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Hello there! I have a nearly four month old puppy. We found him at the animal control shelter at five weeks old and by his markings, believe he is a border collie mixed with something we're still trying to piece together as he grows into his body.

Miles is doing well, and was so quick to potty training it was barely a step we had to take. We started by kennel training him, and removing him from the kennel after naps or during the night (when he was very young) and taking him straight outside.

He still makes accidents sometimes, but it is usually because he is over-stimulated and I catch him during the act and we run straight to the door so he can go outside and finish.

The only problem is, downstairs, to him, is a different territory. He goes both one and two down there in a matter of seconds when our back are turned to him. He knows it's bad, and if we find him doing it he is ashamed and we go outside. He does not intentionally go to the bathroom upstairs (like I said, unless it is truly a mistake, and that is seldom). Since he is growing, we will have more space to keep him downstairs with his larger kennel, and I want him to respect the area. Our living arrangements (kitchen, living room, main bedroom) are all upstairs, but my boyfriend spend a lot of time downstairs and as our office is down there, I would like to as well. What should I do to break this habit? Might it just be that he spend more time upstairs and separates the spaces? I try to spend time with him downstairs but he enjoys leaving presents every time we are down there.

Also, has anyone had a dog that hates the rain so much they will go potty as close to the home as possible to avoid getting rained on? He does this as well, sometimes peeing on the porch, and I'm not keen on it.
 

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I would keep the dog tethered to me with a leash when downstairs so that he cannot make a mess if he is not out of your sight. And dogs don't know they've done wrong. They just know they had to urinate and they did, now, where ever. He has obviously learned that he either sleeps/eats upstairs so we don't mess there, or there is most consistent training when he is upstairs so there are fewer mistakes.

Going out in the rain can be a challenge. We have a specific area in our yard for the dogs. My husband rigged up an overhead tarp a few years ago and it has helped tremendously. If that is not possible, we used to have little coats for the dogs. Our dogs are long-haired and hated to get wet, I think because they take longer to dry. When they had their coats on their fur would stay dry and they were less adverse about going out. Another friend of ours strategically planted a bush next to her door and trimmed up the bottom branches so there was space under the bush for her dog to urinate, out of the weather.
 
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