Going potty in house

Posted by Blackdog
Aug 28, 2008
We have a 2-3 year Terrier mix. About 20-24 lbs. She was house broken early and has done very very good with this issue. We started by taking her outside every hour or two, giving her ample opportunites to go to the bathroom outside, lots of praise and treats, which she quickly adapted to.

She knows what "go potty" means. We only caught her in the act in the house about 4 times when she was young and there were a few other times we did not catch her in the act but found the evidence. Overall, she has
been truely wonderful about this.

Initially she was gated in our laundry room while still a puppy and eventually earned our trust in being allowed to have the house to herself while we are away at work or for short trips. She has been a truely remarkable dog for us.

The problem is now, all of a sudden it seems, she started going
to the bathroom in our spare bedrooms (never in the living room).
I assume some how when we took her out for potty time in the morning,
she didn't feel the need to go (I guess), but later that morning while we were at work and not there, felt she just had to go and could not hold it. It has happened several times now. It has been such a long time ago now, but she did this also by using the basement to go potty in when ever she was down there. Then I did catch her (properly scolded and took outside) and she hasn't done it since. Now, months and months (maybe close to a year ago) it is happening in the upstairs bedrooms.

In the mornings, my wife always takes her out before she goes to work, and about an hour, I take her out before I go to work. This morning, she did go potty for my wife (a bowel movement) and did not go when I took her out. However, I stepped into a puddle of pee on our tile floor just outside one bedroom (no wonder she didn't need to go!) as I was about ready to leave this morning. She must have went since my wife left and I got up.

We continue to take her out frequently when we are home. Most times she will let you know she has to go, but it may not be much of an attention getter action, like licking you or just comming up to you. She is famous for staring at you - no barking, just patiently staring at you. When you mention going potty, she runs to the door. We will usually take her outside right then, occasionally we miss the clue thinking she just wanted petted) and find later that she went without our knowledge.

Not sure why the continued habit of wanting to go to the bathroom in the house when given ample times to go outside. What can we do beside gating her in the laundry room again?

PS. We tried the bell on the door, but she was always so good about letting us know and we also keep taking her out many times, that we felt we didn't have to enforce the use of the bell and that alone certainly can not be the 'reason' why we are all of a sudden seeing the behavior.

PS. It has been a week since the above post and she has not gone potty in the house - we closed the doors to the bedrooms. Do we treat this a a fluke - as in she just needed to releive herself and could not wait? I am terrified she will learn it is OK to go in the house (because we are not there to catch her) and start doing it more and more. Being a small dog we know she can not hold for long, but she has done extremely well so far for us (we are gone for 8 hrs while at work).
Posted by Jlmyers72
Aug 29, 2008
Have you taken her to the vet to be checked for a bladder infection? I've owned several dogs, and usually when an animal is house broken for a long time and they start going in the house again, there is usually some sort of underlying infection.
Posted by Blackdog
Sep 2, 2008
Just to update you.

We definetely were considering a trip to the Vet but the behavior has not continued. It has been two weeks and no reoccurance. We do watch her very closely and continue frequent potty trips, and happy to report that it has not happened since. Just those couple of times. So she went months and months being perfect with going potty, and two or three times releived herself (we think for just a couple of days) in the bedrooms and now, over two weeks later, with no problems.

We are thinking she just didn't need to go when taken outside but later 'discovered' she had to go. We were afraid she would start doing this more and more as in learning it is ok to do it.