View Full Version : Toilet Trouble

17th April 2007, 10:15 PM
When I got Lola in December last year she was essentially house trained and only went on the newspaper, which was fantastic!

Now she's almost 6 months old she seems to have totally forgetten her toilet training. She'll run into my room, jump on my bed and sort or pee and run at the same time so she puts a nice long streak of wee across the whole length of the bed! If she manages to get into the room on her own she will just pee in the one place on the bed so there's a big puddle on my duvet. I have special trays (about 2 inches deep and measuring 3ft x 2ft) that I put clean newspaper in for her to use as a toilet and she always used this before this relapse. One of these trays is in the hall outside my room, the other in the hall outside the kitchen, so it's not like she didn't have a chance to get to a tray before my bed!!

I've caught her in the act "bed-wetting" 99% of the time and I give out to her, her head goes down and she rolls over so I'm guessing she realises peeing on the bed is wrong? Maybe not!

When she goes on the paper I praise her like crazy and I know by her body language that she realises she's being praised.

How can I re-train her to only go on the paper? It's getting to the stage if I have to get these duvets dry cleaned one more time I'm going to go crazy!!!

P.S. Does anyone know of any reasons why she has relapsed? There's been no disruptions or changes to her routine, this relapse has just come out of the blue.

18th April 2007, 12:20 AM
I'd probably go back to the basics of toilet training just like you would a new puppy. Restrict Lola to just one room so she can't pee on your bed. Does she have to go on newspaper or could she go outside? I've always thought it must be confusing for long term newspaper trained dogs. It normally goes against the grain for an adult dog to pee & poo in his den & a house-dog's den is the home. With newspaper toileting, you are asking the dog to relieve himself inside his den.

As to your bed coverings.... I'd be surprised if dry cleaning would remove pee smells discernible by a dog, so you may actually have to wash it, because later on when this behaviour is nailed, she may start up again if she can smell the traces of her pee.

murphy's mum
18th April 2007, 09:08 PM
Funny we had this at around 6 months too:rolleyes:

We did go back to basics, one of the most important this we learned was not to let Murphy out of our sight, NEVER. Now he's over a year he's fine he gets the run of the house while we're at home, but it was a very frustrating time:confused:

I tried dry cleaning duvets, but in the end I had to buy new one, 3 or 4 in the end up. Starting again can be annoying but it works, we started taking him out every couple of hours, keeping him in the same room, and giving a small treat when he toileted outside. Like your baby he knew he'd done wrong, he normally ran to his bed after he'd done it.

Is there a reason you want to paper train her? We used puppy pads, which have a smell I think, but only had these down when we were at work:D

18th April 2007, 09:30 PM
First off, regardless of what a breeder may have said, no puppy is reliably housetrained before a year, and definitely not at only three months old! It is simply impossible -- like saying a toddler is housetrained after it has successfully used a potty for a week or two. A puppy is a baby for its first year and especially for its first 6 months -- with a short memory and hard to contain natural urges. Six months would be the point where, if you have really worked consistently and actively on housetraining, you are only really just getting there. So you need to revise the timescale here to fit with how a puppy works and thinks :). You may have had a mostly paper trained puppy when you got her but that is NOT a housetrained dog -- just a paper trained puppy, trained probably while living in a very confined space at the breeders to use papers. In addition, I would be willing to bet she did plenty of wees in the house that you never bnoticed and this latest behaviour is simply noticeable because she is bigger and has more notiecable urination. Puppies do dozens of rapid small wees for their first months, do them in a split second and often barely crouching so you'd even notice. They soak quickly into carpets, sofas and bedding and dry before you are likely to notice especially if she was left to herself in rooms with no person watching! If she is able to get away with going quickly like this on a bed now, there's a very good chance she has done them elsewhere over time too.

Housetraining is a whole other matter than paper training and you will basically need to start at square one and assume she has never been really properly trained and/or mostly forgotten the paper training she did have. At six months she is way beyond the age for paper training to be the primary focus anyway -- time for her to learn to go like a big girl, outside. :).

I advise ordering Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining a dog in seven days ( t will take longer but the dog will have the basics by then if you follow her programme). Amazon inb the UK has it for example.

But just to clarify what you are asking -- are you actually trying to keep her confined to only using paper in litter trays? That is not really a particularly good plan for a lot of reasons. First off, the older she gets the larger and smellier the mess will be and the more likelihood she is going to track this around the house. Second, she may never get a clear sense of the difference between going anywhere in the house (which you are seeing right now) and going *outside*. That means you cannot ever trust her when you visit other people -- she will not have any sense that being indoors means you don;t pee or poop. I can understand litter training in apartment living somewhere like NYC where you have snowy winters and might live on the 34th floor, but in most places this is just potentially setting up long term housetraining issues. And using paper is not very hygienic. Most people would use cat litter if they are litter training -- but still, dogs are not cats, they don't naturally and neatly cover up what they do, and litter training a dog is stinky and unpleasant after a while, with most commercial trays being way too small to fit a cavalier.

Do not give out to her -- she is ducking her head because she is fearful when you give out and has no idea why you are telling her off. It's likely too that as noted, she has likely peed in many places many many times without this being a problem and she has no idea why the bed should be a place she cannot go. Plus dogs love to mark places of rich smells, like bedding.

