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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Roger's now 12 weeks old; we bought him 9 days ago and he's been just wonderful. The breeder took him a long way: happy in the crate, sleeps the night (generally), and, until the last 2-3 days, has been examplary on the accidents.

Suddenly, he's started having accidents 1-2 times daily for no apparent reason. He knows to go outside. An hour ago, we were sitting outside for a long time, and no sooner did we come inside than he went under the dining room table and peed.

What are we doing that might make him slip back like this? All thoughts appreciated :)
 

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Dave T
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10,876 Posts
Welcome to the forum. Back to basics. Reinforce correct actions. Chances are his learning is still early, and the habit of going outdoors is not well enough established. I've always liked Jean Donaldson's take on regresions.

"People are terribly mystified by any change in their dog's behavior and go on
a lot with the "why? WHY?" as though there should never be any variability
whatsoever in this living organism's behavior. Training regressions are a
frequent occurrence and no big deal. It is so important to remember that
behavior is always in flux, constantly subjected to whatever contingencies
there are in the environment as well as being influenced by unknown internal
events. In the case of behavior problems, there are three main reasons for
behavior that had seemed to be "fixed" to break down again:
1. Undertraining: the behavior was never that strong in the first place
2. Contingency change: the behavior extinguished or another one was trained
by the owner or environment
3. Failure to generalize: the behavior falls apart in a new location or context
(Karen Pryor's "New Tank Syndrome")
These three reasons are really variations on the same theme, undertraining. It
is extremely difficult in a real-life setting to reinforce enough trials to get the
response strength most people expect (i.e., perfection for life). It is also hard
to keep on top of changing circumstances to maintain training and get
responses generalized across new contexts."
 

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Good luck with your training! It seems like Roger got a good start from the breeder but in a new place a slight regression is no surprise. Just continue his training and he will be fine - he's only twelve weeks old - he's doing great!
 

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I know it is frustrating :frusty: . Maya will do the same thing. She knows to go outside, but if I don't hear her ring the bell. she will leave me a present by the door. Once she is completely trained with no accidents, the carpets are going to get cleaned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi folks - thanks so much for the welcome and the good advice. The two takeaways: (1) don't be put off by setbacks; that's not a bad attitude to adopt to things in general ;-) and; (2) just keep training/reinforcing. I think there's some chance that we let our guards down a bit. The first week, every time he moved, we jumped. Therefore, no issues. This week? Perhaps we're getting a little lazier, or exhibiting undue confidence this early in the game. We'll tighten up our act. Thanks again! We look forward to participating in the forum.

Roger is the perfect little guy for us; we'll get it right.
 

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Welcome to the forum - don't forget - we love pictures!

As Kathie said - he's only 12 weeks - he's still such a small baby....just keep working with him - it takes awhile (or at least Panda did). We had at least 3 setbacks until at around 10 months she was reliable (then not 100%). She's 2 now and is 100% - only if I miss her cues do we end up with a mess.

Good luck with your new baby...
 

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Such a baby, it will take him months to get this right. Pup is still getting his bladder muscles stronger each day.
Henry took a full 12 months to train.
Welcome Roger! (we need pics)
 

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Roshi's housekeeper
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I agree. I made a graph of Roshi's daily accident free rate, and it looks like the stock market! LOL!!! (I know, it's geeky, but hey... I'm an engineer!) The longest he went was 5 days accident free and he's 4.5 months. I'm just glad that his brain-bladder connection finally clicked. However, he still gets distracted by his toys on his way to the door... and then his brain probably went, "oh yeah, I was heading out to potty, but forgot, I'll just squat now". Sigh.
 

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Potty training is one of the biggest challenges with Havs. I've said this a couple of times on different threads but from my experience, and what I've read about from others, the brain-bladder connection happens around 6 months with extended accident free times around 7 months. Now I'm not calling Havs "slow" but when it comes to potty training they're just not too "bright". I often tell Eli it's a good thing he's so gorgeous because he lucked out a little in the brains department. (Don't let DH hear me say that because he thinks Eli is brilliant, just like the rest of his children.):pound:

Eli is 13 months and we still have very occasional accidents if I'm not completely dilligent. That means walking up about the same time every day to take him on his first walk (btw 6:30 - 7:00 AM), walking him about every 4 hours (even though he can hold it longer when necessary), and cutting off water between 7:00 - 8:00 PM depending on when he last ate. There are days I have to travel for work and DH drives home from work a time or two during the day when he can.

I think to minimize accidents it's good for Ninja to have a safe place to "go" in the house. DH wanted Eli to be totally and completely outdoor trained which in retrospect has proven to be a problem. If it's not too late, I would consider training Ninja to do both. I've ordered a PetZoom (?) in the hopes that I can teach Eli to use it when we're not home. He goes potty on astroturf so I hope he gets it when it arrives.
 
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