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Toileting at night, adult dogs new to us

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by SillyWrong, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. SillyWrong

    SillyWrong New Member Registered

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    We rehomed 2 Bichons 3 weeks ago, both adults (5 & 7). They were very clearly well loved and cherished in their previous home, but not looked after properly - they'd never been to the vet and they had no training. Except they are house trained and always ask to go out in to the garden when they need to go.

    They are doing really well with us and have learned to respond consistently to commands such as 'sit' and 'get in your bed' and most importantly 'no'!

    Problem: Toileting at night. They sleep in our room in their own beds, but tend to get up in the night and toilet either in the bathroom or at the bottom of the stairs. It's almost every night. We can always tell which it was because when we point it out one of them shies away from us. We point and say a stern "No!" and the message gets through, whoever it was will hang their head and skulk off for a while.

    We put them out at night before bed and wait for them both to go toilet, and give them lots of praise as they do (it's embarrassing 11 o'clock at night out in the garden squealing "yeeeeeah, Elsie did wee wee's!"!!) ... what else can we do!? How do we stop it? My only idea is to set my alarm and take them to the garden at 2am but that's not practical, how do you teach a dog how to hold it, they've obviously not learned to!
     
  2. goldenbear2013

    goldenbear2013 New Member Registered

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    Toileting when they shouldn't can be a sign of stress and/or anxiety. Plus your home and you are still new to them so they are still settling in. It will take time, sometimes up to a year depending on the dog and situation they have come from, so don't expect miracles straight away. Saying that, they do sound like they are doing very well so far and you're doing all the right things.

    As they are doing very well with you from what you have said it could be a settling in period and night times just isnt the best for them, especially with being in the rescue centre for so long that could be their worst time. Plus they are used to going to the toilet just away from their beds, as they have no where else to go when they are in kennels, so it's a habit that will need to broken.

    If they make whining noises to try and alert you to go out in the night, scoop them up quickly and get them outside to do their business and continue to praise them like you have been doing. they shoudl break the habit once they feel completely settled in your home.

    If they dont alert you then it may be the case where you wake up and take them out when you can until they are settled.

    I've had 2 rescues dogs and it does take time.

    In the mean time I'd put puppy pads down (i dont agree with them, but there are exceptions) where they go to the toilet to try and minimalise the mess for you.

    I hope that helps

    Sophie x
     
  3. SillyWrong

    SillyWrong New Member Registered

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    Thanks for your reply! They weren't in kennels - they've come straight from their previous home where they've lived all their lives with a few other dogs. The lady said she couldn't keep them, but I have my doubts, they'd both just had puppies and I'm pretty sure she'd have made a tidy packet off them :(

    They don't whine to go to the toilet - though I am worried now that maybe we've taught them not to - the first few days with us they would bark at any tiny noise in the night, and we always got up and returned them to bed. Perhaps now they think they're not allowed to wake us up!? They are SO obedient by nature, they just didn't know any commands before!

    Perhaps I should try getting up in the night to take them out, but just for a couple of weeks, and later and later in to the night so that hopefully they can learn to hold?
     
  4. goldenbear2013

    goldenbear2013 New Member Registered

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    That sounds like a plan! And the person you got them from sounds vile! She clearly had them for breeding purposes!!! Good on you for giving them the home they deserve.

    Give it a go what you said and see what happens.

    Like I said it does take time, and even they are not from kennels, coming from a bad or not so great home where there was no stimulation and/or no training it is just a case of putting in the time with them.

    I'm sure they will be holding it of a night time in no time.

    Sophie x
     
  5. poppy2714

    poppy2714 New Member Registered

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    Well it is lovely to hear that you have rescued them and its not nice to think where they have come from! It sounds like your stuck between a rock and a hard place as you don't want them to be noisy but you need to know if they they need the toilet! I understand what you are saying about getting up at 2am its not a routine you want to start, but as suggested it might make it easier for you but then again it could be stress and they may settled.

    I hope things get better!
     
  6. eingana

    eingana Do my ears look big in this? Registered

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    Another thing that you could look at is how and when they drink, as that can be adding to the need to wee, and why they are toileting around the house. Some dogs drink as an anxiety response, so do they have free access to water and do they have free access to large parts of the house?

    If they do then you could try restricting both or either and seeing if that helps. I don't mean to stop them from having water at all, but you could leave them with just a little in their bowl in the evening and overnight then that could mean that they have less opportunity to fill up on water as an anxiety response, and if you couple that with restricting their access around the house then that could reduce their anxiety too.

    Nervous animals cope better in smaller spaces, and larger spaces can make them acutely anxious, especially when their humans aren't there for reassurance, so have you tried restricting them to your room and seeing what happens then? How about being in their bed in a covered crate in your room? Do either of those reduce the toileting?
     
  7. Hagrid

    Hagrid New Member Registered

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    How are you getting on? Eingana has a great point, dogs whether adult or puppies need a safe space so creating a den is a great idea even if the crate at night has the door open you know they feel safe.
     
  8. chelynnah

    chelynnah Whippet Servant Registered

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    You've had loads of great advice. Can I just add one thing? Scolding them (even just pointing at the spot and saying 'no') so long after the event is pointless. All it tells them is you are mad at them or the spot for some reason, but they don't understand why. What they're learning is when you wake up they get scolded. And it may not be the one who did it who's reacting. That may just be the one who's more sensitive about being told off.

    For a while I would consider going back to puppy type rules. Go to bed. Set an alarm for before the time you think they are going, take them out. After a few days set the alarm a bit later, then a few more days and later, until they can go through the night. As someone else said a crate might help as well, and you could use it in conjunction with this. Setting the alarm for a toilet run will be much less stressful on you and the dogs than finding the accident in the morning.

    Also ensure you have cleaned the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner as even if you can't smell it, they can, and it's possible they will continue to go there.
     

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