The solution: do not ever give her the opportunity to go where you don't want her to and start taking her out regularly on her lead, plus first thing in the morning, after meals or drinking water, after playing, after naps, and last thing at night. Praise and treat when she goes outside. She shouldn't be on beds romping around with total freedom or ever be out of arm's reach in the house. Wen she isn't outside, she needs to be on a lap, asleep, at arm's reach, on a lead, or crated (if you want to incorporate crate training).

I'd suggest the Kalstone book as a good general guide and reference, but also see:


18th April 2007, 10:05 PM
Lola now spends a lot of her time in the garden as the weather is getting warmer, however one day a week I have to go into the city for work (I normally work from home.) I'm not happy leaving her in the garden alone for 6 hours so my only other option is to leave her indoors, but now she can't be trusted to go to the toilet in her designated area. I don't want to keep her "confined" to using paper, just to be able to trust her when times arise that she will have to use them.

She has a very good routine, she has her meals at the same time every day and I take her for 3 walks a day, one after each feeding time then bed after her final evening walk. She rarely goes to the toilet on her walks though. She usually waits till she gets home and goes in our garden.

Also I'd just like to point out that I don't let her romp around on beds. The few times that she has soiled my bed has been times that she has managed to get out of mine or my partner's sight. We always follow her immediately, try to get her before she gets on the bed, but she is so fast, it's like she has it all planned!! And with a cat aiding and abetting her (he opens the doors for her...) it can be tough!!

18th April 2007, 10:40 PM
if you guys have your own garden can I ask why you're wanting to paper train her in the first place? I have found it MUCH easier to train dogs to pee outside and only outside. In fact, my little one is 5 months now and has not had a real accident in weeks *knock on wood* I think the reason being is because she's under constant supervision and is never out of my site long enough to sneak off to pee. I have caught her peeing in the house a few times but I pick her up and sprint outside with her as she's going and then when she finishes out there I throw a party .. .. .. She still gets taken outside several times.. .. ALL the time .. after eating, sleeping, drinking, playing, etc.. .. ..

I should also add that my older one, Kosmo was not able to have the run of the house when we were gone until he was 1 year old and even then we had to work up to it. I wouldn't dream of leaving Faith to roam the house unsupervised when I am gone. I would n't know where she peed (huge problem - then I can't clean it properly and she'll most likely go there again) and I am sure she'd probably find something to chew that she's not supposed to.

If you are adament that she goes inside I would opt for a different style than paper training.. I found that paper training made a HUGE mess, it was dirty (kosmo's feet and toys turned black) and it was thought of more as a toy then "oh, so this is where I'm supposed to pee?" I would get scented potty training pads and try to go at it that way.

Also, you may want to wash your blankets with something like nature's miracle laundry detergent to get out the urine smell so that she doesn't use your bed as a potty.. ..

Good luck to you and I hope some of this helps :dogwlk:

20th April 2007, 02:54 AM
I agree that it sounds as though she is confused about the fact that she's allowed to go in one place in the house but not in others, so you may have to start over. Since it sounds like you have a convenient garden, you might as well go ahead and train her to go only there, since she's showing confusion about what you permit and what you don't.

The situation you are in (with having to leave her one day a week) is an example of where crate-training can be a big help. Once you have used the crate to train her to only do her business outdoors (there are lots of explanations online about this--just Google "crate training"), and to spend some short blocks of time in it every day, you will have a dog that will accept being in her crate when you have to be gone from the house. Then she can be really safe in your absence--she can't do any harm and no harm can come to her either, by way of some sort of accident. They won't soil their beds unless completely desperate, so she'll wait until you come home and take her straight out the door.

I know that's the route I'd go if I were in your shoes.

20th April 2007, 03:56 AM
Could you fence in a lockable, safe place for her outside for the times you can't be there, or buy a small commercial dog run? An ideal setup would be where a doggy-door led out to her safe area.

A great way of keeping puppy out of rooms you don't want them in is to put up some child-gates. I really hate having doors closed in the house (I like lots of breeze through all rooms) so I have installed child-gates on the hallways leading to all bedrooms & offices.

20th April 2007, 12:53 PM
Maybe you should try crate training- especially for the day when you have to be gone into the city. I crate trained Oliver and house training really was a breeze. I do think I got lucky with him, but I truly feel that the crate helped! When you get home, carry her outside immediately and start to use a command phrase. (I tell Oliver to "do a good job!") I think the crate would be very beneficial to you!

20th April 2007, 08:54 PM
Is she coming into heat, seems lots of pups do this when they are.

21st April 2007, 02:42 AM
We crate trained Ruby from day 1, and she has done great. We also put baby gates up so she wouldn't have the run of the whole house. We definitely had our accidents, but it honestly was usually our fault. We didn't pay attention to her signals that she needed to go sometimes, and she'd do her business wherever she happened to be standing at the time. We had one weird incident where she peed on the bed in between my hubby and I at 1:00 am , but it was storming pretty bad that night, and I really think that the thunder scared her. She hasn't had an accident in I don't know how long, and I really think it's because of the crate training and the fact that we're both pretty diligent about taking her out first thing and last thing at night, after napping, meals, and any big playtime. She now goes and sits in front of the door and either whines or barks and she actually holds it if I can't jump up right then. I agree with Karlin about the housetraining book, also. I got it at Barnes and Noble, and have read it about 3 times. The schedules in there are very doable, and I really think you'd benefit from it. Good luck with training!!!