Toilet-training adult KCC Spaniel: Alone all day

Posted by elipsett
Nov 20, 2009
We have two KCC spaniels, both 3-year old spayed females. They aren't related but have been together since puppies, and get along excellently at all times.

The older (only a 3-month difference in ages) appears to be "in charge" judging from the way she always ends up with the toys, but the younger usually gets to any food first and gobbles it down. The losing dog is never upset in either situation.

We walk the dogs at 7:00 for at least 30 minutes, feed them, and then leave them to run free in a fairly large area (two 9x12 rooms connected) with an open dog cage. Inside the cage are two "poop trays" with absorbent paper liners. Outside the cage are dog beds, which they frequently use.

We leave out water but no food. The dogs are alone here from 8:30 until about 17:30 weekdays, when we feed and walk them again. Not surprisingly they often can't hold it that long. The younger dog urinates properly in the trays. The older dog was not completely trained, and while she understands she is supposed to urinate somewhere in that area, she usually misses the paper.

Since we aren't home, it's impossible to praise her when she does it right...
which often means we get to clean it up, which is lots of fun after a hard day at work.

Any suggestions on how we might be able to convince her to start using the urination trays?
Posted by kjd
Nov 20, 2009
Since she gets it in the area of the tray, why not cover the cage floor with papers. Then all you have to do is roll up the papers and throw them away. (Or line the cage completely with the absorbent papers.) I gather from what you said that she thinks the cage IS the toilet, while the younger dog realizes it is only the tray.

It is also possible that neither dog likes to stand on wet paper and the urinating outside the trays is done by both dogs once the trays are wet.
Posted by elipsett
Nov 20, 2009
Thanks, KJD.

Hmm. The cage, as I called it, is actually an enclosure about a square meter in size. We've never papered the entire floor, but we HAVE tried placing additional paper in the areas where she likes to urinate. She either avoids the paper and goes somewhere else, or manages to urinate right on the edge so it seeps in under the paper. That's a lot of fun, too!
We can't paper that whole area every day, but it might be worth trying for a while to see if she can figure out that urinating ON the paper is acceptable.
(I'm not entirely convinced she understands that just because her front legs are on the paper, her rear may not be... sometimes I think she just urinates where she can see the paper under her nose without checking to see what's under the rest of her...)

As far as both trays being wet, that almost never happens. The younger dog wets one tray, and the other is almost never used.
Posted by elipsett
Nov 21, 2009
Hey, you're in Rockville!
I grew up in Bethesda, and went to WJ!
Wow, small world!