House Training Your Puppy: Did He Forget What He Learned?

If you’re puzzling over your dog’s behavior when house training your puppy, you’re not alone. Many owners are baffled that a trained dog seems to forget what he learned.

Do puppies forget their training? Do they disobey for some reason? Or is setbacks part of the process?

Let’s go over these issues to see why house training your puppy might not stick the first time.

When a trained puppy suddenly becomes untrained, there are some things to look at that can either contribute to it or cause it.

Training your puppy has to be consistent, even after he has learned to relieve himself outdoors. At a young age, it’s easy for him to slip back but you’ll want to be sure there aren’t any physical problems.

Your puppy could have a medical problem that is affecting his ability to hold on until he gets outdoors. He might not even realize he is relieving himself, although that is not the usual case. A visit to the vet will soon reveal any issues that need to be corrected, such as infections.

Once your puppy was house trained, did you pay less attention to him? It’s common for owners to go about their business, basically ignoring the dog and expecting him to let them know he has to go out.

Pet owners overlook or miss the signals, leaving the dog to his own means. Since he cannot let himself out, he is left with only one choice – to go indoors. For about a month following the training, continue to keep an eye on the puppy.

Has your puppy been exposed to a stressful situation or an event that left him feeling insecure? If a new pet is brought into the home, your puppy could feel that he is being replaced, especially if you pay more attention to the newcomer.

The same is true if a new baby arrives. His “accidents” are not because he has forgotten his house training. It’s his way of establishing his territory. If this is the cause, he will urine in different places. If he simply needs to relieve himself, you will be more likely to find a puddle or a trail.

House Puppy Training – Again?

Once a puppy starts relieving himself indoors, whether because of a medical condition or a breakdown in training, you will have to house train him again. Fortunately, it’s usually easier the second time around because he already obeyed once. You know he can be trained.

This will work for adult dogs, too.

Confine him to the kitchen or a place where his accidents can be cleaned up easily. Make sure he has his bed, food and water. At regular intervals of about every hour or so, take him outdoors and encourage him to relieve himself.

If he does not, it’s likely he just isn’t ready. Give him 5-10 minutes and then bring him back indoors. Repeat every hour until he does eliminate outdoors. Be sure to praise him for doing well. Give him a special treat, if you like.

You will have to continue with this retraining for a week or so until he begins asking to go out.

Puppy house training can be a little confusing at times, but remember that with patience and consistency, you can have an obedient dog again.