General chatter - I need help....any dog owners????

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01-23-2006, 01:13 PM
I have had Coco, my chihuahua for about 3 months now. She is about 11 months old. She usually does so good about going outside to potty. She has learned to even go over to the door and scratch when she wants out. But...for the past week, every night she will go into the living room, (she sleeps at the foot of my bed) poop in the floor, then start barking like a crazy dog. Once I get up, go into the living room, clean it up, she will run back to the bed and sleep. I don't hear her get up until she starts barking AFTER she poops.
My husband has thinks I'm crazy because I told him it's just like she does it, then barks to laugh at me lol. Any suggestions on how to fix this? It is really getting on my nerves!!!

01-23-2006, 02:08 PM
I'd suggest you get a kennel and have her sleep in it at night. I have 2 dogs and had problems with my newest which we got when he was 11 months old. He loves his kennell (it has a nice soft cushion in it) and he willingly goes in. Now that he is getting older, we leave the door open most of the time so he can come and go as he pleases during the night, but mostly he stays inside. It is his own comfort zone. Dogs do not see kennels as prisons, but as their own little home in your home. To get your dog used to the kennell, place a favorite toy in it and don't abandon her at first. Stay with her, let her stay in for a few minutes and let her out and give her a little treat. Do this for a few times a day over a few days and then have her start sleeping in it. Dogs will not poop where they sleep (that's why she goes into the living room). Once you get her used to the kennell, have your living room carpet **professionally** cleaned to get up all her poop/pee scents and this should stop this bad behavior.
Good luck! Allison (

01-23-2006, 02:32 PM
I tried the kennel at first when we first got her. The previous owner had let her sleep on their bed, when I put her in the kennel she barked and barked and barked, I have 2 small kids so I can't let her bark all night and keep them up. I'm at my wits end.:( This behavior has only started the past week. Nothing has changed that I'm aware of. I just don't know how to correct it.

01-23-2006, 03:05 PM
She definitely needs to be kennelled. Start her there in small bits of time as Alison suggests. Give her a Kong with Peanut butter to keep her busy. Don't let her have the kong anywhere else except in the kennel. This will work but it'll be hard on the nerves when she barks. Can she be put somewhere where the kids won't be bothered?

If you insist on letting her sleep on your bed, perhaps you could close your door. Then she will bark to get out and you can get her outside. Don't let her forget who is in charge, OK? You are the alpha dog in the pack, not her.

01-23-2006, 03:15 PM
See this is the thing, just because the previous owner did it, does not mean you have to do it afterall you own the dog NOW and it isn't even a year, like kids you create habits.

I would take your pup in for a vet check there may be a medical reason she is not holding it at night any more, is there some kind of signifigant change in the house, a new pet a new child,a new ob, less walking time, play time. all of these things can make a difference. If it is not medical

feed dinner early, 4:30 pm-5 pm pull up water around 7:30. this is a great time for a good long play session, mental play of hide and seak, doggie fetch, tug, hide and seak of find the kids, and a walk around the block. take your pup out as usual but last call around 10-11 pm. you will have to wait for your pup to eliminate both 1 and 2. this should help the problem. and you can not correct what you don't see happen. if you come across it after the fact you have to ignore it.

The thing about a crate/kennel is A crate is used for much more than potty training. Its main use is to keep the puppy safe when he can't be supervised. Not only are there a lot of things that he can damage in your house, there are a lot of things that can damage (or kill) him. Because the crate is a small den-like area, he's not likely to relieve himself in it. if you are a sound sleeper, the right size kennel for your dog, ( just enough to turn around and lie doown) will help your pup not eliminate in the house,see she won't go in "her space" the bed but she will go in space that is not her space, the living room.

And please tell me this dog does not ride on your lap while you drive the car?

01-23-2006, 03:40 PM
The dog doesn't ride in the car often. But when she does she does just sit on the passenger seat. Thanks for the advice, but I feel as if you all are missing my point. I don't care for her sleeping with me, I like that even. I was just wanting suggestions on what to do to help with her nighttime problem. I don't like caging an animal up during the day either. I like for her to have plenty of room to play and get exercise while we are working. Thanks for any suggestions.

