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Hi everyone,
I’m hoping someone can provide some suggestions and training tips for our nine month old Lab. She uses the doggy door throughout the day without any issues, but at night once we’re asleep, she will poop and peer in the living room (thankful it is tile). We’ve tried limiting food and water intake a few hours before bed, tried to work with her to let her in and out at night, and most recently used the downstairs bathroom where the doggy door is located as a spot to kennel her for the evening. The thought with the bathroom “kennel” was that she would still be inside the house in the AC, but forced to go outside to potty. Sure enough, she never had a single accident in the bathroom. We’ve been doing that for the last five days and this evening, when I came upstairs to change for bed and put her out, we found that she had pooped on the loft floor 🤦🏻‍♀️
I’m hopeful someone has dealt with this before. I should perhaps mention the vet gave her a clean bill of health and she doesn’t have any illnesses that would cause the behavior.

Thank you in advance!
 

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At 9 months old your pup is still a puppy and not potty trained. Most dogs aren't considered fully potty trained until after a year old because they simply aren't mature enough. Think of it like a toddler who is so interested in the thing they are doing that they forget they have to go. It sounds like she's not quite ready for the level of freedom you're providing for her, so scale that back a bit.

You may need to take her outside yourself, on leash, to ensure she goes potty. This isn't a forever thing, just until she gets the idea and can alert you/take herself outside. If you're having troubles with her going potty in places she shouldn't, she may need more supervision and direction. If you can't supervise, put her in the bathroom since that has worked. Make sure to praise and reward for a successful potty trip outside, and clean up accidents inside with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle. It should also be noted that dogs don't generalize well, so that may be why it appears she understands she should use the doggy door during the day, but doesn't understand she should use it at night, too.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't trust her to be completely potty trained and able to take herself out through the doggy door until the 1 - 1.5 year mark. By then it seems the connection between the brain and their bladder is fully established, and they're mature enough to know when they have to go.
 
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