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Housetraining Relapse After Long Road Trip?

1341 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cinsmom
Hi, Everyone. Molly (9 mo) and I made our cross-country drive in June with seemingly few problems. She did not like doing her business while on the road, and despite very frequent and often lengthy stops , she "held it" for long periods of time. Fortunately, we made a week-long pit stop in the middle of our journey, where she spent a good deal of her time outdoors swimming and running around with other dogs. She was outside off lead for several hours a day every day (sleeping indoors at night), but now we are at my parents' house, and she seems to have completely forgotten that she does her business outside. She's had several accidents in the house, when she'd been completely housetrained since February. Has anyone else had this experience? This has been a totally unexpected development, and a frustrating one, to say the least. Now, when I take her out, I end up standing around for 30 minutes at a time, often without success. She just won't go! Would one week of 'roughing' it really screw up her entire schedule? I'm bummed to say that she's spending a lot of time in her crate now, because I can't trust her not to make a mess.
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I wonder whether Molly just doesn't see your parents' house as part of her generalized "den," where it's not acceptable to soil. The long periods outside during the week's travel break may also have confused her. Do you have something you say to encourage her to do her business? We always teach our dogs what "Go piddle!" means by praising them with "Good piddle!" when they go, or "Good hurry up!" when they have a bowel movement. I have to say that that didn't help when we left our dog at my son's because we were going to France for two weeks. She was so traumatized that she wouldn't go no matter what was said to her. But I think you're on the right track to crate her and then let her out, use some trigger word or phrase for her to associate with relieving herself, and gradually retrain her. How frustrating this must be for you!

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We had a similar issue when we traveled cross country to visit my mom in June. Dante had two accidents in the house the very first day. I discovered part of the problem was that he was so curious about all the new smells and such outdoors that he was forgetting to go potty when I let him out. He has an established potty spot at home and it took him some time to decide where he wanted to go at my moms.

The other thing I was guessing is that at some point in the past a dog had went on the carpet in the house and it wan't cleaned up properly so Dante could still detect the scent and thought it was okay.

I went back to taking him out on a leash, telling him to go and giving him a really yummy treat when he did. This took care of the problem quickly as he hadn't got treats for going potty in a long while and was all to eager to do whatever it took to get the treat. Since he was on leash it wasn't so easy for him to get distracted and wander around chasing smells.

Good Luck!

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I am also wondering if it's their age and a stage??? there was a similar post just recently here about this. Max regressed at one point but at 12mos old he always lets us know when he has to relieve himself.

he was about 8.5 or 9mos old when he had his few accidents in the past. and we'll see if Peanut (7mos old now) does the same in the next month or two.

I do know travelling though does change a dogs schedule smells and such so sometimes they react with accidents. i wonder if they get confused?

OH at one point when Max regressed we had to do the same thing: crate him at times and/or tether him to us. he got the hint quickly. hhahahaa
The first time we took Cinnamon for a trip to my son's house she did that. We figured out that if we played with her while she was outside she would relax and go. We got into a routine then and it was fine.

We did bring the crate for when we went out without her.

She would also hold it the whole trip - 10 hours at a time! She's better now that she's a seasoned traveler. And we know to spend the welcoming first few minutes with her outside. Also in a new house they don't know the proper signal to give. Which door to go to, which person to ask, and what are those strange noises outside!

Now that she's older and has traveled many miles in the car with us we know her signals and she knows what to expect. Most of the time!
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