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My dog is house trained but will go to the bathroom in the house when I am not home. She is crate trained and is fine with no bedding in the crate. If i put bedding she will pee on it. She has also peed in her pet bed where she sleeps a few times. I dong understand this because dogs aren't supposed to go in the place they sleep. I think it is because I don't notice her in the act and she knows she can "get away" with doing so. I would really like to be able to leave her roam of the house when I leave, I hate having her locked up. She is very well behaved other than this, she wont get into any thing when I leave, only pee ( or poop). I do not think it is separation problems, only that when she isn't caught in the act she has learned that she can get away with it.

Answer
Hello Carrie:

You are right that dogs do not normally mess in their sleeping area.
It's a basic rule, however, we do find that dogs that have been left too long, and can hold it no longer, then continue to mess their sleeping area, (in the way of thinking would be that once the rule is broken, no need to follow again), we find this common in rescues.

The other main consideration here is Cleaning, has the spot, bed been cleaned properly with an enzime cleaner that removes the scent the dogs can detect.  If not this then continues as this area/object still smells like a potty area.  The old wives tale of Vinegar, soap, bleach etc do not work to remove the scent dogs can detaect.

Another common cause for messing when owner not around, or going away from owner, when needed to go, is that when caught in the act, the owner has in some way, shown the dog, they do not approve of them going to the bathroom, rather than the fact they dissapprove of where they are going.  Thus the hide the poo, problem.

Yet another consideration is frequency, it could be a sign of an infection of bladder or bowl, so always look into that aspect and take the dog to the vet for a health check.

When potty training is failing or in consistant, we go back to the basic puppy training routine, of every 2 hours, after meals and after nap time and in the middle of play time.
We keep dog on leash outside, to ensure there are no distarctions and reward with favorite treat for going outside.  

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