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Mumsie

Re Training

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Mumsie   

Hoping some one will have some suggestions

Our 11 year old JRT male has always slept on his own bed in our room upstairs.

Over the last few months his back legs have started to fail, Vet said it was a pinched nerve in his back which is making it difficult for him to control his back legs.

We take him out to toilet last thing at night but recently he has not been able to wake us up in time to take him out to the toilet during the night and has been defecating on the carpet.

After 3 nights of this we decided he couldn't sleep upstairs anymore, moved his bed downstairs and of course now he barks because he is by himself.

For the past 6 nights my husband and I have taken turns in sleeping on the lounge downstairs with him but this is not going to work long term. We have noticed while sleeping downstairs that he does take himself out to the toilet and not had any accidents inside.

Any suggestions to make the transition to him sleeping downstairs by himself would be most welcome.

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harley   

You could try and leave something (t shirt, jumper) that you have been wearing, in his bed? No idea if this will help, but it may provide him with some comfort?

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..or buy him some CONNI pads or other indoor loo ..so he has no need to go outside ? poor old boy ...

Also , change his food, so there is less mess, and change the time of feeding - so he may not poo at night?

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..or buy him some CONNI pads or other indoor loo ..so he has no need to go outside ? poor old boy ...

Also , change his food, so there is less mess, and change the time of feeding - so he may not poo at night?

I'd suggest that too. Any chance of trying to re-set his little body clock a bit so he doesn't need a night time poo?

OR

Can you get up at set times and take him out to toilet? We kind of do that with our 12 year old. He goes out to wee very last thing. If we hear him up at all I get up and let him out, if I get up for myself I also take him out for a wee. Hubby opens the door first thing around about 6am.

Usually he looks at me like are you crazy it's 4am and freezing but he also goes out pretty often. Fortunately (maybe that's unfortunately) the only times mine poos at night are if he's off in the belly.

If you know your guy is pooing between certain times maybe you could get up on the hour at those times and take him out - eg if he seems to poo around about 3am - I'd get up at 2.30 and again at 3 and again at 3.30 if he's still not pooed by that time. No need to get up extra times if he poos first time.

Sounds like he wants to do the right thing.

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karen15   

Is there a bathroom upstairs where you could set up a toileting area? I wouldn't be able to send him downstairs if he was mine.

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Ha, it's not easy, sleep deprivation is a pain. Frodo is now an old doggie, but he would be mortified to need to toilet in the house. He lets us know with barking when he has to go: generally midnight or 3.00am or both. Then gets a bit lost and barks again if needing a search party and a torch. He can't manage stairs now, and with failing sight the big worry was him bumbling into the heater. So the heater has a new all-sides safety barrier from Bunnings.

Sounds like your JRT still has all his marbles Mumsie. But when they get "really old" and become a bit senile they can become much more clingey and even more stressed at being alone - you might have to revert to sleeping downstairs again at some stage (roster system?).

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Xyz   

Ho about a crate next to the bed upstairs, you might hear him wake rather than him pooping without you hearing him? 11 is not old for a JRT, you don't want to sleep downstairs for the next 5 years!!!!!

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As suggested above, I really think that changing when (and possibly what) you feed him will help, especially if he gets fed at night or has food available to him all day.

Unless this is an incontinence issue, in which case see your vet, promoting good habits should help. Take him out last thing at night and again first thing in the morning, like you would if toilet training a puppy. Make it a habit to go out even if he doesn't always need to eliminate. You could also take him outside the house for a little potter if different smells help trigger elimination.

You could try positively reinforcing this, though be aware that it may backfire. We were having this problem and our dog decided that just going out at nighttime = get a treat (vs get a treat if you go out before bed). He started waking us up multiple times during the night to be let out when he didn't actually need to go, he just wanted to be let out so he could come back inside and be rewarded. It's funny now but it was exhausting at the time. He's back to sleeping through again after we removed the treats but kept up the new routine. :)

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Willem   

is he on painkillers (a pinched nerv is normally pretty painful) and could the drugs disturb his metabolism thus making it harder for him to control defecation?...if so a crate wouldn't help much.

if there is a chance for improvement (depending on his overall heath condition) I would try to minimise any additional stress - conversely, if it is not likely that he will ever be able to walk the stairs again I would start keeping him downstairs ASAP. Wrt barking: if you respond to it you will reinforce him to bark every time he felt left behind. Best would be just to ignore it - which might be a problem with neighbours?...if the distance to the neighbours is far enough: headphones might get you through the first days / weeks.

