Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Housetraining Problems

A dog owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is frustrated with pottytraining the puppy.


Q. I am so thankful to be able to ask this question to someone I know will have an answer, finally!

We got a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Labor Day weekend. She is now 6 months old. We also have a 3-year-old Golden Retriever. Both dogs love one another very much!

We have done everything we can think of to potty train Delilah! She still picks her spots to soil, which are anywhere and everywhere. I've actually seen her squat and pee on a throw on the couch with my husband under it.

She does not seem to get it. We do not allow her to play when it’s potty time. We reward her with a treat when she goes outside, then praise her loudly. We have started showing her the poop or pee, chastising her loudly, and putting her in her cage for a few minutes. Nothing seems to work. Yes, we are consistent, and no, she does not have any health problems and has been spayed. Please tell us what to do. We are in our 60s and don't think we can keep this up! We love her so very much!

A. Cavaliers are not particularly difficult to housetrain, but it sounds like you’re using her crate as punishment rather than as a training aid. If she is picking spots indoors to pee and poop – including the throw on the couch – then she is not understanding what you want her to do.

Keep your Cavalier King Charles puppy confined to a crate for meals and naps, then take her out immediately on a leash – pick her up and carry her if you think walking her in the house will prompt her to relieve herself indoors. Take her to the same place outdoors and stand still, using a command word to encourage her. She should eventually get bored and relieve herself. Then give her lots of praise, a little walk as a reward, and limited freedom in the house, under supervision. Too many owners walk the dog hoping it will eliminate, and as soon as the dog does, the walk is over, and the dog is brought indoors. Not much incentive to eliminate quickly and lose out on the reward (walk). That explains dogs that get a long walk, do nothing, and then promptly eliminate once inside.

If Delilah does not relieve herself outdoors, then it’s back in the crate and out again in another hour or two.

Your Cavalier should be fed at regular intervals, breakfast and dinner, and crated at bedtime (with the crate in your bedroom so she gets accustomed to your sleeping schedule).

She can’t have the same privileges as your adult Golden until she is housetrained. No free run of the house. Use the crate and a baby gate until she is housetrained and trustworthy.


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Sue   Mesa, Arizona

1/23/2013 6:23:31 AM

I hope that I am not understanding what Peter has said about his house training methods and sincerely hope that it was not the dog that he slammed against the wall. It is shocking that someone would write

Our cavaliers are 5 & 6 months. We go outside for "hurry". The little one still has an accident from time to time, they are puppies, but over all kind and consistent ac tions do result in a well trained dog. Yelling, and otherwise scaring the dog does not work.

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Peter   International

1/18/2013 4:04:50 PM

I had a 6 months old and it was driving me crazy with eliminating inside the house, I slamm it against the wall and the excrement stained my wall. I left what evet was left of him in the floor for a week until it was dry and hard.

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Laurie   Long beach, California

10/8/2012 9:58:27 PM

I have a 13 week old trying to house train him. It's hard. He does not like going on grass in my tiny little strip of a yard. He is is in crate at night does great but going poop on on grass hard pee good. Making me nuts. They r such great dogs

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Cheryl   Port St. Lucie, Florida

9/11/2012 3:46:19 PM

I have a 6 month old male Cavalier that we adopted at 12 weeks. He was not trained when we got him. We use the kennel for training and he was trained within 3 days, As much as you want to let them run and play it is very important to stand firm and keep them in the kennel. They will not pee or poop where they sleep! He has had a few "accident's" and that was due to severe weather (Tropical Storm Isaac) and because I wasn't paying attention when he was at the door. I also have a string of bells on the door that we trained him to pull on when he wants

They key to kennel training is to take them outside the moment you let them out of it and praise them and give a treat when they do their business. Then it is back into the kennel unless you are going to be giving them your undivided attention. When you can't do that then it is back into the kennel. Cavaliers are smart and they are very easy to train in just a few days. Puppies get in trouble when they are left free to roam around - that's your "bad" not theirs if they mess up.

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