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Thread: Going on the verandah

  1. #1

    Unhappy Going on the verandah

    Complete newbie here. I'd love some advice from an experience owner/trainer. This is our situation:

    I have recently (2 weeks ago) adopted a middle-aged maltese cross. He's quite lovely, although a little timid and submissive and doesn't seem to know how to play (no idea about his past so maybe that will change when he is more comfortable and enjoying longer term stability with us). He is reasonably well mannered and knows some very basic obedience (sit - 90%, come - 50%, both 100% during training with treat sessions) although we're enrolled in obedience classes starting next week to get this a lot better. He is housetrained - will not relieve himself inside and if he's absolutely busting he will sit at the door and bark until he's let out (this is a huge for him as he does not bark at all otherwise).

    Yesterday for the first time he pooed on our verandah (three times!). I'm trying to work out why, and how to approach getting that to happen downstairs on the grass only.

    Some thoughts:

    • A few days of torrential rain have meant he hasn't wanted to go downstairs to the grass (doesn't seem to like getting his feet wet!)
    • It's only been a week since our fences have been fixed and he isn't yet used to taking himself to the yard.
    • Up until yesterday he only did his business during his daily walk and wees when I took him to the yard for a wander around. He's also changed food and has now gone from 1 to 3 or 4 movements a day.
    • Stairs. I don't think he has an issue with stairs as he goes up and down them when I'm with him, but I haven't seen him choose to use the stairs without one of us going with him. Can stairs be an issue?
    • He likes to be near me, and I'm usually upstairs.
    • The verandah is actually outside, so maybe he's confused about outside, and being on dirt/grass. His foster carer had a lowset house where the grass started just a few metres beyond the door.

    Can someone point me in the right direction? Do I go back to basics with toilet training or is there a hurdle (stairs/separation/routine) I just need to address and he'll sort himself out since he already knows not to relieve himself in the house?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Bundaberg QLD


    My bloke will somtimes (rarely) dump on the patio but only if it's raining hard. I guess i cant blame him. I did see on T.V once a dog that was scared of going down stairs by itself. The stairs where open at the back so the dog could see underneath the house. They covered the underside of the stairs with cardboard so they looked like a solid object and the dog used them happily after that. Maybe worth a try ?? Good luck.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Sunshine Coast


    My pooch is 7 months, so still a young un but fully house trained and usually goes outside for all his business. He will do accidents inside usually in the laundry if we havent gotten up early enough to open the back door, or if it's raining. If it's raining hard outside, there is no chance he will go outside and will hold it as long as possible. Maybe your pooch doesnt like getting his feet wet like Oskar!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    We used to carry the aussie terror out into the middle of the back lawn so her feet got wet and she knew the only way she was getting back inside was to do an S&P - so that would happen very quickly. But if we didn't take her out, she'd find somewhere nice and private inside to go.

    With your new dog, take him out to where you want him to go and wait for him to go. Get your coat and umbrella if you have to.

    Right now it's hard to imagine rain. We haven't had any for weeks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    It's probably all the things you pointed out in your post.

    New to his surroundings & feeling a need to be near you for reassurance.
    Pouring with rain.
    Having to traverse stairs in his new unfamiliar surroundings.

    I think settling in a new dog is very much three steps forward, one step back.

    Little dogs are low to the ground and often don't want to go outside to the toilet when it's wet so you have to think ahead and take them out. Others are real grots and don't care.

    I also imagine due to the weather he didn't go out on his daily walk?

    Look on the bright side he used the verandah and not the house. Just make sure you clean up after him with appropriate products for a dog so as to not attract him back to the same area and take him out to the toilet as though he was a young pup (just less frequently) until he's well and truly settled in.
    Last edited by MAC; 01-26-2012 at 02:49 PM.

  6. #6


    Thanks all. Fingers crossed for the next few days!

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