I posted a little while back about litter box training my (now) 2 and half year old pug, Lola, due to the fact that we were moving to a city centre apartment with a small courtyard. I was going to litter train Lola in case she was desperate during the day and I was out.
We have now been at the property 2 weeks, Lola will not do her business in the courtyard. I even purchased fake grass (which she's used to) and laid it in the yard, she will just lie on it. She was doing her business in the alleyway that runs behind all the houses up until a few days ago (she was able to find little patches of sprouting grass to piddle on and doesn't really care where she poops. She has since stopped doing her business there all together, she shows all the signs like she's going to - the sniffing and attempt to squat - but nothing! So I started walking her to a grassy area where she was happy to do her business for a few days. However, she has also stopped going to the toilet here too.
Since moving to the flat I have been taking her out 5 times a day but she only does her business first thing in the morning or last thing at night, when she used to go 4 times a day previously on the fake lawn garden at my last house.
I took her out with me for an hour and a half this morning - she didn't do anything. It's 11.30(ish) here now and the last time she went was around 8.30pm last night. I am beside myself, I just don't know what to do. I have tried treat training, any time she has gone in a place I want her too she is encouraged and given a treat. I constantly use the phrase "go toilet!" which is a phrase she knows and has been trained to.
She was previously trained to puppy pads as a puppy and was happy to use them until she was old enough to hold her bladder. Should I be looking at litter training her, like I was going to previously?
Help, please! I'm really at a lost with what to do here!
If she's used to going on grass, I'd pick up a couple of turfs from a local garden centre and put them down outside in your courtyard, then just replace as necessary. There are pheromone sprays that are supposed to encourage a dog to wee in a certain place, but I've no personal experience as to whether or not these actually work - they aren't cheap and tend to be imported from the USA.
She obviously can't continue only going for a wee first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I think it would be a good idea to call your local vet surgery for advice as to whether you should take her in for a check up just in case there's something else going on apart from her upset over the move.
Let us know how you get on!
Ps you can easily increase water consumption by putting something yummy, like a little tuna in her water bowl. Don't leave it down all day though, let her drink her fill then wash out the bowl and refill with fresh water.
The tuna in the water worked brilliantly, and we have finally done our first wee of today (at 3.10pm!!). I have faith that the turf will work as Lola managed to find the tiniest scrap of grass down the alley way to piddle on.
Hopefully we'll be doing our business more than just twice a day very soon - as it's really starting to bother me that she wants to hold it in for that long.
Sorry, potty issues are frustrating and worrisome. So it's not a grassy area? Is there anyone else in the building or around the area with a dog who can go potty in that courtyard to help...make things more interesting? What about catching her urine and sprinkling it around different areas so the scents are in many places? (I swear at one point I was going to ask a vet tech friend to save me some dog patient sample urine just to get Peanut interested in going in the snow when she can't pick up a scent - luckily it didn't have to come to that.)
We learned that coaxing our then-13yo dog to go potty in an outdoor tent went much better when we added leaf piles. For some reason, little leaf piles makes her sniff, circle, and squat. That may be hard in the courtyard but...maybe you can work with something similar? (Offer to plant a tree?!? :) )
Peanut_Pug, that's a great tip! Lola used to love going toilet in the leaves back at the house. They're still piled up in one of the corners of the garden so I think I'll pop back and take some and see if that works.
I've already been back to the house today and taken some of the fake grass there that Lola had previously done her business on and therefore should be covered in her scent, this is now in the courtyard. She has sniffed it, but nothing yet. It seems as if she doesn't understand she can "go toilet" in there!
I tried to purchase some turf - but forgot they don't tend to sell it in winter, so that will have to wait until this weekend until I can get to a specific place.