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Housetraining issues

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by MorganBarrie, Apr 20, 2017.


  1. MorganBarrie

    MorganBarrie PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,

    We are at our wits end and any help would be greatly appreciated. We have a 2 year old cross-breed bitch (springer, collie, some sort of terrier and possibly something else in there, basically she's a terrier sized collie/springer looking dog) who became housetrained fine when we got her at 8 weeks, took her a few months but she got there. Since then she has had infrequent but regular accidents (maybe once a week or fortnight), only ever at night.

    About a month ago this changed to happening every night, she always used the kitchen floor (tiled) so we tried closing the door so she couldn't access this regular spot out of habit and she switched to weeing on the carpet in the living room instead. At this point we took her to the vets and she does not have any bladder or urinary tract issues so we can rule that out, purely down to training/behavior.

    So... we decided it was back to square one and try to retrain her throughout the night as if it was the first time again, (completely cleaned both carpet and kitchen floor to remove smells too in case they were attracting her back). Up at 1am, then 2am to see how early she was going, idea being to then move the time later through the night as she got used to waiting to go out again properly. We did find she would sneak down as soon as we were asleep and so stayed awake a bit after all lights out to wait to hear her starting to go downstairs, called her back and she happily comes back to her bed in the bedroom, it went OK for a couple of nights once we got the timing right before her regular night-time accidents(around 2am) taking her out but then before we got to moving the time later it's gone all to hell, now (about week and a half into the retraining and not one unbroken night's sleep) we're finding she's going for a wee before we get up to take her out, is coming out and having a wee outside as she should, then having multiple wees and occasionally poos again before we get up. This is much worse now than it was before we tried taking her out again, as although regular her accidents had been one little wee a night, almost like she was going for a 'try' out of habit.

    We are praising her when she wees outside and not telling her off for accidents (we did used to when she was a pup but after lots of advice not to do this we have stopped) and the main issue we come up against is....the crate. She was never crate trained and although I know it's suggested for adult dogs as well as puppies and it makes sense for rescue dogs or dogs in a new home, but as she has never been put in a crate and is still in the house with the same people it just seems to us like it really wouldn't work all of a sudden putting her in a crate overnight. Our house is open-plan even the one bedroom just opens up off the stairs so the only doors are to the kitchen and bathroom which both get very cold at night, ruling out the option to close her in one room.

    Her routine hasn't changed (apart from now getting up at night to take her out) no change in diet, no new animals or people, no urine infections. We really don't know what to try next or why she is now weeing more through the night now we're getting up to let her out. It seems like she just isn't associating the fact that we let her out to have a wee with the idea she shouldn't go in the house, and even that maybe now we are getting up and encouraging her to wee outside making her think that wees at night are now 'OK'? She has never wee'd in the house during the day and from the past when she was doing alright we know she can make it through the night (so not just tiny bladder or anything, she can do it she just isn't!)

    Any thoughts/ideas/help on how we can continue trying to re-train her without a crate would be so, so greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Is she spayed? To be honest this doesn't sound normal and if she were my bitch I would want a second opinion.
     
  3. MorganBarrie

    MorganBarrie PetForums Newbie

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    she is spayed, I don't know if it's down to us having been lax on the fairly regular accidents beforehand and now it's just stuck which is entirely our fault, it's just getting tricky to fix. The only other thing I din't think to mention is we have 2 cats too (they all get along and were in the house when we got her) but because of that we always have water down, so our next step will be trying taking that up in the evenings. Didn't like the idea of taking water away but running out of ideas.
     
  4. MorganBarrie

    MorganBarrie PetForums Newbie

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    also, when we started closing the door to the kitchen I forgot to say she did then go for several nights with no accidents before switching to weeing on the floor in the living room, so it reinforced the idea it's habit based rather than need.
     
  5. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I would never take water away. It's down 24/7 for my dogs. How long ago was your bitch spayed?
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  6. MorganBarrie

    MorganBarrie PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    that's what we thought would much rather keep it down. She was spayed at just under 1 year after her first heat
     
  7. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Well I'm not a vet but it sounds very like spay incontinence to me and I would want a second opinion. If it is then it's fairly easily treated with Incurin or Propalin.
     
    Magyarmum likes this.
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