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Toilet training help!!!!

648 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DaySleepers
Help!! My five month old female sprocker spaniel has suddenly in the last week started urinating on the rug or duvet cover in the evening. She was fully toilet trained before this and throughout the day will tell us when she needs to go out for a wee. She’s walked in the evening too and wee’s and poo’s on the walk. But suddenly this week, in the evening only, she urinates just once on the rug or duvet. How can I stop her from doing this?
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IMO, letting a puppy sleep on your bed is perfectly fine, IF you're okay with having them sleep there as an adult. For both my dogs, we allowed them to graduate to sleeping on the bed as soon as we were confident they would wake us up if they had to pee (helps that I'm a light sleeper). It doesn't inherently cause any behavior problems, it's just a preference thing.

I think you're probably onto something with the anxiety. Some dogs do get really upset with routine changes, and many Covid-era puppies are having a particularly hard time with separation related issues because we're all home so much. Definitely follow through with the UTI check, of course, but also look into separation training and helping her be calm and happy when home, even if you have to leave outside of your usual routine. I like Emily Larlham - AKA Kikopup on YouTube - for her instructional, informative, and reinforcement-based videos on many common dog issues, and suggest starting with this one here:

But there's lots of resources out there, from books (I'll Be Home Soon! By Patricia McConnell is my go-to primer for the basics) to online courses (I haven't taken this Home Alone course, but I've seen a talk by the instructor and liked her approach a lot), to personal online consults with a professional (I've heard good things about Dr. Melanie Cerone, who specializes in separation related problems). I'd start with the free ones and see how it goes, but if you need more help it's definitely out there.

In the meantime, if your pup doesn't pee when outside, try to pre-empt the issue by taking her right into a crate, playpen, or other dog-proof area. Ideally, she's already crate or pen trained and doesn't have a history of peeing in these places, but if not it should at least be easy to clean. Take her back out in five-ish minutes to try again, and rinse and repeat until she goes outside and you can reward her (or, if she has an accident, you clean up without a fuss and try three minutes next time). My younger boy went through a phase of coming back in to pee inside when the weather was nasty, so he had to go back to a more regimented routine like this until he realized that peeing outside was the best and only option, whatever the weather. Goodness knows why when he's delighted to splash around in muddy puddles when he's out on a walk, hahah, but it worked.
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