Dog poop issue - what am I missing? - Update, yay success!
The dog we aquired as a stray was a mature intact male and it took some work to get him house trained. But we did for the most part. He's always had the ocassional poop accident on the porch where he stays during the day. But recently he's been doing it every single day. And only during the day when we are gone. His kennel is out there but he is not locked in the kennel. He has freedom to come and go out of the kennel as he wishes. So he goes down on the landing and poops - every.single.day.
He poops every morning when he goes out with the other dogs. And he poops when we get home at night. But he also poops during the day on the porch. He never pees inside.
I have tried locking him in the kennel so he has no freedom and he poops inside the kennel and then lays in it, and makes an enormous mess. He has no concept of "do not eliminate where you sleep."
He is about 110 pounds and gets 4 cups of Taste of the Wild dry and 1/2 can of wet daily plus a few treats and human goodies here and there. So he's not eating loads of cheap food that should be making him go that much.
His feedings are divided up into 3 and he eats at 6 a.m., 5 p.m., and 9 p.m. Should I try cutting his morning feeding down to just a tiny bit?
He will not poop in the house-proper, but I won't leave him in there during the day because he sometimes gets into little turf wars with the other male dog and I do NOT want them fighting while unattended. Also, he has chewed up various things in the house, and he can't be trusted around the furnishings.
I was wondering about a medical problem causing this, but recently we dogsat a Boxer for 2 weeks, and during that 2 weeks, he did not poop on the porch even ONE single time. WHY I have no idea. But literally the day after that dog went home, he pooped on the porch again.
To house train him, we did the really great yummy treats for poop and pee outside. And he DOES go outside every morning, so I could reward him all day long for that, but it's not going to fix the poop on the porch mid-day.
It just seems that he equates the mud porch = outside. I have tried blocking off the landing where he poops with a baby gate but then he just goes right next to the baby gate.
Just looking for things I am missing in this scenario. Thanks.
Last edited by Auventera Two; Nov. 21, 2011 at 10:07 AM.
I'd suggest trying a different, more calorie-dense food. Just because a food is good on paper or good for many dogs doesn't mean it's good for THIS particular dog- producing that much poop suggests a lot of what is going in is needing to come back out.
TOTW is only 370 kcal/cup. You could try something like Nature's variety at 490 kcal/cup and feed a smaller volume and see if that helps him produce less poop/ hold his bowels better.
Also why feed 3 times a day? most people feed only once or twice a day, and if you assume the dog will need to poop a certain number of hours after eating, you could possibly cut down the number of poops per day simply by reducing the number of times per day the dog eats.
They eat 3x a day because 2 of them have medical reasons. The Weimaraner is very high energy/high metabolism dog prone to bloat, and the Walker hound/Beagle is an old man. So both of them are hard keepers that need to eat quite a bit to keep good weight on. They are about 80 and 60 lbs. respectively and they both eat more than the 110 dog and they are in perfect weight. It would be impossible for them to eat that much food in only one feeding. Even though the porch pooper is an easy keeper, there is no way the others can eat and he get denied.
The Weim has bloated twice when she got too hungry, ate too much, too fast.....so feeding her a smaller amount but 3x a day is perfect. We do have an anti-bloat bowl, but she has bloated even while using the bowl. Bottom line - she needs to eat small but frequent meals. That plus an elevated feeding station, we have not had a bloat in 3 years! Bloat is life threatening to Weims so we are maintaining her the best we can to avoid losing her.
The old man hound doesn't have the greatest teeth and the biggest appetite so feeding him 3x a day works great too. If he has too much food to eat at once, he loses interest and walks off. Well that just invites somebody else to come in and finish it for him.
So porch pooper eats 3x per day by default.
Thank you for the advice about the kcal per cup! Duh I hadn't even thought to look at that. I will check out the one you recommended, and I'll look into some others. It would be very easy to feed him something different than the others get, or to switch them all. As long as it's a high end grain free, I don't really care. They also get Fromm and ocassionally the higher end Wellness for a little more variety.
Splitting my time between Brightwood, VA and Oyster Bay, NY
The young dog should be separated at meal times, and spend quality time with his humans so he doesn't miss the food while the other dogs eat.Voila'! He eats once a day!
However, I think what you have is a failure to communicate. He's gotten it into his head that pooping on the porch is okay. You say his kennel is outside. Is that a kennel run or a dog house? If the latter if he chooses to lay in his waste when he has the option not to, you've got a problem. If his 'kennel' is a large crate located out of doors, and that's what you're locking him in, you need to get him a kennel run.
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Can't you feed him a tiny amount at the middle meal so he doesn't feel left out but doesn't get much food? My horses all eat at the same time and some get a a huge amount and some get a mere handful. Everyone gets what they ought and no one feels left out. I don't have dogs- perhaps they are different about food?
Would be a long shot, but perhaps taking a stool sample to the vet is in order? Perhaps he's got some sort of medical issue (worms? low grade giardia?) causing the problem. Would be nice if it were an easy fix like that!
I agree with Hilary--my dogs eat twice a day, but Tucker's morning food is a quarter what Puff (the skinny old fellow who's a 'hard keeper') gets. She doesn't feel left out, he gets enough he's not going hungry.
Great ideas everybody, thanks! This morning I fed him at the same time as the others but he got 1/3 what he normally gets. He licked it up in 2 bites and then wandered around looking lost like "Where the heck did my food go?" But in a few days he should figure it out. I will see if this helps and I'll report back next week.
Since I posted this thread, my porch pooper has only pooped on the porch ONCE instead, of every day like he was doing before!
Thank you everyone for the advice on the feeding schedules. I switched it up so that his biggest meal is at 5 p.m. The morning meal is about a tablespoon just to make him think he got something in his bowl. I also used to give him a handful of doggy bones or some other treat in his kennel as I was going out the door. I quit doing that now as well.
No clue why I couldn't figure this out of my own.....but....thank you for the coth doggy people for pointing out my error. I do think we are well on the way to having a nice clean porch! Yay......