5th May 2008, 07:49 PM
5th May 2008, 08:09 PM
Ok, first off, he is still just a puppy and very unlikely to have really been fully housetrained yet. The average for 99% of occasional accidents to end is age one. Some dogs do learn fast but if he has mostly had a door open to go in and out, and isn't actively supervised, he may not even realise other rooms are part of the house where he isn't supposed to go. he may well only have a vague sense of using the garden (and if he is going inside the house, then he isn't yet housetrained. ). This is a really common problem people have -- once the puppy begins to get reliable the assumption is he is housetrained, but he really hasn't fully learned the desired behaviour. Another thing to consider is that at his very young age, it is quite likely he has been going in the house occasionally, maybe even often, especially if he has been allowed free rein to roam about unsupervised. At that age, you'd really never want the dog out of sight. Cavaliers are small and very easily can dip and pee behind sofas, beds, potted plants, under beds, in corners, closets -- perhaps in the bathroom where the pee dries before people notice (this is easy -- pee is absorbed through the grouting -- I have had an incontinent cat for ages going in the bathroom without me realising it, as if they go in corners, it also just seeps under the wainscoting and can 'disappear').
One reason dogs (and cats!) often go in bathrooms is that they smell strongly of their humans and they can definitely smell that this is where we relieve ourselves, hence he may just be adding his mark.
So step one is: close the bathroom door. The way you break a habit is by removing access. Also clean the floor with enzymatic cleaner or he'll just keep returning to go on the same place. The fact that you have found he has gone a few times suggests he may well have been going in there longer, marked the spot, and returns to it (remember, we use that behaviour to our advantage when housetraining ).
Step 2 is: don;t consider him housetrained or almost housetrained. Almost housetrained is the same as 'not yet housetrained'. He needs 100% supervision, 100% of the time so that he always goes out. Take him out at regular intervals, on a lead, and praise and reward for doing his business. Never punish for going inside or they will simply hide where they go inside.
IF you do not have it, I'd recommend getting Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining, which outlines schedules and exactly how to deal with situations like yours where you discover a dog you;d assumed was housetrained, actually isn't.
The plus is that you have already established the desired habits too. Now you need to have the strict supervision and controlled access to areas of your house while you continue to build on that good behaviour. And keep expectations in line with abilities -- remembering a dog isn't generally fully housetrained til around one year, and that the dog will need supervision and not be allowed to roam about unseen in the house til around that age and til you are absolutely positive he isn't ever going in the house (which as noted above means 100% supervision or control, 100% of the time).
In memory: Lucy