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Me and my dogs are cooped up indoors today because there's about 6 inches of snow on the ground outside. I've had my cocker spaniel for about a month now and normally keep him crated when I'm not at home. I decided today would be a good day to experiment with more freedom outside the house. I've never had any issues with him while I'm home. If I'm gone I've seen him hold it in his crate for 4-5 hours without issue. Today I leave him in the kitchen (where is crate is) for about an hour. I come back to discover that in that hour he peed all over the floor. I couldn't punish him obviously since I didn't catch him in the act, but how do I deal with this? Like I said, when I'm in the same room with him he gives no indication he needs to go and he's never ever had an accident in the house before now. He never barked, never scratched at the door, never indicated he needed to go outside or obviously I'd have let him. What do I do at this point besides the obvious of cleaning it up and not giving him unsupervised freedom outside the crate?
 

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What do I do at this point besides the obvious of cleaning it up and not giving him unsupervised freedom outside the crate?
You answered your own question, that is what you do. Your dog is not ready for the freedom yet, so back up to the point where he was fine and give him some more time. If you aren't home to supervise, you cannot correct. Try again in a month, or try again for a much shorter time.
 

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What do you want him to do when he needs to go out? Ring a bell? Bark? Scratch at the door? Those all have to be trained. If you'd rather not do that then, you'll have to take him out every hour praising and rewarding for going in the right spot and hope that he makes the connection between right spot/wrong spot.
 

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Six inches of snow is not enough to avoid going outside.. just put on boots, sweater, jacket, gloves and go. Even short legged dogs can go out in the snow.. and people can too.. just dress for it. The dogs are born dressed for it. It can be fun to throw snowballs and let the dogs chase them and try to find where they disappeared. :)

I never have the issue of allowing my dog the freedom of the house when I am gone to work. I just crate her. She is in an area separate from the cats that is warm and dry with a very large crate and water. Since doing this for a few dogs and a lot more years I find no reason to let the dog run loose in the house. Ever. Too many hazards and if the dog is fine in the crate, that is where they are when I am not at home.

I agree. You answered your own question. Crate the dog. You preception of the crate is a lot different than the dog's perception. You probably see it as over confining and the dog sees it as home.
 

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LOL.. 6 inches of snow and its enough to not make you go out? :D

In our area, 6 inches of snow is nothing.. winter hits -40C at times. Xena came home in the most horrible weather possible. Potty training an 8 week old puppy at a -35C weather was a lot of fun... NOT.. but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do..

Tough it out, wear boots and coat and go take that puppy out... :D If you cant watch the dog, CRATE THE DOG.
 

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What do you want him to do when he needs to go out? Ring a bell? Bark? Scratch at the door? Those all have to be trained. If you'd rather not do that then, you'll have to take him out every hour praising and rewarding for going in the right spot and hope that he makes the connection between right spot/wrong spot.
I didn't think of this, but you may have hit the nail on the head on what the problem is. Normally, he'll get up from what we're doing and go to the door. I'll ask him if he needs to go outside, he'll turn and look at the door and I'll let him out. Training him to ring a bell may be the best solution as he's not a vocal dog at all. I can't get him to bark if I want to.
 
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