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Old 08-02-2008, 12:10 AM
StillandSilent StillandSilent is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Default Lilly and the Potty Issue

Lilly is attempting to drive our family stark raving mad. Over the past few weeks, she had become very, very slow about going potty. She will go out into the backyard, always on lead, and literally sniff and play for 10-15 minutes before she does anything! There are times when she is desperate to poop, you can literally see all of her muscles clenchign and her butt poking out and she still insists on dragging herself an additional 5-10 feet to find the perfect spot!
Now, 90% of the time, we have a nice walk around the yard afterwards, so it isn't as if she knows that pottying ends her fun time outside, but there are times that we are in a hurry and just need her to go so we can get moving.
For the past week, she is getting a click and treat as soon as she goes, but it hasn't even made a dent. The older she gets, the slower she seems to get. It isn't a physical issue though, if it is raining or the wrong temperature outside, she does her business quickly and efficiently.
She is getting a high value treat for going. What else can I try?
For reference, she is a 13 year old spayed female. She has been trained since 6 months.
Seriously, during the time it takes Lilly to pee and poop, Radar has peed no less than 8 times, and usually pooped more than once. He's full of it, what can I say.
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:25 AM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
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Try choosing a section of the yard for her that she must go, make sure it is big enough for some walking (even if it's you in the center and she circles at the end of the lead in one big circle around you) but not big enough that it will take 10 minutes for her to explore. After a week or so of going there she should go there automatically so she should not take so much time finding the spot. I've also noticed females take longer, don't know why. And for those days when you are rushed, one of my reward for Phoebe going outside (she's fully housebroken, this just keeps her going quickly) is "WHoo, good girl Phoebe!!, c'mon let's go *happy tone*" and run full speed to the front door, she enjoys it.

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Old 08-02-2008, 09:47 AM
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a.baker a.baker is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Michigan
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I have my dogs on an eating schedule and so they having a pooping schedule. When we are outside and I know they have to poop and are too busy exploring (same with my female she will hold it in) I will go to their poop area and tell them to poop. I taught them this from the beginning. Every time they pooped I just said the word poop and good dog and repeated till they were done. They caught on to that. And every time without fail they will poop. I have them on a leash since we live in front of a busy road with no fence I can't let them roam free. So when they are exploring and I am in a hurry I stand in one spot in their area and give them the command and they go.

They have a different area for pee. I guess they kinda chose the pee area and I chose the poop area.

Oh I totally agree with you. Give them plenty of outside play time through out the day so potty isn't their only outside time.
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Old 08-02-2008, 01:24 PM
Sch3Dana Sch3Dana is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 391

It sounds to me like Lilly is holding it so she can hang out in the yard longer. But, anytime an older dog changes potty habits I think vet check. Maybe there is something going on physically that is bothering old Lilly. I would get her checked out before making any changes.

Now, if everything comes back ok from the vet, here is an option that works really well, but takes some dedication for the first week or so:

When you take Lilly out on lead, take her to the area where she should go, tell her her "go potty" command once and then give her a minute or at most two. During this time you might walk with her or just stand as long as she has enough leash to move around a bit (many dogs need the movement to get things moving). Once your pre-decided time limit is up, take her back inside. No fan fare, no scolding, just time is up. You'll need to supervise her closely in the house so she has no accidents. Take her out again within an hour and sooner if she acts like she wants to go. Again, give her her time limit to make it happen and come back in if she doesn't. You may need a long time with this program, so start it on a day when you are home.

At some point, she will finally go during the alloted time. When she does, praise her like crazy and make it very clear that you are allowing extra time out to reward her success. You might head out the gate for a fun walk through the neighborhood or just sit down and give her some free time in the yard (which is apparently her goal). If you are consistent with this method, Lilly will learn to empty out in order to earn the yard time, instead of holding it to stay in the yard longer. Then, if you're in a hurry you might not give her much time as a reward. As long as she usually gets the time as a reward for success (and never when she avoids pottying), she will continue to go quickly when taken out.
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