Great question! It could be because they are young. It could be because they are old! It could be because it is raining outside, or because the weather is too cold. While we can't pinpoint why your dog is going inside, we can provide some great tips to help you take things in stride!:
- Establish a regular potty schedule: Take your dog out to the designated potty area at the same times every day.
- Positive reinforcement: Reward your dog with treats and praise when they go potty outside in the designated area. It is a great idea to keep a bag of treats tied to your leash or in your winter jacket so they are always on hand.
- Negative reinforcement: We are not fans of super strict negative reinforcement -- here at Kingboy we believe that most behaviors can be taught with positive reinforcement only! That said, our dogs are not very well trained (hence the need for accident-proof dog beds!). If you do want to scold your dog for an accident, it needs to be done IMMEDIATELY, like before they are done having the accident. Otherwise, your dog will truly have no idea why they are being scolded. Sticking a dog's nose in its pee/poop even minutes later has been shown to be ineffective as a training tool.
- Accident cleanup: Clean up any accidents promptly to remove the scent and discourage your dog from going in that spot again. Check out specialty pet urine cleaners that do a great job of this.
- Consider using a bell or other noise-making device to train your dog to signal when they need to go outside. Many dogs, particularly those who are used to going outside, will demonstrate a change in behavior (ie, sitting near the door, scratching the door, sitting next to you and shaking), so if you can learn to catch this you and your dog can work together to make accidents less frequent.
- If you are struggling with a senior dog who is no longer able to hold their urine well indoors, join the club! We have found that reusable diapers work particularly well for male dogs, and are an easy way to prevent messes from smaller accidents that could be due to loss of bladder control or other medical issues.
- If your dog is drinking more water and having accidents in a way that is completely out of character with their behavior, go to a vet! Serious diseases, such as Cushings Disease, can cause pets to become incontinent.
- Crate training: A crate can be a helpful tool for preventing indoor accidents as it provides a designated space for your dog to hold their bladder. Some dogs and their owners like crates, while others prefer to let their dogs roam free. If your dog whines and scratches the crate door, we think it is telling you it does not like its crate :)