Edited by Willem

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I sympathise with you and being an old dog rescuer here are my tried and true;

I'd take him for some gentle supportive therapy (usually includes some acupuncture) with proven practitioner. Works wonders for my 3 legged yorkie. :) After the first session he actually seemed to look forward to it and that's not like him at all. LOL I did have x-rays to take with me which did help too but I think the therapy would have been the same, he was just able to clearly point out what was going on with his vertebrae. What area are you in?

Food; dry food only earlier in the day. Dry = thirsty = more night time pee. See if you can bump his meals earlier and take him out before bed, make a fuss and reward him if he does poo or pee.

Or a tiny little walk can get things moving. Because it's more fun to poo in the great outdoors. :laugh:

See if you can wean him over to BARF or give him meaty low fat bones. Bone content tends to dry out the poo a bit and make it firmer and leaves less mess.

Crate or probably better would be a puppy pen in your room seeing as how it's easier for you to lean over to pick him up and clean. Use some cheap pee pads. Check Vebo Pets for the best prices on pens/crates. $2 shops for pee pads.

We also have all our dogs on Joint Performance Canine Formula. Great stuff! It's improved my eldest boy's hind legs and last checkup he had great movement.

Cartrophen shots every 6 to 12 months.

And for pain, ask about a non-steroidal anti inflammatory like Metacam.

Moving him away from you when you are his whole life especially in old age is hugely distressing for a senior.

Long post, sorry. Hope something helps.

Edited to make sense.

Edited by Powerlegs

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I sympathise with you and being an old dog rescuer here are my tried and true;

I'd take him for some gentle supportive therapy (usually includes some acupuncture) with proven practitioner. Works wonders for by 3 legged yorkie. :) After the first session he actually seemed to look forward to it and that's not like him at all. LOL I did have x-rays to take with me which did help too but I think the therapy would have been the same, he was just able to clearly point out what was going on with his vertebrae. What area are you in?

Food; dry food only earlier in the day. Dry = thirsty = more night time pee. See if you can bump his meals earlier and take him out before bed, make a fuss and reward him if he does poo or pee.

Or a tiny little walk can get things moving. Because it's more fun to poo in the great outdoors. :laugh:

See if you can wean him over to BARF or give him meaty low fat bones. Bone content tends to dry out the poo a bit and make it firmer and leaves less mess.

Crate or probably better would be a puppy pen in your room seeing as how it's easier for you to lean over of pick up and clean is a puppy pen with some cheap pee pads. Check Vebo Pets for the best prices on pens/crates. $2 shops for pee pads.

We also have all our dogs on Joint Performance Canine Formula. Great stuff! It's improved my eldest boy's hind legs and last checkup he had great movement.

Cartrophen shots every 6 to 12 months.

And for pain, as about a non-steroidal anti inflammatory like Metacam.

Moving him away from you when you are his whole life especially in old age is hugely distressing for a senior.

Long post, sorry. Hope something helps.

Excellent advice - tried & true .

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Thanks Perse! :)

I think I didn't stress enough how dreadful it is for an old dog to find themselves moved out. Please don't. Find a way of changing your own system rather than his.

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Rebanne   

Thanks Perse! :)

I think I didn't stress enough how dreadful it is for an old dog to find themselves moved out. Please don't. Find a way of changing your own system rather than his.

:thumbsup:

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Rebanne   

is he on painkillers (a pinched nerv is normally pretty painful) and could the drugs disturb his metabolism thus making it harder for him to control defecation?...if so a crate wouldn't help much.

if there is a chance for improvement (depending on his overall heath condition) I would try to minimise any additional stress - conversely, if it is not likely that he will ever be able to walk the stairs again I would start keeping him downstairs ASAP. Wrt barking: if you respond to it you will reinforce him to bark every time he felt left behind. Best would be just to ignore it - which might be a problem with neighbours?...if the distance to the neighbours is far enough: headphones might get you through the first days / weeks.

how cruel and distressing to the dog

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Willem   

is he on painkillers (a pinched nerv is normally pretty painful) and could the drugs disturb his metabolism thus making it harder for him to control defecation?...if so a crate wouldn't help much.

if there is a chance for improvement (depending on his overall heath condition) I would try to minimise any additional stress - conversely, if it is not likely that he will ever be able to walk the stairs again I would start keeping him downstairs ASAP. Wrt barking: if you respond to it you will reinforce him to bark every time he felt left behind. Best would be just to ignore it - which might be a problem with neighbours?...if the distance to the neighbours is far enough: headphones might get you through the first days / weeks.

how cruel and distressing to the dog

cruel? ...maybe...what are the options???...distressing?...yes, that's why the wanted outcome should be achieved ASAP to minimize the stress! If the dog won't be able to walk the stairs again, but is still healthy enough to enjoy himself to poo and pee outside on his own terms I prefer to let him have this dignity instead of forcing him to mess up the rooms.

