Nutrition or obedience problem?

I have 2 six year-old Jack Russels. One of them, for the past month, has been going ‘#2′ on the rug. I have taken him to the vet, I have limited his dry food & treat intake, I have punished him as well as rewarded him when he goes outside. A week ago I rented a carpet cleaning machine to wash out the smell that he may be getting used to. My other dog doesn’t seem to have a problem.
Today when I got home from work I found another fresh load. I am wearing the carpet down in that spot where he keeps going. Could this be a nutrition or health problem or could this just be an obedience problem? HELP??

7 Responses to “Nutrition or obedience problem?”

  1. William Says:

    As our dogs mature, their bodies go through changes. Your dogs are now six years old. Although generally Jack Russell Terriers live to a ripe old age, I consider my collies by age six years to be ready for a Senior Health Profile at the vet clinic. Then I have one run at least annually, until age 8 or 9, and then every six months from that age.

    You didn’t indicate how long you are away from home, but it appears to me that your one dog right now can’t *hold it* that long before he needs to defecate.

    If possible, could you hire someone to let your dogs out after school to the fenced yard for a half hour or so? Choose someone you know, whose family you know, who is reliable. School children love a chance to earn some money

    Don’t think of the problem as an obedience failure when possibly the dog has an unmet need.

    Sometimes the nutrition plays a role. In other words, some dog foods contain ingredients which seem to produce more stools than other foods.

    Another factor is the time of feeding each day. As a general rule, dogs will defecate approximate 12 hours after a meal. So if you feed at 8 am and again at 8 p.m., most likely the dog will *go* at 7 a.m. (before breakfast) and move its bowels again at around 7 p.m.

    However, I’ve had numerous dogs who routinely *go* at 4 p.m., so I schedule outdoors time accordingly.

    You might wish to *tweak* the feeding schedule a bit. For instance, feed a very small morning meal, half the usual portion, but have a neighbor or relative stop in to give each dog a stuffed kong at around 2 p.m. just to tide them over until you come home. Then feed the regular dinner at 8 or 9 p.m. That’s just one example.

    There are numerous factors which affect dogs’ bathroom habits.

    Someone is bound to suggest *keep him in a crate* until you get home, but that seems a rather drastic approach for dogs who get along well and who are used to not being crated during the day.

  2. William Says:

    You didn’t say how long you are leaving the dogs but it sounds like with age may have come the inability to “hold it” for the length of time you are away from home. As the owner of a JRT I can comment that Lucy cannot “hold it” for 6-8 hours she will and has had accidents. Left in a home with numerous options she would choose an area I am not comfortable with I.E. one that was absorbent like carpet. Lucy is left in a dog crate so accidents (if they occur) happen in her kennel. However whenever possible I arrange to either return home to let her out or have a friend/neighbor let her out. She simply cannot hold it that long…little dog, little bladder/bowels more active metabolism then her larger housemates.

    There is no point whatsoever in punishing the dog he will not and cannot associate something that was done minutes to hours before (the present on the carpet) with the punishment.

    This is a Management problem you have to create an area for him ex-pen with a relief station for example and/or arrange for someone to let your dog out during the day for you.

  3. William Says:

    It could be separation anxiety or resentment I had a cocker that would soil the carpet if I got after him for anything or didn’t let him go with me when he wanted. Creating is a good try.

  4. William Says:

    Could be a separation problem too. Try crating when you leave for a week and then see it that helped. I had this with a female Miniature Schnauzer that was sure she was being left forever. It started just about the age of 5. I cured her this way. I now have, many years later, a female sheltie that is 7 and she does this too if not crated when I leave. She felt deserted when we left last year for a five day trip. None of my other dogs had or have this problem, just her.

  5. William Says:

    I have heard of this with other JRT’s…not sure, but for some it seems to be a bit of a temper tantrum. Crating seems to solve. I know of one that if left uncrated will relieve herself in a very conspicuous area whenever possible. She has no problems when they are home, but must be crated if they leave. Anyone else see this?

  6. William Says:

    right up untill you get the dog that does not care I had a 2yr old white shepherd female that did not care if you where home or not she would do both her busness on my floors and if I crated her she did not care she would do both in her cage and then we would have to come home clean up that and her so all depends I would not say crating always works and on a older dog its harder to train sometimes. Hope you can get some info that helps you out and find a way to maker your pupper stop.

  7. William Says:

    I’m reminded of a very dear friend, who assisted when an elderly gentleman died. His collies had a lovely building kennel run, but his widow felt unable to care for one of the dogs, so my friend and her husband offered to bring it to their place. These people are retired, at home full time.

    Turns out, old “Captain” (name changed to protect the innocent) was an outdoors dog. He had spent years going on daily hikes with his ownr, having a grand old time, but he was not an indoors dog at all – - nor could he be persuaded to become one. When brought inside, he simply fretted and fretted, begging to go back outdoors. He panted, he paced, he whined nervously, etc. The new owners comprehended his distress. They ordered a special DogLoo insulated shelter for him, and set up various haybales for a windbreak, etc., because they were so worried about caring for him during the winter.
    Let’s face it. We creatures — for a huge part — are composed of our early learning experiences, and perhaps it’s best for pups to learn to be housebroken (shall we call that housetrained?) at the most appropriate age. There’s such a thing as *physical readiness.* In my experience, young pups will start to cry and attempt to leave the nest (whelping box) at about three weeks of age, that’s how strong their desire is to have a clean den. They’re born pre-programmed with that instinct. I started taking little 3 and 4 wk old puppies *out* to do their business. I’m not suggesting that they were fully *housetrained* when they went to their new homes at eight weeks of age, but the process was well begun.

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