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Old 10-03-2010, 09:05 PM
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Default Housebreaking Q: holding it

We're starting to give Juno more unsupervised freedom and so far it's been going well. One of my initial concerns with this is that I wasn't sure what would happen if she needed to go outside, but no one is there to let her out. She's otherwise fabulous in the housebroken department, but I wasn't sure how you teach a dog that they need to HOLD it, or how you even know that they lack this skill until you give it a try.

What I'm getting at here.... this afternoon when I went to work, my parents were cleaning the basement. So they weren't really paying attention to Juno. When I got home my mom told me she is convinced that Juno pooped in the house. Lucy is not housebroken and she is known to have accidents, but my mom swears this was not Lucy poop. lol. Juno has never pooped in the house, not even as a puppy. Never ever ever. So I was shocked, to say the least.

How do you address this issue? I want to be able to give her more freedom, but that won't be able to happen if she can't hold it while we're gone.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:29 PM
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How old is Juno? From my past experiences, it's not unusual for a dog that's around 8-11 months old to have an accident or two, even if they were solidly housebroken before.

Especially if it's a poop accident....my guess is she goes once or twice a day? Just....make sure she goes. If she doesn't go before you leave, put her in the crate. If she does, it's pretty unlikely she'd going to go again in the house.

I'd just approach it the way you would housebreaking a puppy (again) or even an older dog who isn't housebroken...crate unless they go first.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:40 AM
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I'm not really sure how you could know if a dog will hold it without testing it first. Obviously, being proactive will make the problem nonexistant (crating, etc.), but I think to truely know you'd have to try.

Both Chloe and Rose will hold it however long is neccessary. Chloe's went 11 hours (not on purpose) loose in the house without a single accident. Rose has also never had an accident in the house, now that she is on meds for incontinence and she has never pooped in the house at all. We try to only leave the dogs at home without potty breaks for 4-6 hours, but there have been a few times it has been closer to 8-10 hours and neither of the dogs made a mess.
Blackie wasn't reliable about "holding it", but his was due to health problems so he was forgiven. He had to go out every four to six hours on the dot, even at night, or he'd have an accident because he physically couldn't hold it. It made life hell for awhile, that was for sure. He would always whine and bark and carry on before he had an accident so I know he didn't want to mess in the house, he just had to.

I just dogsat for a friend of mine and the most annoying thing about her dogs is that they won't hold it. They are "housebroken" in the sense that if you are there to let them out they won't mess on the floor, but if you don't let them out or are gone they'll just crap and pee where ever. I'm pretty sure the wife is a stay at home mom so it isn't an issue for her, but it was really annoying for me to go to work for only four hours and then come back and have two of the three dogs (one dog was a good girl and held it) crap and pee all over their mudroom - and the dogs were all out for an hour that morning before I went to work and I was only gone four and a half hours.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:58 AM
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Make sure she poops before you leave. If you leave food for her to eat while you're gone, she may have to go. Are you certain it was her that did it?
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:43 PM
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I can't be certain it was her, but my mom swears up and down there's no way it was Lucy. I don't know how many times Juno poops in a day, but if my memory serves me correctly, she had just pooped only 2 hours or so before I left. So who knows. I just don't want to have to always crate her when we leave. Lucy is the same, she's good when we're home but she'll have accidents if no one is able to let her out. It's really annoying though so I was hoping Juno would be better.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:10 PM
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It's unusual for a housebroken dog to have accidents just because the people aren't home, especially if the dog was never reprimanded for going in the house and doesn't think just think going in front of people is scary.

If Juno's hanging out for 3 or 4 hours with you at home and not pottying in the house, I'd try leaving her for an hour or so, and see what happens. Keep her and Lucy separate so you know if one poops who it is. Just make sure she goes outside BEFORE you leave.
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