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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

My boyfriend and I adopted a 3 months old chihuahua almost two weeks ago and although he's been potty trained by the breeder he seems to have more and more accidents.

At first, he was peeing and pooing on the pad, but for couple of days he's been doing his needs all over the house. He mainly started to pee on his pillow in his crate and pooing under an armchair in the bedroom.

We start to feel kind of desperate since nothing seems to work, praising him for peeing on the pad, giving him treats, placing him on the pad when we notice he feels like relieving himself..

Any advice will be highly appreciated.
 

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You are probably giving the puppy too much free run of the house. I would get a pen and keep the puppy in it unless you are right there with him. At this age you have to keep track of him at all times. It will pay off in the long run before just going everywhere gets to be a habit. At 12 weeks they have to go often and when they are just running loose in a big area, they just go where they are as they do not have the control to run back to where the pee pads are. If you do not have a pen, you can block off his access to the rest of the house with gates.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are probably giving the puppy too much free run of the house. I would get a pen and keep the puppy in it unless you are right there with him. At this age you have to keep track of him at all times. It will pay off in the long run before just going everywhere gets to be a habit. At 12 weeks they have to go often and when they are just running loose in a big area, they just go where they are as they do not have the control to run back to where the pee pads are. If you do not have a pen, you can block off his access to the rest of the house with gates.
That is not the case, even when he is in the pen he prefers to pee on a pillow which is there, than on the pad which is right next to his pillow. So I don't really think that running loose is causing the problem..
 

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If his pillow (absorbent surface) is next to the pad (absorbent surface), then it is hard for a puppy to make the correct choice. Sleeping and elimination areas should be as far apart as possible in the pen so that he can make that distinction.

(Also, I would question the knowledge of any breeder who claims their puppies are already housetrained. Certainly, breeders can start young puppies on good housetraining habits. But it is physically not possible for young puppies to hold it the same way an adult dog can).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm, okay, I get your point.

Let me put this differently. For the first couple of days he always relieved himself on the pads. Always. Even when he was in the other room, he would come back to his pen and just do it on the pad. It happened once or twice that he did it in the kitchen, which is quite far from his pen and it's normal that the accidents like this one happen.

We haven't changed absolutely anything in the house, his pen is the way it used to be, but out of the blue he just started peeing on the pillow instead of the pad. And when it comes to pooing, when he is outside of his pen, he is going to another room and doing it on the floorboards, under the armchair, even though there is another pad one meter away from the chair.

I don't get this change, that's all.
 

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You need to go back to restricting how much freedom he is allowed. The more you let him potty outside his approve potty area, the harder it will be to get him house trained. He's either in his pen with just the puppy pad (no pillow), or else you are right on top of him, watching like a hawk for the first sign that he might even be thinking about pottying. Also, even if you use pads (which even for a small dog, I'm not a fan of unless you live in a high rise building where "outside" is over ten minutes away by elevator) you still need to work with him. Take him to his spot when her wakes up, after he eats, after he takes a nice long drink, after he's been playing a while, and every twenty minutes just because. Anywhere he has had an accident needs to be thoroughly cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner to lessen the chances of him going back to that spot.

At three months old, a puppy is just really starting to have control over his bladder and bowels. Expecting them to be perfectly house trained (without strict supervision on your part) is kind of unrealistic, It's like expecting a human toddler to be perfectly potty trained in every situation, and them never having an accident because you weren't paying attention to their signs they need to go.

The cure for him peeing on his pillow is to not let him have it. My GSD slept in a bare crate for years, because if she didn't chew her bedding, she peed on it. Sometimes she did both.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You need to go back to restricting how much freedom he is allowed. The more you let him potty outside his approve potty area, the harder it will be to get him house trained. He's either in his pen with just the puppy pad (no pillow), or else you are right on top of him, watching like a hawk for the first sign that he might even be thinking about pottying. Also, even if you use pads (which even for a small dog, I'm not a fan of unless you live in a high rise building where "outside" is over ten minutes away by elevator) you still need to work with him. Take him to his spot when her wakes up, after he eats, after he takes a nice long drink, after he's been playing a while, and every twenty minutes just because. Anywhere he has had an accident needs to be thoroughly cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner to lessen the chances of him going back to that spot.

At three months old, a puppy is just really starting to have control over his bladder and bowels. Expecting them to be perfectly house trained (without strict supervision on your part) is kind of unrealistic, It's like expecting a human toddler to be perfectly potty trained in every situation, and them never having an accident because you weren't paying attention to their signs they need to go.

The cure for him peeing on his pillow is to not let him have it. My GSD slept in a bare crate for years, because if she didn't chew her bedding, she peed on it. Sometimes she did both.
I don't expect my ^puppy to be perfectly trained. I get that accidents will happen, my question was rather about the cause of such behaviour, since it changed really drastically.

And yes, I live on 8th floor, no elevator.

I think I am not being unrealistic, since before he was doing really well. The dog is contantly under our supervision, he never pees on his pillow when we watch, he rather does it when I leave the room to go to the toilet or whatever.
 

