Post # 1
We got our little puppy when she was 6 weeks old and she’s a super smart sweet one. We put her outside when we got her and threw a potty party when she went and besides for night time rarely saw accidents, we were surprised at how fast it took. We don’t crate train and I can work from home a lot so the door outside to the fenced in yard stays open. So even at that young she was very good at taking herself outside.
But now at 12 weeks old she has had a full on regression this week! I guess I’ve not thrown her as many potty parties. We ended up fostering 3 of her siblings during various parts of the 6 weeks we’ve had her and some were fairly potty trained but the last brother that stayed with us was very resistant (he only stayed a week though before he got adopted – he learned other tricks just not the potty trick). I’ve noticed her having more accidents since he left 2 weeks ago but still at the most like once a day. Until this week when it’s been more and also #2’s in the house, which she hasn’t done in the house since we first got her. I just saw a puddle of pee right by the door to go outside, which was open, all she had to do was take two more steps!
I’m going to start taking her out myself more regularly instead of relying on the open door and throwing more potty parties again but is this type of regression normal after such good behavior before?
Post # 3
It could be normal for a dog to forget their manners when there’s a lot of change in their lives. It sounds like having other dogs in and out has something to do with it. Even adult dogs will sometimes have problems if there major changes (moving, new pet, etc).
I’d go back to taking her out and rewarding her again. 12 weeks isn’t that old so maybe it hasn’t completely cemented in her brain that she needs to go out.
Post # 4
Our puppy was so good about going potty outside… and now 4 weeks later she is having accidents at night… when shes in my bed… We get up and take her out at least 2 times a night.. but still there are a few accidents a week. Good luck!!
Post # 5
It might be her way of trying to communicate. She probably knows that she is supposed to go outside and especially if the door is open she has no excuse.
We have had our puppy for three weeks. We adopted her from the shelter and she was very sick since she was malnutritioned. She was very easy to potty train. However she is feeling much better gained a lot of weight and now she that she is better she is having accidents. I think it’s because she is now feeling better so she is trying to stake her territory since we have another dog. It’s exhausting but I know it’s just a phase that we will break very quickly.
I would just continue to take her outside and praise her, she might be looking for a little extra reassurance. But I think now that you know she is potty trained, she needs to be scolded for going to the bathroom in your house. I’m not saying hitting her or putting her face in it, but just show her that you are upset and dissapointed in her.
Post # 6
Thanks for the advice ladies and good to know we’re not the only one.
She came from a shelter too and was a bit malnourished when we got her. But always had a lot of energy and started to look healthy fairly quickly. We do have an older dog so maybe it has something to do with that.
I’ve been standing by it when I see it and saying her name in a dissapointed voice and then putting her outside sometimes, but I’m a bit torn on sticking her outside after I say her name disspointed (if I don’t catch her in the act) because I don’t want her to associate outside with punishment.
Post # 7
@troubled- I know what you mean. You definetly don’t want to associate outside with punishment. I won’t just put the puppy outside I will scold her carry her and then tell her to “hurry up” in a disapointing voice and when she is done I take her back in. I guess just try to keep an extra close eye on her for the next couple days so you can catch her.
Post # 8
You have gotten a few good suggestions already as to what may be going on. Here’s a couple more…
Are you making sure to clean up all accidents thoroughly with a cleaner like Nature’s Miracle, that removes the scent of the accident? If you aren’t and her brother went potty in the house, the smell of his accidents could have triggered her to think inside was an okay place to go, and the smell of any of her accidents are only reinforcing this.
Also, if you are just leaving the door open for her, is it possible she is not realizing that inside is not an extension of outside? Going by the open door, unless it was diarrhea that she couldn’t control, sounds like confusion. 12 weeks is still a baby, so she may not have the potty training down as much as you think she did. Do you ask her to go in a specific area outside, or is she just allowed to go anywhere she wants to outside? Perhaps taking her out on a leash for a while and having her go in one corner of the yard, or on a pile of straw or something would help her learn exactly where she is supposed to be going.
Keep her on a leash attached to your belt loop at all times until she has stopped going in the house. Every time she goes in the house and you are not there to stop her, it reinforces the behavior. You don’t need to crate her if you don’t want to, (although it’s a good idea if she’s not supervised, especially for any other foster puppies you might have because crate training is an added incentive for adoption), but keep her leashed to you, or at least enclosed in the room with you, so you can keep an eye on her. If she starts looking like she’s going to go potty in the house, (sniffing, circling, etc), take her outside immediately. If she starts to go, interupt her with a loud noise, like “No!” or “Ah!”, pick her up, and rush her outside, (the loud noise usually interrupts them, so unless she has to go REALLY bad, you shouldn’t be trailing a um…stream, so to speak). Throw the potty party for her when/if she finishes going outside.
And how it it there is a thread about a 12 week old puppy with no pictures?! I’m pretty sure there’s a board rule against that.
Post # 9
Ahh – my camera I can’t find the thing that attaches it to the computer so I have very few pictures of her loaded. Here’s one, I tried to cut out the background, so I wasn’t posting my hub on the internet, which is why it’s all weird in the back.
She usually uses the same spot in the yard just on her own, we didn’t really train her to do that, though I do stick her in one area when I carry her outside. She defiantely is still a baby so I think I just need to reinforce her behavior more. She probably had enough accidents that she wasn’t completley convinced that outside was the only appropriate place to go. We have all hardwood and fake hardwood laminate flooring and clean it with windex and mop with water/vinegar mix once a week, but maybe the scent is still lingering, it would make sense since it seemed to start after he left.
So the reason we don’t crate train is because a lot of the puppies that come have only known crates their whole life – they’re all from high kill, and often not high quality shelters and often look like malnourished skittish little things. The guy we work with prefers we don’t use a crate (we don’t take them before they’re weaned) and perhaps I’m wrong but I see a difference in growth of puppies we foster vs ones that were at foster families that use a crate a lot and also a big difference in the puppy’s confidence. Also I’ve had enough pups go through that don’t mind laying in their own pee,or sometimes even poo, that it’s so much grosser to clean it off them than just wipe it off the floor if they have an accident.
Except for a few of the male puppies, they’re usually really good about going outside or on the newspaper except at night. Our house is extensively puppy proofed and we’ve had many pups go through and never had a problem. And for her she will go into a crate, she’s used to it enough, we just prefer not to leave her in there for any extended period of time unless we’re visiting someone.