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My girlfriend has a new CockerSpaniel and it is very strange because most of the time the dog is fine. For awhile it occasionally went to the bathroom on the tile floor etc. But now, it goes to the bathroom on the bed and on the carpet upstairs. It doesn't even use the tile anymore. What is with this? Why would the problem suddenly get worse?
 

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We need so much more information. How old is the dog, what sex, has it been spayed/neutered? How long have you had it, how are you training it, have you had it to a vet? How often does the dog go inside and when?
 

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I believe it is about 4-6 months now. Female. Spayed. Had since 8 weeks I think. I know she has taken it to the vet for shots and all that stuff. She has not visited the vet about this particular issue. Initially she would reward the dog and give encouragement when going outside, but it is almost as though it got worse. Now she is kind of punishing when she goes indoors, but again to no avail. She actually brought the dog over to my house the other day, and I got a nice one right on the dining room floor. She may get rid of it... which means I will have to take it, which sucks. lol
 

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OK. This dog is confused about what is right and what is wrong. She doesn't understand that "outside" is OK and "inside" is not. I strongly urge you and your girlfriend to stop "kind of punishing" the dog for going indoors. That is just going to make things worse as the dog will become scared of doing her business in front of people (i.e. on leash) and will start sneaking away.

How is the dog getting the opportunity to have all these accidents?
 

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You don't say anything about supervision. A puppy that young should either be in your direct sight (as in you have your eyes on her) or contained for those times when you CAN'T have your eyes on her. Here's why: young puppies don't even get the message from their bodies that they have to pee/poop, not all the time. It's because they are young and still developing. As they age, they will start getting those signals more consistently, but, still not EVERY time. Then, add into the mix that they are also learning how long they can hold it without having accidents.

So, you have a puppy that doesn't always know she has to go until it's too late, AND, a puppy that sometimes thinks she can hold it longer than she actually can, due to the fact that puppies don't have full and complete physical control of their bladders/bowels til 6 months of age, give or take. Also, a puppy is like a human infant/todder, sometimes they are easily distracted by other things and just forget to go in time.

Puppies, in general, need a trip outside after waking up (even from naps), after eating/drinking, after playing/exercising, and about every 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the age of the puppy. Those are just generalizations, because, as I've said, puppies don't have solid control yet, physically, so, the supervision is important, so you can watch and see when she shows signs of needed to go out. If you see the puppy circling, or sniffing the ground more than usual, that's a good sign they may need to go. Then, you can interrupt her, and take her out.

My first reaction is that, if this puppy is having that many accidents on the bed, on the carpet upstairs, on the dining room floor, it sounds like it's not being supervised closely enough. The point of supervision is to PREVENT accidents. The more you prevent accidents, the quicker the puppy will be to thinking that outside is the only option. If the puppy isn't in your sight, you can't prevent accidents.

As for right vs wrong, dogs don't really have a strong concept of this. To them, it's completely natural to go pee/poop anywhere, anytime they need to. What they can understand is that pottying outside is something that you like, and praise and give treats for. That makes it more desirable for them to take that as their only option.

As for punishing, that can backfire, puppies don't always make the connections humans would. So, if you punish the inside accident, the puppy may take that as you just don't like it when they pee/poop. So, they can start hiding it, trying harder to find a spot to go where you won't find it. Also, it does no good if you don't catch her in the act.

Good luck! Potty training is so frustrating! :)
 
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