View Full Version : backslide in housetraining

24th June 2008, 03:09 PM
My 19 mo old cav had been housebroken for @6 mos w/ the occasional accident. She has started sneaking off and eliminating in the house and has stopped giving us the signal that she needs to go out. Any tips? Thanks

Cathy T
24th June 2008, 03:45 PM
Poop or pee accidents? If pee....be sure she doesn't have a urinary tract infection. Either way close off access to the area she is having the accidents. Just a couple of suggestions.

24th June 2008, 05:34 PM
:xctly: Both the above -- plus -- usually when this starts and *isn't* a medical issue, it has been going on for a while without the owner noticing, usually because we've started to let the dog have free rein in the house and stop watching on the assumption that she's housetrained. Often they pick up and start going in places they were weeing when not noticed when younger, because the floor or carpet will already have the scent of past wees (which need to be cleaned with enzymatic cleaner -- normal cleaners won't remove the scent the dog can pick up).

Once you eliminate a medical problem (and very often, it is a medical problem when an older, already well trained dog starts to go inside) you need to approach your dog as if she is not housetrained yet (because she isn't! :)). Remedial work is the same as normal housetraining -- constant supervision, remove her ability to wander around unwatched and close off other rooms (prevention is a large part of managing this type of problem); start taking her out regularly on a lead and make sure she has gone.

I am guessing this is very likely a UTI though as this is common with females.

The other possibility is stress -- any change in household routine, new additions etc -- anything that might throw the dog off a bit? Indoor accidents are often a short term result but again, are managed as above.

First stop should be your vet though!

25th June 2008, 12:17 AM
Many thanks for your input. I have blocked off the family room which is not carpeted and where she can be with us under watchful eyes! She is doing this with both poop and pee so I'm pretty sure it is not an infection...I think she just doesn't want to go out! Thanks again.

Cathy Moon
25th June 2008, 02:39 AM
If you start giving her small treats and praise immediately when she potties outside, it will remind her to make the right choice. :thmbsup:

25th June 2008, 10:41 AM
That sounds a good approach! I always think it is worth having a vet check if things don't quickly improve, especially when a problem like this appears out of the blue. Eliminating in inappropriate places, whether pee or poop, is often a sign of a medical issue in both cats and dogs. You should know pretty quickly whether limiting access helps! :thmbsup:

It is probably not that she doesn't want to go out but just that she isn't distinguishing between areas where she can go and where she shouldn't go. In other words she is housetrained to your most trafficked areas where she isn't going, but isn't connecting that other rooms are to be included in the 'don't go' area.

Be sure to reward her for going appropriately by praise (and treats can be a great reinforcer; I'd give high value treats she really likes for going outside for the next while!). And be sure not to ever punish or scold for going inside, especially not after the fact. Scolding registers with many dogs as simply meaning 'do not go when I am here' or 'do not go in front of me' so the dog goes off to another room to go, or goes in hidden places or when no one is home, and thinks this is what is desired. Further scolding or punishment makes the poor dog even more confused. So limiting access and consistent rewards so the dog is always set up to succeed is the way to go. :)

25th June 2008, 01:42 PM
Any suggestions on getting her to signal us when she needs to go out. The door to her outside pen which is used only for eliminating is right off the family room where she is confined. In the past she was pretty good about letting us know, now I find that we pre-empt her by letting her out because we know it has been a while and that she must need to go out.