View Full Version : housetraining going awry at 9mths! help!

25th June 2007, 11:01 AM
Scampi, who is 9 1/2 months was crate trained, and all was going well. We took her on a lead to her toilet area for 4 months. The weather then got better, so doors were open all the time, and so she was in and out when she needed. She stopped using the toilet area and goes all over the place, but always in the garden, so we were happy. We have also taught her to use a flap, into our locked garden, so she and we can have a bit of freedom, and she uses it very happily. Unfortunately, she has taken to having sneaky wees (never if we are with her) in any of the 3 downstairs rooms which are carpeted. It seems that she equates carpet with grass, as she never goes on a hard surface. It is a real pain to keep closing off these rooms and I don't know how to approach the remedial training she seems to need. Any suggestions?! Our new carpets are getting ruined!

Cathy Moon
25th June 2007, 12:11 PM
I would treat all the spots with an enzymatic cleaner, then steam vac the carpets using enzymatic cleaner. Simple Solution comes in large bottles and can go into my Hoover steam vac.

Then close the rooms off if you can't watch her like a hawk. If you catch her in the act, calmly say "no, out" or something similar and immediately take her out.

When Chocolate came to live with us at age 4, she peed on the dining room carpet. We rarely go in that room, so she must have figured it was ok. We used this method, and she can be trusted now.

25th June 2007, 12:40 PM
As well as what Cathy has already suggested, you might be able to section of the carpeted areas for a while using an x-pen that is opened out to make a mini-fence, or if there are doors to those areas just be sure to close them for a while.

25th June 2007, 12:50 PM
The short blunt answer: you gave her too much freedom too early and you no longer have a housetrained dog as a result. :o But you can fix that. :)

Most puppies are not really reliable or able to be trusted to have free rein without supervision across a house until around one. The first signal that things were going awry was her ignoring the toileting space -- from her perspective, no one was reinforcing this as the positive, rewarding option so why bother going in just one spot when any spot would do? This then transferred to the house, because if no one reinforced her outdoor choice, and she could run wherever she wanted through the house without supervision, why not go indoors?

While to us humans the difference between in and out is quite clear, to a dog it isn't at all. It's just another space in which to go, and because a dog is housetrained at say 3-4 months not to go in the kitchen, this isn;t transferrable knowledge to the rest of the house. Another room to a dog is no different from the 'other room' of going on the lawn, the dirt, etc.

You need to only give a dog access to room by room as it becomes absolutely reliable in each room. But even then, really a dog needs to be watched constantly until around 9 months or so as they are too young to hold firmly the idea that this area here is OK for weeing/that over there is not. It is like expecting a toddler to be fully toilet trained after two weeks of using a portable potty. Puppies are still just babies to children at these ages and much that is remembered for a day or two is forgotten the thrid day. It has to be constatly, positively reinforced through praise and treats while at the same time, the dog must NEVER be given the opportunity to stray from the desired behaviour. That means watching her like a hawk *at all times*.

Positive reinforcement and reward hand in hand with total supervision are the combination that get a dog housetrained.

If you don't have it I suggest buying Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining a dog in 7 days. Meanwhile you'll need to start back at square one with housetraining as she needs to relearn what is OK and what is is not from the very start. Close off all those other rooms after spot cleaning with an enzymatic cleaner, get her back on the lead for trips outside, make sure trips a to relieve herself are structured at regular intervals, always have her totlly under control -- in a crate, on a lead, or at arm's reach when she is awake. Don't let her just use the doggie door to go and assume she has gone. You need to verify she has gone so you know when she has relieved herself and can be considered safe' inside for a stretch of time before the next trip out.

The good news is, that as she is already somewhat housetrained this will go faster than when she was first learning :) but you will need to approach it as if she isn't housetrained at all -- as effectively, she IS no longer housetrained. Frustrating I know but we have all been there to some adegree, at some point, with some dog!

Bruce H
25th June 2007, 12:52 PM
What Cathy said.

We have all hardwood floors in our house except the office. For whatever reason even a couple of our totally reliable dogs will decide to pee in there once in a great while :swear: . We now have a gate at the door and everyone just kind of piles up and sleeps at the door while we are in the office. We have never really looked, but we suspect there is probably hardwood under the carpet there as well; when the carpet wears out (soon) we will have the floor sanded and refinished and hope that solves the problem.

2nd July 2007, 06:30 PM
Thank you all for your advice - Karlin in particular, and sorry for not getting back before now. We have been working on it, and so far no more accidents. I had a feeling we'd been giving her too much freedom, but it's an uphill battle I have with my family, who think I'm far too strict with her! Thanks for your support. It is much appreciated.

5th July 2007, 07:59 PM
About 6 weeks ago I gave Donnie a little more freedom with access to hall, stairs and landing. I did put a small doggie quilt on top of the landing. He uses that for a snooze or to sit if he is waiting for me to come out of a room. There has not been one accident on the carpet on the stairs or landing. I am thinking maybe it's because he has a snooze there during the day and see's it as a second bed so wont go to the toilet there. Maybe give that a try also.