Dogs/Small breed dogs going to the bathroom in house
QUESTION: I have two Chihuahua/mix dogs. One is about seven, the other around 4 or so. The oldest constantly pees and poops in the house while the younger one just pees. When the older one poops, it's in the middle of the night and only in specific places, the dining room or a spare bedroom(which is now shut)He will also pee after. The youngest one is the main culprit with peeing, the only place where he won't pee on anything is in the bathrooms. The oldest one never had a problem while he was a puppy, it wasn't till he was around two that he started going to the bathroom at night. The youngest we got from a neighbor who was moving and couldn't take him along, she never had a problem with him peeing. We always let them out at night before going to bed, and they go outside throughout the day, and if someone is up in the middle of the night the oldest won't show he has to use the bathroom, he just sneaks into the dining room does his business then sneaks back to bed. They both know they are doing something wrong because if we head into the dining room where there is poop, or into a room where they just peed they put their tail between their legs and hide. What can we do to get them to stop this?
ANSWER: It sounds like they weren't housebroken in each room. A dog needs to be housebroken in every room in your house just like the first room they are in. They learn, not to go in their "den" which is their bed and the first room they learn this in. Then they think that it is ok to go in other rooms unless you housebreak them in each room. You must gate these areas off and start all over. The only time they are allowed in a room is if you are there to watch that they don't go. Put their bed in a confined area so they can not roam around at night.
It sounds like they started off learning about housebreaking in the bathroom? If so, start back there. At night put them in a crate if you have to. If you find that they go to the bathroom in the crate, then get an ex-pen where you can put a bed and puppy pads.
Take them out five to six times a day and remember Chihuahua's have small bladders so they have to go more often.
Last, but not least, have them checked for urinary track infections. That will make them go all over the place. Have you noticed them drinking a lot of water, that is a symptom of an infection. You can have the vet catch some urine in a specimen cup and have it looked at. You would be surprised what a difference that makes when you give them some antibiotics and they stop peeing all over.
Also, check for worms in the stool. They look like little white specks that resemble rice. This is a sign of tapeworm and can cause them to go more often. If the dogs have ever had a bout of fleas, they will undoubtedly have tapeworm as they get them from eating a flea.
Well I hope you can get some help from my suggestions.
PS When you walk in the dining room and they haven't gone to the bathroom how do they act then.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for responding! I'm not sure how the younger one was house broken, but the older one was kept in the kitchen at night where there were puppy pads placed by the outside door. I checked their stools and there are no signs of worms. They haven't had fleas since they were puppies, since we live in the country and there have been a few dogs diagnosed with lyme disease, we have been pretty vigilant about making sure they get flea and tick medicine. If the older one(the one who dirties the dining room) hasn't went to the bathroom in the dining room the previous night he is fine going in the dining room up until he does, then the following day he will avoid the room for most of the day.
Then we are down to a urinary track infection, which may or may not be there, or the idea in the dogs head that it is ok for him to go to the bathroom in there. When they get these ideas, the only thing is to start from step A and go through the whole training process again. It should go faster this time is the only good news I can give you. Chihuahua's are pretty tough to housebreak, so you are going to have to be extremely diligent. The best way that you can keep them in your sight is to put a leash on them and tie the leash to your belt. That way they are always under supervision. That is hard with two of them so do it one at a time and confine the other one.
Most times becoming the Alfa or "boss" is very helpful. They must sit, down, stay, on command. They are not allowed to eat unless you eat first. And most importantly, they have to sit before you feed them and not go out the door until you say it is ok. See if that helps.
You have a hard job to do, but if you become a drill Sergeant it will make things go faster.