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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 6 month old female chihuahua. I work from home and I take her outside to go to the bathroom approximately once every two hours. She only gets time inside the house (outside of her kennel) when she does her business outside (meaning if I take her out and she does nothing after 10-15 minutes of walking around, she goes back in her kennel). She gets plenty of exercise and more daily attention/play time than most dogs. But what I cannot figure out is her recent spat of vengeance towards me when it comes to her potty habits. This is not my first puppy either and I've never had this issue with others.

When she is in her kennel, she almost NEVER has an accident. I even recently upgraded her kennel to a bathroom in the house which gives her about 4x the space and she has only once had an accident there. The problem is when she is in the house with me. For example two days ago I took her outside - she pooped and peed. I brought her in the house and allowed her to be free with me while I prepared my morning coffee. Not 10 minutes had passed inside the house and I turn around to a pile of poop on my kitchen floor. I know 100% had I put her in her kennel or bathroom, she wouldn't have done this, but because she was free inside the house apparently she thinks it's her free bathroom zone? Today I took her out at about 12:30pm and she peed several times (like usual) and pooped as well. I bring her back inside, she comes upstairs with me and while I spend 10 minutes talking to my partner, she goes pee in two different spots... Mind you, she had just peed and didn't drink any water between time.

Needless to say I'm growing frustrated. She does not display this behavior in her "house", but when she is in our house she has zero respect, nor does she have the urgent need to use the bathroom, because she was just previously taken outside. Up until now I haven't used the tried and true "put their nose in it", "shove their face in it", "tell them bad dog or bad potty"... I just cleaned the mess and kept up with our bathroom schedule, paying attention to her when she tries to get my attention to go outside (which she does from time to time, but not frequently like other dogs I've trained), but now I'm beginning to lose my patience. Being kind, not using any aggression, not using any type of "violence" like putting her nose in her piss, is NOT solving the problem. At 6 months old she also knows how to control her bladder which she has proven countless times when I have to leave for 4-6 hours to go somewhere. So rather than beginning with the tried and proven methods of our fathers (which I feel are a bit inhumane) I've come her at my wit's end trying to figure out what to do. PLEASE help.
 

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Dogs don't have concepts of vengeance or respect. If she's having accidents, she either really needs to go or she doesn't understand what you're wanting from her.

What sort of rewards does she get for using the bathroom outside?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dogs don't have concepts of vengeance or respect. If she's having accidents, she either really needs to go or she doesn't understand what you're wanting from her.

What sort of rewards does she get for using the bathroom outside?
She gets a very excited owner telling her "good dog", "good potty", "good daisy" who is petting her and rubbing her belly. She gets positive reinforcement, nothing else.

I think you missed the point that she is only having accidents when we allow her to be free in the house with us AFTER having just used the bathroom. She is NOT having accidents if I put her in her kennel or bathroom. So I guess you could also say that one of her rewards for going potty outside is that she gets free time in the house with us afterwards - a reward she has started abusing heavily.

Last weekend we went away for the entire afternoon (8 hours) came home and not one accident in her space. Whenever I have to leave for 4-6 hours she almost never has accidents (in her kennel or bathroom). The behavior is ONLY when she has free reign of the house with myself or my partner present (or both) JUST after going potty.
 

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It's not uncommon, though, for dogs to not use the bathroom in a smaller space. They're usually very clean, they don't want to make a mess. But when she's allowed free roam, she may be confusing the open spaces in your house with the open spaces outdoors.

If she's treat motivated, I would try to incorporate treats as a reward for her going outdoors, because you can be a lot more precise that way via a verbal marker. So the very instant she starts going to the bathroom outside, mark with a "yes!" and then give a treat. Your mileage may vary with the marker - if you find that saying "yes" stops her from pottying, then wait until you're sure she's almost done and then mark and reward. It's helpful, too, to "charge" the marker by just sitting down a couple of times and saying "yes" then giving a treat, saying "yes" and giving a treat, etc. Being more precise with the reward delivery for the desired behavior may make it easier for her to make that connection.

