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Refusing to go to the Bathroom
  • Mura is the weirdest dog I've ever owned when it comes to going to the bathroom. She'll pee just fine in our own yard, but when it's time for #2, sometimes she just won't do it. For a while she would get a spot she liked and only go there for a few days before getting fed up with it and start a new spot. That was fine, because it was always a spot on our block or just the next block over. Now she refuses to go at all sometimes. We'll be on walks, and she'll get ready to go, then just stop, push everything back in, and run like nothing happened. Sometimes it's only once a walk, other times she'll pretend to poop a couple times without actually doing anything.

    I don't think it's constipation, because it's literally popping out of her before she decides to stop and move on, but I don't know how to get to her to go. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1066
    You could try a tablespoon of fresh canned pumpkin just to make sure it's not a constipation problem. Pumpkin is really good for both constipation and loose poops haha. Shibas are notoriously picky about their pooping places. Ozzy won't poop anywhere too close to home. But if its lasted for several days, a visit with the vet might give you better answers than we can. Ozzy also likes to poop in peace lol. Sometimes we have to make sure the surroundings are kind of quiet and he doesn't want to be stared at or in plain sight.
  • Our boy poops indiscriminately but only on the perimeter of HIS yard. Our girl walks what we call "The Poop Trail" anywhere from 3 to 12 times depending on how badly she has to go to find exactly the perfect spot on the loop to do the poop. Picky isn't unheard of with this breed, but the whole 'pretending to poop' sounds like a bit of constipation. Like Lilikoi suggested, canned pumpkin will do the trick if it needs a helping hand.

  • I think I'll try some pumpkin. I really don't want to believe it's constipation, because she's still been going at least once a day, and they've looked normal when she does go, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Other than that, do you think rewarding her for pooping (with a small treat, maybe) might entice her to go more? I'm perfectly fine going on a walk to get her to go...I've even adjusted my morning routine so she doesn't feel rushed. It just seems like she doesn't believe the spot she picked is acceptable, and I want her to learn it's OK to poop wherever she wants, as long as it's outside.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1066
    Yeah, I'd definitely give a treat after pooping to help encourage her. Ozzy usually just poops once a day, but he eats half raw, so he doesn't seem to poop as much as dogs just on kibble. Pumpkin is definitely great to try.
  • astralarisastralaris
    Posts: 17
    Our girl is still young - 6 months. As far as #2 goes, we practice the method our trainer taught us: First try immediately after your dog has eaten. Take them to the potty spot - preferably this is close by - dogs become habitual and you don't want to have to walk several blocks in bad weather just to get your dog to its spot. Give him/her only 3 minutes to do their business - if nothing happens, in the crate they go for 10-15 minutes -- usually within that time frame the food they ate will get things moving internally and they will go. Repeat steps if necessary. Eventually, they will learn what you want: that "now" is the time I have to go and this is the "place," and will start going regularly. Controlling feeding times and frequency helps tremendously - makes their BMs more predictable. Still there ARE occasions when our girl doesn't go poop on demand, so-to-speak. If we have to leave - she goes back in the crate until I get back at which time she most always will go right away. Praising with an immediate "Yes!" and "Good boy/girl!" is also helpful. Treats in combination with praise are also helpful.
    Post edited by astralaris at 2017-05-23 14:09:18
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3481
    @astralaris

    Does your trainer know you have a shiba? 3 mins is kind of ridiculous. And yes they're known to consider the backyard as their home and NOT go in it as they age. The way you should think of this is "do you want to play in your bathroom?"

  • astralarisastralaris
    Posts: 17
    @Bootz --- Yes, of course our trainer knows this as she was enrolled in puppy socialization classes to help with socialization and basic obedience at a well-respected canine training school that also teaches agility, sight and nose work, and rescue - they work with ALL dog breeds. Our Hana passed her class including the introduction to agility that they had the dogs complete the final week with flying colors! That aside, the idea behind the 3 minute time limit is to again, teach a dog that this is NOT play time -- this is potty time. If fact, 3 minutes isn't as short as one thinks if you actually time it out. However, you could stretch that to 5 minutes or so, but you don't want to drag it out --THAT is really the important thing. Also, I didn't say it HAD to be in one's yard -- just close by -- walk them to whatever the location is and then start the waiting. As I stated, you don't want to have to walk your dog for several blocks or wait for 45 minutes in bad weather or more importantly, when you're preparing to leave for say, work or an appointment and want to get them out for a quick potty. The question really is how long (waiting) is too long and how far should you venture away from home to get your dog to go? Shibas are very intelligent as everyone here knows and they learn what is expected of them very quickly - even if they are sometimes reluctant to perform on command. Most of them take to crate training quickly as they are also very clean. At any rate, the method has worked for us very well, but every dog is different. I was just sharing what has worked for us, whether the OP takes that advice is up to them. -Peace!
    Post edited by astralaris at 2017-05-23 21:12:21
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3481

