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Hello Everyone
I have an 8 month Cavalier, who is very good - she has been house trained for a while now - an occasional accident now and then, but by and large very good. But .. last week she pped on my bed - am not sure if she did it out of excitement or what, but she did. Today, I bathed her, she ran around shaking her self, we were outside while she dried off some and when I walked back in I found a puddle of pee on the couch. I got real mad at her and scolded her. Am not sure why she is doing this and not sure what to do. Pls help!!! Any and all suggestions / advice would be great.
Thanks so much
 

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Hello!

If she's been reliably house trained, my first concern with a sudden change in pottying behavior would be something medical going on. Is she fixed? If she's starting her first season that may also cause changes in behavior due to all the hormones. Either way, it might be worth getting a vet check, because something like a urinary tract infection often starts with unusual pottying habits.

As an aside, scolding her in this scenario isn't going to be super helpful. Generally, corrections and rewards have to be done within 5 seconds of the behavior, otherwise dogs are really poor at connecting their past actions to current consequences. Unfortunately, they'll often still behave in ways that we read as 'guilty' - averted gaze, lowered head, etc - when really the dog is saying it's confused and scared and trying to look small and non-threatening so you'll stop scolding. I'd suggest sticking to interrupting if you catch her in the act and moving her outside to finish - still no scolding necessary, because you don't want her to learn it's bad to potty in front of you - and cleaning up messes you find after the fact with an enzymatic cleaner, but not making a fuss over them.

If it does turn out to be behavioral, you'll probably have to go back to basics for a bit, taking her out more frequently and rewarding her the moment she potties outside, and maybe restricting where she has access to indoors. But definitely rule out medical causes first!
 

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A dog having occasional accidents in the house is NOT house trained. If she does not show you by going to the door or pacing that she needs to go out, she is not house trained. Scolding her will only teach her that peeing in front of you is dangerous and she will then hide when she pees and she will pee in the house MORE.

Go back to house training 101. Crate. Supervision. Never out of your sight. On leash in the house. Baby gates and crates to keep her out of most of the house. HEAVY rewards when she goes to the bathroom outside (food rewards!). Out after eating and play. Interrupt if she squats to pee and picking her up and taking her out and then praising her heavily with treats when she finishes up. No yelling. Only a cue (such as "get busy") WHEN she is actually peeing or pooping outside (this will eventually associate her with going when you say those words.. and be aware that it can take months to get that working for you).
 

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She's not housebroken if she has 'accidents here and there'. Keep taking her out regularly, praising her when she goes, and keeping a close eye on her. And yes, it's pointless to scold.. interrupt if she does it in front of you, and take her out right away. But all she'll learn by being scolded is that she shouldn't pee in front of you (also, scolding her after the fact is completely pointless, they can't associate a wet pee puddle with them peeing inside).
 
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