Suddenly he hates going outside....
(Bonney Lake, Wa)
My name is Gizzy :)
We have a 9 month old english toy spaniel cocker spaniel mix. He is a wonderful little guy and has been potty trained for months now.
This last week however, he doesn't want to go outside. It has been a lot colder lately which is what we were thinking he didn't like. But even when we make him go out, he won't always go to the bathroom. Then he ends up going in the house within an hour.
Last night right before bed he sat by the door like he does when he wants out, we took him out and he didnt' do anything. Then sometime in the night he peed on our bed and pooped on the carpet. This is so frustrating becuase he's been so good about letting us know when he needs out. Its a possibility that he whined and we were both sleeping, but since we've had him one of us has always woken up if he makes noise if not both of us so i can't imagine that we both slept through it. So i'm thinking he didn't even whine.
What would cause him to suddenly start peeing inside after 4-5 months of no accidents?
Your pup (and you) did very well to have him so successfully potty trained early. It's not unusual for a pup to have a few periods of 'regression' during his development. Especially during adolescence.
If you just 'go back to basics' with him during these periods, they are normally short lived. As this coincides with the colder weather, I would guess that your pup is reacting to that as well. He may be distracted by the fact he's cold and not want to take the time to eliminate.
Obviously he's small and you don't want to force him to stay out until he's freezing, but do keep him out there and try to get him to 'focus' as much as possible during potty breaks. I would also recommend getting a crate and using it to contain him for a short while if he's been outside but hasn't 'done his business'. After 15 mins or so, take him back outside again, and repeat this process until he 'goes'. Then he can have free time in the house.
If you haven't used a crate before, check out my Crate Training page for information on this method. You could also use the crate at night until he's back on track. As Gizzy won't want to mess in his crate, he should hold it until you take him outside.
I think if you're consistent and patient with this 'stage', and make sure you limit the opportunities he has to eliminate indoors by using the crate, you'll find he'll soon return to his well-trained habits.
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