And beyond that, it's just a matter of being consistent. I have a chihuahua mix and I know the frustration; she was my first smaller dog and my dogs before her all caught onto potty training within a month or two. She took longer, I'm not sure if it was the smaller bladder or that it just took a bit for her to develop the habit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the feedback. I've never used treats as a reward system for potty training, as I don't like the negative association that "going potty equals food". Going potty where they are supposed to is simply what they need to learn how to do. It is not something that in my mind should be rewarded every time with anything more than a "good dog"... Because once you stop giving that reward (a treat), a host of other problems arise, and I'm not going to give a dog treat every time they use the bathroom for the rest of their life. I've learned consistence is key with just about any animal, be it a dog, cat or a monkey (which I also have), and thus if you're going to use treats - you always have to use treats. Just like a human child doesn't get a sucker every time he goes pee, I don't think a dog should be getting snacks either. It's my personal belief. But when your kid pisses in the corner of your house like it's a joke, that earns a punishment or discipline. With dogs, I feel the whole "anti-discipline" opinion carried by a wide variety of people is wrong. I do agree that certain disciplines can be misinterpreted by a dog, but we should have basic, non-aggressive disciplines we can apply to teach a dog that there are consequences as well for negative behaviors (not just rewards for positive ones).

I might agree with you on her confusing the open area of the house with open areas outside, but only if I was letting her free in the home without first taking her out to go potty - then it would be my fault for not taking her out first before giving her free reign of the house. Realistically speaking for kennel training you upgrade them a larger space when they've mastered their smaller one, then a larger space after that, etc... so they learn to stay clean indoors and associate all the space as "their space". In that, she is not failing. But she is not recognizing the house as her space. Dogs DO respect their own space or they wouldn't keep it clean. That is why I consider what she is doing a sign of disrespect, because she definitely respects HER area of the house, but not that of anyone else. And the problem is that I don't have an intermediary space between the bathroom and the rest of my home realistically. If she's not in the bathroom, she's freely with us or in a kennel beside us. I also don't like keeping her locked up all the time whether it be in her bathroom or in the kennel beside us in the various rooms we occupy. And yet I'm not seeing a way around it with her.

While psychologically a dog may not understand the idea of respect or vengeance, dogs definitely remember, do form grudges, do change their behaviors based on past treatment (or we wouldn't have aggressive dogs biting people), and as I just mentioned, dogs do respect their own areas or they wouldn't keep it clean. They don't like the smell of their own filth, and yet (mind boggling to most of us) they consistently feel the need to smell the poop and pee of every other dog that lives in your community. I don't think I'll ever understand that one.
 

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A 6 month old chihuahua is a puppy. Their bladder is not fully formed. Their brain-to-bladder connection is not developed. And, especially with a chihuahua, the size of their bladder is extremely small.

What all that means is that she doesn't know she has to potty until she's actually pottying. So, you need to go back to the beginning.

First, get her checked out by a vet to rule out any health issues like infections, etc.

Then, take her out to potty every 30 minutes. In addition, take her out after every nap, every meal, every water intake, every play time.

As you are doing now, if she does not potty when she is outside, confine her or keep her with you. As soon as you see ANY sign that she is about to go potty, or after 5 minutes, whichever comes first, take her back outside. Repeat until she goes potty.

Every time she potties outside, praise her like she has just won the Nobel prize for physics. Tell her she is the best dog ever and that you love her more than anyone. When she makes a mistake, just clean it up. Do not give her a dirty look, use aggressive body language (even if it's towards the accident and not her).

Do not EVER EVER EVER rub her nose in it, yell at her, or otherwise reprimand or punish her for going potty. That will only make her afraid of you and cause her to start pottying in secret.