Edited by Willem

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I sympathise with you and being an old dog rescuer here are my tried and true;I'd take him for some gentle supportive therapy (usually includes some acupuncture) with proven practitioner. Works wonders for my 3 legged yorkie. :) After the first session he actually seemed to look forward to it and that's not like him at all. LOL I did have x-rays to take with me which did help too but I think the therapy would have been the same, he was just able to clearly point out what was going on with his vertebrae. What area are you in?Food; dry food only earlier in the day. Dry = thirsty = more night time pee. See if you can bump his meals earlier and take him out before bed, make a fuss and reward him if he does poo or pee. Or a tiny little walk can get things moving. Because it's more fun to poo in the great outdoors. :laugh: See if you can wean him over to BARF or give him meaty low fat bones. Bone content tends to dry out the poo a bit and make it firmer and leaves less mess. Crate or probably better would be a puppy pen in your room seeing as how it's easier for you to lean over to pick him up and clean. Use some cheap pee pads. Check Vebo Pets for the best prices on pens/crates. $2 shops for pee pads.We also have all our dogs on Joint Performance Canine Formula. Great stuff! It's improved my eldest boy's hind legs and last checkup he had great movement.Cartrophen shots every 6 to 12 months. And for pain, ask about a non-steroidal anti inflammatory like Metacam. Moving him away from you when you are his whole life especially in old age is hugely distressing for a senior.Long post, sorry. Hope something helps.Edited to make sense.

A lovely post. Could not agree more.

is he on painkillers (a pinched nerv is normally pretty painful) and could the drugs disturb his metabolism thus making it harder for him to control defecation?...if so a crate wouldn't help much.if there is a chance for improvement (depending on his overall heath condition) I would try to minimise any additional stress - conversely, if it is not likely that he will ever be able to walk the stairs again I would start keeping him downstairs ASAP. Wrt barking: if you respond to it you will reinforce him to bark every time he felt left behind. Best would be just to ignore it - which might be a problem with neighbours?...if the distance to the neighbours is far enough: headphones might get you through the first days / weeks.
how cruel and distressing to the dog

Yep - when we went through *kind of* similar with our last senior - we moved her INTO our bed so we could feel her fussing and take down for the loo. We went to the effort of quickly teaching our "new senior" (adopted at 10 years) the "go do wees" command to help with night time toileting. To the original poster - It can be done. It can be managed. I think if you guys are sharing sleeping downstairs to help your pup out - you're unlikely to leave him to 'cry it out' but in case the thought does cross your mind - please dont. Our seniors, especially, deserve a bit of fuss. :heart:

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is he on painkillers (a pinched nerv is normally pretty painful) and could the drugs disturb his metabolism thus making it harder for him to control defecation?...if so a crate wouldn't help much.

if there is a chance for improvement (depending on his overall heath condition) I would try to minimise any additional stress - conversely, if it is not likely that he will ever be able to walk the stairs again I would start keeping him downstairs ASAP. Wrt barking: if you respond to it you will reinforce him to bark every time he felt left behind. Best would be just to ignore it - which might be a problem with neighbours?...if the distance to the neighbours is far enough: headphones might get you through the first days / weeks.

how cruel and distressing to the dog

cruel? ...maybe...what are the options???...distressing?...yes, that's why the wanted outcome should be achieved ASAP to minimize the stress! If the dog won't be able to walk the stairs again, but is still healthy enough to enjoy himself to poo and pee outside on his own terms I prefer to let him have this dignity instead of forcing him to mess up the rooms.

Rescue some old dogs, see their distress and need for routine and stability then provide your input thanks Willem. There are other options that are kinder and will in the long run work out for everyone. I don't think they deliberately want to upset or cause anxiety issues but felt helpless, and now have enough information to go on with. I have no problem with making changes that benefit a senior dog, to insinuate that it robs dignity is pure stupidity.

Edited by Powerlegs

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