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Hi everyone! Our seven month old Wheaten is housetrained... as long as he's tethered to my side :p He almost never has an accident as long as we can keep him near us, but as soon as we let him roam the first floor freely, he often goes somewhere we can't see him and has an accident! We've never scolded him for going in the house, just made loud noises to try to stop him and taken him right outside. For the most part we've tried to move away from him asking to go out, to us just telling him when to go, which he's pretty much fine with (tethered). He has had a bit of a relapse in his training since he got neutered a couple of weeks ago, but I'm assuming that's normal enough, given his age. My question is, how do we transition him from being tethered to us all the time to being able to roam freely, if every time we do that he has an accident? Is he just not ready yet, and it will come naturally? Or should we be doing something specific to ease the transition? Any advice is appreciated!
 

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Is where you live set up so you can block off rooms? Like, if you are in the kitchen can you just block the doorway and he can roam in the kitchen? That's what I had to do with my Berner when she was a puppy and seemed like it was going to go on forever, but she got it.
 

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Hi everyone! Our seven month old Wheaten is housetrained... as long as he's tethered to my side :p He almost never has an accident as long as we can keep him near us, but as soon as we let him roam the first floor freely, he often goes somewhere we can't see him and has an accident! We've never scolded him for going in the house, just made loud noises to try to stop him and taken him right outside. For the most part we've tried to move away from him asking to go out, to us just telling him when to go, which he's pretty much fine with (tethered). He has had a bit of a relapse in his training since he got neutered a couple of weeks ago, but I'm assuming that's normal enough, given his age. My question is, how do we transition him from being tethered to us all the time to being able to roam freely, if every time we do that he has an accident? Is he just not ready yet, and it will come naturally? Or should we be doing something specific to ease the transition? Any advice is appreciated!

An adolescent terrier...hmm.m..m - I wonder what's up with that.

Wheatens are typically hard-case terriers. That doesn't mean they are nasty brutes. It DOES mean that they WILL push your buttons when it come to behaviors that they decide not to do anymore. Because they can be so affectionate, it's easy to forget that behind all that affection is a very typical terrier temperament.

Adolescence seems to bring that out more. For this particular problem, you've got to back to your errorless-housetraining - taking him out on a strict schedule as you did when he was a puppy. At least for a while.

But more generally, you've got to apply a bit more discipline. Terriers do best with tough love. That DOESN'T mean abuse or physical punishment, but it DOES mean you don't tolerate any backsliding. Keep up the NILIF,

NO HOUSE PRIVILIGES until he earns them. He must be completely well-behaved in the house. Not just housetraining. He has to follow ALL the house rules AND be paying attention to you even when he is off the tether, not taking off on his own excursions as he chooses. That's all for later - when he earns it.

Keep working on your other training too. You didn't mention any so I hope you do have a full training schedule. Terriers need that. The more work you give him to "think" about, the less he will be finding ways to do mischief. Terriers WILL learn on their own - but sometimes what they learn themselves is NOT what we want. So keep him busy learning what YOU want.

These guys are definitely what Jane Killion calls "Pigs Fly" dogs. Training of any kind - even pet training - is going to be a challenge. She has a lot of good ideas on how to work with these dogs, You might want to check out her books , videos, and articles ( see HERE). It's time to put him to work.

Good luck and stay positive.
 
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