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Rescued Puppy Mill Dog Is Reluctant to Poop

I recently adopted a male 5 year old Pom/Corgi mix, Owen, who was rescued from a puppy mill. Owen was rescued 8 months ago and has been in a foster home. He is very sweet, but has some issues around pooping. He only poops on a hard surface (like the street or sidewalk) while being walked on a leash. My other dog is happy to go out into the back yard to do her business.

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Owen is also very schedule driven, i.e. he needs to take his poop walks at specific times of the day. For example he is used to be fed at exactly 5:45 p.m. and going to poop at 6:30. This is not really possible for me to manage every day. When I cannot be there for his schedule I put him in the laundry room with his crate, water and toys because otherwise he poops in the house. I realize that much of this is due to Owen being crated 24x7 at the puppy mill. What can I do to help this little fellow get more flexible in his habits so that I do not have to confine him?

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September 10, 20181 found this helpful

Habits have to be changed gradually. I would try moving his schedule in 5 minute intervals. For the backyard, maybe you could put a board or other hard surface there to make him feel like it is what he is used to.

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You could also consider getting a friend or neighbor to walk him if you wont be home when he needs to go.

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September 10, 20180 found this helpful

G-d bless you for giving these fur kids loving home!

You said the adoptions were recent. Hopefully they have been checked out by the vet and have clean bills of health. That is always my concern with rescue kids.

It sounds like Owen just needs a little TLC and time to get used to his new surroundings and expectations. Reward the good behavior with treats and praise. Ignore the behavior you don't want.

Give him some time to learn your schedule and get comfortable in all of the situations he will experience in his new world.

If he still had issues after a month or two, you may want to talk to the vet about a few sessions with a professional trainer to help you both get over this rough spot.

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Prayers for your pups!

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September 11, 20180 found this helpful

You say he was rescued 8 months ago but has been in a foster home so do you know how they were handling these issues?

He is 5 years old so with that in mind try to accept the fact that living under those conditions for that many years even minor changes are going to take some time and a lot of patience.

Retraining will be a slow process so be sure he receives extra attention when he makes even a little progress.

Do you have an outdoor crate? It seems that would be a better way to train him as a crate is probably where he is most comfortable. If you could arrange that and leave the door open he might venture out on his own especially if your other dog is in the yard with him.

He was most likely sent to a concrete slab to do his business as that is how those places work (a place they can hose down and use chemical for disposal). The foster home and now your home are probably his first encounter with grass/dirt/yard so I believe it will take some time for him to adjust to this type of environment.

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Spending time outside with your dog will probably afford him his best training and will most likely learn how, when and where to do his business.

A feeding schedule will probably be easier to change as you can try to give small amounts at his "normal" feeding time and the full amount when you feed your other dog as he will gradually want to follow your dog's lead as that is when they usually receive praise and smiling attention.

I believe he will gradually work into your routine and accept the fact that he is in a loving home where he matters to someone. Most dogs are smart and can recognize when they have done something "good" (by the moster's attitude) but he cannot recognize that doing what he has done all his life is no longer acceptable.
He will follow your dog's lead so just give him time (and love).

I am glad these dogs were rescued and that people like you are willing to accept the challenge of retraining them which takes patience and love - not always an easy task. Kudos go out to you and your "other" dog.

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