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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
We have an 8 month old corgi female puppy named Domino. She is spayed and seemed like she was doing well with her potty training for a while. But recently it seems like she’s backsliding. My husband and I are gone between 9-12 hours for work depending on the day, so we had left puppy pads out for accidents during the day. Half the time she will use them and other times she just messes in the general area of where the pads are leaving a giant clean up job for whoever gets home first. We had gotten to the point where she would pee and poop outside before I left for work, would have maybe one pee on a puppy pad, but held the poop for after we got home and got her outside. Late afternoon and evening potty breaks seemed to be on schedule too.
But now, she’s refusing to go when I bring her out for the pre-work potty break (and yes, she’s on a lead for that) and having accidents in the house as soon as I leave (aid have to be out the door by 7 or I’m late so there’s a limit to how long I can wait with her). My husband is usually out the door about 15 minutes after me, so he cleans it up, puts down fresh pads and leaves. I’m usually first home and instead of one small puddle it’s a massive mess where she’s stepped in and tracked poop around and the pee got picked up and channeled through the grout of our tile floors.
For afternoon and evening potty breaks we had a set schedule that was working but all of a sudden it seems like we’re always five minutes too late and she’s had another accident. We are at a loss. Does anyone have any advice?
 

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Puppies will regress sometimes, they are still learning and trying to figure things out. They also will go through stages where they will be defiant just like children are known to have the "terrible twos" or teenage rebellion.

Your puppy might be lonely, those hours are a really long time for Domino to be all alone. Perhaps you can find out if there is a dog/puppy service in your area that could come and let Domino out late morning, maybe play with her a bit, and again later in the afternoon?
Or a neighbour, friend, family member who could check in?
Another option would be to find a doggy daycare, or someone where you could drop Domino off for the day.

When we first got Toby, we had made a puppy den in the bathroom for him. We had removed anything that could be a hazard to him, set up his crate as a safe place to go in and piddle pads in the corner. The first time it went very well, we were gone for about 1.5 hours to do our shopping. The second time we had left him for about 4 hours while we went to a birthday party at a restaurant and when we got back home the little guy was frantic, exhausted and needed a bath because he had made a humongous mess. He was about 12 weeks old then. We decided to crate him from then on always when we would go somewhere. He is crated at night and loves his crate, so that makes it easier! However, I would not recommend to crate Domino all day, especially if no one can give her a break from the crate during such a long day.
 

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That's way too long to leave a puppy alone. Of course you will get accidents, and if you're not home to actually train your puppy to pee and poop outside frequently, it's not going to get better.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Domino is home during the day with our 7 year old dog, Dixie. We have looked into local daycares and the cost would be prohibitively expensive. My husband is also very uncomfortable with having a service come to the house when we’re not home for potty breaks. We’ve heard some local horror stories about dogs being stolen or lost or houses burgled. I guess we’re just stuck with accidents until my summer vacation (I’m a teacher) and can work with her more.
 

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Domino is home during the day with our 7 year old dog, Dixie. We have looked into local daycares and the cost would be prohibitively expensive. My husband is also very uncomfortable with having a service come to the house when we’re not home for potty breaks. We’ve heard some local horror stories about dogs being stolen or lost or houses burgled. I guess we’re just stuck with accidents until my summer vacation (I’m a teacher) and can work with her more.
Oh wow, that's scary! I wonder though if your vet might know of a trustworthy dog walker.
At least Domino is not completely alone with Dixie keeping her company. :)
Have you considered setting up a camera? My son has set up three of those to be able to check in on their pups. I too can view them via my cell phone, and I could drive over to their house should it be necessary. We can even talk to the pups over a speaker. They mostly snuggle together in their Snoozer bed, or keep a look-out through the living room window.
 

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Limit your puppy's space...and change up your routine to help with potty issues

Hi. Are you letting Domino have free range of the house while you are gone? Or is she in a small safe cozy room or area?

Can you make her area smaller? That may help.

Just make sure to train her that going to her own "room" is highly rewarding by giving her praise for going there coupled with ultra yummy treats, safe chewies, fun safe dog toys, etc
. Make it a fun game by saying "Domino go to your room!" in a super happy playful voice and then reward, reward, reward!!! That is how I trained my Puma pup to love going to her special areas.

I don't let my Puma puppy loose in our house (or my shop) when I am gone. She stays in a nice cozy baby gated portion of my kitchen with a soft bed and a huge comforter. She is potty trained completely with no issues....but still she is young and can get into stuff so it is safer for her in there. Plus it keeps her separated from my other two dogs while I can not watch them and monitor their interactions.

I initially crate trained her and that made potty time super easy. But now that she is 54 lbs I prefer her to stay in her room. Even when she comes to work with me daily she stays in her other lil cozy room at our shop when we aren't together.

