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Housebreaking problems
An_241019 posted:
I have a 3 year old Border Collie who is (or, was!) house trained. In the last 3-4 months she has been eliminating at night while I am sleeping in front of the back door (mostly urinating, but sometimes poop too). I can be away from home for several hours, and she is fine, and does not eliminate in the house. She only does this at night. I let her outside for at least 30 minutes before bed time. I have also changed her last meal to an earlier time, and take all water away 4 hours before bed time. No luck! I am at wits end! Does anybody have any ideas why she would be doing this, and any tips to help it come to an end?
Will Draper, DVM responded:
It sounds like this is something that is behavioral- some sort of anxious behavior? Has anything changed around the house? For instance, is there someone in the house, who might be there at night, that wasn't before? A new pet in the house or even a near neighbor with a new pet? New furniture? Dogs are creatures of habit, and small changes in their (or your) lifestyle can cause them to exhibit these sorts of behavior. Of course you want to first make sure your BC is healthy- get a check up with your vet and at least have a urinalysis (and possibly fecal sample) done to rule out any issues there. If everything checks out, you may want to considered talking with a pet behavioralist or trainer. I am sure your vet can recommend a reputable one. Good luck!
Dr. Will
MrsHoro responded:
My Boxer mix started do something similar after she was treated for kidney/bladder stones. She sleeps in a crate at night so she wasn't pooping/peeing in her crate, but if she was left alone for even 5 minutes the was a mess. There was one time she could see me through the window because I was talking to the neighbor and the was poop.

For my dog, I think it is anxiety about her thinking that she is not going to be able to outside when she needs to.

Now we put her in her crate if we are leaving. Because of our life she only has to be crated two days a week and I try to never make her be locked up for more then 4 hours at a time. She is happy in her crate as long as she can see our other dog who still has free roam of the living room when we're gone.

I do feel guilty about locking her up, but its not healthy to have poop or pee sitting in our/their environment.

Your dog might be getting lonely if she sleeps in a room by herself. Try letting her sleep in a room with someone or try crate (or a crate in someone's room).
An_241019 replied to Will Draper, DVM's response:
Thank you for your reply and advice. I do have a new neighbor that lives right behind me that has a dog. I never would have thought that it would cause an issue, so I really appreciate your expertise. She is soon due for her annual exam, and I will ask the veternarian check out her UT.
ash55 replied to MrsHoro's response:
Thank you for sharing your experience.

I think I may try a kennel. She is trained on using one, but I have only ever used it to take her to agility shows, or on camping trips. She doesn't seem to mind being in it.

I will also fee guilty, as I have 2 other dogs that will be allowed to roam the house at night, but at least there will be no messes to wake up to!

I will keep my fingers crossed!


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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