    As I stated, you don't want to have to walk your dog for several blocks or wait for 45 minutes in bad weather or more importantly, when you're preparing to leave for say, work or an appointment and want to get them out for a quick potty. The question really is how long (waiting) is too long and how far should you venture away from home to get your dog to go



    This is exactly what I'm getting at. If you can't invest time to properly walk your dog before work/appointment or whatever the case is, then I'm sorry for your dog. Only 6 months too... good luck.

    %%-
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1249
    This thread is pretty old so hopefully the OP has figured out their potty problems by now.
    I agree with @Bootz, Shibas are notoriously finnicky with finding potty spots and most prefer to walk to a secluded spot somewhere further away.
    Also, I think a lot of the time the exercise can be useful to start some bowel movement. Especially if you confine your dog to a crate most of the time and then only let the dog out for a few minutes. I would be blocked up too.

  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8408
    @astralaris - I really hope that we are taking your comments the wrong way, but it honestly sounds like you are not willing to invest the time and effort it truly takes to own a dog. Sure, you can train a dog to potty on command, but walks are not just for bathroom breaks. Dogs need both mental and physical stimulation in order to remain happy and healthy.

    My dogs get a minimum of a 45 minute walk before I leave for work EVERY day. If I have an appointment that I need to get to, I make sure I schedule enough time for me to properly exercise my dogs and for them to properly get their potty time in.

    I do not know about you, but sometimes it takes ME more than three minutes to use the bathroom. I would never impose a three minute rule on my dogs for bathroom breaks, that is just ridiculous. And in my personal opinion, the only dogs that should be required to potty on command are working dogs. Pets should be allowed to be pets and there is no reason that their owners can not take the time to allow them to stop and sniff and find the perfect potty spot.
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  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    Sometimes my dog takes 5 mins to poop and sometimes it takes 45 mins. Never gave her such a short time to use the potty...and even after pottying I let her hang out for about 15 mins so that she won't associate potty with going inside. Plus, don't you want walks to be fun?

    Besides the 3 minute bathroom breaks, when does your pup get to go outside for an actual walk?
  • JackStateJackState
    Posts: 120
    Establishing a habitual potty spot is useful for bad weather. Ichabod has a spot under an awning for that and his ~11 PM pee outside the apt.

    I would have to assume in order to think astralaris is suggesting this is more than just some tool in your toolbox and rather should supplant walks entirely (a really crappy thing to do to your dog). Not interested in taking a leap there when she can just clear it up.

    I don't like crating as coercion/punishment though.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 652
    I recently taught my dog to ring a bell for emergencies (he is 8 months now). I take him out 3-4 times no matter what, and during those times I make the walks as long as my schedule allows (at least over 10 minutes, with one walk being over 45). If it is a bell ring, I set a time limit starting from the time we reach the potty spot (5 for pee and 10 for poop--kind of easy to tell which he needs). He always goes within that limit, and then we get an extra walk in. if he doesn't, we just go back home. And yes, he totally figured this out very quickly. He has only hit the bell a couple of times since we taught him. He only did a false start during his early learning, and he learns fast. It has helped a lot.

    I agree with Sunyata---walk times are their times. Let them sniff and enjoy---they get both physical and mental stimulation if you do it right. Would love to see an update to see how things have progressed.
  • astralarisastralaris
    Posts: 17
    @Bootz, @Sunyata, @Mochi920 & @Anjyil -- You are all definately taking it the wrong way. Why do you "assume" I don't have time to "properly" walk my dog or give her time to explore and play? I didn't say that. I was merely sharing the training method we used during house breaking for the sake of the OP who was having problems w/ his dog going. It was in response to a poopy problem, not a play time / walking problem.

