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Old April 15th, 2015, 01:58 PM
reneealexaa reneealexaa is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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Unhappy Beagle misbehaving

Hi all,

I'm new to this so I'm really hoping someone can shed some light on my situation.

I have two 4 year old beagles named Vinny and Stella (littermates). Overall, they are pretty good dogs, very energetic and so loving.

I live in Edmonton so most of the year we have quite a bit of snow on the ground. My dogs have no problem doing their business in the snow. But ever since the snow melted, they've both been acting a little strange. They seem to avoid the grass & tend to do their business in the bushes or they try to get under the deck to do it. When I take them for walks or to the dog park, they do their business wherever, but seem to avoid the grass in my backyard. Vinny has since gotten over the issue, but Stella hasn't.

I let her out and she just stands there - I know she has to go because it's morning time or after I've gotten home from work, but she refuses to go. I wait and wait and wait and she doesn't go, so I give up and let her in. That's when she proceeds to do her business in the house. She knows it's bad, she isn't happy about it but she still does it.

Has anyone had this problem? I don't know if it's something to do with the snow melting (crazy theory, I know), or if maybe she's suffering from something mental (separation anxiety etc). She's a very meek, gentile & docile dog - not like her brother. But I'm worried. I've since sent her to my mom's for a couple of days (who also has a dog) and she's doing all her business as usual outside with no issues whatsoever!

Strange situation, I know. Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this???

Thank you in advance.
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Old April 15th, 2015, 04:13 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4,371
They might be smelling something that threaten to them . They have an incredible sense of smell and it could be some wild animal they're picking up on. Maybe you should try playing on the grass with your dogs and see this will help them feel safe on it again.

My dog will refuse to go outside to pee if he smell something ,Marty want to get back inside right away. He is a small dog too. And your dogs are not misbehaving , they're acting like dogs.
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Old April 15th, 2015, 10:24 PM
Lynne&Co. Lynne&Co. is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lindsay, Ontario
Posts: 497
I'm not really sure why Stella would start toileting in the house at the age of 4 after I'm assuming 4 years of appropriate toileting outside? Unless you witnessed something traumatic in the yard, you will probably never know the cause.

I would suggest that when you do put Stella in the yard to toilet that you not give in. You need to wait until she performs before allowing her back inside as every time she toilets in the house that reinforces that it's okay. You may need to return to the puppy training method. I recently used this method with my 8 year old puppy mill rescue with great success. You should take her for a walk as the yard is her problem and use a verbal cue like go potty or go pee, or whatever you want to use. The minute she performs give her a treat and enthusiastically tell her "good pee". Continue to do this until eventually you can say "do you need to go pee?" and she performs. It took me about a month to train my dog but to this day I still use verbal cues and praise her. I'll never forget how awful it was to have her toilet in the house. I wish you the best of luck with Stella. I'm sure with lots of praise and positive reinforcement you will get her back on track.
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Old April 16th, 2015, 10:08 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Lynne's suggestion is a good one. Sometimes dogs just get used to one surface (snow, for example) and have trouble accepting a different surface (grass, in this case) as the proper place to eliminate. I've never seen it in an adult dog that has used grass in the past, but I've seen it a few times with puppies. that Stella will respond to retraining quickly!

The only other thing I'd suggest is a vet visit just to make sure there's no underlying health issue. If a dog has a urinary tract infection, for instance, and it hurts to pee, she may start associating the pain with grass in the yard because that's where she hurts. So seeing a vet, or at least bringing in a urine sample for analysis, is a good idea.

Hope Stella is back to normal soon!
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Old April 17th, 2015, 06:22 AM
MarianE MarianE is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
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As suggested, I would just take her for a quick walk instead of letting out in the yard to pee. But be careful not to let her in the yard first to see if she will pee. If you wait a bit then decide to walk her, she'll figure out pretty soon if she holds it, you'll take her for a walk! I'm figuring in time whatever is in the yard that is bothering her will resolve itself and when it does, you don't want a dog who won't pee in the yard because she knows if she holds it long enough, you'll take her for a walk.
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beagle, behaviour, dog

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