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My 4 year old chihuahua has always been excellent about not going potty in the house...I adopted her about 8 months ago and only had a few small problems in the very beginning as she adjusted to my condo, but other than that no problems whatsoever, until recently. She's been peeing and pooping on the carpet, even if she had just been taken out within the past hour or so. She knows it's wrong; I always know when I'm going to find a spot because I will find her slinking around after she does it.

I've been putting her in my bathroom for 20-30 minutes as punishment. I show her the spot, tell her "no" and "bad" in a firm voice, which she knows means she is in trouble, then into the bathroom she goes. Apparently this punishment is ineffective because she keeps peeing on the carpet.

The only thing I can think of that's bringing on this behavior is that my husband and I split up a few months ago and she is angry because she is alone a lot during the day. My ex did not work much and was home a lot during the day, now she spends more time in her crate because I can't trust her to be out when I'm at work.

Any suggestions? And she acts completely healthy otherwise...when she is not in trouble she is just as active and playful as she always has been.

Thanks!
 

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She's not angry, she's a bit confused. Punishing her if you don't SEE her doing it is a total waste of time. She doesn't understand. 20 to 30 minutes of punishment is meaningless to her.

You need to take her outside more often, praise her like mad for doing what you want and then watch her very closely in the house for awhile. Don't let her out of your sight unless she's in her crate.

You've changed the entire dynamics of the house with your husband leaving. It's going to take her awhile to adjust but she will. Give her lots of attention to make her feel loved, etc., and she will be okay.

Please stop punishing her if you don't catch her IN THE ACT, though. It really is just confusing her even more.
 
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