We all know why we want our puppies house trained for that most obvious of reasons. I do find it incredible that owners of new pups seem to give up so easily almost expecting the pups to train themselves. Well, in most cases the untrained pup will end up training itself, but of course not giving us the owner the result we insist on.
It really is quite simple! If you really want your house to smell of dog urine and excrement then just keep on getting angry with your dog! Firstly they do not understand why we humans are getting so angry and so then, as a result of the fear we have put them in, with little understanding on their part, can result in the bladder and bowels emptying, leaving the frustrated owner further from their goal of house training their new charge.
In the case of my bloodhound pup Bobbie I was very lucky as the breeder gave his entire conservatory over to the raising of the pups. Therefore, when mum went out to relieve herself so did the pups. So, aside from one or two early accidents she very soon got to grips with letting us know she wanted to go outside.
Coprophagia is the correct term for dogs that eat faeces. One of the most common reasons given for this is that it tastes good! I cannot and will not disagree with this conclusion, as I do have not the scientific evidence to disprove this most common of theories. What I will say is, does the mother eat the faeces of her newborns because she likes the taste or because she knows that by leaving the den full of waste, that she could well lose her litter to disease!
Playing devil's advocate, on the basis that it tastes SO good, then every bitch who has cleaned its whelping box or home made den would then as a result be constantly eating its own and the faeces of other dogs! Whether it has had enough to eat or not, which clearly is not the case. In addition, many dogs foul in the house and make no attempt to eat the stools, although in cases like this often appear distressed at having done so again shedding doubt on the theory of faeces tasting good! The eating of horses and deer faeces does appear very common habit for just about most dogs, but not all dogs eat dog faeces! Why?
Is it just possible that those dogs who have not been correctly house trained almost become habitual coprophagiaists? I am suggesting that a dog, is, from an early age allowed to defecate in the home with little or no attempt to stop it doing so will then learn this behaviour as a way of keeping its own home as clean! Possible?
Alternatively I have heard of dogs that have not been house trained, who on being taken outside will relieve their bladders, and maybe desperate to relieve their bowels but have not done so as their own learned behaviour is that they should defecate in the home, and will only do so outside when they can hold it no longer! One can guess that during this important learning phase in the life of a young pup that they ended up teaching themselves what to do. If the house was big enough they would not need to eat the faeces but would also find it almost impossible to go outside as this would then be contrary to its own learned behavior.
Of course there is the 'Wolf' within! Why would one dog allow another to mark its own territory? Of course it wouldn't. We often see dogs eating grass, and again the most common theory is that of nutrition, or that the dog needs to make itself throw up. Again the removal of a marked territory is an often overlooked reason, but of course as it is urine on grass, no one seems to give it a second thought apart from the usual scientific reason of malnutrion or its need to be sick!
Obviously to house train a puppy after months of learned behaviour can be VERY difficult to break. It will require 100% consistency and lots and lots of patience to break the habit of fouling in the house. Follow the basics of taking the dog out after every meal, after every drink and in the absence of either of the above, initially every half an hour or most obviously when your dog is looking for somewhere to go. When the routine is established then slowly over a period of a couple of months, lengthen this out until hopefully normal service is resumed.
Unfortunately for those dog owners who leave their dogs whilst they are at work, this regime may never help as dogs do not know where we are or how long we are going to be away for and then that one deposit can mean re-starting the whole routine!!