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6 Month Old Dog Still Peeing in the House


I'm in need of some help with our dog. I have a potty training question. She just turned 6 months old and we are still having accidents. She chooses to go in our dining room and spare bedrooms. We have gated off the dining room and closed the spare bedrooms so now she has chosen the upstairs hallway. I take her out every 1-2 hours. Before meals and after meals. What am I doing wrong? Is there anything I can do to keep her from doing this? There is no pattern either. Sometimes it's 1.5 hours after the last time outside, sometimes it's 10 mins after we go outside. What's your advise?

Thanks! Lisa


Hi Lisa,


Sorry to hear you're still struggling with housetraining. Please review the Housetraining 101 booklet written by Lisa Patrona, President of Trainers Academy: House training 101, a free step-by-step guide to successful house training, just to be sure you're not missing any important steps. The booklet includes an intake/elimination log that will be helpful to you.  


From your email, it sounds like you had been giving her too much freedom too soon, so going back to the basics is important for now.  Here's a good 'rule of thumb' when deciding if your dog is ready for more "freedom" during the house training process;  1 month completely house-training-accident-free = more (limited) freedom for doggie. This does not mean that the training process is complete yet though, or that you can take things for granted.  If at this point you notice that she's having "accidents" again, you'll know that the she's not house trained completely yet, and not ready for that much (unsupervised) freedom in the house. 


The more she goes in the house, the more she'll continue to. "What gets rewarded gets repeated." When she pees, she is rewarded by the relief she feels; next time her bladder is full, she'll return to the places where she experienced relief in the past. You were smart to block off access to the areas she has been using, but she's choosing other areas now, so you'll need to prevent access to any place other than outside. That may mean tethering her to you, or crating her unless you can pay 100% attention to her. 


You mention that sometimes she'll go in the house 10 minutes after being outside...are you watching when she's out to be sure she's eliminating?  If yes, then are you sure she's voiding fully? Some puppies get distracted easily and don't finish - perhaps allowing more time will help.  Also, while it can help to use treats as an additional reward dog when the dog is finished eliminating -- (remember that the reward is inherent in the behavior - it comes from the relief she feels when she eliminates) -- some dogs will stop before they're really empty in order to get their treat which of course means they're not really empty!  So, if you are using treats outside when she potties, try stopping that for now to see if it helps.  


Another question we have - is she peeing a little bit several times, and/or much more frequently than what's normal for her? If so, you will want to have her checked by your vet, to be sure she doesn't have anything going on, like an infection. 


One last thing. You might also find it helpful to take a look at our entire house training resource section here for responses to other people who've written to us with questions on the subject of house training problems. 


We hope this helps!  If you feel that you need more help, please contact us for details on an in-home private consultation.

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