The moving from house-> to dog's home -> to new house, has either unsettled them completely, or no-one had really taken the trouble to go through the effort of house training them in the first place, but the amount of floors we have cleaned and throws we had to wash was becoming really silly.
As you can read here, on " house-breaking the older dog , to adopt an older dog from a shelter, ( Maud and Millie are already a year old and not puppies)- a new doggie companion will probably find the new experiences of moving to a new owner and new house, very stressful. The new home is unfamiliar - they initially do not know where they are or even where the doors are that lead outside. They may or may not have been housetrained previously.
The kind neighbour who popped in to see them when I was away, gave me an invaluable tool and very useful advice.She had a huge crate from the time her dogs were puppies and she lent it to me, and adviced crate-training as the solution.
I can never thank her enough.
I took the subject of house-training up with my vet.
My vet- a horsey woman with a heart of gold who sent me a condolence card when my cat died, and usually kindness itself , gave me short shrift : " Looks like you inherited someone else' s problem. Either you keep them in a kennel outside the house or you cage-train them. That is your only chance."
I looked up " cage-training" and followed the advice and the schedule for this training by a chap called Eamon Patrick Riley who is a certified Master Trainer and associated with the Dog Man Training Company, and who is also member of the Association of Canine Behavior Counselor .I followed his schedule to the letter.
His website you can find here , it's a dog's website full of sensible advice.
Both Millie and Maud retreat there to eat their chewies and treats.
The cats are very envious of the cage and especially Thomasina tries to go into it or climb on it so during the time Millie and Maud are supposed to be in the cage, I keep the cats away.
Eamon Patrick Riley .The objective really is to re-inforce that outside is for going to the loo, and inside certainly is not. Playing can only be done when the pup has comleted the " task in hand " as Mr Riley so delicately puts it.
So far, so good.The " accidents" have dwindled to a minimum.
Next week is the period where we are going to try to train with more time outside the cage.
The weather remains cold and frosty which is a Godsend in certain respects, as some walks would have been very muddy, but have now become very firm and frosted over.
The bridle way near is is a lovely long stretch of a walk which my old dogs, Harris and Sophie used to adore.
Training day allows Maud and Millie to have a few hours " of" from 5.00 pm. till 8.00 pm.
So that is spent contendly on the sofa- play-fighting and snoozing...