have a house with a fenced yard so that we can just let the dog outside and not have to restrain it to a small patch of grass.
What is your opinion? Is it fine/normal for a dog to sniff around a bunch, even if it clearly has to go (asked to be let outside for potty)? It is just frustrating to Brian sometimes because it gets pretty cold at night and Bru takes a while to go, but I just take it as a given, he’s a dog, and that’s what dogs do, and I even offered to switch “shifts”… Or did I really “break” the process of instilling good habits in Bruno and should I just stick to it next time?
Nowadays he is let out 3-4 times/day for potty, and the second and last times are for peeing only. All times require mini walks because he’s so picky for a place to eliminate, aside from the regular morning walk.
Bentley is such a pain about potty breaks. He gets so worked up about going outside to potty that once he gets out there, all he can do is sniff-sniff-sniff the entire yard, and will not go unless you constantly tell him every 30 seconds or so to go potty, otherwise you’re out there for ages. It drives me nuts!! He also will not potty while on leash unless we are on a walk and he marks something smelly (which for him in just flat out peeing. Over. And. Over. No idea where he gets all that pee from lol), and god forbid he have to poop on leash. Judging by the fact that Bruno does it too, its probably a terrier thing.
Bobby is picky too leash or no leash. Not sure about training a dog to eliminate in a certain area because I never had to worry about it. With all of my animals I just focused on house training and was just thrilled when that was over! Bobby is a very delicate creature and cannot stand the rain, however he will still take forever to find a spot even when it’s raining. He looks pathetic when it is raining because he looks back at me, then sniffs a little, moves forward, looks at me again as if asking “why are you making me do this?” My JRT was the same way.
Akari and Bobby Dog, I see. I thought it was normal, so I will feel super bad if we don’t have a yard by the time we have another dog if I have to basically stand like a post while the poor thing pulls in all directions cause it wants to find the best potty place… So I just hope we’ll have a yard by then! And try to not get a dog till then. 🙂
I had a foster who did this once and it drove me crazy! Lily is generally pretty good about peeing quickly in the backyard, or pooping if she needs to go. She doesn’t always go in the same spot, but it doesn’t take her that long. Pooping on walks is a different story. There have been times were I have been positive she has to poop, and then I walk her for 20 minutes and she doesn’t go. Anyway, I do think it’s a normal dog thing, if a bit of a pain in the but. 🙂
Hi Naturella. I don’t necessarily think you “broke” Bruno. The only dog I ever had an issue with was my male Bichon Frise, Francis. Male dogs are completely different with their bathroom habits than female dogs. If a female dog has to go out to potty she will go out, squat and pee and/or poop. Not so with males. Males have a need to mark territory. They have the instinct to sniff around and whenever and wherever they get the scent of another dog they will pee a little (marking) to mask over the other dogs scents. Male dogs are a pain in the butt to walk because of that. They don’t particularly care if you’re freezing yours off while they mark every spot everywhere. It’s instinctual, it’s ingrained in them. When he was a puppy he would just squat and pee but as he matured that instinct of marking showed up. When he was really old he started squatting again. I believe that Bruno would have had the need to wander and mark as he grew out of puppy hood regardless of what Brian’s wishes were.
With all that said, I have in the past, with female dogs, trained them to go in what I deemed their “okay” place to do their business. Our previous home was large with large gardens so I set off a particular area that we called their “bathroom area”. We would always take them out on their leashes. After a few months, whenever we would open the door for them to go out they would all run over to their “bathroom area” and do their business. Then they would just play outside. When we were outside barbecuing or in the pool and they were out with everyone every time they felt the urge to pee they would run off to their “bathroom”. Now with this house the patio area and garden area is small so there really wasn’t an area to designate their bathroom area or I wouldn’t be able to have any gardens. I wish I had as now I have to follow them around to pick up poop but as I said, it’s not a big area so it’s not really a big deal.
Anyway, these have been my experiences with male and female dogs.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Dori.
Lol, the marking isn’t just with male dogs. Lily likes to pee on everything on walks, and the foster I’ve had that marked the most was a 12 year old female spayed chi mix. 😛 I only fostered two male dogs though, and one of them was a puppy.
My female JRT was worse than Bobby about picking a spot too! She would even lift her leg sometimes to mark the bushes in our yard, she was such a dainty lady, lol! Most times she didn’t even have any urine left, but she would still squat after sniffing the area in an attempt to mark the spot. I would joke that I might find her passed out in our yard one day due to dehydration from her potty breaks.
Bobby’s girlfriend does a little spin around dance after she sniffs out the spot she wants to mark. I get dizzy looking at her spin around no less than five times before she squats, it hilarious to watch.
