Hi, we have a lovely 9 month old golden who we actually got from the shelter we volunteer at. He's taken quite well to training and is by and large accustomed to doing his business in the proper spot in the yard. We have occassional relapses, however, and I'm looking for advice on how best to handle them.
Our typical routine is that he goes out first thing in the morning, eats, gets a short walk, goes out again and then either goes to doggie daycare two or three days a week or goes down to the basement office until mid-day, when I make the long trip back home from work to let him out, go for a walk and toss the ball around in the yard. He gets a pit stop when we get home, usually a walk after dinner (although we sometimes get home so late this doesn't happen) and either a pit stop or a short walk before bed. We usually withhold water from him no more than one to two hours before bedtime.
He's stayed home this week, and everything's been okay until a couple of days ago when I wasn't able to get home and he peed on the carpet. That's on us ... he was in there for 9 hours and that's too long for him to hold it during the day, I know.
Yesterday, he tore up some continuous loop carpet, but again, he was likely bored with nothing to do and noone to interact with. Again, on us.
This morning is a little more baffling. I had to leave early for work. My wife took him out for a nice walk where he peed and pooped, played with him for a bit and then got to getting ready for work. When she was ironing in the room where the crate is located, he just suddenly got up, looked at her and started peeing. This was well within the tolerance we've established for his post-meal potty break.

He's eliminated on the floor in this room a few times before, months ago, but we had a tarp down so I don't think he was marking, and he's quite good about holding his pee under most circumstances. He often goes three or four hours after his post-dinner outing without needing to go out again, and sleeps uncrated and accident free in the bedroom with us at night, and has for months. I'm thinking he was either trying to get her attention, or he was in some way challenging her. She's not been as actively involved in his training as I have been.

My reaction is to redouble our efforts to praise him after he eliminates outside (he's got one particular toy he's just nuts about I'm thinking of reserving for this purpose), and also to make sure she puts him into a down stay when she's doing something that she can't directly observe him while doing, such as ironing. Does the strategy make sense and do we need to be doing other things?
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Your strategy is a good one. I would add one more step. He needs to have a negative response when he does go to the bathroom. If he goes to the bathroom and your wife just watches or at most frantically tells him to stop he wont form a negative association with going to the bathroom indoors. You have done a great job forming a positive association with going to the bathroom outdoors but it sounds like you haven't formed much of a negative association with going to the bathroom indoors. The key, like you mentioned, is supervision and correcting him with a leash and collar when he does mess up. Good luck.
He's eliminated on the floor in this room a few times before, months ago, but we had a tarp down ... him while doing, such as ironing. Does the strategy make sense and do we need to be doing other things?

I think you're over analyzing a bit. Maybe he just had to go! 9 months is an age where a lot of things can get weird. Totally adolescent. I would suggest that before she needs to be doing something, she takes him out for an elimination-only outing. At 9 months, patterns of eating and elimination may be changing (classic age where food needs to be cut down for a lot of dogs). I don't believe in withholding water BTW - I think it can throw things out of sync.
I would institute 2 things - elimination in the yard prior to the walk and once you get back. I don't allow elimination on walks for a number of reasons, but one is that it makes for a quick outing in the yard to be for that purpose alone. If he pees and poops on a walk, and then walks for 20 more minutes, then comes in, he may very well need to pee before coming in again. Up the outings.

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Janet, thanks for the reply. I should have noted that we do, in fact, stop in the elimination spot in the yard before and after all walks as part of the routine.
As for over-analyzing, sure. I'm no expert here, I may well be. It's just that he'd gone not 15-20 minutes before this happened and hasn't gone in the house recently except that one time a couple of days ago when we weren't able to get back and take care of his needs in a timely fashion.
One more question I'd forgotten to ask previously. I've seen recommendations about getting a dog outside fairly soon after he's played. Is this true only of puppies or for dogs of all ages? Why do they need to pee after playing?
Why do they need to pee after playing?

EXCITEMENT!!
Kinda like laughing so hard you have to pee!
Why do they need to pee after playing?

There's actually a word for pooing and peeing after exercise, but I can't recall it. After their first swim in the river, my dogs often poop.
Basically, a puppy needs to pee often, and play just speeds up the process.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Why do they need to pee after playing?

There's actually a word for pooing and peeing after exercise, but I can't recall it.

Really? Well, I just almost learned something new.

Tara
"TaraG" (Email Removed) said in
There's actually a word for pooing and peeing after exercise, but I can't recall it.

Really? Well, I just almost learned something new.

What can I say? I'm getting old.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Janet, thanks for the reply. I should have noted that we do, in fact, stop in the elimination spot in ... of days ago when we weren't able to get back and take care of his needs in a timely fashion.

I find thay once people have pushed a young, inexperienced dog too far, the relatively new "don't eliminate indoors" rule tends to be temporarily bent (if not broken). Since you had at l;east one instance where you ended up pushing him too far, I'd backtrack a little and go back to monitoring. He may just be confused about the rules, since apparently (to him) there are circumstances when they can be ignored.
One more question I'd forgotten to ask previously. I've seen recommendations about getting a dog outside fairly soon after he's played. Is this true only of puppies or for dogs of all ages? Why do they need to pee after playing?

In all dogs and puppies, the urge to pee is stronger during and after play sessions. However, when they're younger and have less control, its a more urgent need, whereas when they're older and have full control, they may be able to control the need so well that you wouldn't even know it. But its always a good idea to give them potty breaks during, or right after, play sessions no matter what age they are. When ya gotta go...

Tara
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