    All I AM saying is that there are times AND circumstances when time is at a premium - you can't pre-plan for every circumstance that may call you away w/o notice. Plus, I don't know about anyone else's dog, but ours HATES to go out in the rain - the snow she LOVES, but the rain she couldn't be more adverse to - it takes coaxing and lots of praise to get her to permit her precious feet to touch wet grass! It's quite hilarious to see her try to potty on alternating 3 legs when its raining! :) Anyway, I would like to say this, training your dog to do its business quickly and efficiently, so that EVERY time doesn't take 45 minutes (or more) and a half a mile (or more walk) each and everytime, should not be a reason to be vilified! **And @Anjyil, I did say start the timing when the potty spot is reached -- just as you did -- the 3-5 minute time is arbitrary -- a suggestion not a hard-fast rule -- I just said don't drag it out during training, but again, all dogs are different. @JackState You are right regarding returning to the crate and then letting her out again -- this was a training tool -- this was during intital training days. I agree about not using the crate as a punishment and thanks for allowing me the kindness and consideration to "clear things up." :) -- we leave the crate open otherwise and all of our dogs through the years went in willingly to nap or sleep as they chose. In fact our one cat, who thinks he is a dog, likes to go in and sleep there too! :)

    As to the other aspects... We walk and play all the time and go to a dog park where she can run free off leash. Potty time is potty time when you're initially training your pup. Play time and exercise time is just what they are, yes, of course, sometimes they overlap - sometimes they don't - she can play and run and sniff and NOT go potty once - even after walking 2 miles! Again, all I was trying to share was what worked for us in establishing a potty routine and spot w/ her. But, hey, it might not work for others - advice is advice and you know what they say about that! ;) Let me also make clear that someone is always home with my dog and cats all day during the day, whether it be myself or another and each of them gets individual attention. To blindly assume I ignore my pets needs, or that I am "not doing it [playtime] right," or that I am not invested in my dog, based on a potty question, I quite frankly find to be rather offensive based on not really knowing me. I have personally raised 3 canine companions in the last 30 years and grew up w/ dogs as a child. I assure you, all of them got playtime and had mental and physical stimulation, while managing to be housebroken! With that said, I hope that I didn't misunderstand the implications / intention(s). ~Peace
    Post edited by astralaris at 2017-05-25 13:03:16
  • astralarisastralaris
    Posts: 17
    ^^The above should have said, "someone is "*almost* always home w/ my dog and cats all day..." Obviously. there are times when no one is home. I waitied too long to edit and couldn't fix that statement. Don't want to give anyone the wrong impression to be used as cannon fodder. :/ Yes, @JackState, I agree. Housebreaking training tools DO NOT and SHOULD NOT EVER supplant walks, play/stimulation, snuggling, and socialization w/ people and other dogs! Thanks again for being the one kind voice and not taking the leap to assume what others did. BTW, here she is a few days ago, post spay, sassy as ever:
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    Post edited by astralaris at 2017-05-25 13:29:29
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 652
    @astralaris Sorry, didn't mean to imply that you were doing it "wrong" just sharing how I do it to see if it gives you ideas. No one is vilifying you, but there is a feeling that the time limit was not compatible with a young pup--at least at that time.

    My pup also hates the rain---but that has become motivation to finish quickly because I am more than happy to stand out there under the umbrella and wait him out lol (I'm a Washingtonian).

    To be fair, it is hard to give accurate advice when all we get is a snippet---the problem--and can't see other aspects. I had the same problem when I was seeking advice for certain situations, so I understand your frustration. I don't doubt you do things right by your dog---you are/were just having potty issues and only wanted something for that particular thing. You really shouldn't have to spell out your life story for something so simple.

    the reason I said I agreed with Sunyata was because, from your posts, it seemed like all walks were short and just in-and-out. sorry that I misunderstood that. I probably missed something in the earlier posts, and misunderstood the limitation rule you had placed. The way it was worded made it sound very strict, so I was wrong about that.