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For the first couple of days he always relieved himself on the pads. Always. Even when he was in the other room, he would come back to his pen and just do it on the pad. It happened once or twice that he did it in the kitchen, which is quite far from his pen and it's normal that the accidents like this one happen.
There are some inconsistencies here. You write ALWAYS but then once or twice he made mistakes in the kitchen. I'm not trying to nitpick here. Little details like this are important. You've only had this puppy for two weeks and I wouldn't take any of these incidents as 'anomalies'. If I were you I would look at it as: Within the last two weeks, your puppy mostly used the pads but had fewer accidents compared to now. A possible explanation could be the puppy was getting used to the new environment in the first couple days, and is now more confident with the whole house... Thus less likely to just return to the one familiar area and stay/have accidents in a wider range of spaces. There is SO much change that happens in a puppy or any dog as they live with you for the first two weeks.
 

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I agree with the advice that everyone else has given. Also, understand that some dogs really, really do not understand the difference between a potty pad, a pillow, a carpet, or a rug on the floor. They don't understand or visualize the difference between them. Your puppy is getting more freedom in the house, and he feels pillows and soft surfaces beneath his feet, and he thinks it's okay to go in the spot because if feels the same as his potty pad. He might be terribly confused!

I would be restricting his freedoms quite a lot. You're trying to teach this pup that this one square piece of soft paper is the ONLY thing he can potty on in the ENTIRE house! If you don't have one already, I would get a crate that you can pop him in when you make even the shortest of trips to the toilet so he cannot potty. The crate should only be large enough for the pup to stand, turn around, and lay down in. I would just leave it bare if he pees on his bedding.

Has the pup been scolded at all for having accidents? Going into another room or beneath furniture to potty is a typical sign of a dog that has been scolded for going potty in the incorrect spot. Scolding only teaches the pup that going in front of you is bad, not that he went potty in the wrong spot. He should also not have a chance to sneak off to another room at all in this stage of his training!
 

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Baby puppies are experiencing a lot of physical and mental changes every day, so these changes don't really surprise me. They typically don't have full control of their bladders until at least six months, and some dogs (small breeds seem especially prone to this) take longer.

My boy was one of those pad-trained dogs who learned (accidentally) that anything absorbent on the floor was for pottying. Rugs, bath mats, the odd shirt that missed the laundry basket... he was twelve weeks when he came to us and we immediately switched him to only outdoor training, but it still took months for him to break that habit. I don't ever plan to use pads again, but if I had a situation where I wanted a dog to learn to potty indoors, I would use either grass/sod (real or one of those fake patches) or a litterbox. Basically, something really obviously different than anything else in the house to make it really clear what's a potty zone and what's not.

It also took my boy a long time to understand that rooms he didn't spend much time in were part of the house and not for pottying. Definitely follow the advice here about restricting his access to other rooms. Try to keep him either right in the room with you or in a crate/pen when you can't supervise, so he can't wander off into other rooms to potty. Take him out (or to the desired potty spot) more frequently than you think he needs to and try and get as many of those successful potties to reward as possible. It can be frustrating and rough, but you'll get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all, I guess we just need to be patient. I was just getting worried it was because we started doing something wrong, but based on your responses I guess there's nothing to worry about.
 

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Thank you all, I guess we just need to be patient. I was just getting worried it was because we started doing something wrong, but based on your responses I guess there's nothing to worry about.
My three cents (partially repeated)
Cent 1: Make sure you clean the crap out of any accidents so the smell of "I went here before" is as small as possible.
Cent 2: Challenge yourself to command the puppy to go on the pad successfully as many times a day as possible. Have a Saturday where that's all you do all day, giving it a shot every 20 minutes. Every success gets a treat, every failure gets a neutral.. better luck next time response. If you have a young puppy with very little bladder control it's actually an advantage here :D! You'll get far more successes on that Saturday than with an adult dog that may go all day without bothering to pee.
Cent 3: Do keep the puppy contained in a small area when you can't be 100% attentive HOWEVER now is the time to try and dedicate all your free time to being extremely attentive AND letting him explore all of your house and begin to consider all of it part of his home crib.

Do those three things and I'd be shocked if he didn't catch on in very little time. The more time you can be at 100% the sooner he'll catch on.

Edit: Oh, and throw that pillow away. lol
 

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I wouldn't be too worried about it. Your puppy sounds pretty normal.

Unfortunately puppies take a long time to be fully house trained. Even at 6-7 months old you can still expect to have the occasional accident. Smaller dog = smaller bladder = longer to house train. Both of my big dogs were not fully house trained until 10-11 months old.
 

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Any other pets such as cats in the house?

Just a shot in the dark, if there is other pets, he might be picking up their scent and go potty where that scent is stronger.

I might be completely wrong so I apologize if I am.

As others mentioned it takes certainly longer than two weeks to properly house train a pup so be patient and watch him a lot better than you would a shady person.
 
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