View Full Version : So confused... insight, suggestions appreciated

18th May 2008, 08:14 PM
My male, neutered, cavalier Riley is about 7 months old, and I thought he was pretty much potty trained until a few days ago. It started with him pooping all over the living room and then upstairs. The first time I figured it was my fault because he had sat by the door and I didn't let him out right away. Then he disappeared for a few minutes and I knew there would be an accident somewhere. The second time he didn't even bother to ask. I noticed I didn't hear him anywhere so I went upstairs and found his presents.

Here lately he's discovered the female puppy next door who is about four months old. They dug a hole under the fence that allowed them to stick their heads through to the other side. I filled it back up and put some large rocks in there and they haven't dug it back out. They sit by the fence and whine at each other.

Anyway, I figured Riley was just getting too distracted by this other dog to remember to go poop outside.

But... now he's starting peeing inside, too. Not just little piddles, but fully emptying his bladder. Yesterday he ran up to my daughters room, looked at me, squatted and peed. He did the same thing last night after he had been out and decided not to pee. We had been inside not more than five minutes and he just squatted in the middle of the floor and went. Normally he will pee on command even if he barely has to go. Last night he just looked at me when i said "go potty" so I figured he didn't need to go. He had asked to go out a few times already at that point.

I used to go out with him and walk around and make sure he finished his business, but I'm 39 weeks pregnant and its been 100+ degrees outside so I don't last more than a few minutes out there.

I am so confused why he doesn't seem to want to go outside anymore. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

18th May 2008, 09:55 PM
Probably because he wasn't fully housetrained -- I know it can seem like they are once they seem to have pretty much gotten the idea, and so we stop watching them -- but really 7 months would have been very young to be housetrained and also to be allowed to roam about unwatched in the house. Also he is at exactly the age when a lot of dogs backslide on all sorts of training -- the equivalent of a hyper, emotional teenager. He also is at the age to start lifting his leg and marking and the female pup may be triggering this to be a bit excessive -- just neutering alone doesn't always stop marking; it is a training issue.

Most dogs need supervision until they are close to 12 months old and will not be trustworthy til then. You will really need to start from square one -- as if he isn't housetrained -- taking him out at regular intervals on the lead, rewarding and praising. He cannot be allowed to roam at will through the house -- he must be under 100% supervision 100% of the time. The good news is that remedial work goes faster than the process from young puppyhood! One thing to consider is that you may have stopped watching him and therefore not noticed that he was urinating in corners and has marked enough that he now just goes inside as an alternative to going outside. I would say if most people with puppies his age got a blacklight and checked for urine spots they'd be shocked to see that their dog has actually been marking inside quite a bit. Most people will miss this til the dog is large enough to leave a noticeable puddle a few times.

If you don;t have it now is a good time to get Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining which deals with handling this kind of situation. :thmbsup: Also do a search on this topic as you'll find lots of similar discussions.

PS I'd also advise not leaving a cavalier alone outside -- they are indoor dogs and get anxious and can start having behaviour problems if left alone in a garden. The fact that he is digging indicates he may feel bored and understimulated and is starting some unwanted behaviours because there's nothing else to occupy him and no one keeping him company (he'd be happier inside with you or left safely in an indoor room when people are away :) ). If he was able to have enough time alone to dig under the fence, this is a warning flag -- a little too much time alone and unsupervised. If he has learned to excavate like this at this young age, you probably will need to sink fencing or bricks below the soil about a foot down all along the fence line to prevent him getting out. A lot of breeders routinely protect their yards in this way to make them escape proof to diggers.

19th May 2008, 02:21 AM
Ollie was the same way at about the same time and I did have to START OVER! Having accidents in the house makes them take flying leaps backward in the housetraining process. But what Karlin said was true in my case...I trusted him more than I should have and stopped watching him as closely as I should.

We tend to have pee accidents around 8:30 as we are getting our toddler ready for bed- so now he is in his crate during that time.

Poop accidents tend to be around dinnertime when I'm busy trying to get things ready. So, it really is my fault as he has accidents when I'm not watching him!

With your being 39 weeks pregnant, it is probably that you are so "over" being pregnant and all you want to do is lay down, that you are not watching him as closely. Don't feel guilty about putting him in his crate when you need some "you" time or just can't watch him like a hawk for a while.