I have 3 pugs and they’re all different about their potty preferences. One will go anywhere, anytime. The other goes pretty much only on schedule and only in her own yard. The 3rd, my middle child, is the nightmare… She hates to go on a leash, hates to go in front of anyone, people or dogs, and will only go 3 times a day. What finally helped with her, was giving the other 2 a treat, then taking her out with her treat. She knows now that as soon as she goes potty she gets her treat so she goes pretty quickly. 🙂
Wow Becky. You’ve had a time of it with potty preferences at your house. Are any of them puppies? What are their ages? I’m just being nosey. Your middle child is shy about her potty business. Must be a nightmare for you but it does sound kind of cute reading about it.
Bobby dog. My male dog when he finally found the spot he wanted to poop would spin, and spin, and spin. Then sniff again before doing his business and decide NOPE! Ain’t goin there. And start the whole process all over again. This was when we lived in Jersey. Would drive me insane. Especially when there were mountains of snow, freezing weather, middle of the night, or, of course, when you’re running late and have got to be somewhere. I would be begging him, please let this be the spot, please Francis, please! Or I would be silently saying it because I was afraid if I distracted him it would start all over again. AND….everything distracted him from pooping. Any little rustling of leaves, wind, whatever. Needless to say I’ve had females every since. But with all that, wow did I love that little guy! He’s been gone at least 25 years and I still miss him every day. Oh, he also kept marking spots with absolutely no urine coming out. Use to crack my husband and my son up. They were quite proud of their little man. lol!
I’ve never had issues with females. They go out do their business and then play or if it’s cold (and it’s been really cold here lately) they just want back in the house. Interesting how dogs are all so different even with potty issues. 🙂
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Dori.
Naturella: Maybe try the treat routine that Becky uses.
Dori: The spin cracks me up! I’ve only seen B-dog’s girlfriend do it when she urinates when she picks a spot to poop it is not such an intensive search and maybe only one or two spins.
Bobby dog. His spinning would sometimes make me dizzy watching him. I sometimes couldn’t figure out how he didn’t make himself dizzy. Sometimes I wanted to make him spin in the other direction to sort of “unwind” him.
Katie doesn’t spin on hottie breaks. Katie spins a lot but it’s all about food or the door bell. She’s been doing that since she was 9 weeks old when we got her. I asked her vet at one time because I wondered if it was some sort of neurological thing. Nope, the vet calls her “Katie, the circus performer”. She actually has made herself dizzy and that would really crack you up. She’ll spin so much non stop that when she stops she’ll appear as though she may have had one too many cosmos.
Yes, dogs, both male and female, develop potty preferences. That doesn’t mean you have to cater to them. Tons of people train their dogs to go in a particular area of their yard. My dogs are required to go potty at home before we take them on a walk. My dogs, both male and female, can mark at their home yard all they want, but they are NOT allowed to sniff around and mark out on a walk.
That being said, many small dogs have a slow large intestine, so their stools are drier and harder than other dogs. These dogs, like some people, need to move around a bit before they can move their bowels. No matter if you stand like a post or go for a walk, the dog is going to have to go for a walk to get the stool to move out. Sometimes, you have to give the dog what it needs. When I need a dog to poop on leash and they need to move around a bit first, I try to teach them to lunge like a horse, doing circles around me, until they are ready to go.
One of our popular dog trainers here teaches that you basically do what Brian said, show the dog where you want it to go and say go _______whatever your word is. If they don’t do it in 5 minutes tops, bring them back in, wait a few minutes and do it again all over. My lab goes in the same spot basically on a tieout, but my cocker does the sniffing, oh not there, goes around sniffs, again, not there, and circles, circles and finally goes where he originally went–so funny. He takes his sweet time about it too, where as my lab gets out there does his thing, and trots right back to the door.
Hey, all, sorry I’ve been MIA – I had a family friend – a high school classmate of my Mom’s, she’s like a substitute mother or just a mother figure to me, very loving of Brian and I, visit Atlanta for basically just under 36 hours, so we were spending some time with her and I couldn’t respond to your posts.
It is good to know that other dogs also do need to do the whole sniff-around-think-about-it-go-somewhere-else-think-some-more-sniff-some-more dance… Males OR females. Sometimes, Bruno would get as far as even lifting his leg and then deciding against peeing, and moving on… This is particularly annoying, lol, cause he’s more than halfway there. And Bruno also dry-marks too, lol (he’s all out of urine but still has to try to lift his leg and try to squeeze a drop out). We also have tried with treats and the clicker even, but it still was taking a while to go. Ideally, when we have a yard, I would do like BCnut, let the dogs in the yard to do whatever, wherever, but on walks they won’t get to mark and sniff around. And as for Bruno, IDK, should we still try to teach him the one-spot policy, or just let it go altogether? We will try to get him to play inside before going out some and even run around and jump some so he can move his intestines quicker when outside, lol!
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Naturella.
My brother’s dog will not go in his yard, period. Has to go for a walk. Maybe he thinks the whole house/yard is his crate and he won’t potty in his crate! Or maybe just has his Dad trained.
Funny! Sounds like he’s got his dad pretty well trained. 🙂
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