View Full Version : What is she thinking? Bella's toilet training takes a big step backwards

16th October 2008, 02:38 AM
Inititally when we moved Bella toileted in the dining area. We soon installed a doggy door and I taught her to toilet outside (with a lot of praise). She took to it quickly and has been doing well for the last few months.

Then the other day it rained and she started to toilet inside. Then the grass dried and she's still toileting inside! :eek:

I have no idea what's going on - has she forgotten when she's toilets? Could her urine have washed away from the grass outside so she can't smell it anymore? :confused:

So far I've gone back to basics and am now not leaving her alone inside until she relearns where to toilet.

16th October 2008, 10:54 AM
I think you have made the common problem of assuming a dog was housetrained well before she actually was. Thus she has been allowed to look after her own toiletting on the assumption that because she was good for a week or even a few weeks, she was housetrained. This won't be the case except very, very rarely. Most dogs are not fully trained and gradually (or quickly!) regress because the actual training stops while they are still too young or the training not fixed enough. In addition, many dogs regress as they hit around 7-10 months.

Amd then there's simple comfort -- if you had the option of going to the bathroom in a warm inside bathroom or using a cold winter outhouse with a leaky roof in the rain, what would you choose? The same for Bella! :)

If she is still a puppy you really need to never allow her to roam around the house so that she can eliminate in rooms that you are not in. Close doors and limit where she goes. Also accompany her out, praise and treat. Most dogs are well over a year before they are really reliable enough to allow them the run of the house and even then there is a strong argument for limiting room access -- because you don't want accidents, good things chewed, or there are dangerous things a dog could get into.

Also the fact that she was going in another room and has returned there suggests maybe you need to also thoroughly clean with an enzymatic cleaner as she is likely returning to spots she can smell. Regular cleaners will not remove the underlying scent a dog can smell and will return to.

But the bottom line is -- if a dog is going in rooms where this is not acceptable, manage the issue by simply not allowing access until you have time to housetrain for EACH room. Just because a dog learns to keep one room clean does not mean it associates the rest of the house as having anything to do with that one room. Most dogs will first learn to keep say a kitchen clean but will happily go in other rooms til they are actively trained not to, room by room.

17th October 2008, 12:46 AM
Thanks for writing Karlin.

She was consistenly toileting outside for 2 months (we moved in about 3 months ago), so I thought she was comfortable with toileting outside.

I am going back to square one and restricting her to outside (and through her dog flap to the laundry, which is closed off from the rest of the house) when I cant watch her.

She is 11 months old now. Is there a way to make them more comfortable toileting outside when the grass is wet? Or is it psychocological?