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We'd been doing so well on the potty training, loose leash walking and not constantly sniffing around for spontaneously-appearing hot dogs... until today.

My niece, 5, came down for the afternoon and it feels like a month of training has gotten rolled up and tossed out the window. I'm not placing any blame whatsoever on my niece. She was very good with him. But one change in the afternoon resulted in two accidents in the house (when we hadn't had any in over two weeks), a walk around the block that was closer to a sled-dog race than leisurely stroll and an attention span reset to zero.

:(

This has been such a disheartening day. We were making such progress and now I feel like we've been sent all the way back to square one.
 

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Don't worry, I know the feeling. Awhile ago I was really close to fixing Honey's fear aggression until she pretty much got mauled by a loose Chihuahua at the vet. Just keep going...
 

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Don't feel bad at all! Dogs are very in the moment and when they train they have to have different stimulation/location for them to really behave everywhere. Just because they are good at doing something in the house, it will not transfer outside or in the car or at another person's house or with visitors. Your niece was a huge change and it threw your dog off. Keep up the great work! Your great training will eventually spread to all areas/people.
 

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AWWw, you sound JUST like me when I was raising Mac'n'Roe. Don't worry! Tomorrow is another day. It won't set you back a month :). Differences in routine can...well, change things up. Like leroy&lucy's mom said, the change just threw your dog off. I would just be prepared to work on it for the next time, and be prepared to just watch the puppy closer (for potty breaks) and be extra vigilant with training when the niece is there. New situations bring upon new and excellent training opportunities.
 

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No problem.

Try to look at this from your dog's point of view. Dogs are very 'routine-oriented'. All dogs are sensitive to changes in routine - some more than others but all dogs pick up changes right away.

Your dog had a change in routine imposed on him. So his view is that all his routines are now subject to a test.

Try to think of this as a teaching opportunity. You are now going to teach a very important lesson - namely, that one change in routine does not mean that everything else changes. Just continue applying all your past teaching consistently and your dog will get that lesson.
 

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Me too :)

Like everyone said, this is just one small change in routine, easy to recover from, in just a few days of back to basics, and the dog will be more reliable when he's back into the routine.

Trauma is harder to recover from. And, everyday exposure to neighbors can result in counter-conditioning. Sometimes, I wish someone would write a book, "How to Train Other People NOT to Untrain Your Dog"

:)

- Hank Simon
 
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