Yes, dogs do hold grudges and have a full range of emotions just like we do. However, a 6 month old puppy is no more being vengeful by pottying in the house than a 2 year old child is being vengeful for pottying in his diaper instead of in the toilet. Most dogs do not gain full control of their bladders until they are at least 1 to 1-1/2 years old. Accidents WILL happen. Outside factors, like household stress, weather, etc, can cause a puppy to backslide in their training. If/when that happens, simply go back to the beginning. Doing so, reinforces the appropriate behavior in a positive manner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
A 6 month old chihuahua is a puppy. Their bladder is not fully formed. Their brain-to-bladder connection is not developed. And, especially with a chihuahua, the size of their bladder is extremely small.
Your average dog has gained control of their bladder by the time they reach 4-6 months scientifically speaking. If her bladder was not formed and her control of her bladder was not mastered, she would be making the same mistakes in her kennel or bathroom as she does in the rest of the house. She does not.

What all that means is that she doesn't know she has to potty until she's actually pottying. So, you need to go back to the beginning.
If this were actually true, she would not be holding in her piss or poop whenever she is in her kennel or bathroom. She has bladder and anal control and can hold out for 8 hours without using the bathroom WHEN she is in an area that she considers HERS and respects as HERS.

First, get her checked out by a vet to rule out any health issues like infections, etc.
She was just at the vet yesterday, she has no infections, she has all vaccinations and is in 100% health.

She goes potty almost every time I take her outside because she is kennel trained and holds her piss until it is her time to go outside. The only time she does not practice this self-control is when she is free in the house with us just AFTER we took her outside AND she used the bathroom (so there is no urgency). Please pay attention.

Do not EVER EVER EVER rub her nose in it, yell at her, or otherwise reprimand or punish her for going potty. That will only make her afraid of you and cause her to start pottying in secret.
I have done this in the past with other dogs when I was younger and ignorant, however I NEVER EVER EVER had any of my dogs fear me or resent me or shy away from me or go potty in secret as a result. They all learned rather quickly "don't piss or poop in the house or there is a negative consequence for it". Within an hour of reprimanding the dog for bad behavior, they were back wagging their tail and begging for my attention, so I've never personally experienced any of the negative side effects of these types of rather inhumane punishments... Despite this, I had no desire to use those types of punishments with this dog specifically. Now I'm beginning to think it's the only thing I'm honestly doing wrong. [/QUOTE]

Yes, dogs do hold grudges and have a full range of emotions just like we do. However, a 6 month old puppy is no more being vengeful by pottying in the house than a 2 year old child is being vengeful for pottying in his diaper instead of in the toilet. Most dogs do not gain full control of their bladders until they are at least 1 to 1-1/2 years old. Accidents WILL happen. Outside factors, like household stress, weather, etc, can cause a puppy to backslide in their training. If/when that happens, simply go back to the beginning. Doing so, reinforces the appropriate behavior in a positive manner.
A 6 month old dog is a 3.5 year old child, and most children are potty trained by 2-3 years. If you kid after being potty trained pisses all over themselves when the bathroom is right next to them, they get a time out. So yeah, we do punish children who are trained, and if you haven't been reading, this dog IS kennel trained. If she wasn't, she'd be having accidents in her kennel/bathroom, not just when she has free range of the house AFTER being taken out and USING the bathroom. Please reply with feedback that pertains to THIS situation.
 

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If you have all the answers, then I'm not sure why you are asking for help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you have all the answers, then I'm not sure why you are asking for help.
I am asking for help pertaining to my situation, not every possible situation in general that has nothing to do with this one.

I have seen you copy and paste virtually that same response to a half dozen other people on this forum. If you want to actually help someone, READ their problem first and reply accordingly instead of some copied and pasted throw it all at the wall and hope something applies approach.
 

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The answer to YOUR problem IS exactly the same as with all the others. You won't get any other advice than what has been given - by anyone.
 

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Let's cool it.

@Nikibahama, if you don't like the advice someone has given you to a question you asked, move on. Nobody is forcing you to follow it. You're not likely to get much more of it based on your responses to members who have taken time out of their day to help.
 
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