Forgot to add she is at the vet today getting spayed. They are going to do a complete check up while she is there.

01-23-2006, 05:09 PM
actually i think you may be missing the point lol

what the others are trying to tell you is that you are letting your dog set the rules when it should be the other way round. i am not keen on kennels either but sometimes it is the only way that dogs learn who is pack leader. my dogs get free run of the house except my bedroom. and have their own beds to sleep in but they know where the line is and what not to do.

letting dogs on beds is one way you teach dogs who is boss. if they are allowed on the bed they think they are in charge.

as for the barking. if you ignore it she will stop. by running out there you are giving her attention and that will encourage her to bark more

if you would like to read more on it i suggest you try Jan Fennell's books (she's the dog listener). you could also try googling this topic. you will find there is a lot of info on house training and teaching your dog who is the boss. right now your dog is getting you to run around after her so she's the pack leader not you.

01-23-2006, 05:46 PM
The only thing I will add is that ALL dogs should be in the back seat, airbags and windshields are never a dogs friend. There are seatbelts and car beds for dogs if you don't like the crate option. you can find them at any pet store.

good luck with your pups spaying, I hope it goes well and she has a speedy recovery.

01-23-2006, 05:53 PM
They are dogs and we are humans. We rule! The first thing dogs need to learn is that they are at the very bottom of the family heirarchy. If they don't learn that, there's trouble.

01-23-2006, 06:32 PM
I have 3 dogs, and I have to agree with these ladies, I know you like the dog sleeping with you, but unfortunetly, if you continue to let that happen, you will continue to have problems, it sounds like the dog thinks your the pet. Good Luck and check out some of the books on dog behavior, you might find them, helpful. :-)

01-23-2006, 11:38 PM
My two golden retreivers own me!

But I will say they LOVE to be in their crates, in the garage gymroom, all cuddled in with their blankets and pillow!;)

01-24-2006, 11:24 AM
I used to bring our dog (who is no longer with us) to a professional trainer who was excellent and in high demand in our area. He didn't teach with treats or clickers or any other gimmicks, he just taught us how to be the alpha dog in the pack (because that's what your family is to your dog, a pack). He said something that really clicked with me and may get you over your wariness of the crate. Dogs in the wild (i.e. wolves and their other relatives) use a version of the crate all the time. When the alpha and a few others go out to hunt, the alpha communicates to the dogs staying behind and "tells" them to get into their dens. These dens are usually very small and the dogs have to crawl to get all the way in. They stay there until the other dogs come back from the hunt. That's just the natural way. They are safe there and no predators can get them. And of course, they don't eliminate in their dens, they just wait until the hunters get home.

Dogs need limits just like kids, they feel "out of control" if no controls are placed on them. It's not cruel to put them in crates, it's actually a kind thing to do for them.

Cindy B.

01-24-2006, 11:37 AM
Do dogs sleep alone in the wild?


01-24-2006, 12:17 PM
No, they sleep with the pack. But that's why the crate should be in the house with you, even in your bedroom if you want. For domestic dogs, the entire house is their den, and the crate is their own little niche where you, as the alpha, tell them to go when you're gone or sleeping. "Sleeping alone" for domestic dogs is being kept strictly outside, out of the "den" entirely. Although some would argue the den extends to the yard as well. That's another topic entirely.

01-24-2006, 01:34 PM
I agree,too, that you may be missing the point. I've owned a couple of alpha female dogs, and it has been a battle establishing dominance. The crate is your friend, and will be your dog's friend. The first week or so may be tough, but it will be worth it in the long run. You aren't "caging" then animal- you are providing it with it's own den. It's own private space.

And what is the alternative? Can you live LONGTERM with an animal that poops in the living room because it can? How about in the middle of your bed? Sooner or later, you'll probably get rid of it. Isn't crate training a more humane alternative?


01-24-2006, 01:48 PM
Gosh you gals have me letting the dog always do this, AND giving it away. I will deal with the dog, I just wanted suggestions. I will try closing the bedroom door or something. And I have NO intentions of giving the animal away. I guess everyone looks at things differently. I have no intention of putting her in a cage and letting her bark and cry all night either. She is a chihuahua, I don't know if you know this but it is their nature to want to cuddle and be close to people. Not left all alone in a cage.