Possibly sounds like Domino isn't going potty outside with you in the morning because she has learned to associate that action with you leaving her
. Stress, anxiety, worry about you being gone. You guys do have long work hours, especially hard for a young pup. Having a pup and working a lot can be hard, right? I know because I work long hours too sometimes. I am incredibly lucky that I can bring Puma pup to work. Most of us do not have that option.

So maybe, change up your morning pattern a bit. That may really help you guys! So for example, if you are letting Miss Domino out right before you leave for work, then change that, and let her out 1/2 hour earlier. Do the potty trip, then give her some yummy treats for going to her doggie bed. Or give her a bully stick to chomp on to relieve stress and distract her from your eventual leaving. When you actually leave, toss her a few treats to give her a better association of you leaving.

He brain is saying Morning Potty Time Outside=Mom Leaving Asap. :(

Try to change that (stressful) mindset/association....and you may have better results.
 

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Check your reaction to seeing your dog's potty mess

Just thought of something else....

Also, what is your response to her when you find a potty mess? I am sure it is beyond frustrating to constantly have to be cleaning potty messes. I have to do that with one of my older cats who has a lot of age/medical/vision issues. But as frustrated and exhausted as I am when I have to come home and start cleaning the yucky mess, I never ever get mad or angry with her because I know it is not her fault. (Heck she probably hates the gross mess too!!)

Anyway, I would think about and analyze your initial reaction to the potty mess when you come home.
If you are getting mad at her or punishing her or are just visibly upset, she will read that and it could affect the rest of her potty progress.

Dogs are very sensitive to our emotions, especially unhappy ones. She may know you are upset, but not know why exactly. Confusing to a dog.

Correcting a dog is only applicable if you catch the dog in the moment he/she is making the potty error. Correcting after the fact only confuses the dog. Gotta catch them in the moment to be effective. (And yelling at them in the moment can scare them as we all know, so be gentle about it, for best results!)

For me, if my dogs ever have an indoor accident from me working too long (beyond the time they can hold it) I say to myself it is all my fault. It does happen occasionally, that is life, but I will never punish my dogs for this. I should have been home or made other arrangements. I know this is not always possible in life, but I can't even let my dogs think I am upset with them in these cases.

I am betting you are not punishing your pup for the potty errors, but it would be only natural to be frustrated at the clean up. So maybe be extra cautious how you appear to her when you see the mess.

Dogs that are afraid to potty for fear of disappointing their owners or getting "in trouble" tend to potty in the wrong places....

Just something to think about. Sorry for your potty troubles. I hope it gets better for you guys.
 

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Just thought of something else....



For me, if my dogs ever have an indoor accident from me working too long (beyond the time they can hold it) I say to myself it is all my fault.
I love this! :) That is exactly the change I made in my thinking too! A dog is just doing dog things, it is my job to manage and control situations to ensure successful days for them!
 

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"Operator Error" and my Flea Market Failure with Puma pup!

I love this! :) That is exactly the change I made in my thinking too! A dog is just doing dog things, it is my job to manage and control situations to ensure successful days for them!
YES! YES! YES! My philosophy exactly!!

When my dogs don't do what they are "supposed to" do, I always ask myself if it is "OPERATOR ERROR" meaning what did I do wrong in this particular situation?

Reminds me of this story with my Puma pup:

One Sunday we took Puma pup to a new outdoor flea market for the first time. Very busy, super loud, highly overstimulating, tons of food smells, kids running a muck, new people everywhere, omg the works....

Her listening skills were basically ZERO!!! She was pulling me like crazy. Could not even take a high value treat. Not interested. Just wanted to pull me all over the flea market like a completely untrained dog. Wow! I was shocked since all other public places she acts like a well trained service dog. What was going on here?

I was not happy, to say the least. Ok, and to be truthful, pretty embarrassed. I am not used to this at all. :(

We left after a bit. I was totally depressed by this point. Not mad, just depressed. I felt like a total failure as a trainer... and as a dog mom.

But-----then right after flea market failure, I took her into a Burlington store where we have gone before. We regularly visit stores together for fun, socialization, and training.

Puma did A+++++++. Like normal. We got compliments on her great manners!! We even had a lady ask me for training help with her dog. (Like usual when Puma and I go out together)

So--what was up with flea market failure???????

I thought hard about it---it was my fault. She was not ready for that much stimulation. Had no idea how to handle it since it was a first for her. I set her up for failure. even though I had no idea going in. It was pretty crazy there....

Anyway, we learn from our mistakes... and then go work on them:)

PS. Before anyone gets amiss, Puma is NOT a service dog. But I like to train her in that style so that we can have fantastic manners in public!
 
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