I have an Ask Anne page where people can ask questions. Here is one such question.

I have a 14-month-old Blenheim male Cavalier.

He goes outside when I take him, but he’s still having accidents in the house, too. I have an open plan downstairs so it is impossible to close off one room for him. He only goes on the carpeted floor, not the hardwood. He is crate trained and won’t have an accident in his crate. I am at my wit’s end!

He also marks on chair legs. Help! We tried the bells, but he constantly used them whenever he wanted to go outside just to play. He was always ringing them so I finally took them down. I can’t trust him outside by himself because he eats everything and I don’t always have the ability to go outside with him. When he potties it is always on the leash.


  1. Heronbank

    August 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm (UTC 1) | Delete | Spam | (Edit comment)


    Hi Nancy

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    House training can be a problem in older dogs.

    Firstly it might be wise to get him checked out by a vet just in case there is an infection or a physiological problem.

    He certainly should be able to go 6-8 hours without using his toilet. Try taking him a long walk after his dinner to see if that will help. If you observe his body language he should tell you when he needs to “go” and you should immediately accompany him and encourage him, using the word he was trained to associate with toileting from puppy-hood.

    Is he castrated? if not, then I would think that he may be scent marking his territory to attract bitches. Castration should go some way to fixing the problem.

    Do let me know how you get on


    1. Nancy Campbell

      August 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm (UTC 1) | Delete | Spam | (Edit comment)


      Yes, he is castrated. He marks a lot on walks as well. He has no physiological problems that I am aware of…he just seems not to want to hold it while he is loose in the house. He also does not want to go outside in bad weather. I’m inclined to think he is just a very stubborn dog! Unfortunately he has had the run of the downstairs and is sometimes out of my sight for a few minutes. I try to follow him, but I don’t always notice when he runs off if I am busy.

      1. Heronbank

        August 13, 2013 at 6:56 am (UTC 1) | Delete | Spam | (Edit comment)


        It might be that there is a slight lingering scent on your carpets / furnishings which keeps drawing him back there. Try a good odour remover, like the one from Simple Solutions. Clean all carpets / furnishings etc with this, according to manufacturers instructions. Once the scent is gone, and if you are vigllant, you should direct him outside.
        Failing this, I would use a good behaviourist.
        … Anne