Thanks for the suggestions, but I guess I will have to learn to deal with the problem in a different way.

01-24-2006, 02:14 PM
I have a 1/2 chihuahua, 1/2 mn. schnauzer who is 10 now. I've not ever had a problem such as that but too I don't put our dog in a crate except when he was a puppy before he was house trained. He has run of the house but too he knows he is not supposed to be on the furniture and he sleeps in his own bed at night. He knows where it is and goes right to it. I think like people, dogs are different too and what one likes another may not. But you do have to let them know who is in charge.

Questions for ya: is your dog going the same time every night? Are you sure she's not trying to get your attention before she poops in the floor and you are just sleeping soundly that you don't hear her? And are you cleaning the spot where she goes really good? IF a dog goes on the floor/carpet once and you don't get that smell cleaned the dog will most likely go in the same spot again, and again. And, if she is going about the same time every night, why not set your alarm to wake you so to take her out before she does in inthe floor? The feeding schedule is a good idea also as is the crate idea. You could put her in for like an hour while you are cooking dinner, take her out, put in for another hour while watching tv just to get her used to it so you can put her in there at bedtime.

Anyway, whatever you do, good luck!

01-24-2006, 10:47 PM
She is a chihuahua, I don't know if you know this but it is their nature to want to cuddle and be close to people.

My experience with chihuahuas leads me to find them bold, courageous, and loyal to their owners (alpha dog). They aren't normally social animals except with their owners (alpha dog) and can be very defensive in regards to their owners, even biters. Cuddley doesn't normally come to mind EXCEPT for the the owner (alpha dog).

If you don't like kenneling (which is NOT caging) have you tried paper training?

01-25-2006, 09:47 AM
I did not like the idea of crate-training my dog at first, either, but when we got a puppy, it seemed that she would get into everything at night, and leave a trail of poop and torn bits of paper and fabric for us to clean in the morning. So, my husband and I got a crate for her, and put the blankets and a small pillow in it for her, and at night we blocked off our other dog int he room with the crate so she was not alone. The first couple of nights she resisted a bit, got into the crate timidly. After that, she willingly got intot he crate at night and since we left the door open during the day, every once in a while, she'd go in there in the afternoon b/c it was her "room." After about 1.5 years, we tested her out and she was totally over her puppy mayhem, so we allowed her to sleep in our room on the floor at night, and that is where she sleeps now, with our other dog. Crating is not a mean thing AT ALL.

Growing up, we had a beagle/terrier that was paper trained and would go in the bathroom and poop on the newspaper on the floor in there when she had to go in the middle of the night. This worked for my parents - just make sure the paper is not along your path to the potty in case you have to go in the middle of the night, lol!

01-25-2006, 09:58 AM
The past two nights have been better. She got spayed Monday so she has been really sore and unable to jump up on my bed. So, I moved her little doggy bed into the bedroom and put it right beside my bed, I also shut our bedroom door. Last night she barked and scratched on the bedroom door, so I got up and let her out. She did her business, got back in her bed and slept all night. Yay. Maybe it was just a phase for a week, I dunno.
She doesn't eat or drink after 7pm so I don't know why she has to go in the middle of the night. But as long as she goes outside it's fine by me.

As far as Coco goes she is very loving to everyone. She constantly tries to get attention and loving from all of the family, she never acts like she would try to bite or anything. She is just a big baby. Now her brother that was there when I bought Coco, the owner had to lock him in the bedroom because for some reason he hated my children and acted like he wanted to bite. I guess like people all dogs are different.

Thanks again for the advice and suggestions.

01-26-2006, 09:24 AM
Glad to hear it's better. Although I like using a crate to train, you do have other options that might work for you. :)

Suzanne 3FC
01-26-2006, 09:40 AM
My experience is a little different from the others. My 12 yr old chihuahua, Lola, isn't physically mute, but she hasn't made a sound in 5 years. So she can't bark in the night if she has to go. I've trained her to use a puppy pad in the bathroom if she can't go outside. This is also helpful when I have to leave her alone for a long time, since she's elderly and can't hold it in like she used to. (I know how she feels, lol)