    I hope things have gotten better, though. You responded to the posts but didn't let us know if he had improved yet ^_^ I hope he has. The older they get, the better they seem to get at it. Actually, my pup refuses to potty sometimes. We don't force it---his choice. Some dogs have better bladder/poop control than others ::shrugs:: Out of the 3-4 times we take him, there are some days he only pees and poops twice (or sometimes twice on one walk, once on another and then not again for until the next day, though he gets plenty of water). Nothing wrong with him^---perfectly healthy, active, eats well, no lethargy . Next morning, he just has a longer pee and a bigger poop than normal haha.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    I never said you didn't properly walk your dog. All I asked about was when she gets to go out for an actual walk out of sincere curiosity lol because in your post, it seemed like you only take her out for bathroom breaks since you didn't mention keeping her outside for a while to enjoy her time (which are all assumptions based on your non-detailed post). If you want to give advice, you may want to include how you got her to differentiate between going outside to play and going outside for bathroom breaks (which @anjyil hinted at with the bell method) because some pups, a lot actually, associate pottying with going inside because a lot of owners bring them in after they do their business without allowing them to sniff around and explore which results in them delaying their want to poop.
    And in my personal opinion, I think it's better to designate a potty spot rather than giving them a time limit.

    If you wanted to avoid criticism from concerned shiba owners, you may have wanted to include the whole method process you used rather than just part of it because with the method you gave, it could result in a dog becoming constipated in the long term and in my opinion, along with many others' opinion, 3 minute walks (which is the only thing you stated) is very poor.

    Anyways, @anjyil Mochi is the same way :)) she only poops twice a day and that's morning/night. She pees whenever we go out which is about 3-4 times a day. If she sees another dog or person, she gets excited and loses her will to poop lol
    Post edited by Mochi920 at 2017-05-25 14:08:35
  • astralarisastralaris
    Posts: 17
    @Mochi920 -- The quoted part was a snippet someone took from an original post I posted to ANOTHER person here who was having potty issues. Just to be clear, I am NOT nor was I having potty issues - the original poster was having a refusal to poop issue -- but that was NOT me. I think THAT is where the breakdown in communication started. In my longer, detailed post I said that's the method we used based on the advice of a trainer to "establish" her bathroom habits in the intital days/weeks.

    Along w/ your advice about including a bigger picture/more details, OK, fair enough. I also think others should not "read into" things and assume w/o asking for the whole picture. I really felt as if I was being persecuted for offering housebreaking advice only. Again, I was only sharing the early crate and potty training method we used to get things going when she was an 8-week-old until she was housebroken. It really only took a few days for her to start to get the idea and as most crate-trained dogs (any breed) get housebreaking quickly, I've never run into a situation where my dogs didn't know what they were expected to do and do it "reasonably" reliably in about 2 weeks or so. Now, IS our Shiba stubborn - at times, absolutely! But she has her potty spot and routine pretty well established and standardly, by 6 months, "most" dogs are usually housebroken and she is! :)

    I was upset b/s Sunyata suggested (and it was being supported by other posts) that I didn't have the dedication to be a dog owner, when this is not my first dog nor pet. We had a JackRussell-Pug mix that was just as strong-willed as our Shiba is, and we loved her to bits until the day she died, in the end, she was blind and having doggie alzheimer's and neurological tremors, and she wouldn't even know where she was half the time. We had to talk to her and soothe her every time she went outdoors and help her get oriented and calm. I mentioned I have cats - 3 of them -all rescues and 2 w/ special needs, one of whom is on daily oral meds, for which, I puree a highly "stinky" (but yummy to cats at least) food to hide his meds in so as not to traumatize him by force feeding it to him as some would do. So, I DO know what it means to take time to devote to my animals needs and it was VERY hurtful to be accused otherwise.

    So back to our doggo... does she ALWAYS go poop on command? No, but mostly. She too goes poop about twice daily -- usually around her feed times - maybe 15-20 minutes after eating and she's not looking to "cop a squat" so-to-speak in the house, so it's all good. :) And, as we all know, play and running around gets the body functions going, so IF she's seemingly not interested in poopy, when we go out to potty, we abandon that -- no stress for her or me / or whomever is taking her out, and we have a good old play session - she is obsessed with balls and retrieving and never seems to tire of it. How's that for more details? ;) Have a great day! :D
    Post edited by astralaris at 2017-05-25 15:09:19
  • JackStateJackState
    Posts: 120
    If I had a top 5 list of miscommuncation categories, misjudging the scope of another's point would be up there.


    "I dislike X political thing."
    "Why don't you dislike Y though? It's worse."
    "It wasn't an exhaustive list, *******!"


    You're teaching your dog not to fiddle around with pooping. It wasn't an exhaustive account of outside time.

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