If you have a dog at home, you know what a nightmare it could be if they have a habit of peeing anywhere.
It’s one of the most common problems we dog lovers face and I’ve been asked how I’ve dealt with my own dog’s peeing habit a number of times. It’s convinced me to put together a brief guide on exactly what you need to be doing to get your dog to stop peeing everywhere in the house.
First off, try and understand the problem. You need to know that every dog goes through this phase and that most dogs have this habit. It’s pretty normal for a puppy to want to pee at the very spot it first realizes it wants to pee. This is especially true for a house puppy that hasn’t been trained yet and for adult dogs that have reverted back to old habits after a while.
What are the reasons why your dog pees in the house
There are basically three reasons why a dog may start to pee in the house.
- Firstly, it may be because of incontinence, if the dog has aged a lot and doesn’t realise how his body has changed.
- Another reason, more common, is the need for a dog to mark its territory. Territorial marking is a common behaviour and it can be dealt with in a number of ways.
- Then there is submissive peeing. This is usually the case with dogs right after they have been reprimanded for something. Shouting at the dog may have put them in a state of fear and they are reacting out of a need to show submission.
Depending on the case, the ways to stop a dog from peeing may be either extremely easy or somewhat tough. Start by ruling out any medical conditions that may be forcing the dog to pee. Take him to the vet and get him checked for old age related symptoms, infections, effects of a new diet or even stomach problems.
Start with a medical check that can rule out all the issues dogs may face with their tummies and then you can start by working on the other reasons for peeing in the house.
In my experience, marking one’s territory is a major part of animal life and it may be the most important push for a puppy to pee indoors. This may be because your dog thinks of your house as their own. Yes, they want to let you know they are in charge and not you (super cute, if you ask me).
Dogs that tend to show a certain amount of dominance are prone to behave this way. Any threat to his dominance, whether perceived or real, may make the dog want to pee and mark its domain at home.
The threat may come from a number of places. It could be you, a new visitor to the house or even a new piece of furniture.
To tackle this issue, you need simple obedience training. You have to slowly subside the anger and dominance in the dog and make him realize he is not the leader and marking behaviour is not acceptable.
Most commonly, dogs that have been neutered are not prone to this and are much less likely to pee in the house to show dominance.
House Training Issues
House training may be a lot tougher if you have a rescue dog, since they are so used to living in a kennel. This could mean that the dogs are used to peeing on the floor whenever they want and feel like.
There is a good chance no one has ever house trained the dog before and you may be the first person to try doing this. It may be easy for them to go back into their old habits if they aren’t trained properly. Reinforcing good habits will be a challenge and you may have to be prepared for this.
Puppies are much worse at house training and learning to control their small bladders. People in charge of small puppies will have to take them out multiple times a day and get them used to peeing out in the open whenever they feel like.
Catch them in the act
Ideally, it’s best that you stop your dog from peeing in the house right at home before they ever have a chance to do so. But in most cases this would be impossible.
Try to look for signs that may clue you into this behaviour. Like a dog circling around a part of the room or sniffing the floor to look for a spot. Just when you learn the traits they display when they are about to pee, you can catch them and stop them right in the act. Clap your hands loudly, for example, to startle them and make them stop right away.
Take him outside when you notice they are ready to pee and over time they will get so used to this they may want to pee outside every time. Praise them for peeing outside and startle them for peeing in the house and guide them outside. The earlier you start with this sort of training, the better.
If you keep praising them and giving them treats for peeing outside, so that they know you approve of this sort of behaviour.
Remove the scent
Despite trying everything, getting a dog to stop peeing in the house and breaking such a habit will take time and effort and in most cases you may lack the will for either. The struggle could be worse if the dog is really old.
One of the best ways to simply discourage the dogs from peeing will be to take away the scent. Remember that dogs have a very keen sense of smell, and smelling pee will make them want to go. Remove the scent completely by using a very effective cleaner.
Make sure you use a cleaner that has enzymes instead of ammonia, because ammonia sometimes smells similar to pee. You may not be able to tell the difference, but, of course, the dog has a better sense of smell.
Few products can be the following:
- BUBBAS, Super Strength Commercial Enzyme Cleaner-Pet Odor Eliminator
- Enzyme Cleaner, Pet Stain Remover, Odor Eliminator, Sunny and Honey
- Pooch & Puss Pet Odor Eliminator – Natural Enzyme Cleaner
- Pet Trainer’s Choice Dog Odor and Stain Remover
Finally, understand that a dog wants to pee in the same spot repeatedly. Once they find their home they don’t want to pee in their own ‘den’. They are programmed for peeing in the same place, but you have to make sure that place is not indoors.
Image Courtesy: flickr.com/latteda